"I wish we could have had the patio open for lunch today," says John Pickerel, encouraged by early turnout at his Buckhorn Grill, which just has opened at 18th and L in midtown Sacramento. While the sidewalk seating isn't expected to be ready for a week or so, the restaurant seats 88 inside, and business in just the second day was brisk as Sacramentans indulged their pent-up hunger for the Buckhorn's signature item, the tri-tip sandwich.
Pickerel has heard, however, that Sacramento has a fair number of vegetarians, so the local branch is the first in the company to have on the menu a sandwich based on the portobello mushroom. Other items new to the Buckhorn menu include herb-roasted chicken and the "Winters green salad," made with provisions produced in and about the Yolo County community of Winters, right down to the honey in the vinaigrette. Winters is the home of the original Buckhorn Steak & Roadhouse, which John and Melanie Pickerel have owned since 1980. The Sacramento site also is the first to have an almond-fired broiler for the chicken and salmon and to start the rotisserie-finished beef.
The Sacramento Buckhorn Grill is the seventh, though the first here. As the others, it's a streamlined version of the Buckhorn Steak & Roadhouse. "It's an upscale fast-food concept," says John Pickerel of the Grills. The Sacramento branch is to be open 11 a.m.-9 p.m. daily.