Think you know what the best dishes in Sacramento are? Think again. Sac Mag compiles a very complete of some of the best entrees in the region from Winters to Elk Grove. Here are a couple from restaurants on the Grid:
Carne Asada, Grange Restaurant & Bar - Best known for its farm-to-table cuisine, this boutique-hotel restaurant also happens to serve a magnificent Mexican-inspired carne asada. Available only on Wednesdays at lunch, the dish features sliced marinated skirt steak snuggled onto a plate with two full-flavored salsas (tomatillo and tomato), black beans dotted with chorizo and a side salad lightly tossed in the tomatillo salsa. The lively dish is so popular that it tends to sell out quickly; arrive early to ensure there's one for you. 926 J St., Sacramento; (916) 492-4450; grangesacramento.com
Bourbon Burger, de Vere's Irish Pub - This meaty treasure sounds boozy, but it's not. Messy and spectacularly flavorful, the burger is composed of a first-rate, house-ground chuck patty laid on a chewy-fluffy bun. Smothered in melted smoked cheddar cheese, the dish is lavished with a spicy bourbon-bacon barbecue sauce and finished off with lettuce, a couple of juicy tomato slices and—the pièce de résistance—sweet, crusty fried onions. Be prepared to do a lot of finger licking as you work your way through this fabulous burger, and enjoy it with one of de Vere's fresh draught beers. 1531 L St., Sacramento; (916) 231-9947; deverespub.com
Duck Confit Tots, Shady Lady Saloon - Irresistibly crusty on the outside and soft on the inside, Shady Lady's duck confit tots bear little resemblance to the school cafeteria version of your youth. Richly flavored and punctuated with melt-in-your-mouth duck cracklings, these delectable nuggets come with an earthy smoked paprika-lemon aïoli. Partner the tots with one of the saloon's excellent handcrafted cocktails. 1409 R St., Sacramento; (916) 231-9121; shadyladybar.com
Other local restaurants included are Tuli Bistro, Fox & Goose, Paragary's Bar & Oven, Aioli Bodega Espanola, Firehouse Restaurant, Taste of Thai, 58 Degrees, The Press Bistro, Mulvaney's Building & Loan, Juno's Kitchen & Delicatessen, Queen Sheba and The Waterboy.
Check out the entire list in Sac Mag.
Habesha for Eritrean Food - The first time I had Ethiopian food I was in college in Portland and didn't care for it. As far as I was concerned, it demonstrated the poverty of the country to me as it was all mush. Not a good first impression. But one does grow older and wiser. Add to that the fact that people just rave about the Ethiopian food found in Sacramento at Queen of Sheba. I have yet to dine there myself, but recently did venture to another spot, Habesha on Fair Oaks Boulevard. I had bought a half-off coupon that was about to expire and so I invited Suzanne to join me for dinner. Catherine Enfield in Munchie Musings.
Is cooking a creative endeavor? - The New York Times Sunday Magazine recently published a story on the bow tie-wearing grouch Christopher Kimball of Cook's Illustrated Magazine, who is fond of proclaiming that cooking is not creative. For many of us who love to cook and think of ourselves as devoted home cooks who are open to trying new ingredients and techniques (and maybe straying from written recipes), that could be taken as an affront. It shouldn't - because he's right. Cooking is not creative. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.
36 Handles pub looks at a Dec. 1 opener in El Dorado Hills - Now news comes from veteran restaurateur Richard Righton that he will open a pub-restaurant in that space, his third venture. It will be called 36 Handles, with a target date of Dec. 1 ("Fingers crossed," he said). As the name implies, 36 beers (and a few wines) will be available on tap, along with a full bar specializing in classic cocktails such as the Manhattan and the Old Fashoned. Allen Pierleoni in the Sac Bee.
Your New Best Friend: The Sommelier - IT’S potentially the most distressing moment of the restaurant meal, when doubt and dread combine to make cowards of us all. One person stands between us and humiliation, one who can smooth the way for success, whether on a first date, in closing a deal, at a family gathering or in a meeting with the boss. That person is the sommelier, the smiling ambassador who hands us a wine list, an index of potential pleasures that instead is so often seen as a tool of destruction, wielded by restaurants to extract more money than we care to spend for reasons we don’t understand. Eric Asimov in the NY Times.
VIDEO: Broderick Restaurant - The people from Sacramento's newest restaurant, Broderick, joined us live in studio and showed some of their menu's specialties. On Good Day Sac.