It never fails. Being a lover of food, I always get the question, what is your favorite restaurant in Sacramento? And I never hesitate. Magpie Café. No pause for thought, no debate in my head – Magpie Café will always win, hands down. Now, I’ve made a point of trying most dining spots in Sacramento, any tip from a friend or review from a critic, and Sacramento does have some contenders for great food. Cheap eats, fancy meals, tacos, burgers, sandwiches, comfort foods, I’ve tried them all, because let me tell you again, I LOVE FOOD! And I’ll be the first to tell you I love that $2 taco I get from my favorite taco joint just as much as the 6 course meal I had the pleasure of consuming at the Kitchen. But I love that $2 taco because it’s made with love! You see, the thing that keeps me coming back to a restaurant over and over is how much thought goes into my food. I want to know that the meal that is on my plate has been carefully considered, ingredient by ingredient. Does this pinto bean work better in the taco than a black bean? Should I use cabbage rather than lettuce? Does the taco work better with red or green sauce, or a different sauce all together? I want to have all the trust in the world in the person preparing the food on my plate. And that, my friends, is why Magpie wins my heart. I will always remember the first time I ate there. My husband and I had just finished the most delicious roasted chicken dinner for two, vegetable plate, and soup I had ever tasted, and we were craving something chocolate for dessert. Alas, there was no chocolate on the desert menu! So, disappointed, we told our waitress we were going to pass. Well, lo and behold, the owner came out and said she had found one last piece of chocolate cake in the fridge. And a farmer had just come that day to deliver some fresh raspberries that she could put on top for us. And she had just finished a delightful chocolate sauce that she could finish it off with. And, voila, dessert was crafted, just like that. Fresh ingredients and love.
And so, you can imagine my excitement when I heard that a new Magpie Café, similarly named Yellowbill, opened this week on 14th and O St! Yellowbill is more of a grab and go kind of spot, with a bakery case and pre-packaged sandwiches and salads available, but still the delicious treats I have grown to know and love at Magpie are offered there. Today I had a breakfast of champions – fruit salad with farm fresh nectarines, white melon, strawberries and figs (figs in a fruit salad? Who does that? Well Yellowbill does!), and the ever-famous Carrot Cake Cookie with cream cheese filling. Heaven in a bag! So run, don’t walk, to 14th and O to visit Yellowbill, because I have a feeling the lunch lines might already be growing fast.
Words Lorraine Gonzalez