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

More Than Java

With more shutdowns and stay-at-home orders, and fewer options to interact with local food-service small businesses, it’s harder and harder to enjoy a simple trip to get a sandwich or grab a cup of coffee. Dining rooms are off limits and the weather is just a bit too cold most days to dine outside.

Therefore, it’s more important than ever to find those quick grab-and-go outposts that offer safe and convenient locations with delicious food and customer care.

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Hot, Hot, Hot

We’ve seen more than a few food fads in the last decade. Most of them, for the betterment of the local food scene, have stuck. Food trucks appear here to stay. Poke joints, though fewer in number than before COVID shutdowns, are still plentiful and delicious. The resurgence of old-school barbecue seems like a permanent fixture on the West Coast.

The latest of these fads is, without a doubt, Nashville hot chicken. Four restaurants have opened in the last year that serve the geographically specific and orally intense chicken dish. It’s a niche, but one that is deliciously filled by the flavorful and sometimes overwhelming fried chicken first made famous in Music City.

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Pizza Please!

We are, as a city, spoiled when it comes to pizza. From the beautifully precise Neapolitan pies of Masullo to the old-fashioned beauties at Luigi’s, the New York-style grease-gorgeous slices at Giovanni’s Old World Pizzeria, the California cuisine pizzas of Zinfandel Grille, the new American masterpieces of OneSpeed Pizza and the perfect family pies of Roma II Pizzeria, all make Sacramento a pizza-pie wonderland.

Is there room, then, for newcomers to the pizza landscape? Is there space in our stomachs and hearts for new slices and squares? Of course! Why would we even ask such silly questions!

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Look for the Helpers

Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers to you and me) was a constant source of inspiration for generations. He rarely looked away when there was strife or difficult conversations to be had, especially with children. During the Civil Rights Movement, Rogers filmed an episode featuring his African American mailman sharing a cool dip of feet with him in a wading pool. The simple gesture was a strong message during those times of unity, compassion and, of course, neighborliness.

Rogers learned a lot about dealing with difficult situations from his mother. He said, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’”

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Fully Baked

With each month it becomes more difficult to see even a few weeks into the future when it comes to the restaurant scene. We’ve lost beloved favorites. Local treasures have reopened only to shut down again within weeks. Some landlords have been graciously flexible with rental and lease terms. Others have not.

It’s with confidence, though, that I say the following local institutions will still be plying their wares well after this column comes out. The humble bakery—set up for takeaway business and designed for in-home consumption—is an integral part of the community.

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