Gold Rush Days not worth it without the dirt?


“Because of the drought” is becoming the new
“because of the budget.”

Today came the news that Gold Rush Days are being cancelled due to the drought. Specifically because of the 3000 gallons of water used daily to dampen the dust from the dirt spread on the road during the event, normally held Labor Day weekend by Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau.

So you can drive your car down the freeway and park next to a mall and when you’re done you can eat at Joe’s Crab Shack, but it’s out of the question to just do away with the dusty roads? This is the major draw? If that was my decision I might have gambled that Gold Rush Days without the dusty streets is better than no event at all.

Maybe it would have felt too much like just any old day in Old Sac? What do folks who usually attend Gold Rush Days think? Would paved roads not suit the occasion?

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Roseville’s Susac called up to SF Giants

qmBoSNosFormer Jesuit High School star Andrew Susac, who was drafted by the San Francisco Giants in 2011, got the call to the big leagues today. This news is so fresh the kid hasn’t even had time to Tweet it yet, but he’ll be in uniform for tonight’s game against the Dodgers.

Susac unfortunately owes his call up to an injury to Hector Sanchez who took a ball off his grill last night in an 8-1 loss to the Dodgers which was kind of like a “ball off the grill” to the whole team. Sanchez has a mild concussion.

Local in the running for potato chip flavor contest

DUAF_Lay's Wavy Mango SalsaYou can’t make this stuff up. Julia Stanley-Metz from right here in Sacramento dreamed up “Wavy Mango and Salsa Potato Chips” and is subsequently one of just 4 finalists for a $1 million grand prize from Lay’s.

On Tuesday, July 29, Julia Stanley-Metz will be joined by the Mayor of the City of Sacramento Kevin Johnson at World Peace Rose Garden to officially proclaim the date, “Lay’s Wavy Mango Salsa Potato Chip Day in Sacramento.”

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Save 30% on “city pride” tees at therethere

therethere is a new tee-shirt company that specializes in hyperlocal designs. Starting in 2010 with the Oaklandish brand, (which I might add I saw a lot of in a recent visit to the East Bay) they have branched out into other locales where they partner with local artists to create screen printed tees using iconography and slogans that hip locals will appreciate. They came to the Sacramento market in April with about a dozen designs available online and at a few brick and mortar shops like the California Museum, Hot Italian, and Cuffs Boutique. Here is yours truly, sporting the “Sac Gold Nugget” tee at a recent SactoMofo food truck night in Tahoe Park:

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“6 states” initiative could appear on ballot

20140715-073330-27210514.jpgThe group behind the batshit-insane proposal by venture capitalist Thomas Draper to divide California into 6 separate states has gathered enough signatures to appear on the ballot, according to this article. Sacto would be in “North California” which would run from the Sonoma coast to Lake Tahoe. For some reason Silicon Valley and Jefferson (pictured) would be the only ones without “California” in the name–including Los Angeles which would have the indignity of being called “West California.”

If the Secretary of State’s office approves the signatures, this initiative would be able to appear on the ballot in California in 2016 where real Californians, the kind who have in the past voted for <INSERT YOUR FAVORITE STUPID INITIATIVE HERE> would be able to really vote on it.

Wahoo’s Fish Tacos to open next week

According to Cowtown Eats, which I have been remiss in not re-blogging more often since they give us so much traffic on Twitter, the venerable So Cal chain Wahoo’s Fish Tacos is planning to open in Sacto a week from today.

During the Handle District’s annual Bastille Day Waiter Race on Sunday, they had employees handing out coupons for free entrees. One of their employees freely shared the info.

They also invited me inside to take a look. The space is still unfinished, with at least several days worth of work left on the interior. If I had to guess, even if they open on the 21st, it’ll be several weeks before they get all they move from the “soft launch” phase to the “well-oiled machine” phase.

The location is on L street at 18th–Cowtown says 1818 but Wahoos.com says 1820, but I’m sure there will be fish imagery to lead you to the right place. This just kind of makes me long for Pescado’s though, and that insane salsa they used to make, which I have never seen prepared exactly as well anywhere else.

Link: Cowtown Eats

Death Grips officially break up

20140702-190412-68652960.jpgDeath Grips, the Sacramento-based experimental artcore/hip hop group that I sometimes write about here, and therefore am obligated to write about now, have broken up, notifying the world via Facebook post, as you do.

Death Grips was and always has been a conceptual art exhibition anchored by sound and vision above and beyond a ‘band.’

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Magazine names Corti Bros. deli one of the best in America

Posted by a fan to Corti Bros. Facebook group

Missed this the other day, but heard about it from a longtime Sacramentan friend. Food & Wine magazine named the deli at Corti Brothers in its list of best American delis. This puts it on a list with the most famous delis in America, and the writeup highlights its meat department which “stocks nearly everything, including kangaroo or antelope meat.” I know what I’m having for lunch.

The Death of Craft: Hard Work Sucks

I received terrible news this morning. My beloved Doughbot will be closing in August.

Unlike most restaurant closings however, this isn’t due to lack of business, or lawsuits, or partnership disputes, or any of the myriad ways small businesses, especially restaurants, can be struck by struck by figurative lightning (including literal lightning).  No, per their Facebook posting today, Doughbot is closing because they have too much business, and catering to all that business is hard work. Too hard to keep doing it.

Do not, I repeat, do not take this post as some type of belittling of the amount of work it takes to keep a small food-service business going. I’m totally on board with Doughbot’s owners in that busting ass is hard, burnout is real, and they do not owe the community their sweat simply because we’ve spent money at their shop. Continue reading

Chando’s nominated for Best Burrito in the USA

Via News & Review, whose readers last year named Chando’s the best burrito in Sacramento, it appears the Arden Way taqueria made Selection Thursday in a new bracket to name America’s Best Burrito. Apparently Chando’s made the list in an effort to reduce L.A.’s footprint on the list.

In an effort to bring in diversity of style and geography, we came to some unexpected choices: Chando’s Tacos in Sacramento, Rosa Maria’s garbage burrito in the Inland Empire, Spencer Makenzie’s (a fish restaurant that also serves tacos and burritos) in Ventura and Dos Chinos in Costa Mesa, an Asian-Latino fusion superstar. None would have made it on VORB score alone, but expert knowledge and an offer of something very different won each establishment a place in the bracket.

Any other Sacramento burritos that you think could have made the list?

Grant Pacers football documentary adds some local screenings

10151218_301577453300420_1954247868485807109_nIf you missed the documentary “Give Us This Day,” about the 2012 Grant Union High School football team, the film is coming back with some local screenings this weekend. I first wrote about this film last summer when the trailer dropped on YouTube.

The film, by locals (and brothers) D.L. and Adam Stern, got a great write-up in the Bee last month: “‘Give Us’ is not some booster-club video. It looks professional and polished” says Carla Meyer.

The film’s website has a link to buy tickets to the screenings, which, awesomely, will be taking place at the auditorium at Grant High.

Give Us This Day
Grant High School Auditorium
1400 Grand Ave
Sacramento, CA
Friday, 5/16 6:00 PM
Sunday, 5/18 1:00 PM & 6:00 PM
$10 General Admission / $5 Student (with ID)

On Flavorful Food and Spicy Writing

Folks weren't happy with my last write-up of Mother.

Folks weren’t happy with my last write-up of Mother.

Quick background: I wrote a piece a bit ago about newly opened Mother restaurant. It was one of the few pieces in town that didn’t sing its praises like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir all hopped up on whatever Mormons are allowed to drink. It had its share of snark (that is our mainstay y’know), its critical moments, and positive moments as well.

A few people who felt close to the project, as diners and partners, derided the piece as ignorant, unprofessional, and poopy-headed. Some made disparaging remarks that bordered on personal attacks. Many of these people didn’t realize that they knew me IRL which made for entertaining if not awkward reveals. Thankfully, no feelings were actually hurt in the making of that blog post.

So, after much encouragement from friends and other writers, I returned to Mother recently and gave it a second shot.

The Coolworths* *Not actually the Coolworths

The Coolworths*
*Not actually the Coolworths

First, I came with backup. I brought a fellow food writer, her husband and their adorable daughter to round out the party. For sake of ease, we’ll refer to them as “The Coolworths.”

The Coolworths and I got a nice table by the kitchen (honestly, every table is by the kitchen) and were waited on by a super-friendly staff member. It wasn’t long before the the chef. Michael Thiemann, dropped by the table to say hi, see if our beer was ok, and make it very clear, I mean Riedel crystal clear, that he knew exactly who we were. There was no avoiding it. It was a, “Hey sac-eats, thanks for coming back, I hope everything winds up being to your satisfaction” kind of conversation. Except that he didn’t call me sac-eats. He knew exactly who I was, no internet handle required. However, rather than being a dick, he was kind of lovely about it. Continue reading

Tire waste recycled into… garbage?

I question the wisdom of recycling tire waste into loose ground cover for a playground. This is from Seely Park in Carmichael, though I’m sure there are other parks using this seemingly well-intentioned material.
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Happy Birthday SNR!

25bugThis week marks the 25th anniversary of the Sacramento News and Review‘s first issue. As Melinda Welsh points out in her editorial, one of SNR’s greatest accomplishments is remaining locally owned and independent while alternative weeklies throughout the country are bought by media conglomerations or ceasing publication. This freedom allows writers to focus on Sacramento area interests and to not take any shit from anybody.

Publisher Jeff von Kaenel pushes a strong progressive and forward thinking agenda in his weekly column, a view that is sorely lacking in other major Sacramento media. His staff produces some of the best writing in Sacramento, from capitol and local political coverage to navigating local food and entertainment choices to in-depth cover stories on everything Sacramento.

This Sacto-centric view is displayed this week with more than two dozen notable and interesting locals and also Brian Crall envisioning Sacramento in 25 years. With luck and diligence, the Sacramento News and Review will be there to tell us all about it.