Food and Fun in the Sun this Saturday

By Jessica Gunn

Summer is in full swing and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate than by having some fun in the sun and good food! Because is fun really fun without food? Check out these fun food events all happening this Saturday.

THIS is Midtown
This is not your average block party. Local artists like the LA Riots, Mike Diamond and My Cousin Vinny will be performing throughout the day rounded out by a beer garden and lots of vendors. The best part? This event is sponsored by Saint Archer Brewing Company, Pizzeria Urbano, LowBrau, and Azul Mexican food and Tequila Bar making it a FREE event! You can’t go wrong with THIS is Midtown.

July 8, 2017                                                                                                       4:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

20th St. between K and J streets                                                                 Sacramento, CA

More information here.

The Midtown Bizarre July
Identity Coffee is hosting their monthly pop-up shop on Saturday July 8. Vendors and artisans from around the area will be there selling goods and answering questions regarding their crafts. Bring the whole family and enjoy a cup of amazing, fresh brewed coffee while you shop.

July 8, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

1430 28th Street                                                                                 Sacramento, CA 95816

More information here.

Punk Rock Pizza Party 
If you love punk rock as much as you love pizza, this is the event for you. Bottle and Barlow is hosting their second annual foodie concert for the 21 and over crowd, featuring music from Setting Sons, and food from Pizza Supreme Being. Pizza and music? I’m there.

July 8, 2017
3:00 p.m.

Bottle and Barlow                                                                                           1120 R Street                                                                                                       Sacramento, CA 95811

More information here.

The Cocktail Academy
Have you ever wanted to learn how to bartend, but without the pressures of working in an actual bar? Here is your chance. Join Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company this Saturday July 8 for a master class in all things bubbly. Learn how to make sangria, sherry, and champagne cocktails while enjoying snacks and cocktail tastings. The best part…this is the first in a series of seven masterclasses covering all your favorite liquors! Tickets are $55, but save some money by buying more than one class.

July 8, 2017
2 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company
1630 S Street                                                                                                         Sacramento, CA 95811

Buy tickets and see more information here.


Pasta La Vista + Giveaway

There are a few things that foodies can’t say no to, and pasta is one of them! When Romano’s Macaroni Grill asked us if we would like to try some of their signature menu items AND have it delivered to the office, our answer was a resounding YES.

Cheyenne: Pasta the Chicken Parm my way! We were so excited to have the Macaroni Grill cater our lunch meeting last week. When they sent over the menu we were impressed by the variety available to us. “Create Your Own Pasta,” a multitude of signature entrees, sides and even dessert, made it really hard to pick exactly what we wanted to enjoy. We settled on two versions of the “Create Your Own Pasta”: Penne with Pomodoro and Penne with Pesto, pine nuts, sundried tomatoes and spinach (per the recommendation of the catering manager), Chicken Parmesan, salad, roasted veggies and, of course, rosemary peasant bread. The delivery was a breeze and Macaroni Grill set everything up, labeled each dish and provided us with all of the necessary essentials for us to enjoy our meal with the greatest of ease. The food was delicious! The pasta was cooked to perfection and the sauce tasted so authentic it was as if someone’s grandma was in the kitchen stirring the pot. The roasted veggies were still crisp and flavorful. I think the Chicken Parmesan was the real winner for the office. As soon as we sat down to eat, everyone raved over the dish. It was breaded perfectly, had just enough sauce and the most important part (to me at least) the CHEESE!  Overall the meal was delicious, the process was easy and the foodies were full and happy!

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Summer Sips, Greek-Style


Both Memorial Day weekend and the St. Anna Greek Food and Wine Festival in Roseville have officially marked the start of summer for me two years running. It’s never too early to mark your calendar for 2018 and plan to spend a day kicking off your summer, Greek-style.

When I think Greek festival, I think amazing, authentic Greek food – of course, custom and culture, too, but if I’m being honest, the food is top of mind for me. From Moussaka, to spanakopita, and a plethora of salads in between, you have to come hungry and try a little of everything.

But even better than the food this year was the special sampling of five imported Greek wines from vines throughout Greece. Didn’t know Greece was a wine producer, did ya? Well, Greece is one of the oldest wine-producing regions in the world, but Greek wine is not widely available here in the U.S. Well, until now that is, thanks to a local importer, Shaji Mathew, who is introducing Greek wines to festival-goers across the region. Now in their second year serving up the Greek Festival in Roseville, his imports are catching on and selling out by the glass.

Shaji and his wife, Vijna, have a belief in sharing the wines “from people who want to swim against the current,” Shaji says. They travel throughout the world to visit wineries and to meet winemakers, mostly those who produce 30,000 bottles or less from Greece, France, Spain, Italy, and Argentina, with plans for introducing some Mexican wines soon.

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California Honey Festival – The Direction of Sunbeams

by Laurel Harrison

“The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” – Henry David Thoreau

When I was in junior high, my mom started keeping bees on our farm. This meant that each year our pantry was stocked with thick, golden honey from our own backyard. To this day, I have a giant mason jar of my mom’s honey in my pantry, zealously hoarded and treasured. This familiar connection to beekeeping made me all the more excited to attend the California Honey Festival in Woodland, CA. Put on by the Honey and Pollination Center at UC Davis, the California Honey Festival was a celebration of all things honey and bee – a weekend of education, fundraising, and all-over honey appreciation.

That Friday, I had the opportunity to attend the VIBee Opening Night Reception for the festival. The event included an open mead bar done by Strad Meadery, honey-themed food from Morgan’s on Main, and a Burning Man-esque bee art car. I had a wonderful time seeing honey represented in such a variety of culinary ways!

The Honey Festival itself was held on Saturday morning, with Woodland’s Main St. shut down to accommodate the vendors and crowds. There were food trucks, craft vendors, educational sessions, kids’ crafts, and more booths on bees than I could count. The festival was packed, with something for everyone who attended.

My personal highlights included the mead speakeasy, honey tastings, and a section devoted to bee-friendly gardening. Because bees are such a vital part of our culinary ecosystem, we would be remiss to not recognize their importance in our foodie musings. All of the delicious tidbits we enjoy, both as a part of our job and on our own time, would not be possible without the hard-working honey bee.

I was so happy to see the community come together to educate and celebrate bees and the honey they produce. I look forward to attending this event for many years to come, and I can only hope it grows more and more successful as it continues.

At the beginning of this piece, I included one of my favorite quotes by Henry David Thoreau – “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” For me, honey is a little jar of all those directed sunbeams – an amalgamation of the agricultural bounty that surrounds us here in Sacramento. Through their dedication to the honey bee, the California Honey Festival managed to direct their sunbeams onto the bee world and the local community, shining a light on bee education, production, and preservation. The result was a wonderful, honey-sweet weekend.

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#PassThePepper and Give Big!

Today, non-profit organizations in the Sacramento community are encouraging people to participate in the Sacramento Region Community Foundation’s annual Big Day of Giving, a 24-hour online giving challenge to help raise funds for worthy causes in our area.

Food Literacy Center is partnering with Big Day of Giving once again and is encouraging everyone to #PassThePepper and help inspire kids to eat their vegetables. Just $25 will give one kid food literacy education for one week!

It is really easy to help Food Literacy Center meet their goal. Schedule your gift here: https://www.bigdayofgiving.org/foodliteracycenter. Every dollar donated today will be matched by The California Rice Commission.

So how can you #PassThePepper? Head over to the FLC Facebook page, share a post, tag a few friends encouraging them to give and #PassThePepper too!

It is that easy. Make a difference in the lives of kids with one click of a button. We’ll be passing the pepper and we hope you’ll join in!

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Farm-to-Court: A Day in the Golden 1 Kitchen

by Laurel Harrison

Did you know that we, as Sacramento-ans (Sacramentonians?) live in the largest arable valley in the world? We have access to a veritable cornucopia of fruit, vegetables, meat, wine, and beer, all in our very own backyard. It’s no wonder the farm-to-fork movement is successful in Sacramento when you take note of the big names in our corner; namely, Chef Santana Diaz, Executive Chef at the newly established Golden 1 Center.

Last week, the SacFoodies had the opportunity to peek behind the curtain and receive a full tour of the Golden 1 kitchens, led by Chef Diaz himself. We at SacFoodies love to support and learn more about local eats and establishments, so we jumped at the chance to learn more about Golden 1’s “90% from 150” program. Through this program, Chef Diaz and his staff source 90% of their ingredients from within 150 miles of the arena. As a foodie, I was fascinated – what does an arena kitchen look like sans “big box” food? What does a prep day look like when you have whole, fresh ingredients to prep for thousands of people?

Chef Diaz has set out to change arena food from the ground up, completely transforming what it means to make, buy, and eat food in a sports arena setting.

From the get-go, I was impressed by the attention to detail and hands-on nature of Chef Diaz and his team. There were no dark corners in this arena kitchen – everything was gleaming, pristine, and utterly dedicated to the production of quality food.  Even though I had been to the arena and eaten the food, I had no idea just how much of the arena food is done in-house. I got to walk through the walk-in freezers and see tub after tub of pickling jalapenos, pickles, and onions (for the nachos), rows of rising dough (for the pizza), and huge mixing bowls of ground lamb (for the gyros). Nothing calls to me like tubs of house-pickled jalapenos – if you’re pickling those bad boys in-house, I feel like I’m in good hands.

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Saucy in San Francisco

By Cheyenne Cameron-Pruitt

It’s the last week of National Sauce Month (*cue sad music*), but as they say, don’t cry because it’s over – smile because it happened! We’ve been getting saucy every single week, and this week is no exception.

We took our adventure on the road this weekend to San Francisco.  Nestled in a small space on Polk and Eddy Streets is Brenda’s French Soul Food. If not for the huge crowd gathered outside, it would be pretty easy to miss. Brenda’s boasts a large menu that blends French, Creole and soul food influences into creative takes on everyone’s favorites. You can taste the soul in the food and feel it in the atmosphere, making it well worth the 45 minute wait!

Even though everything looked fantastic, it was really easy to figure out what I wanted. Since it was breakfast time, and I was there for research purposes, I ordered the Eggs Benedict.

Eggs Benedict sounds like a classic breakfast. Poached eggs, English muffins and hollandaise sauce. Pretty straightforward, right? In any other case the Eggs Benedict wouldn’t be all that special, but at Brenda’s, I swear I heard a choir of angels sing when I saw my plate. When I took a bite, somewhere far away a butterfly shed a tear of happiness.

In all seriousness, this was best Eggs Benedict I have ever had. I think this dish represented the French, Creole and soul food influences so perfectly. Instead of the classic English muffin, the base of this dish was a fluffy and huge cream biscuit. Now for the exciting part: Brenda’s offers up the classic ham option, but also offers fried chicken and catfish as toppings. I opted for the fried chicken, but it wasn’t an easy decision.

Let’s talk about the hollandaise sauce – which is what I was really interested in – and how it upped my eggcellent experience by 1,000 percent. The usual slight citrus flavor of the hollandaise was replaced with a kick of Creole spices, but still managed not to overwhelm the flavors of the fried chicken and the biscuit. I have not stopped thinking about that sauce, I’m seriously worried I will never be able to enjoy Eggs Benedict the same way again!

I finished off my meal with an order of beignets. Brenda’s offers the classic flavor with simple powdered sugar, but also changes it up with chocolate filled, granny smith apple filled, and even a savory crawfish option. The crawfish option is filled with a mix of crawfish and cheese and is spiced like the hollandaise sauce. I was able to get a taste of all four options, and they were just as good as they sound, if not better. 10/10 I would them eat again.

Brenda’s is a great little spot for a weekend brunch or anytime. They’re very popular, so be prepared to wait awhile, but I promise it will be worth it!

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Beervana: Achieved

A wise person once said, “Beervana isn’t a place. It’s a state of mind, a sense of pure bliss and knowledge. It also happens to be held on the 5th St. Bridge.”

We here at SacFoodies had a great time getting to know more about local breweries and brewers in the month leading up to Sac Beer Week and Capitol Beer Fest, and on Sunday, March 12, we pulled into the final stop on “The Road to Beervana.” We slathered on our sunscreen, grabbed our tickets and made our way CBF!

Laurel: “I had a SUPERB time at Capitol Beer Fest. I was really excited to try a few of my favorite breweries, enjoy the warm weather, and explore new beers with the other SacFoodies. The fact that I could do this all within 10 minutes of my house was a huge plus for me, and my wallet!”

Favorite Beer: 21st Amendment – Blood Orange Brew Free! Or Die IPA

“I like blood orange in most beers (Anderson Valley Blood Orange Gose is also a favorite) because it’s refreshing and adds a nice tanginess. This IPA was refreshing but maintained its hoppiness, and I really enjoyed it.”

Favorite Food Truck: Bacon Mania

“To be fair, this was the only food truck I tried, BUT it was after careful consideration of all menus. We had the Bacon Mac n’ Cheese Loaded Fries – the perfect pre-beer food.”

Cheyenne: “Capitol Beer Fest was a blast! We’ve been excited about attending Capitol Beer Fest since we got our tickets in January, so going into it I wondered if I had built it up too much in my mind. Once we got there, though, it was just as fun as I imagined it would be! I’m not a huge beer drinker, so I was very happy that there were so many cider options. I had a great time!”

Favorite Cider: 2 Towns Ciderhouse– Made Marion

“I loved this cider so much! I’m very into ciders that stray away from the classic apple flavor, so this was a great experience. It is made from marionberries, which are basically an ultra-classy member of the blackberry family. It was light and crisp, and the sweetness came through without being overpowering.”

Favorite Food Truck: Bacon Mania

“As Laurel said, we only tried one food spot after a decent amount of menu research. I think that even if we had tried multiple places this still would have been my favorite. Bacon, mac n’ cheese, AND french fries! What’s not to love? This dish was seriously delicious and very filling. We could not finish the order between the two of us and it kept us going throughout the whole event!”

The food trucks were delish, the beer was blissful, and there were even cider options for the non-beer enthusiasts in the group. What more could you ask for?

This year’s Capitol Beer Fest hosted 120 craft brewers and saw a crowd of over 6,500 people. The funds from this event benefited the Runnin’ for Rhett Youth Fitness Program, and will allow over 5,770 children to participate in the program. We love drinking great beer, but nothing beats drinking great beer for a good cause. We absolutely plan on returning to CBF next year, and we hope we see you there!


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2017 Sacramento Food Film Festival – Tickets Now on Sale!


We’re almost a week away from one of the Sacfoodies’ favorite events of the year, the Sacramento Food Film Festival.  From thought-provoking food films, to the small bites and delicious dishes that accompany them, there is just too much to love about this annual festival.

Created in 2012, the Sacramento Food Film Festival was born from the idea that we need to educate the public about our food system, and work together to create positive change. The event brings educational films to Sacramento that are otherwise ignored by traditional theaters – and creates a community dialog to improve food literacy and inspire action to improve our food system.

Here is a taste of what’s in store:

April 1: Festival Premiere feat. Short Film Contest winners

April 4: Featured Film: Sustainable

April 5: Featured Film: City of Gold

April 8: Bourbon & Bites feat: short films about bourbon!

For more information, tickets or even to donate, visit the FLC website at: http://www.foodliteracycenter.org/film-festival



Slice of Sauce

“When the moon in the sky is a Bella Familia pizza pie, that’s amore.”

This week in Sauce News, the SacFoodies decided to keep it #saucy with Sac’s new food truck on the scene, Bella Familia Wood Fired Pizza. Bella Familia has a wood-fired pizza oven inside of their truck and invited the SacFoodies out to give it a try! We stopped by when they were parked at Track 7 Natomas – if you couldn’t guess it, beer and pizza are one of our favorite combos.

This truck is one of the few who happens to be gastronomically and aesthetically pleasing. Instead of the usual food truck structure, it has floor to ceiling windows along one side, allowing the customer to get an inside look at the wood-fired oven and the cooking process. We were surprised at how beautiful the truck was, and how fun it was to watch everything going on!

It was really hard to decide what we wanted to eat because all of the options sounded delicious! Since we knew we would be having a beer, Bella Familia recommended the “Marco.” We were truly grateful for that recommendation because it was absolutely delicious! The pizza was loaded with house-made roasted garlic ricotta, mozzarella, sausage and roasted red pepper. We’re not sure if it was the hands-on chef, the premium ingredients, or the wood fired oven, but this pizza was out-of-this-world good. One might even say it was “pizza pie in the sky” good.

You could taste the garlic in the ricotta, and the sausage had the perfect amount of spice. Pro-tip: If there are multiple people eating, order more than one pizza. Since the crust and ingredients are light and the pizza is on the smaller side, it’s easy to finish one by yourself. Since we were looking for a lighter meal, one was perfect for the two of us! Overall, our experience was amazing, and we definitely recommend checking out Bella Familia.

It’s a pretty great night when, at an industrial park in Natomas, you can enjoy Grade-A craft beer and wood-fired pizza. Nothing makes the SacFoodies happier than watching local restaurants and breweries thrive! The Bella Familia Wood-Fired Pizza Truck is a welcome addition to the Sac food scene and we’re happy to have them on our home turf. Ciao for now!

You can track down Bella Familia through their “Find Us” feature here!


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