Sacramento Weekend Dining Report
Was able to do some exploring while LadyPB was slaving away at the Dept. of Ed this past weekend. Friday afternoon stopped for lunch at Ravenous. I had a great bowl of mussels along with a cup of their white bean soup (quite good) and she had a wonderful, perfectly cooked piece of macadamia nut encrusted halibut.
That evening we headed for Dragonfly only to find it shuttered, Not wishing to walk any further we settled on Zocalo. Having been provided a taste of their mole sauce and found it to her liking (i.e. on the sweet side) she ordered the dish but subbed out the chicken for camarones, and was delighted. I went against my basic rule of never ordering al pastor unless it's cooked on a spit and wasn't that pleased, my own fault.
Also in addition to Dragonfly, sad to see Black Pearl (now The Red Lotus) and the little neighborhood market on Capitol and 17th gone.
Things improved on Saturday, on my own for lunch I hit the Peruvian Food Festival at the church on 7th and T Streets. Little confusing at first, $3 entry fee, then purchase paper script in increments of $1-5-10, menu board behind table listed many dishes but no descriptions, had to visit the individual tables to get them. I was told most people know what they plan on ordering and buy the appropriate amount of script. Au Contraire, not this hound, I was out to sample as much as possible. At first it looked like I would be out of luch, but as fortune would have it was able to snag a few small tastes and talk my way into a few half portions (the full portions of any one of the specialties would have been more than a meal, at least for lunch).
My first stop was for Aji de Gallina, chicken and aji peppers stew in a "spicy, nutty, cheese sauce" and a dish called Carapulcra, spicy stew with potatoes and a little pork, irrc. Both wonderful, the chicken had an essence to it I'd never experienced. I next talked my way into a half (actually requesting a little less since they were so gracious to accomodate me) of the Seco de Cabrito, goat stewed in a cilantro sauce served over rice... heavenly. I finished up with a Peruvian Tamale in banana leaves, moist masa stuffed with chicken, and a slathering of nicely spicy red salsa and pickled thin slices of red onion, again, out of the park. Wished I could have stayed and tried some other dishes, such as:
Ceviche (several styles)
Cau-Cau (beef tripe w/ African, Italian, and Chinese influence)
Papa a la Huancaina
Causa Rellena con Pollo
For part 2 of lunch, I had saved just enough room for a combo slice from Uncle Vito's on 16th, went quite will with a little Cigare Volante from Bonny Doon.
For our evening meal it was a toss up between La Tratorria Boheme and Waterboy, the latter won out since it was an easy walk, no car involved. Started with White Sardines over which we decided to order several appetizers to share instead of entrees. Went with a plate of the oysters (forgot where they were from, very tasty), a baked cheesy (gorgonzola?) gnocchi, sweetbreads, a delicious beet salad, and finished things off with an espresso affogatto (sp?). Very satisfied, nice to have a place you can always count on.
After dinner walked north on 20th through some of the wildest street parties we've seen outside of New Orleans, great evening and everyone having a great time.
Pollo a la Brasa
1801 Capitol Ave., Sacramento, CA 95814
2000 Capitol Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95814
FYI -- the "wild" street parties were probably because it was 2nd Saturday, which keeps growing more & more into an outdoor festival. They're always so much fun!! 2nd Saturdays (the 2nd Sat. of every month) happen year round. So maybe when you're making plans to come to Sac., you can include that w/your plans
PB, wish I'd known you were in town. Would have joined you for chow. If you were at Ravenous, you were right in my neighborhood. In fact, I workout at the gym a couple doors down from Ravenous. Next time you are here, we will have to chow at La Trattoria Boehemia-- excellent food there. Thanks for your report.
Thought about contacting you but didn't know what I'd be doing until the last minute, if K was going to end up having dinner with her group on Sat. night I was going to head on up the hill to Nevada City. I can see Ravenous being a regular stop so will definitely let you know next time through.