Get Adventurous: 5 Dishes to Shake Up Your Palate


Getting of weary of your everyday fare? Here’s five exciting items I’ve tried recently that are guaranteed to perk up tired tastebuds.


Pancake and Bacon Cupcake

Sassy Sweets By Monique, Folsom

Yes, really – this friendly bakery adds bacon bits to its buttermilk cupcake, drizzles the treat with maple syrup, then garnishes its buttercream pouf-top with a crispy slice of bacon. Pop this baby in the microwave for 10-15 seconds and gobble it up warm – it’s like indulging in a very naughty, very yummy hand-held breakfast.


Veggie Quesadilla

Baagan, Roseville

This brightly-flavored quesadilla, composed with a spinach-herb tortilla, is a far cry from the cheese- and meat-laden versions many of us are used to. Customers have their choice of housemade vegan spread – there’s a handful from which to choose, including jalapeno hummus, pesto and olive tapenade – and the quesadilla is then stuffed with fresh vegetables like spinach, carrots, sprouts and red bell peppers and grilled. Light and wholesome, it’s a nice change from a the traditional variety.


Garlic Parmesan Fries

Dad’s Kitchen, Sacramento

If regular fries are making you yawn, head to Dad’s Kitchen in Land Park for a batch of the restaurant’s really, really garlicky garlic-Parmesan fries. I love the aroma of these lick-your-fingers-clean fries, though others may not – don’t plan on getting kissed after devouring them (unless, of course, you shared ‘em with your sweetie).



Firebird Russian Restaurant, Carmichael

Firebird Russian restaurant uses a traditional Ukrainian recipe to prepare this dazzlingly-colored soup, teeming with beets, cabbage, carrots and big chunks of soft potato. Hearty and nurturing, it’s a delightful alternative to canned chicken noodle soup.

4715 Manzanita Avenue, Carmichael; (916) 485-7747


Croque Madame Sandwich

Shady Lady Saloon, Sacramento

Offered on Shady Lady’s brunch menu, the Croque Madame sandwich is a delectable way to fuel up for your weekend fun. Crammed full of Black Forest ham and melted Gruyere cheese, the sandwich gets a snappy kick from the addition of Dijon mustard and is topped with a sunnyside-up egg. Be prepared to make a mess – there is no way to eat this thick, awkward sandwich gracefully. But it’s well worth the effort, especially when you team it up with one of the bar’s excellent Bloody Mary cocktails.