FoodWineArt Insider: Sacramento Shake Shack, world traveler Lexie Alford

An adventurous local woman — 21-year-old Alexis Alford of Nevada City — this spring announced she had become the youngest person to travel to every sovereign nation.

“I traveled to all 196 countries by 21 years old. My ultimate goal is to show people that the world is not a scary place and every culture harbors kindness in spite of political instabilities,” Lexie (as she’s known to friends) wrote on her blog.

Our region’s artisanal food businesses are booming, helping to grow local, sustainable economies. We discover new ones all the time, including ones that go together — Hola! Tortilla and Lovato’s Salsa Co. and Big Daddy’s Salsa Co.

At Hola!, Carmen Lang and René Sprattling make and sell corn and wheat tortillas at 821 Zion St. in Nevada City. They are sold at the Nevada City Farmers Market and SPD Market, among other places, and served at Thirsty Barrel and Treats.

Lovato’s red salsa is made with fresh tomatoes, while Big Daddy’s green salsa is made with green apples instead of tomatillos. Hola! Tortilla and SPD Market carries both local brands.

Sacramento’s first Shake Shack will open later this year or in early 2020 at the Ice Blocks at 17th and R Streets. The beloved New York burger chain serves burgers, fries, hot dogs and milkshakes.

Meanwhile, on the fine-dining end of the food spectrum, The Kitchen restaurant — whose dinner includes a five-course prix fixe menu — has won the first Michelin star for a Sacramento restaurant.

California fishermen are reporting the biggest King salmon season in a decade. This comes on the heels of low catches because of a prolonged drought. Salmon season is expected to continue through mid-October.

In the foothills and Truckee-Tahoe, we like the Little Fish Co. ( for fresh salmon and other seafood. “We catch and source wild-caught seafood and deliver it to local farmers markets direct from the boat,” according to fisherman/owner Brand Little. Brand has his own fishing vessel, The Fair Seas.

(Photo: Lexie Alford Instagram)

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