Archive for the ‘Restaurants in Downtown Sac’ Category
Trending Foods To Keep an Eye On This Autumn/Winter 2013
2013 started out with a bang in food revolution and consumers thinking outside of the box in the way they normally eat. A few of the biggest trends to hit the restaurant scene in the beginning of the year were tasting menus, fermenting, food trucks, sustainable seafood, restaurant gardens, molecular gastronomy and charcuterie everything just to name a few. With only a few months remaining in the year Local Roots Food Tours has been asked what else is there to look forward to in the upcoming months in the food arena? We have picked out the top trends we are seeing right now or are on the forefront of trending in the beginning of 2014.
What’s Ahead……Top 10 Trends:
1. Move over Kale….the new green on menus is Collard Greens. Collard greens are loaded with vitamins A and K, cancer-fighting antioxidants, and fiber. This is a staple in the south with most any meat dish but the trend is moving nationwide and soon to hit menus in restaurants jumping on board the collard green movement.
2. Prep for a crudite’ awakening as raw vegetables get posh. In their most natural state is where the greatest flavors and health benefits come in to play – watch farmers getting creative with varietal colors in carrots, cauliflowers and potatoes but keeping it raw when they find themselves on the plated salads and sides.
3. Customers want in on exclusive ticketed dining events (hence the reason Sacramento’s Farm to Fork Tower Bridge Dinner sold out within 48 hours once tickets were available!) so get ready for more local chefs continuing to collaborate with local farmers in some creative barn dinners, food and wine pairing symposiums and delicious themed dinners….but be ready to pay a hefty price. The more exclusive the event, the higher the price tag……which results in bragging rights with your friends on which exclusive dinners you attended this fall.
4. Smacarons – with cheese! Forget the sweet, saccharine macarons you thought you knew, this savory sensation is on our list for snacking and will be replacing all desserts and cheeseboards this autumn so keep your eyes peeled at local bakeries such as Estelle’s Patisserie and Ettore’s Bakery and get ready for a tasting of Smacarons!
5. Can I get a Drum(roll) with that Rum! Rum is back — and it’s not just for pirates anymore. People are even distilling it in New England, as they did almost two centuries ago. Supposedly, rum is enjoying a “big resurgence” across this land of ours. The best part? This means it is finally cool to order daiquiris. ”It’s such a simple drink and it’s delicious and there are just three ingredients: white rum, lime juice and simple syrup,” a San Francisco bartender told Food and Wine. And who are we to argue?
6. Ramen Burger Revenge! Move over Cronuts…….there is a new food craze starting to sweep the nation whether it be thru a food truck window or a casual restaurant who “gets it” that ramen noodles are not just for poor college students anymore! The Ramen Burger is an all-beef patty, sandwiched between two ramen noodle “buns.” It’s garnished with a secret Shoyu sauce, arugula and green onions. The flavor is a salty-sweet combination, but the texture of the buns is what makes this burger so enticing. Who will be the first on the food scene to announce their Ramen Burger Creation?
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Gourmet on ‘K’ Culinary Walking Tour is everything gourmet along one of Sacramento’s most historical areas. Tour participants will be guided down Sacramento’s original main street exploring the beautiful architecture with many stories dating back to the mid 1800?s. Learn stories along the walking route such as how Sutter selected the area along Front and K streets to harvest lumber for his fort and how the famed street became the premier location for department stores, theaters and hotels. Even locals will enjoy this culinary excursion, enlightening their views of the most controversial street in Sacramento.
Sacramento has recently been named the “Farm to Fork Capital of the Nation” by Mayor Kevin Johnson. K Street is seeing an urban revitalization with more and more empty storefronts becoming filled with excellent foodie establishments along with some local dive bars that boast locally produced ingredients on their menus. Join Local Roots Food Tours as they share with their participants what’s “hot” on local farm to table cuisine by experiencing up to 6 different stops along “Downtown on Kay”.
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We tour all around different cities looking for what might be a winner and hot topic to talk about with our food tour participants. Trying to stay ahead of the kitchen mallet as to what is trending compared to what is here to stay in the culinary arena has its perks and challenges. Local Roots Food Tours has compiled their top finds on what you might experience in 2013 while on your “foodie adventures.”
Top 10 Culinary Trends For 2013:
1. Chef’s behind closed curtains is a thing of the past. 2013 will continue to bring celebrity (as well as local chefs) front and center hosting special themed culinary events, symposiums and contribute to hands-on cooking classes. No more hiding behind the frying pan – their talents and passion will continue to be exposed with many culinary events. We are looking forward to seeing more of our local executive chefs come out and support Sacramento’s Farm to Fork Capital of America efforts by offering some pretty awesome cooking events in and out of their kitchens in 2013.
2. Restaurant gardens – Whether it be in back alley gutters or a transformed back lot, gardens are popping up all over the nation. Chefs cite many logical reasons why restaurant gardens are a good idea: cost, convenience, control, sustainability. The concept of in-house farming is hardly new and the trend has hit far and wide—there are countless restaurants tilling their own soil and planting the seeds for vegetables that will eventually appear on a customer’s plate. A small farm adjacent to an eating establishment keeps that path from farm to table about as short as it can get. One example we love is share is Mineral Restaurant in Murphys, CA. Executive Chef Steve Rinauro and partner/co-owner Maya Rinauro have been busy planting, weeding, watering and harvesting their restaurant garden in 2012. Their farm to table philosophy is lived vivaciously every day in their vegetarian menu. For those restaurants who don’t have the option of a garden out their back door, buying plots of land in local farms creates a great option. One local farm in Sacramento, Feeding Crane Farms offers such plots to local Sacramento chefs…..the next best thing to offer local farm ingredients.
3. Nordic food is out – Peruvian and Korean food is in for 2013.
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Sacramento is always being highlighted for something, but did you know Restaurant News recently named Sacramento as the city whose “Restaurants Sizzle”? Sacramento has evolved into a vibrant dining Mecca. Time magazine has also named Sacramento the most diverse city in America, which is reflected in the many flavors found in restaurants throughout the region. Be adventurous and ready to be entertained as you join Local Roots Food Tours in one of their 3 culinary tours in downtown Sacramento.
Taking time to explore the back streets by foot, taking your palate on a culinary journey is what Local Roots Food Tours is all about. Savoring, Learning, Exploring and Connecting its locals and tourist to Sacramento’s cuisine, culture and history. Their tours are a great way to get acquainted with the local food scene, and a great activity for visitors, families, and co-workers alike. They harness the power of great food to unite people, no matter their race or creed. Spend three hours learning and tasting, and you’re sure to come away a bit more enlightened than you already were. Book some time for you or your group and take a well-rounded sample of some delicious foods, from iconic restaurants to the hidden gems — you’ll see what the buzz is about! Local Roots Food Tours offers four tours in Sacramento; each distinctly different. City of Trees Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour and our Origins of Sacramento Food and Cultural Walking Tour are offered 6 days a week, custom group tours can be arranged as well. Their newest food tour experience is offered Wednesday and Thursdays; Market to Plate Executive Chef Lunch Tour
So you say you have a sweet tooth but don’t know how to appease the cravings you have for delectable desserts? Local Roots Food tours is going to take you on a virtual dessert tour through some of Sacramento’s hot dessert spots….maybe even a little hidden gem or two. Kick up your feet with your cup of Joe and let’s get salivating, shall we? By Bethany Heckman – Tour Guide of Local Roots Food Tours
Our walking food tours take ticket holders through a food adventure 5 days a week. We are treated to some amazing food along our tour route. Our motto on our tours is simple: Eat, Walk and Talk. But how about INDULGE? We love it when our food tour pastry chefs sugar us up! We have found some amazing dessert stops that kick up our toes and hit our sweet tooth in just the right way. Shall I go on? Here’s a sneak peak of what is behind the sweet nothing curtain in Sacramento’s dessert dining scene:
If you aren’t in the mood to tackle defrosting a 19 pound turkey and can’t think of making another dish of stuffing, then maybe dining out for the holiday is a better idea. I’ve put together a list of some of the restaurants that are serving Thanksgiving dinners. Take a look at some of the dishes online and you may just change your mind on hosting the holiday this year! Another plus: NO DISHES! Remember: many of these restaurants REQUIRE a reservation. Don’t forget to book early! – Blog post written by Bethany Heckman
Fresh vegetables, herbs and fruits in cocktails?
Exploring Sacramento’s fresh farm ingredient cocktails by pedaling through downtown!
By Bethany Heckman, Local Roots Food Tours Guide
Grange Restaurant & Bar
926 J St - Inside Citizen Hotel
Sacramento, CA 95814
Happy Hour: Monday-Friday 3pm-6pm
The Citizen Hotel is a stunning building with an ominous presence in downtown Sacramento so the fact that there is a beautiful bar/restaurant inside is a bonus. The Grange is a farm to table restaurant, offering fresh and local ingredients for each of their dishes. Walking into the Grange you immediately notice their lovely large bar showcasing liqueurs and bottles of spirits. The bartenders are constantly chopping, cutting, and peeling fresh produce: mint, oranges, cucumbers, lemons and ginger. The Grange is a hot spot in downtown Sacramento and known for their fresh summer cocktails. As often as possible they use fresh ingredients to give customers a true taste of garden cocktails. For example, the “Zarzamora,” Don Q rum, Veev acai liquor, blackberry-vanilla syrup, lime, mint. When I spoke with the bartenders at the Grange they let me in on a little secret of a cocktail they were just creating: so new it didn’t even have a name yet. It begins with a 12 year old Zaya Rum blended with a house made fresh nectarine and mint syrup (similar to a smoothie) to bring out the fresh fruity taste of the nectarine. Then, a little fresh squeeze of lemon juice is added and poured as a sipper cocktail.
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Get Your Freshly Ground Hamburgers Here!
Local Roots Food Tours Guide Bethany Heckman goes Behind the Hamburger Scene
There is nothing more American than a burger and fries. But who wants meat that has been frozen for 6 months and floppy produce to top their hamburger? Not this girl. I took it upon myself to delve into Sacramento’s restaurants and research places that boast using FRESH ground meat and FRESH delicious fixin’s. Bon Appetit!
Nationwide Freezer Meats
1930 H St
Sacramento, CA 95814
Serving fresh ground steak burgers since 1969, Nationwide is a Sacramento staple. Nationwide boasts about their quality of meat used in each hamburger- Harris Ranch steak that is freshly ground to order. Each patty weighs 1/3lb. Tasting the French Ground Steak burger you understand why they take pride in their burgers. The fresh beef flavor shines through right after your first bite. Each patty is cooked to the perfect temperature, making sure it doesn’t dry out on the grill. The fresh baked French roll bun is served on is light and airy and fabulous. The vegetables used to top the burger are fresh and crisp: red onion, tomato, lettuce and crunchy dill pickles. (for a little extra I always add the grilled onions and mushrooms) The special sauce is to die for. I always ask for more because it doesn’t take away from the taste of the fresh meat, it only enhances it. Don’t forget to add a side of their house made fresh steak fries!!
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Local Roots Tour Guide, Bethany Heckman steps behind the Italian deli counter at Sampino’s Towne Foods.
If you’ve ever stepped foot inside Sampino’s you’ll know the physical reaction you have to the place. Instantly, your taste buds awaken, you’re sense of smell ignites and you are quickly ready for one thing: Ready. To. Eat.
Coming from an Italian family myself, I knew that I would instantly fall in love with this place. My grandparents both came from Italy and opened a deli/restaurant similar to this one in Northern California. The minute I tried the food, I was hooked.
If you are seeking fresh, local and mouth-watering food- look no further than Sampino’s. Tucked away next to a Laundromat, fast food Chinese and a bail bonds company, you would never expect this little hidden jewel on the fast paced 16th Street.
Sampino’s is one of our tour stops on our Local Roots Food Tour; City of Trees. Sampino’s has quickly become an instant favorite. Tastings of button and porcini mushroom risotto to the handmade mezzaluna stuffed pastas and cappuccino/pistachio gelato, Sampino’s has a knack for food which is why we chose them to be on our food tour!
Owners father Bill, his son Michael and daughter in law Gabi have turned Sampinos into a tucked away hot spot. But the word has gotten out about this treasure. So much so, Sampino’s is launching their debut dinner menu this Friday night, August 26. The owners of Sampino’s have seen the demand their customers are looking for. Food after 4 pm. Chef Craig Takehara has joined the Sampino team by donating many hours of his time while teaming with the Sampinos in creating a dinner menu that speaks right to one’s palate. Chef Takehara will be joining the Sampino Team if these dinners go as well as anticipated. “We looked around for someone with the same values we cherish. Quality food, fresh ingredients and a devotion to service. That is what this family business is about,” says owner Michael. “There are plenty of chefs in the area but we feel we found the one that will best fit in with us here at Sampino’s.” Chef Takehara has lived primarily in Los Angeles but was trained mostly in Japan. “You may think it’s odd to have a Japanese chef at an authentic Italian restaurant, but you’d be surprised,” says Takehara. “I learned the most about Italian cooking while in Japan. The Japanese are passionate about noodles and rice. Similar to Italian cooking.”
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Bethany Heckman (Local Roots Food Tours Guide) takes us down Happy Hour Lane in Sacramento.
With the temperatures warm, it becomes obvious that Happy Hour in Sacramento is a summer staple. With restaurants offering fun summer cocktails, we’ve outlined 7 Local Hot Spots that are featuring fun and delicious new summertime drinks!!!
1116 15th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Monday- Friday 4pm-7pm
Cafeteria 15L features the “Cabo Cooler”: Cazadores Reposado and Apple Pucket, muddles with fresh strawberries and oranges and topped with fresh orange juice. Yum! If you aren’t much of a tequila drinker, try the “Loose Juice”: Hendricks gin, St. Germain, muddles with cucumber and lime, topped with soda water. It’s to die for. Cafeteria 15L also offers yummy bites to eat at an amazing price!
Ella Dining Room & Bar
1131 K St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
Monday- Friday 3pm-7pm
Ella not only offers a beautiful area to sip the night away, the drinks are beautiful as well.
“The Georgia Porch” is perfect for summer sipping: Four Roses bourbon, crème de peche, Amaro Ciociaro, lemon, egg whites and a touch of cinnamon. Delicious. Or try the simple peach mojito, white rum, peach puree, mint and lime, keep in mind the house made peach puree is made with the freshest of summer crops!
With blueberries in season, the margarita that Ella offers is a delight. 100% Blue Agave Blanco tequila, Delta blueberries (keepin’ it local!), agave syrup, combier and lime! Cheers to you!
Tapa the World
2115 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
Enjoying the outdoor patio Tapa the World offers is amazing. Just add these two cocktails and you have yourself an amazing evening. “The Caipirinha”: Aged Brazilian Cachaca muddled with TONS of fresh cubes of lemons and lime. After trying a Caipirinha, move on to the “Kasbahpolitan”: Level One vodka, fresh (and delicious!) pomegranate juice and cointreau. Ask them to muddle a fresh lemon in the glass before pouring and it adds an extra kick that makes all the difference! Add something off their tapas list and you have an amazing evening all ready to go.
1531 L St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
With names like Passion Punch and Zen-tini you know MIX downtown is a hot spot for Happy Hour patrons. The “Forbidden Fruit” cocktail: Grey Goose La Poire (pear) vodka, Cointreau, muddled fresh strawberries and basil topped with fresh juice and a splash of soda… Is your mouth watering yet? How about “Fire & Ice”: Bacardi Superior, Bacardi Grand Melon, agave nectar, muddled fresh cucumber and jalepeno with fresh lime juice. Just think of what your tongue will do! What a great combination of cool and warm flavors! Stop by today and let your mouth have a summer vacation of its own.
1801 Capitol Ave
Sacramento, CA 95811
Phone: (916) 441-0303
Nothing says summer like margaritas. At Zocalo, margaritas are their speciality. Try the “Corazon Puro”: 100% Blue Agave Blanco, Canton Ginger, fresh pomegranate juice, agave and fresh squeezed lime. Wow! If you’d like a little more fruit, try the “Zocolo Blackberry Margarita”: tequila, fresh blackberries, agave and fresh lime. If you can’t decide from their extremely large menu, Zocalo invites patrons to join them for a monthly Tequila Experience, featuring a different tequila distillery every month and complimentary appetizers. The tequila flight consists of three, 1 ounce pours. The even is held the first Monday of every month starting at 6pm. Interested? Give them a call and book today!