This Plum is Worth a Visit
At first blush, Sacramento may seem to have its share of vegetarian restaurants. Asian and Indian inspired eateries catering to the non-meat crowd speckle the landscape. And you can usually find a few vegetarian items on most menus in the area. But what about taking things to the next level? Well it’s been done; a new type of higher end vegan dining experience has come to town.
The Plum Café and Bakery, formerly know as Sugar Plum Vegan Cafe and Catering was rescued by Ron Russell and Rey Ortega earlier this year. While Melissa Wilhelm continues to be wildly successful with her Sugar Plum Vegan bakery, running a restaurant on top of exploding popularity and increasing orders became overwhelming. Russell and Ortega decided to take it on.
Ortega is a veteran of two successful gluten-free baking companies. He now manages the second, Sun Flour Baking with distribution nationwide and throughout Canada. Sun Flour produces gluten-free, sugar-free, high protein cookies and more. You’d never know about Ortega’s hidden talent while savoring one of his desserts: writing.
Russell, a self-professed foodie is no stranger to the kitchen. “I remember coming home at 3 a.m. covered with grease and smelling of meat”, Russell said, sharing that he dove into kitchens cooking through school. Those experiences, not to mention his concern for the environment led him to change his food ways. “I became a vegetarian before salad bars existed. Eggs went first then as time passed, I became stricter moving towards veganism.”
Russell owns the Los Angeles restaurant SunCafe Organic. The Cafe received accolades from the likes of Serious Eats, the New York Times, and Bestofraw.com, who awarded them the 2011 #1 raw food restaurant in Los Angeles and #3 in the world. If you’re looking for a celeb sighting, you can find one almost daily: George Cluney, Megan Fox and Ed Begley Jr., most recently.
It’s interesting to note two-thirds of SunCafe’s patrons are meat eaters. “I can always tell when people didn’t want to come to the café but were dragged in by a friend. They’ve got this look on their face,” Russell said. “But in the end, meat eaters like it as much as Spago or their favorite steak house.”
One recent reluctant diner told Russell his meal was the best he’d had since feasting at a Michelin starred restaurant in Paris.
Similar to SunCafe Organic, which started as a cafe and transitioned to higher end dining, The Plum is rapidly moving in that direction. Wet your appetite with spinach artichoke dip atop house made crostini or the raw nachos with SunChorizo and nacho chez.
Did I mention they’ve started making their own cheese? Varieties are cashew, pecan garlic, nacho, feta and ricotta, for now.
Russell and Ortega added an espresso bar complete with hours of training on pulling a proper shot of espresso and foaming milk flawlessly (being a cappuccino snob I like this!) Sacramento based roaster Temple Coffee conducted the training and will supply the beans.
The Plum’s future includes an expanded dinner menu, wine and gluten-free beer, additional pastries, macrobiotic and raw food elements, and a heated candelabra patio open year around. Russell already taught several cooking classes there and will continue to do so with the next class scheduled for November 12 (Holiday Raw Food Favorites).
Don’t miss The Plum Café appetizer party complete with entertainment this Sunday, November 11th from 5 to 8:00 p.m. You can preview all the new dishes and sip off the new beer and wine menu.
RSVP Ron@PlumCafeBakery.com. You may just win a door prize too.
The Plum Cafe and Bakery is open 7 days a week.
Hours: Monday–Thursday 11 a.m.–9 p.m., Friday- Saturday 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Sunday brunch 10 a.m.–2 p.m.2315 K Street Sacramento, CA (916) 706-3302