There's a reason we all gain weight over the holidays. Holiday parties occupy weekends and the cold weather makes us turn to our favorite foods for comfort. Sac Mag's Kira O'Donnell does a great job rounding up 25 of her favorite comfort food dishes in the area. Here are three from her list that I've had that have warmed my heart.
Traditional Irish Stew (de Vere's Irish Pub) - De Vere’s fragrant bowl of stew is food for your soul. The meaty broth, swimming with tender pieces of flavorful beef, celery, carrots and sweet pearl onions, is a dazzling dunking liquid for the pub’s oat-flecked, rustic Irish brown bread.
Hot Chocolate (Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates) - You won’t find a pedestrian cup of instant cocoa at Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates—the hot beverage is taken seriously at this upscale midtown shop. There are three sophisticated versions from which to choose: the European, a thick and intensely flavored cocoa prepared from bittersweet chocolate; the Classic, a more traditional semisweet-chocolate cocoa; and the exotic Oaxacan, infused with vanilla, cinnamon and dried chilies. The hot chocolate is topped with whipped cream or a house-made marshmallow (definitely choose the marshmallow), and a few sips are likely to turn you against the packaged variety for good.
I'm also looking forward to trying out the breakfast chimichanga at Shady Lady, at Kira's reccomendation.
Read the entire list (and her unfortunately-timed inclusion of a dish from the now defunct Capitol Dawg) in Sac Mag.
Too lazy to read? Watch Sac Mag's Elena M. Macaluso discuss the list on KCRA.
Soup’s On: A roundup of some of the best steamy goodness in town - When I was a young boy, the only soup I would eat that did not come out of a red-and-white can was the sizzling rice soup at The Mandarin on Arden and Eastern. A steaming bowl of salty broth, redolent of green onions and garlic, it turned from dinner to “dinner-and-a-show” when the waiter would slowly slide a brick of dehydrated rice into the bowl, generating a jet of steam and delightful sizzling that could be heard throughout the wonderfully tacky space. Well, that soup of my childhood is still pretty incredible, but I’ve branched out in my tastes (to the surprise of my mother’s friend Janice) and can give you a pretty solid rundown of some of the best non-canned soup in town. Greg Sabin in Inside Publications.
Dining: A Casa Garden meal leaves you feeling well-fed and generous - In my review in 2010, I was more than happy to give Casa Garden four stars overall, and that rating still stands. The food, the service, the experience, the surroundings, the consistency and the sense of purpose that pulls it all together make for a warm, wonderful lunch you won't soon forget. And yet Casa Garden remains overlooked by many. Maybe it's the era in which we live. So many things distract us – and Sacramento today has so many good and great restaurant options – that it's easy to look past this quaint, understated restaurant tucked away on bustling Sutterville Road. Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.
Simple yet stunning - Although the voting system for October’s Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge seemed a bit confounding, The V Word would like to call attention to one of the participants, 58 Degrees & Holding Co. (1217 18th Street). The restaurant’s offerings for the competition in 2011 were sublime, and this year was no different. The appetizer flatbread was a mildly sadomasochistic delight with raw slices of green jalapeño, unusual raisin cherry tomatoes and mustard-yellow nutritional-yeast flakes atop a heavenly pillow of bread. Shoka in Sac News & Review.
McDonald's to roll out new $1 items to spur traffic - Snack Size Fish McBites and the Grilled Onion Cheddar Burger will debut on the Dollar Menu late this year. McDonald’s franchisees have indicated that they're willing to promote products for $1 — but no cheaper — as the brand makes its first moves toward a new value-heavy marketing strategy to turn around faltering sales. Mark Brandau in Nation's Restaurant News.
VIDEO: Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant - Tina was joined live in studio by the culinary wizards from Abyssinia Ethiopian Restaurant who cooked up some traditional Ethiopian dishes. On Good Day Sac.