Why we're here...

Beer culture is coming of age. At any store, restaurant, bar, or friend's house you can now find at least a few good brews. In fact, there seem to be so many new beers, breweries and bars it's difficult to separate the good, the bad, and the mediocre.

If you're going spend $10 on one beer, what should you buy? If you're going to drive 2 hours to check out a brewery, what's worth your time? If you're going to plan a Friday night, what has a good selection and friendly atmosphere? We're here to help you answer these questions.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Bows and Arrows

Bows and Arrows is located at 1815 19th street in Sacramento in an ivy-covered building, right across from the Safeway and next to Massage Envy. I had heard of Bows and Arrows through Midtown Monthly's Reader's Choice - they were voted best place to have a beer.

I googled them to find out more, but was confused because all that came up was a vintage clothing store at the same location, with the same name. When I read more, it turns out Bows and Arrows is a vintage clothing store, art gallery, bar, and restaurant. I dig unique places and this sounded like the spot.
The front of Bows is the vintage clothing, but the back is the bar and restaurant which includes a patio. The  bar/restaurant is spacious with a mid-level of lighting, enough to see well, but low enough to relax. There is a nice sense of space - its not crowded and the whole area easily flows from clothing to bar.

As you leave the clothing and art area off to the right against the wall is a comfortable sitting area that has a coffee shop feel - vintage couches, chairs, tables for groups and lamps to read by. To the left is the bar with space for about 6. You place your food orders at the bar.

The restaurant is actually Fat Face which serves its pops, sammiches, and bar bites at the Davis Farmer's Market and Bows and Arrows.
The patio is visible through the large, glass double doors that take up much of the back wall.

Stepping outside is entering into your garden-geek friend's backyard- with many potted plants, trees, and unqiue patio furniture. The whole space is gently shaded by tan, triangular canopies.

The patio is separted from the lot next door and the light rail further back by a chain fence that is masked by bamboo and doors. Yes, there are old doors and even a mirror stacked up against the fence, that supports "your friend's relaxing backyard" decor. The patio furniture, just like the clothing, is vintage and has been restored with fresh paint.

A medium sized fountain provides a nice background of splashing water. Inside and out Bows plays an enjoyable, unique mix of music, which I can only describe as KDVS-esque.

I really, really enjoy the space. The space alone makes Bows and Arrows a Must Have It.

Fat Face is great as well. I'd never had their food before, but now I want it again! We ordered the cola braised pork sammich and the mesquite smoked pork sammich with side salads. I'm not a food critic, but I will say that the sammiches were awesome and the side salad was one of the best dressed I've had. If you're into cola, they feature imported Mexican Coca-Cola with real sugar.

Bows has a limited, but great selection of beers. They prominently feature almost the entire line-up of North Coast Brewing Company. North Coast skillfully brews your favorite styles in a way that makes them stand out. Red Seal Ale is a great Amber Ale, Scrimshaw is my favorite German Pilsner, La Merle is my favorite Saison, and Brother Thelonious is a solid Belgian.

Bows also features a few other west coast favorites like Deschutes and Lagunitas, as well as Michigan's Jolly Pumpkin and a few Belgians. The Lagunitas IPA, Scrimshaw, Allagash White, and Read Seal are on tap, the rest are in the bottle. All drinks are served in chilled mason jars with handles, pretty cool. For those who don't dig the micro, there are cans of Hamm's and High Life.

I ordered a Lagunitas IPA, the carbonation and temp were spot on.

I'm not a wine guy, but they also have a limited but international selection of wines from Germany, Portugal, Italy, France, Austria, Spain, and California.

Overall Bows and Arrows is a great spot to have a few beers. What it might lack in beer selection, is made with great food and a unique, comfortable space.

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