#265: Bad Bakers

7:15AM / 11/27/2021


I’ve been looking forward to this one. Bad Bakers is a donut shop and bakery located at N. Sunrise and East Roseville Parkway. They do specialty donuts, sweet bread (Staxx) and have some savory options as well. I’ll be focusing on the donuts.

Back in 2012 with my big donut post I posited that most donut shops fall into three distinct categories – Pink Box Donuts (your basic donut shop that has all the usuals and are hard to tell apart from one another), Krispy Kreme / Dunkin’ (both kind of doing their own thing, most donut lovers will be able to identify them easily), and Gourmet Donuts (Voodoo from Portland I think is the biggest example of this, but Sacramento did have Doughbot Donuts for a short time that fit into this last category). Bad Baker represents the Gourmet category, so now we have all 3 right here in town.

Bad Bakers have a handful of locations scattered around the Sacramento area. As far as I can tell they are a local chain, for now.

I arrived just after opening at 7:15, not sure if I was going to be walking into a crazy line situation or what. I really had no idea what the popularity of this place was, but there are notes on their website about things being limited in quantity, so I figured I should stop by earlier than later. There was just one person inside when I stepped in. The space is fairly small, maybe 10×10 feet. The register sits in the middle of a 90º counter with a medium display case on either side.

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I let the next person to step in ahead of me as I looked over the donuts in the case and the pricing shown on the menus. Individual donuts run from $1.75 for “Plain Jane” donuts to $3.25 for the Vegan and Mochi options. The cereal donuts I was very interested fell in the upper-middle range at $2.75 each, $14.50 for a half dozen and $27.50 for a dozen.

The person I let in front wanted something they didn’t have prepared yet and he let the cashier know how he felt about that. The cases were about a third to a half filled and I caught a glimpse of two or three people working in the back. Your mileage may vary with respect to the selection depending on the time of day. While I had hoped for more to choose from, I was satisfied that there were a number of cereal donuts.

I got a half dozen including one of each of the cereal options (there were 5), finished the half dozen off with a pumpkin donut, then had a brain fart and ordered a 7th donut thinking I still needed one more for the half dozen. They were boxed up I paid and was on my way.

Once home I fired up the coffee maker while Salted Butter (I swear I didn’t name her but it’s so fitting) got a little nosy and tried to get a taste out of the box. I shooed her away and got to work with some photos and started sampling each one.

The first thing I noted was that all the cereal donuts used an old fashioned as the base with a sweet, white glaze to hold the cereal in place. I love old fashioned donuts so this was a good start. I don’t know if they use name brand or generic cereals. I would be hard pressed to tell the difference, but I’ll use the name brands for simplicity.

Fruity Pebbles added a really interesting crunch on top of the already crunchy texture of the old fashioned donut. The sugary sweet of the cereal just amped up the sweetness and the flavor blended well into the glaze that kept it cemented in place.

The Apple Jacks were a little more distinct flavor from the pebbles. Pretty similar though. They were not quite as crunchy, probably just due to pebble vs O form factor.

Pumpkin with Chocolate Glaze – really wonderful pumpkin spice flavor to this, perfectly soft inside with a thin crusty outside for a nice texture. I enjoyed this one much more than expected, though the side without chocolate felt sort of boring after having a little of both sides. I would prefer if the whole thing was coated.

Apple with Caramel Glaze and Whipped Cream – The apple flavor was subtle and the cake was nice and soft, though not as soft as the pumpkin. The caramel and whipped cream seemed to finish the flavor off on this by coating the mouth and begging for a sip of coffee to wash it down. It had the similar light crunchy outer shell as the pumpkin donut.

Cap’n Crunch Berries – It was hard to get the Cap’n Crunch flavor here as the frosting was a bit thicker and it’s incredible sweetness overpowered the cereal flavoring. The cereal crunch was very nice though.

Fruit Loops – The fruit flavor came through early and actually persisted a bit on this one, as the frosting was lighter on the side I bit into. It had a similar crunch to the Apple Jacks.

Coco Pebbles – I seem to have missed making some notes about this one but I’d say the crunch was similar to the Fruity Pebbles. I don’t recall the chocolate coming through very strongly beyond the sweet glaze.

I would say in general that the cereal adds a touch of flavor, but most importantly the texture experience is just on another level from every other type of donut I’ve tried. Its a fun variation on your typical donuts that isn’t too wild to turn people off. I remember going to Doughbot years ago and the flavors they were working with were highly varied and many were simply not appealing to me at all as a sweet breakfast treat. I would happily enjoy any of the 7 I had tried today. Of the items I didn’t check out, I know the sweet bread can be delicious, a co worker brought some to work once, still warm, and they were incredible. I’d be interested to check out their other non-donut offerings in the future.

I’m would give this a 4, based on the quality and taste of the food, but I’m knocking off 1/2 for lack of selection, which I simply expect to be significantly better on a weekend at opening.


#264: Timmy Ginger’s Sandwich Shop

11:45AM – 11/21/2021


This weekend I decided to check out this sandwich shop that opened earlier in the year. Timmy Ginger’s is in the spot where Mr. Pickles and a number of coffee shops have previously resided. It’s a nice little corner location at Pleasant Grove & Foothills with a medium patio. The sign above the door hasn’t been installed yet, but the one on the Foothills-facing side of the building is up.

I’m just speculating but this could be the same owner/operator as the previous Mr. Pickles. It wouldn’t be the first time in Roseville that a Mr. Pickles owner dropped the franchise and took the shop in their own direction (see Pickles ‘n Brew). Inside, the dining area is nice and spread out across the familiar black & white checkerboard flooring (common to all the Mr. Pickles I’ve seen. Along the back is the kitchen and counter where you order. Above that along the wall is a giant line of black boards with text descriptions of most of the sandwiches. I say most because there are a number of signs, both at the door and posted along the kitchen counter, detailing additional specials and new sandwiches. It’s a lot to take in, so I took a few minutes to skim over every one of them before making a choice.

A few things I took note of:

  1. Sandwiches are their primary and almost sole focus, aside from a handful of salads and simple sides.
  2. A bunch of vegan-friendly options.
  3. Great, varied beverage selection.
  4. While I picked one of the pricier sandwiches, most are nicely in the $10-12 range.
Along with fountain drinks (Pepsi brands), they have a bunch of bottle / can options including fruit drinks, kombucha and seltzer waters

For my sandwich I picked out the #2: Brisket, Creamy Horseradish Spread, House Slaw, Bacon & House Dressing [$14]. I got it with “everything” with consists of mayo, mustard, garlic spread, hot pepper spread (optional), lettuce, onions, tomatoes, banana peppers and pickles. Looking at “everything” again I wonder about that hot pepper spread and why it says optional. I don’t recall tasting anything like that. Maybe it comes with “everything” on specific sandwiches or you really have top ask for it on top of “everything”.

Anyway, I got this on a Dutch Crunch roll and soon I was beckoned to the register at the other end of the counter to get rung up while my sandwich was being finished up. I picked out the potato salad [$2.50] and a fountain drink [$2.20] and grabbed a table with my food in hand.

The Dutch Crunch roll was nice and crunchy up top (but nowhere near the Capn’ Crunch levels of mouth-shredding like some Dutch Crunch rolls achieve, this is a good thing in my opinion) and wonderfully soft throughout.

The sandwich itself was packed with thinly sliced, tender brisket that was mouth watering. The bacon was thin but had enough flavor to not be overshadowed by the brisket. There was quite a lot going on in this, with “everything” added it’s a heck of a list of ingredients. I thought the creamy horseradish sauce stood out as the star condiment here, followed just behind by the banana peppers and pickles. The slaw added a nice crunch and some extra color with it’s purple cabbage base. The tomato was a bit overwhelmed here.

I love a good potato salad, even more if its got eggs. No eggs in this one, unfortunately, but it was creamy, seasoned well and the potatoes were nice and soft.

No idea if this phrase has any specific meaning/reference but I love it 🙂

I feel like there are a few main things that can set apart a sandwich shop. One is unique sandwich creations, another is brands/quality/in-house made ingredients. This shop seems to use both to its benefit with a bunch of options you won’t find in every other shop, and a great use in combining the right flavors to make a memorable sandwich. Combined with a friendly staff and this is yet another solid offering here in Roseville. I dig this shop and I’m planning to return this week on Black Friday to snag a shirt on sale. I need more local shirts to represent when I’m traveling.


#263: Q1227 Restaurant

5:30PM / 11/6/2021


Saturday evening I was joined by a friend and we headed over to Q1227, located in the Stone Point center on Eureka, for dinner. This newish restaurant opened just under 2 years ago on December 27th, which is the chef/owner’s birthday and where it gets it’s “1227” from. The Q comes from his name. We arrived at 5:30 with hopes for a walk-in, as reservations were booked out through Tuesday when I had looked a couple days previously. While I snapped a picture outside my friend whent in to get our name on the list. The wait time would be 45 min, so we walked next door to Brickyard for a drink to kill some time.

We made our way back over 35 minutes later. From this direction the warmly lit patio, closed off by red curtains from the front, was visible through the archway at the top of the stairs. It feels cozy and warm with the gas heaters. We popped inside to check on the wait. Unfortunately there had been a bit of a miscommunication earlier. From what I could tell the host thought we didn’t want to wait and left, and my friend thought they took our name and we were good to go. Anyway, long story short here they ended up getting us in right away to a 2-top just inside the patio doors, so it worked out well.

Looking back at my photos from the previous restaurant to reside here, Cibo7, the overall layout and feel to the dining room is pretty similar. Q1227 has brightened up the lighting a bit and changed some of the seating which makes it feels much less cramped than I recall in Cibo7. Like Cibo7, the menu is a really nice bound book. The covers on this one are wooden with the restaurants logo engraved into the front.

We settled in an our server came by to take drink orders and tell us about a couple specials. I ordered the What’s Up Bro Pale Ale from Loomis Basin (5.8%)[$8] and my friend ordered a glass of the Hanna Chardonnay [$13]. We also placed an order for the Chilled Oyster Platter (Fresh shucked oysters [6ea] / house cocktail sauce / mignonette / pickled shallots / lemon)[$20]

The drinks arrived quickly and the oysters followed in just under ten minutes. Served over ice and a bed of seaweed, these came with a few things to jazz up your oyster. The sauce 3rd from the left was not mentioned in the description but I believe it was just a straight up hot sauce. I thought the mignonette and cocktail sauces went together really nicely on these and it was a tasty appetizer to get us started.

We had ordered our entrees with everything else and they were delivered about ten minutes after the oysters. While I didn’t feel rushed, this was a quicker pacing than I expected.

My friend ordered the Pan Seared Atlantic Salmon (House Spices / Forbidden Black Rice / Garnet Yam Puree)[$32]. She loved this and specifically complimented the yam puree. I had a bite of the salmon which was nicely done with a thin, delicate crust to it and tender flesh.

I had a tough time deciding what to get, there were a bunch of inviting options. After bouncing around between the Branzini, Ribeye Cap and Jambalaya I ultimately went with my friend’s suggestion of the Berkshire “Kurobuta” Tomahawk Pork Chop (House Spices / Maple Glaze / Baked Apple / Sauteed Spinach)[$40].

This was a bone-in chop placed atop the spinach with the rib perched up on top of the baked apple. It was a sizeable chunk of meat. I was served a steak knife with this dish. The pork chop was tender enough that a butter knife might have done the job just fine. I was glad to have the steak knife, however, because this plate was incredibly slippery on the table for some reason. It was a bit of a challenge to keep it from sliding all over the place.

The apple was cored and the inside had a bit of cinnamon dusted on it. The maple glaze was the star here, just behind the pork itself. I drizzled/dipped some with almost every bite and had just enough to last through the whole chop. With the apple and maple glaze along side the juicy pork this plate was a nice balance of sweet and savory. The spinach had a heavy amount of garlic cooked with it, which was delicious. I cleaned this plate up, including the flower out of sheer curiosity. The flower didn’t really taste like anything but it was an interesting texture.

We decided we had room for dessert and our server was on the ball, pulling the menu out form behind her back as soon as we asked about it. She also told us about a dessert not on the menu, which after looking over everything we decided to get. We received a pair of copper colored spoons in advance. This was Q’s Peanut Butter Cups (Chocolate Cookie Crust / Peanut Butter Mousse / Chocolate Ganache / Chopped Nuts)[$12]. It consisted of three cups, each about 50% larger in diameter than a Reese’s peanut butter cup across and about 2-3x thicker, but oh so much more decadent. They were incredible, a must-have if you love peanut butter & chocolate.

I didn’t really have any expectations going in here as I knew very little about the restaurant aside from what I could gather from the website. I have to say I was really impressed. I loved all the food and the service was on point. Chef Q stopped by during one of his rounds through the dining room to see how everything was tasting. We did some damage for two people with our bill nearing $150, yet I felt that the prices were fair for what we received. I look forward to returning to check out that whole fried fish and so many other tasty-sounding things.