Broadway: Around the World in 30 Blocks

A year of culture and cuisine along Sacramento's most delicious street

Elaine Corn, reporter/producer
Elaine Corn, reporter/producer  

The 2-mile stretch of Broadway between I-5 and Hwy. 99 bordering downtown Sacramento boasts dozens of restaurants serving food from around the world. It's a culinary and cultural microcosm of America's most diverse and integrated city, as affirmed by a Harvard study. There are rich and personal stories behind these Broadway businesses, and food reporter Elaine Corn enjoyed telling many of them.

Assisted by Sacramento State geography chair Dr. Robin Datel as special advisor (for a broader historical perspective) Elaine's special 12-part series "Broadway: Around the World in 30 Blocks" aired the second Friday of each month from December, 2008 through November, 2009. Each segment featured one Broadway restaurant or market, its owner(s), cooks and customers.

“I feel like I’ve traveled to far flung places without leaving Sacramento,” says Ms. Corn. “I’ve gotten to know the people behind the food and what it means to them. I hope listeners feel that way too.”

 “I think this series demonstrated public radio’s unique style of in-depth journalism and our ability to connect with the community in new and exciting ways,” says Capital Public Radio News Director Joe Barr. 

Scrolling through this webpage, you can see lush photographs from each story, download recipes, find historical information about the area and listen again to your favorite stories.

    Part of Series

  • The Broadway Special
    Whether you heard all of Elaine's twelve Broadway stories, a few of them, or none of them, you'll enjoy this 23-minute documentary, featuring series highlights and Elaine's reflections on her year along Broadway. (scroll down for individual stories)
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009
  • Hon Wong, owner
    Hon Wong, owner
    Hong Kong Cafe: Preserving China's Most Enduring Cuisine
    In the debut of our series, "Broadway: Around the World in 30 Blocks," we visit a Sacramento Cantonese institution. For over 60 years, this humble eatery has connected Chinese-Americans with the culinary heritage of the Pearl River Valley.
    Friday, December 12, 2008
  • Paritosh Acharya with thali
    Paritosh Acharya with thali
    Kathmandu Kitchen: Spiritual Sustenance
    Food in Nepal depends on terrain, and whether you're near the border with India or farther north near Tibet. Yet, Nepalese cuisine isn't exactly Chinese and not completely Indian. Like its people, it's somewhere in the harmonious middle.
    Friday, January 9, 2009
  • Morgan Ong
    Morgan Ong
    Queen Sheba: Savoring Spice a Hands-On Experience
    The food of Ethiopia is as old the biblical Queen Sheba. At Queen Sheba restaurant, we time-travel by way of complex spicing and scooping up food using injera, sometimes called Moses bread.
    Friday, February 13, 2009
  • Morgan Ong
    Morgan Ong
    Andy Nguyen's: Vegan Vision
    When owner Lien Nguyen became a devout Buddhist, she traveled spiritual and culinary journeys. Almost overnight, meat was removed from the menu, at great risk to the business. Andy Nguyen Jr., 26, is the new face of cutting edge vegetarian cuisine.
    Friday, March 13, 2009
  • Jorge Placencia of Los Jarritos
    Jorge Placencia of Los Jarritos
    Los Jarritos: Little Jugs, Big Dreams
    Jarrito means little ceramic pitcher. Los Jarritos is the third food-related enterprise for Jorge Placencia's family. Placencia's father Salvador set the stage that led to a restaurant that feels and tastes like Old Mexico.
    Friday, April 10, 2009
  • Pancakes galore. Photo: Morgan Ong.
    Pancakes galore. Photo: Morgan Ong.
    Pancake Circus: The Show Goes On
    There's more than pancakes under this big top. An old-school coffee shop survives best when nothing is changed.
    Friday, May 8, 2009
  • Morgan Ong
    Morgan Ong
    Fish Fanatics
    Sunh Fish is a small market inside yet another store. The neighborhood comes for catfish, but sushi chefs from throughout the Sacramento region come for the kings of fish fresh enough to be eaten raw.
    Friday, June 12, 2009
  • Morgan Ong
    Morgan Ong
    Bali in Bloom
    Sacramento's only Balinese food professional reveals much about her island home's culture as she buys and prepares ingredients Bali-style for Coconut Chicken.
    Friday, July 17, 2009
  • Morgan Ong
    Morgan Ong
    Asian Market Madness
    At 5th & Broadway, a Sunday morning farmers market grew. It's been part of the food fabric of Broadway for 22 years, giving Asian farmers and customers a place to buy produce that's like a country market back home.
    Friday, August 14, 2009
  • Morgan Ong
    Morgan Ong
    Dim Sum Dynasty
    Rolling carts of shrimp dumplings, jellyfish salad, chicken feet and spare ribs are the norm at New Canton where dim sum is high art.
    Friday, September 11, 2009
  • Morgan Ong
    Morgan Ong
    Tale of Two Thais
    A restaurateur's worst nightmare: a restaurant just like yours moves in next door. In the 1600 block of Broadway, dueling Thai restaurants co-exist. It's diners who want to name a winner.
    Friday, October 9, 2009
  • Tower Cafe dining room
    Tower Cafe dining room
    Tower Cafe: The United Flavors of Broadway
    On Earth Day 1990, Jim Seyman took over the location of the original Tower Drug Store and began an evolution from beginner's bistro to a landmark as famous as its deco neighbor, the Tower Theatre.
    Friday, November 13, 2009