Tagged: reviews

Food review: Insight Coffee Roasters

Insight Coffee Roasters
1901 8th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 642-9555
Open Daily 7 am-8 pm

Bag of Insight Brazil beans

Sacramento, California is not a bad place.  It just isn’t mine.  I lived here for over six years.  And it never did feel like home.  Santa Cruz wasn’t home, West Los Angeles wasn’t home, the DC Metro Area wasn’t home, Brooklyn wasn’t home.  I had different reasons for not being wholly, roundly happy in any of them.  But wonderful things and magnificent people abound in all of them.

So I’m in my mom’s house and I need coffee.  She’s a tea drinker.   (Incidentally, she gets her imported Welsh tea from the Tea Cozy, a little independent, local shop near her house.  Strongest bagged tea I’ve had.)  I was driving around picking up take out Mexican and I drove past Insight Roasters and stopped.

I usually ask the people who work at a place to recommend to me what I should try first, especially if they aren’t busy at the time.  It was evening, and chill.  Nice space, airy and light.  Sacramento has cheaper rents than the Bay Area, so rooms are bigger here.  It feels less claustrophobic than any other place I’ve lived.  (I told Shadow Fairy I thought my apartment was 300 square feet and she was appalled.  I didn’t tell her she’d be appalled with the rents in Southern California should she get down there.)

Insight Brazil beansI was recommended the Guatemalan by the very nice man pulling shots behind the counter (barista still feels like a stupid thing to call a coffeeshop gentleman or lady), but they were out, so I got twelve ounces of the Brazil.  Fifteen dollars, which isn’t cheap, but that’s probably what an independent roaster has to charge to make a profit.  Beans aren’t cheap, equipment, et cetera.  And it’s not like Peet’s charges that much less.  Plus you get a free shot of espresso with every bag of beans.  Nice.

The coffee itself was one of the smoothest brews I have tasted in memory.  It is chocolaty, sweet and complex–without any sugar or milk in it.  These are the beans talking.  They aren’t greasy or very dark, which is usually what I reach for, but that’s fine; they’re mellow, full, rich, and deep.

I went back and am on the Guatemalan now.  I prefer the Brazil, but the Guatemalan is nice, too.  It’s heartier, with more of an acrid finish.  My next bag is the Sumantra.  Haven’t opened it yet.

I grew up on Peet’s coffee, so I’m used to a really dark cup, and Insight satisfies that.  It’s really full coffee–don’t let the sweetness in the description or the review throw you off.  I’m sure they have a coffee that hits a more bitter note if that’s how you roll.  (I don’t care for Starbucks, myself.   Tastes acrid-bitter-burnt and bites on the top of the back of the throat.)

They also sell unroasted beans.  I have wanted for years to roast my own coffee beans at home.  I haven’t, but I want to.  You can do it using a popcorn popper, or a heat gun, or a skillet, or a wok, or a cookie sheet in the oven.  Anyways.  I don’t need another expensive, time-consuming hobby.  I probably won’t make better coffee, and it really isn’t that much cheaper when you consider how much time I’m spending cooking it and storing it and shipping beans to my house.  But a girl can dream.

Anyways: this is damn good coffee.  Highly recommended.  When you’re here and I’m here we’ll go here and get a cup.


Are you ready for some wingnut?

Hey, so I saw this wingnut–er, co-prophet–giving a really catty review of the art in the Denver International Airport and I was like, yes, where have you been all my life, I fucking hate that motherfucking airport! Seriously, it’s like me and the Third Eagle of the Apocalypse went to the same high school or something! He’s all about how there are all these hidden phalluses in the murals, and I’m all about how I hate getting stuck in there because of weather, and he’s like, yeah, and there are prophecies in there from Satan about the Tribulation, and I’m all, totally, and if it’s not snow in the winter, it’s thunderstorms in the summer, and he’s all right, and the TCBY is always closed, and I’m like, ARE YOU INSIDE MY HEAD? And he’s all, no, that’s where the Holy Spirit lives! And we laugh and laugh and laugh. And then we go get mani/pedis and complain about teenagers. I have to sneak taking my medication, though, because I won’t be “raptured” if I take my medication. There’s something in Numbers about taking it. I didn’t get quite what he was saying.

Anyways: want to hear it? You so do. It’s so fucking worth the time you put in.

Let’s do this shit.

something nasty in the woodshed front

It is not for us to question the gods, merely for us to thank them for every tidbit

When we get a gift from the gods, we simply thank them. We do not ask why we are given this gift. We are just grateful.

I work with books. I think I’ve told you that. Sometimes the books we come across are weird. I am also weird. And the people who I work with know that these things go together like peanut butter and jelly. I would also like to say that I am the fifth person today to get an immense amount of joy from this book at work.

From the author who brought you Don’t Point that Thing at Me and After You with the Pistol comes:

something nasty in the woodshed frontSomething Nasty in the Woodshed.

Serious, this is the best thing that happened to me in a long time. Look!

Let’s discuss, shall we?

Yes, let’s!

An image of a 1920s image attempting to associate brain types to criminal behaviour. The theory is named biological determinism - heredity, more than environment or education, the idea went, caused social problems. Proponents of eugenics wanted to improve the human species through compulsory sterilization of criminals, the mentally retarded, and others deemed social misfits. Some two-thirds of Americans were said to support such measures.

Really? Did you have to put it like that?

An image of a 1920s image attempting to associate brain types to criminal behaviour. The theory is named biological determinism - heredity, more than environment or education, the idea went, caused social problems. Proponents of eugenics wanted to improve the human species through compulsory sterilization of criminals, the mentally retarded, and others deemed social misfits. Some two-thirds of Americans were said to support such measures.So in the course of my job today I got to read bits of two books on sexuality and disability. One was very sex positive and awesome and comes highly recommended. It’s entitled The ultimate guide to sex and disability : for all of us who live with disabilities, chronic pain and illness, and it covers so much, including S&M for people with physical disabilities, sexual surrogates, dealing with past abuse issues, and a bit about “devotees”, or people who are into people with disabilities. Really, it was awesome and I’m happy to have run into it. I’m glad this exists in the world.

The other. It gave me some more complicated feelings.

Please Seer, can I have some more?

rotten city salumi pizza

Restaurant review: Rotten City Pizza

Rotten City Pizza
6613 Hollis St.
Emeryville, CA 94608
Mon – Sat: 11AM – 10PM
Sun: 12PM – 8PM

rotten city salumi pizza

Rotten City Salumi Pizza

So many of my restaurant review posts start the same way. After yoga, Sparrow turns to me and says, “X,” and I say, “Let’s go.” This time, it was just before class, and she said something about pizza. I was down. It was a place called Rotten City, in Emeryville, which used to be called the Rotten City. After class Kea (Sparrow’s dutiful and also hungry husband) called the place and ordered two pies: one for them and one for me. The pie was the Salumi, which is a daily special. It’s a basic pie with a salumi (salami) that changes daily. I can’t remember what this one was, but it was fucking delicious. It also had lumps of Gorgonzola on it–tasty.

Please Seer, can I have some more?

salty dog box

Food review: B.T. McElrath Chocolatier Salty Dog chocolate bar

salty dog box
I just ate more than I intended to of the B.T. McElrath Chocolatier Salty Dog Chocolate Bar. I only bought it because the store I was at didn’t have my beloved Firecracker bar. So I wanted something special and odd. This seemed classy, in its pretty box, and weird enough. Toffee and salt, in dark chocolate. I was game for it. Plus the name was adorable. Salty Dog! Avast! Pirates from the Land of Chocolate!

Salty Dog! Salty Dog!

Restaurant review: Bakesale Betty

chicken sandwich half

This is an epic sammy.

Bakesale Betty
5098 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
Open Tue-Sat
7:00 AM-3:00 PM
Closed Sun and Mon
(510) 985-1213

2228 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
Open Tue-Sat
11:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Closed Sun and Mon
(510) 251-2100

smoothie by sparrow

Don't buy Jamba, buy a blender.

So the other day, after yoga, Sparrow turns to me and says, “Fried chicken sandwich?” That’s a question that can always be answered yes, in every circumstance. Chicken: the food all major religions agree on. Fried: something everyone can get down with. Sandwiches: something all saved people love. Anyone who doesn’t love sandwiches is a child of the Devil. Steer clear of these people. They are demon-spawn, believe me. If you don’t love sandwiches, you had better develop a taste for them. Might I recommend a fried chicken sammy? Yes indeed, that’s an epic sammy.

Please Seer, can I have some more?