January 2, 2013
Remembering The Broiler's Marylou Lords

This past Sunday, The Bee remembered the artists -- musicians, painters, actors -- who passed away in 2012. But what about those creative souls in the kitchen? Here, Chris Macias memorializes the gracious, down-to-earth Marylou Lords, who had a sizable impact on our city's restaurant scene.


Sacramento restaurateur
July 24, 1945 - Aug. 23, 2012

For a quarter century, Marylou Lords helped bring heapings of protein and a backdrop for power lunches in downtown Sacramento. Lords, who passed away in August at the age of 67, was co-founder of downtown's Broiler Steakhouse. The restaurant's proximity to the Capitol always made it perfectly suited for politicians, lobbyists and others with expense accounts to burn - not to mention Sacramentans who are simply hungry for a big hunk of beef and a side of au gratin potatoes. The restaurant originally opened in 1950 under a different ownership.

Photo caption: A portrait of steak on the hoof looks down on diners in the Broiler in downtown Sacramento.

Lords and her husband, Larry, took over the Broiler in 1985 at 10th and J streets and moved the restaurant to its current location at 12th and K streets in 1999. She's remembered for a non-partisan approach to customer service, playing no favorites with any politicos. Lords, while tending a full restaurant, famously turned down a last-minute reservation request for Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

While Sacramento's collective palate has grown more sophisticated over the years, with foodies woofing down such dishes as foie gras and bone marrow, locals have maintained their appetite for the Broiler. Some feasts never go out of style: A slab of prime rib or filet mignon, washed down with a martini and some deal brokering on the side. For that, we thank Lords for keeping it real at the Broiler.

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