Dining Out: Teriyaki To Go

Teriyaki to Go opens at 11 a.m. and before noon, it’s usually jammed. With good reason: The foods good and the most expensive item on the menu is $7.45 for the seafood plates. That’s fits right in with Capitol Weekly’s mission of finding hunting eateries that are a good buys during the recession.

The menu offerings are divided roughly between bowls and plates. The bowls are about $1.40 cheaper and include only the main dish over rice or noodles; the plates also offer rice, salad and fruit. Either way, you’re going to get filled up. I’ve never yet finished all of my teriyaki chicken rice bow – my favorite dish – and after eating lunch here, I usually put off dinner until around 8 p.m. The plates range from $6.35 to $7.45 each, the rice bowls from $4.95 to $6.45 and the noodle bowls from $6.35 to $7.35. There also are assorted soft drinks and bottled water from a display cooler up front.

Plates and bowls feature a choice of chicken, beef, tofu, vegetables, turkey, pork, seafood and salmon. All are served over rice with teriyaki sauce. If you want to have a “double” – say chicken and tofu – add an extra $1.75. If you want a third one, add $2.95. They also offer a noodle bowl, with all same dishes except salmon. The noodles are pan fried with mixed vegetables and teriyaki sauce.
The restaurant is a popular hang-out for the downtown crowd, which includes state workers, Capitol and City Hall staffers, reporters and assorted folk from around the grid. It’s also known as the home of the lilting, familiar shout, “Thank yoooooou!” which the coo-cashier shouts out to customers as they leave with their orders. No matter what happens, no matter how crowded, no matter what the dish, there’s always a “Thank yoooooou!”

While waiting, check out the cooking. The chopping of veggies is frenetic and frighteningly fast, the flames in the meat-filled woks over the massive gas range leap two feet into the air. I’ve always to cook like that, but the closest I’ve come is hamburger over an outdoor grill. At Teriyaki to Go, they take the leaping, blue-yellow flames in stride.

Teriyaki to Go is open until 9 a.m. six days a week, which makes it nice for those who have been downtown in the evenings and failed to find a restaurant. In fact, downtown Sacramento now offers an array of eateries. Five years ago, you pretty much went hungry.

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