I was reading the New York Times online today and stumbled upon a fascinating article describing the massive menu project the New York Public Library has begun to undertake. The menu transcription project entitled, "What's On The Menu?" involves digitizing the NYPL's massive menu collection of over 40,000 menus from the 1840's to the present, then using crowdsourcing to transcribe the menus and creating a searchable database for historians, nutritional scientists, chefs, novelists, script writers and food enthusiasts to use. If you're interested in donating your time to assist with the online transcription process, you can go to the project's website to sign up. As of today, there have been 96,681 dishes transcribed from 1465 menus. That's a whole lotta dishes!

Dear Readers,

I apologize that I haven't had any blog posts up in awhile, there are some things I've been having to address in my life. I will be returning soon with lots of blog posts about food, restaurants and cooking...I promise.

~ A Girl & Her Fork
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Once the allergies season slows down, springtime in the Sacramento Valley is quite the enjoyable experience. It's like Mother Nature comes through with a wand and throws a rainbow smackdown of color on the city. The tree canopies of East Sac and Midtown become lush with greenery, small colorful birds begin chirping up a storm in the brush and the flowers....well, there's flowers everywhere you look! With the pleasant weather, comes a change of attitude. People want to shuck their wool scarves and don on some shorts and lace up their Chucks. Skateboards and cruisers are brought out of the garage and people, young and old, take to the streets and relish the fantabulous weather. Looking around you'll see an abundance of Sacramentans hanging out on the patios of various coffee shops, breweries and bistros.

After the dreary wet winter, businesses too are excited to host outdoor events celebrating the wine, food and sunshine of the region. One of the best events in the Valley that showcases this is in the small town of Winters, just outside of Sacramento. With just a mere mini-ride away you can find yourself away from the harried city and submerge yourself in some relaxation and merriment. This year's "Springtime in the Vineyard" Picnic, will feature delicious shrimp, carnitas and fresh fruit skewers along with bluegrass tunes by Doc Holler. You can also sip on the newly released 2010 Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 Sunset, Rosé of Primitivo and 2008 Petite Sirah while strolling through the vineyards or lounging under the old Oak Tree while gazing at the exquisite vista views. So gather up your family and friends and make a day out of celebrating spring and the delicious wine of this region!

- Interested parties are encouraged to purchase tickets in advance, as tickets to this event sell out.
- May 28, 2011
- Tickets: Wine Club Members $30 ~ General Admission $40
- Website:

The California State Library's Food for Thought Series will be showing "Bottle Shock": An American drama-comedy which  loosely portrays the now infamous California vs. France blind tasting event organized in Paris in 1976 by wine retailer Steven Spurrier that has come now to be known as the "Judgement of Paris." The film stars Alan Rickman, Chris Pine, Bill Pullman, Rachael Taylor and Eliza Dushku.

There will be snacks provided as well as a presentation and Q&A by Darrell Corti. The event is free but donations would be greatly appreciated.
* Email to make a reservation for this film event.


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( print by Karimachal )

Spring has arrived and with it all kinds of fun food events in or near Sacramento. So shuck your cold weather gear, dust off your bike and head on out to soak up some sunshine!

- April 8 : Nacheez (Dairy-free/ Gluten-free) Nacho Sauce Launch Party @ Never Felt Better Vegan Shop, Sacramento,

- April 9th-10th & April 16-17th, 44th Annual Northern CA's Annual Cherry Blossom Festival, Japantown, San Francisco,

- April 13th, Table Talk Sacramento, The Sacramento Bee, Sacramento,

- April 15th-17th, Stockton Asparagus Festival, Downtown Stockton,

- April 16th, Taste of Elk Grove, Elk Grove,

- April 16th, Midtown Neighborhood Association's Potluck Picnic in the Park, Sutter's Fort Historical Park, Sacramento,

- April 23rd, Sacramento Earth Day, Southside Park, Sacramento,

- April 23rd, Sabaidee Pbeemai Lao (Lao New Year Celebration) , Cal Expo, Sacramento,

- April 29th, 9th Annual Celebrity Chef Challenge, CA Automobile Museum, Sacramento,

- April 30, Sacramento Mobile Food Festival, Fremont Park, Sacramento,

- May 12th, Taste of The Little City, Safetyville, Sacramento,

- May 13-15, ZinFest Wine Festival, Lodi,

- May 14, Tour De Cluck, Davis,

- May 21st, West Coast Brew Fest, Miller Park, Sacramento,

- May 28th, Berryessa Gap Wine's Springtime in the Vineyard, Winters,

- June 4th, 9th Annual Raley's Grape Escape, Cesar Chavez Park, Sacramento,

- June 18th, Slow Food Sacramento's Urban Ag Fest, Plates Cafe & Catering, Sacramento,

* As new events are scheduled, I'll be posting them on A Girl and Her Fork's Facebook page so be sure to keep your eye out and your fork ready.


"One customer, well taken care of, could be more valuable than $10,000 worth of advertising."
~ Jim Rohn

1501 16th Street #109, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 341-0532

My friends and family know that one of my biggest pet peeves is discourteous behavior. Whether it's a friend that continually flakes, a car that cuts you off on the freeway or a salesperson with a nasty attitude-- rude behavior is rude behavior. Now I know a lot of people who go out to eat and say as long as the food is good they could care less about the customer service. I'm not one of those people. I'm just not...customer service matters to me. Maybe it harkens back to my hostessing and waitressing days but I feel that customer service IS an integral part of the dining experience. I do believe that bad service can completely ruin a me, I've had it happen. On the flip side, a good dining service experience can make a meal. Anyhow, I bring this topic up because I usually don't write about "fast" food establishments but I wanted to comment about the service at Mati's Indian Express.

Now, Mati's is one of those places that's set up kind of like a Panda Express. By that I mean, you order at the counter, you get your plate of eats and then seat yourself. My friend Anthony introduced me to Mati's back when they were located out in Natomas. Recently, however they moved to the Fremont Building in Midtown, by Nishiki's and in the process upgraded their decor. It's still a seat-yourself place but the decor is less cafeteria-esque and more Midtown cafe now. Anyhow, the food at Mati's is flavorful, portions are plentiful and the prices are reasonable. Combination plates (which include rice and a choice of 2 dishes) range from $5.99 for a small to a $7.99 for a large. You can also get the dishes a la carte if you wish or go all out and get the Meal For Two ( 3 small sides, 3 samosas, 2 naans and a large side of rice for $19.99). My favorite dishes are the butter chicken (tender bite-sized pieces of chicken breast mixed with a rich tomato sauce), aloo gobhi (sauteed cauliflower and potatoes with a tiny bit of heat) and of course - the garlic naan (mmmm!). I'm not much  for super spicy dishes but I do want to give the lamb vindaloo and their samosas a go soon...last time I was there, another patron ordered both and they looked delicious! Also FYI, dishes are marked as to whether they are vegan and gluten-free which makes it a great place to take friends who have dietary restrictions. But all these things aside, what made me decide to write about Mati's is not their tasty food; but rather, their exemplary customer service. Every time I've been there I've seen nothing but friendly, hospitable behavior exhibited toward guests. Their service always starts with a cheerful greeting, they're happy to answer questions and give samples and they always seem genuinely glad that you're dining there. Some of the items (like the naan) are made to order in the back and if they run behind a bit they always apologize, keep you abreast of the status and bring it out to your table when it's ready. It's small gestures like these that I appreciate and make me return time and time again. In a world where a lot of customer service has been replaced by automation or apathetic workers, it's nice to see a business that still embraces the idea of treating the customer like they're special. I think oftentimes businesses forget that customers (and their pocketbooks) are what allows them to stay open. Anyhow, hopefully we continue to get businesses like this in Sacramento. Good job Mati's and see you soon!