Sacramento Foodies-ISO BEST Foodie shopping & dining...
We live in the culinary desert of the north, north state. Sacramento or Redding are our closest "cities" for "foodie" shopping. Foodie...scratch Redding. So...help, please...please...
Best places to find...
Ethnic ingredients? I cook all Asian cuisines, Italian (Hazan in particular at the moment), Mexican, would love to start Spanish (i.e. Tapas), French, et al... Not Indian though.
Is there anywhere I can acquire veal bones for stock at a sensible price? $18.99 for osso bucco is not a sensible price for veal stock bones. Any fabulous places for wonderful tidbits I certainly cannot find at home? I'm the kind who, upon finding real Spanish chorizo, promptly decided we were having paella for dinner and picked up everything else just cuz we found chorizo!! And loved it!!
Specialty cooking items....I want, crave, need a sticky rice steamer! A real, no kidding paella pan? I have a theory about mounting a paella pan over a wok ring...
Hubby is very easy going...he'd just love great places to nosh along the way, and a nice place to have dinner in the end. Someplace that will make my eyes light up and encourage me to delve deeper into culinary mastery.
Thanks so much...I know there are some great Sacramento Foodies out there! I'm not worried about getting there before Christmas day either!
Ethnic groceries ... For Chinese and Vietnamese, Shun Fat a/k/a SF Supermarket (65th Street and Stockton Blvd.) has the best selection. Wing Wa (a little further north on Stockton) and Asian Food Center (Broadway at 13th) are also good. For Japanese and Hawai'ian, check out Oto's Marketplace (Freeport Blvd. between Sutterville and Fruitridge). They also have the best fish in town, and Ray Yamamoto making sushi at lunchtime on weekdays. For Mexican, any of the Carniceria Familia Lopez locations will have the basics.
Corti Bros. (on Folsom Blvd. at 58th Street) is your best bet for general gourmet groceries. If you want a bottle of Saba or a tube of harissa or a can of sardines imported from Spain, this is the place to go. Their butcher counter is also outstanding (and may be a source for bones for you).
For hard-to-find specialty items, it's catch as catch can. The Asian groceries carry a variety of cooking supplies. For European cookware, Sur la Table and Williams Sonoma have their typical stuff, and William Glen is the locally-owned equivalent. When all else fails, there's always the internet. Or San Francisco.
As far as restaurants go, there are way too many to even start. Try searching this board and see if anything strikes your fancy. Check back or start a new post with any more specific questions you may have.
Thanks so much! That helps a lot. I'm familiar with most of those areas. For some reason I can't place Folsom & 58th, but I bet Google can! I realize food is difficult. I was just thinking of things like the fact that Ray Yamamoto does sushi on weekdays - thanks for that tidbit!! BIG selling point!! That all helps a lot!
Folsom & 58th - East Sac, near CSU Sacramento. Easy freeway access - take the 59th Street exit off US50.
Other tidbits, Asian-oriented - there's an independent vendor in the front section of SF Supermarket selling decent roast duck, pork, and chicken to eat in or take out. There's other stuff, too, but I can't vouch for it. Wing Wa has pre-made banh mi sandwiches that are pretty good and cost next to nothing. Across the street from Oto's is New Hong Kong Wok, which serves the best wonton soup you'll ever have. Lots of good stuff out there.
You should also check out Taylor's Market on Freeport Blvd. They carry Spanish chorizo and lots of other yummy things.
I bought my Zojirushi rice cooker online. You can get it for a better price if you look online. Mine has a timer (so that it'll start when you're out) and will cook porridge, brown rice, white rice and mixed rice.
They also carry rice cookers and lots of yummy Japanese things at Oto's on Freeport. You can buy fresh tofu (not packaged) by asking the butcher for it. I also like to buy saba (mackerel) from them. It's the go-to place for Japanese people when we want to make a nice Japanese meal for guests. Their quality is great, and it's the only place you can find many of the ingredients.
Oto's on Freeport...you've got my attention!! I could buy actual "sushi quality" fish? Not meaning to sound horribly snobbish, but when you live away from the airports everything comes in mega-frozen or worse and then is passed off as "sushi grade" ! I laugh and make the best of it. Sometimes I can get a really nice piece, other times...well...we make do with a lot of shrimp! That's the kind of place I'm thinking of! Where I can fill my pantry with those odd ingredients I reach for once a month. Thanks so much!!