Rivers Edge Cafe aims to put a spin on the traditional, Americana-steeped diner by creating a casual neighborhood eatery that serves slightly more imaginative versions of otherwise familiar comfort foods. Tempting diners with the opportunity to enjoy three meals a day, the chefs begin each morning by cooking a number of breakfast staples. Buttermilk pancakes and country fried steak are classics, but they also cook omelets using three farm-fresh eggs and everything from artichoke hearts and kalamata olives to smoked salmon and capers. They even update the traditional side of hash browns by creating a version stuffed with bacon, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. As the sun begins to set, the cafe serves its selection of hearty, home-style dinner entrees, including housemade meatloaf flavored with garlic, onions, and green bell peppers, and penne pasta tossed with crisp vegetables, shrimp, and a balsamic glaze.
Much like its menu, Rivers Edge Cafe's dining room exudes a decidedly casual vibe that is more reminiscent of a bistro than a diner. Gleaming wooden tables and low-backed booths fill the dark floors, which still manage to catch the light streaming through the walls of floor-to-ceiling windows. Tulip-shaped pendant lamps hang above a few of the tables, but, as night falls, the ceiling fans' lights help keep the space illuminated as they lazily spin above patrons' heads and keep guests cool as they sip on one of the available craft beers or wines imported from the future.
In a white converted home that looks like it belongs on the beach, the Sugar Plum posse churns out vegan baked goods and café fare made from local, fair-trade, and organic products whenever possible. A rotating cupcake menu includes standout flavors such as lemon lavender and mocha hazelnut, and head baker Melissa’s gluten-free and vegan carrot cake, as reported by the East Sacramento News, won a silver medal in a culinary contest where it was the only vegan entry. Sugar Plum renames its Sundays Donut Day in honor of its airy glazed donuts, served from 10 a.m. until stock runs out or the donuts stage a rebellion. Less sweet lunchtime eats often star the kitchen's house-made tempeh bacon, whether on an avocado club sandwich or atop a risotto-and-nut burger with a melty slice of Daiya “cheese.” The staff helpfully accommodates allergies and raw-food diets.
Each day at dawn, piping-hot circles made from fresh ingredients appear on the horizon, enchanting eyes and noses before popping into mouths. Unlike the sun, these rounds teem with sugar, spice, and in some cases, chocolate. Bakers craft each batch from scratch, using original recipes but not a pinch of preservatives. Their cookie roster beckons sweet teeth with everyday flavors such as M&M chocolate chip and day-of-the-week varieties such as Wednesday's almond joy and Friday's mint-chocolate fantasy fudge. Customers may also opt for custom wedding treats and personalized photo cookies, which serve as memories tastier than crepes rolled from diary pages. In addition to building cookie cakes for parties, the bakers construct cookies for celebrants to embellish with frosting.
Run by a duo of longtime friends with a mutual love for baking, Cupcake Craving rocketed to popularity from its modest beginnings?within a year of the first store?s grand opening, Sacramento Magazine awarded it the Diners? Choice Award for the area?s best cupcake. Since then, the bakery has become a mainstay on CityVoters and KCRA 3's top-five dessert lists, and its handcrafted creations continue to earn new fans. Artful swirls of buttercream or cream-cheese frosting top the bakery?s diminutive cupcakes, which come in more than 20 traditional and signature flavors. The bakery can also handle orders for large parties and special occasions; an on-site artist designs custom cupcake cakes with special flavors and decorations to celebrate birthdays and welcome new gallons of milk into the home.
Every day since ?Daddy Dave? Leatherby Sr. and his wife, Sally, opened the first Leatherby?s Family Creamery 30 years ago, the shop has been churning out fresh ice cream layered in sweet sauces straight from the candy kettle. Milk, cream, and sugar form the base of Leatherby?s more than 45 flavors, which range from staples such as chocolate and strawberry to more exotic varieties including mocha almond fudge and spumoni. Inspired by family recipes that date back a half-century, these frosty treats come in cones, shakes, malts, and sodas, as well as in heaping sundaes and banana splits, the largest of which tips the scales at 54 ounces. Leatherby?s menu has expanded over time, and includes savory options such as sandwiches, burgers, soups, and salads.
Icing on the Cupcake’s innovative, meticulously crafted cupcakes have made the shop a top local dessert business on the KCRA A-List for the past three years. Drawing from a cumulative 50 years of baking experience, chefs whip up a daily-changing menu using gourmet ingredients, such as madagascar bourbon vanilla, buttercream frosting, and bacon bits. Colorful displays of cupcakes stack up beneath contemporary decor inside the shop. The bakery also offers delivery services throughout the Sacramento area, bringing freshly baked morsels to customers' homes, offices, or hiding places behind the curtains of their favorite newscasters.