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.
The long-awaited opening of Solomon’s Delicatessen has happened, but it occurred a bit earlier and about 15 miles west of where it was expected. Co-owner Andrea Lepore, who also is co-founder and manager of Hot Italian, turned the closure of that pizzeria’s Davis location into an opportunity to roll out the deli’s thoughtfully designed menu of bagels, sandwiches, and soups ahead of its appearance at the flagship location near the Golden 1 Center.
Another iconic and much-anticipated taste of New York lives right next door: The Halal Guys. From humble beginnings in the 1990s serving Manhattan cabbies from a food cart, the business has grown into a highly successful restaurant chain serving up halal food such as gyros, chicken, and falafel across the country and around the world.
The Halal Guys
A pair of chefs is giving made-to-order meals an infusion of culinary skill at Origami Asian Grill next to V. Miller Meats in East Sacramento. Paragary’s alums Scott Ostrander and Paul DiPierro are locals who worked together at Winters’ The Inn at Park Winters. Diners at Origami can choose a type of dish — ramen, rice, noodles, salad, or sandwich — and add farm-fresh meats, vegetables, herbs, and seasonings as desired, or choose from house specials.
There’s a new place to find Mexican food in Folsom. Angels Kitchen aims for authenticity with an array of taqueria favorites as well as seafood dishes such as ceviche and aguachile. Located across from City Hall, Angels also offers a Taco Tuesday special.
Real Pie Co. is much more than the simple bakery its name suggests. The modest storefront near 24th Street and Broadway in Sacramento also offers soups, salads, quiches, and savory tarts as well as milkshakes, cookies, cakes, and lemonade, plus beer and wine for patrons who choose to dine in. The recipes rely on local produce and techniques both traditional and novel, with a focus on celebrating food with roots in the region.
Real Pie Co.
Hailing from Berkeley, CREAM offers such delectable treats as cookies, brownies, waffles, and doughnut-shaped croissants, which are used to sandwich any of about two dozen flavors of ice cream. Customers will find a palette of toppings, cones, sweet taco shells, and more, including gluten-free and vegan options. CREAM’s location in Sacramento’s Howe ’Bout Arden shopping center is its first in the city, and the franchise owners strove to integrate a sense of hometown pride in the concept’s execution by incorporating a local look and feel.
One of the coffee scene’s newest arrivals is a bit off the grid: Yuba City-based Bridge Coffee Co. has opened a Sacramento outpost in a health care complex on Auburn Boulevard near Bell Street. Owner Timothy Styczynski says the company’s name emphasizes its goal of being “the bridge from the crop to the cup,” using judiciously selected beans roasted in small batches.
Bridge Coffee Co.
Pachamama Coffee has set up a new headquarters at 919 20th St., an expansion of its East Sacramento location. The café serves a rotation of seven single-origin varieties grown by its network of cooperatives, and the beans are roasted on site.
The dark woods and rustic finishes of Pause Coffee House on Madison Avenue in Fair Oaks are the result of more than a year and a half of deliberate craftsmanship. Local roasts from online retailer Valiant Coffee, blends from Los Angeles-based Art of Tea, and a full selection of kombucha from Sacramento’s own Zeal Kombucha complement light fare from Estelle Bakery & Pâtisserie and Sweet Dozen in Sacramento.
The former Coffee Garden site in Curtis Park now is the Hop Gardens Taproom. Tap master Todd Fancher, formerly in charge of beer selection at Sacramento’s Corti Brothers, has cast a wide net in allotting extraordinary suds and ciders for the facility’s 24 spigots. Some beers featuring coffee are planned in a nod to the site’s history, and wine also is available. Lunch and dinner are served in the form of snacks, salads, and wood-fired pizzas and calzones.
Hop Gardens Taproom
Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse at V and 14th streets offers a growing slate of about a dozen beers made on the premises. The range of styles is considerable, from ales and lagers to saisons, stouts, and porters, a handful of which are specials made in collaboration with other brewers. The kitchen’s contribution also is extensive, with numerous smoked meats and sides flanking a variety of entrées such as tacos, shrimp, enchiladas, and desserts.
Urban Roots Brewing & Smokehouse
Inside Anh Hong restaurant on Florin Road just west of Highway 99, Asian Brothers Brewing is pouring stouts, pilsners, ciders, and ales that celebrate Vietnamese, Laotian, and Hmong traditions. Lighter in alcohol content, the brews feature hop varieties with notes of melon, honey, mint, and other flavors that complement Anh Hong’s cuisine.
Chef Michael Tuohy has left his position as general manager for food and beverages at the Golden 1 Center to begin a similar job at an upscale hotel in Charleston, S.C. Tuohy made a mark on Sacramento’s culinary history as head chef at fine dining establishments such as Grange Restaurant & Bar, which has tapped one of its former chefs du cuisine to head up the kitchen: native Dane Blom. An original member of the crew at Hawks Restaurant in Granite Bay, Blom recently worked at Hawks Provisions + Public House in East Sacramento.
Meanwhile, Grange’s outgoing head chef, Oliver Ridgeway, is working on a project near the Golden 1 Center’s VIP entrance. Named Camden Spit & Larder, the new eatery will combine British-style, slow-roasted meats with dishes that feature regional farm-to-fork ingredients.
Bogle Vineyards has been honored by the Sustainable Winegrowing Leadership Awards. The Green Medal Leader award recognizes excellence in sound environmental practice, social equitability, and economic viability. The Clarksburg-based winery’s bottlings have consistently earned high ratings at recent California State Fair competitions and in publications such as Wine Enthusiast.
The area’s chefs made a strong showing at the Pebble Beach Food & Wine festival with an invitation to serve a four-course luncheon titled Sacramento’s Farm to Fork All Stars. The lineup included Ridgeway (of Camden Spit & Larder), Kru chef Billy Ngo, Hawks’ executive chef Michael Fagnoni, and chocolatier Ramon Perez, all creating a menu that highlighted seafood from Passmore Ranch; produce from Capay Organic, Del Rio Botanical, and Azolla Farm; rice from Rue & Forsman Ranch; and meat from Emigh Lamb, among other producers in the region.
It’s gratifying to see our culinary establishments recognized on a national scale through events such as the gathering in Pebble Beach, but it’s even better to be able to head out and get a taste at our convenience. Fine dining has a strong place in Sacramento; craft brewing is proliferating here at an astounding pace; specialty coffee is spreading to the suburbs; and the valley’s wine growers are reaching new heights as the wider world is developing a taste for the food and drink we get to sample every day.
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.