SacFoodies is a blog that examines all things food-related, from local Sacramento events to restaurants worldwide to a long list of traditional and gourmet recipes. Authored by Sacramento communications professionals who are experts in food marketing — and who have a passion for food and drink– the blog covers all things culinary from several different perspectives.
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 Goosefor 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 toLucca. 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-opas 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.
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.
We took a stroll to Backbone for lunch and were blown away by the simple yet inventive lunch options. Chef Joey prides himself on a locally-focused, whole food philosophy, using only organic ingredients and humanely raised (or wild!) meat options. From vegan to Paleo to gluten-free, Backbone has you covered. Are you a staunch meat-lover with a vegan pal? At Backbone, they can have the Vegan Mushroom Carnitas, you can have the Bone Marrow with Bacon Jam. It’s a win-win!
For lunch we tried the Mahogany Chicken Tacos, Free Range Fries and Chicken Power Bowl. The Chicken Power Bowl also had Mahogany Sauce (a tangy, spicy citrus sauce made in-house) on it, and it managed to be flavorful without feeling overpowering. The servings were generous, the chicken was tender and the roasted veggies still held a slight crunch. All in all, it felt a lot like a healthy home-cooked meal with a little extra pizzazz. The Mahogany Sauce was our preferred star of the show and we highly recommend giving it a try on whatever dish you order.
As someone who gets veeeerrrrryyyyyyyy sleepy after a big lunch, I was so pleased to find a dish that was satisfying without being over-filling. If I have a busy afternoon at work, the last thing I need is an after-lunch food coma but Backbone’s dishes are light enough to ward off the afternoon snooze. The portions on the Power Bowls are pretty generous, so it would even be possible to package up some leftovers for a 3pm snack (if you, like me, need to eat almost constantly).
At the moment, Backbone Cafe is only open for lunch, but we look forward to seeing expanded hours in the future! To miss the main rush at Backbone, which is already a lunch hub in the area, we’d recommend heading over on the early side. The overall atmosphere of the restaurant is ultra-welcoming and relaxing, and it feels like a great spot to read, hang out and enjoy a cup of Keto Coffee. If Golden Milk is more your thing, don’t worry – they have that too.
To check out Backbone Cafe and learn more about their menu, visit their site here.
Guess what? Backbone was also just reviewed by the Sac Bee and Sac News & Review! You can check out their takes hereand here, respectively. (We absolutely have to try the Bone Marrow after reading Kate Washington’s review.)
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 DogIPAs. 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?
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!
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.
Not sure what to order? We put together a list of our favorites from some of the featured restaurants. Try one of our suggestions or order what looks good to you. Either way, the food will not disappoint!
Let us know what you decide to try and what you would recommend to others!
Hawk’s Provisions & Public House
Fried Chicken on Monday Nights
Spaghetti with Pork and Rosemary Ragu
Public House Burger with Waygu Beef
Seasonal Breakfast Burger
Grange Restaurant & Bar
Seasonal preparation of Passmore Ranch Trout
Block Butcher Bar
Happy Hour Charcuterie Boards
The Sunshine and Firecracker Rolls
Trio of Sashimi, Sturgion Nigiri w/Crispy Skin & Caviar, Uni Mousse w/Nori Crisp, and Foie Gras w/Orange Gelee & Pickled Mustard Seeds
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 hereto 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.
Tuesdays are by far my favorite “food day” of the week. Why? Tacos! Usually, I’m a traditionalist because I believe simple tacos are the best tacos. Give me corn tortillas, carnitas, onions, cilantro and green salsa and I am thrilled. However, when Smitten Kitchenposted her family’s favorite roasted sweet potato tacos on Instagram, they looked so delicious I just had to try them. They not only taste great, but are so simple to make! Mix the potatoes and spices while the oven preheats and finish the laundry, tidy the living room, make a margarita and watch that episode of Queer Eye while the sweet potatoes are baking! The world is your oyster.
Head over to our Instagram for a play-by-play of this recipe being made in the #sacfoodies kitchen.
Makes dinner for 2 with plenty of leftovers.
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 tbsp salt
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp chili powder (I’m very spice-sensitive so I used 1 tsp, but by all means use more if spice is your thing)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
12 small/medium flour tortillas (or whatever tortillas you have on hand)
1 can refried beans (I like refried black beans but my boyfriend swears by refried pinto beans, you be the tie-breaker!)
1 lime, in wedges
All the toppings! I used cilantro, green salsa, and cubes of avocado, but pickled red onion, slaw, and sour cream also sound muy bueno.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees while you peel and cube sweet potatoes. Mix the potatoes with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, and paprika and toss to coat. Spread in a single layer on an oiled baking sheet.
Roast for 40-45 minutes. Flip the potatoes halfway through to make sure each side gets crisp and roasted.
Wrap a stack of tortillas in foil and let them warm in the oven during the last 5 minutes of baking. Heat refried beans in a pan on the stove.
Smear a hearty helping of refried black beans on each tortilla, add as many potatoes your tortilla can handle, squeeze a lime wedge over it all, and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!
This year’s Capitol Beer Fest marked the return of CBF to Capitol Mall after last year’s event on the 5th Street Bridge. Compared to last year’s unseasonably hot weather, this year felt much more like Sacramento’s usual mercurial March. Beautiful blue skies gave way to cold and rainy ones, but the beer stayed flowing and the crowd stayed happy for the sold-out event.
As expected, the Sacramento and California beer scene turned out in full force, with over 100 breweries lining Capitol Mall. Some of our favorites came as a surprise – I love beer and usually stay away from the more alternative craft options at festivals (cider, mead, etc.), but one of my top spots of the day was San Diego-based Boochcraft, a high-alcohol kombucha brewery. Full disclosure, I love kombucha anyway, but Boochcraft’s turmeric, tangerine and ginger brew was definitely a step above the rest and we made several stops by their tent during the day (it also doesn’t hurt that the ‘booch clocks in around 7% ABV).
For the stout fans out there, Fifty Fifty Brewing from Truckee had a great showing with their Maple Vanilla Eclipse. It was a fitting beer for a blustery day, and the taster size was just enough to satisfy the flavor profile without feeling too heavy.
Another personal favorite was Einstock Beer Company’s Icelandic White Ale. I’ve had this beer a few times in the past and it never disappoints – it always fits the bill and I was excited to see their tent!
Capitol Beer Fest sets the standard for Sacramento beer fests, and we love attending an event that supports such a worthy cause with Runnin’ for Rhett. It’s great to see such a huge event go towards a good cause, and it makes the day that much more enjoyable when you know every sip supports nurturing a healthy community.
Cheers, and we hope to see you there next year! You can check out last year’s Capitol Beer Fest recap here.