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Trader Joe's Soy Creamy

Of all the delicious food items sold at Trader Joe’s, their Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip dessert is the best.  I discovered it when I first moved to Oregon.  It is a non-dairy, vegan, gluten-free treat.  Each serving is 190 calories and the ingredients are wholesome- organic soy milk and organic cane sugar, which is great compared to the cream, sugar, corn syrup and xanthan gum found in regular brands like Dryer’s.  The Trader Joe’s brand does have more sugars and carbs, however.

Finally, a great restaurant right in the neighborhood.  O Bento Japanese Restaurant, located at the corner of El Camino Ave and Maryal Dr, is just a hop, skip and a jump from my house and it has quickly become a neighborhood hotspot. Sushi rolls are 50 percent off, which is music to my ears!  Tonight I ordered the Pacific Roll and substituted the tuna with spicy tuna. I love that extra kick. I also ordered seaweed salad and a bowl of miso.

O Bento Japanese Restaurant

Everything was delicious.  The seaweed salad was fresh and filling and the Pacific Roll was plain, no sauce, just how I like it.  A lot of their rolls do have tobiko, special sauce, and spicy sauce, which is typical of American style sushi.  If you prefer that, get the Howe Roll (spicy tuna, deep fried shrimp, avocado, lemon and tabiko sauce).  It is fantastic as well.

hot sake

I am so glad they started a Japanese restaurant in Arden-Arcade.  Let’s make sure they are here to stay by giving them business. Once you try their food, write an O Bento review on yelp. They have seven reviews so far; let’s make it 10.

Swiss Cheese and Mushrooms

Apparently I’m a hamburger fan.  This is at least the fourth review I’ve done for burgers.  I think it’s just such a summer treat- a staple at 4th of July block parties and backyard barbecues.  Today I had Ettore’s Award Winning Hamburger on a Cheddar Scallion Bun with all natural Niman Ranch Hamburger, Sauteed Mushrooms, Swiss Cheese, Tomato, Red Leaf Lettuce, and Herb Mayonnaise.  It was delicious, but very filling.  It was served with the most wonderfully flavorful sweet potato fries that were a bit greasy for my taste, but overall a great meal for $10.95.  The outdoor seating was relaxing and quiet, however there were quite a few flies so I might suggest seating yourself indoors.

Ettore's Hamburger with Sweet Potato Fries

Unfortunately, I have to write my first bad review today.  I went to Matteo’s Pizza and Bistro with the family and although the food tasted okay, the service was poor. My grandma and aunt were waiting for more than 45 minutes for two burgers because the kitchen printer broke and didn’t get the order.  So even though my mom and I arrived 10 minutes late, we had ordered pizza and finished eating by the time their burgers finally arrived. Our server didn’t tell them what was going on and hardly apologized for the inconvenience.  We should have stuck to Skips, where the staff is friendly, the atmosphere is fun and the burgers are exceptional.

If I ever move back to Sacramento, Old Fair Oaks is definitely the place to live.  If not for the American River bike trail, schools, and community, then definitely for its proximity to Sunflower Natural Foods restaurant. This is the best vegetarian and vegan lunch spot in Sacramento since 1978.

Today I ordered my usual: Super Avocado with Cheese.  But they also have delicious milkshakes, smoothies, burritos and a killer nutburger.  Everything on the menu comes with fresh garden goodies like sprouts, lettuce and tomato.  They also have a great selection for kids — grilled cheese, quesadillas, and peanut butter and honey sandwiches. Watch out little ones! Mom and dad might not be able to resist sneaking a bite when you aren’t looking.

It takes a long time to get your food here and unless you hover like a vulture you probably won’t get a table or a parking spot, but that is just a testament to how popular this place is.  It has never kept me from coming back.

Rooster at Sunflower Restaurant
 
10344 Fair Oaks Blvd
916-967-4331

Roxy Bar and GrillI’ve always heard good things about Roxy Restaurant and Bar on Fair Oaks Blvd in Sacramento.  This week I went there for the first time and I would say the food definitely lived up to the hype.  I ordered the slow braised short rib sandwich with goat cheese, pickled fried jalapeños and steak sauce.  What a good combination of flavors!  Top it off with stringy garlic fries and a breezy afternoon in the outdoor patio- perfection.

What I liked most about this restaurant is that the menu is built around what is fresh and in season.  Their meat is sourced from Lucky Dog Ranch in Dixon.  At Lucky Dog Ranch, a natural environment and careful handling ensure that the cattle are exposed to as little stress as possible, which makes for the best tasting meat.

My mom made the most delicious kidney bean and sweet corn chili to go with my cornbread.  It really was the best chili I ever tasted, especially compared to the uber-salty stuff I’m used to in the dorms.  This was made from all fresh tomatoes, garlic and onions from our CSA box of fresh farm veggies.  It’s so healthy.

Harvest!

Veggie Chili

2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cans kidney beans
3-4 cups crushed tomatoes
2 onions, chopped
1 cup corn
3 jalapeños
2 Tbsp. tomato paste

Brown garlic in a skillet over medium heat. Add chili powder and cumin. Meanwhile, mix together tomatoes, beans, onions, chilies and tomato paste in crockpot. Add the garlic and mix well. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Serve with jalapeño cornbread.  Comfort food get in my tummy!

Vegetarian Chili

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