The Virgin Sturgeon is a floating restaurant plopped on the Sacramento River. Located along the Garden Highway and only several minutes away from Downtown Sacramento, it’s a popular eating and drinking establishment that has been around for over 20 years. It serves locals and tourists breakfast, lunch and dinner. Plus wine and beer.
Usually you can meet a friend here for a long, leisurely lunch. The view of the Sacramento River can be very soothing. Since the restaurant is minutes from the State Capitol and other businesses, management and employees can grab a quick lunch or hold a meeting. For a brief time, people are grateful to leave the office for some river views and fresh air.
The Virgin Sturgeon cannot accommodate wheelchairs because of the ramps that lead to the restaurant. The ramp leading to the patio and dock area is very steep. Other than making a path, the ramps are a way of navigating the levee.
We had to meet at the restaurant during lunch instead of taking our usual leisurely lunch at 12:30. The restaurant was packed, and the tables were close together. The three of us tried to make conversation, but the table next to us had a group of women who talked very loud.
Whenever I’m at a restaurant, I usually take photographs of the food and drink around the table, but I was too hungry as well as distracted. My camera was in my pocket, but I forgot all about it. Service was slow because staff was down to one waitress who waited on customers in the dining room, the bar and the patio. At times, the manager helped clear the tables and asked if there was anything else that we needed.
The three of us shared an appetizer platter of smoked sturgeon, bread, cheese, and capers. For lunch, we had steak sandwiches, salad and a bowl of black beans. More groups were coming into the restaurant, and that meant more conversations filling the bar and dining room.
My closest friends are retired, so it’s hard to get our schedules to mesh. The Virgin Sturgeon is one of our favorite places for lunch. The food is simple, but good. But it’s being next to the Sacramento River that slows life down and brings you to a certain peace that you can’t get from the outside world. Since I grew up in the Sacramento River Delta, the feeling gets me each time I come here, and I really don’t want to leave.