A new cold front

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Snow storm: Two rapidly expanding businesses specializing in Taiwanese shaved snow—a cross between shaved ice and ice cream, then loaded with toppings—opened new locations earlier this month.

Vampire Penguin, after quickly launching downtown Sacramento and Davis locations in December 2014, debuted a sleek, spacious spot in Elk Grove (9135 West Stockton Boulevard). Vampire also recently began selling macarons—the delightfully chewy, colorful French cookies made from meringue and pulverized almonds—at all of its locations. Think playful flavors, such as ube, Fruity Pebbles, Thai tea, guava cheese and chocolate-covered bacon.

Meanwhile, Bay Area chain Sno-Crave has crept into Sacramento with a new tea house near Florin Road (6910 65th Street). The expansive menu includes a wide range of boba teas and desserts: shaved snow, crepes, waffles, brick toast, cheesecake, macarons and—somehow—much, much more. While Sno-Crave’s macarons run more traditional—chocolate, vanilla, coffee, pistachio—the brick toast gets crazy. Start with thick slabs of buttermilk-laden white toast, then pile ice cream, chocolate sauce, Oreos, macarons, strawberries, red bean—really, anything is possible.

On tap: With Sacramento Beer Week often comes a flurry of new breweries and taprooms. But what about further down the road?

Davis will get its second brewery, Three Mile Brewing Co., hopefully by October. Better yet, it’s located downtown at 231 G Street.

Head brewer Roy Lester has been homebrewing for more than 20 years, plus a five-year stint at the now-shuttered Brew it Up! Brewery and Grill. He and his six business partners met in the offices of a pharmaceutical company, where most of them work.

“We’ve been dreaming about this for a long time,” said partner Joe Runner. “Davis has always been a spot we’ve felt has room for growth.”

Three Mile will start with classics—an imperial stout, honey blonde ale, brown ale and flagship rye IPA—before expanding into seasonal specials. For those brews, Runner said they’re looking to purchase local raw materials—starting with honey—as a nod to Davis’ agricultural roots.

Aesthetically, Runner predicts the 2,500-square-foot Three Mile will have a cool industrial look—standard these days—with exposed pipes and the like.

“It’s so popular because it’s inexpensive,” he said, laughing. “But we do want to incorporate wood, organic things. … Very simple, but inviting and comfortable.”