Cathie Anderson

Cathie Anderson: Chando’s Tacos plans to open its third location in Roseville in May

Cathie Anderson
Cathie Anderson

Restaurateurs Lisandro and Karla Madrigal will open a third Chando’s Tacos location, this one in a shopping center at 943 Pleasant Grove Blvd. in Roseville. An opening date hasn’t been set, but it will be sometime in May.

“We had to kind of tweak our business model a little bit to make it work,” said Lisandro Madrigal, whose nickname is Chando. “We like standalone buildings or more end-cap buildings, but there’s a lot of traffic there. It’s next door to Starbucks.”

Also nearby are The Habit, Taco Bell, Pizza Hut and Sonic, Madrigal said, but he doesn’t see these eateries as competition. Rather, he said, the variety of dining choices actually will help drive more consumer interest because there’s something for everyone in the car, the home or office.

“I consider it more of a complement, if you will,” he said. “I guess it’s indirect competition, but there’s a little bit of everything, and it complements what we serve.”

Madrigal has leased 1,500 square feet, only half of which will go to his kitchen, so he’s already planned ways to make the operation efficient. He’s also working on a beer license because he wants to sell craft brews from the region’s burgeoning microbreweries. He’ll add 20 employees before the Roseville location opens. He currently employs about 35.

Famished? Hardly

Emma Barsdell and other travel agents from the United Kingdom ate up a big helping of the nation’s Farm-to-Fork Capital on Friday and Saturday.

Visit California worked with Funway Holidays to arrange the busman’s holiday for the British agents. After Sacramento, they headed to Sonoma and then to San Francisco on an excursion meant to teach them about California fare. Before this trip, Barsdell had never been to Sacramento. She had visited Hawaii, Boston, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

“I’ve been to California, but not here,” Barsdell said. “Sacramento is like real America. It’s not all commercial. Obviously, everything I did in L.A. was all the usual touristy bits.”

In fact, Barsdell said, Sacramento reminded her of the Isle of Wight, where she makes her home and works for Bath Travel. She and the nine other agents on the trip sampled a pint at New Helvetia Brewing Co.

Hook & Ladder Chef Brian Mizner and the staff at Passmore Ranch introduced them to a few baby goats and a passel of trout. They feasted aboard the Delta King and on land at Hook & Ladder, Block Butcher Bar and Sushi Paradiso.

Amid this smorgasbord of local, seasonal fare, it seems almost improper to mention that the group munched on Chipotle burritos during a lunch break at their hotel, but the Brits have a real appreciation for this meal’s worth. They told me that a Chipotle burrito and cola cost a whopping 10 pounds sterling, almost 17 American Simoleons, in London.

After the introduction to the capital region, Barsdell told me that she would recommend it to her clientele interested in California or culinary excursions. The Sacramento Convention & Visitors Bureau worked closely with Visit California to ensure the visitors got just the right taste of Sacramento while touring California.

“They specifically picked Sacramento because of our Farm to Fork messaging,” said Nick Leonti, the bureau’s director of tourism. “They’re here in California for a week, and we’ve got them for three nights, which is a pretty big score for Sacramento. It speaks to our quality as a culinary capital.”

His products go nuclear

Inventor Chris Johnson won’t introduce his Rapid Mac Cooker until later this year, but he’s ordering up 93,000 to start because retailers carrying his Rapid Ramen cookers tell him they will add his new product to their inventories.

Johnson’s dishes are simple in design, but they take the guesswork, mess and hazards out of transferring a recipe from the stovetop to the microwave. His cookers have handles that remain cool to the touch to prevent burns. The bowls have a fill line to guard against spills. And, instructions explain how long to cook the food for a perfect meal every time.

“Currently, making macaroni and cheese on the stove takes a total of 22 minutes and 14 seconds from boiling the seven or eight cups of water to draining it, adding the butter and the milk and the cooking time,” Johnson said. “In the Rapid Mac Cooker, you’re going to be able to make macaroni and cheese in five minutes.”

As with the Rapid Ramen cooker, Johnson worked with faculty and students of California State University, Chico, to design his Rapid Mac Cooker. The microwaveable dish won’t be ready to roll out for a few months, Johnson said, but retailers responded positively when he showed them the product at the International Home and Housewares Show in Chicago.

Johnson also has signed up new retailers for his Rapid Ramen cooker: 1,900 Targets, 5,000 Rite Aids and 500 college bookstores. The product already is carried by, Bed Bath & Beyond, CVS, Meijer, Raley’s, Safeway, Sears/ Kmart, Walgreens and 400 Walmart stores.