At Root of Happiness, named for the relaxing properties of the kava root, visitors unwind while sipping kava brew from petite bowls that resemble coconut shells. Baristas also fill shot glasses with potent, concentrated kava that they flavor with cane-sugar syrup, prepare pour-over coffee, and steep exotic teas. Polynesian artwork and hand-carved wooden sculptures lend the cafe the relaxed ambience of an island tiki bar.
“My plan is to own a bakery,” LaThomas Holmes says to a videographer, breaking into a smile as she recounts the compliments her pies and cakes have earned. Before LaThomas got to Plates Café and Catering, that dream was far from her reality. Like the other women at Plates, LaThomas is part of a 90-day program that teaches food-service skills to mothers experiencing homelessness, bringing them closer to self-sufficiency. The restaurant is run by St. John’s Shelter Program for Women and Children, which realized that its clients don’t just need housing—they need employable skills that will help them keep that housing. The shelter’s innovative response to this need, a training-oriented restaurant, has become a media-buzz magnet, earning televised praise from Good Day Sacramento and KVIE’s Rob on the Road and glowing printed words from the State Hornet and Sacramento Business Journal.
These profiles of Plates don’t just express admiration for the eatery’s mission; they also extol the deliciousness of its food. Though it prioritizes its social mission, Plates hasn’t neglected the art of crafting breakfasts and lunches from ingredients such as honey-roasted bacon, basil aioli, and pineapple chutney. Those desserts that bakery-destined LaThomas has perfected? They range from maple-pecan bread pudding to bittersweet chocolate Kahlua cake. The feasts arrive in a dining room that used to be a commissary for the US Army Depot, now redecorated in cheery shades of magenta and yellow. Plates doesn’t yet serve dinner in the dining room, but it does cater evening feasts, as well as earlier breakfasts, salad bars, and buffet lunches. Catered entrees rely on ingredients from local growers who engage in organic and sustainable practices, reflecting a commitment to the environment also seen in Plates’ biocompostable flatware, plates, and cups, which save diners the hassle of bringing their own pitchforks.
Next door to the historic Colonial Theatre, the chefs at Cafe Colonial plate up burgers, fries, and nachos for hungry omnivores and vegans alike. Daiya cheese can be subbed in for dairy cheese, and Boca replaces beef with a simple request. The kitchen has also become known for whipping up a mean Indian frybread taco garnished with refried beans, ground beef, lettuce, tomato, and cheese. On weekends and weeknights, the café plays host to artistic events, live bands, and movie nights.
From its downtown location near Capitol Park, Eliana’s Cafe serves up classic American diner and café fare at lunch, inviting Mexican flavors to make an appearance at breakfast. The cooks spice up morning-time munching with southern-influenced breakfasts of country-fried steak and eggs steaming alongside chilaquiles and chorizo con huevos. Burgers topped with cheese, bacon, and sautéed onions fill bellies at lunch, and patrons can ward off clouds with telepathic threats while enjoying a shrimp and avocado salad on the outdoor dining area.
If you were to trace the origin of one of Jamba Juice’s freshly squeezed juices, it wouldn’t take long before you ended up face to face with its most important supplier: Mother Nature. Whole fruits and vegetables from her gardens, groves, and orchards fill Jamba Juice's stores: kale, apples, pineapple, carrots, beets, and other produce. Although it’s serious about filling cups with wholesome, natural ingredients, the company is a little more playful when it comes to the palate.
Sure, there are classic juices on the juice menu. Purely Carrot, for instance, which is as elemental and straightforward as it sounds. But there’s also the Tropical Greens, which combines apple juice and pineapple with super greens and chia seeds. And there’s Kale Orange Power, loaded with kale, bananas, and orange juice—all of which are packed with a serious helping of vitamins and manganese. Regardless of which flavor you choose, each 12-ounce juice packs in at least 1.5 servings of fruits and veggies, making it a convenient way to restore energy and get nutrition on the go. The same commitment to simplifying healthy eating can be found throughout the Jamba Juice menu, from its Fruit and Veggie smoothies to its Artisan Flatbreads.
In addition to providing healthy options to customers, Jamba Juice sponsors Team Up for a Healthy America. The initiative is focused on improving childhood nutrition and fitness by encouraging fans to join the Team Up community of celebrities, athletes and other leaders committed to helping the nation stay fit—which you can do by visiting the main Jamba Juice website.
With over 500 stores serving the full freshly squeezed juice menu, Jamba Juice is the perfect way to blend in the good.
It is not just the pastas, sandwiches, and pizzas that keep guests coming back to Pete's Restaurant and Brewhouse and Original Pete's—the handcrafted beers also play a major role, quenching thirsts with flavors ranging from the Uptown blonde’s light layers of honey to the highly hoppy profile of the Skinner’s Horse IPA. Pete’s team keeps meals in balance by offering food-and-beer-pairing suggestions, assuring diners that the Midtown ale harmonizes with fish tacos and that the Old Town red—a malty, medium-bodied amber ale—improves coordination for slam-dunking meatballs.