By Jennie Jasperson, Staff writer
Just a few months ago, customers at Rick’s Dessert Diner would have found themselves in a tight, crowded atmosphere. The leather seats were old and worn. The counter and table tops were scratched and dirty. There were never enough empty tables available. Despite all of that, there was always a line. No matter what time of day the diner would be full of people laughing and chatting over a slice of red velvet cake and a chocolate shake. But this last July, Rick’s renovated and moved to a new location nearly doubling the size of the diner; to the appreciation of many loyal customers.
Rick’s Dessert Diner has been around in Sacramento since 1986 and is famous for its European cheesecakes, tortes, tarts, dessert pastries, cookies, and cakes. The menu includes over two hundred and eighty-five different items such as: Caramel Apple Spice Cake, Fudge Fantasy, Lemon Diva Cake, White Satin Cake, Fresh Fruit Tart, Raspberry Almond Tart, Peach Tart, and Oreo Mousse Tart. Some of the pies include: Apple Blueberry Pie, Blackberry Raspberry Pie, Butterscotch Pie, California Walnut Pie, and Strawberry Cream Pie. For those pastry-lovers, Eclairs, Cannoli, Lemon Bars, German Chocolate Bars, Blonde Brownies, Zebra Fudge Brownies, Napoleon, Pumpkin Bars, and Butter Cookies are just a few to choose from. Along with the huge selection of baked goods, Rick’s also offers freshly made milkshakes, smoothies, and coffee. With a variety like this, it’s no wonder the diner has been named the Number 1 place for dessert in Sacramento year after year by many local magazines and newspapers.
Not only is the new location in J Street much roomier, the building itself fits the perfect diner image. “It looks like a classic 60s diner, turned modern. It’s a really nice look,” Lilia Quevedo (‘16) says of the new exterior design. At night, neon lights create an attractive setting for customers. Inside the diner, pictures of iconic Americans are framed on the walls, including photographs of people like Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley. Rock and roll music plays in the background as customers sit on bright red, leather bar stools. The diner is lined with mirrors and fluorescent purple and pink lights line the walls. There are also cozy booths all around the diner that provide great places to sit and chat with family and friends.
In terms of comparing this new location to the old one, there have been a few bumps in the road but Rick’s Diner is slowly coming around. At first, there were many complaints about bad customer service. The lines at the new location are extremely long due to a limited number of cashiers, many tables are left dirty and uncleared, and many customers complain that the quality of the cakes, pies, etc. has diminished. But that can be expected when any kind of restaurant or shop moves to a new location. It will always take a little bit longer to get things established and taken care of, before being able to get back to where it once was. Give Rick’s a few more months to get adjusted and it will once again become the famous bakery it always have been. Despite recent complaints, the diner remains a hotspot. The long line trailing out of Rick’s every night is proof of that. So next time you’re out and about downtown, it would be well worth your time to head over to Rick’s Dessert Diner and see for yourself what the rest of Sacramento has been talking about.