THE LATEST SCOOP
Keeping you informed of local food and drink news.
WRITTEN BY FRANK DOMPE
ILLUSTRATION BY GREG BRADY
Welcome to edible Sacramento’s Edible Updates column. Here, we share the latest news from our area’s restaurants and food purveyors, updates from regional agricultural producers, and more details about our burgeoning food-and-drink scene.
There’s a new spot to grab a beer and a bite in the city’s Oak Park neighborhood: Oakhaus. Part hofbrau and part biergarten, it’s an establishment that serves sausages, roasted poultry, sandwiches, salads, and desserts as well as appetizers such as pretzels, deviled eggs, fresh pickles, and kraut balls: deep-fried sauerkraut coated in pretzel crumbs. As for the brew, the dozen-plus varieties on tap range from traditional German lagers, pilsners, and hefeweizen to IPAs, fruit-tinged sours, and cider. Located near 34th Street just a block down Broadway from La Venadita — the taqueria that Oakhaus restaurateurs Tom and David Schnetz rolled out with considerable success last summer — it’s yet another reason to visit this vibrant corner of the city.
Beast + Bounty
In Midtown, carnivores and vegetarians should be able to find common ground at Beast + Bounty, a new restaurant set to open on the site of the former Orchard Supply Hardware at R and 17th streets. It aims to raise meats and produce to equally distinguished levels of preparation. The LowBrau and Block Butcher Bar duo Michael Hargis and Brock Macdonald plan to keep the menu approachable while providing an experience unavailable anywhere else in town. Photos of the dishes under development are being posted on social media, giving future patrons an idea of what’s to come from the eatery’s wood-fired hearth: contemporary California fare that brings together a wide range of influences with a bit of char. Dessert recipes with similar ambition are being concocted by pastry chef Edward Martinez, whose experiences in these parts have taken him to San Francisco’s Lazy Bear, a multi-course venue that San Francisco Chronicle food critic Michael Bauer called “the millennial’s version of Chez Panisse.”
85°C Bakery Cafe
They call it the Starbucks of Taiwan, but the buzz around 85°C Bakery Cafe has more to do with baked goods than beverages. The chain has expanded to more than 1,000 locations around the globe, and it has a menu that’s fittingly extensive. Several dozen types of breads, pastries, cakes, and other specialties will be available in the 3,200-square-foot location in south Sacramento’s Shun Fat Supermarket plaza. And while the crowds forming lines at the chain’s 20-plus California stores might be drawn by what comes from the ovens, its name comes from a firmly held belief in the ideal way to brew coffee … the drinks made from Guatemalan beans hold appeal, too.
Downtown lunch seekers hoping to get their Jewish deli fix have been kept on ice for months as a pair of long-awaited spots remains in the works. Paying homage to the man behind Tower Records (Russell Solomon), Solomon’s Delicatessen is to open in one of that company’s former stores on K Street near the Golden 1 Center. With a team that includes Andrea Lepore of Hot Italian, chef Aimal Formoli, Deftones stars Abe Cunningham and Frank Delgado, and the leaders of the Sacramento Jewish Food Faire, it has the makings of greatness.
South owners N’Gina and Ian Kavookjian. Photo by Raymond Kim for The Seen Mag
Not to be outdone, South owners N’Gina and Ian Kavookjian’s The Proletariat will bring simple, New Jersey-inspired flavors to a former tofu shop on 6th Street at Solons Alley. They’re not done expanding, either. The husband-and-wife team recently announced plans for an urban country club called The Good Saint. Once an artists’ compound, the site has roughly 6,500 square feet under a number of roofs on almost half an acre of land west of 26th Street, nestled between Jazz Alley and the railroad. Full of character and potential, it’s a spacious hideaway on the edge of Midtown that would be a great place to relax and reimagine a more laid-back version of city life. They might even put in a pool.
Jim Mills. Photo by Debbie Cunningham
While he might be unknown to many area diners, Jim Mills is something of a celebrity in restaurant kitchens throughout the region. Following a long career as a head chef for Randy Paragary, Mills took his experience afield by becoming the sales manager for premier wholesale distributor Produce Express. After nearly two decades as an instrumental link between farm and fork, Mills’ employer announced to those gathered at Produce Express’ Summer Farmers’ Market event that Mills was retiring at the end of August.
2016 International Food Blogger Conference in Sacramento
The International Food Blogger Conference returns for 2017 with an expected crowd of about 300 people keenly interested in helping others share their passion for the edible (see related story here). Over four days, the Sacramento Convention Center will be the venue for group sessions, displays, meals, excursions, opportunities to sample food and wine, and even activities such as yoga and a fun run. The conference will take place Sept. 29 – Oct.1, with an optional olive-oil-centric, pre-conference trip on Sept. 28.
2016 Tower Bridge Dinner
The coming of summer’s end is bringing more than just the likelihood of cooler weather. This is prime time for celebrating the bounty around us, with the city’s Restaurant Week and Cocktail Week, the Sacramento Burger Battle, Farm-to-Fork Festival, Tower Bridge Dinner, and a good number of other events showcasing the ever-growing medley of the potable and the palatable that we’re fortunate to have so close to home. Think of it as Thanksgiving in September. Check our continuously updated calendar at Ediblesacramento.com/events and join us in relishing the season’s best.
Frank Dompe is a freelance writer and former McClatchy Co. editor with a longtime interest in cooking and coffee. He lives and works in Sacramento’s Alkali Flat neighborhood.