FoodWineArt Insider: What’s new in our region?

A convenient new bus service is offering local winery and brewery tours, as well as shuttles to the South Yuba River in the summer. With the motto “the river starts here” painted on its side, the 20-passenger bus picks up passengers in Nevada City and Grass Valley.

Itineraries include a tour of Auburn breweries including Knee Deep, Moonraker and Crooked Lane, or Sierra Vintner wineries including Naggiar, Pilot Peak and Bent Metal. The tours include tastings and an educational meeting with the brewer or winemaker.

Yuba Bus, the brainchild of local co-owners Brett Dotson and David Preston—has offered trips to the Bay Area Brew Fest in San Francisco, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico and San Francisco Giants games. The bus also can be chartered. For more information, visit

The Grass Valley restaurant is adding a display case filled with its homemade desserts for take out, including its signature flan.

All Maria’s menu items can be ordered to go. We like to order a bowl of Maria’s homemade tortilla soup to take out for an office lunch.

The restaurant also offers full-service catering. Owner Maria Ramos learned to cook from her Mexican born mother and grandmother and has brought the authenticity to Maria’s restaurant.

The Chilean restaurant in Grass Valley is offering its most popular homemade sauces for take out, including chimichurri, peach chipotle BBQ, and manjar (Chilean caramel).

In addition, Diego’s now offers a special menu Sun.-Wed. from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Diego’s also has added some new menu items, including nachos, fajitas, taquitos and enchiladas. We enjoy Diego’s outdoor patio for lunch in springtime.

The “pop up” bakery returns May 10-12 for Mother’s Day. Emily’s pop-up bakeries feature a wide selection of baked goods, all from her catering kitchen: cupcakes (dozens of kinds), cakes, pies, tarts, cookies and more.

Emily’s 2018 schedule is Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Fall Harvest (Sept. 13-15), Halloween (Oct. 25-27), Thanksgiving (Nov. 19- 21) and Christmas (Dec. 19-23) at their full-service catering kitchen at 421 Colfax Ave. Emily’s baked goods are always avail- able by special order by calling 530-271-CAKE or visiting Emily’s also offers full-service catering.

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