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

Photo courtesy of 85°C Bakery Cafe
85°C Bakery Cafe's taro brûlée cake

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 Texas, and this new outpost in the Shun Fat Supermarket plaza on 65th Street offers more than 60 varieties of breads and 40 types of cakes, from the traditional (baguettes and desserts like tiramisu and macarons) to unique creations like Pork Sung Half Moon (sponge cake with fresh cream and pork shavings) and taro snow cake garnished with white chocolate and fruit. At its coffee bar, the cafe serves up signature drinks like a sea salt latte, along with bubble tea, slushies and smoothies. 5591 Sky Pkwy. 399-8585. 85cbakerycafe.com

A jalepeño Danish is among the many international baked goods at 85°C Bakery Cafe (Photo courtesy of bakery)

Chillbox Greek Frozen Yogurt

One of Greece’s most popular frozen yogurt chains is opening its first West Coast location here, serving up treats in flavors from strawberry and chocolate to mango, cookie and hazelnut praline served in a mod, berry-colored box. At Sacramento’s Chillbox—which is set to open in the North Laguna neighborhood by late August and will be the fourth in the nation; the chain also has shops in Boston, New Jersey and New York’s Times Square—you’ll find fro-yo made from cultured California milk, eschewing guar gum and other thickeners found in many U.S. yogurt brands. Patrons can jazz up their self-serve yogurt with toppings like mini macarons, pineapple chunks or the traditional Greek bread pudding ekmek kadaifi. Chillbox also offers Greek pastries, including almond tarts, baklava and spinach pies, and a beverage menu with smoothies and Greek coffee, a thinly ground, ultra-strong brew served in a demitasse cup. 7411 W. Stockton Blvd. 550-8580. chillboxca.com

Photo courtesy of Chillbox Green Frozen Yogurt

Margarita’s Village

This new Mexican eatery in Mansion Flats opened June 24 at the former location of 524 Mexican Restaurant. Co-owner Ulises Ponce, formerly of popular local spots like Mayahuel and Cielito Lindo, has helped create a menu that runs the gastronomical gamut from traditional Yucatán cuisine to Tex-Mex, inspired by his upbringing in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. The restaurant’s cochinita pibil, featuring Yucatán-style slow-roasted pork in adobo achiote served on banana leaves, reflects the flavors of the tropical southern region, and its tlacoyos de frijoles con queso—puffed masa cakes with beans, cheese and chorizo—offer a taste of the Tlaxcala region’s classic street food. The restaurant’s beverage menu is just as diverse as its food, with wines like Cupcake Vineyards’ cabernet, Mexican beer imports like Modelo Negra, and eight different margaritas, including The Acapulco, which Ponce invented, with sweetened condensed milk, grenadine, rompope and tequila. 524 12th St. 441-3600. margaritasvillage.us

The Acapulco margarita at Margarita's Village (Photo courtesy of restaurant)

Rotzy's Mad Batter

Craving cookie dough? There's an app for that. Rotzy’s Mad Batter, which launched July 16, creates edible cookie dough—made safe with heat-treated flour and no eggs—in flavors like the “You’ve Gone Bonkers” sugar cookie, “Twinkle Twinkle” chocolate chip, and the "Loaded" peanut butter version with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Reese's Pieces and peanut butter chips. Customers can mix and match custom 4- or 8-oz. tubs on the company's app, add toppings like crushed Snickers and Twix, marshmallows, animal crackers and chocolate chips, and ship them to their doorstep. The dough arrives via mail within 24 to 48 hours. For now, the business is solely online, but owner Jay Rotz says he plans to open a brick-and-mortar location in Old Sacramento by early September. rotzysmadbatter.com

Edible cookie dough from Rotzy's Mad Batter (Photo courtesy of Rotzy's)

Savor East Sac

Work up your appetite for Savor East Sac, which runs Aug. 3-13 and offers a chance to eat and drink your way through 15 East Sacramento restaurants, coffee shops and breweries, like Hawks Public House, Roxie Deli, Hoppy Brewing Co. and Chocolate Fish Coffee Roasters, which will serve up specials for the event. At Hawks, revelers will find an off-menu lobster roll served in a house-made buttered split-top bun with a helping of Kennebec potato chips. Nearby, 33rd Street Bistro will offer two three-course specials, including a Skuna Bay salmon with pineapple salsa and desserts like seasonal fruit hand pie or a deconstructed s’mores, with chocolate and mallow cream inside a graham cracker and hazelnut crust. OneSpeed will be slinging its margherita pizza alongside a garden salad made with local summer vegetables like cherry tomatoes, pickled beets and cucumbers. eastsacchamber.org

Grab a slice of OneSpeed's margherita pizza with homemade tomato sauce during Savor East Sac (Photo courtesy of restaurant)

Wave Fish & Chips

When Carmichael-born chef Daniel Dondub moved back home in 2004 after living in England for 10 years, he wanted to create a fish ’n’ chips haunt like those he loved in London. So on July 13, the former sushi chef at Folsom’s Blue Nami opened Wave Fish & Chips on Fair Oaks Boulevard in Carmichael. Each morning at 6:30 a.m., a San Francisco-based supplier delivers cod and salmon to the restaurant, which Dondub either grills or fries in a beer batter using Foster’s Lager. Guests can dip the fish into one of the restaurant’s nine sauces, including tartar, sweet mustard and spicy ketchup. The menu—most items are named for types of waves like “tidal” and “tsunami”—also includes La Ola (tacos filled with pieces of cod, thin-cut cabbage and pico de gallo) and the Chops (pulled barbacoa garnished with dill and sour cream on top of a heaping pile of hand-cut fries). For dessert, Dondub offers a sweet concoction called the Iceball, consisting of fried Clover ice cream, which he infuses with vanilla pods. 6745 Fair Oaks Blvd. Carmichael. 514-1146. facebook.com/wavefishandchips

Photo courtesy of Wave Fish & Chips

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