#14: Parkers Hot Dogs

Bonus post for my birthday!

Parker’s Hot Dogs seems like it’s been there forever, certainly as long as I’ve lived in Roseville.  It sits near the end of the Office Depot / Goodwill shopping center at the corner of Douglas and North Sunrise.  It’s probably been over 6 months since my last visit, but I used to come here often for lunch on the weekends.  Nothing has changed in that time, except perhaps some new vintage Pepsi memorabilia has been added.  The owner has quite the collection including signs, clocks, lights and even a shirt from Russia.

It’s a small little place with low stools that I never seem to get used to.  Their menu has all your typical hot dogs like the Chicago, BBQ Bacon Cheese, Kraut and more.  Of course they also have Polish dogs and hot links with variations of both.  Fries and corn dogs are also available.

I come here for the chili dogs.  They have some of the best chili around and they aren’t afraid to pile it on.  I probably only need to order their small, which is 1 scoop of chili, but I went all out and got the 2-scoop large for the photo.  Onions and cheese are optional.  I ask for extra onions becuase I love the texture it adds.  They go nuts with the cheese, but I’m not complaining.  The dog itself is actually a pretty good sized hot dog, so this plate is huge.  I only finished about three-quarters of it.  In my first Eating Through Roseville Post I mention this chili dog is like a Super Sloppy Double Dare obstical course.  Here it is (note- there is in fact a hot dog and bun under all that!):

Oh, one thing that did change in my absence is that they now have Dr. Pepper!  Score!

I had been told by several people that Wiener Works (on Madison at Auburn) was far superior.  I’m  an open minded guy so I went to try it out.  Their chili dog was much smaller, had FAR less chili/cheese and was served in a basket with paper instead of on a plate with real silverware.  The chili flavor was almost identical.  The only way that they beat Parkers was that they loaded up the onions by default, but Parkers is glad to do so on request.  Also they were very slow.  Parkers always has my food ready right about the time I’m sitting down after getting my soda.  So I’m sticking with my claim that this is the best chili dog around.

Previously I would have given Parkers a 4 due to the lack of Dr. Pepper, but now they earn their rightful 5!

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Website: http://parkershotdogs.com/

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#13: Sweet Stuff Cakery (CLOSED)

NOTE: As of 9/7/13 they are no longer open for walk-in business, it’s all phone & online orders now.  I think this is a terrible decision.  Good thing we have other good cupcake shops in town (Cupcake A La Mode & Smallcakes).

Heads up, I’m going to let the photos do most of the talking in this post.

I first came across Sweet Stuff Cakery when I started building my map of restaurants back in July.  I’d never had a gourmet cupcake before and didn’t really understand the whole designer cake / cupcake craze that’s been going on the past few years.  A few months ago some out of town friends and I were killing time and ended up making our way to this little shop.  Admittedly I had just bought a new macro lens and was looking for every excuse to use it anywhere i could.  Gourmet cupcakes seemed like a great idea.

The staff was very friendly and answered a bunch of questions about what all the cupcake flavors were.  At one point I asked “what are these frosting-shot-looking things?”  Their answer: “frosting shots”.

One thing that was completely new to me was the cake truffles (or cake balls, I was told on a recent visit that they are known by many names).  They are basically cake mixed with frosting and covered with white chocolate, and they’re pretty awesome.  Check out this Minion from Despicable Me I got.

I had the Cookies N Cream (Vanilla cake with vanilla buttercream and cookie crumbs), and it completely got me on board the gourmet cupcake craze.  I get it now.  But it pales in comparison to the one I bought on my most recent visit this last weekend.  I chose their flavor of the week which was Root Beer Float.  Despite the previous great experience, I had my doubts about their ability to pull this one off.  Boy was I wrong.

I took a bite and quickly recognized the root beer flavor.  I thought that was about it, but right at the end it hit, that creamy goodness you get when you add the ice cream and let it and the root beer mingle and froth up at the top.  Incredible.  The folks at Sweet Stuff Cakery truly are artists, and not just visual artist.  They are at they top of my list for when the occasion arrises for a specialty cake in the future.

This is an easy 5 of 5.  Make it a point to check this place out, especially if you’ve never had a gourmet cupcake before.

Here are some more photos from both visits:

Salty Pretzel (Caramel cake with salty caramel buttercream and a chocolate dipped

pretzel with caramel drizzle)

Happy Day (Vanilla cake with French Buttercream, sprinkles and a happy face)

Chocolate Trio (Chocolate cake with chocolate buttercream and chocolate drizzle)

I think this one is Snow Cap based on the description (Chocolate cake with Swiss buttercream)

Cake Truffle

Misc Photos:

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Website: http://www.sweetstuffcakery.com/

#12: The Boxing Donkey

The Boxing Donkey is an Irish pub deep in downtown Roseville on Lincoln St next to the train tracks.  I’d never been here before but it seems to be very busy on weekend nights.  I’ve really been looking forward to coming here ever since I saw a posting on Foodspotting for a sandwich that sounded amazing.

Going to a bar in the middle of the day was a little strange, and clearly this place this set up more for their night crowd.  The front area with the main bar has some booth like seating along the walls and a counter with stools along the wall towards the back, but other than that and the bar itself it is devoid of tables and chairs of any kind.  It has a weird vibe due to all the empty space.  I discovered later that there is a full dining room area if you go through a hall at the back and turn back towards the street.  I had no idea it was such a large place.  They also have an outdoor area in the back with some tables.

The bar (just the bar, not the whole place) was pretty packed when we walked in.  We found some room at the end and grabbed a spare stool from the back wall.  The bartender was quick to greet us, get us menus and take our drink order.  I’m not a very adventurous beer drinker but I thought I’d try something other than the usual wheats that I enjoy.  I picked a random tap which ended up being Smithwick’s, an Irish red ale brewed by Guinness.

This brownish-red beer was quite tasty.  It was very smooth with no hoppiness (I don’t care for hoppy beers so this was a big plus for me) and a sweet malty taste.  Smithwick’s has made it onto my short (but slowly growing) list of beers that I look for.

For lunch my friend ordered the Corned Beef Reuben (sauerkraut, swiss & thousand island on rye).

I ordered the sandwich I came here for, the Candied BLTA (candied bacon, chipotle bacon marmalade, lettuce, tomato, avocado & garlic aioli on wheat).  This thing rocked my socks off.  The avocado was a big part of the sandwich, and the candied bacon added a rich sweetness that was incredible.  It didn’t even really have a lot of bacon flavor it was so sweet.  The chipotle bacon marmalade added just a hint of heat to the end of each bite.  If you’ve ever had the avocado egg rolls at BJs (Cheesecake Factory has similar avocado egg rolls) and enjoyed them, you will like this sandwich.  It’s uncanny how similar the flavor is to the avocado egg rolls with the sweet sauce they are served with.  It was everything I hoped it would be and more.

I’m not sure what kind of seasoning they put on the fries, but I wasn’t crazy about them.  The optional onion rings were good though, with and without ranch.  They were very accommodating to let me have half fries, half onion rings so I could try both.

Regulars can buy drinks for their friends the next time they’re in using this board

I’m sure The Boxing Donkey is a very different place at night when that crowd rolls in, during lunch however it’s a cool environment with good food and service.  I’m going to give it a perfect rating.  The food was awesome, I discovered a great new beer and I can’t think of a single problem with my visit.

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Website: http://www.theboxingdonkey.com/