A steakhouse? Really? Yes, really!
I have been going to the Broiler for almost as long as I've lived in Sacramento. When I first moved into town, the Broiler was a very popular, very dark, tiny little restaurant with booth seating on J Street. Sometime in the late 1990's, the restaurant moved into a larger, lighter space on the K Street Mall, where they still have booth seating for those of us who always loved that about the old Broiler, but they also have regular tables and chairs, as well as outdoor seating.
As I mentioned, the Broiler is a steakhouse, and I always loved the food there in my pre-vegan days. And I am very fond of two of the restaurant's wonderful owners, Larry and Marilou Lords. After I went vegan, though, I went to the Broiler less often, in part because my office had moved to a new location and it wasn't as convenient to go to the Broiler for lunch as it used to be, but also because the menu really didn't have any options for me. When I did go to the Broiler, about the only thing I could order was the Steak Salad without the steak. That was okay -- a pile of mixed greens with cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, carrots, and zucchini with a nice champagne vinaigrette dressing (hold the blue cheese crumbles) -- but it wasn't anything that ever made me think, "Gee, I'm dying to go to the Broiler for the steakless Steak Salad."
So you can imagine my surprise and delight when my husband, son, and I went to the Broiler Saturday night for a special family dinner before our son heads off to college, and I found a couple of new items on the menu that didn't appear to contain any animal products. Just to be on the safe side, though, I thought I'd better ask the waiter.
"Does the Cannellini Beans and Tomato Ragout have any meat or cheese in it?" I asked with my fingers crossed.
"Oh, no," replied our waiter. "It's our vegan selection."
I couldn't believe it -- the Broiler had added a vegan selection to their menu! So I decided to push my luck and ask about the Organic Beet Salad. Same response -- it was vegan too. So I had a veritable feast at the Broiler Saturday night!
The Organic Beet Salad was actually a fairly substantial salad, and I was almost full by the time I finished eating it. It consisted of beets, mushrooms, frisee, garlic, candied walnuts, and balsamic vinaigrette. Too bad they don't have it on their lunch menu, though, as I would totally eat that for lunch instead of the steakless Steak Salad.
The ingredients in the Cannellini Beans and Tomato Ragout are described on the dinner menu as including "wild mushroom conserva, broccolini, celery root, parsnip, baby carrots, chili foam," but mine also included zucchini and asparagus. This dish is described on the lunch menu as including wild mushroom conserva and roasted vegetables, so maybe the chef just uses whatever vegetables are on hand. At any rate, it was quite good, especially with the lovely glass of Toasted Head Chardonnay I ordered to go with it.
It will be great to be able to go to one of my favorite restaurants again, knowing that they now have something on the menu that was created especially for people like me!
The Broiler is located at 1201 K Street. Their phone number is 916-444-3444, and their website address is http://www.thebroilersteakhouse.com/. According to their website, they are open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and for dinner Monday through Saturday from 5:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. and on Sunday from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.