Most every weekend (or at least once a week) my wife and I, or the whole family goes out to eat. We both also like to cook and experiment with new recipes and culinary delights. Some of these are quick and easy meals when we are rushed. Others, are more elaborate.
First the review of places we dined at last week. Disclaimer, this was a heavy week due to our 17 year anniversary (yay for us!).
Last weekend we hit a home run with 4 different spots. My wife and I started at Magpie, one of our favorites… only good experiences there, from the food, to the staff and drinks. We’ve been going there since it was a catering spot on R St. One time we sat at the bar mesmerized by the wall of interesting liquors. My wife said aloud, “I wonder what the difference is between those two gins?” Next things we knew the bar tender served us two complimentary gimlets with those two gins, to compare and contrast! When has that happened to you? We love the steak tar-tare, as well as the clams and fries. This time we also tried the special, which consisted of thick pasta noodles and foraged mushrooms from some local dude that picks them after it rains and sells them to local eateries. I know, sounds kind of sketchy… we had to try it. The mushrooms were like eating a steak… translation = delish!
Since it was 2nd Saturday, we hit the Arthouse to catch some local art and meet up with some friends. Of course we had to pop in to The Fox and Goose for a quickie, or as my friend John said, “We need to wet the whistle before viewing the art.” Always a great brunch joint too – can anyone say, “Ollalieberry scones with crème fresh!” I think we stopped going there so much only because the line is usually out the door and I can’t stand a hundred cranky people standing around staring at their phone (call me a curmudgeon, I don’t’ care and stay off my grass ya rotten kids!).
After viewing art, we almost landed at Bottles and Barlow… huge crowd, so we kept walking, but first enjoyed a rambunctious New Orleans style marching band out front. B and B is known for cutting hair and serving drinks in the day time – another great hipster invention. And since I do my own hair…well… it’s one advantage of being bald.
Hot Italian was the next stop for a little appetizer and libation. We’ve been there multiple times, and it just seems to be losing its novelty and luster– does anyone else agree? Nothing is really bad about the place, in fact, I love their brick oven pizza. The server must have been new, I give her grace… I was once a server too. The bar tender was way too cool to be bothered by my questions, but still managed to make me a Boulevardier – similar drink to my friend’s home spun Manhattan with Aperol, but made with Campari. Or he said it’s a Negroni with whiskey. At least that’s what I gathered – definitely do your own homework on this one. As 10pm rolled around, they started putting chairs on the tables and looking at their watches. Um, isn’t it Saturday night?!?! Another bad sign for Hot Italian… getting colder by the minute. You know when they say, “Take your time…” yet ask you to lift your feet as they sweep the floor, it’s time to bounce!
Karma Brew was our last stop – at least some place in Sacramento stays open til 2am –
yes, this is what cities do (even if I’m usually in bed by 10pm). If you have not been here before and like beer or their yummy home-spun sangria (with secret unknown spices), it’s worth a visit. Funky and eclectic, with a good selection of beers to match the décor.
Fun evening! Thanks to the friends who joined us on the adventure.
What new, or old places have you been lately?
This week, I made paella. It’s not the first time (as this is one of my favs), but it’s the first time it didn’t work out too well. [picture below is not my paella – ha ha]
I tried a different “traditional Spanish Paella” recipe and under cooked the rice – bleh. All that precious saffron down the drain. If you didn’t know, saffron is the magic of paella – threads picked from the flower of a type of Orchid – Also known as the most costly spice in the world. My son, Drew, said, “Are there hard chunks of corn in this?” Not a good sign. Anyone have a paella recipe they like? If you are not into making it at home, I do like Tapa the World’s paella. Check it out.
What are you’re go-to recipes?
Keith Klassen, Real Estate Broker (Wanna-be-Foodie) – 916.595.7900