Comstock's magazine 1218 - December 2018 - Page 35

terest in constraining his menu to any one trend. Woolston, who was a lifelong athlete before sustaining a serious back injury at Burning Man 2016, spent years testing the effects of food on his health and per- formance. He concluded that “there’s no way to pick one diet that’s going to work for every person,” he says. “Here, you can choose whether you want to eat meat or vegetables, and rest assured that every- thing is the absolute top quality that you could be putting into your body.” Backbone Café’s vegetables come from local organic farms, such as Del Rio Botan- ical in West Sacramento, and its meat from the certified organic Marin Sun Farms in Petaluma. Woolston crisps his fries in tallow rendered from Marin Sun Farms’ grass-fed beef — or, for vegetarians, in or- ganic cold-pressed avocado oil. Backbone’s eclectic offerings have earned it an equally heterogeneous blend of accolades. The online magazine Pure- Wow listed Backbone among “The 22 Most Keto-Friendly Restaurants in America,” while Eater included the cafe on its sum- mer 2018 roundup of “essential Sacramen- to restaurants,” noting that “grain- and gluten-free folks rejoiced” when Back- bone opened. To serve the new clientele the PureWow article attracted, Woolston began offering medium-chain triglycer- ide oil, also known as MCT. It’s a coconut derivative that keto dieters, who follow a high-fat, low-carb regimen, believe im- proves brain function. “We want to make sure that you can find something for whatever diet you’re looking for,” Woolston says. “Everyone should be able to come here and get a full meal.” A similar philosophy underpins Beast & Bounty, which opened in Midtown Sac- ramento in August. Under owner Michael Hargis and executive chef Brock Macdon- ald (who also helm the bratwurst-and- beer hall LowBrau and charcuterie-cen- tric Block Butcher Bar), Beast & Bounty eschews the crunchy, patchouli-scented ambience stereotypically associated with vegetable-forward restaurants. Instead, the space is sparse and sleek, with brass accents — light fixtures, beer taps, even long-stemmed cocktail spoons — against bare brick walls. Beast & Bounty is both the name of the restaurant and the format of its concise menu. The “Beast” section covers carniv- orous cuts — aged steaks, pork chops, fish and poultry — while creative applications Top: grass-fed beef bone marrow with sour- dough baquettes served at Backbone Café. Bottom: vegan cauliflower topped with thyme sauce and grilled onions. “There are a lot of consumers who want to reduce their meat impact, but a lot of them don’t want to give up the flavor and texture of meat entirely. That’s an interesting opportunity for restaurants.” ~ Molly Spencer, postdoctoral fellow, Monell Chemical Senses Center of vegetables such as elote-inspired blis- tered shishitos and miso-charred broc- coli fall under “Bounty.” All-day options, including ramen, pizza and burgers, are available in either meatless or meat- heavy variations. December 2018 | comstocksmag.com 35