Summer Salads with SacFoodies

We don’t know about you, but this summer weather makes us dread the heat and humidity that comes with cooking in the kitchen. Whether you live in a house with central A/C or a studio apartment with a feeble window unit, a Sacramento summer is no joke and we’re looking for every way to stay cool this season!

In an attempt to stay away from baking, roasting, and any sort of frying, we’ve whipped up some cool-as-a-cucumber salads that work as a workday lunch or for a family dinner – just adjust the measurements to fit your group.

Keep an eye on our story every Wednesday from now until the 27th for new salad ideas and how-to’s. First up? A kale salad that’s as simple as it’s delicious.

Oh Kale Yeah! 


1 bunch of kale
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes
1 medium-boiled egg


1 cup olive oil
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, smashed
1 pinch of salt
1 tbsp red chili flakes
lemon juice to taste


This salad is delish and is best prepped in advance so the kale can soak up the dressing. Kale is a tougher green and can hold a heavier dressing than lettuce, making it an ideal make-ahead work lunch.

Make the dressing and boil the egg the night before if time allows! This will save you time the next day and allow the dressing flavors to meld and intensify.

To make the dressing, peel and smash 3 garlic cloves and toss into a mason jar. If you like a heavier garlic flavor, add more! Combine the olive oil, balsamic, salt, red chili flakes and lemon juice to taste in the same mason jar. Shake to combine and set aside. Read more »

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Best Vegan Hot Spots in Sacramento


Sacramento – the city of trees and farm-to-fork living – is quite accommodating to its vegan friends. While not many restaurants are 100% vegan, you can often find totally vegan menus or offerings at many most-loved hot spots.

“Root Awakening Wrap” from Vibe Health Bar.

After going vegan about a year and a half ago, I’ve eaten my way through the city to find the best of the best—well, and the worst—but I won’t talk about that today.

Below are my tried-and-true top vegan picks for any occasion. Looking for a recommendation that wasn’t covered here? Leave a comment; I’m here to help!

Best Baked Goods: Pushkin’s Bakery

If you’re a Sacramento native, this will absolutely come as no surprise. Holy moly does Pushkin’s do vegan goodies well. If you have time to spare, my best piece of advice is to visit on a Sunday when they offer an array of vegan doughnuts. The line around the block is proof of their goodness!

Best Brunch: Hook & Ladder

While I absolutely love everything at Pushkin’s Restaurant, no brunch is a true brunch without a Bloody Mary. And Hook & Ladder does it well. And fortunately, they have a yummy vegan menu for that other important part of the brunch deal.

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Lazy Dog Spring Menu

The SacFoodies love trying new restaurants, especially on a sunny spring day. When we were invited to lunch at Lazy Dog, we quickly “barked” yes! The foodies (and puppy foodies in training) headed out to Roseville to try the spring menu.

Jessi: To start, I had the Huckleberry Mule! I’m a big fan of mules, especially when they are served in a metal mug (as every good mule should be). This mule contained craft vodka, ginger beer, lemon, soda, and huckleberry puree. I really loved how fruity this drink was without being too sweet. As my first course, I had the slow-cooked lentil soup. This thick and flavorful soup was a great starter! It was delicious during lunch and even more delicious leftover when the evening got a little chillier. For my main course, I had the BBQ Veggie Burger. Now, I am very picky when it comes to veggie burgers, because it’s just so easy for them to be dry and boring. This burger, however, was delicious and moist thanks to the combination of black beans, ancient grains, and beets. Plus, it was topped with roasted garlic, pickles, and fried onion strips which are my all-time favorite burger toppings. I would 100% order again! The spring menu was very well put together and you could tell a lot of thought went into curating this collection. I’ll definitely be back! Read more »

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Sacramento Mother’s Day Spots


There are countless ways to celebrate Mom this weekend: brunch, flowers, a handwritten card, you name it. Being in a city like Sacramento is a blessing and a curse because there are just so many fantastic options to choose from, it can be a little overwhelming at times. To help you choose, the SacFoodies asked for a little inspiration from the rest of the team here at FleishmanHillard Sacramento.

Jessi: This year I’m taking my Mom to Fox and Goose for brunch! My family is British, and the authentic UK fare at this pub is a welcome reminder of home. You can’t go wrong with the Full English Breakfast with eggs, British bangers, and baked beans.

Amanda: I’ll be sharing Mai Tais with my mom on the beach in Maui! **Pro-Tip** If you can’t quite make the trip to Hawaii, a cocktail from Jungle Bird is a great option!

Liz: I’m taking my mom for a Mother’s Day lunch to Lucca. I haven’t been there in years, but I love their outdoor seating area and thought it would be perfect for Sunday – just the right mix of a casual setting yet upscale food. And also hopefully not quite as crowded as some other spots around town!

Laurel: I love buying Full Belly Farm flower bouquets from the Sacramento Co-op as Mother’s Day gifts! They’re seasonal, local and absolutely beautiful. Usually you can find a variety of sizes and color options depending on what Mom loves, so it’s a great choice for Mother’s Day. You can also find succulents from @thepricklypear in the same section of the Co-op, and the little Bell jars they come in are adorable. If you or your Mom have allergies, a little succulent can be a great alternate.

Alexa: I actually won’t be with my mom this Mother’s Day (sad!) but if I were, I’d take her to my fave brunch spot, Pushkin’s Restaurant.

Harrison: This year, I got my mom a wine opener! **Pro-Tip** Take your mom for a glass of wine at Revolution! They do amazing wine flights and have a special brunch menu on Sunday.

Tricia: My brother made my mom a garden cart for her new garden and we (the whole fam and our sig. others) plan on spending the weekend painting it into a custom piece of art so every time she uses it, she will have a wonderful memory attached to it. **Pro-Tip** For the less artistic gardeners, The Plant Foundry has beautiful gift’s for mom and her garden.

Vanessa: I’m making brunch for my mom! But my plan is to make two breakfast casseroles the night before, chill overnight, bake in the morning and enjoy so I’m not having to (really) cook on Mother’s Day. I’ve chosen two recipes, one sweet and one savory, from Taste of Home: Overnight Asparagus Strata and Bananas Foster French Toast.

Shelly: Definitely feeling the love this Mother’s Day weekend. Flowers arrived from my boys yesterday, and there is a rumor of some fun plans for the weekend. I’m not sure what they have in store, but anything will be great…as long as there are waffles. Rumor is  Meadowlands in Sloughhouse has the best brunch around. Hint. Hint.

Cheyenne: My mom and I both have a love for a good mimosa! Our favorite place to grab mimosas and brunch is Cafeteria 15L. A table on the patio, enjoying the fresh air and yummy food is how we plan on spending Mother’s Day.

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Put Your “Backbone” Into It: New Lunch Spot on J and 8th Brings Fresh Life to the Area

by Laurel Harrison

If you work or live in Downtown Sac (like the SacFoodies), you know that the neighborhood has been growing by leaps and bounds since the Golden 1 Center opened its doors in late 2016. Construction is everywhere, food trucks abound and new restaurants are popping up as fast as we can try them.

One newcomer is Backbone Café, located near the corner of J St. and 8th St. You might’ve noticed the striking mural on the face of the restaurant. A previously nondescript wall, the storefront is a now an arresting shade of burgundy, decorated with a spine that meets an abstract pineapple at the top. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’ll know it when you do. The SacFoodies started hearing about Backbone a few months ago and were excited to see that this hip, seemingly Midtown-esque eatery was putting down roots in the heart of Downtown. We’re always looking for an easy and delicious workday lunch spot, and it seems like Backbone fits the bill.

Backbone is run by brothers Joey and Tomas Woolston, who decided to open the restaurant after a spinal injury derailed Joey’s focus on martial arts. If you were wondering where the name came from, Chef Joey freely tells the story of how he fell off a giant pineapple (yes, you read that correctly) at Burning Man and broke his back. Months of rehabilitation turned into a focus on wellness and healthy cooking, which subsequently turned into a restaurant featuring all wellness foods. Backbone Cafe’s menu doesn’t ascribe to a specific diet or health fad, but every dish on the menu could be something out of an athlete’s book – lean proteins, tons of veggies and made-from-scratch sauces. Read more »


We Have Our Eyes on the Fries

If you follow the blog, you know that SacFoodies love attending Sacramento food festivals. They’re the perfect environment to try new restaurants and food trucks, all while surrounded by fellow foodies. The Sac Fry Fest, held at Roosevelt Park in late April, gathered Sacramento’s tastiest loaded fries into one spot, along with beer and cider, live music, and more! We tried fries from three different trucks, and they all exceeded our expectations. Here’s a lineup of the fries we tried:

Sisig Fries from Wandering Boba – Crisp shoestring fries topped with citrus-pepper marinated pork, ground chicharrones, diced white onion, jalapenos, and the crown jewel: an over easy egg. These fries were a game-changer. The spicy jalapeno, onion and luscious egg yolk went together wonderfully. They didn’t skimp on pork either, which was much appreciated.

Hefty Fries from Hefty Gyros – Grilled chicken on top of crinkle fries with tzatziki sauce, mild sriracha BBQ sauce, special seasoning, pepperoncinis and feta cheese. We had our eyes on these fries from the moment we got tickets to the festival. Something about tzatziki and feta with a bite of sriracha is unbeatable. These fries were so delicious!

Loaded Pizza Fries from On the Fry – Crispy fries topped with marinara sauce, melted mozzarella, pepperoni, and heaps of fresh basil. Yeah, you read that right. This pizza/French fries hybrid was cheesy and the perfect amount of spicy. Who knew pizza was 10 times better served on fries instead of crust?! These fries were also available on potato skins, if you’re feeling crazy.

Last but not least, we washed our meals down with some Bike Dog IPAs. All the proceeds from beer and cider sales benefited the Friends of Front Street Shelter, so we enjoyed our beverages while helping animals in need. Truly a win-win.

Overall, this festival was a huge hit! Granted, anything involving the words “loaded fries” can’t be bad, but the set up of this festival made it all the better. Buying tasting tokens at the door made for zero lines at any food trucks, and the large open space offered plenty of seating. #SacFryFest, we can’t wait til next year! Until then, does anyone know if these food trucks deliver? 🙂


SacSmoothies Roundup

You know the SacFoodies LIVE for a fabulous breakfast – eggs benedict, bacon, biscuits, you name it. That being said, most weekday mornings don’t lend themselves enough time for a full-on cooked breakfast. We’ve discovered that smoothies are the perfect speedy snack for a busy morning and can be just as delicious as the full *breakfast experience.* There’s now a big group in the office that makes smoothies as their breakfast or mid-day snack and we’re highlighting some fun and easy smoothie recipes for our foodie friends.

For the next three weeks, we’ll show off our favorite morning smoothie recipes and will share our best smoothie-licious tips. Whether you’re working with a decade old Magic Bullet or a brand-new Vitamix, these smoothies are all easy to throw together, portioned for one (no messy leftovers here!) and a great way to kick start your weekday. Check back here each Wednesday for a new smoothie recipe, and follow along on Instagram to see us in action!

Pro Tip: If you make a smoothie every day, or even every week, we recommend buying some reusable straws. We like the silicone ones you can find here, but there are also stainless steel and glass options. It’s better for the environment and better for your budget in the long haul!

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Sacramento Farm-to-Fork All Stars

By Sidney Burt

Since proclaimed America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital in 2012, Sacramento is making its mark on the culinary map. With local chefs and restaurants regularly populating top 100 lists, the city is bustling with high-caliber food and top-notch talent. And finally, one of the food scenes most sought after events is giving Sacramento the recognition it deserves.

This year, Pebble Beach Food & Wine is hosting a collaboration of ‘Sacramento’s Farm-to-Fork All Stars’. An event that will feature nine of Sacramento’s finest culinary heroes and highlight the beauty of Sacramento cuisine. Tickets are still available and undoubtedly, worth the hefty price, but, if you can’t swing the weekday getaway, no need to feel left out.

Lucky for Sacramento residents, you can venture to one of the featured chefs’ establishments just about any night of the week. No matter what you’re craving, or perhaps you just want to create your own ‘Sacramento Food & Wine’ adventure, don’t wait to visit one of these fine establishments.

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Mimi’s Café New Kids Menu


As parents of three kids under the age of 4, my husband and I have our hands full, to say the least. When it comes to dining out, I have an entire preparation strategy that I’ve perfected over the years. Extra crayons and coloring books to avoid boredom? Check. Water bottles in case the restaurant doesn’t have cups with lids? Check. Snacks to keep them busy when they’re starving before the food arrives? Check. Extra veggies in case there’s nothing on the kid’s menu that is somewhat healthy? Check. Check. Check.

When the folks at Mimi’s Café contacted SacFoodies and invited us to try their new “interactive” kids menu, I raised my hand (well, actually five hands for my family). On the day of our reservation, I did all of my usual pre-restaurant preparations and loaded up the kids into the car (Tupperware of carrot sticks in tow) to meet my husband at the Arden location.

Knowing we were representing SacFoodies, the staff went above and beyond to make sure we had a good experience from when we stepped foot in the restaurant, but I did also notice a similar level of pleasantry with other diners. (Full disclosure: Mimi’s provided our meals free of charge.) Great service aside, we were very interested in seeing this new kids menu. As usual, my 3 ½ year old was “staaaarving.” I hadn’t done any homework so wasn’t sure what to expect from the menu (I typically do a quick scan of the kid’s menu online before dining out to make sure there’s at least one thing my kids will eat).

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2018 Food Film Festival Fun!

It’s that time of year again – the birds are chirping, the flowers are blooming and Food Literacy Center’s annual Food Film Festival is about to kick off! The Food Film Festival supports Food Literacy Center’s mission to teach kids about healthy eating, and you get to enjoy a fun evening supporting a great cause. Have you bought your tickets yet? Read on for an overview of the different events and we hope to see you there!

Opening Night Film Screening
When: April 11, 2018 | 6:00pm – 9:00pm
Where: Lucca Restaurant & Bar
Tickets: $65 – SOLD OUT
Film: Wasted! The Story of Food Waste – Nari Kye & Anna Chai
What: Enjoy an intimate dining experience while watching the feature film of the evening, with wine pairing available for purchase.

Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent
When: April 9, 2018 | 6:00pm
Where: Crest Theatre
Tickets: $15 – $20 – click here to purchase
Film: Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent
What: Famed chef Jeremiah Tower will be at the Crest Theatre to present the food documentary about his storied career. Created by Anthony Bourdain, the film begins with Tower’s entrance into the industry and follows his rise and tumultuous times that made him into America’s first “celebrity chef.”

Saturday Night Shorts
When: April 14, 2018 | 5:30pm – 8:00pm
Where: Historic Colonial Theatre
Tickets: $50 – click here to purchase
Short Films: Operation Apple (Giselle Kennedy); Food City: Feast of the Five Boroughs (Lars Fuchs & Matthew Fleischmann); Camelina (Lucas Bryce); Super Veggies (The Superha Family); Hand Picked (Casey Toth); Tuka (Ian Midgley)
What: This fast-paced evening features food from top chefs, short food films and a comedy pun-off. Featured chefs include Ernesto Delgado of Mayahuel and Edward Martinez of Milk Money, among others.

Broccoli HQ Night
When: April 21, 2018 | 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Where: Leataata Floyd Elementary School
Tickets: $150 – click here to purchase
Film: Lunch Line
What: At Broccoli HQ Night, community leaders will gather for the first-ever public experience on the future Broccoli HQ site. The evening will showcase a preview of the architectural drawings of Broccoli HQ. This Food Film Festival finale event features small bites from an all-star cast of local chefs and a “school lunch” dinner prepared by Sacramento Unified School District’s Nutrition & Food Services team.
Featured chefs include Rick Mahan (Waterboy), Kurt Spataro (Paragary’s), Billy Ngo (Kru), Chris Jarosz (Patriot), Santana Diaz (UC Davis Health) and Whole Foods.

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