This Is How I like to Visit California

Last week I ventured back to one of my favorite of our glorious 50 states, The Golden State of California.  This time, however, I hit the road and toured throughout the Central and Northeastern parts of the state.  This was no ordinary road trip though, this was a culinary adventure with California Dream Eater and Visit California.  I spent 5 days traveling from Sacremento to Lake Tahoe and everywhere in between.  Check out some of my favorite Dream Eats I encountered along the way!  


Hook and Ladder Manufacturing Company- This restaurant was SO cool.  The vibe, the staff, the decor, the cuisine, and the cocktails.  Everything about it was just rustic California perfection.  They found unique ways to prepare local Farm to Fork cuisine.  

Roasted Beet linguine with broccolini, cauliflower, spinach, goat cheese, in a garlic cream sauce.  OUTSTANDING

Formoli's Bistro- Owned and operated by welcoming and dynamic husband and wife duo, Chef Aimal and Suzanne, Formoli's makes some of the most unique and genuine interpretations of European cuisine using local California farmers.  True Farm to Fork cooking.  Not only was every dish jaw-droppingly gorgeous but the flavors were stunning.  The hospitality and individual attention from Suzanne and Aimal, however, is the real reason i'm dying to go back ASAP.  

A work of art at Formoli's.  Salmon Two Ways


Stockton, CA has an interesting reputation.  We heard mixed messages about the town prior to our arrival.  But our experience in Stockton was wonderful.  We met some friendly people who really wanted us to love their town as much as they do.  We had a great time and ate tons of great food.  

Midgley's Public House- ALL of the dishes we ordered at Midgley's were superb.  Indigenous California food.  Avocados, seafood, fresh vibrant veggies.  The "avocado fries" were some of the yummiest apps I've ever had.  It was fried food, made somewhat healthy!  And I've never seen a crab cake with less breading/filling.  

Ahi Tuna Burger, Avocado Fries, and Crab Cake from Midgley's Public House

Central Kitchen and Bar- This was quite possibly one of the coziest local spots I've dined in.  Warm and friendly and the BEST grilled artichoke on the planet.  

Grilled artichoke at Centrale Kitchen and Bar

Midtown Creperie and Cafe- This place was like a little piece of Parisian heaven.  It was a cross between a Paris street cafe and Cafè Du Monde in New Orleans.  Their extensive crepe menu was mind boggling and their beignets!!  Bon Appetit!!

Creme Brûlée crepes at Midtown Creperie made with apples and cinnamon. 


El Dorado County & Placerville, CA

This region and town was SO cool.  The history was palpable and widely embraced.  This is the spot where the California Gold Rush first began.  Everything in and around this area pays homage to the great mining days of yesteryear.  

Heydey Cafe- The coolest spot in Hangtown USA.  (Right next to the old hanging tree... more on that in the next blog.)  Our handsome server, Christian, gave us a FULL history on the quaint little town and why it's so significant, we were riveted.  And then we got to try their oh man.  It was GOOD.  Check it out below. 

Chicken, brie, and truffle pizza.  O.   M.   G.   

Smith Flat House-  While the food didn't really stand out here, the setting was surreal.  Have you ever dined in an old cellar which in it, actually had a real gold mine entrance? It was beyond fascinating to see the old mine entrance which was in use throughout the Gold Rush and into modern day.  

Mussels in a spicy red sauce against the back drop of a cellar wall that housed one of the original Gold Rush Mines. 

South Lake Tahoe

The Getaway Cafe- I adored this little lodge-y cabin close to Heavenly Mountain.  So cozy with delectable homemade dishes.  The owner told us how EVERYTHING was made in house... and believe me, you could tell.  


Buffalo Chicken Sandwich with avocado and shoestring onions at the Getaway Cafe. 

Blue Angel Cafe-  I felt as though I was in Portland, OR or Vancouver at Blue Angel Cafe.  It had such an earthy healthful vibe and all of the food was organic and local.  The menu was also very vegan, vegetarian, and gluten friendly.  I opted for this stunning roasted veggie Napoleon... and I ate it in front of the fireplace while staring out at the fluffy white snow falling on the nearby mountains.  Surreal. 

Roasted Vegetable Napoleon atop crispy polenta at the Getaway Cafe.  

Kalani's- The taste and feel of being in Hawaii, while snow is gently falling all around you.  Kalani's was outstanding.  Delicious fresh sushi and seafood dishes with a Hawaiian/Asian fusion flavor profile.  It was reminiscent of my trips to the Big Island, which was very welcomed after trudging through the snow all day ;) 

One of the best Sea Bass dishes I've ever had.  Caramelized miso with basil mashed potatoes and ponzu beurre blanc. 

Artemis Lakefront Cafe-  I LOVE Greek food.  I always have.  So for my last meal, I chose an unexpected little Greek cafe right on the edge of the gloriously scenic Lake Tahoe.  I chose a traditional Avgolemono soup with these non-traditional  healthy Greek Chicken Lettuce wraps.  

Green chicken lettuce wraps with cucumber and feta at Artemis Lakefront Cafe.