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21 Because Our Food Scene
Is on a Roll (Literally)

Although a city ordinance severely limits food trucks from operating in Sacramento, forward thinkers like the organizers of the wildly successful SactoMoFo festival have revved up interest in street food, and the movement is prompting the city to reconsider. Meanwhile, SactoMofo is hosting a festival on Dec. 3, under the freeway at 8th and W streets (it benefits Toys for Tots and the Sacramento Food Bank). And this past fall, two of Sacramento’s best-known trucks—Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen and Mini Burger—made it to the top 10 of the Food Network’s online nominations for “America’s Favorite Food Truck.” To find your faves, check out Grubtopia (grubtopia.com), with its up-to-the-minute interactive truck tracker map. But the best news is that newcomers on the scene, like Wicked ’Wich and a mobile arm of Star Ginger on UC Davis’ campus, keep popping up with innovative fare. Toss in a flurry of future rolling restaurants, including one from pizzeria Hot Italian, and this is one trend that’s guaranteed to keep on trucking.



22 “I find myself going over and over to places like Roxy.
They have really good soups. The Waterboy is special—I mean, almost anything that [Rick Mahan] cooks turns out to be pretty slick. And Biba is the real McCoy. I’ve been going there since it opened. You know what else is really good around this town is Hot Italian. Its pizzas are so light. They’re really thin-crust with a combination of unusual flavors. You don’t expect a fish pizza to be all that good, but they slice [the fish] so thin and make it so mild, it’s really tasty. And the dessert pizza [with chocolate hazelnut spread and powdered sugar] blows me away. So that’s really worth bragging about.”

Russ Solomon Tower Records founder     Home Base: Sierra Oaks



23Because Our Farmers
Know How to Bring It

To their namesake markets, that is. When we shop ’til we drop, it’s because we’re overloaded—with pounds of blood oranges and fresh eggs, locally cured pancetta and curly leaf kale, pink-speckled cranberry beans and sweet-tart pomegranates, luscious jars of honey and even bottles of wine and extra virgin olive oil. Many of our farmers’ markets—whether in Sacramento or Davis, Elk Grove or Auburn—run year-round, and even on the coldest winter day they’ll warm the cockles of your heart, not to mention your kitchen, with a huge array of fabulous produce and much more, like oysters and halibut, breads and salty-sweet pretzel croissants, cheeses, and fresh-harvested nuts and chewy dried fruit. Other cities, you think you can top our markets? Bring it.




Because Christmas
Comes Early Around Here

Old Sacramento begins to look a lot like Christmas starting in November. The day before Thanksgiving, to be exact. That’s when Raley’s Theatre of Lights embarks on its four-nights-a-week, twice-a-day spectacle of holiday sights and sounds, boasting projected images of dancing snowflakes and soaring reindeer on building façades, carefully coordinated to a reading of the classic poem “’Twas the Night Before Christmas.” The 15-minute outdoor extravaganza has a hint of Disneyland magic, with its standing-in-the-middle-of-Main-Street-enveloped-by-twinkling-lights-and-holiday-decorations feel—and no wonder: Stage Nine, which produces Raley’s Theatre of Lights, is Sacramento’s only official Disney art gallery, and the show’s announcer is Bill Farmer, aka the voice of Goofy and Pluto. With a little help from this Mickey Mouse operation, here’s wishing a happy Christmas to all and to all a good night. oldsacramento.com

25 “When it opened, The Waterboy sounded like a sophisticated yet
casual place that was shooting for the stars. This new kid, Rick Mahan, was serving steak and tuna tartare and sweetbreads and cassoulet and other delectables. And the waitstaff! Friendly, knowledgeable, professional and fun, these folks made The Waterboy a blast to eat at. In more than a dozen years of regular dining there, I have never had an off taste. In fact, most often I am knocked out by some unexpected ingredient in even familiar dishes that elevates them to the status of edible art.”

 John Lescroart New York Times best-selling author    Home Base: Davis





Because Wayne Thiebaud
New York may have Richard Serra, Jasper Johns and Chuck Close, but we have Wayne Thiebaud. In February 2011, Smithsonian Magazine called him “one of America’s most important living artists,” and in March the Los Angeles Times called him the “dean of California painters.” At 91, he still plays tennis at least three days a week with former Sacramento Mayor Burnett Miller at the Sutter Lawn Tennis Club and paints covers for The New Yorker, most recently in November for the 2011 Food Issue, his seventh in 10 years.



Because Wayne Thiebaud’s
Teenage Grandson Just Opened a Midtown Gallery

At this point, it’s fair to call them Sacramento’s First Family of Art. The patriarch, Wayne Thiebaud, is one of America’s greatest painters. His son Paul Thiebaud, who passed away in 2010, started the renowned Paul Thiebaud Gallery in San Francisco and New York. Wayne’s stepson, Matt Bult, is an accomplished local artist. And now Matt’s son, 18-year-old Alex, is carrying on the family tradition with the Alex Bult Gallery near 21st and K streets, where he plans to show art typically priced between $500 and $4,000. His December show features painter Bud Gordon and January spotlights painter Jeff Myers. Alex hopes to exhibit his dad’s work in late 2012. But don’t hold your breath for a show of grandpa’s work. With one of the elder Thiebaud’s pieces fetching $4 million at Sotheby’s in May, Alex might need some thicker glass on those big street front windows. alexbultgallery.com

28 Because Hollywood’s Hottest
Porn Star and the Next
Meryl Streep are Native Daughters

The names Sasha Grey and Greta Gerwig aren’t usually mentioned in the same sentence. The former is a recently retired porn star who parlayed her X-rated exploits into R-rated ones like Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience, HBO’s Entourage and the new Rob Lowe flick, I Melt with You. The other took a decidedly different route to mainstream stardom, first in “mumblecore” movies (low-budget films with improvised dialogue and a focus on twentysomethings), for which she was declared the genre’s Meryl Streep by The New York Observer, before breaking into high-profile roles starring opposite Ben Stiller in Greenberg and Russell Brand in Arthur. And in 2012, she’ll appear in Woody Allen’s Nero Fiddled, with Alec Baldwin and Jesse Eisenberg. But the two G’s do have one thing in common: Both proudly hail from Sacramento—Grey from North Highlands and Gerwig from River Park. Grey trained at the Actor’s Workshop of Sacramento (it’s true!) and took film classes at Sacramento City College, while Gerwig performed in Sacramento Ballet’s Nutcracker (nabbing the lead role of Clara one year) and at the Woodland Opera House. We think that’s something to celebrate. After all, it’s not every city that can claim both the queen of hard core and mumblecore. All hail.



“When I close my eyes and imagine I’m there,
I think of the sweet and savory scents of the bike trail—fall, winter, spring or summer. But I also think of the food! The fresh corn in the markets and tomatoes from someone’s garden. Then I imagine myself jumping into a suburban swimming pool in 110-degree heat before a barbecue. But most of all, when I think of home, I think of smiling, warm, generous people all around.”

Eleni Tsakopoulos Kounalakis
U.S. Ambassador to Hungary
Hometown: Sacramento




“When I go back to Sacramento, I still love playing my
trumpet to the countryside (not always to the content of my neighbors). My parents currently live near Elk Grove and my sister lives in Folsom. While I am home I like to play golf with my dad, mostly at Cordova Golf Course, check out my mom’s garden and worm farm, and see my sister’s cute cats. Sacramento will always have a special place in my heart. When people ask me where my home is, I always am proud to say, ‘I grew up in Sacramento.’ ”

Matthew Muckey
Trumpeter for the New York Philharmonic
Hometown: Elk Grove




see 32 through 40

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