By: Sara Ortega and Brittany Gillmor
‘Tis the season for holiday gatherings, and as you would imagine, the annual SacFoodies holiday celebration isn’t just your average potluck. We like to spice things up a notch (often literally), and this year was no different. Last week, the SacFoodies crew paraded down K Street with our Local Roots Food Tours guide, in search of all the best bites and sips we could find. If you haven’t experienced a Local Roots Food tour, we highly recommend it! It’s a great way to get a quality sampling of the hottest spots in Sacramento. Check out their different offerings here.
Here’s the low down on our tour of K Street:
Stop #1: Mayahuel
Known for its impressive selection of over 180 tequilas, Mayahuel’s food also speaks for itself. We sampled their signature soup—Crema de Chile Poblano—and let’s just say if you can’t handle the heat, maybe this isn’t the choice for you. For all of you spice-lovers out there, however—your taste buds will be in heaven! To wash it down, we sipped their refreshing Así sabe México, with fresh watermelon, cucumber, lime, chile and tequila. Delicioso!
Stop #2: Andy’s Candy Apothecary
Filled to the brim with a wide and ever-changing array of fine candy, Andy’s Candy Apothecary is a treat for both the eyes and palate. We had a chance to chat with Andy and taste some locally made caramels, chocolates and more—and boy, were the SacFoodies on a sugar high! Not only does Andy’s have some of the best treats in town, but they also have adorable gifts—Andy credits this aspect of the store to his lovely wife.
Stop #3: Empress Tavern
Only having opened a few months ago, Empress Tavern is still the new kid on the block. We were lucky enough to get a quick surprise walk-through, thanks to the awesome Local Roots Food Tours crew. The underground carvery is located in the basement of the historic Crest Theatre. The arching brick ceilings and soft, feminine accents create a dazzling ambiance. While we didn’t get a chance to sample the menu, we’ll definitely be returning to get a taste of Empress’ selection of rotisserie meats, cocktails and beers.
Stop #4: Mother
Mother has quickly made a name for itself with its vegetarian offerings that are in no way in lack of flavor. We sampled their Chicken Fried Mushrooms and Garlic Potatoes with Paprika Garbanzos. Trust us, meat lovers, you won’t be disappointed! Just thinking about the mushrooms makes us swoon. If you love calamari you’re likely going to love the Chicken Fried Mushrooms. Can’t wait to go back and have another bowl—one for each of us.
Stop #5: Cornflower Creamery
Located across from the State Capitol, Cornflower Creamery produces hand-crafted artisan ice cream using fresh, locally sourced, all-natural ingredients. This, as they call it, is the ‘Farm-to-Scoop’ experience. Some of our favorite flavors were Mayan Chocolate (with chile powder and cinnamon), Mocha Almond Fudge Swirl (with Temple espresso) and Panetone (with Marsala wine and candied fruits). We also got the behind-the-scenes scoop from Cynthia Broughton on how she chooses new flavor combinations—so inspiring!
Stop #6: Hock Farm Craft & Provisions
A celebration of the Sacramento region’s rich history and bountiful terrain, the restaurant is named after John Sutter’s Hock Farm. The menu constantly changes with the season and availability of local produce, paying homage to the region’s rich history of agriculture. We noshed on the Roasted Beet Salad (with baby & Tuscan kale, endive, pistachio, pear, Shaft’s bleu cheese vinaigrette), Pizza Margherita and Fanta Pork Sliders (orange soda-braised Beeler Farms pork, apple-cabbage slaw). As if our experience couldn’t get any better, we topped it off with Hock Farm’s “Daily Smash” cocktail and Heretic Chocolate Hazelnut Porter Beer.
By: Sara Ortega and Brittany Gillmor