SacFoodies

May
20

SactoMoFo 9 Food Truck Festival is Tomorrow!

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headerOne of my first memories of moving to Sacramento two years ago was attending a food truck festival under a bridge—also known as SactoMoFo 7, under Highway 80 at 6th street. It was an awesome day of nonstop music, beer and eats. And for your entertainment, below is proof of my hipster Instagram attempt from that day.

instagram Since then, the SactoMoFo team has announced the annual free festival’s expansion to Discovery Park and partnership with Raley’s and Sacramento County in 2016 to accommodate its increase in popularity. Last year’s festival attracted 18,000 attendees!

SactoMoFo 9 will take place from 11 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday, May 21st. The festival will feature over 40 of Northern California’s most notable food trucks. I was excited to see one of my Bay Area favorites on the list again, Curry Up Now, who offer insanely delicious “Sexy Fries,” which are sweet potato fries topped with cheese and your favorite type of masala.

The festival will also feature local craft beer ‘islands’ benefiting Front Street Animal Shelter, an expansive vending bazaar, a Thunder Valley Main Stage featuring continuous live entertainment from local performance groups, the Hot 103.5 and 101.9 The Wolf VIP lounge, an interactive Kids Zone facilitated by Sol Collective and more.

For more information about SactoMoFo 9, visit http://www.sactomofo.com/sactomofo9/.

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May
19

Farm to Office: May 19th

By Brandon Smith

Today’s finds feature a Capitol Mall Farmers’ Market classic and delicious in-season berries.

“Spicy Gyro” from Gyro 2 Go:

kim gyro

Photo courtesy of Kim Bedwell

 Fresh, local blackberries:

Blackberries

Photo courtesy of Brandon Smith

The Capitol Mall Farmers’ Market takes place every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., May through September.

Check back next Thursday for more of our favorite “Farm to Office” finds.

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May
12

SacFoodies Weekend Picks

By Brandon Smith

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Concerts in the Park

Downtown Sacramento’s Concerts in the Park series is back at it Friday, May 12th from 5 – 9 p.m. at Cesar Chavez Park. Every Friday between May 6 and July 29th (except July 1st), 6,000 fans gather in the heart of the city to see a variety of local and nationally touring artists. This week’s concert will feature sounds and good vibes from DJ Eddie Z, Andrew Castro, They Went Ghost, The Element Brass Band and The New Kingston.

After the concert, be sure to keep your wristband on and head to one of the official CIP after party locations for specials and discounts. View the full list of official after party locations here. For more info on upcoming concerts, visit the CIP website.

Cesar Chavez Park
910 I Street
Sacramento, CA

National Beer Mile

Four beers. One mile. One awesome after-party! Need we say more?

The National Beer Mile tour rolls into Sacramento on Saturday, May 14th at Raley Field! This fun run is perfect for runners, social drinkers, fitness enthusiasts, and those who just want to get out and have a great time.  Drink a beer, run/walk/jog/dance/skip (whatever you want) your way a quarter-mile down the course, repeat three more times, then party at the open beer bar! This is a 21+ event so be sure to bring those IDs.

Tickets are $40 in advance and $50 on the day of the race. VIP and special group rates are also available. For more info, visit the National Beer Mile: Sacramento website .

Raley Field
400 Ballpark Dr.
West Sacramento, CA

Wine and Brew at the Zoo 

The SacFoodies recently gave away two tickets to Wine & Brew at the Zoo and if you weren’t our lucky winner, you can still experience everything the Sacramento Zoo’s annual event has to offer.  This exclusive after-hours event will feature 28 local wineries and breweries, live music, a silent auction and food from some of the best local food trucks. Best of all, guests will get to enjoy the spread while taking in the luscious green landscape and checking out exotic zoo animals. Proceeds and 10 percent of food sales will benefit animal care and the general maintenance of the zoo.

To purchase tickets, visit www.saczoo.org/wineandbrew, or call 916-808-5888

Sacramento Zoo
3930 W Land Park Dr.
Sacramento, CA

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May
05

Farm to Office: May 5th

By Brandon Smith

It’s officially that time of year! The Downtown Farmers’ Market season is upon us. Thursday, May 5th kicked off the Capitol Mall farmers’ market and we were not going to let the dark skies and 40 percent chance of precipitation keep us from the food.

Here’s a look at what the SacFoodies opted for on our first day back at the market:

Four varieties of wood-fired pizza from The Pizza Company.

Brandon Pizza

Photo courtesy of Brandon Smith

 

“Spicy Chicken over Rice” from Gyro 2 Go.

Kris Chicken and Rice

Photo courtesy of Kris Caputo

The Capitol Mall farmers’ market takes place every Thursday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., May through September.

Check back next Thursday for more of our favorite “Farm to Office” finds.

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May
02

Wine & Brew at the Zoo – And a Ticket Giveaway!

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Photo Courtesy of the Sacramento Zoo

If the idea of an adults-only evening where you can sip a glass of wine while checking out the giraffes at the Sacramento Zoo sounds like your kind of night out, then you’re in luck! The Zoo’s annual event is back, (they took a year off in 2015), and the new-and-improved version of the event sounds like it may just be a wild success.

Formerly known as the “Kings of Feasts,” the event has now been re-branded to “Wine & Brew at the Zoo.” This year, 28 local wineries and breweries will serve samples while guests are entertained by live music, a silent auction and of course the exotic zoo animals. Food will be available for purchase from local food trucks with 10% of the sales benefiting the non-profit Sacramento Zoo.

Here are the event details:

What: Wine & Brew at the Zoo

When: Saturday, May 14th, 2016 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Where: The Sacramento Zoo, located at the corner of Land Park Drive & Sutterville Road

Tickets: Purchase tickets online at www.saczoo.org/wineandbrew, or call 916-808-5888

And, SacFoodies has your chance to win tickets! Here’s how: Comment on this blog post OR on the SacFoodies Facebook post and tell us which winery or brewery you are most excited to try at the event (check out the complete list here). We will select a random winner on Friday, May 6th. Winner will be notified via email and/or via Facebook direct message.

Good luck!

SacZoo Wine Brew - vertical 2

Photo Courtesy of the Sacramento Zoo

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Apr
21

Darjeeling Gin is putting California Distilled Spirits on the map

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When our new intern, Brandon Smith, mentioned there was a new distillery in Auburn, my ears perked up – I just moved to Auburn and, while I am well aware of the many craft breweries and tap rooms popping up, I hadn’t yet heard about California Distilled Spirits. Much to my surprise, CDS has had a ton of press in recent months, earning accolades throughout the region and beyond. So I took a little jaunt to meet Ed Arnold, owner of CDS, to check things out. Here are my notes from the visit, “distilled” into the real essence of how Darjeeling Gin is made.

Darjeeling Gin – from tank to bottle and from label machine to the shipping box – is hand-crafted by Ed, he is a one-man operation. His wife and 20-something-year-old kids are there for support and his son developed the CDS website. But, all had a good laugh over his success as it relates to the “family totem pole” when it comes to cooking, as Ed explained that he is the “consumer” of the household and at the bottom of that totem pole. But now, with classical music always playing while he works, this former HP executive, has put all his efforts into cooking, ‘er distilling, the perfect gin.

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It all starts with the kettle, a hybrid still, sitting in the back of the warehouse in an inconspicuous industrial park. This is where the magic happens. Dry botanicals go in the upper, copper part and are held there during the process. Alcohol vapor then travels up the kettle steaming the botanicals and picking up the aromatics along the way, which is how the final product takes on the flavors of nine different botanicals.

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“A lot of experimenting went into the recipe until I finally got it right,” Ed says. Hints of juniper come through – and we know from the name that the blend includes Darjeeling tea, which happens to be Ed’s favorite tea – but I couldn’t quite put my finger on any of the other “proprietary” botanicals. The goal was for the flavor to not be “so intensely floral” and he has perfected a wonderful balance of spices and citrus, with just a hint of floral, for a very smooth and flavorful finish.

Ed says his Darjeeling Gin is made for drinking neat over ice, but it’s also very versatile and, mixologist or not, you can experiment with different flavors by adding a variety of syrups or juices, such as elderberry and lavender, lemon or orange, and seltzer for a refreshing gin fizz. And, if you are a traditionalist, Gin and Tonic will never be the same (in a good way) with Darjeeling Gin.

Another key to the smooth flavor: “We have very good water in Auburn,” Ed says. “That, and I was lucky to hit upon something that people actually like.”

Scratch that, Ed, people are not only liking your gin, they are loving it, and giving it rave reviews. In fact, Ed’s Darjeeling Gin won “Best in Show” in the 2014-2015 World Beverage Competition. Yes, world renowned, but currently only available for purchase here in California and, thankfully for us, in many retail locations, bars, and restaurants around the greater Sacramento region. Click here to find out where to buy Darjeeling Gin.

“Word of mouth, press, and other reviews have really helped me spread the word,” Ed explains. “Darrell Corti of Corti Brothers was my first sale. And, I started with Save Mart here in Auburn and now it’s in every (Save Mart) store.”

Word of mouth will help Ed even further when he opens his distillery for tastings and sales on Saturdays starting this summer, thanks to new California law that now allows craft distilleries to sell on premise just as breweries and wineries do. He’ll also debut his first small-batch whiskey this summer.

In the meantime, Ed will be serving up tastings at the Taste of Excellence, benefiting the Sierra College Foundation this Saturday, April 23, at Sierra College in Rocklin. And, on June 16, he’ll be poolside at Thunder Valley Casino for the Rocklin Chamber of Commerce event Glitz Glamour Girlfriends.

Visit Darjeeling Gin’s Facebook page for more upcoming events and tasting opportunities.

Cheers!

California Distilled Spirits

Darjeeling Gin

www.californiadistilledspirits.com

Auburn, CA

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Apr
19

National Amaretto Day

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Amaretto is one of my favorite liqueurs because of its sweet almond-flavor. Made from almonds or the pits of apricots, or a combination to the two, Amaretto is Italian for “a little bitter,” and originally made in Saronno, Italy – hence the brand name of the most popular brand Disaronno. It’s delightful to sip on the rocks on its own, or mixed in a variety of ways. So, in honor of National Amaretto Day today (who knew?), I’ve gathered a round-up list of my top five Amaretto cocktails from around the web:

  1. Classic Amaretto Sour – Amaretto over ice with simple syrup, lemon juice, an orange slice and a cherry. Yum! (Real Simple)

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    Photo Credit: Real Simple, Pinterest.com

  2. Amaretto Cranberry Kiss – Amaretto with cranberry juice and vodka. (Epicurious)
  3. Almond Joy Cocktail – Amaretto with cream of coconut, white creme de cacao, and heavy cream. (AllRecipes.com)
  4. Disaronno Milk Shake – Amaretto with milk and vanilla ice cream. (Disaronno)
  5. Italian Sunset – Amaretto with orange juice, club soda, and a splash of grenadine. (Food.com)

Have fun and experiment by adding your own unique twist to any of these recipes, and you’ll be on your way to pleasing any palate.

Cheers!

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Apr
18

Grilled Cheese Benedict at Bacon & Butter

By Brandon Smith

baconandbuttertextpng-300x46 bbcirclerlogopng-e1368302874966April is National Grilled Cheese Month and April 16 happens to be National Eggs Benedict Day. And while eggs benedict and grilled cheese don’t sound like two things to be celebrated at one time, the grilled cheese benedict from Bacon & Butter will have you questioning why this combination doesn’t have its own national day.

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I’ve been hearing nothing but great things about Bacon & Butter. Friends, coworkers and many an online review have given me no reason to think the food at Bacon & Butter is anything short of incredible. Pair the reviews with rumors of substantial lines forming outside before the doors even open, and you’ve officially peaked my (and my taste buds’) interest.

I crawled out from under my rock and dropped in on National Eggs Benedict Day to get my first taste of Sacramento’s Best Brunch and the infamous grilled cheese benedict.  To make a long story short, Executive Chef and owner, Billy Zoellin, and the rest of the Bacon & Butter staff did not disappoint. Two perfectly poached eggs and thick cut bacon rest atop a grilled cheese sandwich comprised of Cheddar, Jack and Mozzarella between two soft slices of Bella Bru Challah bread and a liberal amount of some damn-good hollandaise.

For me, this was a true embodiment of what brunch should be: a meal combing the basic flavors of breakfast and lunch with deliciously prepared ingredients in a unique way. Everything about Bacon & Butter exceeded my expectations from service, to atmosphere and, most notably, the food (especially the freshly made Bacon Pineapple Fritters).The fact they use Farm to Fork ingredients isn’t bad either.

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So well done, Bacon & Butter, you’ve successfully found a way to combine two seemingly different classics into a pair that fit together easier than Sunday morning. Check out the rest of the Bacon & Butter’s food, specialty cocktails and fresh baked goods here!

Bacon & Butter

5913 Broadway

Sacramento, CA 95820

http://baconandbuttersac.com/

 

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Apr
13

5th Annual Sacramento Beer & Chili Festival

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Coming up this Saturday, April 16th, the Sacramento Artists Council, a non-profit organization working to keep art and music in local public schools, will host the fifth annual Sacramento Beer & Chili Festival at Roosevelt Park.

As a big fan of beer and chili myself, (okay, you got me, mostly it’s the beer but I’ll take a side of chili) I actually checked out this event back in 2014, and the announcement of the 2016 event has me dreaming about Watermelon Wheat paired with the chili from Blackbird….YUM.

What can you expect at the Sacramento Beer & Chili Festival this year? Well, in addition to a competitive chili cook-off and beer tastings from more than 20 local and regional brewers, you can also enjoy live music from local acts like The California Stars and The Bitter Diamonds. The festival is dog-friendly and bike parking will be available.

Tickets for Sacramento Beer & Chili Festival are available for purchase online. And don’t wait – the price increases by $5 on the day of the event.

Cheers!

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Mar
18

10 Things You Didn’t Know About…

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SO 10 things

  1. I have 20 aunts and uncles. My parents each have 10 siblings. Perhaps that’s why they only had my brother and me!
  2. My grandmother started a few restaurants in Vacaville and Fairfield that are still open today. Even as a mom of 11, my amazing grandmother still fulfilled her dream of becoming an entrepreneur, and in a foreign country, at that! If you’re in the area, stop by Gordito’s in Fairfield or Azteca in Vacaville.
  3. My best friend and I hiked to Machu Picchu. During the summer of 2015, we headed out for an amazing adventure! In Peru, we hiked nearly 30 miles with other hikers from California, Ireland and Australia. After four days and three nights on the Salkantay trek, we reached Machu Picchu! It was the hardest, most rewarding experience I’ve ever had.
  4. I am currently taking Spanish classes. While my mom and extended family are fluent in Spanish, English is my first language. I can understand a lot of Spanish, but I’m a definitely a little rusty. I’ve recently begun watching Spanish novelas to help me learn. I’m currently following El Hotel de los Secretos—you cannot beat the drama!
  5. I love to paint in my free time. I mainly use watercolor, but I recently began experimenting with acrylic paints. Painting is great hobby and de-stresser for me. Unfortunately, I’m quickly running out of wall space in my apartment!
  6. Dog obsessed. If you lose me out in public, just look or listen for any nearby dogs. I’ll probably be sitting on the ground hanging with the pooches.
  7. Chocolate addict. When I first moved to midtown, I think there was one time where I visited Ginger Elizabeth three times in one week. I’ve since weaned myself down to three times a month. Progress!
  8. I escape in cooking. I’m all about experimenting and trying new recipes. It’s a fun easy way for me to unplug and take my mind off of work. My Saturday morning “It’s officially the weekend” ritual involves watching “The Pioneer Woman” and sipping my morning coffee in my favorite elephant-shaped mug. Bliss!
  9. I recently started reading for pleasure. I think I always dreaded reading because I was forced to read so much for school, but recently, I’ve found a few good reads that I just couldn’t put down. I just finished Tina Fey’s Bossypants—she’s my hero. I’m currently working on Amy Poehler’s Yes Please and Pearl Buck’s The Good Earth.
  10. I’ve got a love for vintage cars. My boyfriend is a major car guy and has taught me a lot about the beauty of classic cars in the past five years. Our favorite times have been aimlessly cruising around town in his VW Bug or his old Ford Model A.
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