A staple of Mexican food in south Sacramento has lost its patriarch, Miguel Unzueta, the owner and founder of Caballo Blanco restaurant. He died Friday at age 88.

Sunday’s cover story in Feast focused on Whitney Johnson, who’s described as the current maven of Sacramento restaurant design. Her clients include some of the most buzzed about bars and eateries in town, including Shady Lady, Hook & Ladder, Grange Hotel and its Citizen Restaurant, and a much anticipated barbershop and bar coming to the R Street corridor.

The scent of sizzling pork and the spirit of community wafted around Raley Field on Sunday afternoon. FoodStock, hosted by Mulvaney’s B&L restaurant and a collective of local chefs, helped usher in two weeks of celebrations of Sacramento as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” with a pig roast for 900 people.

Somewhere inside Hook & Ladder, among the rustic wood paneling and industrial aluminum trim, Whitney Johnson has hidden a small dinosaur. The prehistoric beast could be embedded in a custom painting or serve as a magnet behind the bar.

When Nagato Sukiyaki opened for business on Dec. 23, 1970, it was a true mom-and-pop operation – plus two young boys, making the restaurant a home away from home.

Better than Brittle, Anchor California Lager and seafood nachos at Lou’s Sushi

The Sacramento region is in the midst of celebrating its self-designation as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital” with a variety of food-related festivities running through Sept. 28.

The food runner at Aji Japanese Bistro in El Dorado Hills recently got a nasty earful from a customer. How dare this restaurant charge $20 for bringing in a bottle of wine from home?

The spicy fermented side dish has mythical standing at the Korean table.

They rattled, rumbled, hummed, purred and roared in the midday sunshine Friday: Dozens of tractors – big and small, new and old – kicking off two weeks of farm-to-fork festivities with a homespun parade on Capitol Mall.

In less than two years, the Sacramento region’s Farm-to-Fork event and related activities have grown rapidly, surprising even those who helped get it started.

The owners of midtown’s LowBrau are eyeing a project that will bring a new set of food and drink options to West Sacramento’s riverfront.

Even at $75, the Broderick Roadhouse “Off the Bridge” dinner scheduled for Sept. 28 was a relative deal. The multi-course meal on the final day of Sacramento’s “Farm-to-Fork Week” celebrations was designed as a more affordable alternative to the $175 Tower Bridge dinner that same day - not to mention some relief from the abundance of pricey farm dinners held regularly throughout the region.

Just as barbecue season continues (does it ever really end?), so does our search for great spice rubs and sauces. After years of tasting hundreds of them, we’re favoring on Kit’s Kansas City BBQ Rub by Miner’s Mix (think brown sugar), Roy’s Seasonings and Dizzy Pig rubs.

Over the decades, pizza takeout boxes from pizzerias nationwide have been adorned with surprisingly intricate art. Some boxes depict involved scenes showing pizza-makers at work in their kitchens, for instance; others are covered in scenes displaying everyday life in Italian villages.

After a four-year hiatus, it’s time to pig out again.

Sacramento is a booming craft beer town, with more breweries opening, several breweries expanding and plenty of breweries winning prizes. But sometimes it’s worth checking out the scene elsewhere to see what’s new and exciting and, possibly, what might fit in back here.

If you think the food at Centro Cocina Mexicana tastes as good as your grandmother’s, you’re very close to uncovering a crucial secret to this 20-year-old Sacramento restaurant’s success.

Learn the basics of safe dehydration techniques as a method of preserving foods.

Though tsimmes (a.k.a. tzimmes), a traditional part of the Rosh Hashana meal, generally is considered a sweet stew of carrots and other root vegetables, we decided to take our version in a slightly different direction.

Whether or not the weather cooperates, September marks the beginning of fall baking season. It’s also the perfect time to try some recipes for “ordinary” cookies – good enough for a weekday lunch but not tied to any major holiday.

For so long the chia seed, though a nutritional powerhouse, was relegated to late-night television commercials hawking sprouting cat-shaped clay planters.

Every now and then, you might want to make a meal that, as Tina Turner said, is nice … and easy.

Mussetter Distributing Inc. specializes in bringing more variety and flavor to greater Sacramento area.

Several years ago, Lyonnaise salads were quite the rage in New York’s French bistros. Then the fad faded and I forgot all about them. That is, until this past summer, when I had the happy opportunity to teach some classes in Lyons and reacquainted myself with this regional delight.

The weather was ideal for the crowd of 2,000-plus foodies who gathered this past weekend at Northstar-at-Tahoe near Truckee, and spilled over into the ultra-luxurious Ritz Carlton hotel, a gondola ride above the ski resort.

Kathy Joseph’s command center is in Davis, but her winery and vineyard are in Santa Barbara County.

It took cheese to teach me how good white wine is.

Roseville’s Sammy Hagar-themed restaurant is set to reopen next Monday, and the legendary rocker will take center stage at a downtown welcome concert this Saturday.

On the shelves at Corti Brothers market, the cornflower blue boxes of the Sacramento Cookie Factory’s signature Sacramento wafer sit among the standard Nilla Wafers and Oreos, catching the eye with a distinctive drawing of the state Capitol on the packages. Food maven Darrell Corti is an ardent fan.

Local eateries must pay to participate in the “Restaurant Weeks” portion of the upcoming celebration of Sacramento as “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital.” Flying the official “farm-to-fork” flag during the event, which runs Sept. 12-28, will cost $100 or $200.

If you want to know which additives are in the wine you’re drinking, looking at a label will do you little good, as most labeling is voluntary in the U.S.

Two of the three best steaks I’ve had in recent memory were at High Steaks, the upscale steakhouse inside the massive Thunder Valley Casino complex in Lincoln.

Sukhi’s Gourmet Indian Foods Korma Curry Sauce

Computers not only help restaurant staff handle mealtime crowds, but they help manage food purchases and expenses. For diners, everything has changed, from making a reservations to paying the check.

From matzo ball soup to homemade strudel, traditional foods draw a crowd to Carmichael synagogue.

If you’re among the 740 guests who paid $175 a head to break bread at the second Tower Bridge Gala Dinner on Sept. 28, you’re probably eager to see the menu.

When it comes to pizza, everybody has an opinion — including the foodies in the field who report to the editors at the Daily Meal, the website that covers all things food and drink.

The Best In the West Nugget Rib Cook-Off in Sparks, Nev., was a big-time throwdown at which 23 professional cookers competed for cash, trophies and braggin’ rights. Over the five-day Labor Day “weekend,” they sold 250,000 pounds of St. Louis-style bones (and a whole lot of funnel cakes, onion rings and roasted corn) to a Rib Nation a half-million strong.

The chill of fall is slowly moving in, close enough to warrant a big bowl of red at the fourth annual Firefighter Chili Cook-Off.

There’s a reason Indian restaurants are so popular in the Western world. The spices, the sauces, the robust cooking and the beautiful complexity of flavors are at once exotic, mysterious, welcoming and accessible.

This Carmichael restaurant may be small, but its menu is big.

In the restaurant industry, the staff eats a meal together that’s often very different than what the guests enjoy.

Learn to preserve apples with the help of master food preservers.

My grandma Ursula relied on honey to solve nearly any culinary or health problem. Have a nagging nighttime cough? Swallow a spoonful of honey. Chocolate sauce not smooth enough? A dab of honey will do it.

Editor’s note: Last year at this time we published a list that included 25 regional breweries. This year we’re happy to report there are now 31 breweries in the Sacramento region. That calls for a toast and another beer ...

Editor’s note: This 2008 story is a reader favorite from Bee archives, along with a recipe for making caramel apples.

About four or five years ago, Janet Vollan of Sacramento saved a Bee recipe that included sliced home-grown tomatoes, zucchini cut into matchsticks, fresh corn cut from the cobs, dill, bread crumbs and olive oil.

A taste of Sacramento beer will now be easier to find around California and beyond. Rubicon Brewing Company, a stalwart of Sacramento’s microbrewery movement, has partnered with DBI Beverage Sacramento. DBI is a major distributor of beers, with a portfolio that includes Heineken USA and major brands under the MillerCoors umbrella. DBI also distributes such craft beer favorites as Russian River Brewing, Dogfish Head, Bear Republic and Lost Coast.

Legislation signed by Gov. Jerry Brown amends the California Health and Safety Code to allow dogs in outdoor restaurant areas where food preparation does not occur, providing the dog is on a leash and does not walk through the indoor portion of the restaurant to get to the permitted area.

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