November's Taste roundup: Golden 1 Center rolls out new eats, a vegan cafe readies to open, and more

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Photo courtesy of Golden 1 Center
Churro fries topped with dark chocolate sauce are among the sweet new eats at Golden 1 Center.

In case you missed it, the Golden 1 Center has raised its food game with 20 new menu items for the 2019-2020 NBA and concert season. Chow down on “The Clucker,” a fried chicken sandwich topped with cole slaw on a French brioche bun, from Porchetta House; mini corn dog bites with curry ketchup from LowBrau; 17-hour-smoked brisket dripping in barbecue sauce from Smokehouse BBQ; a double burger topped with bacon, onion marmalade and Cowgirl Creamery's Wagon Wheel cheese from Café Bernardo; or cinnamon-sugar-spiced churro fries drizzled with decadent dark chocolate sauce from Sweetbird. Be on the lookout for newly added gluten-sensitive options too like the nachos and carnitas bowl at El Jefe, as well as two new Local Eats stands: a county fair-themed booth offering snacks like popcorn dusted with purple sea salt and Blue Diamond almonds, along with Union Wine & Spirits—named after the erstwhile Sacramento Union paper—that serves up beer, wine and cocktails, including a rotating selection of winners from a cocktail compeitition held in September, like the Golden Hour made with rum, spiced pear liqueur, lemon and ginger syrup. 500 David J. Stern Walk.

Café Bernardo's new double bacon burger topped with Cowgirl Creamery's Wagon Wheel cheese. (Photo courtesy of Golden 1 Center)

In other news

Sacramento natives Danny Chuong and Justine Lee, who launched 18 Grams Coffee & Tea in Elk Grove in 2017, are set to open a second location in the Howe ’Bout Arden plaza in early December. Unlike the Elk Grove shop, which only serves coffee, tea and baked goods, the 1,600-square-foot Arden locale will feature an on-site roastery set to provide beans for both locations, as well as a full kitchen whipping up Asian-fusion eats (the menu is still in the works) that may include items like sandwiches stuffed with lemongrass chicken, bulgogi, or barbecue pork, and a bánh mì breakfast sandwich made with egg, Spam, daikon and pickled carrots. Chuong and Lee are outfitting the 40-seat cafe with warm maple wood furnishings, and will rely heavily on natural light coming in from the windows to highlight the marble mosaic-tile floors and a cityscape mural painted by local artist Franceska Gámez. 1600 Ethan Way.

18 Grams will feature a mural by local artist Franceska Gámez. (Photo courtesy of 18 Grams Coffee & Tea)

The health-conscious Good Vibes Vegan Café & Herbs is set to open late January in midtown. Husband-and-wife owners Jaeda and Len Barnes are crafting a rotating menu that will include veganified comfort foods like nachos, chili cheese dogs and panini made entirely with plant-based products, as well as herbal teas and kombucha from Oak Park-based KC Kombucha. If you want a preview of the 700-square-foot cafe’s eats, head to the vegan-friendly Ethiopian restaurant Queen Sheba, where Jaeda will be sampling the wares on Nov. 23. 1004 24th St. instagram/goodvibesvegancafe

Put your best fruit forward with one of Power Bowl's topping-laden açaí or dragon bowls. (Photo by @napeatridedrink)Get an energy boost at Power Bowl, a build-your-own fruit bowl concept shop that opened Oct. 28 in downtown on 9th Street across from Cesar Chavez Plaza. Owned by Sacramento State alum Chike Osuka (a San Ramon native who opened the first Power Bowl location in San Jose in 2013), Power Bowl features a simple menu comprising oatmeal, smoothies and paninis, with the main draw being the colorful, fruit-laden acai bowls. Start by selecting a blended fruit base—either açaí or dragon—then load up your bowl with your choice of toppings, including fruits like strawberries, bananas, mangoes, blueberries and pineapple, as well as nuts, agave, peanut butter, and proteins like whey, soy or hemp. Take a seat in the 2,251-square-foot location at a booth or table and use that boosted brain power to beat your squad at one of the provided games like Sorry!, Battleship, Uno and Cards Against Humanity. 980 9th St. 916-594-7689.

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