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Grazing thru Central CA on a hot weekend

george osner | May 22, 200012:14 AM

We're just back from a weekend of getting high--flying our balloon at a couple of festivals in central California. On Saturday we journeyed to Galt, a smallish town at the southern end of Sacramento County on Hwy 99, for the Galt Strawberry Festival. As I've mentioned here before, I am a great Central CA strawberry partisan! The major find in Galt was a simple one: one of the best iced latte's I've ever had from a brand new coffehouse, Daily Dose. Located on Lincoln Ave. just about 1/4 mi. off 99 (take the Central Galt exit), this place was friendly and pleasant, and the latte (and, in Elise's case, iced Americano) just knocked me out. I notice they used a bean I'm unfamiliar with--Caffe Orsini, from Eugene, OR.

Once we were packed up, it was off to Folsom/Eldorado Hills for another festival. On the way, lunch beckoned, so we took a short side trip to Fair Oaks, to the Fair Oaks Deli, on the town square. If you're in the area and craving a sandwich, this place merits a visit. The interior is cool and subdued, country without being Cute. The sandwiches are delicious and plenteous. I had a grilled chicken breast wrapped in pastrami, an interesting and successful combination.

Dinner in Folsom was an experience best left unremembered, a hideous trip to one of our ersatz Mexican chains redeemed only by the comraderie of friends.

Early Sunday morning featured a flight from a knoll high in Eldorado Hills--45 balloons over the rolling Sierra foothills during the "green season" is a sight not soon forgotten. After packing up and checking out, we took a quick stop at the local Java City outlet. JC is a local Sacramento roastery/coffee house chain that I think vies effectively for consideration as a top-quality regional chain. Nice iced latte there, too, but the memory of Galt pulled at me, and so, as we journeyed back to Modesto, a quick turn off 99 was dictated. Oh no! the shop is closed! But happily, the owner's daughter came to the door to tell us they were working on the shop, followed by the owner, who exclaimed "Oh, the balloon people!" and insisted we come in and fixed us another round of iced drinks. Once again, magic!

And so, to home, where Elise fixed us a dinner that couldn't be beat...but that's another story! (I'd have to consider it unfair to describe Elise's cooking on chowhound, since it ain't available to the general public!)



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