PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Prospecting

Stepping out: A good fritter is really hard to find

By April 20, 2011

DOUG NOBLE

DOUG NOBLE

“To the trained palate the flavor of food comes in bits and pieces, like words in a sentence.”

— Hsiang Ju Lin and Tsuifeng Lin “Chinese Gastronomy” (1969)

The Donut Factory

I like apple fritters. I mean, I really like them and really good ones are often hard to find.

During Apple Hill season, several places make them with fresh apples, but that is only for a few months. What do I do the rest of the year?

My very favorites come from a place called Spudnuts Doughnuts at 2445 Arden Way in Sacramento. If you are old enough you may recall that Spudnuts was a chain started in 1946 that used potato flour to make donuts. They went out of business, but the name is still in use around the country. I don’t know if they have any potato flour in them, but they are really good and when still warm, wonderful.

Locally I have tried apple fritters from every place I can find them: grocery stores, doughnut shops, bakeries, etc. I like the ones from some place for awhile and then maybe they would change staff and they just wouldn’t be the same. So, I would go looking again.

A couple of months ago I was having lunch at the Taco Bell Express in County Fair Shopping Center on Fair Lane in Placerville and when I had finished, I walked around the corner of the building to check out The Donut Factory, which faces Placerville Drive. I asked if they had apple fritters. They said yes, so I bought one. It was big, crunchy and delicious, so I have been going there ever since. And, the fritters are only $1.35.

The Donut Factory has a lot of different kinds of doughnuts, cinnamon rolls, pastries, etc. that they make there. They also have espresso and coffee drinks, smoothies, milk and other things that go well with doughnuts.

They are open from 5 a.m. until 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 5:30 a.m. until 2 p.m.on Saturday and from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. on Sunday. For more information give them a call at 530-626-1320.

By the way, like the doughnuts I break in two, I cut the apple fritters into three pieces and eat one piece each day. I find that a whole one at a single sitting is a bit of an overload for me. Yes, you can freeze them.

Capitol Dawg

In the never ending quest for the ultimate hot dog, my friend Russ Salazar and I dropped in on Capitol Dawgs, which is located at 1226 20th St. in midtown Sacramento. We wouldn’t have driven this far for a hot dog, but Russ had some business nearby, so we grasped the opportunity.

Capitol Dawg probably gets an “A” for variety, so we had to spend some time deciding which we wanted to try. They have eight kinds of dogs from regular to turkey and veggie, most of which you can have grilled or deep fried and served 25 or more different ways.

We finally decided on a “Prop 51 Dawg” (Chicago style with mustard, green relish, onions, tomato, kosher dill pickle spear, sport peppers and celery salt in a poppy seed bun), “Delta Dawg” (West Virginia style with mustard, chili, onions and cole slaw) and the “Governor Dawg” ( their own Texas Tommy style with a deep fried American and Swiss cheese stuffed beef frank wrapped in bacon, cheddar cheese, cheddar cheese sauce and tomato).

The “Prop 51 Dawg” was good, but not the best Chicago style dog I have tasted. It did have the proper neon green relish, sport peppers and poppy seed bun, but seemed to lack a bit in overall flavor. It may have needed more celery salt. The “Delta Dawg,” which we got in order to try the chili, was my favorite, since I like cole slaw on dogs and pulled pork sandwiches (I was born on the wrong coast). The chili was more like “Coney sauce,” thin and light, but good. Russ liked the chili, but did not like it having cole slaw on it. The “Governor Dawg,” which we tried because the hot dog was deep fried, was good but maybe it had too much going on with all the ingredients.

For more information on Capitol Dawg call 916-444-1226 or visit capitoldawg.com.

Easter brunch buffet at Sierra Nevada House

This Easter Sunday, April 24, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.,the Sierra Nevada House, 835 Lotus Road in Coloma, will be serving a fantastic Easter Sunday brunch.

Sample menu selections include: ham and Gruyere frittata, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, ham, French toast with Grand Marnier butter, buttermilk biscuits with wild mushroom and sausage gravy, SNH Cajun chicken and potato hash, country red potatoes, grilled rosemary chicken, Caesar salad, panzanella (tomato and bread salad), green beans with potato and blue cheese, vegetable platter, seasonal fruit platter, fudge brownies, lemon bars, cobbler and more.

Reservations are recommended and large groups can be accommodated. For reservations call 530-626-8096.

Ninth annual Future Chefs of El Dorado County competition

The ninth annual Future Chefs of El Dorado County competition featuring ROP culinary arts students between the ages of 16 to 19, is on Sunday, May 1, at 3 p.m. Doors open at 2 p.m. This year it will again be hosted by the Sequoia at the Bee-Bennett House, 643 Bee St. in Placerville.

If you are not familiar with this competition, these are students from throughout El Dorado County competing for scholarship funds to help them fulfill their dreams of a career in the culinary arts industry.

The event is sponsored by the Future Chef’s of El Dorado County Foundation in concert with the Three Forks Community Benefit Association.

Enjoy an afternoon of great fun, food, and, if you choose, wine from around the region. There will be a drawing and silent auction with great prizes, and, of course, all proceeds benefit this great organization which provides scholarship funds for local students who wish to go on to a culinary arts career.

Tickets are $25 per person with wine tasting and $15 without. Tickets can be purchased at Tony Matthews at 447 Main St. in Placerville, 530-626-9161 or Gold Vine Grill Restaurant in Somerset. For more information contact Mary at 530-417-3770.

11th anniversary barbecue weekend at Cantiga Wineworks

Cantiga Wineworks, 5980 Meyers Lane in Somerset, will be holding its 11th anniversary barbecue weekend on Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8, from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.

Sample complementary tastings of Cantiga’s current releases with food pairings, while enjoying a fabulous lineup of local musical talent and the view and the ambience of the event patio.

To commemorate the 11th anniversary, there will also be a  lineup of outstanding library wines. Gourmet barbecue and wine by the glass will be available for purchase.

The vintage 2001 tasting flight is $12 and free for Wine Club members. Mothers of Wine Club members taste the library flight for free on Sunday.

Please RSVP by May 1 at 530-621-1696 or [email protected] More information is available at cantigawine.com.

Celebrate the day

Birthdays to celebrate today: Russian socialist and revolutionary leader Nikolai Lenin (born Vladimir Ilyitch Ulyanov in 1870); comedian Byron Allen (1961); actors Eddie Albert (born Edward Albert Heimberger in 1908), Francis Capra (1983), Chris Makepeace (1964), Jack Nicholson (1936), Charlotte Rae (1926) and Ryan Stiles (1959); singers Glen Campbell (1935), Paul Carrack (1951) and Peter Frampton (1950); and violinist Yehudi Menuhin (1916). It is also the anniversary of the Oklahoma Land Rush in 1889 and the first stamping of “In God We Trust” on American coins in 1864.

Doug Noble

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