A visitor’s guide to downtown Grass Valley

“Take the scenic route to downtown Grass Valley.” Off the beaten path, the Gold Rush-era town is a heritage travel gem. Downtown Grass Valley is livable, walkable and historic. Whether you’re shopping, dining, staying or playing, you’ll find an abundance of options. Grass Valley’s historic downtown core—about 15 walkable blocks— continues to be the community’s […]

Pulled pork, ribs and chicken at Bam Dazy BBQ in Auburn

FOOTBALL AND BBQ GO TOGETHER: Besides tailgating, Heisman Trophy winner Billy Simms, NFL Hall of Fame player Randy White and Pro Bowl player Al “Bubba” Baker all own popular BBQ joints. Our region has its own top-notch BBQ restaurants, with their “low and slow” smokers primed for the football season. Some of our favorites are […]

Grass Valley: Preserving the Past

“Dependence on a gold economy has given way to a much broader range of commercial enterprises, but due to the preservation of many of the original buildings, the Gold Rush legacy of the 1800s remains to delight and inspire visitors,” according to Walking Tour of Historic Downtown Grass Valley by the Grass Valley Historical Commission. Some […]

Food & wine pairings for Foothills Celebration in Grass Valley on Saturday, March 1

Click for larger image of map: The Foothills Celebration in Grass Valley on Saturday, March 1, is one of the region’s premier wine and food pairing events. Spend the afternoon, from 1-4 p.m., strolling the shops and sites of historic downtown Grass Valley. Tickets are $45. The ticket includes unlimited wine tasting from foothill wineries […]

Craft beer booming in Sierra Foothills, Truckee-Tahoe

THE FOOTHILLS AND TAHOE-TRUCKEE are becoming a mecca for taphouses, brewpubs and craft beer breweries. Ol’ Republic Brewery in Nevada City just won city approval for an expansion that will quadruple its production. It will begin selling bottled beer this fall. Knee Deep Brewing received approval from the city of Auburn to expand operations to […]

Beer & Food Pairings: “We want a lively dance”

EVEN WINE LOVERS HAVE learned that craft beer has an amazing ability to pair with food. Beer-and-food tasting events have multiplied, and more restaurants are offering “beermaker” dinners, pairing beer with menu items. Some people say lager is like white wine, and ale is like red. “When matching beer and food, the most important thing […]

March of the Microbrews

ALONG WITH LOCALLY MADE WINES, craft beers are on a roll. Though American beer consumption is flat, the microbrew market is booming, with double-digit sales growth last year. Craft brews have more than doubled their U.S. market share to nearly 6 percent in the past decade and 250 breweries opened last year. The more than […]

Summer Soirees: Where to hold weddings, anniversaries & celebrations

THE BEAUTY OF THE FOOTHILLS AND Sierra is perfect for weddings, anniversaries, parties and celebrations. There also are charming B&Bs, deluxe hotels, historic buildings— even sailboats and yachts. Rates are reasonable compared with the rest of Northern California. The Empire Mine State Park in Grass Valley was the oldest, largest and richest gold mine in […]

Pizza & Pasta: Where to get it

ITALIAN-AMERICAN COOKING WILL TAKE its place at the table as a top food trend in 2012, predicts Saveur magazine. Regional Italian food also is high on the list. Some menu items and area restaurants that serve notable ones are: LASAGNA Tofanelli’s Lasagna is made in-house from a recipe handed down from generations, with layers of […]

Tasting Notes: What’s new at foothill wineries

SIERRA FOOTHILLS WINERIES WON HIGH HONORS in the 2012 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the world’s largest competition of American wines. Sierra Vintners wineries that won medals included Avanguardia Wines, Lucchesi Vineyards, Montoliva Vineyard, Naggiar Vineyards and Pilot Peak Winery. Montoliva won “Best of Class” for its 2008 Sierra Bella. “Now try to tell me […]