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“Good but not "really southern"”

The Porch Restaurant and Bar
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Ranked #56 of 1,999 Restaurants in Sacramento
Price range: $20 - $35
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Bar scene, Families with children, Special occasions, Large groups
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Brunch, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Outdoor Seating, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Takeout, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Dining style: Casual Elegant
Cross street: 18th & K Streets
Washington, DC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Good but not "really southern"”
Reviewed December 28, 2012

Having been born and raised in Tennessee (and missing being home for the holidays), I was pretty excited to try The Porch.Driving up to the midtown Sacramento restaurant, I was pleased to note that the The Porch actually had a porch area in front and was reminiscent of a number of restaurants in the south. However, upon entering the restaurant itself, the consensus was the nondescript contemporary design was lacking in any sort of real southern charm (even despite the holiday decor).

Described as "low-country southern with a California twist," The Porch menus are subject to change daily based on seasonal availability of the products. Many items are locally sourced while the restaurant notes exceptions like Soft shell crabs from Handy Crab, Salisbury, MD and Bristol brand scallops, Portland, ME. As someone who generally prefers trying a variety of starters/sides/desserts to a single large entree, I happily perused the menu of over a dozen starters/salads and even more sides to share.

We started with the skillet cornbread (which was good but made great with the addition of green tomato jam and jalapeno honey butter) and also shared "Tuscaloosa" Style Fried Green Tomatoes (served over shredded romaine and "Memphis" dressing and topped with a beautiful piece of apple wood bacon). For entrees, my mother-in-law and I ordered half-portions of The Porch Salad and the Fried Chicken Salad respectively which were both huge for half-portions. The fried chicken in my salad was moist and perfectly crispy but there was nothing distinctively "Memphis" about the dressing (which looked just like thousand island) - having lived in Memphis for 18 years, I think I'm qualified to say that.

In terms of sides, the mashed potatoes and cheddar grits were both wonderfully creamy in consistency but lacked just a bit in flavor (and the grits could have used twice the amount of cheese). The buttermilk biscuits were also good, but again, made better by the addition of jalapeno honey butter. I didn't try the sweet potato fries myself but they looked perfectly crispy on the outside.

Though we were all already full, we couldn't resist ordered a few desserts at the end of the meal. The apple pie served with a cinnamon bourbon sauce was delicious, the skillet cookie was made to order and topped with fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup, but perhaps the most decadent of all was the red velvet brownie, topped with no less than 2 inches of cream cheese icing and served with red velvet ice cream.

Also worth noting is The Porch's fairly extensive handcrafted cocktail list - our server recommended I try the Green in Heart (Plymouth gin, St. Germain, Green Chartreuse, rosemary lavender simple syrup, lime juice and fresh cucumber) which was delicious - even for someone who doesn't typically love gin.

Overall I'd give it 3.5 stars if I could - the food is good, the portions are huge and appropriately priced - I just wanted more southern flavor.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank wonderfelle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
California
Level Contributor
26 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Very Disappointing”
Reviewed December 12, 2012

A group of us tried The Porch when it first opened a year ago and the service was slow and the food was not particularly good. Four of that original group decided to try it again today for a pre holiday lunch. We were seated at noon. Our food came after one. We didn't place our orders until 12:25pm. OK, they were busy it is the holidays. Three different dishes were ordered. All were poorly done. The hamburger was almost cold. And almost impossible to eat because of all the frills. The french fries were cool and not cooked. The Frito Brisket dish was equally disappointing. The beans were undercooked and they dish was not hot. The Shrimp Po Boy, despite the waitress saying it was "much Improved" was just as bad as a year ago. Heavy, fried, no flavor. And the shrimp were cold. That is the last time we will go. Too bad, because it is a beautiful restaurant, with a great idea (low country southern food) but it fails on the things that make a restaurant good.

  • Visited December 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank cmitch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Elk Grove, California
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Southern eats!”
Reviewed October 15, 2012

My daughter in law and I recently had lunch at The Porch eager to enjoy some southern goodies. The menu, which provides a good number of selections, changes each day which is interesting. I selected a salad with blue cheese and walnuts; it was absolutely delicious. We shared an order of skillet cornbread, served in a small cast iron skillet; I liked the presentation. The server warned the pan was hot, the pan might have been but the cornbread was not. It was just your average tasting cornbread and unfortunately it was served with cold, hard butter. Also, served with it was a relish spread which was very good. Several entrees are served in a half size portion, which I appreciate. I selected the shrimp poor boy. It contained large shrimp and was good, but not spectulcar. The service excelled! Would I return, proably for one more try. Would I say, hey, we absolutely have to go to The Porch, I don't think so.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank happytaster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
los gatos
Level Contributor
100 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
“Want to go back...”
Reviewed September 7, 2012

My first visit to The Porch occurred last week after hearing about it from a friend, and I want to go back to try more dishes. . Between the four of us dining together, the remarks ranged from "great" to "the best I have ever had" for dishes ranging from their signature fried chicken, the fried catfish crowned with a fried egg, to the pork loin chop cooked in lucious flavors. Cuisine is from the deep South and New Orleans.

The restaurant is nicely done and comfortable, the service quite good, and word of mouth advertising will make it sucdessful. I'll be back!

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank chinochito
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Wonderful southern lowcountry dinner with family”
Reviewed August 25, 2012

Before going to a show at Music Circus, our family of four had an early dinner at The Porch on a Saturday. We had a friendly, knowledgable server who guided us through drink selections and appetizers. We started with the Grilled Brie at her recommendation and it was fabulous. There was plenty for us to share, the brie was warm, the toast was thick-cut soft Texas-style, and the housemade peach jam along with the brie and balsamic reduction were a wonderful blend of flavors. We ordered the small Porch Salad (reasonably priced at $5) before our entrees and it came with mixed greens, buttermilk blue cheese dressing, roasted beets, sliced apples and toasted pecans -- delicious. The kids' menu for 12 and under had great selections at great prices. Our 10-year-old ordered the fried chicken which came with mashed potatoes, corn and a biscuit. She loved it! It was a very generous portion and a great value at $7. We also ordered shrimp and grits (yum!) on the kids' menu and were pleased with that as well. The adults ordered the hanger steak and the lowcountry linguini. The hanger steak was good with its mashed potatoes and sauteed green beans, but perhaps not worth the price at $24. That said, the linguini was a delicious flavor explosion! It came with bay shrimp a crawfish on top and sweet corn in a cajun cream sauce. A smaller portion for the price but an absolutely mouth-watering tasty dish. Dessert came with the kids' meals and the adults ordered desserts as well. Desserts are nicely priced on the menu around $5. As it got a little busier, service diminished as our server was trying to take care of more tables. Overall, we were very pleased with our first visit to The Porch. We would go there again with family or friends or just a date for the two of us. I would also go there to meet friends for happy hour after work. It is a casual place that also has an outdoor sidewalk patio for dining. It was fun to go someplace that did not have your standard California cuisine. We will be visiting again.

  • Visited August 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank JuJuTraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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