524

 A journalism professor the other day told me, “Write what you know.” So here I am, writing what I know. What I know is that I have discovered a savory secret in Sacramento.

The secret is 524. That’s all it is, 524 12th St. This happens to be the address of a very delicious Mexican food restaurant. Some of you may have heard of it. Some of you may have even eaten there. If you have, you know that this spot is truly worth spreading the word about.

From the moment you walk in the door you are welcomed by soothing colors and an inviting environment. It appears to be a secret of Sacramento because every Friday night when I go in to have a slice of 524’s amazing flan (Mexican custard dessert), the crowd is rather small.

Now, even though most evenings appear to be slow, their lunches are another story. They are quite happening actually. I went in there the other day to get one of their famous breakfast burritos and it looked as though many other Sacramentans were indulging in a tasty meal.

Another great thing about 524 is that it is family owned. Whenever you are dealing with the staff, you are actually dealing with a member of the Gomez family. They are attentive, friendly and charming. They provide relaxed, yet excellent service for all.

524 has been in the same family for 38 years. They shut down for a couple years at one point because of a fire. This fire however, did not stop the Gomez family from continuing their family business. They remodeled and opened right back up sometime in the summer of 2007.

During the week if you drop in, you are sure to be served by Jose, the son, who is quite sociable and very nice. I am generally a nighttime guest, and when I go in on Friday nights, I have the pleasure of being served by the Ana Gomez, the mother. She is quite possibly one of the most adorable women I have ever met and is always willing to stop for a quick chat.

All the food is simply delightful; especially the al a carte burritos, chicken and cheese enchiladas, tamales and more. I can certainly vouch for camarones al mojo de ajo as well.

While dinner could be filling enough, dessert at 524 is too good to pass up. I have already mentioned the flan, but what I haven’t mentioned is that I have been searching for the perfect flan my whole life and have finally found it! The father, Miguel, is actually the one who perfects my favorite dessert. They also make a delectable brownie fudge sundae and churro ice cream creation made with four churros topped with dolce de leche ice cream. It is to die for!

If I haven’t already made you readers hungry, I certainly have made myself hungry and am now going to satisfy my craving for my savory secret. See you at 524!

 

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December 22, 2008 | 6:27 PM

The old pre-fire 524 was great cheap eats, the new place is a bit spendier but the food is still great. It is also one of my favorite inexpensive-lunch options: the bowl of vegetable soup is $3, comes with chips, and is delicious and filling. Plus the staff give great service even if you’re a cheapskate like me ordering a $3 bowl of soup!

December 22, 2008 | 8:23 PM

When I first saw the pictures for this article, I thought you were going to talk about the prevalence of the number 524 like in the movie “The Number 23″ with Jim Carrey, I was happy to see that you were talking about food :) I have never heard of 524 – I normally frequent Ernesto’s, Tres Hermanas and Chipotle so I’m very eager to try a new Mexican restaurant.
It sounds like you’re practically family when you come in – you know everyone by first name. And maybe they know you by first name – you are a celebrity at 524 – just roll out the red carpet and the cameras will come a flashing.

December 22, 2008 | 10:11 PM

Colleen, they do in fact roll out a red carpet for me when I start walking toward the front door. I can get you a VIP table if you’d like. Oh just kidding, but i am pretty sure that they know me by my first name. Shall we have a girls night at 524… oh I think so!

Article Author
December 23, 2008 | 10:54 AM

Yes, please!

December 23, 2008 | 6:59 AM

I remember 524 prior to remodeling ,it was always good.I took my son there about 2 weeks ago and realy enjoyed it.

December 23, 2008 | 2:00 PM

Hey Sarah – Great to see the story, very well-written. I remember the 524 back in the day when the street was even sketchier! But the place looks much improved, design-wise, and the food sounds great. One suggestion: How about some pictures of the food, and for that matter, of the family? We have a great photo display, let’s use it even more!

December 24, 2008 | 1:14 AM

I used to live in the flats and this was a usual stop after a workout. Of course, we ate so much that it would kind of neutralize the benefit of the workout. The food was always great. Later we found out that we had a connection to the family that owns it. Good people. Good food. Good times.

December 28, 2008 | 7:14 AM

Thanks, Sarah, for this information about 524. I will stop by the next time that I am in the neighborhood.

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