Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lunch Break: Indo Cafe

Indo Cafe on Urbanspoon
taken from Yelp

Old Sacramento may be meant primarily for tourists and school excursions, but there are still reasons for us locals to stop by once in a while. Evangeline's is good throughout the year and not just at Halloween. Strolling down the waterfront is nice exercise on a sunny day. People that work in the vicinity can find some good lunch deals as well. 

Bordering the east side of the railroad tracks are the old railroad storage sheds that have been converted into shops and eateries. Over the years many of the businesses have closed, not being able to survive on tourists alone, especially during the off season. One eatery that has survived over the years is the Indo Cafe, located at the south end of the sheds.

I tend to make the trek to Old Sac for lunch on the occasional sunny day and if it's been a long time, I often wonder if it's still going to be there. Thankfully it is.


It may be a bit odd to find an Indonesian cafe situated in the center of touristy Old Sac.  I really doubt there were many Indonesians around the Gold Rush and the early 1900s - we had more Chinese and Japanese back then. It might not fit the historical theme of Old Sac, but it's one of its dining gems.

One of the nice things about Indo Cafe for those who aren't familiar with Indonesian food is that they have photos of the items on the wall. Don't know what bakmi goreng is? Take a look at the picture and read the description. Most of the entrees are priced at $7.49.

I must admit that I tend to get the same thing over and over. After all, if you find an item you really like, why not? For me that is the satay. You can choose between chicken or pork. Now satay might seem simple enough and something that you can pick up at any Thai restaurant. Thing is, not all satay is created equal and Indo Cafe's just happens to be superior. First is the generous amount of sticks of meat. Whether it is the pork or the chicken, it has been marinated in the satay spice blend long enough for the flavor to soak in. Next is the plentiful, rich, creamy, slightly spicy peanut sauce poured across. Finally there is the garnish of deep fried garlic pieces. I am in love with their satay.



Today, though, I was in the mood for comfort food and in Indonesia or Thailand that just has to be a good curry and rice. You can choose between beef or chicken and then whether you want red or yellow curry (red being the spicier). My red chicken curry arrived with cabbage, bamboo shoots, peppers and carrots cooked in the sauce. The red curry had a good medium hot heat level where it helped me to clear a bit of my head cold away. Yes, I can make this dish with a blindfold on, but sometimes you just want to be handed that comfort food ready- made.

The best place to sit is on their patio watching the tourists and occasional train go by. The staff will bring out meals in boat shaped dishes with a bottle of soy sauce and a jar of hot chili oil if you need to add some heat. 

Whether a tourist or a local, if you want good food at a good price, then Indo Cafe is one of the best things you'll find in Old Sac. 


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