Dine Downtown 2016

Dine Downtown is upon us!

Dine Downtown is singularly the best event I enjoy in January.

When the holidays are over and you’re trying to get back into the swing of things at work, there’s nothing more fun than setting up a girlfriend date, a date night with my amazing hubby and a double date with our good friends to nosh on some delicious food at some of Sacramento’s premier restaurants.

So what is Dine Downtown, you may ask?

It’s a 10-day restaurant “week” where local chefs create special 3-course dinner menus priced at a super affordable $35 per person.

The benefit here is two-fold. One: you get to visit a restaurant (or two, or three) — that may not be on your normal list of frequent dinner spots — and eat an incredible three course meal. Two: you’re supporting a great cause.

For every Dine Downtown meal purchased, $1 will benefit Food Literacy Center, a nonprofit dedicated to teaching low-income elementary children cooking and nutrition to improve our health, community, and environment. [source]

For my first dinner event, I visited Frank Fat’s with friends The Lipstick Giraffe, Sacramento 365 and newly minted friend, Hana, from Food Literacy Center. Fat’s is a legend in this town. The oldest restaurant on the Grid and the Fat family still runs the restaurant (and 5 others), keeping the beautiful Chinese tradition and delicious, original taste of Frank Fat’s alive today.

We had the pleasure of spending a few private moments in conversation with the Executive Chef, Mike Lim. He explained his menu for the event (it’s served family-style) and answered all our questions.

Before I show off the photos of our incredible meal, I had to do a little more digging about Frank Fat’s. I knew it has been on L Street forever — try since 1939! — but what I didn’t know is that Frank Fat emigrated to San Francisco at 16 years old with not a single cent nor identification on him. He was later able to impress a random stranger to lend him $2,000 to open his restaurant. The rest is history.

This restaurant is a James Beard Foundation award winner as an American Classic. It was/is also the hot spot for politicians in our town to wheel & deal and make plays. Rumor has it many deals were made here with pacts scribbled on dinner napkins. I even saw Mayor Kevin Johnson while we were exiting, so this place definitely has a deep connection with our government here in Sacramento.

On to the menu… and the photos!


Chinese Chicken Salad with pickled cucumber, almonds, tomatoes, wonton crisps, and a house-made sesame soy vinaigrette

Cantonese style stewed beef short ribs with carrots, potatoes, daikon and ginger

Chinese Mustard Greens with Mushrooms in a garlic oyster sauce

Scallop Fried Rice with white and green onions, green beans, and egg whites

Banana Cream Pie or Chocolate Cream Pie (guess which one everyone picked?!)

Thank you to Fat’s Family of Restaurants for helping make this post possible!

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