By Juliet Farmer
In what used to be a sketchy edge of midtown (19th Street between R and S streets), there’s a block that now consists of local businesses mixed with regional retail and restaurant chains. A fairly recent addition to this stretch of 19th Street is the relocated Bow & Arrows Collective, a gallery-clothing boutique-cafe-beer-and-wine-bar that hosts live music and art-inspired events on a regular basis.
Located in what was once a recording studio is now a space for cool clothes, unique art, and creative furniture (an old foot-operated sewing machine turned table top, for instance). The retail portion of Bows & Arrows mans the front of the building, while the café area is located in the rear, with the back patio providing additional eating/drinking/mingling space as needed (and weather permitting).
FatFace, the go-to local purveyor of creative popsicle flavors, provides the food service for Bows & Arrows, and brings a seasonal, fresh and limited but tasty menu to fruition.
On a recent visit, my dining companion and I started with beverages, a North Coast Red Seal Ale for him, and a River City Root Beer for me, both of which were served in hip and eco-friendly mason jars. (Note: FatFace Cafe offers quite a few fun non-alcoholic options.)
FatFace Cafe’s wine list includes NV Pere Ventura Cava Rosé (Spain), 2009 Setzer Gruner Veltliner (Austria), 2008 Handley Pinot Gris (Mendocino), 2009 Quinta de la Rosa “DouRosa” (Portugal), 2009 Strub Riesling (Germany), 2009 Chateau Cahuzac Fronton Rosé (France), 2009 Edmunds St. John “Bone Jolly” (El Dorado County), 2009 Cascina degli Ulivi “Semplicemente” Rosso (Italy), 2009 Monpertuis Cotes-du-Rhone, and 2010 Pierre Plouzeau Chinon (France), all available by the glass or carafe.
On tap, beer selections include Lagunitas IPA, North Coast Scrimshaw Pilsner, Allagash White, and the aforementioned North Coast Red Seal Ale. Bottled beer options include Jolly Pumpkin Oro de Calabaza, Jolly Pumpkin Bam Biere, Achouffe Houblon, North Coast La Merle Saison, Delerium Tremens, Brother Thelonious Abbey Ale, and Deschutes Black Butte Porter. (Insider tip: For those who prefer, Hamm’s and High Life are available by the can.)
During our visit, my dining companion and I paired our beverage selections with two sandwiches, the Cola Braised Pork and the Beer Poached Fig. The Cola-braised pork sandwich was my favorite of the two, full of tender pork, Cotija cheese, salsa, and crisp romaine. Luckily, the beer poached fig sandwich was my dining companion’s favorite of the two, and featured caramelized onion, arugula, and goat cheese. (Of the five sandwich menu options, the three we did not choose were a mesquite smoked pork, an eggplant “meatball”, and a BLP – bacon bits, romaine lettuce and peaches.)
Although we did not order any, bar bites are also available, and include such offerings as tapenade-dressed Cerignola olives, chipotle honey almonds, spiced popcorn, seasonal salsa and chips, and crostini.
And don’t forget the popsicles. FatFace’s inventive combinations include heirloom melon chai, peach mango with ginger, strawberry rhubarb with rosemary, hibiscus mint with grapes, strawberry coconut, Thai tea and sweet potato, strawberry lemonade, Kaffir lime and avocado, blueberry and lemon yogurt, and yellow watermelon and pineapple. Most flavors are seasonal, but the Thai tea and sweet potato has been on the menu for months and is, in a word, perfection. I’m not a huge fan of either flavor on its own, but the combo produces a popsicle that’s creamy, sweet but not too sweet, and savory all at once. My other favorite popsicle flavor is the Kaffir lime and avocado, a creamy tart blend that is both palate cleansing and tasty.
FatFace Cafe in Bows & Arrows offers seasonal, tasty, fresh food concepts in a relaxed, unique atmosphere. Can’t wait to see what they invent next.
Bows & Arrows/FatFace Cafe
1815 19th Street
Sacramento, CA 95811
Hours: Tues to Sat 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.