Few images evoke autumn as instantly as pumpkins do and samples of the iconic crop can be found in even the most urban neighborhoods of Sacramento. Whether carved into a spooky jack-o-lantern, placed in a seasonal cornucopia or made into soup, tamales or pie, pumpkins are all around at this time of year. In addition to trying the luscious dishes listed below, locals can celebrate at the huge annual Elk Grove Giant Pumpkin Festival, held this year on Oct. 4-5.
The Dish: Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater
The Waffle Experience
4391 Gateway Park Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95834
(916) 285-0562

Forget everything you ever thought about waffles and head to this new Natomas restaurant. Owner and Chef Michael Donoho is a culinary superstar, putting together unique savory and sweet combinations of fresh herbs, local produce and house-cured meats. Donoho created the Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater in celebration of autumn, and the dish includes candied pumpkin, fresh sage, spiced whipped crème and apple cider caramel sauce, all atop a toasted pumpkin seed waffle.

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The Dish: Pumpkin Curry
Bangkok @12 Thai Restaurant
900 12th St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 443-5588

Thai Hut Restaurant
5800 Madison Ave.
Sacramento, CA 95841
(916) 348-1880

Both restaurants offer delicious Thai pumpkin curry. The version from Bangkok @12 includes chicken, prawns, pumpkin, bell peppers and carrots in a hard-to-resist fiery red sauce. The Thai Hut menu includes Golden Siam, a coconut milk and pumpkin curry that includes meat, zucchini, basil, snow peas and other vegetables.

The Dish: Pumpkin Tamales
Emma’s Tamales
8101 Elder Creek Road
Sacramento, CA 95824
(916) 387-6324

Although located in an industrial park, Emma’s dishes are creative, healthy and full of fresh ingredients. Try the moist pumpkin tamale, perfect for either breakfast or dessert, or check out other favorites like a seafood tamale with real crab, scallops and shrimp, and a vegan tamale made with locally made chipotle tofu and vegetables.

The Dish: Pumpkin and Leek Soup
Muntean’s Soup, Salad & Sandwiches
1255 J St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 498-9340

This eatery offers 10 homemade soups a day from an ever-evolving menu of classics and seasonal flavors, and the website usually lists the soups du jour. Guests love the savory pumpkin leek, but be warned that the shop is only open on weekdays.

The Dish: Chocolate French Toast
Kupros Bistro
1217 21st St.
Sacramento, CA 95811
(916) 440-0401

Kupros offers decadent chocolate French toast made of brioche with a luscious combination of dark chocolate and spiced pumpkin anglaise. After baking, the dish is dredged in sugar and butter and served with whipped cream and gingerbread melon.

The Dish: Pumpkin Spice Empanadas
Fluid Espresso Bar
1230 N St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 444-2737

Fluid serves up tasty little empanada pastries, homemade and stuffed with sweet spiced pumpkin. They’re perfect to enjoy with cider or coffee on a crisp fall day.

The Dishes: Ginger Spice Cake and Pumpkin Cheesecake
Freeport Bakery
2966 Freeport Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 442-4256

Freeport has earned a stellar reputation in the Sacramento region, and these two seasonal treats are perfect examples of the baking team’s prowess. The cake is full of pumpkin, clove, ginger and nutmeg, and is frosted with a cream cheese and ginger topping. If you prefer cheesecake, this creamy pumpkin delight has a base of Linzer cookies and is encrusted with pecan praline.

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Valerie Heimerich is a freelance writer out of Sacramento. She typically covers animals and community issues. She has volunteered and worked for many organizations helping animals and people.
Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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