Slow Food Sacramento

A Chapter of Slow Food USA

Browsing Posts published by Slow Food Sacramento
(916) 456-4522
3675 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

This small café in East Sacramento on J Street has captured a big idea in food: keep it simple
using high-quality ingredients procured locally and seasonally. All menu items are made from
scratch, including aioli, salad dressings, stock and soups, desserts and bread. The assortment
of breads made daily are all crafted from a wild starter, no commercial yeast is used. Their
menu includes heirloom lettuce, beans, squash, turnips and beets when available. Produce
comes from Del Rio Botanicals and other local producers and farms and all meats are humanely
raised. All disposable to-go containers and tableware are made from recycled materials, which
are in turn recyclable. Juno’s Kitchen stands ready to answer questions about sourcing of any
food in their menu.
(916) 457-5737
1401 28th Street
Sacramento, CA 95816

Paragary’s Bar and Oven was a pioneer in utilizing local, seasonal ingredients when it first opened in 1983, spurring the now prevalent “locavore” trend in the Sacramento dining scene. Since the beginning, the menu has featured seasonal items that utilize the highest quality meats and produce, provided by small local purveyors. Along with introducing the region’s first wood-fired pizza oven, the restaurant boasts one of the most unique outdoor patio spaces in the city. The restaurant has been certified as a “Sustainable Business” by the Business Environmental Resource Center.
(916) 448-8900
1213 K Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Esquire Grill serves classic American cuisine, with a modern twist. Menu highlights include
natural Angus steaks, sustainably raised pork, local oysters, hand-crafted pastas, and free-
range chicken. The kitchen uses local, seasonal meats, seafood and produce from small local
purveyors. The restaurant has been certified as a “Sustainable Business” by the Business
Environmental Resource Center.
2730 J Street
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 442-2552

Centro Cocina Mexicana was founded on the idea of providing authentic, regional Mexican food in a fun, festive atmosphere. Executive Chef Kurt Spataro spent extensive time within several regions of the country, learning the cultural cuisines and techniques. Everything from the menu is prepared in-house using traditional Mexican cooking techniques. Salsas are made fresh daily, tortillas are hand-crafted, even the masa for the tamales is made with house-made lard. Unique features of the bar include a selection of seasonal fruit-infused tequilas, and a special barrel that ages a locally distributed organic tequila. The restaurant has been certified as a “Sustainable Business” by the Business Environmental Resource Center.

On April 17, Slow Food Sacramento announced the latest honorees of the “Snail of Approval” program. The Snail of Approval program recognizes local businesses that contribute to the quality, authenticity and sustainability of food in the community.

This year, Slow Food Sacramento introduced two new award categories: Producers and Supporters. Past awards were conferred on restaurants offering menu items that meet the Slow Food mission of good (authentic flavor), clean (grown so it does not harm the environment) and fair (food producers receive fair compensation). In response to the growing interest by auxiliary food businesses and organizations, the new Producer category recognizes businesses producing locally unique and sustainable foods. The new Supporter category acknowledges organizations that encourage sustainable business practices in the food community.  

The restaurants receiving the Snail of Approval are:

  • Spataro Restaurant and Bar
  • Paragary’s Bar and Oven
  • Esquire Grill
  • Centro Cocina Mexicana
  • Juno’s Kitchen and Delicatessen

 Awardees in the Producer category are:

  • Soil Born Farms
  • Devine Gelateria
  • Del Rio Botanicals
  • Revolution Wines

 Awardees in the Supporter category are:

  • Edible Pedal
  • Green Restaurant Alliance of Sacramento
  • Produce Express

 “Sacramento is at the forefront of a national movement of consumers and businesses embracing locally grown, sustainable foods. This is our way of recognizing and honoring the businesses in our region that focus on good, clean, and fair food,” says Karen Auwaerter, president of Slow Food Sacramento.

For more information on Slow Food Sacramento and the Snail of Approval selection criteria, click here.

Kupros Bistro
1217 21st Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 440-0401

Set in a beautifully restored midtown Craftsman building, Kupros prides itself on providing seasonal, house-made offerings throughout the year, changing its menu to use foods at their peak of freshness and flavor. Produce and other ingredients emphasize local, natural, and sustainable principles, and are obtained from local farms (e.g., Del Rio, Capay) or hand-selected from local farmers markets. Kupros also participates in numerous local charity events throughout the year and recycles/composts waste products from the kitchen, minimizing their carbon footprint.
Cafe Bernardo Midtown
28th & Capitol
Cafe Bernardo / R15
15th & R

Since opening in 1993, Cafe Bernardo has served Sacramentans comforting, quality food utilizing the highest quality ingredients and practices.  Along with using local, seasonal produce, the kitchen utilizes trans-fat free oils, cage-free VEGA eggs, free-range chicken, natural Angus beef, locally produced cheese, 100% maple syrup, dairy products free of growth hormones and antibiotics, and locally roasted free-trade coffee.  The restaurant is also a certified “Sustainable Business” by The Business Environmental Resource Center, and was the first operating restaurant to receive this recognition in 2005.  All three Cafe Bernardo locations participate in a number of charitable events, as well as donate thousands of dollars in gift cards to non-profits each year.

Lemon Grass

601 Munroe Street
Sacramento CA 95825

Lemon Grass Restaurant offers a casual fine dining experience, for lunch and dinner, in an atmosphere that’s quaint, cozy and inviting. At the heart of our authentic Southeast Asian flavors and signature dishes, we are committed to providing quality food through freshly prepared sauces, naturally raised meats, and the use of local produce and fresh herbs.  We are committed to a menu that exclusively offers quality naturally raised meats such as Niman Ranch beef and Petaluma Chicken. We use local produce from area farmers markets and fresh aromatic herbs grown on a small family farm just south of Sacramento. Lemon Grass also offers a variety of delicious vegetarian and vegan dishes, and a gluten free menu.

The Central Valley Region of California was honored to host Paolo di Croce for a regional event on Sept. 11 during his whirlwind visit to Northern California to connect with chapter leaders and Slow Food donors. Paolo is the Executive Director of Slow Food International and serves as International Secretary of the Slow Food International Board of Directors. With him was Shayna Bailey, a Slow Food International staffer who wears many hats, including liaison to Slow Food USA.

On short notice we brought together Slow Food members from 15 counties, including leaders from 8 chapters. Regrettably, three chapters who were signed up had last minute glitches. Those who made the long drive to the border between Sacramento and San Joaquin counties were inspired and energized by the witty, passionate, arm waving Italian. And Paolo was very pleased to hear from chapter leaders about the many and various projects being carried out up and down the valley.

We started with an intimate meeting at my home, where Paolo could hear from leaders of each chapter and could share his thoughts for the future of Slow Food International.

We moved down the road to MacFarland Ranch for the joint Sacramento and Lodi Chapter Heirloom Bean Picnic attended by about 130 people with talks featuring heirloom beans being farmed on the nearby Mohr Fry Ranch. We tasted chef-prepared bean dishes, heard from Ken Albala (author of Beans, A History), the farmers Chip Morris (California’s King of Beans) and Jerry Fry, and from Robert Klein of Olivetto in Oakland (whose Community Grains project is helping create markets for the beans as well as heirloom varieties of flint corn and red wheat). Once again Paolo inspired the crowd—especially to connect to this organization as a global effort. We heard about the Thousand Gardens in Africa initiative and learned that more than 100 chapters in Italy have already “adopted” a garden. We could do that!

The culmination of the visit was a tour of the bean fields. In the height of harvest season these talented farmers had mustered and labeled their equipment and labeled the bean varieties. We wound through the fields learning about the challenges, flexible thinking, and quick action that undergird success. The capper was an exuberant 8 year old who, at about the third stop, announced, “Mom! I want to be a farmer when I grow up, so I can grow beans!” Music to our ears.

Charity Kenyon, SFUSA Governor, Central Valley Region of California

Saturday September 24, 2011

Read about Charity Kenyon our Slow Food  USA Governor, Central Valley California Region and Slow Food Sacramento’s Membership Director: