Nevada City: Short Foodie Holiday

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I was lucky to have an opportunity to visit beautiful Nevada City overnight this past weekend. The gracious, historic town, surrounded by lush forest, is the perfect quick getaway from Sacramento. One the way up I stopped at one of my all-time favorite breakfast restaurants, tiny and friendly Katrina’s in Auburn, which serves up creative, hearty morning fare that draws big crowds on Saturdays and Sundays. If you visit, make sure to try the fat, flavor-packed omelets and delicate lemon-yogurt pancakes.

Saturday afternoon I hiked the spectacular Independence Trail, located six miles outside Nevada City. The very first wilderness trail in the country with wheelchair accessibility, this breathtaking trail is great for parents with small children, as it easily accommodates a sturdy stroller.

That evening I dined at Citronee Bistro & Wine Bar on Broad Street, one of the finest and most innovative restaurants in Nevada City. The front of the restaurant is small and social, with great views of the street outside and chatty waitstaff that keep things lively. If you’re seeking a more romantic experience, request a table in the quieter and more intimate downstairs dining area. Dinner was outstanding – I had a juicy chunk of grilled Hawaiian swordfish. The plate was splashed with basil oil and a light red wine sauce, and prettily scattered with perfectly cooked asparagus spears, quartered Yukon Gold potatoes, and wilted baby spinach.

Nevada City is home to a number of lovely B&B’s, many steeped in colorful history. I stayed at the Emma Nevada House, where I was plied with a sumptuous brunch Sunday morning in the inn’s gorgeous, sun-splashed breakfast room. Indulgence is the name of the game at Emma Nevada House – imagine starting your morning with a crock of crusty, puffy French Toast, cooked in a savory style with cream and cheese; a pile of crisp bacon, crumbly blueberry scones and fresh fruit. As a food lover, I also appreciated the inn’s constantly refilled plate of freshly-baked chocolate chip and peanut butter cookies, and large glass decanter of Port, available to guests at all hours of the day.

On the way home, I stopped at wonderful Newcastle Produce, a treasure trove of interesting foods and regionally-grown produce. I joined a boisterous group of bicyclers and contentedly munched an egg salad sandwich and broccoli-raisin salad at an outdoor table, watching several children as they savored their chunky, dense peanut butter brownies – a specialty of the market. If you’ve never visited Newcastle Produce, make the time to do so – you’ll be blown away by the selection of Placer County-sourced items, from breads and preserves to an array of fresh fruits and vegetables. This is a great place to visit if you plan to have a picnic – there’s an exciting selection of sandwiches and housemade take-out items.

Looking back I’m a little embarrassed that I managed to eat so much in a 30-hour period, but that’s what you’re supposed to do on a holiday, right? This trip was a delightful reminder that, as residents of the Sacramento region, we are surrounded by an incredible bounty of first-class food.