Kate Washington: Foodie Views on Sacramento, Restaurant Finds and Our New Zagat Guide
In the dining world, many consider the Zagat guide the bible of restaurants for any given city. But it wasn’t until very recently that Zagat published one for the city of Sacramento… and we have our very own Sactown magazine to thank for that. Frequent readers of Sactown are familiar with the “Why Not Here?” section on the last page of every issue; and back in February of 2008, the co-editor-in-chief, Rob Turner, asked that very question about the Zagat guide. Zagat answered back, and the Sacramento Zagat guide was born….well, almost. Zagat enlisted the help of Sactown Contributing Writer Kate Washington, who penned the magazine’s current cover story on best breakfasts, to be the editor for the local guide. After compiling many, many consumer reviews and ratings of our city’s local eateries, the guide in all its glory is now available for purchase at a number of retailers including Zagat.com, Barnes & Noble and Borders.
A few of us Sac Foodies were lucky enough to have the opportunity to sit down with Sactown’s Kate Washington and pick her brain on where we and our readers need to eat in Sacramento and what life is really like as a food journalist. Here’s what we found out:
Sac Foodies: How did you become a food writer and what’s the best part?
KW: I’ve always been interested in food and first worked in the food publishing world when I landed a job as a copy editor at Williams-Sonoma Taste magazine. Later, I worked as associate food editor at Sunset magazine. I like being able to go behind the scenes and in-depth with chefs to really learn about the craft.
Sac Foodies: If you had to choose, what would you eat for your last meal?
KW: Roasted chicken with potatoes and leeks. And of course, upside-down pear gingerbread cake for dessert… it’s my mom’s recipe.
Sac Foodies: We imagine the glorious life of food journalism to include eating out all the time – is that how it is for you?
KW: I actually only eat out about once or twice a week – the rest of the time I cook at home, or we order takeout.
Sac Foodies: What’s your standby for takeout in a pinch?
KW: My husband and I often go for pho either at one of the many great places on Stockton Blvd. or at Pho Bac Hoa Viet on Broadway.
Sac Foodies: We’re thinking of doing a “Best Burger” week on Sac Foodies in the near future – what’s your pick?
KW: Taylor’s Kitchen [the new restaurant next to Taylor’s Market on Freeport Blvd.], the Waterboy, Nationwide Freezer Meats, the Squeeze Inn or Whitey’s in West Sac for the great atmosphere and fruit shakes in the summertime.
Sac Foodies: We have to ask – what would you recommend people do to continue being able to dine out in the difficult economic times?
KW: I suggest supporting the local food scene in small ways, if you can. We have so many inexpensive, diverse and delicious restaurants in Sacramento. Try going out for small plates, breakfast or lunch instead of a full dinner.
Sac Foodies: We recently started a weekly “Tightwad Tuesday” post series to tell readers about great deals around town. Have any suggestions for cheap eats?
KW: I go to Huong Lan on 65th and Stockton for Vietnamese subs. You get a huge sandwich on a baguette with grilled meats, veggies and herbs for just $2.50!
Kate was such a joy to meet with, and it’s always nice to be in the company of fellow Sacramentans who share a passion for all things foodie. As a contributor to Sactown, Kate and her team were nice enough to set us up with our very first giveaway. Intrigued? Check back next week for your chance to win a free subscription to Sactown!