High Sierra BBQ & Sausage Co. – Diamond Springs

“There’s a thousand little things that go into making a great-tasting sausage, … It’s just attention to detail, every darn one.”

Ralph Stayer


High Sierra BBQ & Sausage Co.

Recently when I drove through Diamond Springs, in front of Diamond Mart I noticed a large red trailer with a big meat smoker attached, and a sign saying, “High Sierra BBQ & Sausage Co.”

I stopped by and found out the business is owned by an old friend of mine named Jodi Hall, who used to work for my friend Rick Quarry, who passed away a couple of years ago.

“I have been in the catering business ever since my mother and grandmother put an apron on me when I was 12,” said Hall. When I moved here from southern California I went to work for Rick, helping with his catering business and helping make sausage at his butcher shop. I thought I would like to make sausage myself, and more varieties. Mel, one of the butchers who worked for Rick told me to not let go of my dream and sent me to Lockford Sausage Company to look at what they made. I was impressed.

“About seven years ago I started making sausage, and then a year ago I bought the trailer and smoker. Now I make sausage and smoke meat, and sell both from the trailer. I entered some barbecue competitions and the first time got ribbons for everything I entered. I think I have found my dream.”

Hall has quite a menu of sandwiches (sausage, tri-tip, brisket, pulled pork, chicken), beef and pork ribs by the rack or half-rack, wings, tri-tip and more which she sells, along with lots of side dishes. She also can provide special cuts of meat and even a whole hog, if you want. Hall makes and sells more than 40 varieties of sausage she sells fresh or frozen, including three kinds of Italian, pepperoni, apple, chicken apple, kielbasa, bratwurst, linguica, chorizo Creole, Andouille, English bangers, Bockwurst, Greek, Chinese, basil, pesto and more. She also makes by hand several kinds of salami, snack sticks and jerky, which she calls “Tree Trunks,” “Tree Branches” and “Tree Bark. You need to pick up one of her menus to fully appreciate the number of and kind of things she makes.

I tried a couple of her pork ribs which I took home with some of her great barbecue sauce and reheated. Normally re-heated ribs are a bit “iffy,” but these were still moist and pull-off-the-bone delicious. And, no heartburn from the sauce.

I also took home a couple of Andouille sausage, which I cooked, sliced and snacked on. It was a bit different from the Andouille I am used to, but very good.

Her barbecue trailer is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. until she runs out of food (4-6 usually). If she will not be there because she has an upcoming catering job or is at a fair or event, she posts that on the side of the trailer the week before. For more information or to make sure she has an ample supply of what you want, call (530) 391-9488.

Taqueria El Carnaval – Placerville

“Salsa has now passed ketchup as America’s favorite condiment. Isn’t that amazing? You know it’s bad when even our vegetables are starting to lose their jobs to Mexico.”

Jay Leno, the “Tonight Show”




Taqueria El Carnaval

Taqueria Carnaval, which is located at 4340-C Golden Center Drive (off Missouri Flat, near McDonald’s and across from Wal-Mart) has recently changed owners and name. And, in celebration of this, on May 5, Cinco de Mayo, they will be holding their grand opening with live music and food specials, an event you really won’t want to miss.

The new owners are three brothers, Jesus, Julio and Manolo Abarca, and the restaurant’s new name is Taqueria El Carnaval. Jesus, who is the chef, and his brother Julio both work in the kitchen at El Carnaval, while Manolo is in charge of the front of the house, as it is called. It is a real family owned restaurant.

I had a chance last week to spend some time talking with Jesus, who everyone seems to call “Chuy.” He has been working in the restaurant business for 20 years, as far away as Chicago, but mostly in northern California.

For the past five years, they were partners with others at La Fiesta Taqueria on East Bidwell in Folsom, where he and his brother Julio worked their magic in the kitchen. La Fiesta, according to everything I have read, is a very highly rated restaurant.

The sign outside Taqueria El Carnaval  says, “New Owners, New Food, New Taste” and the new menu reflects that. The Abarca brothers have expanded the menu to include a greater choice of meats and a greater variety of items. There are not a large number of Mexican restaurants in the area where, in addition to the regular chicken, pork, and beef choices, you can also get tripa (tripe), lengua (tongue), buche (pork stomach) and chorizo (Mexican sausage) on your taco or in your burrito. And, how about a seafood tostada that comes with both camarón (shrimp) and pulpo (octopus). That is just a sample of new things on the menu. There are a lot more.

The three page menu includes quite a list of tacos, taco salads, enchiladas, nachos, tortas, quesadillas, burritos, tostadas, mariscos (complete plates), special plates, combo plates, seafood tostadas, seafood appetizer and soups, including the seven mares and three mares seafood soups, and more. Yes there is also a kids menu and on both Saturday and Sunday they have menudo and pozole.

Drinks include fountain sodas, traditional fresh Mexican drinks, Mexican bottle sodas, fresh squeezed orange and carrot juices and both imported and domestic beers.

The salsa bar has not only several salsas of different spiciness, but also some interesting marinated onions, cactus and peppers, along with jalapenos and radishes. Chips and salsa are complementary with your meal.

If you are looking for something different, they also serve quite a list of Mexican inspired breakfast dishes all day, every day.

Taqueria El Carnaval is open from 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., daily. They not only have a clean, well tended dining room, but a large patio dining area.

Although you order at the counter and then find your table, the servers, who bring your food to you, also constantly come by to make sure everything is good with you. Our fantastic server, Roberto Castillo, is a graduate of El Dorado High School and was working at the Folsom restaurant before they opened here. Even though the restaurant was rapidly filling up as the noon hour approached, he and the rest of the staff made sure everyone was happy and enjoying their meal.

For more information or to make telephone orders, call (530) 344-7246

About The Author

Doug, Korea, 1958 winter fix2

Korea 1958

A professional writer for over 25 years, Doug Noble has been published in newspapers, magazines and books.

As a writer for the Mountain Democrat in Placerville, California, he has authored a weekly column called “Stepping Out,” documenting local restaurants, events and occasional “wanderings.” He also writes a second column with articles on historical figures, mines, transportation and other subjects in the Mother Lode.

If that isn’t enough Doug also reviews wine, chili and other fine delicacies in his spare time.

You can normally find him at a local flea market or thrift store scoring “finds.”

If you would like to contact Doug, you can do so here: