#83: Annie’s Sno Biz

Just a quickie for today, I stopped by Annie’s Sno Biz on the way home.  It’s a little red trailer that is often parked at the corner of Douglas and Harding.  She serves Hawaiian shaved ice.  I have never had some until today, and only heard about it not long ago for the first time when a co-worker told me about a food truck in Sacramento that serves it.

I wasn’t really sure what the difference between it and a snow cone would be and I ended up doing a little reading online before getting some.  It’s kind of the same basic idea, flavored syrup over ice, however it’s different in that a snow cone is more like crushed ice chunks and this is soft, fluffy ice – a lot more like actual snow.

Annie’s Sno Biz has a ton of flavors to offer as you can see in the menu above.  She also offers 3 toppings: chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.  I went with a small root beer flavored shaved ice with the vanilla topping (which is like sweetened condensed milk).  It was really quite awesome.  With the vanilla topping it was a bit like a root beer float.  The texture was really interesting, almost like a thick Slurpee.  I recommend it.  Keep an eye on her twitter feed (linked below) to see where/when she is serving.

Website: https://www.facebook.com/annies.snobiz

Twitter: https://twitter.com/anniessnobiz

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#82: Cafe Elletti

Last Monday I had a rare opportunity to be back in Roseville pretty early due to having a Dr. appointment after work.  I took advantage of it by crossing off the list a little cafe which has pretty limited hours.  Cafe Elletti is a tiny little joint in an office building near the corner of Douglas and Eureka.  I only found it because I was doing generic “food” searches on Google maps.  Unless you worked in the building you’d probably never know it was there.

I headed in at about 3PM.  From the front doors of the main building it’s straight down the center hallway and the last door on the right.  Inside there is a tall counter loaded with chips, bagels, teas and other things.  I could barely see the woman that greeted me.  Over to the left by the register I had a clearer view of the menu on the wall and told her I would need a minute to decide what I was getting.  She resumed tidying up as they got ready to close for the day (Mon-Thurs 7:30-3:30, Fri 7:30-2:30).  They have a larger selection of sandwiches than I would have expected for a little place like this (see the menu here).  I decided on the Turkey, Cranberry & Cream Cheese sandwich (on sourdough walnut wheat bread).  I had a choice of chips or cole slaw.  I went with the cole slaw to continue to explore my taste for it.

There are about a half a dozen small tables in Cafe Elletti as well as some outdoor seating (which looked like it may have been closed or under construction, there was caution tape visible right outside the door).  I was the only one there and took a seat near an inside window.  Each table has a box of kleenex and decorated salt & pepper shakers.  I realized I forgot to get a beverage but didn’t feel like doing another transaction.  They have fountain sodas and a cooler with a standard array of bottled options.  There was also a freezer to the right of this that had a sign reading something like “Ice Cream Inside”.

Probably no more than five minutes after ordering I had my sandwich delivered.  The first thing I noticed was how oddly colored the bread was.  It almost had a blue or purple tinge to it.  I think it even threw off the white balance on my camera.  There was nothing wrong with it though and it tasted fine.  That’s just the way it looks, I guess.  The sandwich was extremely simple, the only ingredient I could tell that was in addition to turkey, cranberry & cream cheese was lettuce.  If there was mayo or some other condiment I didn’t notice it.  Overall it was decent.  The turkey was moist and there was plenty of cream cheese and cranberry sauce.  If it had mayo, it could have used some more.  The bread was good but was a little on the dry side, which might be normal for that kind.  Looking back at the menu it seems that this sandwich should have also come with tomatoes, onions and pickles, I’m not sure why it didn’t have them.  Tomatoes and onions would have been a nice addition.  The cole slaw was good, if small, and I’m glad I’m expanding my horizons in that direction.

I think there are probably better sandwich choices on the menu, and of course they also have breakfast options at well that I didn’t try.  I wasn’t too impressed by this sandwich Cafe Elletti, but that said I would  gladly welcome such an eatery in my own workplace.  To have such close and quick access to lots of breakfast, lunch and snack options would be really nice, even if it’s not mind blowing.  I hope the workers of 2240 Douglas appreciate the convenience they have right there 😉

Scanned Menu: Click Here

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#81: Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant

Lorenzo’s Mexican Restaurant has been around for quite a while, probably longer than I’ve lived here.  It’s located across from Denny’s in the middle of that S-curve that Sunrise does just south of Douglas.  I know I have been there several times but they were so many years ago I forgot how it was.  What I did remember was that it’s got a Harley Davidson / road-trip kind of theme to it, and I feel like they’ve even had motorcycle / car shows in the small parking lot from time to time.

I arrived with my grandmother at about 5:30 last friday for dinner.  We were greeted right away upon walking inside.  There were a handful of people in the restaurant, but they were obviously not yet in the dinner rush.  Several employees were milling around or doing busy work.  The dining areas of Lorenzo’s are laid out very oddly.  There are at least 4 or 5 distinctly separate sections.  At first we were taken to a corner booth on the front side of the building.  The table was uncomfortably high for my grandmother so we requested a table somewhere else.  The server took us around a corner, past a bunch of 2 person booths and an elevated section with several tables.  She would have put us up there but the only remaining table was for a large party.  We continued around a corner, breifly stepping into an area of the kitchen due to the path taken, and into an enclosed area with half a dozen small tables.  Most of these were taller, and with a small bar visible just outside this section I assumed this was essentially the bar seating.  We were seated at one of the lower tables with normal chairs.  It’s a strange layout to be sure, and a bit claustrophobic in spots.  I’m pretty sure the last time I was here this bar area was a raised platform, kind of a split level dining area.  Clearly they’ve done some remodeling so it boggles me as to why they’ve kept such a convoluted design.

The menus are large, two-sided, laminated and very busy.  It took a little while for get my bearings on it and start checking out the options.  Chips and salsa were served and the waitress took our drink orders.  I had a Dr Pepper and my grandmother ordered a margarita on the rocks.  Continuing to look at the menu, I decided to go with a chimichanga over my typical carnitas plate.  The description read “beef or chicken rolled up with cheese in a flour tortilla and fried to a crisp, topped with our chimi sauce, onions, sour cream and guacamole.  Served with rice and beans.”  I was a little disappointed that pork wasn’t an option.  I decided to order it without specifying the meat so that I could ask if pork would be possible when she asked what kind.  To my surprise, she asked “beef, chicken or pork?”  Not sure why they don’t have that on the menu correctly, but I obviously went with the pork.  My grandmother ordered a tostada with beef.

With the ordering out of the way I turned my attention on the chips and salsa.  The chips were room temperature and unremarkable.  The salsa on the other hand was pretty good.  It was a bit chunky and I felt like it was somewhat hot.  I may have just been getting all the right bits with my scoops though, because my grandmother didn’t think so.  Around 10 minutes after ordering a different person brought our food.  Despite our very short interaction, this employee left a much better impression on me than our regular server.  He was all smiles and seemed happy to be there and help us.  On the other hand, our server seemed to be putting in a minimal effort and didn’t have a particularly cheery attitude.

My chimichanga plate was very hot, and he warned me.  I stilled touched it immediately to reposition it for my photos and I realized he was not being overly cautious.  It was steaming pretty good too.  I took a bite of the beans after taking my shots and realized I would need to let the whole thing cool off a little bit.  My grandmother meanwhile was cutting into her tostada and offered me a piece of the beef.  It was outstanding.  Amazingly rich and flavorful in whatever sauces they marinate/cook it in and very tender as well.  I almost regretted ordering pork.

Once my plate had reached a more manageable temperature I dug in.  The beans and rice were typical and nothing special.  This seems to be the case nearly everywhere and I’m wondering if I will ever come across some truly remarkable beans and rice one day.  The chimichanga was good sized, nothing like Carmelita’s, but big.  There were respectable dollops of both sour cream and guacamole to the side of it.  The tortilla was fried perfectly and had a great crisp as I cut into it.  The pork was packed in with a thick white cheese.  As soon as I took my first bite I knew I had made the right choice.  The pork was absolutely incredible!  It nearly melted in my mouth it was so tender.  I barely touched the rice and beans after that.  The guacamole was thick and delicious with the chimichanga.  I would say that this was probably the best one I’ve ever had, though I haven’t had a ton.

At one point when I was in need of a refill on my Dr Pepper I set it at the edge of the table.  Some minutes later our server came with a small pitcher and topped it off.  I was of course happy to have the refill, but I couldn’t help thinking that the last time I had soda served to me from a pitcher was something like 15 years ago.  I didn’t think anyone even did that anymore, weird.  Once we were all done we waited patiently for some time before our server came to give us the bill and get a box for leftovers.

The beef and pork were the outstanding parts of this visit by far.  I’m not sure if you can just order as take out, but I think I might be inclined to do that in the future if I were to return simply to avoid the service and weird dining space.  They didn’t have any paper menus you could take or a website so I had to return later with my little portable scanner.  I’ve put a link to the PDF below.  I think with a better service experience and maybe some more open space Lorenzo’s would be worthy of a very high score, but with the chimichanga and tostada pulling the majority of the weight I would give it a 3 of 5.

Scanned Menu: Click Here

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