Posted by: Sean Carter | May 31, 2014

Welcome to Eating Through Roseville!

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I began a mission in August of 2011 to eat everywhere* in Roseville. I completed this mission, in a way, in late April of 2014 when I visited the last open business on my list. I’ve now visited over 200 restaurants, cafes, diners, delis, bistros, etc.

I’m no food critic. My writing skills are mediocre at best and I really didn’t know that much about food when I began. I still don’t know very much but I’ve definitely learned a lot as I encountered dishes, ingredients and even entire cuisines that I previously never tried before.

Originally my intent was simply to snap some quick photos of the food and post them to my personal Facebook page. It got a little bigger than that. I now have over 200 pages of write-ups and nearly 2500 photos documenting them. The above mosaic is built from these (click it for a bigger version).

Am I done? Not really. New places are always on the horizon and I intend to visit those too. Below there is a list of upcoming businesses that I am waiting on. If you know of something that I’ve missed, new or otherwise, please leave me a comment on the Submit a New Restaurant page.

Looking for a specific restaurant? Try the Completed Restaurants pages.

I’d like to thank all the people that have read and followed this blog over the past few years. Your comments, suggestions and criticisms helped direct me and your encouragement helped me find the motivation to keep going (on more than a few occasions). I am glad that you’ve found this to be informative/useful/entertaining. :)


So what’s next?

  • Cheese Louise
    • Where: Vernon & South Grant
    • What: Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
    • When: Unknown. Original target was mid-April
  • Chando’s Tacos
    • Where: Pleasant Grove & Highland Pointe
    • What: Tacos / Mexican
    • When: Unknown. Original target was July
  • ASR Restaurant & Lounge
    • Where: North Sunrise & Eureka
    • What: Ultra Lounge (?)
    • When: NOW OPEN!
  • Crawfish Factory Seafood Restaurant
    • Where: Baseline & Foothills
    • What: Seafood
    • When: Unknown
  • The Monk’s Cellar
    • Where: Vernon St near Washington overpass
    • What: Brewery & Public House
    • When: “Summer 2014″
Posted by: Sean Carter | September 20, 2014

#211: House of Oliver

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For dinner on Thursday night I joined my mom and grandma for dinner at House of Oliver, a new wine lounge that opened about a month ago at Douglas and Sierra College.  I rarely drink wine so this is going to focus primarily on the food.  I arrived at about 5:30, a couple minutes after the others.  Parking in this little lot is tough sometimes.  They do have a valet if you don’t feel like parking the extra 200ft away by T-Mobile.

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The lounge was busy when I headed inside.  There were maybe a few small tables available.  I didn’t take much time to look around and continued through towards the back and out the side door to the patio.  This area was also fairly busy.  The angle of the sun allowed most of this to be in the shade at this time as it moved behind the next building.  A few umbrellas offer shade earlier in the day.  A trio of water fountains sit in the middle and somewhat separate the front from the back patio.  In the front it’s pretty much all little tables while the back has some comfy-looking patio chairs and couches, all under one giant umbrella.  A wall with some nice planters blocks the view of Sierra College and other parts of this shopping center.

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We sat next to the fountains, as well as the door to Sumo Sushi.  My mom had been told by one of the servers that the patio area is shared by both, although Sumo customers rarely seem to use it.  He also mentioned that we were welcome to order from both.  As I was getting settled a server stopped by to see if we were ready to order drinks yet, then realized I would need a menu and went off to get a third one.  We all took a while to look over the whole thing, picking out drinks, an appetizer and eventually dinner as well.  A new server stopped by to see if we wanted to order drinks so we did so with her.  I thought she seemed familiar.  By the end of the night I was 95% sure this was the same server I had at La Provence on both of the visits I made in that post.

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My mom and grandmother each ordered a flight of three white wines (California Dreaming)[$10] and I went with something from their fairly limited beer selection, a Lost Coast Alley Cat Amber (12oz)[$5].  These all came out relatively quickly.  Our server mentioned something about bringing waters but she must have forgot.  10 minutes later our appetizer showed up.  We ordered the Mixed Cheese Board (Triple Cream Brie, Humboldt Fog, Petit Basque & Aged Gouda with stuffed apricots, crackers, nuts & artisan breads)[$14].  This was lacking the breads so we had a lot of cheese to go with a pretty small amount of crackers.  We made it work though.  The triple cream Brie was definitely the favorite of the bunch.  It was incredibly rich, smooth and creamy.  Humboldt Fog is kind of a bleu cheese made from goats milk.  It was really soft and while parts of it were on the stronger side, it was overall surprisingly mild.  The Gouda and Basque were both excellent and were the only firm cheeses here.  Overall pretty tasty cheese board.  Definitely needed some more crackers/bread though.

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Just before we had finished the cheese board I received the first part of my order.  I had originally intended on ordering one of their main items, but ended up deciding that neither really grabbed my attention enough to settle on.  Instead I ordered the Tomato Bisque Soup (served with a classic cut grilled cheese sandwich)[$7] and also the Delicious Warm Goat Cheese Salad (romaine lettuce & spring mix, red onion, tomato, walnuts, dates, goat cheese, crostini & balsamic vinaigrette)[$9].  The tomato bisque was what had arrived.

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It was a good sized bowl of soup accompanied by a basic grilled cheese sandwich.  The sandwich wasn’t really anything too special, it seemed to simply be sharp cheddar on wheat and was a bit small.  For the price it was fine though.  It was pretty good dipped into the bisque.  The bisque itself was somewhat thin and more tomato-y than the creamy bisque you see most places and was not at all sweet.  It was decent.  I definitely prefer the creamier style though.

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Before the rest of dinner came out my mom and grandma ordered a bottle of one from the flight that they enjoyed.  It was 20% off, though I’m not sure of the reason.  Might have been a happy hour thing.  This was the 2013 Mama Mia from Naggiar Vineyards [$24].

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The pacing was slower than a typical restaurant, but given the lounge atmosphere and general vibe it was fine.  The last items came about 20 minutes following my bisque.  My grandma had ordered The Classic Wrap (Man-sized wraps stuffed to your delight with turkey or roast beef, cream cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato, onion & pepperocini)[$8.50].  This thing was massive.  Bigger than a burrito at Chipotle.  Clearly half of this was going home for lunch the next day.  It looked great and she enjoyed it.  The wraps seem to be one of the best values on the menu.  My mom got the Cheese Tortellini ‘A La Milanese (Garlic, sundried tomatoes, cream, fresh basil & Parmesan)[$13].  This was served in the same sized bowl as my soup and was a solid amount of tortellini.

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My warm goat cheese salad arrived last by a couple minutes.  It was a pretty good size, though the shape of the plate was a little awkward.  I definitely lost a few pieces here and there over the edge.  Overall I thought this was very good.  All the greens were nice and fresh.  Much of the goat cheese was melted over several pieces of crostini while the rest was spread throughout the salad.  It was all intensely rich.  The balsamic vinaigrette was the perfect amount to add to the salad without overwhelming it.

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To finish dinner off I ordered the Creme Brûlée [$8].  This came in a little ramekin and had a nice toasted, glassy crust.  Underneath that was hiding one of the thickest custards I’ve had in a long time.  It was delicious.  A bit small for $8 though.  It came with a raspberry, on top of the same raspberry sauce that was on the cheese board, and a couple little pieces of dark chocolate.

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By about 7:30 when we were heading out, a jazz duo of a pianist and saxophone player were warming up for an evening set on the patio.  With the sun set and the string of lights adding a little mood to the patio, this was probably going to be really nice.  A lot of people had cleared out by this time, but even as we we left there were newcomers trickling in.  We were all surprised to see how busy House of Oliver was.  We all thought it was pretty good and my mom and grandma said they looked forward to returning soon.  It’s definitely a chill place to have a drink and a little bite, if not full on lunch or dinner (note that the kitchen hours are limited to 11-2 & 5-9, though the lounge is open 11AM-midnight every day).

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Website: http://www.houseofoliver.com

House of Oliver on Urbanspoon

See this and more from me at Foodspotting.com:

Posted by: Sean Carter | September 17, 2014

Wednesdays on Tap @ Vernon Street Town Square

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It’s been a little quiet around here lately.  I’ve been traveling, sick or just plain busy for the last few weeks.  Tonight I decided I’d get back to work in a fun way, by visiting Roseville’s first Wednesdays on Tap at the Vernon Street Town Square.  This is the first of 6 continuous Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30PM featuring a handful of breweries, food and music downtown.  For a $5 entrance fee you get 8 tickets for 2oz tastings at any of the brewery tents set up.  For another $5 you can get a glass mug that comes with an extra ticket both at the time of purchase and each week you bring it back.  You can get a full mug of beer for just $3.  All in all I think it’s a pretty good deal, mug or not.

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I arrived just after 5:30 to beat the crowd and tasted one from each of the 5 breweries that were set up: Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, Lagunita’s Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Six Rivers and Vernon Street’s own The Monk’s Cellar (who should be opening by the end of the month, according to their Facebook page).  They were all pretty tasty but Six Rivers White Chocolate Grand Cru was ridiculously awesome.  I only wish I had been able to have some more but they ran out fairly quickly, maybe an hour into it.  Take a look at the schedule to see who will be there in the coming weeks.

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Food options consisted of the usual Dave’s Dawgs pickup truck and one I’ve never seen before, a brick oven pizza trailer.  I opted for that and ordered their Italian Fennel Sausage pizza (sausage, sautéed mushrooms, Mozzarella, oregano & Romano cheese) [$10].  This took about 10 minutes.  I guess they were out of mushrooms because mine only seemed to have the sausage, but it was really tasty and had a great, crisp thin crust.

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By the time I had eaten my pizza there had been a good influx of people.  Kids were playing corn hole, kickball and generally just running around and having a great time in the grass in front of the band while their parents enjoyed some brew and relaxed at the tables.  Large lines had formed at all of the remaining 4 booths, so I only visited 2 more to finish off my 4 tickets and got a double pour at them.  All in all it seemed to be a pretty successful little event.  I do hope they plan to have some more food vendors available, but pizza, hot dogs and beer do all work well together.

I put together a quick little video so you can get an idea of what it was like.

 

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Posted by: Sean Carter | August 21, 2014

#210: Blast 825º Pizza

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It’s been too long!  Back to work.  Tonight I had a few places to choose from that have all opened recently.  Two of them are upscale lounges, but I found myself in a casual, pizza type of mood, so I was off to Roseville’s 2nd quick pizza place.  This is Blast 825º Pizza, located next to Chipotle across from the Galleria.  Getting this out of the way, I’m a big fan of Trademark Pizza.  I’ll do my best to set aside any bias, but there are definitely going to be a lot of comparisons.

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Blast 825º is basically the same concept as Trademark, and both are brining this concept up north from SoCal.  Blast has a location in Clovis and is opening another in Rocklin soon.  If you need a refresher or never saw my post on Trademark, it’s a bit of a Chipotle type of ordering process.  You start with the crust and move down a short line choosing all your ingredients, then it’s put into a very hot oven for just a few minutes.  You’ll likely just be sitting down when your pizza is ready.    The price here is about the same as Trademark at $7.95 for a create your own.  The biggest difference is in the number of toppings.  Here you get 3 meats and 4 veggies.  Trademark is unlimited.  I have to admit I was skeptical based on that alone when I entered.

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I showed up at 6PM sharp.  There were just a handful of people here at the time, most on their way out.  This place is BIG.  Easily four times the size of Trademark.  The dining room is very, very good looking.  The assembly line is about the same size as Trademarks though, maybe even slightly smaller.  Most of the time that I go to Trademark during lunch or dinner hours they are slammed with a line out the door and few places to sit.  Given that Blast has a much larger seating capacity, I wonder if their small make line and oven (which looks smaller as well) will be able to pump out enough pies to actually utilize all the extra seating.  Time will tell.  Anyway, it’s a really nice store.

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I stepped up to the line and was greeted by one of the employees, who ran me through the process.  Once I heard that there were 3 meats and 4 veggies on a standard pizza my skepticism was tempered a bit.  This is just one shy of the amount of toppings I get at Trademark.  I picked out the original dough (other options are artisanal wheat or gluten free) and started with white sauce and the Blast Blend (If I recall, aged Asiago, smoked mozzarella[?] and one other).  The first difference I noticed was that the dough was considerably thicker than Trademarks super thin crust.  I learned later from the manager, Jake, that they half-bake the dough earlier.  The next thing I noticed was that my pizza-maker measured out the cheese, something I’m not used to coming from Trademark.  Skeptisism rising…  Moving on.

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From here I built the same pizza that I get at Trademark.  Not only do I love these toppings, it would be a perfect comparison.  I went with chicken, bacon, sausage, onions, garlic, olives and spinach.  The one item I left off was mushrooms.  I stopped them just in time before it was popped in the oven to snap a quick before photo.  I paid up and got a soda [$2.05, making the total an even $10 + tax].  I chatted with Jake for a minute and then took a few photos before my pizza was ready.

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Sitting down with my fresh pizza, it was clear that this was slightly smaller than Trademark’s 11″ pie.  It might be only by an inch, but it felt noticeable.  Anther difference, and one that I noticed while picking my toppings, was that the garlic is chopped rather than minced, and it seemed to be roasted as well just looking at it in the make table.  It was a huge difference in aroma.  This was much stronger.  Picking up a slice, the crust held itself up pretty easily and was nice and crisp on the bottom and edges.  Here they put the spinach on after cooking, which was visually very nice.  Flavor-wise this pizza was very similar.  The chicken was tender, onions crispy, bacon flavorful, you get the picture.  It’s totally on par with Trademark.  The garlic was considerably more present here though and the crust is obviously different.

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I was impressed, it’s just as solid a pizza as I am used to.  I would say that overall they are both extremely good at what they do.  Both make an excellent pizza with quality ingredients at a very reasonable price.  Try them both out and I think you’ll agree.  Objectively, Trademark does offer a bit more value with their unlimited toppings and slightly larger pie.  I typically get extra of all my toppings and can easily make two meals out of it.  I spoke to the owner of Trademark and the manager of Blast and both had good things to say about each other and welcomed a healthy, friendly competition in this new space.  More is rarely a bad thing and I’m glad to see this awesome concept expanding in our area.

Blast 825 Quick Fired Pizza on Urbanspoon

See this and more from me at Foodspotting.com:

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