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Dining News: Food Trucks Coming to Old Sac?

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Earlier this week, the City of Sacramento's Law and Legislation Committee approved changes to city ordinances that would expand the activities of food trucks within the Sacramento's city limits.

(Some of the provisions require additional approval by the city's Planning and Design Commission before heading to the full city council, per video of the hearing.)

Whereas food trucks had previously been limited to just 30 minutes at a particular stop, according to a report prepared by city staff, food trucks can now sell for as long as it is legal to park in a location. They are also required to manage customers to keep sidewalks clear for pedestrian traffic and the area free from trash.

However, there are several restrictions on where food trucks can park, such as being:

  • 50 feet from and intersection
  • 400 feet from another vendor
  • 400 feet from a school that is in session
  • 50 feet from outside restaurant seating areas
  • 1,000 feet from establishments with Entertainment Permits from 1 to 3 a.m.

Tucked into the change is a little-publicized provision that "Removes the prohibition on food vending vehicles in Old Sacramento." If approved by the city council, that means that we could soon see Mini Burger Truck, Krush Burger or some of your other favorites hitting the cobblestone streets of Old Sac.

The city also put together regulations that would allow "pods" of two or fewer food trucks to operate on private property. Three or more food trucks would be regulated under the current rules governing "Outdoor Markets." Those rules also oversee events such as farmer's markets, etc.

While the ordinance has been sent on its way to the city council, it could still be amended prior to passage.

H/T to the Sac Bee, where I first saw the news reported.

More News:

Check It Out: Shine Coffee - I had a delightful experience recently at Shine Coffee, which is tucked away in the quiet and leafy Mansion Flats neighborhood. This quirky, independent establishment offers patrons a comfortable, laid-back atmosphere with well-worn couches, tables and a lineup of casual menu items in addition to its terrific coffee selection. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Judging by one expert’s reaction, New Helvetia has two winners - Spolier alert: Moore, who has tasted thousands of beers, from world-class Belgian ales brewed by monks to misguided brews with all the aromatic appeal of road kill, wound up raving about two beers and referred to one as “beautiful.” Blair Anthony Robertson in the Sac Bee.

House of Thai Rice & Noodle: Noodles worth the wait - House of Thai’s decor and service are comforting (quite literally): Pillows accompany the booths, plenty of green tropical plants give it a lush feel, and old-school Thai sculptures and art adorn the walls. The owner often stops by and makes sure everything is OK, and as previously mentioned, often offers free drinks. It’s a great neighborhood Thai spot for North Highlanders and the surrounding suburban communities. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Cookie monsters - Co-owner Will Countryman says Cookies & Milk is looking to expand into daytime hours, hopefully within the next month or two. Currently, Cookies & Milk only delivers from 7 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., Thursday through Saturday. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Bar for gamers finds home in East Sacramento - Wizards and clerics are coming to East Sacramento. Save Point Tavern, a new bar for gamers, has signed a lease for a spot at 6531 Folsom Blvd. Last year, business partners Anthony Barajas and Dariush Gheyssarieh raised more than $27,000 through Kickstarter for the project, which they say will be the area's first bar with a daily focus on tabletop and video games. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: Food Trucks Coming to Old Sac?" »

Dining News: Wicked 'Wich Returns


Before Broderick Roadhouse, Capital Dime and Trick Pony, there was Wicked 'Wich, the food truck that has now spawned a small chain of distinctive restaurants in Sacramento.

Now, the owners have brought back the Wicked 'Wich brand with a cafe and sandwich shop format inside the West Sacramento Community Center, they revealed on Facebook. In addition to the ownership group, Jess Milbourn, formerly of The Eatery and now chef at Broderick, is involved with the project.

I e-mailed co-owner Matt Chong for more information on Sunday night, but he did not respond.

But Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review was able to get more:

Today, Wicked ‘Wich softly opened inside the West Sacramento Community Center (1075 West Capitol Avenue). Now open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, the cafe offers breakfast, sandwiches, salads, soup and pastries along with an espresso bar. There are four small tables right by the counter, but also the rest of the Community Center for seating options.

Old ‘Wich truck fans won’t see any familiar sandwich names, and they might find the current menu tame. No banh mi fries, or fries stuffed in sandwiches, for example. But flavors still sound robust: one sandwich holds chipotle- and coffee-rubbed beef with jack cheese and chimichurri; a spin on a Cuban features citrus-marinated pork loin, ham, house-made mustard, Swiss cheese and bacon relish. Most sandwiches go for $8-$10.

Read the entire story in Sac News & Review.

More News:

New Sacramento food trucks crank the ignition - Then, as the food-truck trend gained traction, naysayers scoffed, saying all this mobile-food madness was just a flash in the pan, the culinary equivalent of “Gangnam Style.” But it’s become clear that the trucks are here to stay, having become an integral part of local food culture. Tacos from Chando’s, a Hemi sandwich from Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen, shaved ice from Local Kine – all signature Sacramento food staples. SactoMoFo food truck roundups under the freeway at Sixth and W streets draw thousands. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Sac Brewery Tour during Sacramento Beer Week! - If you’ll be beer weeking this year, chances are you’ll need a ride. Sacramento travel curator Grady O’Bryant of SacTrips has put together a brand new Hop-On Hop-Off Brewery Tour, happening Saturday 2/27 and 3/7. From noon to 8 pm, revelers can catch a ride any and every thirty minutes along the route of 15 central pubs and breweries. Cost of a day long ticket is only $30 – about what you’d pay for a cab to and from a single location. Elizabeth Welsh on Girls on the Grid.

VIDEO: Beer Week Shining Spotlight On Sacramento's Growing Craft Brewing Industry - Local entrepreneurs say they are simply tapping into demand. And if you think there's a lot of beer to choose from now, just wait. They're calling this the golden age for beer in the capital city. Lemor Abrams on CBS 13.

VIDEO: Sacramento Beer Week could draw scrutiny of state regulators - Beer week has begun in Sacramento, folks have flooded downtown and the brew is flowing. But all the excitement could capture the attention of state alcohol regulators. Melinda Meza on KCRA.

VIDEO: Sacramento all a buzz about Beer Week - Formoli’s Bistro previews the Sacramento Beer Week’s special menu which will only be available Tuesday-Thursday. On KCRA.

Continue reading "Dining News: Wicked 'Wich Returns" »

Dining News: Red Rabbit Chef Branches Out to East Sac

12 rounds

Red Rabbit Chef John Bays is joining forces with East Sac's Twelve Rounds Brewing Company to bring a taste of midtown to East Sac, reports Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Twelve Rounds Brewing Co. is expected to open this spring at 866 57th St. It fills a 3,000-square-foot building across from an antique mall...

The brewery's restaurant will include a partnership with Sacramento's Red Rabbit. John Bays, executive chef at Red Rabbit, will run the restaurant at Twelve Rounds, according to the Murphys.

"We are a brewery that serves food, not a restaurant that serves beer," they said. "But our food will still be excellent." The owners plan to install a smoker in the full kitchen.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

This collaboration was first announced in July 2013. According to their Facebook page, construction is ongoing, and they're targeting a Spring 2015 opening.

East Sac isn't the only new venue from the team at Red Rabbit. They're also coming up with a new concept for a space near the new arena at 7th & K.

For more information about the brewery, visit

More News:

Sunflower Drive-In Still Delights After 37 Years - We relished Sunflower’s hefty, toothsome super nutburger and falafel, both packed into whole wheat pita bread and generously embellished with alfalfa sprouts, lettuce, tomato and tangy yogurt; and the rib-sticking grilled cheese sandwich was a wholesome and delectable treat. Note: Don’t miss the drive-in’s refreshing smoothies—I recommend the pineapple, strawberry and banana smoothie. Kira O'Donnell in Sac Mag.

Viet Ha Noodles & Grill: Fun in a box - The Chipotle concept is thus: Choose a starch— in this case vermicelli rice noodles, white rice or French roll—then add protein. Diners can choose from thinly sliced grilled beef, chicken, pork or butterflied shrimp. Everything comes with lettuce, bean sprouts, fried shallots, cucumber, peanuts, pickled carrots and daikon, and cilantro. The banh mi option offers additional jalapeños, sliced lengthwise and tucked in with the meat. The noodle and rice boxes are served with either a tangy rice-vinegar vinaigrette or savory/sweet soy sauce. The former is similar to what you get with bun noodle bowls. Ann Martin Rolke in Sac News & Review.

Chicory Coffee & Tea: Soup's On - During the busy hours of the work week, the baristas behind the counter at Chicory Coffee and Tea also double as hosts. Located just across the street from the capitol, the small coffeehouse welcomes a number of guests at 11th and L streets when 7 a.m. dawns and the eclectic coffee rush begins. But once all has settled and the espresso grinder falls silent, the Chicory staff begins to prepare for what is known as the “soupocalypse.” Not only does the locally owned business receive fresh, roast-to-order coffee shipments from their head roaster in Portland, they’re also known as the go-to lunch hotspot for a good bowl of soup in the downtown area. Steph Rodriguez in Submerge Mag.

New Helvetia develops IPA to celebrate proposed Sacramento farmers market mural - New Helvetia Brewing Company, located on Broadway not far from the market at 8th and X streets, will release a brand new Bright Underbelly Bergamot IPA this Wednesday. The new brew is named after the proposed giant mural from local art duo Sofia Lacin and Hennessy Christophel, who hope to bring color and life to the underside of the W/X freeway that has long served as a drab ceiling for the crowded Sunday market. Sammy Caiola in the Sac Bee.

Eat me: Calm that craving; Galbi Combination, Aura Korean & Japanese Restaurant - Though I'm always skeptical of restaurants that tout multiple Asian cuisines, Aura's spread will calm any Korean craving in a pinch. The big steal on the menu is the Galbi Combination—combined with the free pickled and fermented ban chan, it's easily enough for two people at just shy of $25. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Continue reading "Dining News: Red Rabbit Chef Branches Out to East Sac" »

Dining News: Preview of Sunday's Tower Bridge Dinner Menu

Very few Sacramentans can afford the $175 per person to participate in Sunday's Tower Bridge dinner. But that doesn't mean we can't live vicariously and check out what they're serving.

On KCRA, Lisa Gonzales talks to Brian Mizner of Hook and Ladder and Jason Poole of Dawson's at the Hyatt about what they'll be serving and watch them prepare some quail with pork belly and roasted pear gastrique.

Via the Sacramento Bee, here's this year's complete menu.

Appetizer: Salumi, pate, cheese, mustard, olives, quince, honeycomb

First course: Heirloom bean salad of shelling beans, okra, heirloom cherry tomatoes, mint, red pepper cheese and organic olive oil sourced from Pedrozo Dairy, Seka Hills Farms, Yeung Farms, Dwelley Farm and Castaneda Brothers

Second course: Mesquite-grilled quail with Seckel pears, grapes, peppers, wild rice and pork belly sourced from Next Generation Foods, Del Rio Botanical, Tolenas Farms, Stillwater Orchards and Rancho Llano Seco

Third course: Smoked trout with fingerling potatoes, fennel arugula, herb vinaigrette dressing sourced from Passmore Ranch, Del Rio Botanical, Riverdog Farms and Fresh Origins Farm

Fourth course: Lamb shanks braised in Track 7 Hoppy Palm Pale Ale, indigo rose tomato, graffiti eggplant, vegetable flower honey and sage sourced from Matin Emigh Farm, Track 7 Brewery, Riverdog Farms and Fresh Origins Farm

The meal seems delicious. I might have to start saving money now so I can afford to go to next year's dinner.

More News:

Heirloom tomatoes star on many farm-to-fork menus - A beloved local has emerged as the star of Sacramento’s 2014 celebration as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” – the heirloom tomato. Check out the three dozen or so participants in the “Restaurant Weeks” portion of ongoing farm-to-fork festivities, and you’ll spot heirlooms all over the special menus. Chris Macias in the Sac Bee.

Sacramento Women Leading the Farm to Fork Movement - From honoring Sacramento women making history today to celebrating single young professionals, GOTG loves championing women kicking ass in their respective fields. So why should farm-to-fork be any different? And once we started digging, man oh man, were we flooded with recommendations on farmers, chefs and advocates that are leading Sacramento’s farm-to-fork movement. Laura Braden on Girls on the Grid.

Review: Great Wall Bar-B-Q - The Great Wall Bar-B-Q is a restaurant known for the buffet style noodle bar, which is all you can eat for dinner and all day on Saturday and Sunday. Great Wall Bar-B-Q is located on Howe Avenue and is fairly priced. Justyce Mirjanovic in the Sac State Hornet.

How Maggiano’s dropped calories, kept flavor on its menu - Maggiano’s Little Italy is known for its rich, indulgent Italian food, but the chain made a move in a different direction with the Sept. 8 introduction of its Lighter Take menu. The new menu features 11 of the Brinker International concepts’ dishes reformulated to have a third fewer calories or less. Bret Thorn in Nation's Restaurant News.

Markstein Beverage buys Nor-Cal beer distribution business - In a deal involving two major regional wholesalers, Markstein Beverage Co. of Sacramento said Tuesday it’s buying the beer distribution business of Nor-Cal Beverage Co. Inc...The deal expands Markstein’s beer distribution into Placer, El Dorado, Nevada and portions of Alpine and Sierra counties. Markstein already distributes in Sacramento, Solano, Yuba, Sutter and parts of Yolo County. Dale Kasler in the Sac Bee.

Continue reading "Dining News: Preview of Sunday's Tower Bridge Dinner Menu" »

Dining News: New Burgers & Brew Location Replacing Purgatory


Burgers & Brew will be adding a second location on The Grid, replacing Purgatory at 17th & J in early 2015, reports Sac Biz Journal's Ben van der Meer.

Derar Zawaydeh, who owns with his brother the successful gourmet counter-service burger restaurants as well as Crepeville restaurants, said the project is already in design phase.

“It’s going to be something similar to what’s on R Street,” Zawaydeh said of the 12,800-square-foot building, which he and his brother  bought this week. The principal difference stems from the layout, he said. With a 6,000-square-foot basement, the building at 1616 J St. will have brewing tanks planted there and coming through the floor to the ground level, where the restaurant and bar service will be.

Earlier, van der Meer reported that the owners of Burgers & Brew and Crepeville had purchased the building, they had yet to announce what brand they would be using at the location.

Read the entire story in Sac Biz Journal.

There are currently four Burgers & Brew locations, including Downtown (14th & R), the Airport, Davis and Chico.

More News:

More details on Icing on the Cupcake's return - After  closing its four stores in January due to "economic hardship," Icing on the Cupcake  reopened its Rocklin location Monday under new ownership...The reopened Rocklin store uses the same recipes from the previous version of the business. In addition to full-size cupcakes, it serves baked goods such as cookies and miniature cupcakes. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Distillery licensed in Sac County; First in 100 years - On Friday night, the CEO of Gold River Distillery, with all state and federal permits finally granted, created his first “legal” batch of craft-made gin...After nine months of work, and building a custom-made still, the first batch of Wheel House American Dry Gin will be bottled. Tom DuHain on KCRA.

OneSpeed uses fresh and local ingredients for it's italian dishes - At the cross section of 48th Street and Folsom Boulevard, stands OneSpeed, a bicycle themed pizza restaurant. Appropriately named OneSpeed, its casual atmosphere is ideal for anyone looking to enjoy a few drinks with freshly prepared Italian dishes. Erika Bradley in the Sac State Hornet.

Continue reading "Dining News: New Burgers & Brew Location Replacing Purgatory" »

Dining News: Block Butcher Bar a 'Destination,' 'Instant Hit'


Block Butcher Bar's only been open two weeks, and the initial reviews have been fabulous.

First, Ed Murreita in the Sac Business Journal:

I got my first taste of Block Butcher Bar on Monday night. It was my kind of eating: a serving board piled with ruffles of thinly sliced meats that have been "cooked" with little more than salt, spice and time...

Meat boards are accompanied by pickled and brined vegetables and whole-grain mustards flavored with subtle explosions spices that match and complement the flavors in the meats. Jamon iberico's juniper jab, for example, was counter-punched by the clove and star anise in the pickled beet stems. (Yes, beet stems -- stalky, crunchy and fibrously chewy.)..

First impression? Block Butcher Bar is an instant hit.

Read the entire review in the Sac Biz Journal.

The Sac Bee's Blair Anthony Robertson also gave his first impression.

A recent visit after work found a full house in the stylish room that has plenty of warmth and sophistication. Many will consider it one of the most attractive bar/eatery designs in town...

You won’t necessarily come here for a standard full meal. Think variety, a range of flavors and sharing. The “ABJ” – a warm panini made with almond butter and housemade bacon jam – is destined for local iconic status. Vegetarians are not neglected. The farro salad with preserved tomatoes and kale is a meatless option with flavor and finesse in mind.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee, via Google Cache. (For some strange reason, I couldn't find the article on on Thursday evening.)

And for one more viewpoint, don't forget to read my Instant Reaction.

More News:

AUDIO: Food Trucks - Sacramento’s food truck scene has grown a lot since the first gourmet food on wheels hit the streets in January 2011. We’ll talk to Andrew "Drewski" Blaskovich about his food truck’s success and with Paul Somerhausen, the co-founder and director of SactoMoFo, about the food truck movement in Sacramento. On Capitol Public Radio.

Audio: Tap rooms - Neighborhood brewers are moving out of their garages and into brick and mortar storefronts across the Sacramento region. Beer Week is a testament to this proliferation. But what’s behind the growing number of small breweries and taprooms? And what separates them from a bar or restaurant? Joining us to answer these questions and put their beers to the test in tasting challenge are brewers from New Helvetia Brewing Co. and Track 7.  They’ll also explain why food trucks get along so well with microbreweries, and vice versa. On Capitol Public Radio.

Fiesta Feast - It has been said that some of the best food can be found in “hole-in-the-wall” spots that offer little more than, well, the food itself. These low-key dining establishments typically boast bare-bones interiors and a penchant for serving up dishes that keep its patrons coming back, again, and again, and again. The latest eatery to adopt this philosophy is Sampino’s Comida del Pueblo, a small restaurant in a midtown strip mall. Lovelle Harris in Submerge Mag.

Continue reading "Dining News: Block Butcher Bar a 'Destination,' 'Instant Hit'" »

Dining News: RIP Sheephereder Bar & Grille, Hello Fire Rock Grill


Sheepherder Bar & Grill inRancho Cordova closed on Dec. 31st (with an all day happy hour) and will reopoen in early Feb. as Fire Rock Grill.

The follwing message has been on their answering machine for the last couple weeks:

Thank you for calling the historic Sheepherder restaurant on Folsom Blvd. in Rancho Cordova. We are currently closed for remodeling and will reopen on Feb. 3 as Fire Rock Grill under new ownership and management.

Per the description on their Facebook Page, the Fire Rock Grill is:

Family owned and operated, Fire Rock Grill is located in the historic Sheepherder building in Rancho Cordova and is giving a new twist to American food...

We are pleased to announce that a new restaurant Fire Rock Grill, located in the historic Sheepherder building, is under construction and is opening for business in February. We invite you to follow our process through construction as we make our restaurant more inviting to everyone who walks in the door.

Formerly known as Sheepherder Bar and Grille, the Alimena family has taken over to expand the American style menu to New American featuring tastes from Latin America and Mediterranean including Italian.

I don't have much more than that at this point besides the fact that it bills itself as a "family restaurant," but I'll keep an eye out and keep you informed.

When it opens, Fire Rock Grill will be located at 11275 Folsom Blvd., Rancho Cordova, CA.

More News:

Sacramento Beer Week's main event, the Beerfest, moves to Capitol Mall from Cal Expo - The powers that be who put on this region’s annual Sacramento Beer Week made a smart move: The annual Capitol Beerfest, normally held on a Saturday “all the way out” at Cal Expo, will now take place on Sunday, March 9, outdoors on Capitol Mall. Nick Miller in Sac News & Review.

Standing Tall: Selland’s Market-Cafe sets the standard for casual dining - While most Sacramento residents might judge the Selland group on the fine-dining standouts of Ella and The Kitchen, it’s probably Selland’s Market-Cafe in East Sac that they’re most familiar with. What makes Selland’s work is its casual, order-at-the-counter system and seemingly endless list of special events, deals and offers. The menu, a combo of soups, sandwiches, pizza and hot dishes, hasn’t changed much in the 13 years since the restaurant’s opening. But seasonal specials and weekly offers attract curious diners without nudging out the favorite dishes that keep East Sac residents coming in week after week. Greg Sabin in Inside Publications.

Continue reading "Dining News: RIP Sheephereder Bar & Grille, Hello Fire Rock Grill" »