Capitol Alert

The latest on California politics and government

November 11, 2011
The Dish: Dave's Deli at the EDD building

salisbury.JPGWhile there's no shortage of coffee and lunch locales around the Capitol, many state buildings are home to additional dining options. This post is part of a new weekly series of mini-reviews of some of those spots for downtown denizens looking to try something new.

By Dan Smith

The spot: We took the challenge from a commenter and headed to Dave's Deli, AKA the Employment Development Department Cafeteria on the fourth floor of the building at 800 Capitol Mall, just a three-minute walk from the Capitol steps. Entry is a little more difficult than some state buildings -- you have to show ID, sign in with the guard in the lobby and be willing to wear a green "cafe/credit union" sticker during your visit. My lunch partners, loyal state employees and more-than-respectable cooks Fred and Guido, nonetheless pushed on. They were fascinated by the series of Montgomery Wards-era skinny escalators that carried us upward. Turned out the journey back in time was only beginning.

The grub: For lunch, Dave's features two daily specials and a relatively limited list of burgers, hot dogs, deli sandwiches, soups and melts. Salads and some sandwiches are pre-packaged. A tuna melt can be had for $4.59 and the daily special this Wednesday -- Salisbury steak, mashed potatoes, corn and a roll -- was $5.29. Deli sandwiches are available for less than 5 bucks. Dave's is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., for breakfast and lunch.

hamandcheese.JPGOn our plates: Guido went with the cheeseburger-fries-drink special ($4.69), I tried a grilled ham and cheese ($3.25) and a small lentil soup ($1.99). Fred, the adventurous one, went all in on the Salisbury steak special.

The bill: The tab for three lunches and drinks came to $17.79. One of many handmade signs along the food line said that drinks were no longer included with the daily special.

The good: Fred noted that the mashed potatoes actually included some potato chunks, the Salisbury sauce had "an OK amount of mushrooms (and) it's not overly salty, which is good." There are plenty of seats at long rectangular tables, in case you wanted to go with a big group. The dining area includes an outdoor balcony on two sides.

The bad: The ham and cheese was salty. We each had two spoonfuls of the lentil soup and declared it inedible mush. Though Fred had the most positive assessment, in the end he rated the Salisbury steak special as "nothing special." Guido said his cheeseburger was "pretty damn bland" and the fries crispy through and through, with no flavorful innards. "I had better food in my high school cafeteria," he muttered. It was a fitting close to our visit. Everything about Dave's Deli is old school -- old building, old dank cafeteria facility, old menu.

The grade: 1 out of 5 sporks.fredguido.JPG

Have you been to Dave's Deli? Share your experiences in the comments field below.

You can also check out our earlier reviews of the Gold Rush Grille and Cafe 744.

Jon Ortiz and Torey Van Oot are taking suggestions for state building restaurants to try.

Send your picks to and check back every Friday for a weekly write up.

PHOTO CREDITS: From top to bottom at Dave's Deli at the EDD building:
• The Salisbury steak special.
• The ham and cheese and lentil soup.
• Guido, left, explains to Fred what makes an acceptable french fry.
Photos by Dan Smith, Bee Capitol Bureau.

November 11, 2011
Bruce McPherson eyeing bid for Santa Cruz supervisor post

bruce.JPGFormer Secretary of State Bruce McPherson is considering another bid for office in 2012.

McPherson, who lost a 2006 secretary of state race to Democrat Debra Bowen, told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that he is leaning towards running for a seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors.

The Sentinel reports:

McPherson said Thursday his is considering a run to succeed Mark Stone in the county's 5th District, which includes Scotts Valley and the San Lorenzo Valley. Active in several local civic endeavors, McPherson said he is interested in local politics because it is the "best, most responsive form of government," and could bring his state-level experience to a changing relationship between state and local government.

"I am leaning in the direction of 'yes' to run," McPherson said.

A former Santa Cruz Sentinel editor and publisher, McPherson first entered politics in 1993, forging a reputation as a moderate Republican. He served two terms in the Assembly, leaving in 1997 when he was elected to the state Senate. He served there for eight years before term limits ended his legislative career.

n 2005, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger nominated him to be Secretary of State, and he won support from the Democrat-controlled Assembly.

Click here to read the full Sentinel piece.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bruce McPherson. Brian Baer / Sacramento Bee file

November 11, 2011
AM Alert: Sacramento parades, ceremonies mark Veterans Day

Today is Veterans Day, and there's no shortage of events in Sacramento and across the nation commemorating the holiday.

Originally called Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I, it's celebrated on Nov. 11, no matter what day of the week, as this U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs website explains. The national ceremony starts at precisely 11 a.m. Eastern Time at Arlington National Cemetery as wreaths are laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

Here in Sacramento, legendary test pilot and Retired Air Force Gen. Chuck Yeager is the parade's grand marshal, as The Bee's Bill Lindelof reported earlier this week.

The parade starts at 10 a.m. at Third and N streets, goes north on Third to Capitol Mall, then east on Capitol Mall to Ninth Street. Participants will honor veterans afterward with a program from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Immediately following, the California Mexican American Veterans Memorial organization holds its 22nd annual Veterans Day ceremony at the site of "El Soldado", located across 10th Street from the Capitol's west steps at the Jesse Unruh State Office Building. The state's Department of Veterans Affairs Undersecretary Lawrence Gonzales is the keynote speaker at the event, which runs from 1 to 2:30 p.m.

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, is pushing to allow state benefits for gay and lesbian veterans who were dishonorably discharged from the military because of their sexual orientation, The Bee's Jim Sanders reported Thursday on Capitol Alert.

STATE SCHOOLS CHIEF: State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson will talk up his Team California for Healthy Kids initiative during the 59th annual conference of the California School Nutrition Association. Torlakson will deliver his remarks at 3 p.m. at the Sacramento Convention Center.

BROKEN STATE: KQED is airing "Broken California," which looks at what's gone wrong with Golden State government and what might fix it. The program includes an interview with billionaire Nicholas Berggruen and features a discussion among Susan Kennedy, former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's chief of state; Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the University of Southern California; and former Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata. The program starts at 7:30 p.m. on KQED (Channel 9).

CAKE AND CANDLES: Sen. Fran Pavley, D-Agoura Hills, turns 63 today.


Capitol Alert Staff

Jeremy White Jeremy B. White covers California politics and edits Capitol Alert's mobile Insider Edition. Twitter: @capitolalert

Amy Chance Amy Chance is political editor for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @Amy_Chance

Dan Smith Dan Smith is Capitol bureau chief for The Sacramento Bee.

Christopher Cadelago Christopher Cadelago covers California politics and health care. Twitter: @ccadelago

Micaela Massimino Micaela Massimino edits Capitol Alert.

Laurel Rosenhall Laurel Rosenhall covers the Legislature, the lobbying community and higher education. Twitter: @LaurelRosenhall

David Siders David Siders covers the Brown administration. Twitter: @davidsiders

Dan Walters Dan Walters is a columnist for The Sacramento Bee. Twitter: @WaltersBee

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