Sacramento, CA: Hot, hot and cold


By Janelle Bitker  |  News Review


Crusty: Watch out for a new food truck from Hot Italian chef and co-owner Fabrizio Cercatore. He hopes to have it rolling in time for the Farm-to-Fork Festival on Capitol Mall on Saturday, September 26.

It won’t be a mobile Hot Italian, rather, a Passione Pizza truck. Cercatore started the side business six years ago, primarily selling pre-made pizza dough at grocery stores, such as Corti Brothers and the Sacramento Natural Foods Co-op. That expanded into appearing at special events and doing cooking demos from a mobile wood-burning pizza oven. Now, Passione Pizza will have a food truck as well. Cercatore said he anticipates the food truck allowing him to offer more pizza crusts at events, including whole wheat and gluten-free. He’s currently working on sprouted grain as well. He’s working on a lot.

A few weeks ago, Raley’s in El Dorado Hills also underwent a remodel and added more grab-and-go food options. That included hot, made-to-order pizzas from Passione Pizza.

Meanwhile, Hot Italian is also expected to expand into Davis this fall. It’ll take over the former grilled cheese spot The Melt in Davis Commons.

Bubbling hot: From the team behind Heat Shabu Baru comes Boiling Avenue (943 Howe Avenue), a softly opened hot pot hot spot. The space is bright and modern with industrial touches, and the menu specializes in mini, personal-sized fusion hot pots.

Typically, hot pot is a communal dining experience. There’s a big, bubbling pot of broth in the middle of the table and you dip ingredients into it. At Boiling Avenue, pots are already full of stuff—lots of stuff—for a more stew-like experience. For example, here’s the incredibly long ingredient list for the Korean kimchi ($12.99): baby octopus, kimchi, cabbage, beef, meatball, enoki mushroom, imitation crab, kamaboko, clam, shrimp, mussel, Korean rice cake, tofu, corn, noodles, green onion, cilantro. If that’s not enough, there’s a list of potential add-ons to boot. Boiling Avenue also offers appetizers, boba tea drinks and desserts in the form of waffles or crepes.

Farm-to-scoop: By now, I hope you’ve heard about Cornflower Creamery (1013 L Street), which promises artisan ice cream with unique flavors driven by farm-fresh ingredients. Extremely exciting. Upon initial announcements, Cornflower aimed to open by Labor Day. That’s been pushed back to sometime in October. Don’t worry. I care deeply—maybe too deeply—about ice cream and will keep a watchful eye.