Greg Sabin

Food Writer

About This Author

Greg Sabin is a nationally published food writer, actor, improvisational comedian, banjo player and financial planner. He does not wear hats.

Articles by this author

Seventh Heaven

In jazz parlance, a standard is a tune everyone knows and every musician can play. An artist plays a standard to put their stamp on it, toy with it or mold it to their personality.

Downtown’s new restaurant The 7th Street Standard at the Hyatt Centric doesn’t get its name by coincidence. Chef Ravin Patel takes common food constructs and makes them his own. Familiar recipes play with unfamiliar rhythms.

He juggles flavors from multiple continents, often in the same dish. Improvisation feels like an ingredient, yet it’s born of intense study and years of perfecting his craft.

Patel worked at Michelin-starred kitchens and lent his skill to the Selland restaurant group. His knowledge of local, national and international cuisine is on display in a menu that is tight, approachable and titillating.

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3 The Old Way

If you haven’t been to Old Sacramento recently, you may not know the historical district has undergone a rebrand. The dining scene remains varied and, like most tourist districts, fluid. But three local treasures—The Firehouse Restaurant, Rio City Cafe and Fanny Ann’s Saloon—have stayed the course. They offer novel dining experiences that are quintessential Sacramento.

The Old Sacramento Waterfront, as it’s now known, aims to draw tourists and locals with an interactive, playful take on the historic district. You’ll find Instagram-ready sculptures, amusement park rides and more candy than a dentist would recommend. You’ll also find food and drink worth a visit.

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Pure Taste

Jamie Cavanaugh, owner of Pure Soul Plant Based Eats, doesn’t mind if you aren’t vegan. “I care what I eat,” she says. “I don’t want to eat meat or dairy, but I don’t mind if the diners at my restaurant are vegans or vegetarians or just taking a meal off from their usual diet.”

She adds, “I just want to serve good food.” And she does.

Cavanaugh opened the small eatery in East Sacramento during the fateful month of March 2020. Taking over a corner storefront previously occupied by The Wienery, Pure Soul battled shutdowns, lockdowns and slowdowns its first two years. Today it’s positioned to be busier than ever.

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Great Grapes!

It might be easy to overlook, but the wine scene is changing. Several local wine bars are influencing a new generation of wine drinkers. Whether it’s unique varietals, novel appellations or changing attitudes about California’s iconic consumable, there’s plenty new in wine.

You’ll see trends on display at Ro Sham Beaux wine bar on J Street. The small, creatively appointed space combines modern sensibilities with a swinging 1970s fern bar vibe. The wine is cutting-edge: natural, low alcohol and from unexpected climes.
Ro Sham Beaux’s menu takes a detour from routine chardonnays and zinfandels. Start with a glass of orange wine from Georgia (the country, not the state).

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Better To Give

In 1979, I served as a summer missionary for the Southern Baptist churches in Northern Nevada. I was one of hundreds of college students working nationwide, helping churches conduct Bible schools and summer youth camps.

Each missionary stayed within a region of churches, changing locations each week through a dozen churches. Most pastors hoped their missionary would be an ambitious college kid who could energize their youth group.

The pastors shared a pun among themselves to rate the energy of these workers: “Summer missionaries and some-r-not.”

I was more the “not” kind.

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