At Lassen's Natural Foods and Vitamins, you can find ayurvedic herb blends and homeopathic herbs. You can find kelp granules, kelp capsules, and kelp powder. And you can peruse more than a dozen varieties of tahini and cashew and almond butter. The vast inventory of wholesome foods and supplements may overwhelm newcomers. Fortunately, staff members strive to not only provide shoppers access to healthy products, but also educate and empower them to make healthy decisions.
Each month, for instance, local health experts lead health lectures, discussing topics that range from managing stress to working up to a Hulk-like immune system. Staff members are happy to let customers sample any product, and even offer educational literature when a customer wavers between brands. Most importantly, staff members receive weekly educational trainings, and pass their knowledge on to customers: cashiers can explain the difference between organic and free range, for instance, and herb experts can explain the health benefits of dozens of plants and herbs.
Devoted to helping people stay healthy and happy, Kristina's Natural Ranch Market is a convenient one-stop shop for everyday organic wares and invaluable lifestyle advice. Stroll through aisles to find an abundance of good-for-you goodies and popular unperished perishables such as specialty breads, free-range poultry, extra-lean ground beef ($5.89/lb), low-fat raw milk ($3.50 for a half gallon), organic bananas ($0.99/lb), plums ($1.29/lb), and bulk spices. In addition to flaunting a hefty selection of fresh, local produce and gourmet groceries, Kristina's Natural Ranch Market stocks gluten- and wheat-free items, health supplements, and natural beauty and body-care products. Though this Groupon can only be used in-store, take a peek at the online catalogue to get a feel for the shop's stock.
Country-style wooden chairs and a hodgepodge of art on the walls give Mainstreet Cafe a cozy, hometown atmosphere. The comfortable atmosphere is key, as staff at Mainstreet Cafe hopes its diners will come to eat all three meals and feed all four stomachs, with a menu that encompasses breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In the mornings, the griddle sizzles with eggs and pancake batter. Later in the day, guests can order hearty sandwiches and Black Angus burgers, steak dishes, or the café’s specialty german sausage and housemade zwieback.
For three generations, the family at Ficklin Vineyards has nurtured 35 acres of portuguese vine varietals to sustain a supply of small-production California-style port wines. Plum-flavored notes blossom from bottles of spicy Old Vine Tinta port ($15), and bottles of chocolate, hazelnut, and raspberry passport ($14) arrive at palates with fruit-infused flavors and up-to-date customs papers. Sauces such as the raspberry-chocolate port sauce ($18) help to accentuate desserts, and the L'Andalus orange aperitif wine ($30) inaugurates pre-dinner revelries with hints of apricot, honey, and orange blossom. To commemorate the rarity of exceptional growing seasons and Harlem Globetrotter losses, the Ficklin family bottles a vintage-dated port in limited quantities of 1,000 cases. Eight vintage ports have been bottled in the past 50 years, marking seasons such as 1996 ($36), 1988 ($41.25), and 1957 ($360).
Centrally located between appellations as extensive as Santa Monica and Napa Valley, the locally owned Mariposa Wine Company cultivates three brands of artisanal wines from grapes that historically thrive in the surrounding region. Mariposa's cool-climate-grown CRU brand features a classic 2007 Vineyard Montage pinot noir ($23.99), brimming with whiffs of cherry pie, cranberry undertones, and rapidly edited sequences of growing grapes set to inspiring power chords. The powerful syrah grape packs a peppery punch in the 2007 Sur le Pont ($19.99), one of Mariposa's Mediterranean-influenced Carmichael-brand wines. Also available is the Yosemite View brand, with grapes, bottles, and corks all grown in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada. Vigorously inhale the raspberry and licorice aromas of Yosemite View's zinfandel ($12). Bottle buyers who don't even buy laundry detergent without swishing it around in their mouth first will get to sample the winery's intriguing blends in its Wine-Tasting Room, where they can test the appearance, complexity, and squirt-gun capabilities of each vino at their leisure before buying.