Last night I spent a very enjoyable evening with the Sacramento Epicureans. For those of you that don’t know, the word “epicurean” comes from the Greek “epi,” meaning “on” or “kind of near but not exactly right next to,” and “curean” which is from the Latin for “place in the river where peasants dump buckets of feces.” So, obviously, “epicurean” has come to mean one who enjoys ingesting fine things, and the Sacramento branch of this particular pursuit is a fine example of the type. Friday night’s epicurean event took place at Gaesorn Thai Cuisine, an established restaurant, now in a new, sophisticated location on 9th street between J &amp; K.
Nearly once a month, the Sacramento Epicureans hold an event at a restaurant around town. These events are ably and fastidiously organized by Paul, the founder of the “Sac Eps.” (See what I just did there, I made a up a cool NBA nickname for the group so that it sounds twice as cool as it did than when I started this piece.) Last month’s event was at one of my favorite locales, Everett &amp; Jones barbecue on Florin and Franklin, so I knew that this club had class. The question was, did they also know how to have a good time.
Friday night’s festivities started off with a nice welcome from Paul. He was extremely ingratiating and a wonderful host to both Mrs. Eats and myself. Knowing it was our first time, he let us know what to expect and made sure we were doing well throughout the evening. Despite Paul’s swarthy European charm and continental graces, Mrs. Eats couldn’t help but wonder if this large gathering of strangers was going to swiftly convert to one of three things: 1. An Amway meeting, 2. A swinger’s party, or 3. A Scientology indoctrination (which, let’s face it, is just a combo of #1 &amp; 2.) Her fears were to be unfounded, for the event was simply filled with food lovers and gastro-junkies (I totally just made that up, OED, here I come (I really want to be the OED word of the day)) having a wonderful time and enjoying food and friendship across the table.
The food at Gaesorn was very good, high in quality and especially flavorful. The drunken noodles were a big hit and by far the best dish. The other dishes we were offered, curry with beef and broccoli and vegetables in an oyster sauce, were good without being memorable. Dessert was sticky rice with a Thai egg custard which was sweet and yummy and small. But the novelty, and perhaps most enjoyable aspect of the evening, was being able to go to dinner, pay a reasonable price ($18 per person) and meet wonderfully interesting people who you might never have known otherwise.
Mrs. Eats and I sat next to Jennifer and Darren, publishers of “Edible Sacramento,” a fantastic quarterly magazine that I have read in the restrooms of the finest restaurants in town. It’s truly a beautiful magazine, with fascinating content, well written articles and gorgeous photography. Jennifer also contributes to Sacatomato.com and finds time to raise a small child that I assume is her own. Other folks at the table had their own stories to tell, and we chatted about food, finance, running and real estate.
There is no special requirement to join the Sacramento Epicureans, just a love of food and sense of adventure. Future events being organized are a chocolate sampling and French cooking class with Chef Rolle of Rolle French Cuisine. A Chinese New year get-together is also being arranged with the Sac Eps and Sac Food Group which can’t help but be a success. I’ll be there.
One drawback of the event was the fact that Gaesorn had not yet gotten its liquor license for this new location, which meant no Singha for me. Now I’m not one of those guys who has to have a few shots in me to have a good time, but I will say that a little social lubricant in an event full of strangers is never a bad thing, but the lack of it may have had something to do with Paul’s disappointment that a swinger’s party didn’t break out.
Gaesorn Thai Cuisine- 9th St. Between J &amp; K, Sacramento
Food*** Atmosphere*** Service***