There is a new contender in the robust burger division. Itís served at Ten22, the new Old Sacramento eatery run by the folks who operate the nearby Firehouse restaurant.
There are several pleasant contradictions to Ten22, which opened in October of 2009. Take the place itself. Fronted by Old Sacís trademark wild west, wood-planked sidewalks and built on the site of the gold rush-era Orleans Hotel, Ten22 itself is far from old-fashioned. It has a bright, airy, contemporary feel, hickory woodwork, an open kitchen and 24 beers on tap. And while it has a commendable burger, it is no burger joint. Rather, it offers a fresh take on a wide range of bistro favorites.
We started our lunch with a chicken wing small plate. I know what youíre thinking. But thereís nothing Buffalo about these wings. Marinated in buttermilk and a touch of Tabasco, they are baked with a crispy corn flake crust and come with an orange chili dipping sauce.
My burger was a hefty Niman Ranch patty with bacon and caramelized onions fused onto the meat by a coating of melted pepper jack cheese. A mouth symphony in a brioche bun.
My dining partners were pleased with their sandwiches as well Ė BBQ pulled pork for one and roasted chicken, pesto and melted Brie for the other.
Ten22ís menu also includes a wide variety of dinner entrees like steak, salmon, chicken and scallop dishes, a roasted veggie platter, braised baby back ribs and a variety of pizzas baked in their stone hearth oven.
The historic Orleans building was demolished in 1970. The lot stood vacant nearly 40 years. Now the site, once the gateway to the gold rush, is offering us a new doorway into the golden age of dining out. It is off to a promising start.