Natural pairing

Illustration by Mark Stivers

Tasty taproom: Todd Trauman, co-owner of Sac City Brews Neighborhood Tap House (3940 60th Street) in Tahoe Park, noticed most breweries and taprooms outsource their eats. To stand out, he partnered with head chef Rebecca Campbell, a longtime pal who crafted a proudly “unfussy” menu of sausage sandwiches and novel bar eats.

“There’s a lot of places where you can go get good quality beer, but not a lot of them where you can get food along with it, especially in this area,” he said. “We wanted to showcase that you can have really high-quality food, very seasonal stuff, without having to pay an arm and a leg for it.”

After working to advance sustainable food practices in prior jobs, Campbell has crafted straightforward new American cuisine like her take on a banh mi sandwich ($9) that places andouille sausage, pickled carrots/daikon, Sriracha and Japanese mayo into a lightly toasted brioche bun. Andouille also factors into the popular mac-and-cheese balls ($8.50), that get covered in panko crumbs, fried and served with a chipotle crema and a sprinkling of cotija cheese.

Beer-wise, Trauman said he draws from his years running “a glorified craft beer of the month club” by the same name of his new taproom. From 16 taps, he pours beer from Sacramento and other cities, but reserves two taps for a cider and a nitro-infused brew. He also carries a solid selection of wine.

Along with their spouses/business partners, James Campbell and Katie Trauman, Rebecca and Todd plan to host a grand opening block party sometime in March, although the taproom’s been “casually open” since late January.

Hometown duo: The World Butchers’ Challenge determines which country cuts meat the best. And in our nation of over 320 million, two Sacramentans have been chosen to represent America, Danny Johnson and Paul Carras from Taylor’s Market (2900 Freeport Boulevard). Johnson said he was one of the Butchers of America’s original selections, who then persuaded the guild that his co-worker and protégé would be critical to the team.

“I said, if we wanted a good chance to win, we needed to take Paul with us,” Johnson recalled.

Team USA concurred and the duo will be part of the six-person squad heading to Belfast in March. But before then, they’ll be hosting an event ($40 for tickets) with wine and light hors d’oeuvres at the adjacent Taylor’s Kitchen from 6 to 8 p.m. on February 26. All proceeds will go to the Butchers of America, and Johnson said he’s working on getting a butchery competition to come to Sacramento in the not-so-distant future.