Tightwad Tuesday: Put a Cork in It


I heard through the grapevine about a fabulous fine dining restaurant in Sacramento that doesn’t charge corkage if you bring in your own wine. This could possibly be one of the best kept secrets in Sac-dining history! I still can’t believe I didn’t hear of it sooner.

That restaurant is Bandera, located on Fair Oaks Boulevard, across the street from the Pavilions shopping center.  We decided to try it out with another couple and made a special trip to pick up some vino before heading over. There is just something oddly exhilarating about paying retail price for wine you will be enjoying in a restaurant. Although the thriftiness doesn’t end there: Have a bottle you received as a gift? The dusty bottle at the bottom of the wine rack? The wine that caught your eye at the grocery store last week? Bring it.


As soon as we were comfortably seated in an oversized leather corner booth, our server was happy to pop open our bottles so they could breathe. The very dimly lit dining area, combined with this free corkage “secret,” made me feel like I was in a speakeasy of sorts. Do I need to know a password? Is there a special handshake to get the deal? Neither turned out to be the case… and the food was delicious to boot. From the Smoked Salmon and Grilled Artichoke appetizers to the Prime Rib French Dip Sandwich and amazing House-Made Oreo Ice Cream Sandwiches, every aspect of the Bandera experience turned out to be a treat.

Let’s just keep this our little secret.

2232 Fair Oaks Boulevard, Sacramento

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2 Comments so far ↓

  • Kim | Jun 2, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Bandera has THE best french dip ever. Their corn bread rocks too!

  • Eileen | Jun 2, 2009 at 7:36 pm

    I had no idea! Thanks for that tip. I love Bandera, plus you have pictures of all my favorite things.