Summer Guide 2014 Food & Drink picks

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co.'s bartender Ben Cassady gets ready to serve up a glass of industrial-strength nitro coffee. Commence killer caffeine buzz.

Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co.'s bartender Ben Cassady gets ready to serve up a glass of industrial-strength nitro coffee. Commence killer caffeine buzz.

photo by steven chea

What would we do for a Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates’ Treat—such as one of the macarons pictured here? Just about anything, probably. Commence killer caffeine buzz.

photo by steven Chea

Big enough to not share

Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates’ ice-cream treats

Don’t reach for another standard grocery-store issue Fudgsicle this summer: Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates has something infinitely more sophisticated. The tiny chocolate specialty shop is selling Parisian macaron ice-cream sandwiches ($6) in four varieties: caramelized milk and coffee, lemon gingersnap, pistachio, and salty caramel. Each comprises an oversized cookie layered with rich ice cream. At 3 inches in diameter, they’re big enough to share. Or not. Also worthy of a splurge: the almond rocher ice-cream bar ($5), featuring Tahitian vanilla-bean ice cream rolled in almonds and dipped in bittersweet chocolate. Or opt for a pint of ice cream ($9). Flavors include rocky road with house-made marshmallow cream and candied almonds, and strawberry cheesecake with locally made organic strawberry jam and house-made graham-cracker pieces. Ben and Jerry who? 1801 L Street, Suite 60; (916) 706-1738; R.L.

Badass burger of summer 2014

Chef Robb “Rossi” Venditti’s burger at Pangaea Two Brews Cafe

Through and through, this is the burger of the summer. The pickles pack a spicy punch. The dressing features chef Venditti’s trademark Ass Fire sauce kick. The bun is the perfect brioche, gently toasted. And the burger itself a house-ground mix of chuck and brisket. Great juice, awesome flavor, and that brioche soaks up all the slop. Add in a nice side of shoestring fries and a fine brew—it’s worth two hours at the gym just to work it off. 2743 Franklin Boulevard, (916) 454-4942, N.M.

The real best beer bar in Roseville

Final Gravity Taproom & Bottleshop

I think it was Jimmy Fallon who said that craft beer as a hobby is just an excuse for your alcoholism. Love that joke. I also love visiting my suburban pals in Roseville, because that means I can get my excuse on at Final Gravity, the suburb’s top brew bar. Owners Kyle and Amy Ruthnick curate a great selection of drafts for sipping and bottles for takeout. In fact, the bottle selection just keeps growing and growing. Like my beer gut. 9205 Sierra College Boulevard, Suite 100; (916) 782-1166; N.M.

Awesome prejogging ritual

T&R Taste of Texas Barbecue’s corn-and-jalapeño gumbo

Hot days and spicy food somehow go together, and maybe a little heat by mouth can cool off the rest of the body during 100-degree days. Subscribers to this line of thinking should get themselves to T&R Taste of Texas Barbecue for some throat-warming corn-and-jalapeño gumbo. The corn sweetens, and the pepper does what peppers do best. It’s a little greasy, but that just makes it go down smoother. Eating some pulled pork on the side and chewing the fat with the owners should be a regular summer ritual. If so, maybe it’s best to jog home. 3621 Broadway, (916) 739-1669. G.G.

Caffeine on draft

Chocolate Fish Coffee’s nitro coffee

It’s ice coffee served like beer. In a tulip glass. Like fancy beer. From the nitro tap, Chocolate Fish’s coffee pours smooth, thick and frothy. (Like a stout!) But it’s a light, nutty brew—and seriously strong. Get your buzz on early at the East Sacramento location or late at night from the Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Co. bar. 4749 Folsom Boulevard, (916) 451-5181, J.B.

Better than Jimboy's?

Taco Tree

Two things: One, it’s almost Sacrilegious to pronounce a taco better than native son Jimboy’s Tacos’ Parmesan-dusted bean taco. Yet, two: I’m going to go out on a limb and declare my affection for Taco Tree’s fare. Taco Tree is all I look forward to while heading back down Interstate 80 from the Lake Tahoe area. I want that cheap crunch in my face. Bonus: Take your Taco Tree taco, hang a left on Bell Road to visit Knee Deep Brewing Co.’s taproom, and wash that action down with some of its high-octane hopped brews fresh off the system. Taco Tree, 4029 Grass Valley Highway in Auburn;(530) 889-8206; Knee Deep Brewing Co., 13395 New Airport Road, Suite H, in Auburn; (530) 797-4677; N.M.

Sip, sweat, repeat

Revolution Wines’ patio

Sacramento’s definitely a beer town, but a glass of crisp white wine on a hot summer night hits the spot, too. Make it chenin blanc—nearby Clarksburg’s flagship grape—at Revolution Wines, which boasts a lovely shared patio with Temple Coffee. Not only is it lovely, but it’s the only west-facing patio in Midtown. That means you get the glorious sun unobstructed while it sets. If chenin blanc is, for some reason, not your style, Revolution makes chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and orange muscat, along with a few reds. And—OK, OK—there’s beer, too. 2831 S Street, (916) 444-7711, J.B.

Salad daze

Capitol Cobb Salad at Mother

You’re going to eventually strip down and jump in the water this summer. Eat a salad, for chrissakes. I recommend the salad of the year: Mother’s Capitol Cobb, which includes iceberg lettuce; a smear of avocado; seasonal veggies, like beets and cukes; a “six-minute egg"; falafel; and more. If you need some damn carbs, ask for free bread on the side. Also: This might be the most attractively plated salad in the city. 1023 K Street, (916) 594-9812, N.M.

Throw some shade

Lucca Restaurant & Bar

Sacramento is home to some great outdoor-dining experiences, but in the ever- shifting trend landscape, the patio at Lucca Restaurant & Bar is often overlooked. Tucked behind the restaurant, the ample L-shaped space is shrouded by cool, leafy trees making it the perfect go-to spot on a blistering afternoon. Order up some zucchini chips and a cocktail— the bar makes a mean sidecar—and you’ve got the makings for a very happy hour, indeed. 1615 J Street, (916) 669-5300, R.L.