Monday, March 20, 2017

7 Secret PATIO DINING SPOTS around (but not in) SACRAMENTO

Al Fresco around (not in) Sac town

MARCH 2017

There are ubiquitous Sacramento al fresco dining destinations that see their share of action when the sun shines and the temps rise. Spots like Paragary's, Lucca and Tower Cafe all come to mind, but what about the hidden gems that sport sunny seating outside the city for us suburbanites? On this first day of spring, let's all take a moment to revel in anticipation that soon ,we'll be taking our meals out in the open and under the Northern California sun. 


9830 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 844-0356

This was once a pizza parlor with barely passable pizza. The decision to become Siam Patio was absolutely in everyone's favor and the name says it all. Delicious Thai cuisine that spans the traditional to more interesting Thai-inspired dishes and a gorgeous, slightly whimsical patio area that turns from sweet to romantic as the evening unwinds. A little shabby chic chandelier action, dark wood & mood lighting makes for a rendezvous to remember. And did we mention live piano Fridays?

2. Carmelita's

4071 Howard St., Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 961-3327

This Fair Oaks hot spot has been around since 1962 and has been a favorite local gathering place since. What Carmelita's lacks in inventive or high-end comida, it more than comes through in the sunny, swanky patio department. Complete with drapery, outdoor bar area and occasional neighborhood rooster appearance, it elevates the usual enchilada experience. The price has increased since the old days to finance the decor upgrades but the food is decent, the drinks are icy and Rosa, our favorite waitress, and the sunny patio warm our corazones.

10344 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 967-4331

If you want to get your outdoor picnic on, Sunflower is the place to come for saucy, nutty, messy, piled-high take-out that happens to be vegetarian. Right next to Old Fair Oaks park, where the chickens do roam, it bustles with cyclists, strollers, families and friends. The wait can be tedious but when the sun's out get your Nut Burger bun's (or Nutty Tacos) out and get grubbin'.

9634 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 534-9330

The tucked-away back patio sees little traffic, but that just makes it all the more relaxing. It's spare, but fits you and your friends nicely when the two picnic tables are stuck together, farmhouse-style. While away a sunny happy hour with $3 beer specials and crispy tots with a smoky, porky topping and if you get hungrier, grab a set inside for more on-premises smoked barbecue specialties.

9611 Greenback Lane, Folsom, CA  95630 Tel: (916) 989-6711

Judging by the popularity of Scott's happy hour, it may not be much of a secret and chances are, you may have sat-a-spell on the patio. Sipping on a glass of ice bucket-chilled, buttery chardonnay while munching on fresh, ocean-sweet seafood is just the way to spend a summery afternoon. If you haven't christened Scott's patio, your chance is right around the corner.

6. Fabian's 

11755 Fair Oaks Blvd., Fair Oaks, CA 95628 Tel: (916) 536-9891

Dark wood interior, a mellow, low-key vibe inside, top-notch bartender crafted cocktails (with an amazing $5 whiskey/bourbon-heavy happy hour cocktail menu) and mostly Italian food menu hidden away in strip shopping center is a worthy destination. The shady arbored patio with twinkling white lights & a cozy fire pit is inviting and the perfect spot for some of their tasty small-plate goodies. 

7. Zinfandel California Cuisine

2220 Gold Springs Ct., Gold River, CA Tel: (916) 853-9600

Hello...1986 calling! 
The interior of this long-time restaurant resident in Gold River is decked-out in purple, glossy black, mauve and sponge-dappled peach 80's era study in interior decor that does have its own unique charm. That being said, the patio is expansive and perfect for a group gathering. After you've gathered, order the prosciutto pizza topped with lightly lemon tinged arugula or arguably the best burger this side of the American River (another secret we're divulging.) The wine pours are generous, the staff is always friendly and there's always a shady table waiting for you.

Thursday, March 9, 2017


March 2017

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner! There is no better place to celebrate this holiday than an Irish pub or Irish-themed bar with an abundance of Guinness, Irish fare, lively crowds, and a sea of green. Make plans to visit one of these Irish pubs in and around Sacramento on St. Patrick’s Day or the days leading up to March 17!


The Boxing Donkey Irish Pub Roseville, CA
Photo Courtesy of the Boxing Donkey Irish Pub
The Boxing Donkey Irish Pub is located in historic Old Town Roseville, serving incredible Irish food, beer and whiskey. Their inviting and hospitable service in a comfortable setting makes your experience extra enjoyable, furthered by live music and a daily happy hour. The Boxing Donkey has quite the day planned on St. Patrick’s Day. In fact, they open at 6 a.m. on March 17 to start the festivities early! (Photo above represents the Boxing Donkey’s German festivities.)


Malt & Mash Irish Pub in the heart of downtown puts a modern twist on the classic Irish pub, evident in their gorgeous interior and exterior designs and their delicious food and drink menus. The name Malt & Mash refers to the usual grain mixture used in the brewing and distillation of beer and whiskey, both of which they specialize in. This authentic pub celebrates the history of Irish-American culture in an effortless and captivating way.


de Vere's Irish Pub Sacramento and Davis, CA
Photo Courtesy of de Vere’s Irish Pub
de Vere’s Irish Pub is owned and operated by an Irish family originally from Dublin who moved to Sacramento in 1984. The atmosphere is so authentically Irish at both of de Vere’s locations in Sacramento and Davis. In fact, they even had the pub fixtures and furnitures designed and built in Ireland. de Vere’s provides innovative Irish food, friendly service, and of course, 20-ounce pints of Guinness!


Pitch and Fiddle Sacramento, CA
Photos Courtesy of Pitch & Fiddle
Pitch & Fiddle is an authentic Irish pub in Sacramento serving the finest selection of Irish whiskeys and beers. Their Irish fare is to die for — especially the fish and chips and their famous Irish corned beef tacos. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day at Pitch and Fiddle, or treat every day like an Irish holiday with their daily happy hour from 4 to 8 p.m.!


36 Handles Restaurant and Pub El Dorado Hills, CA
Photo Courtesy of 36 Handles Pub & Eatery
This easy-going Irish pub in El Dorado Hills serves classic Irish fare and drinks, with a strong emphasis on beers. In fact, they have 36 handles (hence the name!), including 28 commonly found beers and 8 alternating taps, offering variety and interest for beer connoisseurs. Join their membership club by drinking a handle of every beer on tap, and you will receive perks and discounted refills at each visit!


O'Mally's Irish Pub Old Sacramento, CA
Photo Courtesy of O’Mally’s Irish Pub
Located in the heart of Old Sacramento, O’Mally’s Irish Pub offers one of the most authentic Irish experiences around. With wooden furniture, traditional Irish fare at reasonable prices, a wide selection of drinks, and a welcoming atmosphere, this no-frills pub is the real deal. This year, O’Mally’s is celebrating their 20th anniversary, so they’re throwing an especially big party on St. Patrick’s Day!


Blarney Stone Irish Pub Sacramento, CA
Photo Courtesy of Nyk Photography
This Orangevale pub is popular amongst residents and those in neighboring towns. The Blarney Stone serves 22 beers on tap, including all of your Irish favorites, and a full bar with a great selection of Irish whiskeys. Relax with friends and family on the covered patio with some Guinness-battered fish and chips, or belly up to the bar with a pint of Guinness!

Courtesy of Lyon Real Estate 2017
Four Reasons a Property Sells
There's good news for Sacramento home sellers this year; forecasts it among the nation's five hottest housing markets in 2017. Whether you're considering selling in the next year or beyond, it's good to know the key reasons a property sells.
There's very little a seller can control about location, but it's one of the most important factors affecting a buyer's selection. It's not just the specific city, suburb, or neighborhood, but the amenities that exact location provides. Buyers will consider schools, parks, traffic, accessibility to highways or commuting options, sidewalks, commerce, hospitals, and crime.
What you originally paid for your home (plus renovations) will have very little do with the asking price. Comps (comparatives) are the essential tool in determining a home's value. You will need a comparative market analysis, comparing what homes your size in your neighborhood sold for in the last year. Sellers rarely get a 100-percent return on recent repairs and upgrades (some have more impact than others) but those elements still play a part in the overall sale.
Condition ranges from curb appeal to the overall structure and safety of your home. Very few buyers will consider a home that needs major work, so replacing a roof or repairing plumbing or heating/air systems can be beneficial. Minor upgrades or "freshening up" a home is vital. Fresh paint, replacing bad carpets or flooring, fixing doors and windows will put buyers at ease. Cosmetic enhancements like staging, decluttering, and creating a fresh and inviting space will make your home stand out to buyers.
The Right Agent
Everyone knows at least one real estate agent, but the key is to find the right one to sell your home. A good listing agent will help develop a comprehensive marketing plan that includes professional photography, a full market analysis, recommend contractors and vendors, assist with staging, have extensive connections, assist with negotiations, help navigate contracts and terms, and most importantly, keep the lines of communication open and provide regular updates.