• The Habit Burger Grill
$2.95 for the Charburger; $3.95 for the Double Charburger; www.habitburger.com
If you havent tried Habit Burger yet, grab your car keys now. The chain, with outposts in Sacramento, Davis, Elk Grove and Granite Bay, recently was named best-tasting fast-food burger in America by Consumer Reports, beating out better-known players including In-N-Out and Five Guys. Founded in Santa Barbara in 1969, Habit offers a fairly classic signature burger: meat with lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, mayonnaise and pickle on a toasted bun. The chain, with branches throughout California, Utah and Arizona, also serves fare less expected at a burger spot, such as an albacore tuna sandwich.
• Jif To Go Dippers
$1.39 for individual pack; $3.79 for a three pack; available at supermarkets and convenience stores; www.jif.com
Few flavor combinations cause such riotous sensory pleasure as sweet and savory. Add in the crunch of wafer-thin pretzels, and youve hit a trifecta. Jif puts it all together with its nicely packaged To Go Dippers, which includes 10-12 pretzels and a 1.13-ounce cup of dip (either creamy peanut butter or Chocolate Silk, a chocolate/peanut butter combo). Both satisfy, but the chocolate dip featured a smoother texture and an extra sugary zing that brought the pretzels pleasant saltiness into stark contrast.
• Tote+able canvas wine canteen
$21 for a 750 ml canteen; Nugget and local retailers; www.toteandable.com
Get your vino to go with these USA-made, heavyweight canvas canteens, which hold a full bottle of wine inside their BPA-free, oxygen-expelling liners. Made in Santa Rosa, the bags come in a line of California cool designs such as the state flag and a camo print all with a sturdy carabiner clip to attach to your belt, bag or bike.
• Creminelli Wild Boar Salami
$14.99 for 7 oz.; Nugget and online; www.creminelli.com
Mild and moist with a rich, dark color and hints of juniper and cloves, this innovative mix of Utah-raised, heritage-bred pork belly and wild boar (humanely field harvested in Texas) is just one of the delicious creations from Italian salumi master Cristiano Creminelli, who brought his artisanal cured meats to the states seven years ago. Pair it with a rich red for a splendid appetizer.
• Mr. Cheese Os
$2.99 for 1 oz.; local retailers; www.mrcheeseos.com
Sonoma Creamery is renowned for high-end, hand-crafted cheeses, but now this wine-country favorite has expanded into snack foods with these crispy, crunchy and healthy little bites each about the size of a quarter. Made with quinoa (what isnt these days?), oat bran and brown rice, they pack in 10 grams of protein per bag and have an irresistible salty snap that will make you wish the bag was bigger.
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