As Rock ’n Restaurants approaches, organizers have secured robust support from several restaurants and industry partners that will be integral in making the event possible. The event is slated to kick off with a VIP reception at 5 p.m. April 9 at the the Crest Theatre in Sacramento, with the concert to begin at 7 p.m.
USA Today has called Allen Stone a “pitch-perfect powerhouse” and he’s performed on the Ellen Degeneres Show, Conan, Jimmy Kimmel Live, Last Call with Carson Daly and Live from Daryl’s House and was a featured artist on VH1’s You Oughta Know. But the 25-year-old performer from Chewelah, Wash. just sees himself as “a hippie with soul.”
Like many soul singers, Stone got his start in church. He is the son of a preacher, so whipping crowds into a call-and-response frenzy is second nature. Steeped in gospel music and shielded from secular songs, Allen didn’t discover soul music until he was a teenager and started collecting classic albums from the 1960s and ’70s.
“Soul music from that time wasn’t just about bumpin’ and grindin’ at the club – it was a huge part of a cultural movement,” Stone said. “That’s where my inspiration comes from.”
Rock ’n Restaurants will conclude the CRA’s 2013 Lobby Day event, which involves restaurant industry leaders from across the country convening in Sacramento to discuss legislative issues affecting restaurant with lawmakers at the Capitol.
Farm Fresh to You and UBER Cab are also in-kind sponsors.
Several CRA chapters also are lending support to the event, including Sacramento, Los Angeles, Fresno, San Diego County and Orange County.
Event tickets cost $50 and will be available to purchase on calrest.org soon. Proceeds from the event will benefit the CRA Issues Political Action Committee.
For more information about the event or sponsorship opportunities, contact governmentaffairs(nospace) atcalrest(dot)org. You can find the California Restaurant Association on Facebook here. You can register for the event here.
Dine Downtown kicks off tomorrow (Wednesday, January 9th, running though Friday, January 18th), and I was happy to have been asked by the owner of the downtown gem Mayahuel (Ernesto Delgado), to preview the menu he is offering for the special event.
Mayahuel (which is named after Mayahuel, the Aztec goddess of the agave plant and fertility) has been a dining destination in Sacramento since March of 2011, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite places to go for dinner.
You might remember my preview of Mayahuel’s pre fixe menu from last year, and how much I loved their chorizo-topped rib eye. If you didn’t get to try the steak last year, have no fear! It’s on the Dine Downtown menu again this year. If you’re not a steak fan, Mayahuel has some tasty alternatives, as well as some vegetarian and vegan options.
Andy and I had dinner at Mayahuel on Friday (we had a Groupon and I treated us for our Monthaversary dinner). Then it was back to Mayahuel last night for more Mexican food and the Dine Downtown preview. Since I could eat Mexican food everyday and not tire of it, I was in heaven. 🙂
Here’s a shot of Mayahuel’s Dine Downtown menu and your choices for $30 per person:
Here’s the low down on what we enjoyed and some pictures of our selections:
Andy threw out a few wines and I immediately went for a 2008 Tempranillo made by Vina dos Rios, (Crestwood Monarch Winery) in El Dorado County.
Then we were served an amuse bouche (which changes nightly). It was a spicy tomato broth with pasta.
Then we were served some house made chips accompanied by some tomato salsa. I really love the thickness of the chips and that they almost taste sweet.
For his appetizer, Andy chose the Flor de Calabaza: Creamy Squash Blossom soup with infused tequila. It was very rich and probably not for the calorie conscious (which Andy is not)! 😉
My appetizer choice was the Dios de Maíz: Crisp baby spinach, romaine lettuce, sweet corn, black beans, panela cheese, sesame seeds and chile ancho peppers, served with a lime-cilantro vinaigrette. I had the same salad for my entrée on Friday night with chicken added to it, so I already knew what to expect. I am addicted to those cheese cubes!
Andy is pretty nice about sharing with me, so this time he ordered the Rib Eye with Chorizo: (Rib eye steak topped with chorizo crust, a bed of seasoned mushrooms in adobo salsa). Once again, the steak was cooked perfectly and the chorizo was really packed with flavor and spice.
For my entrée I went with the Pollo en Adobo: Chicken and mushrooms with nopales in a Guajillo, Pasilla, Morita chile Adobo sauce, served with white rice and black beans. How I missed you rice and black beans. It was such a treat for me, I probably could have had more of them for dessert.
But for dessert, I ordered the Nieve Flor de la Rosa: a Vanilla ice cream served with Mazapán (a peanut candy) drizzled with caramel and almonds. It was delectable, but I won’t throw Andy under the bus and let you know that he had most of it (oops). I was only in it for the yummy peanut candy (a lot like peanut flavored powdered sugar in a disc shape).
Andy ordered the Arroz con Leche. It’s rice that is simmered in sweetened milk and flavored with cinnamon, and topped with raisins. That’s me in the background waiting to have a taste. Once I did, I loved the cinnamon and the texture of the rice. And then Andy stole it back and polished it off. Whatever!! 😉
Notable: Try their NapaToro wine. It is made exclusively for Mayahuel. If you don’t like wine, by all means, have a margarita or ask the bartender about trying some tequila. The staff at Mayahuel is very knowledgeable on the food and beverages they serve and are willing to answer any questions you might have.
For more information on Dine Downtown, you can click here.
Sacramento has really come a long way in the restaurant world in the nine years I have lived here. It’s been an exciting progression to see, especially because one of the reasons I moved here is because of all the different cuisines available within a 10 minute or less drive, or even a walk or bike ride. What’s even more exciting is that I am now working downtown near Old Sacramento and I can afford (financially) to try a few places this year (and also calorically–as long as I run a few more miles on the day I choose to dine out) 😉
Every year in January, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership teams up with downtown area restaurants to showcase their menus for a 10-day dining extravaganza. For $30 per person, you can visit restaurants like Biba, Mayahuel, Blackbird Kitchen & Bar, Blue Prynt, The Broiler Steakhouse, etc. for a 3-course pre-fixe meal that highlights their very best offerings. Some restaurants have included a wine pairing option for an additional fee. (For example, the wine option at Ella is an added $15, but the fee varies from place to place).
This year, I’ll be returning to Mayahuel to sample and report on their menu. It looks like their MIND BLOWING chorizo-topped steak will be a pre-fix option again. ¡Dios Mio! 🙂 For a little trip down memory lane, you can read my review from last year here. Oh, and here’s a little picture of it for old time’s sake:
I’m also considering visits to The Broiler as well as Blackbird Kitchen & Bar. Why? Because one of the restaurants is a Sacramento institution, and one of them is fairly new, but I have heard great things about it. What restaurants would you most like to try and why?
Below is a full list of participating restaurants with links to their menus: