By: Zack Johnson
People who are new to Sacramento or know very little about it all have the same problem. The majority of them see Sacramento at a very basic level. It is true, we do not have the initial visual impact like New York or The Bay, but I want to say that there is so much more to this city than a brief glance. Sacramento is beautiful in its depth, its pages between the ends of the covers. When one gets to really know the City of Trees, the warm hug of Sacramento embraces you and it never lets you go. I was born and raised here and I am constantly finding similar feels and images of Sacramento abroad. The hidden gems of the 916 area code make it what it is today. A diverse, eclectic, loving community with pride in its niche neighborhoods and unified spirit it its love for everything Sacramento.
One of the places I go to eat in order to really feel Sac after a long hiatus is Harry’s Café on 16th. Owned by a humble family, they serve a wide range of breakfast both American and Asian style. Truth be told I’m a sucker for their Spam fried rice. The portions are enormous and Harry, the owner, serves up Loco Moco as well. A native Hawaiian dish, Loco is comprised of white rice, topped with a burger patty, fried egg, green onion, and brown gravy, personally I throw a little Sriracha hot sauce on there too. Another gem has to be Roxie Deli. Half grocery store/sandwich spot, Roxie hits home with amazing Pastrami and other deli sandwiches served by friendly SF Giants fans. Its never super crowded, they have a chill little patio out front to eat on and certain days of the week they barbeque tri-tip in a huge smoker right out front.
Aside from food Sac has a range of places to go and experience. The American River is blessed with little tiny nooks and crannies to lounge and enjoy a Saturday, try between mile markers 18 and 19. The backdrop in late August and September reminds me of the book The Indian Paint Brush with amazing sunsets stripped with rusty reds and the gentlest blues. The range of art galleries in town seems to be growing at a rapid pace. The Sac State gallery is chalk full of circulating displays often showcasing local talent and artists. You get rewarded in Sac for adventure, for stepping out of a preconceived bubble and engaging the unknown. You never know, you might just happen to stumble into little Juno Café, or Curbside Cuisine’s food truck, or Mama Sues Kitchen, or coffee at Old Soul at The Weatherstone, or McKinley Park’s Rose Garden, or the Tower Theater. The point is no vinyl record was truly great because of the album artwork, what mattered was the music on the inside. Much like an old LP, what’s on the inside of Sacramento is what truly makes this city righteous and beautiful.