By: Shreya Suresh
Today marks an important day for coffee lovers across the country, but instead of celebrating with three extra-large cups of iced coffee (guilty), why don’t we give a shout out to our favorite cafe? At the FleishmanHillard Sacramento office we can’t get enough of our in-building coffee shop, Peet’s which is now open in Specialty’s on the ground floor of the Bank of the West building. It only opened a few months back, and we’ve already forgotten what our coffee-drinking lives were before that.
We recommend the iced coffee and caramel pecan pie (trust us on this one). Just today, you can use the promo code ‘NatCoffeeDay’ to get a free Peet’s coffee only at Specialty’s with a food purchase. So here’s wishing you a very happy National Coffee Day!
By: Shreya Suresh
After what seemed like forever, this week there was finally rain in Sacramento! True to the stereotype of my people, I love the rains with all my heart and miss the Indian monsoon.
There are a few must-have Indian snacks when it’s raining outside, and most of them are best paired with hot chai (spiced tea with milk). So I went to Bombay Bar and Grill, in the heart of Midtown Sacramento, and ordered a box of paneer pakora to go.
Also called “pakoda” or “pakodi” in different parts of the country, pakoras are fried snacks dipped in chickpea batter. Most Indians like to fry vegetables in the batter, but some others also fry fruit or meat. The best variation of pakora, in my opinion, is paneer pakora. It’s made with cottage cheese, and is the perfect combination—crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
This fall, why don’t you add some hot Indian snacks to the chilly evenings?
Looking to get out of town for a quick day trip? Even though it’s September, we’re all still looking for ways to beat the Sacramento heat, so take a day trip up to the Sierra foothills to Grass Valley, one of the area’s most famous Gold Rush towns.
While you’re there, check out Pete’s Pizza & Tap House for some handmade, stone-baked pizzas and a great local brew collection, featuring ol’ Republic Brewery, Loomis Basin, Knee Deep and more. Their motto –“That’s how we roll!” – is very fitting for their eclectic and fresh ingredient menu, friendly and down-to-earth staff, and casual and welcoming environment.
From wings and subs to calzones and pizza by the pie or slice, there’s something on the menu for everyone. We tried the Yuba (Oh, Yeah!), with garlic and olive oil, bacon, pepperoni, pineapple, and jalapeño-topped cheddar cheese. (When I say “we” I mean I only had a bite; as you know, jalapeños scare me!). My favorite was the summer Peach Pizza special, topped with mozzarella cheese, thinly-sliced and locally-grown peaches, bacon, bleu cheese crumbles, fresh arugula, and balsamic reduction.
While you’re there, be sure to say Hi to owners Aaron and Lorri. If they’re in, they will most likely be pouring beers or helping in the kitchen but will welcome the shout out. And ask what their favorites are, because they’ll make some recommendations and guide you to what’s good and fresh that day. Enjoy!
Pete’s Pizza & Tap House
114 West Main Street
Grass Valley, CA 95945
239 Commercial Street
Nevada City, CA 95959
This time of year in Sacramento has quickly become our favorite. With harvest in full swing and the Farm-to-Fork initiative in full effect here in the region, we couldn’t be prouder to be living, working, eating and drinking in America’s Farm to Fork capital!
Because there are so many events and dinners going on this month, we captured some best local events in the round-up below to help you make the most of the festivities..
September 10 – 27
Farm-to-Fork Restaurant Weeks presented by Lexus
A portion of all proceeds made during the two-week event will be donated to the Food Literacy Center. To view participating restaurants and learn more about Restaurant Weeks, visit America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital’s website.
Fruit-to-Root Food Literacy Fair presented by Raley’s
In partnership with America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital, Raley’s, the Sacramento Public Library with NeighborWorks and the Food Literacy Center will host the Fruit-to-Root Food Literacy Fair, a free community event inspired by Chef Dan Barber’s best-selling book, “The Third Plate.”
California Craft Brewers Showcase
The California Craft Brewers Association presents the Golden State’s signature beer festival with over 150 brewers pouring their coveted and unique beers in front of the California State Capitol.
Friends on the Farm Dinner presented by Track 7 Brewing Co
Track 7 Brewing Co.’s second annual Friends on the Farm dinner will be on the family farm at Hood Hops Ranch. This is an all-you-can-eat and drink affair with dinner prepared by Oliver Ridgeway of Grange paired with rare Track 7 brews.
Urban Brewery on the Urban Farm presented by New Helvetia Brewing Company
Join New Helvetia Brewing Co. at the Sacramento Food Bank and Family Services Demonstration Garden for an evening of local craft beer, urban farming tips, and food truck cuisine from Cowtown Urban Eatery.
Whole Foods 5% Day
Shop at participating Whole Foods Market locations on September 16 and Whole Foods will donate 5% of the day’s net sales to the Food Literacy Center.
Legends of Wine
Wine-lovers will have the unique opportunity to sample and discover more about some of the region’s most celebrated varietals, as selected by two of Sacramento’s internationally recognized culinary powerhouses – Darrell Corti and David Berkley. Sip a wide array of award-winning wines paired and presented with artisan cheeses and more local delights.
2nd Annual Smoke on the River
The Sacramento Artists Council, Inc. in partnership with The Grid Agency and Dad’s Kitchen are hosting the 2nd Annual Smoke on the River. The event will feature a People’s Choice tasting, live entertainment, and unlimited beer tastings provide by local breweries.
California Brewers Festival Presented by Rotary Club of Point West
Come enjoy a great day of beer tasting from over 65 breweries, delicious food truck delicacies, and live music bands in support local charities. The 2015 festival will benefit WEAVE, Inc.
The Handle District’s Dirt-to-Dish
This year’s event will showcase local food, produce, meats, wines, beer, and entertainment in the heart of Midtown. The event will feature a classic BBQ throwdown between Broderick Roadhouse and Mulvaney’s B&L. Donations will be accepted at the gate to benefit “Plates-2-Go.”
The free festival hosted on the Capitol Mall boasts a selection of Farm-to-Fork offerings that are produced and available in the Sacramento region. Attendees will find food, wine and beer from regional eateries and purveyors, as well as live music, five live cooking demonstration stages, a kids’ zone, interactive booths from local grocers, farms and ranches and more.
California Pear Bridge Dinner Presented by California Pear Advisory Board
This special dinner event is being held simultaneously with the incredibly popular Tower Bridge Gala organized by the America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital program. In the heart of one of the largest pear-growing regions in California, the Pear Bridge Dinner takes place on the small, historically named Dead Horse Island Bridge near the Delta community of Walnut Grove. Third generation owners of Giusti’s Place in Walnut Grove, will prepare the meal using locally-raised meats and other Delta-grown crops such as corn, tomatoes, endive, and, of course, pears. Delta area wines will be served along with local beers and other specialties prepared by select Sacramento Farm-to-Fork restaurant chefs.
Did we miss something? Shoot us a note!
By: Shreya Suresh
Growing up, I always thought Indian food was disastrously complicated to make. As a result, I stuck to instant noodles and mac ‘n’ cheese for a few weeks when I moved abroad. When they lost their charm, I made many long distance calls to my mother, asking her for recipes and ignoring time zones. As it turns out, she wasn’t appreciative of my late night phone calls and asked me to get creative. I did the next best thing—I found these great food blogs to copy from. They feature simple Indian recipes using ingredients you’d find anywhere.
Chitra Agrawal, of ABCDs of Cooking, mixes traditional, vegetarian, Indian recipes with influences from around the world. A bona fide ABCD (“American Born Confused Desi”—a term used to describe South Asians raised in the U.S.), her recipes include old family favorites mixed with the best of whatever’s in season. She’s been featured in The New York Times, The Huffington Post and Real Simple, among many others and is working on her first cookbook.
Anupy Singla, of Indian as Apple Pie, got her blog’s (and now also her company’s) name from her approach to cooking: Indian food from an American point of view. She caters to homesick Indian foodies all over the world, and keeps her recipes healthy and delicious. Her first two books, The Indian Slow Cooker and Vegan Indian Cooking, remain best-selling Indian cookbooks in North America.
Mallika Basu, of MallikaBasu.com, started out like most Indian kids who move abroad. Armed with a total of two recipes, she moved to England for college. Since her master’s degree, she has tried to replicate the comforting taste of her home in Kolkata, in India’s West Bengal. Her shortcuts, cookery tips, and tricks fit simple Indian recipes into busy schedules.
Anjali Shah, of The Picky Eater, features recipes from across the world, including a large variety of Indian entrees. Raised as an obsessively healthy eater, she ended up married to a “white bread guy” from Chicago. She bridged the wide gap in their eating habits by cooking healthier versions of the food her husband enjoyed. She guarantees that the recipes on her blog are delicious—after all, they’re certified by a couple with a “picky palate and picky food preferences.”
Need some inspiration for the holiday weekend?! We just completed a photo shoot for a client (Pacific Cheese) and came up with nine ways to “Just add blue!” to your next recipe. Check out our list below and tell us your favorite ways to add blue cheese. And look for cave-aged Pacific Blue Crumbles available at a Costco near you soon!
Just add blue to…
- Sweet potato fries
- Burger toppings
- Figs and honey
- Wedge salad
- BBQ potato chips
- Pears and walnuts
Giants fans agree that the $17 is worth it for the fresh Dungeness crab sandwich on garlic-butter brushed grilled Sourdough. My advice: share it with a Giants-loving friend!
By: Shreya Suresh
With colder days round the corner, enjoy the last of the summer with the perfect drink to cool you off! Indian buttermilk, also called chaas, is a refreshing option especially after a large meal and best of all, is easy to whip up!
Homemade chaas doesn’t require elaborate preparation. All you need is:
- One and a half cups of yogurt
- One cup of water
- A few ice cubes
- Asafetida powder (native to Iran and available at Whole Foods)
- Salt (black salt tastes better, but regular salt works too)
- A few coriander or mint leaves (I prefer mint)
Blend the yogurt, water and ice cubes together. In my experience, a watered-down version of chaas always seems to do wonders for me if I have an upset stomach, so sometimes I like to blend in more water too. Add half a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of asafetida powder. Add mint or coriander leaves to garnish.
By: Shreya Suresh
Fun fact: Most popular Indian foods in the U.S. are North Indian specialties. Naan, paneer, and chicken tikka masala all originate in the North. South Indian cuisine is vastly different—it’s almost like eating food from a different country. Breads (like naan) are a staple of the North, while South Indians survive primarily on rice and are mercilessly ridiculed for it. South Indian food is also spicier and offers an overall larger variety of vegetarian options.
Now I don’t want you to feel like you did in algebra class—mildly interested but wondering if this would take you somewhere. I want you to experience the actual difference between the two cuisines by going to one of the most amazing South Indian restaurants in the area. Mylapore, a restaurant located in Folsom, offers a large variety of great South Indian food. I recommend you try the Paper Masala Dosa—it’s crisp, served with potato masala and eaten with their fresh chutney. It’s a great introduction to the cuisine, although I may be a little biased in this opinion—I’m kind of a dosa snob.
While you can enjoy dosa at any time in the day, it’s usually a breakfast or snack food. Think of it as the savory equivalent of pancakes or crepes. And if I scared you off by telling you that South Indian food tends to be spicier, don’t worry—you can always request a milder version.
So here’s wishing you a delicious trip to Folsom!
1760 Prairie City Road, #160
Folsom, CA 95630