What's Cooking

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

2017

Punch Bowl Social and other Downtown Commons eateries ready to open their doors

12/13/17

Punch Bowl Social and other Downtown Commons eateries ready to open their doors

This Friday, Dec. 15, Punch Bowl Social will open its Sacramento location in the Downtown Commons (DoCo) plaza, as the newest addition the burgeoning downtown district. The first Northern California location of the Denver-based chain will open its doors at 9 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15, occupying a two-story, 25,800-square-foot space above the soon-to-open Urban Outfitters store, across the plaza from Golden 1 Center. The chain boasts an "eatertainment" concept, and the River City locale, which can seat upwards of 500 and becomes a 21-and-older establishment after 10 p.m., will feature vintage arcade games (think pinball and Frogger), two four-lane bowling alleys, two bocce ball courts, two soundproof karaoke rooms, and two virtual reality gaming...

Posted at 02:04 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Dec. 8

12/08/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Dec. 8

Hungry? We've got a big list of food news from around the region, including a menu update at Dad's Kitchen, a farm-to-bottle whiskey release and the scoop on a spicy new pepper festival launching next year. Read on for the dish.  Dad's Kitchen When Dad's Kitchen on Freeport Boulevard rolls out its revamped menu on Dec. 11, the Land Park eatery will be saying goodbye to its meatloaf and reworking its chili (a three-bean tomato-based chili will replace previous versions) among other changes, but the biggest news is the addition of a burger featuring the vegan patty by Beyond Burger that mimics the texture and taste of a beef burger but is made with vegetables (mostly peas). The burger will come with lettuce, tomato, red onion, your cheese of choice and...

Posted at 11:02 AM | Permalink | Comments

A weekly pop-up will serve up fresh doughnuts in midtown starting this Friday

12/06/17

A weekly pop-up will serve up fresh doughnuts in midtown starting this Friday

Sweet tooths, set your alarms accordingly: The team behind the upcoming Milk Money doughnut shop will host a weekly pop-up on the outside deck of its sister restaurant LowBrau on Friday mornings starting Dec. 8, offering an ever-changing menu of specialty doughnut concoctions. The pop-ups will run from 9 a.m. until doughnuts run out, or 11 a.m. when LowBrau opens its doors, every Friday until Milk Money—the new doughnut and ice cream concept from Michael Hargis, Brock Macdonald and pastry chef Edward Martinez of the hotly anticipated Beast & Bounty—opens at midtown's Ice Blocks development early next year. Martinez, who cut his teeth at Sacramento restaurants like Granite Bay's Hawks and the erstwhile Enotria, and most recently San Francisco's...

Posted at 09:41 AM | Permalink | Comments

A holiday-themed pop-up bar comes to Sacramento this December

11/21/17

A holiday-themed pop-up bar comes to Sacramento this December

The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar will transform into a holiday haven this December, replete with festive decor and unconventional Christmas-themed cocktails, as part of the worldwide yuletide pop-up bar concept called Miracle. Matt Nurge, co-owner and bar manager at Red Rabbit, got the call from Miracle manager Joann Spiegel about six months ago, inviting Red Rabbit to join the roster of 50 bars around the globe that would take part in the Christmas-themed bar—which got its start at the New York cocktail bar Mace in 2014—this season. Other participants include New York's Boilermaker, Chicago's Orbit Room, San Diego's Polite Provisions and The Trap in Athens, Greece.  "I was so honored that she would even think of us," Nurge says,...

Posted at 11:21 AM | Permalink | Comments

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

11/14/17

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

This week we've got the lowdown on a downtown hot dog stand, an upcoming East Sacramento tap house, and a new chef on the midtown restaurant scene. Plus, New Helvetia brewery hosts an anniversary block party and Shoki Ramen House waxes nostalgic with its throwback menu.  The Golden Bear In October, this popular midtown bar and restaurant announced its new menu from executive chef Jay Peacock, who took over the kitchen in June. Peacock hails from Grants Pass, Oregon, but cut his teeth in San Francisco, earning the title of the sous chef at Tyler Florence’s Wayfare Tavern in 2013. Peacock has also worked at Hook & Ladder as a lead line cook and contributed to the openings of Empress Tavern and the erstwhile Saddle Rock. At Golden...

Posted at 09:03 AM | Permalink | Comments

10 restaurants opening their kitchens for Thanksgiving Day feasts

11/07/17

10 restaurants opening their kitchens for Thanksgiving Day feasts

Put down the turkey baster and opt for a stress-free Thanksgiving this year by heading to one of these 10 Sacramento-area restaurants. After you book a reservation, the rest is just gravy. 33rd Street Bistro Give thanks over a table of Pacific Northwest-inspired fare at this East Sacramento eatery, which will dish out your choice of traditional roasted turkey or a trimmed prime rib plate, accompanied by classic sides like stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, seasonal veggies and cranberry sauce. Don't sail past the bistro’s new fall drink menu, featuring the Pumpkin Sumpin’—a martini spiked with Captain Morgan's pumpkin-spiced rum, brown sugar syrup and a rim of crushed graham crackers—or the Winter Spice Old Fashioned with Crown Royal...

Posted at 09:29 AM | Permalink | Comments

Dip into National Chocolate Day with Hook & Ladder's Nutella cream puffs

10/27/17

Dip into National Chocolate Day with Hook & Ladder's Nutella cream puffs

Spread Nutella on anything—a slice of apple, a hunk of day-old bread—and you have an instant dessert. Pop Hook & Ladder's Nutella-crowned cream puff in your mouth, and you have a deceptively simple flavor bomb that slowly releases chocolaty greatness. Not to mention, a perfect excuse to celebrate National Chocolate Day on Saturday, Oct. 28. “People will eat that stuff by the spoonful,” says the restaurant's executive chef Matt Masera, referring to the nostalgic European spread. And he should know: Part of his extended family hails from Turin, Italy, where chocolatiers invented gianduja, a precursor to Nutella, in the early 1800s, making the “nocciola” combination of hazelnuts and chocolate a cultural staple. Masera, along with chef...

Posted at 10:05 AM | Permalink | Comments

Sneak taste: Golden 1 Center previews new local eats

10/25/17

Sneak taste: Golden 1 Center previews new local eats

Ever since chef Michael Tuohy, who helms Golden 1 Center's food program, gave us a sneak peek of his menu when the arena opened last year, we were instantly hooked, lining up before and during each concert and Kings game for loaded nachos and carnitas-topped hot dogs. On Oct. 25, Tuohy once again opened the doors to his kitchen below the arena, offering a preview of the menu at Golden 1 Center’s two new "Local Eats" food stands: Smokehouse BBQ, which serves hickory-smoked meat dishes and Sweet Bird, which offers chicken sandos and desserts like brioche cinnamon rolls with cream cheese frosting. Scroll through the slideshow below for new menu details.

Posted at 05:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Oct. 20

10/20/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Oct. 20

This week's food news from around the region: Surf's up at Nevada City's new Hawaiian restaurant, while Auburn gets set to welcome a hip watering hole with 28 rotating taps. Plus, a Mexican restaurant and healthy cafe both open in Davis and two new breweries launch in the region, including one inside a barn in Newcastle. Cilantro’s Mexican Restaurant On Oct. 1, downtown Sacramento Mexican restaurant Cilantro's expanded its operations to Davis, with a new location on G Street. General manager Valerie Cervantes says that while the eatery's college town location is smaller than the Sacramento establishment on J Street, the space feels more intimate and includes a patio perfect for sipping margaritas provided by neighboring bar Blondie’s. At the new...

Posted at 12:39 PM | Permalink | Comments

LowBrau fires up the grills for the inaugural Sausage Fest

10/17/17

LowBrau fires up the grills for the inaugural Sausage Fest

The celebratory spirit of Oktoberfest will hit midtown as LowBrau marks its fifth anniversary with its inaugural Sausage Fest on Oct. 21 in front of the MARRS building. The block, which will be closed to traffic, will host beer gardens serving cocktails and Ballast Point brews, a hot dog eating contest and smoking grills laden with sausages. Eleven top local chefs—including Oliver Ridgeway from Grange Restaurant & Bar, Adam Schulze from The Waterboy, Eric Veldman Miller of V. Miller Meats, Brad Cecchi of Canon and Michael Thiemann of Empress Tavern—will be battling it out for best of the wurst. Renowned Kansas-based Creekstone Farms Premium Beef (used by restaurants like New York’s Michelin-starred Babbo) is providing cuts of meat for the event, but LowBrau...

Posted at 10:09 AM | Permalink | Comments

Specialty Coffee Week returns for its fourth year with a bevy of buzzy events

10/11/17

Specialty Coffee Week returns for its fourth year with a bevy of buzzy events

Get your buzz on from Oct. 15-21 as the fourth annual Specialty Coffee Week hits the capital city for seven caffeinated days of events, including brewing classes and a boozy coffee drink competition. Organizer Edie Baker, who co-owns Chocolate Fish Coffee, says that this year’s event will celebrate the quality and innovation of area roasters. “High[-quality] specialty coffee has over 100 aromas and tons of flavors,” she says. “We want people to celebrate these coffees, start to learn more about them and understand why coffee [in Sacramento] is so incredibly good.” The final lineup is yet to be determined, but Baker predicts that there will be more than 20 events throughout the week. On Oct. 15, Old Soul Co. will host hourly free tastings and home...

Posted at 01:59 PM | Permalink | Comments

First Bites: Drink in the nostalgia and mid-century cocktails at the Ten Ten Room

10/10/17

First Bites: Drink in the nostalgia and mid-century cocktails at the Ten Ten Room

With its practically hidden location and under-the-radar opening, it would have been easy to miss the Sept. 7 launch of the downtown bar and restaurant Ten Ten Room. The new offering from Tyler and Melissa Williams—the husband-and-wife team behind Tank House and The Jungle Bird—is a hat tip to the small neighborhood haunts of the 1950s and ’60s, where folks could sidle up to the bar and order up a Harvey Wallbanger or a shaken Manhattan. “Post-Prohibition cocktails have been done wonderfully [in Sacramento]," Tyler Williams says. "We wanted to do the next generation. We wanted a nicer place where a guy in a suit can come in after work and pop his collar and have a beer, sit next to a guy in a baseball cap and have a good conversation."...

Posted at 09:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

Estelle bakery and patisserie plans to open new Arden Way location in November

10/09/17

Estelle bakery and patisserie plans to open new Arden Way location in November

Esther Son, who closed Estelle's Patisserie on K Street in downtown Sacramento last year to relocate to nearby DOCO, is aiming to open another new location of the popular French bakery on Arden Way on Nov. 10. Now named Estelle, the long-awaited Arden shop will feature a similar menu to the former spot, with classic Parisian pastries, baguette sandwiches, Niçoise salad and signature items like its flaky croixnuts (croissant doughnuts). On the weekends, the patisserie will offer a light brunch menu with ham and cheese croissants, Belgian waffles and doughnuts. Son also plans to introduce afternoon tea service, with over 20 options from famed French tea company Dammann Frères to choose from and a tiered tray of assorted pastries, finger sandwiches and colorful...

Posted at 10:24 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Oct. 6

10/06/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Oct. 6

This week in local food news: two new breweries open in the region and a popular Sloughhouse restaurant celebrates its grand opening with a backyard barbecue party. Plus, Empress Tavern takes top prize at the Sacramento Burger Battle and El Dorado Hills hosts a farm-to-fork feast under the stars. El Dorado Hills Farm-to-Fork Dinner Dine under the glow of stars and twinkling lights at this inaugural farm-to-fork dinner, held in El Dorado Hills. Start the evening with a glass of hard cider from Wofford Acres Vineyards or nonalcoholic apple cider from Rainbow Orchards in Apple Hill, and settle in for a three-course meal using local produce, prepped by some of the region’s top chefs, like Russell Okubo of Aji Japanese Bistro, who will be serving up seared Bluefin tuna with a...

Posted at 12:34 PM | Permalink | Comments

Empress Tavern to host burger pop-up for Puerto Rico hurricane relief

10/04/17

Empress Tavern to host burger pop-up for Puerto Rico hurricane relief

On Sunday, Oct. 8, Empress Tavern will host a mega meat-up in the form of an all-you-can-eat pop-up burger feast to benefit disaster relief efforts for victims of Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. Up to eight local chefs and burger enthusiasts—including the downtown restaurant's chef-owner Michael Thiemann, Localis chef-owner Chris Barnum-Dann and Nixtaco chef-owner Patricio Wise—will be whipping up burger creations in a round-robin-style format throughout the evening. Rodney Blackwell of food review blog Burger Junkies and Brian Guido, co-founder of Sacramento Bacon Fest, will also be taking shifts behind the grill. Ryan Donahue, co-owner of Empress, says the event will not be a sit-down affair. Rather, folks can watch chefs cook their burgers at the open kitchen,...

Posted at 09:37 AM | Permalink | Comments

Downtown food hall The Bank announces newest purveyor

09/21/17

Downtown food hall The Bank announces newest purveyor

Earlier this year, The Bank announced its first tenant, Mama Kim Eats. Now downtown’s buzzy new food hall—located inside the elegant 1912 D.O. Mills bank building at 6th and J streets—is bringing on board the popular midtown shop, Preservation & Co. Proprietor Jason Poole says his company’s stall at The Bank—decked out with reclaimed wood and shelves with gallon-sized jars of pickled goods—will occupy the space directly across from the food hall’s first-floor bar and will also serve as a quick-service bistro and deli, offering daily lunch and dinner specials, with a limited breakfast menu. Preservation & Co. will bring its lineup of homemade jarred products—including pickled local veggies like carrots and asparagus, and...

Posted at 01:12 PM | Permalink | Comments

Deschutes Brewery brings "World's Largest Pop-Up Pub" back to midtown

09/21/17

Deschutes Brewery brings "World's Largest Pop-Up Pub" back to midtown

The Handle District will become the tap handle district on Saturday, Oct. 14, when Deschutes Brewery brings the "World's Largest Pop-Up Pub" for the third year in a row. Dubbed the Street Pub, the free beer-focused event will once again feature a 400-foot-long bar with more than 60 taps, which will be set up at 18th and L streets from 2-10 p.m. The Bend, Oregon-based brewery will pour some 17 brews, including its citrusy Hop Trip pale ale, the crowd-pleasing American Wheat, and Bachelor Bitter, an English-style pub ale that is typically only found on draft in the brewery's home state. Beer geeks will also be able to sip wares from the likes of Big Stump Brewing Company and Crispin Cider from the guest taps. Folks can sample beer-paired bites crafted by...

Posted at 09:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

Bike Dog opens taproom on Broadway

09/18/17

Bike Dog opens taproom on Broadway

The wheels are in motion. On Tuesday afternoon, Bike Dog Brewing Co., the popular West Sacramento brewery founded in 2013, is officially opening the doors to its new Sacramento location on Broadway next to Selland’s Market-Café. The 2,500-square-foot taproom soft-opened Saturday to a substantial crowd, which bellied up to a brand-new bar boasting 18 taps decked out in a rainbow of pulls made from rubber bike handles. “It already feels like a neighborhood spot,” says co-owner Sage Smith, who runs both Bike Dog locations with three partners: Raef Porter, Pete Atwood and AJ Tendick. “I think everybody was surprised about the difference from our West Sac brewery.” Most noticeably, the new Bike Dog on Broadway is solely a taproom, so you...

Posted at 03:29 PM | Permalink | Comments

5 questions for blogger and bestselling author Michelle Tam

09/13/17

5 questions for blogger and bestselling author Michelle Tam

From Tumblr to The New York Times bestseller list, Palo Alto-based Michelle Tam, the face of the fan-favorite blog Nom Nom Paleo, is a foodie phenomenon. Tam's accessible, entertaining style is a large part of why so many of us are modeling our diets after what our paleolithic (think pre-agricultural) ancestors might have eaten. On the heels of her latest cookbook, Ready or Not!, Tam will touch down in the capital city for a cooking demonstration at the Farm-to-Fork Festival Sept. 23 on Capitol Mall, where she’ll make one of her original recipes: Ollie’s Cracklin’ Chicken. We spoke with Tam about living in The Matrix, the farm-to-fork movement and that Martha Stewart comparison. How does it feel to have The New York Times call you “a Martha Stewart of...

Posted at 09:54 AM | Permalink | Comments

Exclusive: New cart-service restaurant and bar to open downtown this spring

09/12/17

Exclusive: New cart-service restaurant and bar to open downtown this spring

“It has this approachable sexiness to it, but also this tinge of urban danger,” says Sonny Mayugba of Tiger, the new dining concept taking shape in the 700 block of K Street just east of Golden 1 Center. Picture soaring raw concrete walls, exposed steel I-beams and perhaps even glimpses of the colorful grafitti that accumulated on the walls of the long-neglected space over the years since it opened as a W. T. Grant 25 Cent Store in 1933. Mayugba hopes to open Tiger by March 1st, along with fellow members of the team behind The Red Rabbit Kitchen & Bar: chef John Bays, bar manager Matt Nurge and investor Dave Pringle. All four native Sacramentans have personal memories of their new restaurant's site—Nurge even sports ink on his arm that he acquired when...

Posted at 09:48 AM | Permalink | Comments

This year’s Tower Bridge Dinner menu revealed

09/11/17

This year’s Tower Bridge Dinner menu revealed

On the evening of Sunday, Sept. 24, as the sun sets over the Sacramento River, more than 800 people will take their seats at tables running the length of the Tower Bridge for the city’s annual family-style dinner atop the iconic local landmark. Those who were lucky enough to nab a ticket to the sold-out dinner can expect appetizers, local wine and beer, and a five-course meal that highlights the region’s bounty and will be prepared by some of Sacramento’s top chefs. Restaurateur Ernesto Delgado—who owns downtown's Mayahuel and La Cosecha, as well as Mesa Mercado in Carmichael's Milagro Centre—is preparing the first course, which consists of his signature chile en nogada with picadillo and walnut crema using nuts from Yuba...

Posted at 10:30 AM | Permalink | Comments

Raise a glass at these spirited Sacramento Cocktail Week events

09/07/17

Raise a glass at these spirited Sacramento Cocktail Week events

Sacramento Cocktail Week, the city’s annual celebration of all things shaken and stirred, is back Sept. 10-16 for its 10th year. Here are five events that may spike your interest—from a potent pool party to a David Bowie-inspired cocktail tasting. Master’s Competition Sept. 10 Old Ironsides, the first Sacramento bar to obtain its liquor license after Prohibition, will help kick off this year’s Cocktail Week with a tipple showdown that challenges area bartenders with at least 15 years behind the bar to whip up two classic cocktails and one signature creation to be judged by industry experts. Last year, Ella bartender Chris Dooley took first place for his smoke-filled blackberry bramble with an ice sphere infused with cherrywood and lavender. This year...

Posted at 10:23 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Sept. 6

09/06/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for Sept. 6

In this week's roundup of dining news, a pizza parlor with self-serve beer and wine on tap and a new brewery with house-smoked barbecue are both slated to open in the capital city. Plus, The Firehouse brings on a new pastry chef, a shaved snow desserterie opens in Rancho Cordova and a popular downtown restaurant hosts a farm-to-fork dinner series. Arctic Fox Shaved Snow and Desserts Located on Sunrise Boulevard in Rancho Cordova, this new dessert shop that opened Aug. 12 serves up shaved snow—a frozen treat that’s a cross between shaved ice and ice cream. For the uninitiated, the “snow” begins as a flash-frozen block of ingredients shaved into delicate ribbons and comes in flavors that range from traditional—like strawberry, chocolate and...

Posted at 08:53 AM | Permalink | Comments

Seven Monday brunch spots open on Labor Day

08/31/17

Seven Monday brunch spots open on Labor Day

The only thing better than Sunday brunch is Monday brunch on a three-day weekend. Here are seven places serving up everything from custard French toast to watermelon margaritas this Labor Day to make your end-of-summer hurrah that much sweeter. Read on to find out what’s on the menu while you’re off the clock. Cafeteria 15L Cafeteria 15L will be serving up its nostalgic lineup of all-American fare this Labor Day, like mac and cheese, truffle tater tots, chicken-fried steak and wild berry pancakes. Standouts include the chocolate banana waffle with salted caramel sauce and maple cream, and the Mexican breakfast skillet with chicken chorizo, jalapeños and guacamole. Wash those down with a Hot Southern Mary, a Bloody Mary made with bourbon, Southern Comfort...

Posted at 10:58 PM | Permalink | Comments

New shop in Folsom will serve gelato in churro-like cones

08/29/17

New shop in Folsom will serve gelato in churro-like cones

Update: Sweet Dozen Cones will host a grand opening with giveaways on Sept. 15. The shop's regular hours are Wed.-Sun. from 12-8 p.m. Your holiday weekend just got a whole lot sweeter. A new ice cream shop called Sweet Dozen Cones will soft open in Historic Folsom on Monday, Sept. 4, whipping up soft-serve gelato in doughnut-like cones called chimney cakes, or Romanian kürtőskalács. “The inside’s like a sweet dough, soft and chewy, and the outside has this crispy, crunchy crust,” says Nuny Cabanting, who runs Sweet Dozen Cones and the North Highlands doughnut shop Sweet Dozen with her family. “We put a little butter on the outside, and then it’s rolled into cinnamon sugar. People compare it to a churro but it’s a...

Posted at 07:16 PM | Permalink | Comments

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

08/10/17

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

This week in dining news: a bakery with over-the-top doughnuts opens in Roseville, a bar specializing in Moscow Mules launches in West Sacramento, and a riverside restaurant swings open its doors in Courtland. Plus, Off the Grid extends its stay at the Barn, and downtown Sacramento is about to get a new retro cocktail lounge. BAD Bakers Co-owners Vincent and Katelyn Tiuseco, who opened this new one-stop baked goods shop in Roseville on Aug. 5, also run the Natomas location of their family's Filipino bakery, Starbread, known for its gooey señorita bread. At BAD Bakers (which stands for "bread and doughnuts"), the couple's specialty doughnuts and bright pink color scheme strike a notable contrast to their humble bakery beginnings. Take the Unicorn Clouds...

Posted at 10:42 AM | Permalink | Comments

Enter a drawing to score Tower Bridge Dinner tickets

08/07/17

Enter a drawing to score Tower Bridge Dinner tickets

If you’ve been curious about what it's like to dine on the Tower Bridge, here’s your chance. Visit Sacramento, who runs the annual dinner at the local landmark—which takes place this year on Sept. 24—is releasing 80 tickets to the public via a random drawing. From Monday, Aug. 7, at 10 a.m. to Sunday, Aug. 13, at noon, individuals can register for up to two coveted tickets to the event. The winners will be selected at random and the notified via email on Aug. 14 with a user-specific code to purchase tickets, which cost $199 each. This is the second year in a row that the organization has offered a ticket lottery for the Tower Bridge Dinner. In prior years, it released a set number of public spots online that would sell out within minutes. The gala...

Posted at 02:32 PM | Permalink | Comments

Beat the heat with Ginger Elizabeth’s Parisian macaron ice cream sandwiches

08/02/17

Beat the heat with Ginger Elizabeth’s Parisian macaron ice cream sandwiches

Aug. 2 is National Ice Cream Sandwich Day, but if you’re like us—especially with the record summer heat—you don’t need a holiday to fête the sweet treat. Our favorite place to do so all season long is at midtown's Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates, which whips up at least five varieties of its Parisian macaron ice cream sandwiches every day from May through October. Forget those brick-shaped freezer-burnt bars with that chocolate cookie coating that always sticks to the wrapper and your fingers. Ginger Elizabeth’s version is refined in every sense of the word, from the airy, chewy, perfectly domed macaron that breaks ever so gently with each bite to the velvety ice cream filling—with nary a trace of smudges. In fact, with their clean lines...

Posted at 10:39 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for July 31

07/31/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for July 31

In local food news, a new Mexican restaurant, a famous Taiwanese bakery and a fish and chips joint just opened their doors. Plus, a popular Greek frozen yogurt franchise heads to town and East Sacramento eateries open up their doors for a weeklong gastronomic event. 85°C Bakery Cafe On July 14, this Taiwanese bakery-cafe chain—dubbed the “Starbucks of Taiwan”— held a grand opening in South Sacramento for its first area shop, and is already attracting hundreds of visitors each day. According to manager George Agosto, they’re coming for the globally inspired baked goods, made fresh every two hours, like a Japanese marble taro loaf and Denmark-style chocolate croissants. 85°C currently has about 30 locations throughout California, Washington and...

Posted at 11:22 AM | Permalink | Comments

Ettore’s bakery gets set to expand to Roseville

07/26/17

Ettore’s bakery gets set to expand to Roseville

More than 30 years after opening in Arden-Arcade, Ettore’s European Bakery & Cafe will expand to a second location in Roseville, set to open by early September. At 8,500 square feet, the new outpost at 390 North Sunrise Avenue, formerly the site of ASR Restaurant & Lounge, will feature light subway tiles and warm wood accents, and will be almost double the size of the flagship location. “We want to maintain the traditions and the feel of Ettore’s as it currently exists, but we want to upgrade and update it,” says the group's COO Craig Powell. “We are going for a look that is timeless, unique and upscale.” The space will also have patio seating (with live music on select evenings), as well as a banquet area that will accommodate around...

Posted at 10:20 AM | Permalink | Comments

Downtown Sacramento Partnership announces Calling All Dreamers 2017 winner: Milk House Shakes

07/25/17

Downtown Sacramento Partnership announces Calling All Dreamers 2017 winner: Milk House Shakes

Milk House Shakes, a concept for a shop offering up milkshakes with a presidential theme, has won the Downtown Sacramento Partnership’s 2017 Calling All Dreamers competition. The shake shop founder, Kelly Boyles of Land Park, became one of the contest’s 10 semifinalists in April, and then one of six finalists in May (watch her campaign video below). Other ideas included a churro and ice cream shop called the Churro Project; The Kitchen Table, a retail establishment selling kitchen tools crafted by local artisans; and Sacramento Whiskey Co., which would have been the first distillery to open in downtown Sacramento since Prohibition. “I had come home from work and I got a phone call from Valerie [Mamone, DSP’s senior manager of business...

Posted at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments

Four frozen, boozy drinks to put on your tab this summer

07/24/17

Four frozen, boozy drinks to put on your tab this summer

When the weather heats up, local restaurants get creative behind the bar, turning everything from milkshakes to snow cones into frosty cocktails that quench our thirst, satisfy our sweet tooth and make our happy hours that much happier. Here are four frozen concoctions that'll help you stay cool this summer. Broderick’s Boozy Custard Shakes At the midtown outpost of his West Sacramento-based Broderick Roadhouse, chef-owner Chris Jarosz set out to recreate the frozen custard shakes he loved as a kid growing up in Pittsburgh, but with an adults-only twist. Try the popular Bourbon Peanut Butter Banana shake—Jack Daniel’s burnt caramel flavor adds to the richness of the classic PB-banana combo—or the Strawberry Shortcake, in which Pinnacle Cake Vodka joins...

Posted at 10:54 AM | Permalink | Comments

5 over-the-top foods to try at the California State Fair this year

07/17/17

5 over-the-top foods to try at the California State Fair this year

If you’re like us, the words “state fair” conjure up images of bacon-wrapped-deep-fried-everything-on-a-stick. So when Cal Expo opened its doors on Friday for its 50th year hosting the annual feast fest, we were among the first in line to taste test some of the fair’s craziest concoctions. Here are five foods we found that'll make you say, "Oh Em Gee" (and maybe "Oh, Mylanta" too). Krispy Kreme doughnut bacon burger from Stuffy’s Char-Broiler An excursion to the state fair wouldn’t be complete without strange food pairings, and this one takes the cake, or rather, doughnut. Falling under the category of “so weird that it’s good,” the cheeseburger sandwiches a sizzling beef patty—topped with American...

Posted at 02:19 PM | Permalink | Comments

Raise a glass to Sacramento’s newest advanced sommelier, Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou

07/17/17

Raise a glass to Sacramento’s newest advanced sommelier, Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou

On July 12, Elizabeth-Rose Mandalou became the third Sacramentan to achieve the coveted and arduous Advanced Sommelier level as awarded by the Court of Master Sommeliers, which was established in 1977 to elevate beverage standards in the dining industry. Mandalou, who is the first local woman to achieve the level, joins the rarified ranks of her mentors—and study partners—Jeremy Reed of Ella and Keith Fergel of Taylor’s Kitchen, both of whom will sit for the even more daunting Master Sommelier exam later this month (the exam is so famously difficult that a film called Somm was made about it in 2013). Not all wine authorities opt to go the certification route, of course, but a growing cadre of local experts are attempting to...

Posted at 10:44 AM | Permalink | Comments

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for July 13

07/13/17

Taste: The region's latest food, drink & restaurant news for July 13

Midtown pizzeria Hot Italian launches a boozy book club, a tea shop expands in Oak Park, Temple Coffee serves up your just desserts, and a new Japanese lunch spot readies to open in downtown Sacramento. Plus, Federalist Public House is now open for midtowners' late-night pizza cravings. Mangia! Classy Hippie Tea Co. Oak Park's Classy Hippie Tea Co. hosted its grand opening July 7 at its new shop location on 33rd and Broadway, after soft opening in June. Previously housed at 21st and Broadway, this larger locale features an expanded tea room with brick walls dotted with local artwork and about 70 brews lining the shelves in jars, like the popular Yoga blend (chai with a touch of mint), the Beautiful People blend (a green tea perked up with strawberry and orange flavors),...

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SPLAT latte art tournament returns for a fourth year in Sacramento

06/28/17

SPLAT latte art tournament returns for a fourth year in Sacramento

Sacramento’s top coffeehouses are ready to spread a whole latte love during the fourth annual Sacramento Public Latte Art Tournament (SPLAT), which kicks off Thursday, June 29 at Old Soul Co.’s new Capitol Mall location. Every last Thursday over the next four months, 64 top barista artistes will compete by showing off their free-pour, frothed milk skills with designs of hearts, tulips, rosettes, swans and wave hearts. SPLAT began in 2014 as a small event at Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters and has since expanded to include other local craft coffeehouses like Temple, Identity, Old Soul, Insight and Naked Coffee, attracting competitors from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Chocolate Fish co-owner Edie Baker, who helped launch SPLAT, hopes the event will boost...

Posted at 09:22 AM | Permalink | Comments

Get ready to say "cheese" at Sacramento’s first nachos festival

06/27/17

Get ready to say "cheese" at Sacramento’s first nachos festival

It's all about the queso at the Sactown Nachos Festival, which will take place Aug. 26 at downtown’s Cesar Chavez Plaza. Billed as the first such event in Sacramento, the gathering will offer over 40 varieties of the addictive finger food. Festival organizer Brent Sands says that nacho makers are already getting crazy with the cheese. “Some are going to be traditional carne asada [nachos], but some are barbecue nachos and some are ice cream nachos—you’re definitely not going to have the same thing twice,” he says. For example, local pop-up Puerco Taqueria will be serving up Fritos pie and Tostitos nachos served inside the chip bags and piled with toppings like carnitas, cilantro, cotija cheese, sour cream and onions. East Sacramento Mexican...

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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...

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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...

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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, is set to 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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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....

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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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