Monsoon Burgers' convex rotating grill flame-broils its menu of burgers to customers' desired temperatures, and then, it clothes them in California flavors. The signature Monsoon burger hosts a cultural soiree of mushrooms, bacon, and homemade guacamole atop a 100% ground beef patty ($9.79), and the chicken avocado burger sizzles its chicken breast beneath a cool avocado umbrella, topping it in jack cheese or any of five other dairy hats ($8.25). Monsoon Burgers also adds variety to vegetarian diets with three different kinds of garden burger ($6.39–$7.75), best devoured with a side of garlic fries ($1.35+ with burger, $3.59 side) or fried zucchini ($3.99). A condiment bar lets proprietary lunchers put their personal stamp on a burger, minus the hassle of finding a notary public, with two types of lettuce, three types of onions, tomatoes, pickles, jalapeños, and olives.
Slice into the menu with a cool, cold sandwich such as the veggie sub, with your choice of three cheeses and avocado, the salami-turkey-provolone, or the ham-salami-capicolla-pepperoni-provolone. Load a gastronomic cargo carrier with a medium fountain drink ($1.59) or chips ($0.99), or turn on the mouth heat with a stomach-warming griller, such as the 12-inch New York steak ’n’ cheese ($4.99–$8.99) or the 8-inch barbecue pork ($6.99). Any sandwich can also be made into a wrap starting at $5.99).
Two of the cuisines that go into Tiffany Italian Mediterranean are right in the name, but there’s a third cultural influence adding diversity to the eclectic menu. General manager Paul Singh told the Daily Republic that the recently opened spot was also “inspired by the diverse cuisine in New York City.” So, any given evening at Tiffany might find a new york strip steak with bordelaise sauce sharing a white tablecloth with wild-boar fettuccine, linguine and clams, and grilled lamb kabobs with yogurt. The broadly welcoming menu and atmosphere is given fine-dining touches such as elegant platings and complimentary hand feeding upon request. Grappa and fine beer join Tuscan reds and chiantis on the drinks list.
When it came time for the team at Johnny Carino’s to come up with some new recipes, they began rifling through their personal cooking histories. Executive chef Chris Peitersen took his first kitchen job at a barbecue joint when he was 14, so he was primed to create italian baby back ribs. By infusing brown sugar barbecue sauce with balsamic vinegar imported from Modena, he’s given the marinade a more acidic bite than typical barbecue sauces. As the ribs slowly roast and char on an oak grill, he bastes on his creation before finishing the dish with a dusting of parmesan.
The ribs are one of Carino’s many menu items that follow the restaurants’ approach of classic Italian preparations modified by forward-thinking flavor combinations. Diners will find a Black Angus burger capped with mozzarella and fried pepperoni, or sautéed tilapia spiced with garlic and jalapeño. Other signature dishes include the 16-layer lasagna, Skilletinis that sizzle with spaghetti and a choice of meat, and tiramisu made from scratch.
When Jim Knudson bit into his first taco during dinner at a friend's house in 1949, he knew he had tasted something special. He added the item?which many diners were pronouncing "tay-co"?to the menu at his restaurant in Grass Valley, California. Determined to introduce the food to as many people as possible, Jim and his wife, Margaret, converted a 16-foot trailer into a kitchen on wheels. They adopted the nickname Jim had earned from one of his longtime customers and drove up to Lake Tahoe, where Jimboy's Tacos found its first permanent home.
Locals, tourists, and even members of the Rat Pack flocked to the tiny taco stand for the uniquely seasoned, parmesan-dusted ground-beef taco, the anchor of a growing menu. The family eventually relocated to Roseville, California, where they set up a small taco stand and began branching out to other locations in and around Sacramento.
Today, Jim Knudson?s daughter Karen, the current president of the company, carries on the legacy of taco obsession at more than 40 locations in northern California and Nevada. Guests who arrive early for breakfast might glimpse the cooks slowly simmering beans, mashing avocados into guacamole, and preparing their signature ground beef with trans-fat-free oil. In addition to classic corn-tortilla tacos, the menu holds the mega-size flour-tortilla El Gordo, golden-fried taquitos, and even a taco burger that fuses Mexican and American culinary traditions.