I’ve been to Rio City Cafe in Old Sacramento on several occasions – usually when people come to visit from out of town. The restaurant is located right by the river and it’s a nice way to showcase what our city has to offer. Window seating or outdoor seating has a perfect view of the Tower Bridge and boaters. It was freezing the day I went with friends – so our table was an interior table.
Hilary, Stephanie and I sat down and gazed over our menus for a bit.
Steph decided on a Raspberry Lemon Drop…
Hil and I opted for water. I was in the mood for a sandwich and the Turkey Sandwich with Alfafa Sprouts, Brie Cheese, Bacon and Cranberry Aioli on Twelve Grain Bread with Sweet Potato Fries sounded fabulous – so that’s what I ordered.
Hilary ordered the Rio City Burger – a Grilled Angus Patty, Sauteed Mushrooms, Swiss Cheese, Grain Mustard Aioli, Bacon and Rosemary Fries.
Steph ordered theChicken Club Sandwich with Bacon, Tomato, Lettuce, Monterey Jack Cheese and Avocado Aioli on a Sourdough Roll with Rosemary Fries.
Both the sweet potato and rosemary fries were amazing – Hilary and I traded some :). My sandwich was one of the best turkey sandwiches I’ve ever eaten. I loved the Brie/cranberry combo… and the added bacon took it over the top.
We decided to cruise around the river walkway after lunch. It felt great to walk out in the cold air, we could have done without the wind.
The golden paint color of Tower Bridge looked awesome against the bright blue sky…
For those of you that watch the television show “The Mentalist” – you might recognize the bridge – it’s been highlighted in some of their “Sacramento” story-lines and exterior shots.
We had a little photo shoot and my crazy wind blown hair got really big…
After the short photography walk – Hilary drove us by the State Capitol building – I hung out the window of her car, praying that I wouldn’t drop my camera.
Hilary stopped and parked real quick and I was able to get a few more photos.
My late husband Ace and I had professional engagement photos taken on the grounds and steps of the Capitol building… so it brought back some great memories… and sad ones too…
We later drove around Midtown and some of the Fab 40’s streets to show Steph that Sacramento has some pretty cool housing options.
I knew that I wanted to re-create the turkey sandwich in my own kitchen. Even though it was kind of basic, I went shopping to make sure I had all of the ingredients on hand.
Note the cool iPad stand… A Christmas present from Dan – he hooked me up this year. Fun shaped bowls and dishes for food photography, a UV lens filter for my macro, a card reader, 2 flash drives and I’m sure I’m forgetting something… it was a blog themed Christmas for sure. I will get to my Mom and Dad’s blog themed gifts in another post.
O.k., back to the ingredients…First up was the cranberry aioli. I found an aioli recipe on the food network website. The ingredients called for pure olive oil, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, egg yolk, coarse kosher salt and ground pepper. Garlic was also an ingredient, so I figured I could sub the cranberry sauce for that – since it’s pretty chunky.
I started with the coarse salt…
I separated my egg and then added the egg yolk and the lemon juice and gave it several pulses in the food processor.
I gradually pulsed in the first batch of pure olive oil and then added the second smaller amount of extra virgin olive oil. There is a reason I’m not giving you the measurements…
I added a heaping spoonful of the cranberry sauce and pulsed it some more.
The consistency was great. I tasted it and wow, something just did not taste right. It tasted like oil. Bad oil… I knew my oil wasn’t bad, but ugh, it was just too much. I went with emergency option #2 – light mayo and cranberry sauce.
This was a lot easier and it tasted perfect!
I mixed it by hand and was ready to go. I put it into the fridge while I got the rest of the sandwich items prepped.
I cheated and used the Alexia Spicy Sweet Potato Fries with Chipotle Seasoning– because why mess with a good thing? Especially after my aioli fiasco. I used peppered turkey from my local deli – the only kind of turkey I really like – Brie from Trader Joe’s, bacon, organic alfafa sprouts and Nature’s Pride Multi-Grain Bread.
I cooked up the bacon, I only ended up needing 3 of the slices.
I sliced the Brie…
and then started building the sandwich – cranberry mayo, turkey, Brie, bacon…
More cranberry mayo and sprouts…
3 different lighting and photo placement options… and then in my belly. This definitely gave Rio City Cafe’s version some competition. I loved the sweet and savory combination.
There is something really satisfying about finding a fairly simple menu item at a restaurant, and then perfecting it in your kitchen at home. I can’t wait to try doing more of this.