Where to get real BBQ in the Sierra Foothills

Our region has its own top-notch barbecue restaurants, with their “low and slow” smokers primed for summer. Some of our favorites: BAM DAZY BBQ The real deal: St. Louis-style pork spare ribs, brisket, pulled pork and chicken. The meats are slow cooked in a Cookshack SM360 smoker—14 hours for the pulled pork alone—often using peach […]

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 […]

Ol’ Republic Brewery to roll out bottled beer

DESPITE THE “ZOMBIE ECONOMY” OF 2011, three foothill craft breweries were born within months of each other: Berryessa Brewing Co. in Winters, Loomis Basin Brewing Co. and ol’ Republic Brewery in Nevada City. All of them are on a roll. Ol’ Republic has launched an expansion that will more than quadruple its production, which now […]

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 […]

2013 Food Trends: Our top predictions for the New Year

Here are our top food, wine and beer trends for the new year and where to find them in our Sierra foothills: 1. ARTISAN FOOD Hand-crafted food sales are booming. Food lovers crave artisan cheese, crusty bread and dry-cured meats. New laws, such as California’s Homemade Food Act, will spur further growth. • Smokey Ridge […]

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 […]

Lovin’ Meat: Where to get it

OUR REGION OFFERS some of the most flavorful steaks, barbecue and burgers anywhere. There are also abundant supplies of local beef, pork and lamb. California has more certified organic beef cows than any other state. For do-it-yourself BBQ, try the organic pork ribs from Llano Seco Ranch in Chico, carried at BriarPatch Co-op. For beef, […]

Smiley Guys SmokeHouse: Among the best BBQ around

SMILEY GUYS SMOKEHOUSE IS A NEW RESTAURANT in Grass Valley, offering slow-cooked, authentic BBQ. Their motto: “Everyone leaves a smiley guy or gal.” Smiley Guys (and owners) Jesse Cohen and Chris McFadden are experienced chefs. Originally from Louisiana, Chris started “BBQing” when he was 9. He has worked at restaurants that include Asqew Grill and […]