Take a Walk on the Shady Side
We’ve been hearing a lot about a shady character frequenting the neighborhood near 14th and R Streets. This character’s been known to show her full colors when the sun sets. Word on the street is that she serves up some mean cocktails and a unique take on southern food. Some have even hinted at the possibility of live entertainment. Who is this mystery lady? None other than the Shady Lady Saloon, located at 1409 R Street in downtown. So on Sunday, I gathered a posse of the shadiest ladies I could find, and we decided to check this place out.
The space itself feels a bit like old New Orleans to me – exposed brick, dark wood, velvet settee – with booths lining the perimeter and a beautiful U-shaped bar in the center. It’s clear this is a place to both wine and dine.
The menu is well-focused; it doesn’t try to cover too much territory (a pet peeve of mine). Instead, it offers a really nice selection of urban meets southern food in a chic setting that’s affordable. We started with the fried green tomatoes – an excellent choice: Crunchy on the outside with a delightful tarragon-infused sauce. In fact, these were so good, we ended up ordering a second plate!
Our entrees ranged from the BBQ pulled-pork crepes, vegetable muffuletta, cheese steak sandwich, and shrimp po’ boy to the green bean salad with chicken, watercress salad and a divine take on macaroni and cheese (more about this later). All of our food was very good and artfully presented. The salads were crisp, fresh and flavorful; the sandwiches more than filling; and the crepes tender, tangy and original.
Now, a word about the macaroni and cheese. First of all, you must order this! The macaroni and cheese is fried into a golden rectangle, like an unexpected present. And, oh, what a present it is! Crunchy texture gives way to a delicious and delicately flavored macaroni and cheese. Again, we couldn’t stop at just one plate!
If you haven’t been to the revitalized R Street corridor, you must go soon. And stop by the Shady Lady Saloon for some great eats – no shady disguises required.
Shady Lady Saloon
1409 R Street
Sacramento, CA 95811