One cafe fits most

Selland’s Market-Cafe

Good for: casual neighborhood dine in or takeout
Notable dishes: macaroni and cheese, wood-fired pizza, seasonal parfait

Selland’s Market Cafe

5340 H St.
Sacramento, CA 95819

(916) 736-3333

The Selland family has had a monumental year. In June 2016, they opened OBO’ Italian Table & Bar in East Sacramento, a Selland’s pizza outlet in the Golden 1 Center in September, and the newest Market-Cafe in Land Park this past April.

Just one of those would have been noteworthy, but all in a short amount of time demonstrate the well-tuned character of the Selland Family Restaurants.

Despite a slew of other new eateries in the Land Park area (Sampino’s Kitchen at Joe Marty’s, Meet & Eat, Dali’s Kitchen), Selland’s Market-Cafe has clocked steady business since opening.

Why? It fills an apparently pent-up need for fresh, healthy food choices with plenty of space and abundant wine options. The variety of hot and cold prepared foods for take-out particularly fill a void in the area. Ample parking certainly helps.

More than two years ago, the Selland’s group purchased part of an outdated office building at Ninth and Broadway with the intention of moving their high-end Kitchen restaurant closer to downtown. Eventually, they changed the concept to the more affordable Cafe, sensing the opportunity for multiple visits per diner rather than a once-a-year splurge.

As with OBO’, the new Selland’s appeals to a wide variety of customers. They offer wood-fired pizzas with vegetarian and gluten-free options, for example. A classic pepperoni ($16) yields enough for two eaters, with a crisp crust and shards of fresh basil.

The menu and presentations will be largely familiar to Selland’s regulars, with a few new additions. One is the spicy Moroccan chicken burger ($11), with harissa and ginger flavoring the meat. Carrot slaw and feta add crunch and brininess to a solid—if not particularly spicy—alternative burger.

Salads include hearty options, like the goat cheese and apple ($6.25/$8.75), to which you can add chicken (add $3) or salmon (add $9.50). Either goes well with the toasted walnuts and well-balanced balsamic vinaigrette.

Or, you can tack on a side salad to any order, which is the genius of this mix-and-match menu. The simple mixed greens with green onion ($4/$6.50) makes the choice of ultra-creamy macaroni and cheese ($3.75/$5.75/$9.75) somewhat less indulgent.

One of the best deals is the Dinner for Two & Bottle of Wine ($25), available at both locations. Each week, Monday to Saturday, the restaurant offers a set entrée paired with a bottle of wine for a very reasonable cost. You can eat in or take it out—making weeknight dinners that much easier.

Recently, it was pork carnitas tortas with avocado, onions, fontina and black beans and a very drinkable bottle of Vina Borgia Garnacha. Dinner, done.

One of the best aspects here is the wines—available by the glass or the bottle—at reasonable cost, as well as local beers on tap. Or, just enjoy the pitchers of water prepared with sliced citrus set out for taking with silverware and napkins. You can even water your dog on the patio with convenient dog bowls.

The dessert case always features a seasonal parfait, cupcakes, cookies and a cornucopia of cakes and tarts by the slice. The parfait ($4.99) comes in a small mason jar and always fills that need for creamy richness, such as the recent peanut butter version with whipped cream and cookie crust.

Sacramento really hasn’t had a lot of examples of a large-scale eat in/take-out quick-serve restaurant with high-end ingredients. While it may not be all things to all diners, Selland’s certainly tries.