How to Enjoy Kansas City BBQ & Beer in Sac on Saturday


One of the best things about traveling is trying regional cuisine. But getting on a plane and spending a weekend in a new city costs lots of money.

A couple years ago, I went to Kansas City for a wedding and was blown away by their BBQ scene, which is probably best known for their sweet and tangy tomato-based sauce on burnt ends.

This Saturday, your taste buds can be transported to Kansas City at Smoke on The River at Miller, a state championship and Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned event. The event will feature a People’s Choice BBQ tasting, People’s Choice for Best Beer and Best Cider, live entertainment and unlimited beer tastings provide by local breweries.

You'll also be eating for a good cause. The event is a fundraiser for Sacramento Artists Council and will raise money for art programs that assist at-risk children, children of homeless families and fund adopt a school art programs for Sacramento Regional Schools.

Don't let the weather discourage you - it'll be 70 degrees on Saturday and isn't likely to rain on Saturday afternoon.

Tickets start at $25 and can be purchased at


How Much Food Will Cost at Golden 1 Center?


The Golden 1 Team has spent months hyping the food served at the new arena. It's going to be locally sourced. It has a top notch Executive Chef in Michael Tuohy. They're going to involve local restaurants. But they've always kept quiet about the prices.

Over the weekend, I was one of the 100,000 Sacramentans who got to visit the Golden 1 Center. Here are some quick thoughts about their food.

1. Food Prices: If you've eaten at other sporting venues, you won't be surprised. An entree will cost somewhere between $10 and $15. For example: three tacos from Centro cost $10 at Golden 1. (See a more detailed comparison below.) Even though it's pricey, games won't start until 7:30 p.m., so if you really want, you can grab something before the game and save a few bucks.

Here's a breakdown by restaurant:

2. Drink Prices: This is where they're really looking to make money. Beer cost $13 at most stands, regardless of whether it's a domestic macrobrew or a local craft brewery. I had a Sierra Nevada and a Monkey Knife Fight during my visit. A bottle of water was $5. Honestly, though, I don't blame them . They just spent more than a half billion dollars building the arena. They have to make up their money back one way or another and it's better that they profit off beer than food.

3. Lines for Food: While they deserve a lot of credit for having diverse cuisines to choose from, the stand with by far the longest lines was El Jefe, serving carnitas nachos. While the local restaurants may have bigger names, maybe all people really want at a game is delicious nachos? One person on twitter reported a 45 minute wait for food. While I understand that Saturday was really a soft opening, hopefully they increase the speed at that stand or replace one one of the "Dog House" hot dog stands with another El Jefe.

Want more detail? Check out all the menus after the jump.

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RIP Cornflower Creamery


Cornflower Creamery, which had billed itself as a "farm-to-scoop" ice cream experience, closed on Friday.

Located at 1013 L Street, the eatery that offered coffee, grab and go lunches and featured great paintings of cows in addition to ice cream, was open for just a little under a year.

Here's what they posted on Facebook this morning:

We are immensely grateful for our customers and patrons!

We have had to close our L Street location due to low traffic and the failure to renegotiate our lease with the City. We are looking for: another location, investors, partners, etc. to help us take our business to the next level at various pop up locations around Sacramento.

I give my team 5 Stars for their commitment, enthusiasm, and awesome customer service.

I work a block from there and enjoyed their ice cream occasionally. I'll miss the place during my monthly splurge for an afternoon sweet treat.

Mimi's Cafe Adds Guest-Created Honey Lavender Grilled Pork Chop to Fall Menu Starting Monday


Mimi's Cafe, the restaurant that offers "French-inspired American comfort food" has added a Honey Lavender Grilled Pork Chop as a seasonal specials menu starting Monday, Sept. 19, one of the 175+ recipes submitted by guests as part of a contest.

The lead judge was Ellise Pierce, author of “COWGIRL CHEF: Texas Cooking with a French Accent” and, and she helped select the recipe by Michael Watz of Evanston, Illinois, who won a trip for two to France.

Here's how Mimi's describes the dish:

Center-cut pork chop lightly glazed with honey, herbs de Provence and lavender and paired it with a mixed green salad with green apples, cranberries, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and roasted potato croutons tossed with balsamic dressing.

I was give the opportunity to preview the dish last week. I hadn't been to a Mimi's in over a decade, and jumped at the chance to revisit the restaurant. Now that I have a baby, it's the type of restaurant that I may find myself eating at more often. (Full disclosure: The dish and the rest of my meal were comped by Mimi's Cafe.)

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Farm to Fork Restaurant Weeks at Grange

Restaurant Weeks Poster

September is a celebration for all things Farm to Fork in Sacramento. While the vast majority of us can't afford/score tickets to the exclusive and expensive Tower Bridge dinner, we can all participate in Farm to Fork Restaurant Weeks where local restaurants create a special farm to fork dish or menu.

The event lasts through Sept. 25 and benefits the Food Literacy Center, a very worthy charity that teaches healthy eating skills to local school children.

I was invited to try Grange's Dixon Lamb Ragout (a hankerchief pasta with heirloom peppers, fresh ricotta and extra virgin olive oil), with $2 of the $29 dollar price going to the Food Literacy Center.

Let me start with a disclosure. Grange comped my party the Dixon Lamb Ragout, and brought out several more appetizers for us to sample. With that said, I still spent $180 on a meal for two. Obviously, it wasn't cheap, but it turned out to be one of my top 3 meals thus far in 2016 in Sacramento. (If you're wondering, the other two were at Kru and at Skool.)


The Dixon Lamb Ragout was an excellent dish. The featured pasta is called a hankerchief pasta because it starts as a flat sheet and is folded over many times like a hankerchief. A generous portion, the dish featured nuanced and complex flavors topped with sweet peppers. I especially liked the contrast between the ricotta cheese and the savory sauce. I don't recall ever having this type of pasta. Definitely worth a try.

Here are some other dishes I loved:


Figs with avocado, nectarines, pickled onions and topped with EVOO.

This dish was comped, so I don't know what they would charge if you tried to order it, but based on the other salads on the menu, my guess is about $15. It is really the zenith of featuring local ingredients, preparing them skillfully and slightly and letting their natural flavors shine through. This dish embodies the Sacramento food ethos in 2016. It's a great appetizer.

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8 Things to Know About Food Options at the New Golden 1 Center


With less than a month before the new Downtown arena opens, the Golden 1 center team recently brought many of the chefs and executives of the restaurants to meet with local bloggers. Here are some things I learned:

  1. Participating Restaurants: Café Bernardo, Centro, Mikuni, Star Ginger, LowBrau, Petra Greek and Block Butcher Bar will be some of the local restaurants serving food to the ticketed visitors to the Golden 1 Center.
  2. The Relationship between Restaurants and Golden 1: While the food of the local restaurants will be served, it’s not really another location for these restaurants. The Golden 1 Center contracts with Legends Hospitality (whom former Block Butcher Bar chef Michael Touhy now works for) to provide food at the facility. Legends has contracted with each of the local restaurants to lend their names, recipes and food preparation knowledge to downtown venue, but the employees customers will interact with are paid by Legends. In order to keep the experience as consistent as possible for diners who have been to the regular brick and mortar restaurant location, each stand will have a “brand ambassador” who is intimately knowledgeable about the restaurant, most likely a longtime employee.

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