Joe Marty’s, located on Broadway around the corner from the Tower Theater, has a long history as a sports bar. Joe Marty, a professional baseball player from Sacramento, opened his sports bar on J Street in 1938.
Joe Marty played for the Sacramento Salons, Sacramento’s professional baseball team, after he returned to his hometown. He had previously played for several professional baseball clubs – including the Chicago Cubs and Philadelphia Phillies. He was a contemporary of Lefty O’Doul and Joe DiMaggio.
Joe Marty’s moved to the present location in 1951, the year before Joe Marty retired from the Sacramento Salons. The new site was just down the street from Edmonds Field, the home ballpark of the Sacramento Salons. Edmonds Field was located at the corner of Riverside and Broadway – the present-day site of Target.
For years I drove past the long-vacant, fire-damaged building that had been home to Joe Marty’s. While I had never patronized Joe Marty’s before the fire closed the place down in 2005 I knew people who had frequented the place.
Joe Marty’s reopened in 2015 but despite my good intentions I never stopped by to check it out. After hearing that Sampino’s Towne Foods had bought Joe Marty’s I moved it up on my list of places to try.
A friend and I recently stopped by Joe Marty’s for a weekday lunch. We were seated immediately, and provided both menu’s and water. We were both really hungry after spending several delightful hours at the nearby Sacramento Zoo.
Our waitress came over soon after we were seated to check on us – but we were not ready to order as we were still looking over the menu. After we settled on what we wanted it was a bit of a wait before she came by again.
My friend had decided on the Steak & Blue Cheese Salad (Roasted Seasoned Tri-Tip, Bitter and Mixed Greens, Blue Cheese Crumbles, Dried Cranberries, Granny Smith Apple, Candied Pecans & Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing ($11.99). I ordered the Chicken Caesar Salad (Breaded Chicken Breast, Romaine Hearts, Parmesan Cheese, Croutons, Slice of Lemon & House Made Caesar Dressing ($11.99). Note: While the on-line menu shows the price of both salads to be $10.99 – the actual menu price is $1 more.
As we waited (and waited) to be served our salads, we caught up on what we each had been up to and kept an eye out to see what the tables surrounding ours had ordered. The various sandwiches (served with a small green salad and small fries) looked very tasty and everyone seemed to be enjoying their lunch.
Fellow patrons came and went, and we still had not been served our salads – so we made an inquiry. A few minutes later our salads arrived.
The Steak & Blue Cheese Salad received very high marks. The steak was done just right and the salad had an ample portion of each of the ingredients. My friend noted that when she took her last bite of salad there was more on her fork than just lettuce. She said that she would definitely order the Steak & Blue Cheese Salad again.
I enjoyed my Chicken Caesar Salad as well. The chicken was moist and the house-made dressing was tasty – but the Romaine lettuce was room temperature and had no “crunch”. I happen to like crisp Romaine lettuce – just my personal preference.
Other than the longish wait to take our order (after we were not ready the first time), and the long wait to receive our salads after ordering, I thought that the service was both pleasant and generally attentive. We never had to ask, for example, to have our water glasses refilled.
Now, we were in no hurry – but it may be a good idea to let the staff know if you are on a time schedule.
Sampino’s Kitchen @ Joe Marty’s is now a bit of a hybrid – everywhere you look there are TV’s and baseball memorabilia – so it is definitely a sports bar – but it is also an Italian restaurant. I certainly intend to return to sample the dinner menu which includes Italian staples like meat lasagna, eggplant parmesan and ravioli.
Comments on Sampino’s Kitchen @ Joe Marty’s?
Have you been to Joe Marty’s since Sampino’s took over? What has been your experience?