Three to try in Sacramento

The Counter

-- Johnny Garlic's -- Fan of Food Network? Check out Johnny Garlic's, headed by Guy Fieri, with locations in Roseville, Windsor and Santa Rosa. With a menu inspired by garlic, as its name suggests, Johnny Garlic's features California cuisine in a casual but classy dining atmosphere. A must for first time diners is the Roasted Garlic Soup. For some adventure try Hunter's Creation, a rotating game entrée named after his son. But for the not so faint of heart, there's pasta, seafood, kobe burgers, and other meats.

-- Cha Cha's -- Cha Cha's combines eclectic decor and good Mexican food to create a unique dining experience in Rocklin. The restaurant displays a variety of glass sculptures and lamps throughout. Cha Cha's menu has a little bit of everything including queso fundido, sopa de albondigas, pozole rojo for starters, and pollo en mole, chile verde, fajitas, and tamales for a main course. And for libations, Cha Cha's has eight specialty margaritas that are sure to tantalize your tastebuds.

-- The Counter -- Like all of their locations, the Roseville restaurant is housed in a space designed to combine industrial chic and the look of the inside of a garage, complete with a garage door and stained cement floors. The Counter is the 21st century's classic burger joint. No more do you have a menu with a dozen burgers to choose from, although you can if you wish, The Counter offers limitless combinations, giving each diner a "build your own burger" check list, that allows you to pick everything from the size of your burger, bun, and type of meet, to toppings and a variety of interesting sauces. I am always tempted to pile my burger high, which I've learned may lead to being full halfway through, so one secret I've learned is to share so I have room for The Counter's delicious sweet potato fries, onion strings or parmesan fries.