Description and review of a recent end-of-week lunch at Urban Roots Brewing and Smokehouse – a brewery and BBQ restaurant located at the corner of 14th and V Street that opened mid-May in Sacramento.
I recently met a friend for lunch at Urban Roots Brewing and Smokehouse (Urban Roots). Arriving around 11:30 a.m. I found a parking spot on V Street about two blocks away. Street parking closer was available – but I was a bit early and wanted to park in the shade.
As I approached the large building that houses Urban Roots, the first thing that caught my eye was the outdoor patio and the cheerful mural painted by Lily Therens near the entrance.
The patio is largely covered by sunshades, and it is also strung with lights. Large and small picnic tables and benches provide an abundance of outdoor seating. The patio area is dog-friendly, and that afternoon several well-behaved dogs were enjoying an outing with their humans.
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Around the corner of the building on 14th Street there is a playful mural painted by Maren Conrad. You can see Maren’s beautiful koi fish mural (painted during Wide Open Walls 2017) as you drive down J Street on the right just past the Spaghetti Factory. It is on the back wall of the MARRS building on 20th Street. She also painted the Lady Bird mural located at 16th & I Streets honoring the movie by the same name.
I had arrived first, and after taking a quick tour of the facility seated myself on the patio to await my friend. When she arrived we headed inside to order lunch. As we entered the line a helpful staff person offered us the menu and asked if we had any questions.
Shortly afterwards, another staff member came by with a tray of beer and offered us a free sample. I inquired and was told it was “To Have And To Hold”. While my friend declined, I accepted the offer as I knew that Urban Roots offers a “half-pour” and I was contemplating having a half-pour glass of beer with lunch.
Like the outdoor patio, the interior to Urban Roots is large, with a long bar in the same area where you order and pick up your meal. On the right side of the building there is additional seating both inside and outside of the Barrel Room.
As we approached the counter to order and pay, a sign and floor markings asked that patrons stand behind that spot while waiting so that other patrons could pick up their orders. When it was our turn we placed our orders, paid, and were given buzzers to alert us when our orders were ready.
I had enjoyed the sample of To Have And To Hold so I ordered a half-pour ($4) and paid for it at the same time. If you are not ordering food you can order your beer or wine at the bar – no need to wait in line.
It was a warm but pleasant afternoon, and a bit loud inside, so we headed out to the patio with our beverages to wait. It was not long before our buzzers reverberated loudly against the table announcing that our orders were ready.
As I approached the pick-up counter a male patron, who obviously did not read the sign (or perhaps did not think it applied to him), was partially blocking the counter. Urban Roots staff did not say anything to him and neither did I – but admit I briefly thought about it.
Sandwiches are served with your choice of one side. My friend ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich (slaw, fried onions) ($14), a side Potato Salad, and a soft drink ($3.50). I ordered the Smoked Fish Sandwich ($15), a side of coleslaw, and the previously mentioned To Have And To Hold half-pour.
My friend in short order discovered that the Pulled Pork Sandwich was served sans BBQ sauce – and she wondered why no staff member had made mention of that fact. She reentered Urban Roots to make an inquiry, and following directions headed to the counter where we had picked up our utensils. Once there she had to poke around a variety of condiments before she found the BBQ sauce. You would think that BBQ sauce would be front and center – but it wasn’t that day.
The generous serving of pork in the Pulled Pork Sandwich was said to be very moist and tender – but the flavor of the “smoke” overwhelmed the taste of the pork. The onion rings on the sandwich were described as “very good”, but the potato salad was overly salty – and she only ate a few bites.
My Smoked Fish Sandwich was delicious. The fish (salmon) was flavorful and moist, and did not taste in the least like it had been smoked. I really love a good coleslaw – so I often order it although I am also often disappointed. Unfortunately, the Urban Roots coleslaw proved to be another disappointment.
That said – I really look forward to visiting Urban Roots again – and sampling some of their other food and beer offerings. Urban Roots has helpful and friendly staff and a great vibe.
Comments on Urban Roots?
What food offerings have your sampled and what would you recommend I try on my next visit? Do you have a favorite beer? Any other comments or observations to share?
Urban Roots Brewing Snapshot:
- 1322 V Street, Sacramento, CA 95818
- (916) 706-3741
- Hours: Closed Monday; Tuesday-Thursday (11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.); Friday-Saturday (11:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m.); Sunday (11:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
- Kitchen closes: Tuesday-Thursday at 9:30 p.m. and Friday-Saturday at 10:30 p.m.
- Outdoor, dog-friendly patio
- Street Parking; Bike Racks on Patio (near entrance)
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