Kick N … meh

Sacramento sports bar Kick N Mule suffers from slow service, confused food

If you’re going to try the mashed potato spring rolls, our writer recommends having a few beers first.

If you’re going to try the mashed potato spring rolls, our writer recommends having a few beers first.

photo by stephanie stiavetti

Good for: A beer while you wait.
Notable dishes: None that I could find.

Kick N Mule

2901 W Capitol Ave.
West Sacramento, CA 95691

(916) 572-0264

Kick N Mule is a lively sports bar that opened last summer, near the corners of West Capitol and Harbor in West Sac. It’s filled with 20-plus flat screens beaming every game anyone could possibly want and a good selection of local beers on tap, including a few of their own brews. Their food selection is extensive if somewhat confused; Asian dishes intermingle with American and Italian classics, some blurring the line of fusion and diving straight into schizophrenia.

My first visit almost wasn’t, given the level of service. Upon arrival to a mostly empty restaurant, I sat down and smiled at a few servers. They looked at me blankly and kept about their business, which, unfortunately, did not involve bringing me a menu.

I made eye contact again, yet still no menu materialized. Finally, one server peeled himself away from the bar and dropped a menu at my table, then failed to come back for my order. I watched him walk this way and that, glance my way, then wander to the other side of the restaurant to bus tables. Did I mention the restaurant was almost empty? After bussing, he went back to the bar and tallied up his tickets.

At this point I almost left, but hunger kept me anchored to the table. Eventually my server reappeared, expressionless and unapologetic, but thankfully willing to take my order. My food showed up only five minutes later. Clearly the kitchen wasn’t on the same meandering timeline as the wait staff.

The food was… meh. The “World Famous Jambalaya” ($16.50) was tasty at first, with a satisfying amount of heat, though the next few bites revealed undercooked salmon mixed un-ironically with overcooked shrimp. The mashed potato spring rolls ($8) are a great example of the aforementioned schizophrenic territory, with the potatoes wrapped in wonton wrappers and deep fried, then covered with cheese. They were quirky, carby and probably taste better after a few beers.

My second visit was a little better. My server was very sweet and attentive, but this time the food took forever. The Tower Bridge burger ($14.50) was… meh. The fish and chips were… meh. Both were OK, though not what I’d expect when paying more than $13 on a dish. Oddly, half the fries were good, while the remaining half were old and dried out. The brownie sundae ($8) was also meh, a grave disappointment for such an expensive dessert. Eight bucks only gets you a stale grocery-store brownie topped with stale grocery store ice cream and canned whipped cream? Sad face.

I went back a third time to pry a little quality out of Kick N Mule. The service was better—thank god, because I was literally the only diner in the restaurant—but the male server kept calling me “young lady,” which was super annoying since I’m a 40-year-old `woman with probably five years on this guy. The fried chicken wrap ($14) was… you guessed it. Meh. It was the wrap equivalent a bone-dry chicken sandwich. To their credit, they did end up comping me for it because it was inedible. At least the fries were fresh this time.

My final verdict on Kick N Mule? I’ve got one word for you… meh. It’s a great place to eat if you’ve got more money to burn than you’ve got standards.