What's Cooking

A look at the latest in local food, dining and drinking news

2016

The popular, all-vegan Burger Patch returns to midtown for its second pop-up event

06/16/17

The popular, all-vegan Burger Patch returns to midtown for its second pop-up event

Meatless Monday will become Meatless Thursday next week in midtown when The Burger Patch—which took the Handle District by storm at its one-day event last month— returns to the neighborhood on June 22 to dish out tasty vegan eats for the Kings' NBA Draft 2017 Block Party. Co-owned by husband-wife team Phil and Danea Horn, The Burger Patch held its first pop-up in May, in the space that formerly housed Saddle Rock at 1801 L Street, and people flocked to partake of the plant-based fast food. Think In N’ Out served up veggie style: the burgers feature a Beyond Meat meatless “burger” patty (largely comprised of peas), the chick’n strips are made from soy protein courtesy of Gardein, the bacon is made from beans, and the shakes get their creamy...

Posted at 11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

Mother’s popular chef’s tasting menu makes a comeback

12/30/16

Mother’s popular chef’s tasting menu makes a comeback

Sacramento foodies can end 2016 on a high note, as Dec. 31 marks the return of a much-loved local dining phenomenon, the chef’s tasting menu at Mother. The popular vegetarian restaurant on K Street, owned by chef Michael Thiemann (formerly of Ella), his wife Lisa and Ryan Donahue, introduced its original $45 prix fixe “Chef's 10” menu shortly after opening in January 2014. The service for two was then composed of 10 highly inventive dishes that arrived to the table at once. At the time, Donahue says, “Mother started as an incubator for Empress,” the team's sister restaurant a few doors down in the same Crest Theatre complex, so the kitchen was full of talent itching to experiment. With Empress opening in 2015, the team decided to shelve...

Posted at 12:42 PM | Permalink | Comments

Everything you need to know about West Sacramento’s growing dining scene

12/22/16

Everything you need to know about West Sacramento’s growing dining scene

As West Sacramento’s downtown-adjacent neighborhoods continue to come into their own, a dining scene is emerging that has its own distinct character: classic fare served up in humble surroundings. At heart it’s a beer, burger and taco town, which is a beautiful thing for locals. It’s no big deal to take an Uber to midtown if you fancy roasted beets and chevre—but a glorious burger is what you want to have just around the corner from home. The last few months have seen a flurry of business openings spoiling West Sacramentans for choice in that department, including a neighborhood ice cream parlor, a jazz bar and a taqueria with a cult following. There’s even a new taproom joining the already-formidable craft brewery scene. Read on to see what's...

Posted at 11:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

Pushkin’s Bakery owners open new restaurant in midtown

12/20/16

Pushkin’s Bakery owners open new restaurant in midtown

Danny and Olga Turner, the husband-and-wife team that owns and operates midtown’s Pushkin’s Bakery, are set to open their new Pushkin’s location as a full-fledged restaurant at 1813 Capitol Avenue on Dec. 27. While the new location was originally intended for an expansion of their bakery, which has found a niche market since it opened in 2013 by offering an array of gluten-free goodies, Danny Turner says he and Olga realized they wanted to explore more recipes. The restaurant—which will open its doors Tues.-Sun. from 8 a.m.-3 p.m., but will eventually expand its hours—will stay true to its gluten-free roots, serving menu items geared toward the wheat-free dietary restriction. The kitchen, which Olga will helm while Danny runs the front of house, will...

Posted at 02:52 PM | Permalink | Comments

Chando’s Tacos to open new downtown cantina

12/19/16

Chando’s Tacos to open new downtown cantina

Update: The highly anticipated Chandos Cantina celebrated its grand opening Tuesday. The restaurant held its soft opening and ribbon cutting Saturday, Jan. 14 and after taking a few days to continue staff training, has officially opened its doors, according to Chando’s marketing director Arturo Padilla. The cantina’s hours will be Sun.-Weds. from 11 a.m.-9 p.m. and Thurs.-Sat. from 11 a.m.-3 a.m. Think of this as an early Christmas present from Sacramento’s reigning taqueria empire. Chando’s Tacos owner Lisandro “Chando” Madrigal says he plans to unveil his new downtown spot—coined Chando’s Cantina—the week following Christmas, after ticking off the remaining boxes of his grand opening checklist and pending final inspections....

Posted at 03:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Dec. 15

12/15/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Dec. 15

This week in dining news: a new steakhouse opens in Sloughhouse, a colorful candy store launches in Old Sacramento, and a crepe shop swings open its doors in Folsom. Plus, Ruhstaller has brewed a new bottle shop, and a popular bookstore chain pegs Sacramento for its third restaurant concept store. Barnes & Noble Kitchen Bookworms can now settle in with a good book—and a glass of wine or beer—at this new concept store, which opened at the Palladio in Folsom Dec. 13. The location is one of the first three Barnes & Noble has opened across the country (the others are in Eastchester, NY and Edina, MN) and it features a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu featuring locally sourced produce inside a warm interior by New York-based design firm AvroKO. Barnes &...

Posted at 10:18 AM | Permalink | Comments

New tavern to open at former Cask & Barrel spot in North Sacramento

12/14/16

New tavern to open at former Cask & Barrel spot in North Sacramento

Update: Woodlake Tavern will host its grand opening Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 4-9 p.m. Following that evening, the restaurant's regular hours will be Tues.-Thurs. from 4-9 p.m., Friday from 4-10 p.m., and Saturday from 5-10 p.m., with happy hour available from 4-6 p.m. Tues.-Fri. ******** Deneb Williams, who has served as executive chef of The Firehouse for the past 10 years, and his wife Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou, who has worked at Ella as a sommelier for the past six, will open three restaurants before the end of next year, with the first, Woodlake Tavern, slated for an early January opening in North Sacramento. Under the business moniker WM Restaurants, Williams and Mandalou have taken over the restaurant and event space on Del Paso Boulevard that formerly housed Enotria,...

Posted at 02:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

Hook & Ladder kicks off 12 Days of Hot Toddies

12/13/16

Hook & Ladder kicks off 12 Days of Hot Toddies

Sacramento, it’s cold outside. Happily, those crafty mixologists over at Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. are bringing back their annual "12 Days of Hot Toddies," starting today. Each day through Sat., Dec. 24, shivering patrons can melt the cold away with a different spin on the classic boozy beverage. Hook & Ladder’s beverage director Chris Tucker started this yummy yuletide tradition back in 2008 when he was working at midtown’s erstwhile L Wine Lounge, and brought it over to Hook & Ladder when it opened in fall 2012. Tucker wanted to not only get his bartenders to amp up their creativity with warm libations, but he also set out to change people’s mindsets about wintertime drinks. “Everyone thinks about...

Posted at 02:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

New sports bar to open across from Golden 1 Center

12/13/16

New sports bar to open across from Golden 1 Center

Jan. 25 Update: Pregame Burgers and Beer will soft open Jan. 27-29 two hours before each PBR (Professional Bull Riders) event at Golden 1 Center, with drink specials and a limited menu. The sports bar’s grand opening is slated for Feb. 3 and its hours will be 11 a.m.-2 a.m. each day. ******** If you’re craving burgers, beer and basketball, a new sports bar at 405 J Street will soon be open for lunch, dinner and late-night to fulfill that hankering. Felipe Olvera—who also runs Alley Katz in midtown and Citrus Heights—is slated to open Pregame Burgers and Beer in January, with Kings memorabilia splashed on the walls and plenty of flat-screen TVs broadcasting nightly games. Located on the second level of a historic three-story pagoda building in...

Posted at 01:00 PM | Permalink | Comments

Liquidology and Vibe Health Bar join forces to open new shops throughout the region

12/02/16

Liquidology and Vibe Health Bar join forces to open new shops throughout the region

Sacramentans will soon have tasty new ways to eat their vegetables (and fruit), with Oak Park’s Vibe Health Bar and East Sacramento’s Liquidology rebranding and joining forces to launch health cafes throughout the region. Brandon Brodzky, who owns Vibe Health Bar with UFC fighter Urijah Faber, has partnered with local developer John Saca and Liquidology owners Jules Braun and Jeff Greco to create a new company that plans to open five new locations of Vibe Health Bar in and around Sacramento within the next couple years. While the specific sites have not been determined yet, Brodzky says they’ll begin rolling out the new spots steadily and that the first could open as soon as early 2017. Meanwhile, the existing Vibe and Liquidology shops will provide a...

Posted at 02:13 PM | Permalink | Comments

Grange Restaurant & Bar reopens with fresh new design details and updated menus

11/30/16

Grange Restaurant & Bar reopens with fresh new design details and updated menus

As downtown Sacramento’s landscape changes, its restaurants are also evolving. On the ground floor of the Citizen Hotel, Grange Restaurant & Bar—which opened in 2009 and has since become a local favorite for farm-to-fork fare and craft cocktails—closed its doors for full renovations on Nov. 14, and will relaunch Dec. 1 with a revitalized dining room, expanded bar and lounge area, additional second-level dining, and a new semiprivate chef’s table space. Executive chef Oliver Ridgeway says that in keeping with his restaurant's HGTV-like transformation, he has also revamped the lunch and dinner menus, and expanded the bar menu and beer selection. New offerings include a pumpkin shrub toddy with fall spices and whipped cream, and bites like fried cheese...

Posted at 04:43 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Nov. 16

11/16/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Nov. 16

Heads up, foodies: We've got the scoop on two new food trucks hitting the streets of Sacramento, along with a midtown Mediterranean restaurant's revamp and a new brewery opening near Cal Expo. Plus, a new meal delivery service has relaunched with offerings from almost 50 local restaurants. Dig in! FoodJets The locally based food delivery company FoodJets re-launched Nov. 1 after stopping deliveries in June following a five-month initial run. According to FoodJets owner Darren McAdams, the company—which previously boasted 10-minute deliveries of eight select pre-made items at peak dining hours—is now offering curbside deliveries in less than 30 minutes throughout the day, and features menu items from nearly 50 area restaurants including Cilantro’s, The...

Posted at 11:16 AM | Permalink | Comments

10 great restaurants to go to for a Thanksgiving feast worth celebrating

11/11/16

10 great restaurants to go to for a Thanksgiving feast worth celebrating

If you want to eat, drink and be really merry this Thanksgiving, just throw in the dish towel and make a reservation. Here are 10 great restaurants around the region where you and your loved ones can gather for a holiday feast with all of the trimmings. Chops With a plentiful wine list and private, banquet-style seating, Thanksgiving cheer will abound at this Sacramento steakhouse. Order starters like oysters on the half shell or baked mac-and-cheese from the regular dinner menu, then continue onward to your Thanksgiving feast of hand-carved roasted turkey breast served with sausage and herb stuffing, mashed sweet potatoes and fresh green beans. For dessert, there are slices of pumpkin pie topped with cinnamon whipped cream. $32-$40 per entrée. 1117 11th St; 447-8900....

Posted at 10:25 AM | Permalink | Comments

A new dumpling house wows with bao

11/10/16

A new dumpling house wows with bao

Go rolling in the dough at Journey to the Dumpling, which opened Oct. 17 in Elk Grove, and has already become a new favorite among local foodies and chefs like Billy Ngo of Kru. Yvonne Nguyen, who owns the restaurant with her boyfriend Chris Tan and head chef Justin Yang, says she and Tan specifically wanted to open a xiao long bao restaurant in their hometown of Elk Grove simply because of the lack of good bao in the Sacramento area. “There are a couple [places] that serve it, but I’ve noticed that some places serve frozen ones, and other places just don’t get the right consistency,” she says. The dumpling house specializes in xiao long bao, a Chinese soup dumpling filled with a pork-and-chicken-based broth that can be ordered steamed or pan-fried....

Posted at 02:51 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Nov. 2

11/02/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Nov. 2

Feast your eyes upon this news: a new pie shop launches in Auburn, a popular local bakery reopens, two new seafood places pop up in downtown, and one of our favorite new midtown restaurants has begun serving brunch. An Honest Pie This mobile bakery, celebrated for its addictive sweet and savory hand pies and one of our recent cravings of the week, is opening a permanent location mid-November at Auburn’s Home Depot inside a vintage camping trailer. With help from Harp’s RV Service in Lincoln, owner Brenda Janssen restored a 1957 canned ham travel trailer that will serve An Honest Pie’s full menu, pour over European roast coffee and ice cream in the summer months. Janssen will continue to operate her original mobile food truck, which makes regular stops throughout...

Posted at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: The Newly Reopened Kru

10/26/16

First Look: The Newly Reopened Kru

It could be argued that none of the works of public art recently unveiled at the new Golden 1 Center offers more aesthetic pleasure than Billy Ngo’s sashimi bowl at the newly reopened Kru on Folsom Boulevard in East Sacramento, which launched with dinner service on Oct. 18. The plating is so showy that diners can be seen taking pictures not just of their own food but the plates of total strangers as well. And the strangers let them, so giddy is everyone at the spectacle—it simply must be shared. What better definition of public art? Sushi is always a visual feast, and the old Kru was an Instagram favorite, but the plating at the new location has been amped up—witness the sashimi plate, served atop a bowl of sparkling crushed ice, the whorls of semitranslucent...

Posted at 03:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

Four new breweries bursting onto Sacramento’s craft beer scene

10/20/16

Four new breweries bursting onto Sacramento’s craft beer scene

It’s been two years since Sactown dedicated an entire issue to the city’s burgeoning craft beer culture, and since then, many more breweries have staked their sudsy claims in the Sacramento region. Here are four new breweries slated to open by early 2017. Fort Rock Brewing Located inside Folsom Boulevard’s Nimbus Winery Village, which currently houses The Old Spaghetti Factory and Tommy T’s Comedy Club, this newcomer to the craft beer scene will specialize in pilsners, blondes and IPAs. Fort Rock co-owner Tom Fuquay says the brewery is slated to open in December and will sport an industrial look with metal accents, wood paneling and warm lighting from chandeliers made of pipes providing atmosphere. The 5,000 square-foot space features an outdoor patio, five...

Posted at 02:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

Craving of the Week: BarnBurner's Angel Food Cake French Toast

10/17/16

Craving of the Week: BarnBurner's Angel Food Cake French Toast

Meet our new favorite breakfasty twist on a classic dessert: the celestial angel food cake French toast at BarnBurner in Rocklin. Co-owner Tiffany York Harris devised the menu standout as an homage to her father’s favorite after-dinner treat. It’s sweet enough on its own that you don’t really need to add syrup, especially with a pile of whipped cream heaped on top of four generous slices. The French toast starts out with traditional angel food cake before slices are covered on both sides in vanilla custard. But rather than letting the cake sit in the custard for long enough to really soak in (and destroy the angel food’s airy texture), like you would with traditional French toast, BarnBurner coats each piece very lightly before placing it on the grill....

Posted at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Oct. 14

10/14/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Oct. 14

This week we've got the lowdown on a buzzy beer event, a new ice cream shop in West Sacramento, the revamp of a popular cafe at Downtown Commons, and the scoop on two popular restaurants' delicious menu changes. Empress Tavern This underground restaurant on K Street below the historic Crest Theatre launched a weekday lunch menu on Sept. 20. Empress will now be open for lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, before happy hour begins at 3 p.m. In keeping with the eatery’s meat-centric menu, the lunch offerings include sandwiches like the Hot Pastrami Rachel, smothered in Swiss cheese and coleslaw, and the buttermilk fried chicken sandwich with a creamy avocado ranch dressing on bread baked in-house daily. The menu also includes a rotisserie...

Posted at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

Sliced pizza festival returns for its second year with a fresh lineup of edible events

10/12/16

Sliced pizza festival returns for its second year with a fresh lineup of edible events

After a successful inaugural event last October, the Sliced pizza festival will return to Sacramento from Oct. 15-23 with a slew of oven-fresh events, including cooking competitions, pizza-making classes and a finale block party. Organizer Marvin Maldonado, who co-owns Federalist Public House in midtown, says participating restaurants and food trucks will include Chicago Fire, Nido, Pizzeria Urbano, Buffalo Pizza & Ice Cream Co., B-Side and Pizza Supreme Being. On Oct. 15, Federalist will host a kids' pizza-making class. Mini chefs will be able to taste their own creations cooked in the restaurant’s wood-fired oven. The restaurant also plans to host a pizza-making class for grown-ups on Oct. 22. On Oct. 18, Chicago Fire will present a pizza-eating...

Posted at 02:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

The Jungle Bird readies to open with tiki flair in midtown

10/12/16

The Jungle Bird readies to open with tiki flair in midtown

Update: The Jungle Bird opened on Wednesday, Oct. 26. Its hours of operation are Sun.-Thurs. 4 p.m.-midnight and Fri.-Sat. 4 p.m.-1 a.m. ******** Highly anticipated restaurant and bar The Jungle Bird will be feathering its nest in Sacramento by the end of October, bringing tiki cocktails and island-inspired fare to midtown. Owned by Tyler Williams, his wife Melissa (who also run midtown barbecue joint Tank House), and bartender Buddy Newby, The Jungle Bird will take over the spot at 2516 J Street that previously housed Kru. Pending inspections, the crew is aiming for a soft opening by Oct. 24.  Tyler Williams is keeping his lips sealed on the specifics of the restaurant's décor, but says patrons should “expect it to look completely different”...

Posted at 10:34 AM | Permalink | Comments

Five ways to sip, bike and party your way through Specialty Coffee Week

10/05/16

Five ways to sip, bike and party your way through Specialty Coffee Week

Denizens of our coffee-loving capital city will binge on all things java during Sacramento's third annual Specialty Coffee Week. From a coffee-laced cocktail competition to a caffeine-crazed soiree, here are five highlights from the celebration—now get out there and see what the buzz is all about. Coffee-Inspired Tour on Sac Brew Bike Oct. 12 This first-ever coffee-themed Sac Brew Bike tour will ride folks around Sacramento to sip coffee-infused beverages. Bless the bike with Chocolate Fish’s Cascara champagne cocktail toast, then grab an alcohol-free Chocolate Fish nitro coffee on tap at Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company or Federalist Public House, which also offers a nitro coffee float with vanilla bean ice cream. The bike will then pull up to Nido, where...

Posted at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

A new e-book highlights Sacramento's buzzy craft cocktail scene

10/03/16

A new e-book highlights Sacramento's buzzy craft cocktail scene

A new e-book by Sacramento-based food writer Garrett McCord and food photographer Callista Polhemus raises a glass to the local mixology scene. Stewards of Spirits: A Collection of Sacramento Cocktails and the People Who Make Them, which debuted in August during Sacramento Cocktail Week, features dozens of area bartenders and their creative libations, while providing tips for making drinks at home. “There’s a lot of attention on the chefs in Sacramento,” says Polhemus. “But there’s an amazing bar culture [here] as well, and we thought it would be cool to highlight that aspect of the restaurant industry.” Adds McCord, whose work has appeared in The New York Times and Gourmet, "People know a lot of their favorite chefs by name in this town....

Posted at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Take: Bold, traditional flavors reign supreme at Carmichael's Mesa Mercado

09/28/16

First Take: Bold, traditional flavors reign supreme at Carmichael's Mesa Mercado

You know you’re in a “real” Mexican restaurant when you see chile en nogada on the menu. A roasted pasilla chile stuffed with raisin-studded ground beef picante, blanketed with walnut crema and sprinkled with bright red pomegranate seeds, it’s a visually stunning salute to the colors of the Mexican flag, as pretty as any dessert, especially the way Mesa Mercado serves it, atop a bright red pool of pomegranate sauce. This classic Mexican dish isn’t on nearly as many American menus as it should be. “That’s because it’s traditionally served at room temperature,” says owner Ernesto Delgado, and Americans, for no clear reason, seem to expect their food to be hot or cold but never in between. Delgado’s work-around is to offer it...

Posted at 03:13 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Sept. 21

09/21/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Sept. 21

In this week's helping of local food news, a popular midtown gelateria expands to East Sacramento, a health-minded food truck takes to the streets and a well-loved Davis cafe renovates. Plus, a downtown music lounge adds a patio. B-Side The music-themed lounge on 14th and S Streets, which opened in late 2015 and proudly touts itself as a local dive bar, has submitted an application to the city proposing an expansion to include a patio and a second building for residential use adjacent to the bar. The 500-square-foot patio space along S Street will serve as an outdoor area for bar-goers to mingle and drink. The 1,400-square-foot building adjacent to the patio would serve as a private apartment, with a garage on the lower level. Owner Bret Bair estimates that if the plans are...

Posted at 05:47 PM | Permalink | Comments

Jewish Deli to open on 700 block of K Street

09/12/16

Jewish Deli to open on 700 block of K Street

Bagels, pastrami and rye, oh my! An authentic Jewish delicatessen will soon launch in downtown Sacramento. Jami Goldstene, who runs a local public relations firm, says that she is planning to open the deli along the 700 block of K Street sometime in fall 2017 with her business partners Lydia Inghram and Sheila Wolfe. The ownership team also includes Andrea Lepore, co-owner of the Hot Italian pizzerias, the team behind midtown's Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar—which includes Sonny Mayugba, John Bays and Matt Nurge—and Deftones band members Abe Cunningham and DJ Frank Delgado. Goldstene says the Jewish delicatessen will offer classics like grab-and-go sandwiches on rye bread, bagels, baked goods and hopefully a retail section with grocery items and staples for Jewish...

Posted at 11:45 AM | Permalink | Comments

Menu details unveiled for this year’s Farm-to-Fork Gala Dinner on the Tower Bridge

09/12/16

Menu details unveiled for this year’s Farm-to-Fork Gala Dinner on the Tower Bridge

For those lucky enough to have nabbed a ticket to this year’s dinner on Sept. 25 at the Tower Bridge, brace yourself for a locally grown, five-course smorgasbord. During the Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau's fourth annual event, which sold out in July, participating farmers and chefs will both be on hand to serve 782 guests under the canopy of one of Sacramento’s most iconic landmarks. “Sacramento has a unique [food] industry that to me is really about camaraderie and collaboration, so to be able to spend an evening doing what we love as chefs and have the farmers with us will speak volumes,” says Allyson Harvie, executive chef of The Patriot, which opens soon at Carmichael’s Milagro Centre. Harvie will prepare the first course of...

Posted at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments

Chef Michael Tuohy offers a sneak peek of the food at Golden 1 Center

09/02/16

Chef Michael Tuohy offers a sneak peek of the food at Golden 1 Center

On Sept. 1, chef Michael Tuohy, who is helming Golden 1 Center's food program, offered a sneak peek into his kitchen below the arena. His goal—to source 90 percent of Golden 1 Center's food from farms and purveyors located within 150 miles of Sacramento—is ambitious, but quickly becoming a reality. In addition to in-house eats, Kings fans can expect fare from local restaurants like Mikuni, Mulvaney's B&L, Star Ginger and LowBrau when the arena opens in October.  Read more about those partnerships by clicking here, and scroll through the slideshow below for details on Tuohy's menu.

Posted at 02:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

9 enticing Monday brunch spots for Labor Day

09/02/16

9 enticing Monday brunch spots for Labor Day

It’s no secret we’re big fans of brunch around here, and Labor Day weekend gives us an extra day to indulge. Here are nine Monday brunch spots to fill up on everything from chocolate banana waffles to beef jerky bloody Marys. Awful Annie’s Both the Lincoln and Auburn outposts of this popular family-owned restaurant will be serving up an extensive selection of homemade breakfast dishes for Monday brunch. Choose from 11 “Awful Waffles & Pancakes,” including the banana-pecan waffles and the chocolate chip pancakes with freshly whipped cream. For something more savory, start your meal with an assorted flight of crispy bacon strips—the popular appetizer that graced the cover of our April/May bacon issue. 8 a.m.-3 p.m. 160 Sacramento St. Auburn....

Posted at 09:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

Q&A with star chef Cat Cora

08/31/16

Q&A with star chef Cat Cora

Cat Cora, who earned major cooking cred as the first female chef to take the top spot on Food Network’s Iron Chef, will stop by Sacramento on Sept. 24 to celebrate the opening of Macy’s home department at its Arden Fair location. She took a moment to chat with Sactown about what she's going to do during her visit, our region's bounty, and how she's about to star in the "biggest show" of her career. You’re coming to Sacramento for the opening of the home store at the Macy’s at Arden Fair. What you will be doing there? I’ve been with Macy’s Culinary Council for 10 years. I'll come in and create a menu, usually a three-course menu, do a demonstration, sample tastings, and just have fun. Sacramento is known as...

Posted at 02:15 PM | Permalink | Comments

Estelle's Patisserie moving to DOCO and opening new Arden-Arcade location

08/23/16

Estelle's Patisserie moving to DOCO and opening new Arden-Arcade location

Estelle's Patisserie, a French bakery that has made its home on the corner of 9th and K streets for the past five years, is saying au revoir to The Kay and expanding its operations elsewhere. Owner Esther Son says she plans to open an Arden-Arcade bakery at 2530 Arden Way (near the intersection of Arden and Fulton Ave.) by the end of October and another at Downtown Commons outside the new Kings arena in the spring. Estelle's will serve its last baguette at the K Street location on Aug. 31. Son cited disagreements with her landlord as the main reason for the move, along with a desire to expand her production space (her bakers currently use a commercial kitchen across K Street). The menu at both locations will largely remain the same, with classic French...

Posted at 05:54 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Aug. 23

08/23/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Aug. 23

Get the details on Old Soul's newest drink concoction, the Off the Grid food truck rally's wild new location, a National Dog Day Instameet celebrating canines and a weekend tasting event in Apple Hill. Meanwhile, a new sushi restaurant opens in Rancho Cordova, and Folsom gets a new poke bar.  Apple Hill Smorgy This event in Apple Hill—located along U.S. Route 50 from Placerville to Pollock Pines—lets you sample delicacies from more than 50 orchards, ranches, bake shops and wineries. The smorgasbord of desserts, appetizers, wine and hard ciders will be laid out at Larsen Apple Barn in Camino on Aug. 28 from 2-4 p.m. Taste port from Madrona Vineyards, lavender-date shortbread cookies from Bluestone Meadow, hard apple cider...

Posted at 01:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

Craving of the Week: An Honest Pie’s buttermilk pie

08/22/16

Craving of the Week: An Honest Pie’s buttermilk pie

If you’re from the South, you know that buttermilk pie is like the Marilyn Monroe of pie flavors—impossibly alluring.  And if you’re not from the South, you’ll quickly become a convert, as did we upon our first bite of that decadent dessert from local mobile bakery An Honest Pie. The pie’s flaky, buttery crust gives way to a warm, sweet interior that tastes like crème brûlée with a gooeyness reminiscent of pecan pie filling. Handmade to order and dusted with sugar, the treat is so filling you’ll feel like sharing bites, but so additive you won’t want to. “It changes your life just a little bit,” says jovial owner Brenda Janssen of her food truck’s signature item, which is coined Kelly’s...

Posted at 11:03 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Aug. 12

08/12/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Aug. 12

This week in local dining and drink news: a popular pizza chain gets a new location in East Sacramento; a Bay Area brewery looks to make its mark on Sacramento's craft beer scene; and a riverside restaurant opens in Courtland. Plus, get your fill at a four-course farm-to-fork dinner at Sutter's Fort and root for your favorite home chef at a guacamole competition. Feast at the Fort This annual event returns to Sutter’s Fort, after a hiatus in 2015​, with a gourmet dinner on Sept. 10 prepared by some of Sacramento’s top chefs. Coinciding with citywide farm-to-fork celebrations throughout the month of September, the sixth Feast at the Fort invites chefs from Hock Farm Craft & Provisions, Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co., Thai...

Posted at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

Food Truck Cinema launches in Roseville with two outdoor screenings

08/11/16

Food Truck Cinema launches in Roseville with two outdoor screenings

Sacramento seems to have no shortage of food truck gatherings lately, with new events like Off the Grid popping up around the region and SactoMoFo going strong in its sixth year. Now Roseville is launching a new food truck event series, with live music and movie screenings slated for two nights this fall at Woodcreek Golf Club. On Friday, Sept. 16, and Saturday, Oct. 22, Food Truck Cinema will feature nine wheeled kitchens serving up their best dishes, including lobster rolls from Rudy’s on the Roll, bacon cheeseburgers from Culinerdy Cruzer, and milk tea from Wandering Boba. Those over 21 can indulge in chardonnay from Santa Rosa-based Kendall Jackson and Geyserville’s Clos du Bois at a wine bar, or sip suds from Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas and Knee Deep...

Posted at 11:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

7 spirited events to check out during the ninth annual Sacramento Cocktail Week

08/10/16

7 spirited events to check out during the ninth annual Sacramento Cocktail Week

Sacramento Cocktail Week is back for its ninth year Aug. 14-20, with spirited gatherings—from mixology contests to a cocktail hour train ride—taking place all over town. Here are seven highlights from the boozy bacchanalia. The Masters Competition Aug. l4 Cocktail Week kicks off with a toast to the town at Old Ironsides as 10 veteran local bartenders vie for the right to wear the prize, a coveted green letterman jacket, for the coming year. Competitors like Chris Tucker of Hook & Ladder, Joe Anthony Savala of Zocalo and Chris Dooley of Ella will stir, shake and pour their way through the cocktail contest as attendees sip whiskey-infused drink specials. Free admission. 2-5 p.m. Old Ironsides. 1901 10th St. theoldironsides.com The Dude Imbibes Aug. 14...

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The Japanese Food & Cultural Bazaar celebrates its 70th with tons (literally) of food and fun

08/09/16

The Japanese Food & Cultural Bazaar celebrates its 70th with tons (literally) of food and fun

You’ll think you’re turning Japanese, you’ll really think so, during Sacramento’s 70th annual Japanese Food and Cultural Bazaar, held this year on Aug. 13 and 14 at the Buddhist Church of Sacramento. Over 30,000 foodies will flock to this two-day feast-ival to consume 500 pounds of shrimp, 10,000 pounds of chicken and 1.5 tons of rice in Japanese dishes like shrimp tempura and futomaki. Don’t miss the teriyaki beef sandwich with marinated strips of meat, onion and veggies piled on a soft hoagie roll, or the steamy korokke (croquette) made with mashed potatoes and vegetables rolled in Japanese breadcrumbs and deep-fried. For dessert, try the mochi on a stick. The now-beloved bazaar event began in 1947 as a small social gathering for local...

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First Look: The new Saddle Rock brings a Gold Rush of flavor to midtown

08/04/16

First Look: The new Saddle Rock brings a Gold Rush of flavor to midtown

The reincarnation of Sacramento’s first restaurant, Saddle Rock, opened its doors last night, across the street from Broderick Midtown, one of owner Chris Jarosz’s other establishments (the growing list includes the downscale Broderick Roadhouse in West Sacramento and the upscale Localis in midtown). The original Saddle Rock in Old Sacramento began serving miners during the Gold Rush, and only closed its doors in 1995. The new Saddle Rock is an inspired homage to the old, but the address—and the concept—have moved decidedly uptown. Chef Matt Masera, formerly of Mother and Empress Tavern, has enlivened his Gold Rush-inspired menu with fresh ideas and ingredients, and the result is nostalgic without being anachronistic. The same could be said for the space,...

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7 sweet spots to visit on National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

08/02/16

7 sweet spots to visit on National Ice Cream Sandwich Day

Today is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, and we’re celebrating with seven of our favorite local stops for the creamy, cool dessert, including variations made with cookies, macarons, doughnuts and even waffles! Cream The moniker of this Berkeley-born shop—with local outposts in Davis and Elk Grove—is really an acronym that stands for “cookies rule everything around me,” and that motto rings true. Cream’s vast selection of freshly-baked cookies and ice cream pairings range from white chocolate macadamia nut cookies enclosing Pistachio Delight ice cream to snickerdoodle cookies sandwiching Caramel Cinnamon Chill ice cream. Cream offers 11 house-made cookies to combine with 20 flavors of ice cream, along with fun...

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5 refreshing local beers to drink this summer

08/01/16

5 refreshing local beers to drink this summer

Baby, it's hot outside, and there are few better tonics for a Sacramento summer than a locally brewed craft beer. Here are five cool brews to get you all hopped up on summer again. Cheers! Device Brewing Company Summer loving happens so fast, but Device Brewing Company’s Summer Crush Pale Ale is sticking around for a while, making it the perfect accompaniment to the season’s long hot nights. Device’s owner and head brewmaster Ken Anthony says the beer's origin can be traced to his efforts to supply one of his distributors, Capitol Beer and Tap Room, with a brew that was especially “crushable,” aka light but filled with hoppy flavor. When deciding on a moniker for the golden ale, Anthony couldn’t get that...

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Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for July 29

07/29/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for July 29

In this week’s dining news, a new chicken wing food truck takes to the streets, a candy store opens its doors in Arden-Arcade, a build-your-own-pizza chain readies to launch two locations in Sacramento, and a popular local coffee shop spills the beans on three new projects. Plus, Ettore's has expanded its patio, the Mix Downtown has redecorated and Morton's Steakhouse has finished its new renovations. Ettore’s European Bakery This popular bakery in Arden-Arcade has extended its patio to seat 70 and double as an event space. The awning-covered patio now stretches all the way to the sidewalk, with comfy wicker chairs and mod details like polished cement flooring, while a new stage hosts live music on Friday and Saturday nights and is...

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Drake's Brewing Company comes to the Barn

07/22/16

Drake's Brewing Company comes to the Barn

It's official: The Barn—that swoopy, undulating pavilion rising on West Sacramento's River Walk just past Raley Field—is opening to the public with a ribbon-cutting ceremony today (Friday, July 22), along with a long-awaited announcement: Drake's Brewing Company, owner of popular restaurants in Oakland and San Leandro, has been selected to operate a restaurant and bar at the Barn, with an as-yet-to-be-determined opening date in the first half of 2017. In the meantime you won't go hungry, as Off the Grid, an SF-based food-centric event producer, will be launching a weekly Friday night soirée with 12 food trucks and a full bar starting Aug. 5. Stephen Jaycox, design...

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Local cake shop is set to open at Milagro Centre

07/21/16

Local cake shop is set to open at Milagro Centre

The highly anticipated Milagro Centre in Carmichael has a sweet new tenant. Jaynee Cakes Custom Cakery, owned and operated by Melissa Archuleta, will join seven other restaurants and retailers at the culinary marketplace. Though currently experimenting with her menu, Archuleta plans to offer cupcakes and cake pops (flavors include strawberry lemonade with lemon filling and white almond with raspberries), cakes sold whole or by the slice, and French pastries like macarons and madeleines. After baking out of her North Highlands home for the past five years, Archuleta is thrilled to be opening her first storefront. “I can’t wait,” Archuleta says. “Not only to continue to do custom cakes but to expand a dessert line so that people can come and walk away...

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Craving of the Week: Mayahuel’s La Abuelita Ice Cream

07/19/16

Craving of the Week: Mayahuel’s La Abuelita Ice Cream

Trust us, the last thing we want to order during these scorching summer days in Sacramento is any menu item with the word “hot” in the description. But one spoonful of the house-made frozen hot chocolate at downtown Mexican restaurant Tequila Museo Mayahuel will quickly change anyone's mind. Chef-owner Ernesto Delgado created the cool treat, coined La Abuelita Ice Cream, with his childhood in mind. Delgado grew up in the northern Mexican state of Michoacán, where Abuelita chocolate, a popular brand (the word means “grandmother” in Spanish) with a subtle cinnamon spice, was the key ingredient for the classic hot chocolate his mother used to make, spun into steamy milk by hand with a wooden tool called a molinillo. “Anyone who...

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Real Pie Company makes a sweet return to capital city

07/18/16

Real Pie Company makes a sweet return to capital city

If you're one of the many downtown denizens who has pined away for the flaky, crusty, buttery goodness on offer at the late, lamented Real Pie Company, fear not: nabbing a slice of homemade apple pie à la mode on your lunch break will soon be as easy as... pie. The Real Pie Company is reopening this fall, after an eight year hiatus, at a new downtown location on 16th Street. Owner and chief baker Kira O’Donnell Babich first opened her 1,000 square-foot bakery at the corner of 12th and F streets in 2007, closing just one year later to spend more time with her two children. Now that they are teenagers, O'Donnell Babich's dream of someday re-opening is no longer pie in the sky. This time, she is teaming up with husband Fred...

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Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for July 15

07/15/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for July 15

This week we've got the lowdown on two fun foodie events, a beer-meets-yoga session, the scoop on a new health food bar opening in midtown and Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op's big move. Beer and Yogis Fancy a little lager might improve your lotus pose? This event brings the craft beer and yoga industries together for an evening of suds and stretching at Yolo Brewing Company on July 21. New York-based yoga instructors Mikki Trowbridge and Melissa Klimo-Major created Beer and Yogis to marry their twin obsessions, craft beer and yoga. They're stopping in Sacramento on a nationwide tour that began June 29 in Ohio and has since made its way across the country, promoting the benefits of yoga by holding classes—followed by...

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Vintage-themed restaurant and bar opening downtown

07/13/16

Vintage-themed restaurant and bar opening downtown

Update: The Hotel Bar is hosting its grand opening Friday, Aug. 26 at 1501 L Street starting at 2 p.m., with happy hour from 3-7 p.m. and last call at 1:15 a.m. The bar will offer drink specials throughout the evening, as classic films play on 13-foot projector screens. The Hotel Bar’s menu has also been finalized and includes charcuterie boards and small plates like truffle fries, avocado toast and short rib tacos. Larger portions include a Cajun shrimp pasta plate, grilled barbecue salmon salad, and the Triple B Burger with burrata cheese, bacon and bourbon caramelized onions. For dessert, don’t miss the caramel glazed doughnut bread pudding, which was resurrected from former tenant, 3 Fires Lounge. Following the grand opening, The Hotel Bar will be open daily from...

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An exclusive Parisian-inspired pop-up event is about to paint our town white

07/13/16

An exclusive Parisian-inspired pop-up event is about to paint our town white

Every year since 1988, throngs of Parisians have descended upon an iconic public space (think Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, Versailles), where they quickly erect thousands of dining tables. Clad all in white (no ecru, mon dieu!) revelers dine and dance before melting back into the city at the stroke of midnight, leaving nary a trace of their passing. If you know someone who knows someone, you might just score an invite to the first ever Sacramento iteration of Le Dîner en Blanc, as this exclusive Parisian pop-up event is known. The hosts of the Sacramento version (a first in Northern California), restaurateur Bobbin Mulvaney, communications consultant Christine Ault, placemaker Tre Borden and Maritza Davis of event marketing firm Unseen Heroes, expect up to 1,000...

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10 tasty summer food festivals

07/08/16

10 tasty summer food festivals

Two tons of garlic. 10,000 pounds of chicken. 2,000 loaves of zucchini bread. It's harvest time, and nowhere is the bounty of California's cornucopia more apparent than on a progressive dining tour of its many food-themed festivals. Have a hankering for fried green tomatoes, pear pie or... garlic ice cream? Mark your calendar and pack up the station wagon; here are 10 of our favorites among the region's annual food festivals. Marysville Peach Festival July 15-16 Historic downtown Marysville hosts this peach of a party, which highlights the fruit-full harvest of Yuba and Sutter county farms. Festival-goers can stock up on stone fruit from farmers like Sodaro Orchards, Urbina Farms and Tinoco Farms, and indulge in everything from peach...

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Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for June 30

06/30/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for June 30

This week is chock-full of exciting food news. An Irish pub, a gluten-free bakery and a seafood restaurant have opened their doors. Plus, a popular midtown wine bar revamps its menu, a Roseville soda company launches online, a comic book/coffee shop combo sets its sights on the grid, and a new Japanese restaurant plans to open its doors in downtown Sacramento. New Dawn Bakery Owned by husband-wife team Ben Lanzorotto-Leek and Katy Davis, Auburn’s New Dawn Bakery opened its doors in May to serve customers five days a week. (The bakery had been open Saturdays only since February, and has had a regular presence at the Nevada City Farmers Market for two-and-a-half years.) Named after the owners’ daughter Leah Dawn, the shop has developed a cult following for its wheat-free...

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The third annual SPLAT latte art tournament takes off

06/29/16

The third annual SPLAT latte art tournament takes off

The third annual Sacramento Public Latte Art Tournament (SPLAT) will kick off on June 30 at Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, as baristas from Sacramento’s top coffeehouses get ready to show off their latte-making skills. Every last Thursday of the month, for the next five months, a different local coffee roaster will host a bracket-style tournament with 48 baristas vying for top honors. Each contestant must participate in at least two tournaments to earn points toward a grand total that might just secure a spot at the finale, which will take place on Oct. 15. “I think [SPLAT] helps create a coffee culture in Sacramento,” says Edie Baker, who owns Chocolate Fish with her husband, Andy, and co-organizes the tournament. “This is a way for the baristas to meet...

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Exclusive: A new taproom set to open downtown this fall

06/28/16

Exclusive: A new taproom set to open downtown this fall

Craft beer aficionados, take note. A new taproom, Brü Co., is set to open this fall on K Street, featuring dozens of taps from regional breweries. The almost 2,000 square-foot space neighbors Coin-Op Game Room and is currently the site of the catering annex for Estelle’s Patisserie (and the former site of a Quiznos). Brü Co. will offer between 30 to 40 beers and ciders on tap, showcasing mostly local breweries like New Glory, Tilted Mash and Claimstake, intermixed with other West Coast handles like 21st Amendment and Firestone Walker. Tahoe Park residents and craft beer devotees Justin MacClanahan, a retired Army veteran originally from Sacramento, and his wife Jennifer will helm Brü Co., along with local home brewer Ryan Melching and his wife...

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Craving of the Week: Skool’s Matcha White Chocolate Cake

06/27/16

Craving of the Week: Skool’s Matcha White Chocolate Cake

Conceived by Skool on K’s creative director and pastry chef Hiroko Nagano to feature matcha from her native Japan, this unforgettable dessert tweaks the ubiquitous flourless chocolate cake formula, subbing white chocolate and the green tea powder (imported from Kyoto Prefecture) for an East-West treat that packs an antioxidant punch. Presented in a shallow glass bowl, the light, airy cake is a stunning, chlorophyll-rich bright green, and a scoop of Gunther’s lemon custard ice cream, dusted with matcha powder, provides a cooling contrast to the warm, not-too-sweet base layer. Sake-soaked raisins add a sweet note, while edible flowers—one of Nagano's signatures—lends a poetic finishing touch. Whether it’s eaten by itself during brunch or paired with...

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First Look: Obo’ adds a dash of Neapolitan flavors to East Sacramento

06/20/16

First Look: Obo’ adds a dash of Neapolitan flavors to East Sacramento

Whet your appetite for herbally infused pastas and handmade pizzas—the Selland family has done it again. Last Thursday, the Sacramento culinary dynasty opened Obo’ Italian Table & Bar in East Sacramento. Loaded with dishes so Italian they’re often a struggle to pronounce, the walk-up-counter restaurant fulfills the family’s ongoing mission to convert casual eaters into gourmands. Newly awakened diners seemed to respond: Grazie mille. Just off the gritty bustle of Alhambra Boulevard, the large brick building looks like a breezy oceanside escape. Glass doors framed by seafoam blue paint are boldly emblazoned with the drop shadow letters spelling “OBO’.” Once inside, white hexagonal tiles give the space an airy crispness and natural light...

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The Firehouse introduces new chef and revitalized menu

06/15/16

The Firehouse introduces new chef and revitalized menu

The Firehouse Restaurant in Old Sacramento debuts a refreshed menu and a restructured culinary team. “It was time to upgrade, to be more sophisticated,” says Jay Veregge, who now serves as Director of Culinary Operations for Harvego Restaurant Group, which owns The Firehouse and nearby restaurant Ten22. Veregge, formerly executive chef at Ten22, will oversee menu creation, food presentation and work closely with chefs at both restaurants. “The [previous] menu wasn’t as focused,” he says. “It had a lot of international flair thrown in. [The new menu, which began May 18] is a little more locally driven; it’s fresher and it’s definitely a better pair with the wine,” he says. Veregge’s team sources locally,...

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Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for June 10

06/10/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for June 10

Breaking food news: The Porch has begun serving brunch on Fridays; a popular taco van is slated to open a brick-and-mortar in Roseville; a farm-to-fork-minded chef takes shoppers on farmers’ market tours; and Ginger Elizabeth launches its summertime ice cream sundae series. The Porch Restaurant and Bar As if Fridays weren’t great enough, The Porch Restaurant and Bar began serving Friday brunch on June 3 (from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., just like on the weekends), prompted by demand from its avid weekend brunch-goers. The Friday brunches will include various options from the weekend menus, like their signature pig-shaped beignets, lightly dusted with powdered sugar and served with seasonal fruit, as well as a new watermelon salad with blueberry-red wine...

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Negroni Week serves up handcrafted cocktails for a good cause

06/06/16

Negroni Week serves up handcrafted cocktails for a good cause

Bottoms up! Negroni Week—a national event that takes place from June 6-12—is coming to the capital city. A portion of proceeds from the themed cocktails will go to local charities, as local restaurants and bars donate $1 or more from the sale of each drink to an area nonprofit. The classic aperitif, which was invented nearly 100 years ago by an Italian count, is traditionally composed of equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari. But this being the age of the craft cocktail, the event has inspired some creative bartending. “You have to be a gin fan, but this is a great event because you can go around to different bars and restaurants and see how they’re putting their own unique twists on the classic Negroni,” says Ella Dining Room & Bar bartender...

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Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for June 2

06/02/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for June 2

In this week’s roundup of dining news, Sactown has exciting updates on the Broderick team's newest restaurant venture, as well as a new sports bar getting set to open in Old Sacramento. Plus, Sacramento hosts an action-packed taco festival, a local winery launches a line of canned white wine, a new Korean restaurant opens in Arden-Arcade and a popular Korean-Japanese food truck venture expands to a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Rocklin. Blue House Korean Restaurant In a 9,000-square-foot building on Howe Avenue (that formerly housed a Lumberjacks restaurant), Blue House Korean Restaurant will host a soft opening beginning June 5, with a grand opening planned for later this summer. Owned by El Dorado Hills residents Paul Cho and his wife, Sarah, who moved to the...

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Celebrate National Doughnut Day at these seven sweet spots

06/02/16

Celebrate National Doughnut Day at these seven sweet spots

National Doughnut Day is Friday, June 3, and so we’ve rounded up seven sweet spots to get your fill of everything from blueberry buttermilk doughnuts to ice-cream stuffed puffs and oversized, sprinkle-topped doughnut cakes. Baker’s Donuts Get your Snapchat and Instagram pages ready for the photogenic treats that this family-run shop has been serving up in South Sacramento for over 30 years. Baker’s plan to honor the breakfast dessert’s big day with sweet specials, like $1 for doughnuts coated in cereal like Fruity Pebbles and Cap’n Crunch or $2.75 for their fluffy, layered cronuts. Lines are known to get long in the mornings, so arrive early to score inventive and quirky flavors like the bright orange Thai tea, electric purple ube, red velvet,...

Posted at 09:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

Off the Grid food festival launches in Sacramento

05/31/16

Off the Grid food festival launches in Sacramento

UPDATE: Off the Grid is launching a a new weekly food truck festival, Fridays at the Barn, starting Aug. 5 and running through October. This version features extended, weekend-launching hours, 5-10 p.m., and offers dancing. So dust off your blue suede shoes and head down to the Barn, the newly opened waterfront pavilion (profiled in our June/July issue) on West Sacramento's River Walk just south of Raley Field, to browse 12 local food trucks and listen to swinging tunes selected by Capital Radio DJ Nick Brunner, host of Saturday evening radio program Blue Dog Jam. Sacramento, get ready to feast your eyes—and feed your face—at the region’s newest foodie event. Off the Grid, a popular food truck festival that launched in San Francisco...

Posted at 03:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

11 "Monday brunch" spots to savor this Memorial Day

05/27/16

11 "Monday brunch" spots to savor this Memorial Day

The Memorial Day holiday brings an extra weekend day off, and a whole new chance to get your brunch on. Head to these 12 local spots for sweet and savory Monday brunch dishes, from roast beef hash to amaretto brioche French toast. Cafe Bernardo All four locations of this local favorite will be serving up their myriad of egg dishes (like huevos rancheros, Benedicts and omelets), sweets (amaretto brioche French toast, anyone?), and seasonal fruits from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. The restaurants will also be serving a limited lunch menu from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., including dishes like Thai noodle salad or the habanero burger. Check out the full menu here. 1000 K St. 446-9800. Locations on Capitol Ave., R Street, K Street and on D Street in Davis. Capitol Garage From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., this...

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Owners of Mother and Empress Tavern roll out a new food cart

05/26/16

Owners of Mother and Empress Tavern roll out a new food cart

The owners of downtown hot spots Mother and Empress Tavern—Ryan Donahue and Michael Thiemann—debuted a new food cart today on K Street.  "[Running a food cart] has been a dream of mine for a long time," says Donahue.  The cart serves $8 prime rib pockets—Empress' Parker House roll dough stuffed with prime rib, pepperoncini, horseradish and mustard—and $3 cups of oxtail bone broth, which can be ordered separately or together. “Ideally it would be like a French dip,” says Donahue. “But the nice part [about the pocket] is it’s something that people can grab and eat and walk with.” Devised by Empress/Mother cook Chad Novick (who also helms the cart), the grab-and-go pocket will be the main...

Posted at 03:20 PM | Permalink | Comments

New locally grown on-demand food app launches in Sacramento

05/12/16

New locally grown on-demand food app launches in Sacramento

Looking for new dining options in Sacramento? Well, there’s now an app for that. ExtraPlate, a locally designed app that acts as the middleman between local food purveyors and hungry citizens, quietly launched last month. Sellers range from food trucks to home chefs, and from caterers to farmers, all in charge of their own menus, prices, hours, prep time and delivery options. ExtraPlate is similar to popular on-demand apps like PostMates, but isn't restricted to restaurant food. “Our concept is really completely different [than other apps],” says ExtraPlate co-founder Grant Rosenquist. “It acts as an on-demand marketplace—from two blocks away to 20 miles away.” Customers can open the app and can see available sellers in the area or...

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Celebrate race day with hats, music and the Kentucky Buck cocktail at The Porch

05/05/16

Celebrate race day with hats, music and the Kentucky Buck cocktail at The Porch

The Kentucky Derby falls on Saturday, May 7 this year, and The Porch Restaurant & Bar in midtown, known for its Lowcountry Southern cuisine, is throwing a party complete with a signature strawberry-topped cocktail. Those looking to catch “the most exciting two minutes in sports” can celebrate as The Porch hosts its sixth annual Derby Days party May 7 from 2 to 6 p.m. The race will be shown on flat-screen TVs and highlights of the annual event will include competitions for best hat and best-dressed, with live Dixieland jazz by The Crescent Katz, and race day fare like the Derby Pie with ice cream, walnuts, pecans and chocolate chips tucked inside the pie crust. The Porch will also feature a lineup of four specialty Derby-themed cocktails, including a classic...

Posted at 03:02 PM | Permalink | Comments

10 bountiful farmers' markets to visit throughout the region

05/04/16

10 bountiful farmers' markets to visit throughout the region

Spring is in full swing and the region’s farmers’ markets are soon to be buzzing as well. We’ve rounded up 10 local markets, where you’ll find rare summertime fruits, your favorite chefs browsing for their menus, and plenty of food truck fare. Get ready to shop your way through America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital. Capitol Mall Farmers’ Market Stroll down Capitol Mall at this downtown market featuring the ultimate power lunch from food trucks like Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen and producers like Scott Lawrence Farm, which grows an unsual selection of vegetables and fruits like flying saucer squashes, orange-flesh watermelon, white alpine strawberries and tiger-striped melons (whose edible fragrant skin happens to make a great ingredient...

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Raise a glass to Mom at these 10 Mother’s Day brunches

05/04/16

Raise a glass to Mom at these 10 Mother’s Day brunches

Mother’s Day falls on May 8 this year, and we’ve rounded up 10 sweet brunches around the region—with everything from French toast pie to a chocolate fountain—that will help Mom make the most out of her big day. Dawson’s Steakhouse Hyatt Regency Sacramento's flagship restaurant is offering a lavish Mother’s Day brunch buffet comprising dishes like sweet peppers stuffed with razor clams, calamari and a piquillo pepper chutney; mint-and-garlic-roasted leg of lamb with porcini mushroom bisque; and warm succotash made with English peas, fava beans, baby carrots and green beans. Plus, check out the restaurant’s taco-making station with fillings like grilled steak, mahi mahi, pork carnitas and pickled jalapenos. If mom craves something more...

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Sacramento’s first "Taco Party" comes to downtown in October

04/28/16

Sacramento’s first "Taco Party" comes to downtown in October

This fall, Sacramentans will be given a chance to vote for something other than a national leader. Downtown’s Cesar Chavez Plaza will host the ultimate Taco Tuesday event during the first-ever Sacramento Taco Party on Oct. 11. The tasting event and competition, organized by Rodney Blackwell (who created the popular Sacramento Burger Battle in 2012), will showcase various creative renditions of the Mexican tortilla dish and benefit The Food Literacy Center. After four years running Sacramento Burger Battle, Blackwell began looking to establish another charity cook-off that could get people excited. “I figured, what would be as good as burgers?” he says. “We have an abundance of tacos in Sacramento.” The roster of restaurants currently includes...

Posted at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

Sacramento Kings announce three new restaurant partners for Golden 1 Center

04/25/16

Sacramento Kings announce three new restaurant partners for Golden 1 Center

Keeping its pledge to offer local, farm-to-fork fare at Golden 1 Center, which is set to open this October, the Sacramento Kings are announcing three more partnerships with prominent Sacramento-based restaurants today. Golden 1 Center’s executive chef Michael Tuohy, who is developing and overseeing the food and beverage program for the arena with Legends Hospitality, says midtown eateries Mulvaney’s B&L and Petra Greek, as well as the Mikuni Restaurant Group (which owns seven restaurants throughout the region), will join previously announced hometown restaurant teams Paragary Restaurant Group, Selland Family Restaurants, Star Ginger and LowBrau Bierhall at the complex. “Everything about the food [for the arena] is really about Sacramento,” Tuohy...

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Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for April 21

04/21/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for April 21

Fresh, flavorful food is the theme of this week's roundup. Two popular midtown eateries launch new menu additions, a Hawaiian seafood restaurant is slated to open in midtown, an outpost of a popular suburban brunch spot comes to East Sacramento, and the second location of a celebrate ramen house opens. Block Butcher Bar This midtown charcuterie and bar unveiled a new weekday lunch menu April 11 featuring artisan sandwiches, salads and, happily, some "juicy" cocktails. The current menu offers eight choices, including hot sandwiches (like the Spicy Choppa with house-cured pork shoulder, fontina, Calabrian chiles and arugula) and cold sammies (like a muffaletta with mortadella, salame, provolone, Castelvetrano olives and peppers). Block Butcher’s chefs have also...

Posted at 03:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

Chocolate Week returns to Old Sacramento

04/19/16

Chocolate Week returns to Old Sacramento

Warning: If you're dieting for bathing suit season, stop reading here and click over to this very informative story about a new farmers' market in town. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies. Yum. Now, for the rest of you, boy are you in for a treat. Literally. The second annual Chocolate Week is coming to Old Sacramento May 2 through 8 for seven sweet days of chocolate tours, tastings and candy-making demonstrations throughout the historic district. “Last year was a great first year,” says Scott Ford, events and promotions coordinator for the Old Sacramento division of the Downtown Sacramento Partnership. “We’re looking to build upon what was established last year, and we have some more fun things going on. I think more merchants saw the...

Posted at 11:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

Unseen Heroes launch new Sacramento farmers’ market

04/14/16

Unseen Heroes launch new Sacramento farmers’ market

Most large-scale farmers’ markets in the region are held on weekends, peaking in the early morning hours. But starting tomorrow, the Market at Power Inn is set to change all that. Local event marketing agency Unseen Heroes—which has helped run events like the Midtown Farmers' Market, Gather, and the Good Street Food + Design Market—has partnered with the Power Inn Alliance—a nonprofit community advocate for the South Sacramento area—to bring The Market at Power Inn to the corner of Power Inn Road and Folsom Blvd. every Friday until October from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The new market aims to fill a void for an outdoor market in this industrial part of Sacramento, catering to local employees and Sacramento State students by...

Posted at 02:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

Craving of the Week: the Espresso Chocolate Mousse at RailBridge Cellars & Company

04/14/16

Craving of the Week: the Espresso Chocolate Mousse at RailBridge Cellars & Company

Whipped into a light and airy edible cloud, chocolate mousse is always tasty, but often leaves you wanting more. We found one that satisfies the depths of your chocolate-craving soul with every decadent spoonful. According to Christian Sieck, executive chef of downtown’s RailBridge Cellars & Company, a dessert menu must always include chocolate. We agree, especially when said ingredient leads to a perfect confection like RailBridge's espresso chocolate mousse. Made from a recipe by pastry chef Natalie Sachuk, who joined the wine-centric restaurant shortly after it opened at the Elks Tower in February, the deliciously rich post-meal treat—which combines eggs, heavy cream, Valrhona chocolate and coffee (a signature blend from Rocklin roaster...

Posted at 09:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

Six signature sammies to sample on National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

04/11/16

Six signature sammies to sample on National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day

Cheesy does it! National Grilled Cheese Day falls on Tuesday, April 12, this year, and we’ve compiled six ooey-gooey sandwiches from local restaurants throughout the region that will have you saying—and sampling—cheese.   Broderick The Broderick Grilled Cheese at this roadhouse restaurant (with locations in midtown and West Sacramento) features mac ’n’ cheese in its melty center, complete with Gruyere, sharp cheddar and blue cheeses formed into a hearty patty and fried. Chef Matt Chong adds tomato for a snap of acidity and extra shredded cheddar between slices of sourdough sourced from Village Bakery in Davis. For National Grilled Cheese Sandwich Day at both locations, he is also adding applewood bacon and a cheddar cheese crust. Our...

Posted at 01:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink and restaurant news for April 7

04/07/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink and restaurant news for April 7

In this week’s restaurant news, a midtown gelateria expanding to East Sacramento, a new brewery in Elk Grove, a juicery finding a fresh new home in Davis and a popular downtown cafe extending its hours. Ambrosia Café At the end of March, this bustling K Street cafe extended its hours to be open Tuesday through Saturday until 8 p.m. (Previously the shop closed at 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 3 p.m. on Saturdays.) Manager Kim Anderson says the new hours are in anticipation of Golden 1 Center opening downtown in the fall. Anderson says while the menu probably won’t change for the evening hours, Ambrosia will focus its nighttime menu on beer and wine from local producers (Ambrosia has been carrying beers from Track 7 and New Glory for some time, but will be...

Posted at 10:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Vibe Health Bar opens with fresh-focused menu and inviting space

03/29/16

First Look: Vibe Health Bar opens with fresh-focused menu and inviting space

If kale and kombucha are part of your daily dining vocabulary, Vibe Health Bar, which opened March 1st in Oak Park, might just be your new favorite lunch break stop. Part of a redevelopment project in the building that last housed Broadway Soul Food until it shuttered its doors in July 2015, Vibe is next door to the new Capitol Floats, Sacramento’s first float tank relaxation center. Its simple but satisfying menu is equally as on-trend as its aquatic neighbor. Using all non-GMO, mostly organic ingredients, Vibe crafts creative twists on smoothies, wraps and acai bowls with cheeky names like the Hella Greens, a kale-mango fusion artfully laden with rings of kiwi and bananas, sprinkled with chia seeds. One popular smoothie coined the City of...

Posted at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for March 25

03/25/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for March 25

This week in dining news: A new Irish pub is set to open in Woodland, Mother launches a new dinner program, a new coffee roaster opens in Elk Grove, and Willie's Burgers expands to Old Sacramento. Father Paddy’s Local Irish Public House Occupying a historic 1903 bank building on Woodland’s Main Street, this Irish pub is expected to open by the end of April. The establishment, called Father Paddy's after owner Pat Redmond's nickname, will be open daily for lunch and dinner and will offer Irish- and English-style comfort foods from chef Jason Severson, like shepherd’s pie, Irish stew, a grilled cheese with Gruyere and bacon jam, and a rotating soup selection. Behind the hand-ground C-shaped copper bar, 16 taps will pour a range of suds from both local...

Posted at 08:46 AM | Permalink | Comments

Six last-minute brunches to book for Easter Sunday

03/23/16

Six last-minute brunches to book for Easter Sunday

Easter falls on Sunday, March 27, this year, one of the earliest dates in decades. We’ve rounded up six scrumptious Easter brunches throughout the region to help you celebrate the holiday just in time. Fat’s Asia Bistro & Dim Sum Bar Savor an Asian-inspired take on brunch at the Roseville and Folsom outposts of the Fat’s restaurant empire. Offerings include everything from pot roast to dim sum, as well as plentiful seafood dishes like sushi rolls, Alaskan crab legs, salmon and Fat’s famed honey-walnut prawns. Reservations are limited at this point, but tables are available after 1 p.m. at the Roseville location and the Folsom restaurant has tables available on the patio. $39; $14.95 for ages 5-12 (reservations only). 10 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Roseville: 1500...

Posted at 04:06 PM | Permalink | Comments

Three sweet new ice cream shops

03/23/16

Three sweet new ice cream shops

The sun is shining in Sacramento and the promise of warmer weather is on the horizon. Ice cream season is officially underway. Whether you're in the mood for a cookie-stuffed scoop between a glazed donut or prefer vegan gelato with farmers' market strawberries, we've found three new ice cream shops in the region worth savoring. Conscious Creamery Husband-and-wife team Andrea and Kevin Seppinni launched this pop-up vegan gelateria in January and have begun taking their handmade scoops on the road to events around the region. Dispensing with the traditional eggs and cream used in the Italian ice cream, Conscious Creamery’s vegan gelato gets its velvety base from handmade cashew milk and organic cane sugar. Its creative flavors include staples like...

Posted at 09:58 AM | Permalink | Comments

Empty Bowls serves up a soup luncheon and supper for a good cause

03/10/16

Empty Bowls serves up a soup luncheon and supper for a good cause

Soup’s on, Sacramento! The 13th annual Empty Bowls, benefiting the River City Food Bank, will take place March 14 and 15 at the Sacramento Convention Center. The event will include savory soups from many of our region's top restaurants like Mother, Evan’s Kitchen and Grange Restaurant & Bar. First, Classique Catering will present a soup supper on Monday, March 14, with hors d’oeuvres, dessert and wine, as well as an auction with items like tickets to a San Francisco Giants game, a dinner for four at Paragary’s and an Eddie Borgo necklace. Then on the luncheon on Tuesday, March 15, fill your bowls with offerings like a potato leek soup from Grange, a crab bisque from Scott’s Seafood on the River, hearty minestrone from Evan’s Kitchen, and...

Posted at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

It's hog heaven at the Davis Farmers Market's Pig Day

03/03/16

It's hog heaven at the Davis Farmers Market's Pig Day

Get ready to go whole hog at the Davis Farmers Market's 25th annual Pig Day this Saturday, March 5. A tribute to local agriculture, farmers and food, the festivities will take place from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. (the market opens at 8 a.m.) at Davis Central Park, where attendees can pig out on pork-centric eats like bacon maple ice cream, Piggy Pops (made with sweet French bread by The Upper Crust Baking Co.) and bacon-and-egg-flavored popsicles from Fat Face. Sutter Davis Hospital will also be firing up samples of pork fried rice at its Live Cooking Station using ingredients—like farm-fresh vegetables and pork from Bledsoe Meats—found at the market. Little ones can go hog wild with activities like crafting pig hats, ears and puppets, or painting their own clay piggy...

Posted at 10:07 AM | Permalink | Comments

Sacramento’s second Caffeine Crawl heats up

03/02/16

Sacramento’s second Caffeine Crawl heats up

Wake up and smell the coffee this Saturday, March 5 at Sacramento’s second Caffeine Crawl, a curated tour that guides coffee aficionados through the streets of Sacramento to sample the best brews from local coffee shops, all while deepening their knowledge of the industry. The crawl, organized by Kansas City-based beverage marketing firm The LAB, includes stops at popular roasters Chocolate Fish, Insight, Temple, Old Soul Co., Pachamama and Naked Lounge, as well as coffeehouses like The Mill, Shine Sacramento and The Trade Coffee & Coworking. Crawlers can choose to bike, walk or drive along six pre-determined routes that leave throughout the morning and afternoon. The LAB established its coffee crawls in 2012 to shed light on coffee culture in cities across the...

Posted at 09:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

New one-stop spice shop to open in downtown Sacramento

03/01/16

New one-stop spice shop to open in downtown Sacramento

With Allspicery set to open in Sacramento this spring, there will be no need to go to Scarborough Fair (or anywhere else) for parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. The shop, which is solely devoted to spices, as its name suggests, was last year's winner in Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s Calling All Dreamers contest and will inhabit a loft space at 1125 11th Street across from Capitol Park, which was previously occupied by the now-closed Merle Norman Cosmetic Studio. While owner Heather Wong has not yet set an opening date, she hopes to open her spice emporium by the end of March. Wong conceived of the idea for a one-stop spice shop when she couldn’t find certain ingredients she needed to replicate dishes she had tried on various trips to countries like Vietnam and...

Posted at 09:36 AM | Permalink | Comments

Baker's Donuts celebrates 31 years with a sweet birthday party

02/26/16

Baker's Donuts celebrates 31 years with a sweet birthday party

The family-owned South Sacramento doughnut shop Baker’s Donuts will celebrate its 31st anniversary with a doughnut blowout this Saturday, February 27. “We are expecting a huge turnout,” says Douglas Hem, whose mom Sivkun Hem and stepdad Randy Cheng own the store. “People are driving from the Bay Area and all over California.” From 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Baker's—which is known for its cult social media following, boasting nearly 30,000 followers on Instagram—will sell its sweet rounds for discounted prices (60 cents-$2.50 instead of 85 cents-$3.50), and anyone wearing a Baker’s Donuts shirt (also on sale for $15 instead of the usual $20) will get a doughnut of their choice for free. One of Douglas Hem's favorites is the Reese’s...

Posted at 09:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for February 25

02/25/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for February 25

This week, we've got the scoop on a new brewery launching in midtown, a new shaved ice parlor opening its doors in Natomas, as well as a popular pig roast happening at the end of the month, and a recently launched vegetarian haven with a fresh, slow-food menu. Big Stump Brewing Company This new brewery is set to open in April in midtown at 17th and L streets. Owner Alex Larrabee, an attorney who moved to Sacramento from San Francisco last year, hopes to make his mark on the local brewing scene by focusing on international styles like Bavarian, Belgian and sour beers. Larrabee began a home brewer, eventually winning best in show at the 2014 California State Fair for Big Stump’s Bavarian Hefeweizen, which will be a menu mainstay along with single and double IPAs, a Russian...

Posted at 09:54 AM | Permalink | Comments

Five buzzy new coffee shops around the Sacramento region

02/23/16

Five buzzy new coffee shops around the Sacramento region

Need a little pick-me-up? Several new coffee shops are hitting the local scene, from midtown to Shingle Springs, offering everything from artisan lattes to live music. We’re spilling the beans on five new locations to get your caffeine fix. The Fig Tree Coffee, Art & Music Lounge This community-focused coffee shop, which will open in May along historic downtown Roseville’s burgeoning Vernon Street, will serve up live music, local art and Naked Coffee brews. Roseville pastor Joshua Lickter founded The Fig Tree in the hopes of establishing the coffee shop as a community gathering place. In addition to coffee, The Fig Tree will offer simple bites like bagels and pastries, perhaps eventually offering items from nearby restaurants like Monk’s...

Posted at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

A new local canned cocktail company launches a Kickstarter campaign

02/22/16

A new local canned cocktail company launches a Kickstarter campaign

Can Can Cocktails, a new Sacramento-based company created by Grange Restaurant & Bar head bartender Ryan Seng, intends to produce and sell craft cocktails in aluminum cans with the help of funding from a Kickstarter campaign. “I always thought it would be great to have a really great cocktail in a can,” says Seng, who was inspired by the popularity of canned cocktails in Europe as well as the release of canned cocktails last summer by San Diego’s craft beer giant Ballast Point. “I don’t do gluten so I don’t drink beer, and I’m always jealous of people who can pop open an aluminum can and enjoy a really good drink out of it. It would be nice to [pop open] a gin and tonic.” The Kickstarter campaign launched Feb...

Posted at 08:33 AM | Permalink | Comments

Raise a glass at these five Sacramento Beer Week events

02/19/16

Raise a glass at these five Sacramento Beer Week events

Sacramento Beer Week is just around the corner and in preparation for the seventh annual sudsy celebration, from Feb. 25 to March 6, we’ve scouted five fun events that will have you sipping IPAs by the Sacramento River and indulging in a Hawaiian feast paired with local brews. Cheers! Beer Trivia Night Feb. 26 Test your knowledge on all things beer at this special trivia night at Sudwerk Brewing Co., which will quiz guests on topics that range from basic brewing facts, like the difference between a lager, beer and ale, to historical knowledge of events like the German Beer Purity Law. And if you need a little liquid courage, sip on several of the Davis taproom’s signature brews, including Cascaderade India Pale Lager made with dry hops from Washington...

Posted at 11:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

Organic ice cream shop to open in Davis

02/12/16

Organic ice cream shop to open in Davis

The Good Scoop—which is aiming to soft open Friday, Feb. 19, in Davis—is the first business venture from Davis resident Marnie Layton, who owns the shop with her brother, Stephen, and his wife, Azure. The creamery will serve flavors from Berkeley's popular Tara’s Organic Ice Cream, which uses organic ingredients, seasonal produce and no emulsifiers. “We figured [Tara’s] is the ‘better’ scoop of ice cream,” says Layton regarding the shop’s name. “It’s the good scoop.” The shop will have about 16 flavors on hand at any given time (out of more than 170 that Tara’s makes throughout the year). Layton says they will offer everyday flavors like salted caramel, mint chip and strawberry, and specialty flavors...

Posted at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Feb. 12

02/12/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Feb. 12

Three new breakfast options and a food truck—it may sound like the title of a foodie’s favorite flick but is actually this week’s restaurant news, including where to find Filipino breakfast, a must-have croquet monsieur, a vegan breakfast sandwich, and a new roaming restaurant.   Hawks Provisions & Public House A more casual establishment than Hawks, its sister restaurant in Granite Bay, this East Sacramento newcomer began serving brunch on Sunday, Feb. 7. The Public House side of Hawks Provisions, which has been open since December and has been serving up gastropub fare for lunch and dinner, will now be serving a brunch menu on Sundays from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., featuring baked treats from pastry chef Misty Greene (think cinnamon streusel coffee...

Posted at 10:15 AM | Permalink | Comments

Craving of the week: 3 Fires Lounge’s Glazed Doughnut Caramel Bread Pudding

02/08/16

Craving of the week: 3 Fires Lounge’s Glazed Doughnut Caramel Bread Pudding

Doughnuts have taken over as Sacramento’s dessert muse in recent years. We’ve seen the sugary rounds filled with ice cream, topped with breakfast cereals and crossed with croissants. But a doughnut made into a decadent bread pudding takes the cake. For his glazed doughnut caramel bread pudding, Sean Andre, executive chef of 3 Fires Lounge at Marriott's Residence Inn at Capitol Park, starts with scratch-made glazed doughnuts and soaks them in a white chocolate crème brûlée batter before placing the dessert in the oven (to get a light burnt sugar crunch on top that gives way to an irresistible sweet custard center) and glazing the whole thing with caramel. The dish–so delicious you'll want to lick the ramekin–is decorated with...

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Downtown’s Whired Wine bar will open with winemaker series featuring local vino

01/29/16

Downtown’s Whired Wine bar will open with winemaker series featuring local vino

Whired Wine, a new wine bar located on L street one block from Golden 1 Center, is popping its first cork on Feb. 8. San Francisco restaurateur John Marco and his wife Vicky transformed the intimate space, a former jewelry store, into a wine bar with a modern, industrial vibe and chic details like a central chandelier and colorful paintings by local artists such as Rafael Delgado, and a moniker that combines “white” and “red.” Whired Wine will host its grand opening with a winemaker series, which will bring vino producers from around the region, such as Casque Wines on Feb. 25 and Robert Keenan Winery on March 10, to the bar to discuss and pour their signature labels. Roxanne Langer, who founded local wine education company Wine FUNdamentals, will serve...

Posted at 10:22 AM | Permalink | Comments

Craving of the week: The Mill’s Waffle-in-Hand

01/27/16

Craving of the week: The Mill’s Waffle-in-Hand

Start the presses: Midtown coffeehouse The Mill is now serving up made-to-order Liège-style Belgian waffles. Ask for it “in-hand” (to go) and you’ll get the piping hot waffle lightly sprinkled with powdered sugar wrapped in a paper coffee filter. The portable waffle, which made its debut earlier this month, is the brainchild of Mill co-owner Nick Minton who wanted to create an artisanal breakfast dish that was quick, but “more substantial than a cold pastry.” Minton and his baristas spent about three months testing recipes and came up with a traditional yeasted dough—lending to a denser waffle than a runny batter—that’s made with free-range eggs, organic pastry flour and dotted with pearl sugar imported from Belgium before being...

Posted at 09:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

Davis couple opens new restaurant in East Sacramento

01/26/16

Davis couple opens new restaurant in East Sacramento

A new bistro has opened its doors in East Sacramento. EastSMF, located on J Street in the space where Formoli’s Bistro first opened, is the latest project from Tony and Rhonda Gruska, who opened the seasonally focused eatery Monticello in Davis in 2011, but were forced to close its doors in July 2015 due to legal battles with their landlords. On Jan. 20, the Gruskas held a quiet friends-and-family soft opening at their new restaurant, which is now open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and they hope to host a grand opening by spring to introduce lunch on the weekdays and brunch on Saturdays and Sundays. Like Monticello, EastSMF (the name pays tribute to the restaurant’s East Sacramento location and the capital city’s airport) boasts an ever-changing...

Posted at 03:36 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Jan. 21

01/21/16

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Jan. 21

The new year has brought new menu items to restaurants and cafes around town. Plus, an Elk Grove's brewery plans its debut. Capitol Garage The popular downtown restaurant debuted a new menu Jan. 18 replete with vegetarian and vegan options. Head chef Raphael Kendall (whose own vegan diet inspired the menu) is dishing out new meatless options like zucchini noodles with roasted carrots, red pepper, and chimichurri, or the carrot hash, topped with sautéed broccoli, rainbow chard and fried eggs. The menu also includes an addition of soy chorizo to items like the tofu breakfast burrito and the happy hour tacos alongside mainstays like vegan berry pancakes and the curry tofu scramble. Plus, Kendall revamped the cafe’s black bean burger to include avocado, spring mix and...

Posted at 04:36 PM | Permalink | Comments

Third annual Sacramento Chocolate Salon hits the sweet spot in Old Sacramento

01/15/16

Third annual Sacramento Chocolate Salon hits the sweet spot in Old Sacramento

Life is (literally) like a box of chocolates at the third annual Sacramento Chocolate Salon, which will be held Jan. 30 in Old Sacramento at the Embassy Suites Riverfront. Hosted by TasteTV, a San Francisco-based media company that also puts on the annual San Francisco International and Seattle chocolate salons, this sweet event will feature talks and demonstrations from cacao maestros like Art Pollard of Amano, whose Ocumare chocolate was ranked No. 1 in a blind taste test of 14 “bean-to-bar” chocolate bars conducted by The New York Times in December. Chocoholics can also sample tasty bites from nearly 20 confectioners, including area artisans like Sacramento-based 3D Candies, whose caramels are infused with inventive flavorings like blue cheese or...

Posted at 11:06 AM | Permalink | Comments

Local Roots Food Tours expands its lineup of regional culinary escapades

01/15/16

Local Roots Food Tours expands its lineup of regional culinary escapades

Local Roots Food Tours, which showcases the region’s bounty through guided culinary bus excursions, farm visits and walking tours in the Sacramento region, is expanding its tour offerings. The husband-and-wife team of Dawnie Andrak and Tim Bailey took over ownership of the company in early December from founder Lisa Armstrong, and are planning new guided walking and biking tours. Andrak is a board member of the Food Literacy Center, and she and Bailey are both graduates of the Center for Land Based Learning’s Farm Academy in West Sacramento.  Local Roots, which launched in 2010 and ranks as the No. 1 tour in Sacramento on TripAdvisor, currently offers three outings with themes like “Gourmet on K,” and with the acquisition of the company, Andrak says...

Posted at 10:33 AM | Permalink | Comments

Six signature soups to sample for National Soup Month

01/15/16

Six signature soups to sample for National Soup Month

January is National Soup Month and we’ve rounded up six local places where you can warm your spirits and ward off those winter blues. Cozy up to a bowl of one of the region's most popular soup dishes.  Bistro 103 Auburn’s Bistro 103, which opened its doors last year, offers a hearty beef stew with its winter menu. First, a mirepoix (a veggie combo of carrots, onions and celery) is cooked down to establish the stew’s thickness, and combined with high-quality beef round and potato chunks. The stew brews throughout the day, ready in time to be served for dinner with a side of crostini, perfect for lunch the following day with a sandwich or salad. 103 Sacramento St. Auburn. 530-888-1033. bistro103.menu Tequila Museo Mayahuel The signature...

Posted at 08:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

Sacramento Bacon Fest returns with sizzling eats and events

01/12/16

Sacramento Bacon Fest returns with sizzling eats and events

Sacramento Bacon Fest is back for its fifth year, and promises to churn out lip-smacking, carnivorous creations from Jan. 25-30. The week-long festival has grown considerably since co-founders Brian Guido and Nick Miller launched it in 2011 as a three-day weekend event with 20 participating restaurants. This year’s roster involves nearly 100.  “I wanted to support local restaurants that sourced great ingredients, worked with local farmers and utilized as much of the livestock they sourced by practicing charcuterie [and] making their own bacon,” Guido says of the festival’s inception. During this year’s festival, K Street’s Empress Tavern will host a kickoff on Jan. 25 with a culinary competition (think the TV series Knife Fight), in...

Posted at 02:08 PM | Permalink | Comments

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