Thursday, October 30, 2008

Doin the Grub Crawl

There's a new venture in Sacramento that is fun, affordable, leads to making new friends, and includes food! The Sacramento Grub Crawl. Started earlier this year, this new activity is worth taking note of.

The premise is simple. For your $25 fee you get to spend an evening checking out five or six local restaurants. You spend about 45 minutes at each location before moving on to the next. Each location puts out a spread of food and has drink specials. The food is included in your fee, the alcohol is not. During the evening there are also giveaways of wine or gift cards. You could easily recoup your $25 if you are a lucky winner.

We joined the Halloween crawl on Wednesday night downtown. The restaurants for the evening included: River City Brewing, Three Monkeys, Parlare Eurolounge, Sofia, Fuzio, and Zokku. Each place put out a great spread of food and we did not leave hungry, although this might not always be true.

Because it was a Wednesday and started at 5 p.m., the crowd was a bit smaller, about 25 people. According to Cline (more on him in a moment), some crawls have over 100 people and can be quite a rowdy bunch. Personally I was glad of the size because we did get plenty of food and I was able to talk to Cline about his venture. I'm sure the restaurants were a little disappointed, especially because a lot of food was left when we moved on to the next stop.

Cline Moore is your crawl host. On this evening he was dressed as a pimp. He explained that last week's crawl had been on Fair Oaks Blvd. and had included Ruth's Chris, Scott's Seafood, Zinfandel Grille, Piatti, and somewhere else I forget. That one had over 100 people. He's got other crawls planned according to themes and different areas of town like Roseville and Folsom. The restaurants are happy to work with him because it helps to promote their restaurant. In my case I had been to each of the locations before except for Fuzio, which only just opened. But in the group, many had never been to most of the restaurants.

At each spot Cline gives away bottles of wine or gift cards to the spot you are in. I highly recommend that you bring your purse/wallet. I had not brought anything but my license and so missed out on some giveaways. It was like Let's Make a Deal where he would ask you to find a credit card with the most #3's on it, or, be the first to pull out and show him $50. Bring your business card as well as a couple of drawings were picked from those. My friend and I ended up with a couple of gift cards, which was great because we don't drink wine. Lucky for us, the smaller group meant better odds!




Cline says that he's trying to expand this idea to cover company events. Why have a boring office lunch or dinner at one location where you are stuck sitting next to someone the whole evening. Instead you could move from spot to spot and mingle more with your coworkers. Other groups are booking them as well. He's got a fraternity doing it as an activity in November. I'll be skipping that one. LOL.

This is just the kind of activity I want for my meetup group, so I will be adding it to our calendar. I'm looking forward to hitting one a month myself.
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