What's Cooking

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

2017

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

06/23/17

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

In this week’s food news, the founder of a popular hot dog company beefs up fine dining in El Dorado Hills, a Mexican marketplace serves up tamales and flautas in Historic Folsom, and a pastry chef readies her first cake shop at Palladio. Plus, find out where to nab a coffee slushy and the latest place to get your poke fix. An Honest Pie This Grass Valley-based mobile food truck run by friendly owner Brenda Janssen is known for slinging decadent mini pies, including a crave-worthy buttermilk variety that made Sactown’s list of “30 Things Every Sacramentan Must Eat” in our February/March issue. Now the inventive baker has come up with a new hand-held treat that is giving us all the heart-eyes: breakfast pies. Beginning June 24, at her pie station inside a...

Posted at 10:12 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Oak Park's new Bavarian-inspired Oakhaus

06/14/17

First Look: Oak Park's new Bavarian-inspired Oakhaus

Oak Park has a new neighborhood hangout in the fast-casual Oakhaus, a hofbrau-themed restaurant from La Venadita owners Tom and David Schnetz (along with chef Matthew Ridgeway) that is distinctive both for its tongue-in-cheek Bavarian-inspired décor and its daringly simple comfort food—think Thanksgiving every day, pickles, pretzels and beer. Lots of beer. The wedge-shaped interior of Oakhaus—which soft-opened in mid-May and held its first dinner service June 7—features oversized tables and a hewn slab bar that suggest a mountain ski chalet, with a collection of wooden cuckoo clocks mounted on a vivid green wall and shelves full of Germanic kitsch (think ceramic beer steins). The sprawling patio, strung with Edison lights and dotted with bright orange...

Posted at 03:15 PM | Permalink | Comments

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

06/12/17

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

This week we've got the lowdown on a new gastropub in Arden-Arcade and the new location of a favorite Nevada City ice cream shop. Plus, find out where to get your fix of Armenian coffee and Vietnamese noodles. Hi Coffee According to Ana Hovakimyan, who co-owns this new Armenian coffee shop in Rancho Cordova with her husband Ara, the first thing you offer a guest in Armenia is always coffee. Finely ground to a powder and simmered in a copper pot, called a jazva, over heated sand, Armenian coffee comes out piping hot, encouraging patrons to sit and visit with friends as the drink cools. The comfy, high-backed booths and soft lighting at Hi Coffee create that communal atmosphere, and the coffee arrives to your table in a small cup on a saucer with a packet of sugar and a piece...

Posted at 09:31 AM | Permalink | Comments

Canon in East Sacramento unveils all-star chef team, readies to open in July

06/07/17

Canon in East Sacramento unveils all-star chef team, readies to open in July

Canon, the new eatery co-owned by restaurateur Clay Nutting, will open in East Sacramento by early July with an all-star kitchen team, including executive chef and partner Brad Cecchi (formerly of the Michelin-starred SolBar in Calistoga), and the recently added Jodie Chavious, who is currently the executive sous chef at Paragary’s. The new eatery will take over a warehouse space on 34th Street between Stockton and Folsom boulevards, providing a new neighborhood pub concept, according to Nutting, who co-founded the midtown beer hall LowBrau in 2012. “A tavern is a meeting place, where you have a drink, restore your energy and where you have a conversation,” he says. “We’ll have the execution of a fine-dining experience, [but] the platform is a casual...

Posted at 02:05 PM | Permalink | Comments

Sip craft cocktails for a good cause during Negroni Week in Sacramento

06/05/17

Sip craft cocktails for a good cause during Negroni Week in Sacramento

Drink and be merry as Negroni Week—a national event that takes place June 5-11—makes its return to the capital city.  The classic Italian cocktail, invented nearly a century ago, is traditionally concocted with equal parts gin, vermouth and Campari­­—a bittersweet red liqueur that gives the Negroni its signature crimson color. Participating restaurants and bars will donate $1 or more from the sale of their respective Negronis to a local nonprofit of their choice, and for this special week-long event, some Sacramento establishments have added a few creative twists to their drink menus. The hip bar-slash-barbershop on R Street, Bottle & Barlow, will serve a “Newgroni” featuring Botanist gin, Cocchi Americano aperitif wine and...

Posted at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

Casual Mexican bar to open in Dos Coyotes space on R Street

06/02/17

Casual Mexican bar to open in Dos Coyotes space on R Street

The owners of Iron Horse Tavern will take over the next-door space that Dos Coyotes Border Cafe will vacate on R Street at the end of June. Mason, Curtis and Alan Wong, who also own downtown hot spots Firestone Public House, Cafeteria 15L, Mix, Ma Jong’s Asian Diner and Gogi’s Korean BBQ, are not planning to expand Iron Horse Tavern, but rather launch a casual new Mexican bar concept at the location currently occupied by Dos Coyotes. The restaurant group's executive chef Christian Palmos is expected to head up the menu, and the team's longtime design partner, the Napa-based firm Shopworks, will work on this new venture. Iron Horse Tavern, at 15th and R Streets, which is named after the trains that used to thunder down the R Street...

Posted at 02:56 PM | Permalink | Comments

Celebrate National Doughnut Day at one of the region’s buzziest bakeries

06/02/17

Celebrate National Doughnut Day at one of the region’s buzziest bakeries

National Doughnut Day is Friday, June 2, and if you’re planning to stop into BJ Cinnamon in Folsom for your cinnamon crumb cronut fix, be prepared to line up with other fried dough devotees. That's because back in March, BuzzFeed released its list of the “Best Bakery in Every State" and declared humble BJ tops in California. The news spread like molten hot frosting throughout the region, and soon throngs of foodie pilgrims spilled out the front door and into the parking lot, hoping to nab a maple bacon bar or chocolate coconut cake doughnut from one of the glass cases overflowing with sugary, plump treats at the counter. “We were totally not expecting that,” says Barbara “BJ” Pho, who has run the shop with her family since it opened...

Posted at 08:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

Exclusive sneak peek at K Street's new Jewish deli

05/31/17

Exclusive sneak peek at K Street's new Jewish deli

When it comes to the look of Solomon’s Delicatessen, the Jewish deli scheduled to open on K Street by year’s end, expect its blend of modern feel and vintage flair to go together like pastrami and rye. Leading the design effort is Andrea Lepore, co-owner of the stylish Hot Italian pizzerias, who is a longtime admirer of Tower Records founder Russ Solomon, for whom the new eatery—which will occupy a 5,000-square-foot space that housed a Tower store from 1973 to 2006—is named.  The color-rich interior will take a strong visual cue from graphic designer Frank Carson’s original psychedelic storefront mural, incorporating bold hues of the late ’60s and early ’70s like blue, yellow, orange and fuchsia, says Lepore, who is...

Posted at 01:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

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

05/25/17

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

In this week's food news, a popular Italian bistro in Arden-Arcade changes hands, a health-conscious cafe readies to open downtown, a local coffee chain launches a Capitol Mall location, and an ice cream-doughnut sandwich spot opens in Elk Grove. Plus, Rocklin beer enthusiasts have a new watering hole, and beachy brunch service launches at a midtown tiki bar. Backbone Cafe With their sons Joey and Tomas, Matt and Yvette Woolston, owners of Carmichael’s Matteo’s Pizza & Bistro and The Supper Club (which operates the Crocker cafe), plan to open a health-conscious and community-oriented counter service restaurant called Backbone Cafe in a downtown space on J Street at the end of June. Backbone will cater to folks looking to adhere to vegan, paleo, gluten-free...

Posted at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments

10 tasty food festivals to attend in June and July

05/24/17

10 tasty food festivals to attend in June and July

Foodies, mark your calendars for these gustatory jubilees throughout the region in June and July, featuring everything from tacos and craft beer to farm-fresh peaches.   Sacramento Taco Festival June 3 This fourth annual fiesta will take over Del Paso Boulevard with over 50 taco vendors, such as Azteca Street Tacos, Tina’s Tacos and Masa Guiseria, slinging everything from traditional Mexican street tacos to Indian tacos (a Native American dish that uses a thick dough fried in oil called frybread instead of tortilla). Attendees can also expect Mexican wrestling bouts, a beer and margarita garden, and can participate in competitions like a taco-eating contest and a chihuahua beauty contest. $10. 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m. Del Paso Blvd. sactacofest.com Taste of Summer June...

Posted at 11:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

The Patriot plans July opening at Carmichael's Milagro Centre

05/18/17

The Patriot plans July opening at Carmichael's Milagro Centre

After some stops and starts, The Patriot—the much-anticipated new eatery by local restaurateur Chris Jarosz of Broderick fame—is readying to open at Carmichael’s Milagro Centre. Executive chef Jeremy Zimmerman—who came on board in September after Allyson Harvey departed to become chef de cuisine at The Kitchen—says he and Jarosz are aiming for an early July launch. The 6,000-square-foot restaurant's large dining room will feature eclectic wooden sculptures, a reclaimed wood bar and mod chandeliers. The spacious digs will also include a full bar, a pizza kitchen, a private dining room and a patio that will seat about 60 to 70 diners. The menu has not yet been finalized, but expect to see a hearty lineup of house-made pastas, salads,...

Posted at 09:32 AM | Permalink | Comments

The owners of LowBrau to open new restaurant at the Ice Blocks called Beast + Bounty

05/15/17

The owners of LowBrau to open new restaurant at the Ice Blocks called Beast + Bounty

The folks behind LowBrau and Block Butcher Bar are planning to open their newest restaurant venture titled Beast + Bounty by the end of this summer at the Ice Blocks development on R Street. Beast + Bounty will occupy part of the former Orchard Supply Hardware building at 17th and R streets, where co-owner Michael Hargis and executive chef Brock Macdonald (who currently heads up the kitchen for LowBrau and Block) plan to offer an elevated yet approachable menu that highlights proteins and vegetables equally, something Hargis felt was missing from his restaurants in midtown. “I’d go out [in Sacramento] with a group of friends, and I’d have a group of vegans and vegetarians, and a group of meat eaters, and I was like, ‘Where do we go?’” says...

Posted at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for May 5

05/05/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for May 5

In this week's food news: a poke eatery that celebrates Hawaiian culture is launching near Sacramento State, a kabob and gyro spot opened in Carmichael, and a hot new restaurant planned for Folsom will dish up burgers and wood-fired pizzas. Plus, get your just desserts at the Milagro Centre's new cake shop. Jaynee Cakes This new bakery, the first brick-and-mortar location of owner Melissa Archuleta’s custom cake company, opened April 22 at the Milagro Centre, which is also home to Mexican restaurant Mesa Mercado, Ghiotto Gelato and the latest outpost of Insight Coffee. A self-taught baker, Archuleta has been making lavish wedding and celebratory cakes out of her home in North Highlands for the past six years, and customers can now watch her prep those towering...

Posted at 10:56 AM | Permalink | Comments

Treat Mom to one of these five great Mother's Day brunches

05/04/17

Treat Mom to one of these five great Mother's Day brunches

If Mom would fancy attending a tea party or running a 5K, check out our list of festive Mother’s Day events throughout the region. But if a scrumptious brunch is more her speed, look no further than these five restaurants, which will be serving up everything from honey-buttered biscuits to honey walnut prawns. Formaggio Taverna & Patio This elegant restaurant in Rancho Cordova will be dishing out a buffet with creative breakfast and lunch entrées for the occasion, such as eggs Benedict with prosciutto or whole roasted snapper served in banana leaves and spiced with ginger, chili and onions. Check out the paella station with saffron rice and offerings like chorizo and chicken, or dig into a seafood feast of crab legs, fresh tuna poke, shrimp and oysters. Book a...

Posted at 09:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

La Cosecha in Cesar Chavez Plaza will open in May

05/03/17

La Cosecha in Cesar Chavez Plaza will open in May

La Cosecha, the newest eatery from restaurateur Ernesto Delgado, who owns downtown's Tequila Museo Mayahuel and Carmichael's Mesa Mercado, will open its doors Friday, May 5, and Saturday, May 6, from noon to midnight each day for a special weekend Cinco de Mayo celebration in Cesar Chavez Plaza, and will hold a soft opening the following week, beginning with lunch on Wednesday, May 10.  (Read more about La Cosecha here and here.) Chef Adam Pechal, formerly of Pour House and Tuli Bistro, is leading the restaurant’s kitchen and has developed a small menu of tacos for the opening weekend—carnitas with tomatillo salsa and pickled onion, achiote-marinated chicken with jicama slaw and avocado crema, and carne asada with charred onion salsa and cotija cheese. For...

Posted at 03:11 PM | Permalink | Comments

The third annual Chocolate Week sweetens Old Sacramento

04/26/17

The third annual Chocolate Week sweetens Old Sacramento

Take a bite out of the sweet life as the third annual Chocolate Week rolls into Old Sacramento from May 8-14 for seven full days of chocolate tours, tastings and candy-making demonstrations throughout the historic district. This year's festival will boast some brand-new events, like a chocolate scavenger hunt on Monday, May 8, during which searchers can pick up a map at the Old Sacramento Visitors' Center to guide them through the streets and shops, stopping to solve clues that lead to a secret chocolate prize at the end. Earn more brownie points on May 9 at The Old Fashioned Candy & Confectionary’s arcade night, where retro game lovers can play complimentary rounds of Pac-Man while munching on Big Hunks, chocolate toffee and Gold Rush-themed candies....

Posted at 09:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

14 great farmers’ markets to visit throughout the Sacramento region

04/25/17

14 great farmers’ markets to visit throughout the Sacramento region

The month of May brings the promise of the region’s bountiful farmers’ market season, where you can find plenty of tasty local produce, homemade food and sometimes a bluegrass band or two. Here are 14 great markets to stop by this year. (Scroll to the bottom to see a map.) Capitol Mall Farmers’ Market Bookended by picturesque views of the State Capitol and the Tower Bridge, this downtown market takes over a block of Capitol Mall each week beginning in May. On one side of the street, you can pick up a fresh box of fruit from Lodi’s Rhythm & Blueberries or a bag of giant spaghetti squash, beets and red peppers from Davis’ Hearty Fork Farm. Across the way, you’ll find kettle corn, baked goods and lunchtime fare from local food truck vendors...

Posted at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for April 19

04/19/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for April 19

This week's food news: a taco-centric food truck gets ready to roam, while another puts down roots in South Sacramento. Plus, a Parisian bakery from Korea is set to launch its first local outpost; a popular midtown restaurant is now serving brunch seven days a week; and global cuisine eatery has opened in Arden-Arcade. Boolu Eatery This new family-owned place opened March 21 at the former location of Samarkand Kabob in Arden-Arcade, billing itself as a “globally inspired international restaurant.” Boolu serves up a smorgasbord of menu items featuring American, African, Italian, Asian, Mexican, Jamaican, Creole, Peruvian, Turkish and Mediterranean recipes, from chorizo empanadas, spicy samosas and pork lumpia to okra soup with Nigerian-style chicken. Guests can also...

Posted at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

A popular South Korean rice burger chain takes over Golden Bear's kitchen for one night

04/13/17

A popular South Korean rice burger chain takes over Golden Bear's kitchen for one night

Kimchi, bulgogi and rice, oh my! A popular South Korean burger chain is about to see if the Sacramento dining scene is ready for its authentic street fare with a pop-up kitchen takeover on April 19. BonGousse, owned by the Oh family and led by CEO Serin Oh, has over 1,000 locations in South Korea, as well as outposts in China and Thailand, selling its signature sandwiches made with rice patty buns and a variety of Korean-spiced meat-based fillings. The company is set to take over The Golden Bear’s kitchen in midtown on April 19, offering a handful of rice burger variations beginning at 9:30 p.m. that evening. The response to the pop-up could determine whether BonGousse will open a brick-and-mortar shop in Sacramento, which would be its first restaurant in the U.S. The...

Posted at 01:45 PM | Permalink | Comments

The Flamingo House bar to land in midtown this summer

04/11/17

The Flamingo House bar to land in midtown this summer

Midtowners will be tickled pink this summer with the arrival of a brand-new bar and social club, The Flamingo House. Located next to the restaurant Skool on 23rd and K streets, the bar will serve up small bites paired with creative craft cocktails inside a two-story 1910 house previously occupied by the vegan restaurant Garden to Grill, which closed in December. Before that, the space was home to the Plum Cafe & Bakery and, stretching back further, the True Love Coffeehouse. The Flamingo House is the brainchild of a trio of co-owners—Bobby Falcon, Matt Byrd and Christian Tolen—who met while working at The Park Ultra Lounge in downtown Sacramento and whose collective credits include local hotspots like Mix Downtown, Dive Bar and The Zebra Club. “We are...

Posted at 02:10 PM | Permalink | Comments

Nine decadent Easter brunches in the Sacramento region

04/11/17

Nine decadent Easter brunches in the Sacramento region

It’s not too late to make Easter brunch reservations at some of the region’s best restaurants if you hop to it. Here are nine tantalizing options for the holiday Sunday. de Vere’s Irish Pub At this pub’s downtown Sacramento and Davis locations this Sunday, you’ll find a bevy of brunch offerings like the smoked salmon Benedict with a poached egg atop house-made sourdough, or banana bread French toast made with Amaretto custard and topped with candied pecans and maple whipped cream. There’s plenty of Irish coffee, too, if you fancy a goblet. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. 1521 L St. 231-9947. 217 E St. Davis. 530-204-5533. deverespub.com Ettore's European Bakery & Restaurant This Swiss patisserie in Arden-Arcade will be dishing out brunch favorites...

Posted at 11:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

First purveyor announced for planned food hall, The Bank

04/10/17

First purveyor announced for planned food hall, The Bank

Shrimp and grits, anyone? The Bank, downtown’s buzzy new food hall located inside the elegant 1912 D.O. Mills bank building at 6th and J streets, has secured its first tenant—Mama Kim Eats. The Southern-style restaurant based in North Sacramento will be one of 12 purveyors occupying a kitchen space inside The Bank’s ground-floor culinary concourse, which once served as the historic building’s lobby. Mama Kim Eats' menu will feature its popular line-up of beautifully plated Southern- and seafood-inspired apps and entrées made with local ingredients, including fried chicken, shrimp and grits, and a cheese and charcuterie plate with roasted garlic olives and a fruit compote. For dessert, there will likely be butterscotch pudding with...

Posted at 10:57 AM | Permalink | Comments

Burly Beverages will be poppin’ bottles this May at its new craft soda shop

04/06/17

Burly Beverages will be poppin’ bottles this May at its new craft soda shop

Fizz fanatics will soon be able to tap Burly Beverages’ artisanal sodas and shrubs directly from the source, as founder Gabriel Aiello prepares to open a new shop for his popular local drink line in North Sacramento this May. Aiello launched Burly Beverages at the end of 2015, producing his natural beverage syrups from the kitchen of midtown’s Preservation and Co., then moved his operations to Del Paso Boulevard in November of last year. At the new locale across the street from Uptown Ballroom he has the space and opportunity to expand. And while his products can currently be purchased online and at local boutiques like Display: California and Boar Haus (they are also available at restaurants like Localis and Block Butcher Bar), Aiello says he wanted to open a shop that...

Posted at 11:01 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for April 3

04/03/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for April 3

Some local tidbits: a top chef opens a fast-casual pizza place in North Sacramento and an art gallery owner launches a Mexican cantina in a midtown alleyway. Plus, an ice cream franchise, a sandwich shop and a food truck rally expand their presence in the region and a popular East Sacramento eatery shows Sunday diners the pasta-bilities. CREAM This popular ice cream sandwich shop, which playfully stands for “Cookies Rule Everything Around Me,” specializes in personalized ice cream cookie sandwiches (with 10 cookie varieties and 20 flavors of ice cream), as well as shakes, malts and ice cream tacos. The store shuttered its Elk Grove location earlier this month, but is scheduled to open a new spot near Cal Expo this summer in the Howe 'Bout Arden shopping...

Posted at 10:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

Le Dîner en Blanc will return to Sacramento this October

03/29/17

Le Dîner en Blanc will return to Sacramento this October

If you weren’t one of the lucky 1,000 to score an invite to last fall’s Dîner en Blanc, you’ll get plenty more chances, as the event’s organizers have just secured a bid to host the super-secretive pop-up feast for three more years, making for a new annual tradition. On Oct. 8, 2016, guests clad all in white ghosted into Downtown Commons in front of Golden 1 Center while a harpist played, and quickly erected an outdoor banquet, complete with white tablecloths and candelabras. They dined, drank, danced and mingled, then disappeared into the night, leaving nary a trace of their passing. The phenomenon started in 1988, when bon vivant François Pasquier invited his friends to join him for a plein-air feast in Paris’ Bois de Boulogne and...

Posted at 10:26 AM | Permalink | Comments

A new Italian food truck will hit the streets of Sacramento this spring

03/17/17

A new Italian food truck will hit the streets of Sacramento this spring

Buon appetito! A new food truck serving up homemade Italian fare will be rolling into Sacramento beginning in late April, serving up traditional, well-plated dishes—like spaghetti alla carbonara, eggplant parmigiana and freshly baked focaccia stuffed with prosciutto—that defy typical greasy mobile fare. Che Buono (which means “how delicious!” in Italian) is the brainchild of Luciana Basile-Lewis of Elk Grove, a native of Modena in northern Italy, who moved to California 20 years ago and settled in the Sacramento area in 2015. “I come from a large family of Italians and I’ve been cooking since I was 7,” she says. “My background is in accounting and finance, but I’ve always kept this idea [for a food truck] in the back of my...

Posted at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments

The Sacramento Food Film Festival returns with a scrumptious selection of meals and reels

03/13/17

The Sacramento Food Film Festival returns with a scrumptious selection of meals and reels

Get ready for a visual feast as the Sacramento Food Film Festival returns for its sixth year April 1-8. The festivities—which pair cinematic experiences with culinary ones—kicks off with a free short films screening, during which top area chefs Chris Barnum-Dann of Localis, Patricio Wise of Nixtaco, Aimal Formoli of Formoli’s Bistro, and Billy Ngo and Tyler Bond of Kru will create small plates thematically aligned to the movies. On April 4, the culinary students of American River College will provide seasonal bites for viewers to nibble on while watching the 2016 food documentary Sustainable, followed by a Q&A with the film's director, Matt Wechsler. At the grand finale on April 8 foodie film buffs can sip cocktails mixed by the Sacramento Bartenders...

Posted at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

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

03/10/17

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

Sweeten up your weekend with a midtown chocolaterie’s cupcake celebration and a coffee festival in Winters. Plus, check out the newly revamped Coin-Op, the latest poke bar in midtown, a new coffeehouse in Tahoe Park, and a Vietnamese street food restaurant that just opened its doors in Citrus Heights. Bo Urban Corner After 20 years of launching various restaurants around the Sacramento area and in his home country of Vietnam, Freeman Nguyen introduced this new venture in early January in Citrus Heights, serving up a simple menu of Vietnamese street food in a sleek, modern setting with bright red bar stools and wooden booths under lantern lighting. Patrons can choose between fresh spring rolls, rice bowls or banh mi sandwiches with their choice of protein (chicken, beef,...

Posted at 11:25 AM | Permalink | Comments

5 questions for chef, author and food activist Alice Waters

03/08/17

5 questions for chef, author and food activist Alice Waters

Restaurateur Alice Waters pioneered the farm-to-fork movement long before it had a name. Her Berkeley restaurant Chez Panisse opened in 1971, championing the use of organic, seasonal ingredients and sparking a revolution that would come to be known as California cuisine. The culinary icon makes an appearance at Folsom’s Harris Center on Sunday, March 12, inaugurating Folsom Lake College's new speaker series. We chatted with the acclaimed food activist and New York Times best-selling author about her big ideas for California schools, the locals who inspire her and her advice for eating organic. What can your audience expect from your upcoming talk at the Harris Center? I have big ideas I’d like to present. I really want to talk about education—edible education....

Posted at 11:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

Sample Sacramento’s must-eat dishes on new downtown food tour

03/03/17

Sample Sacramento’s must-eat dishes on new downtown food tour

It’s no secret that we at Sactown magazine love our local dining establishments and their gustatory gems. Over the past 10 years, we’ve written about the best local bacon, pizza, barbecue and brunches, and our covers have been splashed with mouthwatering images of local doughnuts, beer, coffee, sandwiches and pork dumplings. Our most recent cover story gives readers a glance at what we think are the “30 Things Every Sacramentan Must Eat,” featuring dishes from forever favorites like Squeeze Inn’s Squeeze with Cheese and Frank Fat’s banana cream pie to instant classics like Bacon & Butter’s flawless flapjacks and Hawk’s charcuterie plate. So when Local Roots Food Tours—which ranks as the No. 1 tour in Sacramento on...

Posted at 02:22 PM | Permalink | Comments

Empty Bowls event returns to help fight hunger in Sacramento

03/01/17

Empty Bowls event returns to help fight hunger in Sacramento

River City Food Bank will soon host its version of the Super Bowl: the 14th annual Empty Bowls fundraiser March 13 and 14 at the Sacramento Convention Center, which will feature hearty servings of soups from 10 popular regional restaurants. The two-day event includes a soup supper on March 13 prepared by Classique Catering, with wine, hors d’oeuvres and dessert. Guests can enter a raffle for chances to win prizes like a diamond necklace from Hamilton Jewelers or a pair of tickets to the sold-out Lady Gaga concert at Golden 1 Center on Aug. 15. The next day, the food bank will offer two luncheons (one at 11:30 and another at 12:30), where guests can choose from more than 1,600 handmade bowls (which are theirs to keep) created by local artists and students...

Posted at 10:28 AM | Permalink | Comments

World of BrewCraft: A Sampling of Sacramento Beer Week 2017

02/27/17

World of BrewCraft: A Sampling of Sacramento Beer Week 2017

Our region was the largest hop-growing region in the nation before Prohibition, and with the recent beer renaissance, it is on track to reclaim its reputation as a major center of the industry. The capital city’s largest brewfest is back for another round March 2-12, as over 60 local breweries, joined by bars and restaurants, celebrate the craft beer community with more than 100 events, including showcases, tours and pairing dinners.  Kick off the week with a toast at the Brewer’s Showcase hosted by the California Automobile Museum on March 2, during which over 40 local breweries will pour craft beer made specifically for the event. Popular food trucks like Chando’s Tacos and Bacon Mania are lined up for this opening event.  Break out those bell-bottom...

Posted at 02:17 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Feb. 24

02/24/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Feb. 24

A popular Thai rolled ice cream chain makes its California debut in Land Park, a restaurant specializing in crepes and burgers opens in Citrus Heights, a modern pizza chain continues to expand throughout the region and a farm-to-fork eatery is set to open along the waterfront in Courtland. Plus, we’ve got the scoop on a buzzy new cafe in West Sacramento and a new coffeehouse in Fair Oaks. And who doesn't like a pie-eating contest? 8 Fahrenheit Ice Cream With locations in Georgia and Texas, this Thai rolled ice cream shop has expanded to its first California spot, which opened in Land Park in early February. Thai rolled ice cream, the trending Bangkok street food, promises to be an Instagram phenomenon this summer. When the craze hit the Bay Area last year people...

Posted at 11:50 AM | Permalink | Comments

Cesar Chavez Plaza’s new Mexican restaurant to open this spring

02/23/17

Cesar Chavez Plaza’s new Mexican restaurant to open this spring

La Cosecha, the highly anticipated eatery from restaurateur Ernesto Delgado, will open its doors in downtown's Cesar Chavez Plaza before the end of April. With a name that translates as “the harvest,” La Cosecha will be part open-air market, part fast-casual grab-and-go lunch spot and part taqueria and bar. (Read our original 2015 story on the restaurant here.) Delgado intended to open La Cosecha in May 2016, but construction delays, followed by Sacramento’s wet winter, repeatedly postponed those plans. “The weather has made it difficult to keep on schedule,” says Delgado, who also owns downtown’s Tequila Museo Mayahuel and the recently opened Mesa Mercado in Carmichael. “All the difficult hurdles have been worked...

Posted at 03:50 PM | Permalink | Comments

Ruhstaller signs lease on new downtown taproom

02/17/17

Ruhstaller signs lease on new downtown taproom

When JE Paino, owner of the brewing company Ruhstaller, opened a rustic taproom in a basement on 7th and K streets six years ago, the future of the neighborhood was uncertain. “We moved downtown when it was perceived as dangerous and not very cool and everyone was leaving,” Paino says. After waiting patiently for the neighborhood to rise, and surviving the construction of the Golden 1 Center, that project’s ripple effect on real estate left the taproom’s fate in limbo even as the neighborhood began to pick itself up and dust itself off. Today Paino announces that Ruhstaller has signed a long-term lease on another basement space at 726 K Street—part of the rising residential and retail project led by D&S and CFY development...

Posted at 03:48 PM | Permalink | Comments

7 restaurants opening their doors for Presidents' Day brunch

02/17/17

7 restaurants opening their doors for Presidents' Day brunch

It’s not every Monday that we can sit down to a long, leisurely brunch, but this Presidents' Day several popular restaurants are swinging open their doors, dishing out sweet and savory meals that make us proud to be Americans.  Awful Annie's With locations in Lincoln and Auburn, this regional favorite knows how to make a mean breakfast and the long lines out the door on weekends prove it. Awful Annie's tempting flight of bacon graced the cover of our April/May 2016 issue, but that's not the only dish that will make you thankful for an extra weekend day to chow down on brunch. There are 15 variations of omelets to choose from, 11 scrambles, eight variations on eggs Benedict, and six kinds of waffles, including a banana pecan option and a bacon Belgian...

Posted at 09:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

First Look: Woodlake Tavern serves up comfort food with exciting twists

02/13/17

First Look: Woodlake Tavern serves up comfort food with exciting twists

The idea of exciting comfort food may sound like an oxymoron, but the new Woodlake Tavern, which opened in January in a charming single-story Art Deco building on a triangular corner of Del Paso Boulevard in North Sacramento, amply demonstrates that culinary solace can be more like cashmere and less like flannel. Take the chicken pot pie, a dish that every former latchkey kid remembers heating up out of the freezer after school: a gloppy gut bomb that’s warming and filling but about as bland as a rerun of The Partridge Family. But here, chef Matthew Strauss’s pot pie is about as far from that experience as it gets, featuring a flaky top crust glistening with egg wash that breaks under your fork like the sugar on a crème brûlée and yields to a delicate...

Posted at 11:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

A Food Network-featured pastry chef opens a French bakery in Folsom

02/10/17

A Food Network-featured pastry chef opens a French bakery in Folsom

If you’re haunted by that perfect buttery croissant you sampled in Paris on your junior year abroad then you're in luck: Julian’s Pâtisserie & Café, which opened Jan. 27 in Folsom, rolls out flawless versions of the pastries each morning. They're fresh-from-the-oven warm, impossibly flaky and subtly sweet, the way an authentic croissant should be. Owner Julian Perrigo-Jimenez, who runs his eponymous bakery with his wife Ashley, is a classically trained pastry chef who grew up in Folsom, attended San Francisco’s California Culinary Academy and cut his teeth in Las Vegas as sous chef at the Paris hotel and pastry chef at the likes of the Bellagio, Cosmopolitan and Caesars Palace. Inside the new French...

Posted at 11:13 AM | Permalink | Comments

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

02/02/17

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

Hope you're hungry, Sacramento. In this week's food news, we've got the scoop on a locally famed ice cream parlor's 70th anniversary party. Plus, Blackbird's chef-founder has moved over to Oak Park Brewing, FoodJets and a popular mobile pizza company have expanded their fleets, a Laotian restaurant opens in Elk Grove, and a popular burger launches an outpost in West Sacramento. Bella Familia This mobile pizza company, which has been dishing out wood-fired pies to the region since it launched in 2004, has added a massive new truck to its fleet, made from a repurposed shipping container. Owner Scott Thorson dreamed up the idea, then purchased the shipping container from Woodland, hauling it via a Freightliner chassis to Rancho Cordova where it underwent its...

Posted at 02:28 PM | Permalink | Comments

Comfort Cuisine: First look at Amaro Italian Bistro & Bar

01/25/17

Comfort Cuisine: First look at Amaro Italian Bistro & Bar

Casual diners on the R Street corridor are already spoiled for choice, with counter-service cafes like Nido, Metro Kitchen and Billy Ngo’s Fish Face and gastropubs like Iron Horse Tavern, Burgers & Brew and Fox & Goose. But Amaro Italian Bistro & Bar, which opened Jan. 8, brings something new to the neighborhood dining scene. Owners Jason Boggs, Garrett Van Vleck and Alex Origoni—collaborators on R Street hotspot Shady Lady Saloon, which Esquire named one of the best bars in the country, and Sail Inn & Grotto, a reconstructed dive-bar-cum-gastropub in West Sacramento—are joined in this new venture by the Deftones’ drummer Abe Cunningham. Amaro’s décor features walls of book-lined shelves, chandeliers and reproductions of Old...

Posted at 03:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

8 sweet spots to nab a slice on National Pie Day

01/23/17

8 sweet spots to nab a slice on National Pie Day

National Pie Day is Monday, Jan. 23, but we are year-round fans of Sacramento’s plentiful and diverse variations on the classic baked dessert. Here are eight great places in town to celebrate the sweet occasion. An Honest Pie It’s no secret we’re fans of this Grass Valley-based pie-mobile, whose decadent buttermilk pie—boasting a warm, sweet interior that tastes like crème brûlée, with a gooeyness reminiscent of pecan pie filling—recently made an appearance as our Craving of the Week. The food truck makes regular stops throughout the region, and recently expanded its operation with a permanent pie shop housed in a remodeled vintage travel trailer parked at Auburn’s Home Depot, making its hand pies, which are also fashioned in...

Posted at 09:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

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

01/18/17

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

This week, we're dishing on a new Afghan restaurant opening in Woodland and the launch of a local coffee chain's fifth outpost, in Carmichael. Plus, get your java on at a coffee-roasting party in Folsom and make a lunch date at a popular midtown bistro. Argos Caffe This Folsom coffeehouse, which opened last summer, is inaugurating its new in-house roaster and debuting an exclusive artisan coffee blend at a celebratory roasting party Feb. 9 from 5 to 8 p.m. During the event, attendees can sip samples of Argos Oro, a medium-bodied espresso blend of three regional coffee beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica with hints of citrus and cocoa. Local acoustic rock band Island of Black and White will perform, while Sutter Street Taqueria will be dishing out complimentary...

Posted at 12:31 PM | Permalink | Comments

A new cafe with farm-to-fork flair opens near the Capitol

01/12/17

A new cafe with farm-to-fork flair opens near the Capitol

Wild Flour Cafe—a new downtown breakfast and lunch spot on the corner of 14th and O streets—will host its grand opening Thursday, Jan. 12, in the former location of Eliana's Cafe. The new restaurant, whose menu offers items like grass-fed burgers, smoked trout sandwiches and fruit-stuffed French toast, straddles the downtown business district and Freemont Park community, aiming to serve as a sit-down neighborhood breakfast hangout and as a healthy lunch takeout and delivery option for nearby state office workers, to whom the cafe offers a 10 percent discount. Wild Flour sources most of its ingredients from within a 100-mile radius—think Sunh Fish smoked trout and eggs from Vega Farms—and is a labor of love by artist and lifelong restaurateur Eridanus...

Posted at 11:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

Craving of the Week: SacTown Sports Bar’s Brown Butter Burger

01/10/17

Craving of the Week: SacTown Sports Bar’s Brown Butter Burger

To the naked eye, it’s an ordinary bacon cheeseburger and fries. But chef Cory Lazaldi of the new SacTown Sports Bar has secretly weaponized his Brown Butter Burger, planting a taste-bud-slaying burst of creamy flavor at its core. When you bite through the crackly crust of this burger’s brioche bun and into the luscious center, it’s all about richness and, surprisingly, subtlety. This is no mere greasy gut bomb; the textures of the bread and fresh spinach garnish are light and crispy, framing and showcasing the meaty, cheesy center. Lazaldi, who got his burger chops as executive chef at Broderick and its erstwhile sister restaurant Capital Dime, was inspired by a brown butter stock he learned to make at his most recent gig, working under chef Ray Silva at...

Posted at 10:41 AM | Permalink | Comments

Hook & Ladder launches new pop-up ramen cart

01/09/17

Hook & Ladder launches new pop-up ramen cart

The upcoming Dine Downtown event isn’t the only way to score an inexpensive meal from a top local chef this winter. When midtown's Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company hired executive chef Matt Masera away from Saddle Rock in November, we knew to expect inventive ideas by the plateful, but the creativity seems to be spilling right out the front door with the addition of a new ramen cart, which will begin pop-up sidewalk service on Tuesday, Jan. 10, from 5-8 p.m.—rain or shine. “It started when we [catered] an event a couple weeks ago for a whiskey company and they wanted Japanese street food,” says Masera. He and chef de cuisine Noah Mansfield thought up the idea of a ramen cart, and "[beverage director] Chris Tucker, being our resident...

Posted at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

Sactown’s Year in Food: A look back on 2016’s most exciting restaurant news

01/05/17

Sactown’s Year in Food: A look back on 2016’s most exciting restaurant news

2016 was a major game changer for Sacramento’s food scene. Golden 1 Center opened, becoming a local food mecca and helping spawn a ripple effect of new restaurant openings throughout downtown and the region. Sactown brought you news as big as the city's first Jewish deli launching on K Street and as small—but no less significant—as Tower Cafe adding its famed custard French toast to its dinner menu. As we enter the new year, we bring you the gastronomic highlights from the past year. Dig right in. JANUARY Inspired by the addictive nature of the The Mill’s made-to-order Liège-style Belgian waffles, which debuted in January, we began highlighting our favorite comfort food dishes in a new series called Craving of the Week. Since then,...

Posted at 03:44 PM | Permalink | Comments

Score three-course meals for a steal during Dine Downtown

01/05/17

Score three-course meals for a steal during Dine Downtown

Get ready to eat your heart out, Sacramento. The 12th annual Dine Downtown, which is returning to the capital city for 10 days from Jan. 12-22, will feature three-course meals at 35 restaurants in downtown and midtown for a fixed price of $35 each. During last year’s Dine Downtown, Sacramento restaurants served over 12,000 meals to hungry patrons, and in the past 11 years, the event has racked up over $4 million in revenue for participating restaurants and charities. This year’s roster includes hot spots like Iron Horse Tavern and Empress Tavern and Sacramento classics like Biba and Frank Fat’s, as well as new places like Skool on K. A dollar from each meal will be donated to the Food Literacy Center and other Sacramento social programs. “I like that the...

Posted at 10:43 AM | Permalink | Comments

Swine and dine at the sixth annual Sacramento Bacon Fest

01/04/17

Swine and dine at the sixth annual Sacramento Bacon Fest

Porkophiles rejoice! Sacramento Bacon Fest is back, from Jan. 23-29, during which area chefs will prepare all things porcine by incorporating bacon into specialty dishes throughout the week. The festival kicks off on Jan. 23 at Aimal Formoli’s eponymous East Sacramento restaurant, where the chef-owner will serve six bacon-centric apps—some of which will highlight house-made lamb bacon using lamb from Superior Farms in Dixon—and a complimentary wine spritzer ($30). Other highlights of the week include a bacon-themed burger battle at Empress Tavern on Jan. 25 ($5), during which three chefs will flip their best bacon cheeseburger using mystery ingredients revealed at the competition. This Chopped-style...

Posted at 11:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

Selland’s on Broadway to open this spring

01/03/17

Selland’s on Broadway to open this spring

Update: Selland's Market-Café on Broadway opened Friday, April 28, offering its traditional lineup of wood-fired pizzas, sandwiches and desserts. Selland's updated its menu in March with over 30 new items, and those are featured at the new location, including a spinach and artichoke pizza, a sandwich with roast beef marinated in garlic-parsley vinaigrette and a spicy Moroccan chicken burger. If you work or live near downtown Sacramento and find yourself craving a cupcake from Selland’s bakery, your treat will soon be just a quick walk, drive or bike ride away. About a year after announcing he would be opening a Selland’s Market-Café along the Broadway corridor, local restaurateur Randall Selland says he is shooting for a March 2017 opening for...

Posted at 11:09 AM | Permalink | Comments

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