Girls on Food

Sacramento

Food Trucksgiving

Krush Burger 
@KrushBurger
My favorite food truck has embraced the holiday spirit, turning the amazing Thanksgiving leftover sandwich into a slider! It’s fantastic and the sweet potato tots are oh-so-perfect on the side. Get them while you can Sacramento!

Why Bake When You Can Bombe?

Tonight I discovered an adorable new ice cream parlor in Sacramento, La Bombe Ice Cream & More, and it reminded me of this incredibly simple but impressive
dessert I used to make all the time! Sacramentans, I highly recommend you check
this place out. They use Gunther’s ice cream (which is fabulous), have
incredible flavor combinations, and the staff is delightful. Here are two of
their finest combos…

The Italian Bombe
mocha almond fudge, bittersweet chocolate and vanilla ice cream layered with chocolate cookie wafers and topped with Italian amaretti cookie crumbles 
 
The Neapolitan Bombe
 
chocolate, vanilla and strawberry ice cream layered with chocolate cookie wafers, French strawberry jam and an Italian Amarena wild cherry 
 

I know that summer has come and gone but I eat ice cream year round, and a bombe is as good as it gets. It can go toe-to-toe with any layer cake but takes a lot
less time and effort. Here are the basics…
Mixing Bowl Prep:
You’ll layer the ice cream inside a mixing bowl to create the dome look and there are a couple ways to prep it. You can line
it with plastic wrap, which makes it really easy to get it out of the bowl, but it
will create little lines in it. If you’re covering it with ganache or whipped cream later that won’t matter. If the ice cream will be seen brush
the bowl with vegetable oil and freeze it for a while before filling.
Ice Cream:
Let the ice cream soften so you can use a spatula to spread
it around your bowl. Cover the inside completely with your first flavor, then fill the middle with as many layers of different flavors and toppings as you
like. Freeze it between layers for about 20 minutes.
Crust:
You don’t really need a “crust” but I like a little crunch at the bottom. Chopped nuts or cookies are simple,
tasty options. Just press the toppings into the last layer of ice cream while it’s
still soft or add chocolate fudge and sprinkle on top of that.
The best part is that much like cakes even if it doesn’t
look amazing when it pops out of the bowl you can still dress it up. Graham
cracker crumbs, finely chopped nuts or ganache will erase all imperfections,
and no one’s ever complained about whipped cream with a cherry on top!

Little Things Mean a Lot: Hardy Kiwis and Feijoa Fruits

Last Fall I discovered Hardy Kiwis at the West Seattle Farmer’s Market. At first glance, they looked like olives so I was a little skeptical. When you bite into them (no need to scoop, just pop ’em in) they are just as sweet and juicy as a kiwi. The only bummer was I never saw my Hardy Kiwi man again.

 

2 weeks ago I lucked out and the Hardy Kiwis were back! They seem to only be around once a year in October, so if you see this stand, pick a batch up. I brought some to work and when my co-workers cut them open, the reaction was “awww”.

I’m striking out on other ways to try Hardy Kiwis, so the best options for my readers are to wait for the West Seattle Farmer’s Market in October of 2013, or to purchase a plant. They sell the plants here:
http://www.burpee.com/

I just shot a role on a TV show in the Bay area and got the chance to hang at my mom’s house in the Greenhaven neighborhood of Sacramento. I have memories of eating the petals off the fruits in the Spring before they grow. Luckily for me, mom’s fruit tree was in full bloom. Feijoa has a similar flavor to guava, but it’s texture is grittier and it’s more fragrant. To eat it, cut the fruit in half and scoop out the pulp, the same way as a kiwi. It grows rapidly in New Zealand but also grows in California, and regions in Texas to Florida.  If I could bottle it and create a perfume I would. I’ve never seen it sold in grocery stores, but I found them sold here:
http://www.buyexoticfruits.com/feijoa.html

Luckily, mom is shipping some up to me so I can have a taste of New Zealand in the PNW.

Champagne Cocktail Time!

French 75

I’m hosting a bridal shower pretty soon so the menu planning
begins… with cocktails! We’re doing brunch, which of course calls for champagne, but I refuse to serve mimosas when there are so many more exciting options. Below are my favorite finds so far, please comment and add to the list!

French 75
gin, lemon juice, simple syrup, champagne (garnish with a
lemon peel)

This is my favorite cocktail of the moment. It’s admittedly
strong for brunch, probably more appropriate to sip over oysters later in the
day, but we’re celebrating!


Missy Bell
St. Germaine, grapefruit bitters, champagne (garnish with a
grapefruit peel)

This one is named after a friend who invented it at The
Shady Lady in Sacramento. It’s highly addictive.


Kir Royale
Crème de Cassis, champagne (garnish with a citrus peel)


Lavender Sparkler
lavender simple syrup, champagne (garnish with a lavender
sprig)



Ginger Sparkler
ginger simple syrup, champagne (garnish with a lemon peel)


Cranberry Sparkler
cranberry, Cointreau, champagne (garnish with an orange
peel)



Pear Sparkler
pear brandy, champagne (garnish with a thin pear slice)


Rosemary Lemon Sparkler
rosemary simple syrup, lemon juice, champagne (garnish with
a rosemary sprig)



Classic Champagne Cocktail
sugar cube soaked in bitters, champagne (garnish with a lemon
peel)

When I throw parties I love to offer a fully stocked bar complete with handwritten cocktail menu cards to inspire guests to be creative with their beverage selection. Flavored simple syrups are the most inexpensive way to create an impressive bar, especially when you put them in antique thrift store bottles with handwritten labels. They’re incredibly easy to make too! It’s just equal parts sugar dissolved in boiling
water and left to cool, with any flavoring you like. If you have a lot left
over it’s great with iced tea and sparkling water, or if you’re a baker it
works miracles on layer cakes! In bakeries it’s standard procedure to brush the
cakes with simple syrup to keep them moist. It’s the best kept secret that you
won’t find in recipes and when you use the flavored syrups your cakes will
taste even better!

Sac Food Trucks: Drewski’s & OM Karmabile

Drewski’s Hot Rod Kitchen – Grilled Cheese, Tots, Fries

@drewskishotrod for locations

This seems to be the truck that everyone knows
about, and loves. A friend has been raving about it so I drove a little out of
the way to seek them out. When I arrived they had been open for about an hour
and the line was still growing. Their deep fried mac-n-cheese balls with smoked
bacon and black truffle were sold out. (My waistline thanks all those before
me.)
All of their ‘cheeses were tempting. My runner
up was the “Prius.”
Prius
sliced and grilled Granny Smith apples, wild
flower honey, smokehouse almonds, double crème brie cheese grilled on 9 grain
sliced wheat
Next time Prius. This time, I had to go with the
“Hemi.” I figured there must be a reason it’s first on the menu and the cover
photo on their Facebook page.
 
 
Hemi
slow roasted Carolina pulled pork, mac-n-cheese,
grilled onions, cheddar cheese, grilled on sliced French
(I ordered it on
wheat.)
Wow. The pork was incredibly good, tender and
sweet. I’ll admit I rolled my eyes a little at the mac-n-cheese addition, assumed
I’d pick it out, but I loved it. My inner child jumped for joy.
This is comfort food at its best. Don’t let the
line discourage you.
OM Karmabile – Indian Fusion
@OMKarmabile for locations
This food truck has two goals: fill your
belly with delicious Indian fusion cuisine and send you on your way with a
little good Karma. I’m a fan of both. The food part is a no-brainer and I was
very excited to try it because I rarely eat Indian food, mainly because I have
yet to find a great Indian restaurant in Sacramento. (Suggestions please!) The
bit about the Karma though, that’s a head scratcher at first. I learned the
reason for the truck’s name when I went to drop a tip in the jar. After a thank
you I was told they donate all of their tips to different children’s charities,
currently St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. I was thrilled with my lunch choice
even before my order was up!

 

I became happier when the food didn’t disappoint. They have burritos, tortas and rice bowls with chicken, lamb and vegetarian fillings but I went with the tacos…
Vegetarian Curry Taco
Corn tortilla with potatoes, peas and carrots
in a mild curry sauce with tomato chutney
Spicy Curry Chicken Taco
Corn tortilla with chicken cooked in spicy curry
sauce with potatoes, peas and carrots with tomato chutney
Masala Chicken Taco
Corn tortilla with Masala chicken, cucumber
chutney and creamy mint garlic sauce

 

All three were simple, tasty, and a delightful
leap from your standard lunch fare. The Masala chicken was my favorite of the
three. The true standout of the meal though was this fascinating dessert…
Gulab a la mode
Indian style doughnut soaked in rose water syrup
with coconut caramel sauce, vanilla ice cream, toasted coconut flakes and
topped with nutmeg and cardamom
This sounded incredibly intriguing because I had
no idea what an Indian style doughnut was and lately I have a fascination with
any dish that includes rose water.
(I used to absolutely hate rose
water. It tasted like perfume to me. I tried it in a couple amazing desserts
though and now, I love it! It still tastes like perfume, but in a good way?)
I really didn’t imagine myself loving this once I saw it but it turned out to be one of the most interesting and surprising desserts I’ve had in a long time. The gulab had the consistency of a cake doughnut with the rose water syrup softening and sweetening just the outside. They were addicting on their own and the flavor pairs incredibly well with the coconut and cardamom, with the vanilla ice cream serving to mellow it all out.
It’s definitely sweet and should be shared but if you’re in the mood to treat
yourself, I bet you’ll find it’s the best ice cream sundae you’ve ever had.

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates: Sacramento’s Finest

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates

1801 L Street Suite 60
Sacramento, CA 95811

916.706.1738
gingerelizabeth.com
This isn’t a new discovery. I basically just used this blog,
along with their “Macaron Madness” event, as an excuse to go back. I see that
happening quite often with this new hobby of mine… At some point I’ll have to
start writing about vegan spots and low calorie desserts but for now, chocolate
that’s so good it transcends guilt.
First, the Truffles…
These are truly the star. It’s an unspoken rule in my house
that this little brown box should make an appearance every Valentine’s Day,
birthday, anniversary, and sometimes “just because”… So, I’ve tried nearly
every one. The new flavor I discovered this time that I absolutely fell for is
their “Caramelized Milk and Coffee.” This one is dangerously delicious,
especially for the espresso-obsessed like myself. A close second at the moment
is the “Grapefruit & Fennel Pollen Caramel,” and if you’re a purist you must try the “Palet D’Or,” bittersweet chocolate ganache enrobed in bittersweet chocolate.  These truffles are among the best, not just the best in Sacramento.

 

On to the cakes…

 

Gianduja Cake 

 

72% Bittersweet Chocolate Mousse, Chocolate Biscuit with a Crunchy Hazelnut Bottom
 
This is one of two whole cakes you can order, or enjoy by
the slice at the store. Yes, it tastes every bit as delicious as it sounds.
Maybe a little more.

 

And finally, the Macarons…
A perfect Parisian macaron is truly a thing of beauty. They’re
adorable, come in playful enticing flavors, and when done right, they’re a melt-in-your-mouth
bit of whimsy and delight. And Ginger Elizabeth’s are amazing. I’ve yet to try
a flavor that didn’t put a smile on my face. Here are some stand outs to
get you salivating…
Basil Lime Ganache **FAVORITE**
Lemongrass Mixed Berry Jam
Rose Geranium Caramel
Nutmeg Nectarine Preserves
Caramelized Milk & Coffee
Ginger Plum
Earl Grey Berry Jam
Cookies & Cream
Spiced Muscovado Mango Jam
Salty Caramel
Coconut Strawberry Jam
GEC takes their macarons a bit further too, making larger traditional
cookie-sized versions with flavors like “Peanut Butter & Jelly” and pairs
them with their homemade ice cream for stunning ice cream sandwiches with
flavors like “Dolce de Leche Lime & Graham Cracker.” I haven’t tried these yet because something like this always stares me down when I walk in, distracting
me…
 

Dessert Macaron

 

Pistachio Mousseline layered with Ceylon Cinnamon Chocolate
Cream
and a Crunchy Pistachio Praline in a Chocolate Macaron
There are no words. It’s one of those desserts that just
stops you down at the first bite and shuts you up. Shockingly good. And that’s even
more impressive knowing that no one would ever bite into it with low
expectations, it’s beautiful!
If you’re not a Sacramentan – don’t fret! As soon as the weather cools down you can order chocolates online to ship. Start dropping
hints now to all of your loved ones!

 

Pour me another. Pour House, Sacramento

Tiffany’s review of the Pour House made me curious, and I’m a sucker for new places to drink beer, so we headed there on a lazy Sunday.  Walking into the bar, I was immediately drawn to their beer.  They have a decent amount of taps, but the kicker to this joint is the individual tables that allow you to pour your own draught (from their selected features), and pay by the ounce (32 cents, to be exact). This can be dangerous if you’re on a date, but I do think it’s absolutely ideal for groups of six who want to relax in a circular booth, and take in the atmosphere…and because I am a gin woman through and through, I would steer clear of the $2 Jameson shots you can dispense at each table as well, but to each his own.  Speaking of gin, they do carry Oxley, one of my personal favorites, so I give them a nod for their discerning taste.

So I was having a beer day…And while I perused the IPA selection, and was tempted by the Sculpin on draught (I know Ballast Point beer lovers are screaming Yay!), I wanted to take my time with their list. I also noticed that they had a relatively vast selection of 22’s on display including Knee Deep Brewing’s Hoptologist and Simtra, which seems to be all the rage right now.

While we started at the bar, I realized that a view from the booth is the way to go when you’re here, so we settled in.  It was a pretty hot day, and a hot day calls for a sour beer.

 

For lovers of all beers Belgium, Duchesse de Bourgogne is the way to go at Pour House.  For just $8, you can get a 750ml, and it is an ideal example of a Flanders Red Ale.  For those of you that have never had a Flanders Red, it’s not for everyone.  But for those of you that are adventurous, hunt one down.

It pours a dark ruby tinged brown.  But it’s not like a dark beer at all.  Every time I drink it, it reminds me of the bite you get from balsamic, and the nuances you find in a young Italian Sangiovese…but as it warms up in the glass, it becomes tamed, and the hints of cherry and caramel become more apparent. Yum.

Pour house definitely delivers for beer. And yes, I will be back for the Oxley Gin the next time I am craving a Martini.
Pour House is located on 1910 Q St, Sacramento Ca, and is open Monday – Sunday 11:00-1:30

Sac Food Trucks: Wicked ‘Wich & California Love

As mentioned before, I’m on a mission to try out every Sac Food Truck! I’m quite enjoying this decision so far and have two more to report on…

Wicked ‘Wich –
Sandwiches & Burgers
@wichonwheels for locations
Their claim to food truck fame is their massive sandwiches
that are stuffed with fries. It’s not exactly something I’d normally seek out but I’m very pleased that I went for it.
They also serve burgers. Most seemed like your standard fare but their Duck Burger was intriguing – ground duck patty, cheddar skirt, caper BBQ sauce and slaw. If it’s still on the menu, I’ll try this next.
My Order:
Pulled Pork Banh Mi w/Pickled Papaya & Carrot, Fresh Cut Fries &
Vietnamese Carmel Sauce

 

 

I was rather surprised I liked this as much as I did. I was on the fence about the fries and the bun is pretty large for my taste. (I’m a thin-crust-over-deep-dish kind of girl when it comes to carbohydrate ratios in meals.) I ended up tossing a pretty hefty amount of the bread but other than that, I loved it! The pork was perfect and the fries added to it without being overwhelming. (The stack is much smaller than the picture on the truck.) The papaya and carrot slaw was the best part though, with the fresh jalapenos on top. My mouth was on fire and my un-glossed lips were bright red from all the burning by the end… but still, it was worth it.

California Love Truck
– Eclectic
@CaliLoveTruck for locations
This truck doesn’t really seem to have a theme. You’ll see
our orders below are quite varied and the one thing we didn’t end up ordering
was the Meatball Sandwich with Jack Cheese & Marinara. A very strange mix…
 Friends’ Order:
Pork Belly Sandwich w/Fried Egg, Arugula & Garlic Mayo
 Two friends ordered this dish. Pork belly’s usually my go-to (actually pork anything) but I decided to go against the grain. I didn’t try it but here’s their review: both thought it could use more arugula, that it would be amazing for breakfast, and that it was delicious.
 Shared Order:
Carnitas Fries – Seasoned Fries, Carnitas, Sour Cream, Guacamole, Chipotle Mayo
Slaw
 If you’re into this type of menu item you should really just order this, we were all in agreement that it was a very weird side dish with our other sandwiches. It was good, pork was tender, but this is really just one of those dishes that you order late at night after many hours spent drinking.
 My Order:
Chicken & Waffles Slider w/Bacon, Hot Sauce Mayo &
Maple Syrup
I kind of love the idea of this slider, seems very food truck-ish to me. Not exactly something that would land on a restaurant menu. I liked it, didn’t love it. I should qualify that by saying that I’ve never ordered regular chicken and waffles before so I really have very little idea what would make it good or bad compared to “the real thing.” The fried chicken was fantastic, bacon’s always good, spicy aioli with the sweet maple syrup –
who could complain about that? The waffle was too dense for my taste and I thought it might be crispy, but no. The fried chicken was good enough to make up for it though.
Four down, fifteen or so trucks to go…
Here’s the link again for location updates if you want to set your own mission:

Sac Food Trucks: Krush Burger & Mama Kim on the go

My new goal is to eat my way through the Sac Food Truck
scene. I’m rather surprised it took this long for me to try them out actually. I’ll post my favorites here. So far, we’re two for two…

Krush Burger –
Sliders, Fries, Tots
@KrushBurger for locations
To be honest, they had me at the sweet potato tots. They’re my weakness. And these were delightful, especially with the ancho honey dipping sauce.
I ordered the 2 Pack – the “Cowbell” & the “Ninja.” The Cowbell was delicious but I kind of expected it to be – bacon, fried onions, gouda – it’s kind of a slam dunk. Still, it was very tasty. The Ninja was fantastic though!  Sweet and hot, with the soft fresh bun and crunchy slaw – this is what you should order.
COWBELL (on right): Bacon, Crispy Onion Stack, Smoked Gouda, House BBQ
Sauce
NINJA (on left): Marinated Korean Short Ribs, Asian Slaw, Radish
Sprouts, Crispy Scallions, Sriracha Aioli
Mama Kim on the go – Sandwiches,
Salads, Soup (The Healthy Truck)
@MamaKimCooks for locations
The falafal flatbread sandwich was tempting and the housemade cheddar biscuits they use for their turkey sandwich looked pretty amazing but I went with the fish tacos.
 Fresh Fish Tacos w/Slaw, Pico, Chipotle Aioli & Queso
Sweet Potato Chips

It’s pretty hard not to choose fish tacos when they’re on the menu, but that might be because I’m from California. The tacos did not disappoint though, fresh and a tad spicy with the chipotle aioli. A perfect summer lunch. The sweet potato chips were a bit of a strange accompaniment, but it worked! I also tried their heirloom tomato soup, which was light and refreshing. If they sold it by the gallon I’d probably wipe them out.

——————–
Looking for a food truck near you? They all tweet their locations but this website updates the locations of 21 trucks daily so it’s a quick way to see who’s parked nearby so you can decide what you’re in the mood for!

Cocktails & Cubanos in Midtown, Sacramento

First Stop: Pour House (Q & 19th)

After work cocktails arrived to mixed reviews. We ordered
adventurously and couldn’t really decide how we felt about them. It was the
cocktail equivalent of “I love you but I’m not in love with you.”
My Drink: “Whisky Fig”
Glenfiddich 12 Year Scotch, House Made Fig Jelly, Simple
Syrup, Squeezed Lemon, Angostura Bitters
I’d order it again if I sat at the bar and the bartender
didn’t look at me funny when I asked for it with “less lemon, more fig.”
I did like my friend’s drink more than mine. (Don’t you hate when that happens?!) 

“Smoked Apple”
Red Breast Irish Whiskey, House Made Smoked Apple Butter,
Apple Liqueur, Squeezed Lemon, Simple Syrup, Topped w/Wheat Beer
Second Stop: Fat Face Café (19th & R) 
Just down the block we stroll through vintage clothing shop Bows & Arrows, past the art class sketching live costumed models (precious), to the adorable cafe in the back with fantastic gourmet noshes.
 To start:
White Peach Sangria – described as “Sweet & Flashy” on the menu, which I love
Roasted Chipotle &
Honey Almonds
Both refreshing and delightful.
A perfect summer supper:
Sweet Corn Soup with a pressed Cubano
“Sammich” – Smoked Ham, Roasted Pork, Swiss, Fermented Pickles, and I ordered
it with the optional pineapple, which I recommend! A delicious version of one
of my favorite sandwiches on the planet.
As a rule I almost always save room for dessert but tonight, I just couldn’t do it. I’m drooling just thinking about the flavors now though so I will be back.
The Kaffir Lime + Avocado has my name on it.