It’s Fourth of July weekend, and many of us have parties to attend or are hosting one ourselves. It can be a big job to prepare food and beverages for a large crowd. Here are five establishments in the region who are happy to help you with this task:
Want to find the perfect wine to serve with your barbecued tri-tip or creamy artichoke dip? Consult the wine staff at Corti Brothers – they’re very skilled in recommending marvelous wine-food partnerships, and they also have an encyclopedic knowledge of the store’s wine inventory (which is very international). Shop carefully and you can find some good bargains. Corti Brothers also has a nice selection of beer.
5810 Folsom Boulevard Sacramento, (916)736-3800; www.cortibros.biz
Grateful Bread Company
Stroll into Grateful Bread and the heavenly aromas will make you swoon. This is the place to stock up on artisan breads, rolls, muffins and even cookies – everything is crafted right there on the premises and you can watch the bakers work as you mull over your choices. Recommended items include the hearty, tangy sourdough walnut bread, the French baguettes, the Asiago garlic bread and the chewy, just-sweet-enough snickerdoodle cookies.
2543 Fair Oaks Blvd. Sacramento, (916) 487-9179; http://www.gratefulbreadcompany.com
Fruit and Vegetables
Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op
If you’re planning to offer your guests a fruit salad, vegetable platter or fresh-baked pie, you need first-rate produce. Head out to the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op, whose beautiful produce section is composed of seasonal fruits and vegetables straight from local farms. This is one of the few places in the region (besides our wonderful farmers’ markets) where you can buy a peach or apricot that is actually ripe, sweet, and ready to eat. The store also offers organic beef, chicken and hot dogs.
1900 Alhambra Boulevard, Sacramento, (916) 455-2667; www.sacfoodcoop.com
Nugget Market, Davis
If your experience with cheese doesn’t extend far beyond Monterey Jack and brie, a visit to Nugget Market in Davis will make your head spin. The store’s gorgeous array of international cheeses is glorious, and selections range from the popular French epoisses, a soft “washed rind” cow’s milk cheese; to the bright orange mimolette, an aged Dutch Edam cheese (the vibrant color, says Nugget cheese specialist Gen Valencia, comes from the addition of annatto seeds to the cheese – “people are instantly attracted to it”). Nugget also has a fabulous selection of pre-prepared salads, meats, and picnic items.
1414 East Covell Boulevard, Davis, (530 750-3800; http://www.nuggetmarket.com
Afraid Aunt Betty will bring her jiggly, marshmallow-smothered Jell-O pudding again this year? Make a quick trip (today)* to Selland’s Market for some tasty, upscale dessert options. Fresh-baked items include soft-as-your-mom’s chocolate chip cookies, carrot cake, lemon squares, coconut cupcakes and chewy fudge brownies. Yep, they’re pricey, but they’re worth it. Selland’s also offers some sophisticated, pre-prepared appetizers and entrees if you’ve no time (or inclination) to cook.
* Note: Selland’s is closed on the Fourth of July, so make sure to get there today!
5340 H Street, Sacramento, (916) 736-3333; http://www.thekitchenrestaurant.com/sellands/market