There are some things in this town that I am willing to break my diet for, pay more for, and travel across town for — they are just plain worth it. Here are a few of my Sactown favorites…
Worth the Calories: Turkey Burger at the Riverside Clubhouse
Just ask my friends about how much I love this (turkey) burger. Every time I walk into this restaurant, I immediately start promoting the burger to everyone at the table. I am not sure what spices or ingredients go into it, but I’m fairly sure anything this delicious must have more calories than I am supposed to have… but it’s worth every bite. Even people who are opposed to turkey burgers admit these burgers are delicious. To help save calories, order it without the dressing or cheese – it is yummy-goodness on its own and does not need help with any dressing or cheese.
Worth the Price: Taylor’s Market Butcher Shop
The butcher shop inside Taylor’s Market not only has the highest quality products, but the staff really knows their stuff. I’ve asked on numerous occasions what protein, what spice, what cut, what sauce, etc they recommend for a recipe and they’re always spot on. And when I don’t feel like cooking, they will prepare it ahead of time and I just pick it up. They are also always willing to work with me to meet my needs. I have to admit, I go to Taylor’s several times a week. This local market is located in Land Park but it is worth the trip if you live anywhere in the Sacramento region. (BTW… Taylor’s Kitchen next door has the most delicious burger using 5-Dot beef that is the perfect fix for a burger craving.)
Worth the Time: Wednesday, 6 a.m. Spin Class with Mike, Downtown 24 Hour Fitness
I have taken hundreds of spin classes over the last few years in various gyms and Mike’s spin class is hands-down the best. He knows how to push you as far as you can go until you think you can’t go any farther… and then he moves on to the next exercise. This 60 minute class flies by due to his perfectly timed music and exercises. He is motivating and knows how to get the most out of each person. And because he is so good, his class fills up early, so I recommend getting to this 6 a.m. class 15 minutes prior or you will not get a bike.
Worth the Trip: Sunflower Natural Food Restaurant’s Nutburger
When I was in high school, a favorite restaurant my friends and I would go to was the Sunflower Natural Food Restaurant located in old town Fair Oaks. When I moved back to Sacramento a few years ago, I made a pilgrimage back out there and did not regret the trip. These delicious vegan-friendly burgers are amazingly flavorful and tender, with just the right amount of crunchiness. Hands down the best veggie burger in the area.
Worth the Price & Calories: 58 Degrees — Frank Family Vineyard Chardonnay, Short Beef Ribs, Cheese Plate & Ahi Tuna
I know this is a very specific but trust me… this is the perfect order. First, my friend and fellow GOTG editor Julie Soderlund turned me onto to Frank Family Vineyard Chardonnay. 58 Degrees serves it by the glass and the bottle and let me save you from the decision – just order the bottle. It is too good to have by the glass. As for the food…while this combination seems odd, it is a perfect blend of light and heavy, sweet and savory. The cheese plate is the best in town, with perfectly complemented cheeses served with delicious chutney and salty nuts. Combined with light and somewhat spicy ahi tuna and the short ribs that are so tender there is no need for a knife. My friends and I have shared this exact meal many times and we are convinced it is one of the best.
Worth the Calories: L Wine Lounge Cheese Pizzetta
I am convinced their cheese pizza has a special ingredient that makes it so addicting. This is a true story: the first time I tried this pizza, my friend and I could not believe that the only topping was cheese so our waiter took us back to speak directly to the chef about it. He swore that it is only cheese. But even after his confirmation, I still cannot believe there is not some secret ingredient that makes this cheese pizza stand out. One warning, one slice will quickly become five and your diet will become a distant memory.
Worth the Price: Mikuni’s BBQ Tuna
If you have never splurged for this appetizer, you’re really missing out. The dish comes as a three-piece or a five-piece portion and it is worth every bite. The spices and preparation cause cravings the minute you leave the restaurant.
Worth the Calories: Bistro 33 Dessert Trio
I love desserts and Sacramento is blessed with an abundance of choices. But there’s something about this little trio that it makes it difficult to resist. This little trio includes crème brulee, key lime pie and salty caramel cheesecake. Normally, I’m not a fan of key lime pie but I can’t get enough of Bistro’s. The portions are perfect to share and even when you think that you will only take a bite or two, you will quickly finish all three.
Worth the Calories: Anything at Freeport Bakery
Need I say more… From their savory quiches to their chocolate-dipped macaroons, there is no item in this bakery that is not just heavenly delicious and worth every calorie.
Worth the Calories: Tuli Bistro’s Harvest Salad
Whenever I go to Tuli, there is never a question — I will be ordering the harvest salad. The ingredients slightly vary from season to season and it is always excellent. It is a combination of warm goat cheese with cool mixed greens, crunchiness of nuts or pumpkin seeds and sweetness from a seasonal fruit making it one of the best salads in town.
EDITOR’s NOTE: These are just a few of my favorites that I cannot resist. What are your favorites? Submit what you think is worth the calories, price or time at girlsonthegrid AT gmail DOT com.