Dining News: SactoMoFo 8 Coming Sat, April 25

SactoMoFo 8, featuring 35 trucks and a beer garden, will be held at 6th & W (the spot of the Sunday's farmers market) on Saturday, April 25 from 2 t o 9 p.m.

Parking will be $5, or free with a canned good or other non-perishable food item for the Sac Food Bank.

In previous years, the event was focused on the lunch crowd. This year, they've switched to serve the afternoon and evening crowd.

The food truck line up includes:

  • Kokio Republic (Bay Area)
  • Koja Kitchen (Bay Area)
  • The Chairman (Bay Area)
  • Frozen Kuhsterd (Bay Area)
  • An the Go (Bay Area)
  • El Porteno (Bay Area)
  • Cichy Co.
  • Smokin Hot Pizza
  • Addy’s Paella
  • Brunch Boys
  • Bacon Mania
  • Chando’s Tacos
  • Hefty Gyros
  • Costa’s Kettle Corn
  • Cruzin’ Crustacean
  • Drewski’s Hot Rod
  • Fuzion Eatz
  • Gameday Grill
  • Green Papaya
  • The Culinerdy Cruzer
  • Happy Cow
  • Krush Burger
  • La Mex Taqueria
  • Simply Southern
  • Slightly Skewed
  • Smokers Wild
  • Smoothie Patrol
  • Dogtown Dog’s
  • The Flavor Face
  • Wandering Boba
  • Luciano’s Scoop
  • Sweet Spot
  • Dave Pops
  • Rich’s Ice Cream
  • Frenchy’s Waffles
  • Local Kine

SactoMoFo launched its very first Sacramento Mobile Food Festival in 2011, with an event at Fremont Park that drew more than 10,000 visitors. While SactoMoFo organizes events several times a week, those events (like the Tuesday events at 15th & Capitol) usually only feature a handful of trucks. Their signature SactoMoFo event brings dozens of trucks together - including many from outside the area.

For more information, visit

* Headline has been corrected to reflect the correct month.

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Duke’s Plates & Pints: Bites, brews and bros - Overall, the spot seems to be off to a good start. We liked that we could sample some somewhat local beers (like several from Healdsburg’s Bear Republic Brewing Co. and a few selections from Auburn’s Common Cider Co.). The limited food menu is pretty good overall, with the clear standouts being the burger and the sausage plate. It’s definitely a nice spot for anyone in the Arden Park neighborhood to bike to for a beer and bite. Jonathan Mendick in Sac News & Review.

Corner Bakery Cafe opening soon in Natomas - Texas-based Corner Bakery Cafe is preparing to open its first location in the Sacramento region. The restaurant in Natomas will open on March 30. Sonya Sorich in Sac Biz Journal.

Continue reading "Dining News: SactoMoFo 8 Coming Sat, April 25" »

Dining News: Next SactoMoFo to be Held on Sat., April 26


SactoMoFo 7, the next in the wildy-popular food truck mobile food festivals, will be held on Saturday April 26, SactoMoFo announced on its Web site.

The event will again be held at 6th & X, the same site as the Sunday Farmer's market.

The Sac Bee's Chris Macias got the scoop on the truck lineup for the event.

Among the newcomers are Fresno’s Dusty Buns, which specialize in gourmet sandwiches and a Central Valley hit. Ciao Chow, a local Italian-Asian truck which recently went online, will also make its SactoMoFo debut with a menu that spans spaghetti and meatballs, Thai braised pork sandwiches, Moroccan chicken and more. Cruizin’ Crustacean, a relatively new seafood truck run by the folks at Rudy’s Hideaway, will also be featured.

While food trucks and healthy eating might sound like a culinary oxymoron, SactoMoFo 7 will add more vegetarian and vegan food options.

“We’ve listened loud and clear to the vegetarians,” said Paul Somerhausen, co-founder of SactoMoFo. “One of the trucks we’ll be bringing is Hella Vegan Eats.”

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

I haven't been to a SactoMoFo recently, mostly due to other obligations on those days, but I'm excited about this one. I've written in the past about the "Go Early" strategy, but I think that's actually wrong. I'll probably go late in the afternoon and see what's left. There may be less variety, but there probably also won't be hour long waits.

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Behind the Scenes: Insight Coffee’s Insight into Their Craft (and New Location!) - They roast their own coffee at their 8th Street location and will now have a new shop to deliver to. On March 5, Insight moved into the space on 10th and J previously occupied by Temple Coffee and, most recently, Broadacre Coffee. Dubbed their “Capitol Café” location, the transition was smooth due mostly to the relationship Broadacre already established with Insight through the featured rotation of their coffee. As a result of that relationship, Insight brought over any of the baristas and staff who wished to join the new location—including previous Broadacre co-founder, Lucas Elia, as the new manager. Bethany Harris on Sac Press.

Foodie fusion - Casual Asian fusion seems to be hitting just the right notes around town. UC Davis students now have a source of late-night kimchee quesadillas that beat their wildest, at-home munchie-driven experiments. Featuring Tako Korean BBQ & Wrap N' Roll. Janelle Bitker in Sac News & Review.

Continue reading "Dining News: Next SactoMoFo to be Held on Sat., April 26" »

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.

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

Dining News: SactoMoFo 'Trucktoberfest' Coming Oct. 5

While the SactoMoFo group arranges local food truck meetups on a very regular basis, they still do a couple big events every year to bring out of town trucks into the mix. The next mobile food festival is coming on Saturday, Oct. 5, reports the Sac Bee's Chris Macias.

This second annual round-up of food trucks that lands in early fall is planned for Oct. 5 at West Sacramento’s River Walk Park. 20 mobile food vendors will set up shop, fron such perennial Sacramento favorites as Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen and Krush Burger to the Bay Area’s The Chairman Truck and KoJa Kitchen. That’s to say this smorgasbord of street food includes Asian influences, burgers, grilled sandwiches and plenty more to bust your gut.

Last year’s edition of Trucktoberfest drew more than 4,000 people who braved the triple-digit temperatures to chow down.

Read the entire story in the Sac Bee.

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Continue reading "Dining News: SactoMoFo 'Trucktoberfest' Coming Oct. 5" »

Dining News: RIP Capital Tea Garden


* Update 5/5/2013: See official explanation here.

Another day, another longtime Sacramento restaurant closes. This time, it's Capital Tea Garden, a much-loved Chinese restaurant serving dim sum at 11th & T for the last 25 years, reports Jeff Macedo on Facebook.

More from Tyler Munzing, a friend who commented on that Facebook thread:

We just ordered there tonight. They're retiring. Sold it to a family of Chinese restaurants in SF who will reopen in 2-3 mo. Bittersweet.

This news was confirmed by Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada (D-Davis), via The Nooner.

After 25 years, the iconic (and rustic) dim sum house at 1110 T serves its last shrimp bonnet on Monday, 4/29. Sunday wait staff were pleasant but tight-lipped, saying only that new owners plan a remodel and are expected to re-open in about 90 days--but as what, no one was willing or able to say.

I went to college with the daughters of one of the owners (or at least their family owned the restaurant back then), but haven't heard back. I'll update if/when I know more.

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Continue reading "Dining News: RIP Capital Tea Garden" »

Dining News: Piatti Swings, Misses in Revamp

Piatti, which closed for several months over the summer for a remodel, reopened in Decemeber.

During that time, they took time to revamp the menu. Nick Deider, Piatti's director of operations who worked more than 5 years at the Thomas Keller Restaurant Group in Yountville where he worked at Bouchon and Ad Hoc, told the Sac Bee in December that, "We've refined things and updated the recipes. (The dishes) have gotten a lot simpler and much more flavorful. Our new chef is Lance Carlini, who was a chef at Scott's Seafood Grill and at High Steaks steakhouse at Thunder Valley Casino Resort."

Did it pay off? Sac Bee restaurant critic Blair Anthony Robertson didn't seem impressed.

We left our three recent visits to Piatti in the upscale Pavilions shopping center a bit baffled by the remodel and underwhelmed by the inconsistent food – some good, some misguided, some poorly executed, nothing excellent and little we'll ever remember.

The room, the cooking and the decent but unexceptional service don't go nearly far enough. Amid the many ups and downs, what's clear is that Piatti has fallen further behind the standards set by both the new and established restaurants in east Sacramento and midtown just a few miles away.

Piatti's does enough to qualify as a neighborhood restaurant for Italian cuisine ranging from marginal to good, but it certainly isn't the dining destination we anticipated.

Read the entire review in the Sac Bee.

Click here for more posts about Piatti.

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Continue reading "Dining News: Piatti Swings, Misses in Revamp" »

Dining News: Billy Ngo (Kru) & Pedro Depina (Ettore's) Were Big Winners at Truck & Mortar Throwdown

The teams of Billy Ngo of Kru/Davin Vculek of Krush Burger and Pedro Depina of Ettore's/Andrew “Drewski” Blaskovich of Drewski's Hot Rod & Kitchen were the big winners in Saturday's cooking competition that paired one brick and mortar chef with one of their mobile food counterparts.

The five teams were given two ingredients that they were required to cook with -- a whole pig and honey, and were asked to prepare a savory dish and a sweet dish. The winners were judged by Mulvaney's B&L owner Patrick Mulvaney, FOX 40's Bethany Crouch and the Sac Bee's Chris Macias.

The team of Ngo and Vculek took the honors in the savory division with a pork belly taco (picture above, courtesy of the SactoMoFo Facebook page.) Depina and Blaskovich took the prize for the best sweet dish wih "The Last Twinkie - a honey twinkie with a bacon-bourbon marscapone filling.

The event was organized by SactoMofo. See pictures of all the dishes at the blog My Kitchen Kreations to You (including the one above).

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Continue reading "Dining News: Billy Ngo (Kru) & Pedro Depina (Ettore's) Were Big Winners at Truck & Mortar Throwdown" »