Paleo & Primal Food, Wine, Travel & Living

Posts tagged “beer

Starlite BBQ and Whiskey Bar Fires Up the Scottsdale Dining Scene

A few months ago, I visited Scottsdale, Arizona during the National Alopecia Areata Foundation’s Annual Conference. Typically when I travel, my trips become more about the food and wine available at my destination than the main reason for the trip, so I do more research on places to eat/drink than I do on anything else! Since my hotel room at the Gainey Suites Hotel was equipped with a full kitchen, I planned to get groceries and make my own dinner for the first evening. Then on the second evening of my stay, I would dine out. Since I had never been to Scottsdale before, this would require some web surfing on some of my trusted travel sites.

I stumbled upon Starlite BBQ and Whiskey Bar after only searching for a few moments. Since opening last year, Starlite BBQ has been named one of the Seven Metro Phoenix Restaurants you Need to Try Right Now by the Phoenix New Times, as well as one of the 11 Best New Restaurants in Phoenix, Arizona (area) by Eater.comStarlite BBQ was also selected as an 2018 OpenTable Diners’ Choice Winner. This would be the place for Friday night’s dinner for sure!

So on Friday evening, after a short Uber ride, I ended up in a shopping center where Starlite BBQ resides. It sits prominently on the edge of the center, complete a facade decked out with hip white font lettering that can’t be missed. There is an outdoor seating area, but during my visit it was over 100 degrees, so I opted to sit inside and people watch as the filled up the place for dinner.

I sat at a small table against the wall, facing an already lively bar scene and two televisions broadcasting different sporting events–one of them a Diamondbacks game. Across from me on the table was a selection of house-made sauces. I was eager to try them all, but stopped short of squirting the bottles directly into my mouth. First, I selected a beverage to nurse while I contemplated what to eat.

Prosecco was the perfect drink for an opening act. Starlite also has a specialty cocktail menu featuring many whiskey-based drinks, as well as four rotating handles of beer on draft, an ample selection of bottled and canned beer, and a nice list of wines available by the glass or bottle.

While I was selecting my entree, this skillet of cornbread topped with an enormous dollop of melty honey butter appeared on my table. Now this is something I don’t normally eat, but it was really calling my name. The cornbread was still warm, both sweet and savory, and I still remember its delightful texture (just enough crumb without being too dry) even three months later! I’m not exaggerating when I said it was one of the best cornbreads I have ever had.


The Grilled Cauliflower (with Green Goddess, Crispy Black Eyed Peas, Arugula, Pickled Onions) dish really caught my eye (I saw it served to another table as I was about to order), so I snagged one for myself. The dish’s flavor was expertly balanced by the sweet and sour of the dressing (and just enough of it without making the dish soggy), the char on the cauliflower, the crunchy texture of the black eye peas and the peppery arugula.


For the main course, I selected the 1/2 plate of Chopped Pork. It comes with pickled onions and mustard on the side. I ordered a glass of rosé to pair with the pork. I could have gone a little heavier on the wine, especially because of the sauce on the meat, but in the heat of summer, I am hardwired to order bubbles or rose, no matter what the protein or the “traditional” pairing.


I guess you could say I ordered these potatoes for “dessert” and an excuse to try one more dish. Crispy little potato nuggets. This is where the aforementioned BBQ sauces come in. I tried them all on the potatoes and it turns out the middle “Starlite BBQ” is my favorite. I wish my husband had been with me so I could have sampled a little bit more of the menu items. Instead, I was already taking half of the meal back to the hotel in boxes, which was great because it made for the next night’s dinner. In other words, the portions are large and perfect for sharing.

Also good to know: Starlite BBQ supports local organizations and uses local vendors, such as Arizona Beef, organic produce from McClendon’s Farm, fresh breads daily from MJ Bread, and local pecan and mesquite woods to smoke their meats.

Starlite BBQ and Whiskey Bar is located at 7620 E Indian School Road Suite 101, Scottsdale, AZ 85251. You can contact them at 480-553-9330.

They are closed on Monday and Tuesday, and open Wednesday and Thursday from 4pm-11pm, on Friday from 4pm-midnight. They are also open on Saturday for Brunch and Regular Menu 10am-midnight and on Sunday for Brunch and Regular Menu 10am-10pm. The bar is open until 12 Midnight on Wednesday and Thursday, until 2 AM Friday and Saturday and 12 Midnight on Sunday.

You can find Starlite BBQ on Facebook here and follow them on Instagram here.

Disclosure: My meal was complimentary in exchange for social media exposure and this blog post, however my opinions are all my own.

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Two Upcoming October Food Events in Sacramento, Mark Your Calendars!

Sacramento is a food lover’s paradise this time of year and there are two upcoming events I’d like to tell you about happening this month. Special thanks to The Grid Agency for passing along the information to me!

The first event is called A Taste of New Sacramento in Old Sacramento. It will take place on Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 11:00 AM-4:00 PM at the Delta King Hotel.

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The food, wine and brews affair will feature breweries such as Rubicon Brewing Company and Calicraft Brewing Company.

Wineries including: Cate Ao Vinho, Lone Buffalo Vineyards, Boeger Winery, Fiddletown Winery, Lava Cap Winery, Van Ruiten Family Winery, J and K Estate Wines, Haraszthy Winery, Merlo Family Vineyards, Cabana Winery, Carvalho Family Winery, Balletto Vineyards & Winery, Bogle Vineyards and Winery. Jeff Runquist Wines, Van Ruiten Winery

And restaurants present will be: Roxie Deli & Barbeque, Sactown Bar and Grill, Ten 22, Indo Cafe, Vallejo’s Restaurant, Bingo B.B.Q, Kupros, Cabana Winery & Bistro, Shady Lady Saloon, Blue Prynt Restaurant, Coin-Op Game Room, Dad’s Kitchen, and Drewski’s.

Proceeds benefit Shriners Hospitals for Children. Featuring a live adoption run by Front Street Animal Shelter. Tickets are $45 and can be purchased here.

But, wait, there’s more….

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The weekend after that, Smoke on the River rolls into town on Saturday, October 15th, 2016 from 1pm to 5pm at 2700 Marina View.

The event is hosted by Sacramento Artists Council, Inc. with its friend and sponsor The Grid Agency. Smoke on the River is a fundraiser for Sacramento Artists Council and will raise money for art programs that assist at-risk children, children of homeless families and fund adopt a school art programs for Sacramento Regional Schools.

Smoke on the River is a state championship and Kansas City Barbecue Society (KCBS) sanctioned event. The event will feature a People’s Choice BBQ award and tastings, People’s Choice award for Best Beer and Best Cider, live entertainment from Swimming in Bengal and Sacramento Jazz Project, and beer tastings provide by local breweries.

There will also be a corn hole tournament at the event with prizes for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place.

Full Access Pre-sale Tickets including unlimited tastes of BBQ and Craft Beer/Cider are $35 + 2.75% convenience fee and $40 with a 2.75% convenience fee for credit cards at the door. You can purchase and see other ticket options here.

Featured breweries will be:
Sierra Nevada Brewing
Firestone Walker Brewing
Alaskan Brewing
Hoppy Brewing
Dust Bowl Brewing
Auburn Alehouse
Lagunitas Brewing Co.
Device Brewing Company
Shmaltz’s Brewing
Track 7 Brewing
Mike Hess Brewing

Pitmasters include:
UP IN SMOKE
Too Ashamed to Name BBQ
ZomBBQ
RBQ
Bones Sauce n Harmony
The Smoking’ GrOVENators
Old Chico BBQ
Beautforefamilybbq
Ric’s Righteous Ribs
Papa Bobs Backyard BBQ
Smokin Slabz BBQ
Big Poppa Smokers
NutIn2itBut2Qit
Bones N Brews BBQ
Five Hundy BBQ
The Smoking J’s
Smokey Luv BBQ
Canyon Riders BBQ
2 Rolling Bones
Fat Dad’s Barbeque
Hickory and Spice BBQ
Smokin’ the 916
Smokey Valley Q
Ed’s Smoked Out BBQ
Smokin Fatboyz BBQ
Daddy O’s Smokin’ BBQ
Pipin’ Hot Smokers
Simply Marvelous
Rollin’ Smoke
FATTY DRIPPINS
The Brothers Throwdown
Cowbunga BBQ
Bar-B-Que’s-2Go
Git R Smoked
Big O and MO BBQ
Smokin’ Bliss
J&J Smokin BBQ
Franklin BBQ
Son of Smoke
Saltworks
Pit Perfection
G & Pops BBQ
Schaffner Fabrication


Sacramento Hotel Association Fundraiser Farm-to-Fork Fall Fundraiser set for September 29th at Hyatt Regency Sacramento

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The Board of Directors of the Sacramento Hotel Association is proud to announce that the Association is expanding its community service activities with a new fundraiser as part of its program: The Hospitality Industry Helping in the Community.  For 2016, the new fall fundraiser—set for September 29 at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento—will benefit two local organizations that work with youth in our community.

Featuring —
• Festive Farm-to-Fork Food Stations from local hotels and restaurants
• Craft Beer Tastings from local brewers
• Wine Tastings from area vintners
• Silent Auction of delightful gifts and prize packages
• Musical Entertainment

Tickets—$35 plus processing fee per person Buy your tickets HERE.

About the Beneficiary Organizations
SkateMD is a nonprofit with a mission to heal hearts by spreading kindness and skateboarding to special populations of children facing developmental, physical, emotional or family challenges. SkateMD serves special populations of children who may not otherwise be able to pursue skateboarding, who may not have easy access to skateboard equipment or facilities, and/or who just need some extra kindness in their lives.

Sacramento Sheriff’s Toy Project functions as the charitable arm of the Sacramento Sheriff’s Department. The Sheriff’s Toy Project is a year-round program supporting the less fortunate children and families in the Sacramento area. They support area schools with after-school programs, school supplies, computers, clothing, shoes, jackets, bikes for transportation, summer kid’s camps and support scholarships for college-bound students.

Use hashtag #SHAFarmtoFork via Twitter and Instagram.
You can follow the Sacramento Hotel Association on Twitter here and on Instagram here.

Andy and I will be there to cover the event, so I hope to see you there!

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Lots of Eating and Drinking (and Eating and Drinking) at Eat Drink SF

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It was a tasty scene for fans of food, wine, beer and spirits August 25 – 28, 2016 at Eat Drink SF. The event was held at Fort Mason in San Francisco.

Andy and I attended on the last day of the event on a Sunday afternoon and were introduced to some restaurants we had never tried, as well as a few new wines. There were also some familiar vendors, as Sunday was the “Legacy Grand Tasting” featuring San Francisco eateries that have stood the test of time.

Almost immediately after we arrived, we heard about a “beverage classroom” presented by San Francisco Wine School. The first presentation was on the Wines of Portugal. It was officially titled ViniPortugal. Since we are always looking to broaden our knowledge of wine, we decided to sit in on the seminar & tasting.

beverage classroom

It was led by the founder of San Francisco Wine School, David Glancy. Glancy is one of only twelve people in the world to hold both the revered Master Sommelier diploma and a Certified Wine Educator credential.

discover portuguese wines
In the brief seminar, we discussed 4 wines from Portugal, tasted and examined them.

vinho verde closeup

lady with vinho verde

portuguese wines line up
The tasting was a very worthwhile experience, and a chance to get to know a little bit more on the wines of Portugal as well as a little bit about the San Francisco Wine School, which currently offers 65 different wine education classes.

Of course, we were also there to eat. Some of my favorite bites were as follows:

Nectarines wrapped in speck from Tosca Cafe.
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A caprese salad on a stick.
mozzarella salad

A cod fritter served on greens.
fritter

This Lahmbiajeen (Arabic for “Meat in Dough”) It is fresh baked flatbread with housemade tomato beef sauce, labneh parsley and lemon zest from Reem’s.
reems appetizer

And my food favorite item was this pintxo from Teleferic Barcelona. Pintxo is a Basque word that means “skewer.” This particular pintxo is called a Torito (bull). It has xistorra (spanish chorizo), natural honey and manchego cheese and it is wrapped in puff pastry with dulce de leche.

bull hot dogs
This smoked salmon bite was Scoma’s featured dish, and a favorite of Andy’s.
scoma salmon dish

Now, back to drinking. There was much to choose from. We didn’t taste any beer, but if you are a beer or cider lover, Stella Artois, Stella Artois Cidre (that IS how it is spelled), and Gowan’s Heirloom Cider had you covered.

One of the beverage highlights for me was this Whispering Angel Rose made primarily from Grenache, Vermentino, and Cinsault. A big reason I am a rose fan is because it is a wine that can pair with many different kinds of food.

rep with whispering angel

whispering angel rose

Beaulieu Vineyards was at the event pouring both their classic Tapestry (a Bordeaux blend) and the Georges De Latour Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. It was a treat to taste these wines, because we know their retail value. Tapestry is around $50 and the Georges De Latour is around $100 per bottle. I actually buy Andy a bottle of the Tapestry as one of his Christmas gifts every year.

BV Goerges Latour

Meadowcroft Wines was sharing this lovely chardonnay with us. The grapes are sourced from the Bonneau Vineyard (in the Carneros appellation of Sonoma County).

meadowcroft chardonnay

There were also cocktails featured at Eat Drink SF, and my favorite was this one at the Hangar Vodka booth. It is a combination of grapefruit, elderflower, sage and sparkling wine.

drink with social media
I liked the drink so much, I will admit I had two of them. And I am going to buy the ingredients so I can make it for myself at home.

I love the inspiration I get at tasting events like these and the enthusiasm I see from all the chefs, sous chefs, cooks, bartenders, and tasting room associates. It’s a joy to have another excuse to come into the city and visit Fort Mason and drive over the Golden Gate Bridge. I only wished we could stay a little longer!

SF view

Eat Drink SF supports the Golden Gate Restaurant Association Scholarship Foundation. The foundation grants financial scholarships to students from the Bay Area entering culinary and hospitality programs. Golden Gate Restaurant Association‘s mission is to celebrate and empower the restaurant community through advocacy, education, marketing, events and training.

You can keep up with Eat Drink SF by following them on all their social media channels:
On Facebook here.
On Twitter here.
On Instagram here.

To see more images from the event, you can head over to their Flickr page here.

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New Menu Features and Gluten Free Finds at Yard House

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starter drinks
A few weeks ago Andy and I checked out some new menu items and gluten free options available at Yard House in Roseville. You might remember my visit to Yard House shortly after they opened back in 2011. We kicked off our meal with this round of drinks. On the left is a glass of Zardetto Prosecco (sparkling wine is my go-to opener) and on the right is a glass of Honig Sauvignon Blanc.

gluten free menu
Then it was on to decide what to order. If you are reading this website, you are either eating a gluten-free diet, or you are thinking about eating gluten-free. Yard House makes it easy because there is a separate menu you can ask for when you are seated. The menu features many of items from appetizers to salads and burgers that can be served wrapped in lettuce instead of on a bun, as well as three different gluten-sensitive beers.

brussels and potatoes
Our first appetizer was the Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Ripped Potatoes (served with Malt Vinegar Aioli). It’s featured on the “snack” portion of the menu, but can easily be shared if you are going to be ordering an entrée, too. The dish’s description was accurate as both items were very crispy, yet soft on the inside. The vegetables were highlighted by just the right amount of seasoning and were dressed with the Malt Vinegar Aioli.

For our second appetizer, we decided to try a new menu item (though it is not on the gluten-free menu), the Poke Nachos made with marinated raw ahi, avocado, cilantro, serranos, green onions, nori, sesame seeds, sweet soy, sriracha aioli, white truffle sauce, and crispy wontons. This plate is one of several you can get that features ahi tuna. I like this one not only because it is very shareable, but because it highlights the ahi by merging ingredients that are both used in Asian and Latin cuisine. The combination of the different textures and flavors is delightful.

ahi nachos

What is not delightful is an empty glass, so Andy and I revisited the drink menu and ordered another round. I was curious about the Fresh and Skinny™ Cocktail choices, so I ordered a Skinny Margarita with El Jimador silver tequila and fresh lime. Other drinks on the Fresh and Skinny™ menu are the Pure Cosmo Martini, the Lite Lemon Drop Martini, the Juniper Fusion, and the Citrus Crush. For more information on the Fresh and Skinny™ Cocktail Menu you can click here. Andy ordered another glass of wine, this time a glass of Meiomi Pinot Noir.

skinny margarita
For my entree, I chose the Grilled Chicken Cobb Salad (from the Gluten-Sensitive menu) composed of greens, kale, tomatoes, edamame, carrots, radish, egg, blue cheese, corn, bacon, avocado, ranch. I usually get dressing on the side when I order a Cobb Salad because there is so much flavor (fat IS flavor!) from the blue cheese, egg, avocado and bacon, I don’t need to cover anything up with dressing. I love simple and fresh ingredients and this salad certainly fit that description.

pork burger and fries
For dessert, we enjoyed two more glasses of wine, mine a glass of Protocolo Rose Tierra de Castilla (a Spanish Rosé made from 50% Tempranillo and 50% Bobal. Andy ordered the Freakshow Cabernet Sauvignon produced by Michael David Winery (Lodi).

round three drinks
Another healthy menu and gluten-free option we did not try, but was recently added is the Red Quinoa Salad Bowl, which Chef Jocson describes as the greatest hits of all super foods. The salad is a nice shareable dish or can be an entrée for one with a garden of kale, parsley, Brussels sprouts, roasted beets, cauliflower, pomegranate seeds, blueberries, baby tomatoes, pumpkin seeds and feta cheese. Guests can request that the cheese be removed for a vegan option. Carnivores can choose to add chicken or steak for a heartier meal.

Red Quinoa Salad Bowl

“In order to stay relevant menus have to evolve,” added Chef Jocson.  “Five years ago no one would have imagined blueberry ketchup, but it’s an amazing condiment for our Kurobuta Pork Burger and ours is made in-house.  These days offering vegan and vegetarian selections aren’t an option, but a necessity as more people reevaluate their diets and intake.  We already have several of such items, including our new Vegan Burger, as well as gluten-sensitive options.”

If you’re reading this blog post, Yard House will have already debuted its new menu items at all 65 locations. Open daily for lunch, dinner and late-night dining, Yard House offers one of the largest selections of beers on tap plus a creative list of cocktails and wine by the bottle or glass.

For more information, visit yardhouse.com or follow on Facebook at facebook.com/yardhouse and the Roseville location of Yard House on Facebook here or follow them on Twitter @yardhouse

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Farm-to-Fork Pear Bridge Dinner on the Delta September 27th at 4pm

Bridge
If you didn’t get tickets to the Tower Bridge Farm-to-Fork Gala dinner, I have an alternate dinner (also on a bridge!) for you to attend at the same date and time!

On September 27 at 4 pm, a dinner coordinated by the California Pear Advisory Board will take place on the historically-named Dead Horse Island Bridge on the Delta near the community of Walnut Grove. Attendees will mingle with other guests and local California pear farmers while enjoying a scenic view in the heart of one of the largest pear-growing regions in California.

The event will include locally-raised meats, Delta-grown crops such as corn, tomatoes, endive, and, of course pears. The dinner will be catered by Giusti’s Place, a great local restaurant located next to the bridge. An appetizer and cocktail from the Farm-to-Fork Pear Recipe Contest that was held in August will be featured: Grilled Pear Bruschetta from Taste Restaurant and Jay Yoon with Dawson’s Steakhouse at the Hyatt will be serving his House Pressed Bosc Pear Martini (shown below). Delta area wines and local beers will also be served.

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Each person will be allowed to reserve no more than four tickets at a price of $125 each. To reserve tickets, please send an e-mail to the California Pear Advisory Board at info@calpear.com. Please note the event is for people over the age of 21.

The California Pear Advisory Board is a non-profit organization made up of farmers who grow pears in California. The cost of Pear Bridge Dinner tickets is meant to cover expenses only. Any money remaining after costs are covered will be donated to a local charity.

If you’d like to try some special pear dishes at local restaurants you can CLICK HERE to find out what’s being served and where.

You can find the California Pear Advisory board on Facebook here, follow them on Twitter here, on Instagram here and on Pinterest here. See you on the bridge on September 27th!


New Total Wine & More Opening Today in Folsom

Well, Andy and I made it back home after spending Thanksgiving in Ixtapa Guerrero, Mexico. It was the most relaxing, fun, and romantic vacation I have ever experienced. 🙂 I will post some pictures on here in the next week to let you in on some of the food we had and to show you how beautiful of a place Ixtapa is. 🙂 My heart and soul have been enriched forever and I can’t wait to go back.

We got back just in time to attend a preview party for the new Total Wine & More in Folsom, which opens today. We sipped sparkling wine from Mumm Napa, and tried other 15-20 different wines that will be available for purchase in the store–including a great deal of wines from Sobon Estates. Paul Sobon (the winemaker) was there pouring a few different zinfandels and a barbera (a personal favorite of mine) from the family portfolio. We snacked on food catered by Randy Peters Catering. I’d like to thank Total Wine & More for the invitation and include the press release (below) that was sent to me to give you a little bit more information on the store.

PS: Today’s opening will include live music, tastings and more! The official ribbon cutting will be on December 6th from 6-7pm.

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Total Wine & More, America’s largest independent retailer of fine wine, spirits and beer, has announced that it is expanding its presence in the Greater Sacramento area with a new location in Folsom, Calif., which is expected to open on November 29

“Our newest investment in the Sacramento community will benefit our customers, as well as the overall community,” says David Trone, who co-owns Total Wine & More with his brother Robert Trone. “Our expansion into Folsom will bring an estimated 50 jobs to the community, while also creating a thriving business which will generate retail sales tax that can bring additional city services to residents.”

Total Wine & More, which is known for its large selection and competitive prices, offers more than 8,000 wines, 3,000 spirits and 2,500 beers in each of its superstores, including hard-to-find labels and locally produced product.

“The key to our success lies in our basic principles: we provide our customers with an unbelievable selection, at market-leading prices,” explains Trone.  “From wine connoisseurs seeking rare finds to complete their vintage collection, to beer aficionados who enjoy building their own six-packs with hard-to-find micro-brews, Total Wine & More is dedicated to providing customers with exactly what they seek, at the most competitive prices in the market.”

Trone notes that in addition to selection and price, Total Wine & More is also committed to creating an unparalleled retail experience for its shoppers.  The retailer delivers on this promise through unique staff training programs and state-of-the-art in-store technologies.

“When you walk into our stores, there is a wow factor that is undeniable,” he says.  “Customers are impressed with the bright, beautiful appearance of each store, and we build on this by also offering our shoppers the most well-trained staff in the industry, as well as the latest tools and technologies to help enhance their visit to our stores.”

Staff training is a cornerstone of the Total Wine & More business platform, and each member of the Total Wine & More sales team is trained for 150 hours prior to working in the stores, including education on various regions, production methods, varietals, brew styles, and tasting analysis.

The company also offers its employees continuous training throughout their career, including the opportunity to meet with the world’s key wine, beer and spirits producers. Every year, Total Wine treats select team members to a trip to California’s major wine regions for a week-long training session, as well as a two-week trip to Europe’s key wine regions every other year, to increase their knowledge of various products.

“A knowledgeable team can mean the difference between a good experience and a great one.  Through our industry-leading training programs, Total Wine & More’s sales team members are equipped to always deliver a great experience to our customers,” says Trone.

Another area of focus for Total Wine & More is the delivery of a state-of-the-art retail environment, and the company delivers on this promise through its new, “next-generation” in-store technologies.  The new Folsom store will feature many of these new technologies, which will allow customers to become more engaged with the products and increase their knowledge of many different wines, beers and spirits, according to Trone.

“Next-generation” features in the Folsom store will include:

  • A state-of-the-art tasting bar where customers can treat their palates to tastes of various wines, beers and spirits while learning about the background of each beverage.
  • In-store iPads equipped with a proprietary app which provides recommendations on specific beverages to pair with various meals.
  • Flat panel screens throughout the store that stream video content on vintners, their wineries and how various wines are made.
  • An updated education center, which will be used to host classes on various types of wines, beers and spirits throughout each month. The state-of-the-art education center is also available to be booked for use by local non-profits and businesses at no charge.

The Folsom store will be the 88th location for Total Wine & More, and its 11th California location. The new store is located at 2765 E. Bidwell St. Folsom, Calif., a former Borders location.

Total Wine & More’s vast selection of products, combined with low everyday prices and expertly trained wine associates, brings a unique shopping experience to the customer.  Total Wine & More has the distinction of being Beverage Dynamic’s 2008 Wine Retailer of the Year, Market Watch’s 2006 Retailer of the Year, and Wine Enthusiast’s 2004 Retailer of the Year.  Since opening its first store in 1991, Total Wine & More has been committed to being the premier wine retailer in every community that it serves.  More information and stores locations are available at www.totalwine.com


A Look Inside The Fresh Market

The Fresh Market opened their 127th store yesterday, October 24th in Roseville, CA. They are located on Douglas Boulevard (in Rocky Ridge Town Center) inside a former Borders bookstore.

I was invited to a media preview on October 23rd to check out the store, meet some The Fresh Market team members, and taste some of the items available for sale at The Fresh Market. My photographer, contributing writer, taste tester, companion, and all around good guy Andy, was there with me to sample, chat up the wine buyer, and to win the raffle for a giant gift basket!

A little background on The Fresh Market: Their first store opened on March 5th, 1982 in Greensboro, North Carolina. Ray and Beverly (the store’s founders) wanted to bring their customers high quality foods and premium customer service in a warm and friendly atmosphere.

In the last 20 years, The Fresh Market has grown leaps and bounds. It has locations in 24 states and Roseville, has the privilege of being their first store in California.

The Fresh Market prides itself on a few key points in its business model. First, they want to provide a unique shopping experience. Second, they want to display excellent customer service. Then, the store focuses on quality and selection of products along with a strong support of local growers. Also, The Fresh Market provides their own line/brand of high quality products through private label selection.

We were lucky enough to taste test some Hereford Beef with a blue cheese and red wine reduction. 🙂

Each store has a full service meat counter offering all-natural antibiotic free chicken, aged beef, lamb, veal, and pork. These meats are cut and ground daily.

In the produce department, they offer over 400 produce items, several of them organic and many of them locally sourced.

The bakery department produces over 30 kinds of freshly baked bread and numerous dessert selections including pies, cakes, cookies, and pastries.

The deli emulates a European-style delicatessen and features TFM branded deli meats and over 200 varieties of imported and domestic cheeses, prepared salads, and sides. The Fresh Market also sells several items in its bulk section such as nuts, trail mixes, coffee, along with many other items.

I am told the Roseville store will partner with the Placer County Food Bank and provide regular donations of food, as well as feature local and regional products from Roseville-area growers and producers.

Special features at The Fresh Market I noticed during our tour are:

  1. A create your own salad bar for $7.99/lb.
  2. An olive oil station will bottles for refill. They also have a balsamic vinegar station, as well as freshly ground peanut and almond butters.
  3. A hot foods bar featuring Indian food by San Francisco-based Sukhi’s.
  4. A create-your-own 6 pack beer for $8.99.

I was impressed with the wine section. It’s small, but has a perfect bottle for everyone. They carry many local wines such as Boeger, Sobon, and Lava Cap. All greatest hits in my opinion!

You can join The Fresh Market for their “Taste of the Holidays” event on Friday, November 2nd from 12-6pm and Saturday, November 3rd from 11am-5pm. You’ll be able to try holiday meal items and be able to pre-order any items for your special holiday meal!

Some of the items available for tasting will include standing rib roast, shrimp cocktail, Nueske’s bacon, smoked salmon, seafood dips, french rounds, TFM apple juice with mulling spices, TFH cheese straws, holiday pies straight from TFM bakery, cheesecakes, turkey and sides from the deli, and there will even be some wine tastings.

For more information, you can go to http://thefreshmarket.com/holiday

FYI:
Specials for The Fresh Market valid until October 30th include Half or Whole Hereford NY Strip pictured above!! for $5.99/lb, Wild Alaskan Copper River Salmon for $11.99/lb!

You can like The Fresh Market on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here. Happy shopping!


Christian Brothers Wine, Beer & Food Extravaganza is September 7th!

Right before RB and I take off for Napa again this year!! <—excited!! :), We’ll be attending the Christian Brothers Wine, Beer & Food Extravaganza on September 7th from 7pm-10pm at the Christian Brothers Campus. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event.

The Christian Brothers Wine, Beer & Food Extravaganza is the premiere food and drink event in Sacramento. It features hundreds of California’s finest restaurants and wineries, and showcases the best of local breweries throughout the state. The Christian Brothers Wine, Beer & Food Extravaganza has raised millions of dollars to put towards tuition funding and community outreach programs throughout the area.

Tickets are $70 today only, and then tomorrow the price goes up to $80 per person. You can buy tickets here. This year’s event features special add-ons like transportation and a cigar lounge.

Featured wineries and breweries at the event will be:

August Anthony VineyardBerryessa Gap VineyardsBogle WineryBrother Timothy Mont La Salle Vineyard EstateCannonball Wine CompanyCartlidge and BrownCarvalho Family WineryColumbia Crest WinesCorralitos Wine CompanyGirard WineryGreystone WinesHarbison WinesHarney Lane WineryJeremy Wine Company, Josh Cellars, Klinker Brick WinesLine 39McConnell EstatesMadrona VineyardsMumm NapaMichael-David WineryMoniz WinesOakstone WineryPacific Wine and SpiritsPadis VineyardsPedroncelli WineryPeirano WinesRodney StrongRevolution WinesRombauer VineyardsScheid WinerySchug WineryScribner BendScott Harvey WinesSenders – Wine with a CauseStama WineryTerra d’Oro WineryThorny Rose WinesTroubadour CellarsWente VineyardsWreckless Blenders, and ZD Wines

Auburn AlehouseFirestone WalkerGuinnessHoppy BrewingKnee Deep BrewingLockdown BrewingLost Coast BreweryMendocino Brewing CompanyMiller-CoorsNew Belgium BrewingPyramid AlehouseRubiconRuhstallerSierra NevadaThe ShackSutter Buttes BrewingTrack 7 BrewingTwo Rivers Cider Company

Click here for a list of restaurants.

Through the proceeds from this event last year, the alumni association was able to net over ninety thousand dollars, which went to the school’s tuition assistance program.

Due to the generous efforts of our sponsors and vendors, along with the hard work of the Alumni Board and volunteers, students who would not have been able to attend Christian Brothers High School were able to do so.

Please mark Friday, September 7, 2012 on your calendar and plan on joining us for what promises to be another fantastic event.

You can follow Christian Brothers Wine Beer & Food Extravaganza on twitter here. Cheers! 🙂


Sacramento Zoo King of Feasts Food & Wine Event is June 23rd! Enter to win a pair of tickets!!

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The animals will show you how to party at the Annual Sacramento Zoo King of Feasts – Food & Wine Luau on Saturday, June 23, 2012!

The event will be held from 6-9pm and feature 26 restaurants, 26 wineries and breweries, live entertainment, hula-hooping, three silent auctions and exotic animals throughout the lush setting of the 14-acre Sacramento Zoo.

Sacramento Zoo is located at the Corner of Land Park Drive & Sutterville Road

Ticket Prices: $50 in advance, $60 day of event. To purchase tickets click here or call (916) 808-5888. 21 and older please.

Proceeds from the event benefit Zoo improvements, education programs and wildlife conservation.

Would you like to win a pair of tickets to one of Sacramento’s BEST food and wine events? Well, you’re in luck! I am giving 2 tickets away right here on cavegrrl, next Friday, June 15th at 3pm!

All you have to do is:

1. tell me your favorite animal at the zoo in the comments section below, and

2. either tweet this post on twitter (with the hashtag #saczooKOF) or share this post on Facebook with all of your friends. USE THE SHARING BUTTONS BELOW 🙂 🙂 🙂

I am looking for lots of enthusiasm, people!! I will be awarding the person who has the most creative response and the most shares. (PS: You and your guest must be 21 to win/attend).

Talk about the event on twitter with the hashtag: #saczooKOF
Tell all your friends you are coming by RSVPing on Facebook here. 🙂