After reading the glowing review of Cafe Capricho in Sunday's Sacramento Bee (http://www.sacbee.com/2011/10/09/3966375/sacramentos-cafe-capricho-masters.html), I was eager to check it out as the next stop on my Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge restaurant tour. So I drove to East Sacramento yesterday for a very late lunch/very early dinner.
The menu board and the specials board posted above and next to the counter included several vegan options, and I'll definitely plan on visiting Cafe Capricho again so I can write a blog article about the vegan items on their regular menu. But the purpose of my visit was to try the dishes that had been created specifically for the challenge.
The first item on the special challenge menu was the Jewel Quinoa Salad, which, according to the description, consisted of quinoa, dried apricots, cranberries, and dates with a citrus vinaigrette over a bed of mixed greens. As a bonus, chopped pecans topped the salad. It was fabulous! I didn't go so far as to lick my plate clean, but there was nothing left but a little dressing when I finished the salad. I think this salad is probably one of my top three favorites among the dishes I've tried so far during the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge.
I also ordered the Capricho's Stew, described as lentil stew with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, plantains, and Swiss chard, topped with flax seeds and toasted coconut over savory coconut polenta. I would really have loved to have tried that savory coconut polenta, but unfortunately, they were already out of it at 4:30 in the afternoon, so I had the stew over brown rice instead. It was very good, and extremely filling, so I'll be having the leftovers for lunch later this week.
I was really sad to find out that they were also out of their special vegan dessert: Strawberry Shortcake, which would have consisted of a vanilla sponge cake (made with quinoa flour and soy milk), fresh strawberries, and coconut milk cream, and would have been topped with sliced almonds.
I can only hope that the reason Cafe Capricho was out of both the polenta and the strawberry shortcake is because so many people are eating at the Sacramento Vegan Chef Challenge restaurants that they can't keep up with the demand. Part of the problem may be that Cafe Capricho is serving the dishes from the special challenge menu all day, instead of just for dinner, so maybe the lunch crowd finished off those items. At any rate, if you have your heart set on trying a particular dish, you may want to call ahead to make sure they have it.
Cafe Capricho is located at 3269 Folsom Boulevard. Their phone number is 916-457-3916, and their website address is http://cafecapricho.webs.com/. They are open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.