June 18, 2013
State Fair winners: Best California wines for $15 or less

CalStateFair.jpgWith the California 2013 State Fair Wine Competition announcing many of its winners last week, it's time to put all that tasting and medal-awarding to good use. You could spend hours searching The Bee's State Fair wine winner data base for the best buys (and we recommend that you do). Or you could let us do some of the work for you. Here are the competition's Double Gold winners for $15 or less:

June 7, 2013
Sacramento restaurant holds Esther Williams history

Obit Esther Williams.jpg

The death Thursday of famous swimmer and movie star Esther Williams has left some fans nostalgic for the "Bathing Beauty"'s movies, but Sacramento residents can get a little closer to the Hollywood actress' legacy.

Around 1952, Williams and then-husband Ben Gage opened a western-themed restaurant, Trails, according to a 2010 Valley Community Newspapers story on the restaurant. Menu items included barbecue ribs, steaks, hamburgers and more. Trails had two locations in Sacramento, a restaurant on Fulton Avenue, which closed around 1965, and one location near 21st and Broadway, which still operates, serving some of the same recipes.

Williams and Gage, who lived in Hollywood and tried to run the restaurants from a distance, sold both Trails around 1954 to auto dealer Al Nahas and his wife, Myrle Nahas, the story said.

In 1979, the restaurant changed hands again. It is now owned and operated by Gin Wong, who declined comment Friday.

May 31, 2013
Beard Papa's cream puffs coming to Roseville

Cream puff connoisseurs and sweet-toothed Sacramentans can soon try a new brand of pastry desserts.

Beard Papa's will open sometime between the summer and fall seasons in Westfield Galleria at Roseville. 

The puff provider touts the title "World's Best Cream Puffs," and has garnered a following at its San Francisco location, which has more than 2,000 check-ins on Facebook and about 850 reviews on Yelp.

Since opening its first store in 1999 in Osaka, Japan, Beard Papa's has grown to include locations in more than 15 countries, according to its website. 

Puffs are made using French choux dough, a light pastry dough usually made of butter, water, flour and eggs. Puffs can be ordered in combinations of pastries and frostings, including milk, green tea, cookie crunch and almond eclair.

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