Here’s the beef
Meet & Eat
Meet & Eat3445 Freeport Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
It’s sort of a clumsy name—describing what you’ll do there—but the new Meet & Eat in Land Park has proven to be an immediate hit. From the owners of Cafe Dantorels in Curtis Park, it takes over the burned-out shell of Crepe Escape, which has sat empty since 2013.
The building renovation is noteworthy, turning a notorious eyesore into a light-filled sleek and welcoming space. The side patio is enclosed with garage doors, which will open to an outdoor space in warm weather. Tables painted to look like bowling lanes offer roomy group dining.
Since it opened last November, Meet & Eat has been plenty busy. With breakfast, lunch and dinner service seven days a week, there’s not much downtime. The servers are efficient and friendly, though, and never seem overwhelmed.
The breakfast choices have expanded a lot from the beginning, with service until noon. The breakfast tacos ($12) come with three organic corn tortillas filled with scrambled eggs, cheese, bacon, pico de gallo and a side of salsa verde. You can get them with salmon and cream cheese for an extra $2.
The tortillas are excellent, and the salsa really adds a nice piquancy without too much spice. (There’s hot sauce on every table.) Out-of-season cherry tomatoes were unnecessary, though.
The Freeport Scramble ($12) is an even heartier choice, with a green scramble of eggs, olives, spinach, bell peppers and basil. Plenty of feta cheese on top adds a nice saltiness. Fantastic “house potatoes” with crispy edges and lots of fresh herbs, plus toast and jam, round out the plate.
At lunch and dinner, the choices turn to burgers, huge salads and more top-quality tacos. California microbrews and wines dominate the drinks menu, with rotating taps of craft beers in addition.
Of the 15 burgers, we tried the lamb burger ($14) and the sliders ($11). The lamb is flavored with citrus-y sumac, accompanied by a dill sauce similar to tzatziki. While the meat was cooked to medium rather than a juicier medium-rare, the sauce added a Mediterranean flavor.
All the burgers come with a mountain of hand-cut skinny fries, which may be some of the best in town. The sliders are satisfying little bites perfect for kids and light appetites, made with Niman Ranch beef and served on soft buns with lots of garnishes.
The best entrée we tried was crispy fish tacos ($13). The tender battered fried fish was accented with vinegar slaw, radishes, cilantro and a creamy jalapeno sauce. They’re juicy and simply delicious.
The veggie sandwich ($13) has slices of grilled marinated eggplant layered with greens, red onions, roasted beets and feta. Served on focaccia, the flavors meld well, but it’s a very messy experience. Large chunks and drippy juices made it a bit hard to enjoy.
Another dish in need of tweaking is the Chicken on Fire ($13) salad. All the salads are overwhelmingly large, piled in mixing bowls. Aside from that, the salad was marred by big hunks of onion and chicken. No one wants to have to use a knife for salad.
There’s also a $10 hot dog, the price of which has raised eyebrows among some diners. It’s a Niman all-beef beauty, split and grilled, then served with caramelized onions and those crispy fries, so definitely a better deal than the $10 dogs you get at Raley Field.
The prices are calibrated to the neighborhood rather than the nearby City College, but the portions are plentiful. It’s a sweet spot of location, good drinks and all-day food.