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Frodo Has Returned from Mount Doom With Hand Pies to This New Sacramento Cafe

Plus, 29 water buffalo desperately need a home and more food news

Hand pies at Sacramento’s There and Back Again Cafe.
Hand pies at Sacramento’s There and Back Again Cafe.
There and Back Again Cafe
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

“His grief he will not forget; but it will not darken his heart, it will teach him wisdom.” As all true Lord of the Rings fans know, Aragorn told this to Pippin in the city of Gondor after Merry’s heroic deeds on the Pelennor Fields, braving against the Witch-King of Angmar with Eowyn striking the final blow. Of course, none of that is interesting or likely to mean anything at all to anyone other than fans of J.R.R. Tolkein’s Return of the King and the rest of his fantasy epic The Lord of the Rings. But Heidi and Ross Rojek, the owners of a new downtown Sacramento cafe called There & Back Again, are looking to serve exactly that loyal fan base.

The Sacramento Bee reports the business owners are looking to forget the grief of COVID and channel what they’ve learned into their new cafe. They’ve got an $8,500 hand-drawn linoleum map of Middle Earth up on the wall, a giant chess board outside in Cathedral Square, and housemade hand pies and halloumi-topped avocado toast with coffee provided by Reno-based Old World Coffee Lab. “Ross and I truly believe in downtown, and we wouldn’t have opened the bookstore even pre-COVID if we didn’t believe in it,” Heidi told the Bee. [Sacramento Bee]

Water buffalos decide the fate of Ramini Mozzarella

It is a daunting task to find a home for one water buffalo, not to mention 29 of them. But this is the problem Audrey Hitchcock, owner of Marin County cheese company Ramini Mozzarella, finds herself facing if she wants to keep making her popular cheese. “We’re looking for a temporary home for the dry herd that are getting ready to calf. It’s the future of Ramini Mozzarella, these 29 buffalo,” Rolleri told SFGate. [SFGate]

Natural wine comes to San Anselmo

Between hearing John Coltrane’s horn and spying a frayed copy of Beloved, David Ruiz of Souvenir in Marin County plans to sell you a bottle of natural wine. The Chronicle writes that the minds behind San Francisco’s Junior bar and Fairfax’s Stillwater restaurant have doubled down on Stillwater’s Dylan Jones’ pandemic wine club idea. It was so successful that Jones, Ruiz, and his wife Margaret thought the three of them could sell the wine, yes, but also all kinds of quirky items. [Chronicle]

Ikea’s swedish meatballs rolling to San Francisco’s Civic Center

Northern European wunderkind furniture store Ikea is arriving in San Francisco, but not in its usual yellow and blue superstore manifestation. Livat, the name of the urban brand of Ikea, will likely open at 945 Market Street in the next year, SFGate writes. Beyond meatballs, the car-free and community-oriented Livat will feature food pop-ups. [SFGate]

Get health tips and free produce at Merced Heights Playground

The Vegan Hood Chefs, a Bayview food truck, will be handing out 150 produce bags and serving 300 free meals to attendees of the March 12 “Heal the Hood” event in the Ingleside, Lakeview, or Ocean View neighborhood, depending on which resident you’re talking to. Guests will need to wear a mask and can register here.