Special Edition: My Eating Adventures in Thailand

This is a bit late as I’ve been back for a few weeks now, but I am a lazy, lazy man.  I enjoyed a lot of wonderful Thai food on this trip and I’ve put up a gallery HERE for anyone that’s interested.  It includes food as well as other things that I thought were neat.  Also, if you’re interested in seeing what a large scale, city-wide water fight would look like, check out the video I put together (below).  It’s a little long at 10 minutes, but it was just that crazy.

Here are some of my favorites:

Chicken with rice and fried egg.  At Ekanak’s in Hang Dong (Northern Thailand)
Bangkok Traffic
I don’t know what this was but it was delicious.  At Ekanak’s in Hang Dong (Northern Thailand)
Mobile bars set up after sunset in Chiang Mai.
Chicken with rice and fried egg.  At Ekanak’s in Hang Dong (Northern Thailand)
Thai Iced Tea (tasted exactly the same as the stuff in the US).  Somewhere in Chiang Mai
Khao Soi (Easily the best thing I had in Thailand, maybe anywhere for that matter) Somewhere in Chiang Mai

#131: The Sandwich Spot

Today I finally decided to go over to The Sandwich Spot.  This shop opened at the corner of Roseville Pkwy and Pleasant Grove Blvd sometime in the last year.  There is one in Rancho Cordova, which I tried for lunch once a year or two ago, and it didn’t really impress me that much.  It seems to be a newish and growing Sacramento/Bay Area chain, with both regions having just over half a dozen locations now.  I headed in right at lunch time, just after noon.

From the outside it looked pretty quiet, though the parking lot was fairly full.  I had hoped a lot of this was overflow from Waffle Barn, but once I opened the front door I found out it was not.  I basically stood in the doorway for a few minutes as the line ended right there.  Eventually I was able to squeeze in and back into the corner.  It felt a lot like a more sporty version of a Beach Hut Deli.  Three big HDTVs were playing soccer, and the owners were clearly bay area sports team supporters, with SF Giants and 9ers stuff on the walls.  The staff was young and all dressed casually with black Sandwich Spot tees.  The managers (and I’m assuming owners) were wearing giants and 9ers gear.  Booths line one wall and square tables fill the center.  Off to the other side is a corner with shuffleboard and foosball tables.

The menu consists of sandwiches only (with a couple sides like macaroni and potato salad).  They don’t try to do a little bit of everything here.  All but 3 of the 24 specialty sandwiches are hot, with meats like turkey, marinated chicken, roast beef and pastrami.  They also have pulled pork, which might be a weekend thing.  The have soda, various bottled drinks and about 4 beers on tap, including one from the Roseville Brewing Co.

The line was very slow moving.  It took nearly twenty minutes to make it to the front.  I took this time to grab a menu from the counter and decide what I would order. It was a pretty tough choice.  Nearly all the sandwiches sounded pretty great to me.  Eventually I settled on The Perfect Game (roast beef, bacon, BBQ sauce & cheddar cheese).  Once up to the counter things sped up considerably.  I told my order to the next available worker.  He asked if I wanted to try the pulled pork (I remember being offered tri-tip at the Rancho location, which must have been their special that day).  I declined and continued with my order, choosing Dutch Crunch for the bread (other options are Sourdough, sweet and wheat) and added lettuce and onions.  He asked if I’d like to do the special sauce in place of BBQ, which he described as “awesome,” then continued, after I must have looked like I needed a little more info, as similar but a bit sweeter.  I said sure, lets do it.  With that he gave me an order slip and said he’d have it out for me as soon as possible.

I moved down the line and after a short wait was up at the register.  I made it a combo by adding a fountain drink and had a choice of chips or a cookie.  My sandwich (and pretty much every other specialty sandwich) was about $8.  After the combo it made it roughly $10.  I paid and was given a stamp card, buy 9 and the 10th is free.  Tables were starting to clear out a little bit at this point and after getting a bag of chips and filling up with soda I took a seat in the corner booth.  Right as I was sitting down the guy that made my sandwich brought it out.  Way faster than I had expected.  He said “enjoy” and headed back to the kitchen.  The sandwich was very similar in size to one from Mr. Pickles.  There was a goo amount of roast beef visible, though I found that it tapered off towards the ends of each half.  The lettuce and onions were both fresh and very crisp.  The color of the secret sauce reminded me of thousand island, and in fact it kind of tasted like it as well, but there was more to it.  It was indeed a bit like BBQ sauce.  It may very well be a kind of blend of the two sauces.  It was a fairly strong flavor and almost took over the sandwich.  The roast beef was hot and juicy.  I think with a little less sauce (and let me be clear, it wasn’t drowning in sauce, it’s just very flavorful) it could have stood out better.  There were a few thin little strips of bacon that were not crispy and I couldn’t taste them at all.  I think some thicker, crispier bacon could do well in this, adding a bit of texture.  I thought the dutch crunch was pretty good, though it’s a bit denser than I like.

The sandwich was OK.  It wasn’t bad, but like my first Sandwich Spot experience, it just wasn’t very memorable.  The staff was all very friendly and one of the managers stopped by to check on me while he was busy cleaning the dining room.  With as fast as my sandwich was made I don’t really understand why the line moved so slowly, unless one person ordered a ton of sandwiches to go.  I think I’d be more inclined to go to Beach Hut when I’m in the mood for a sandwich in Roseville.

Website: http://thesandwichspotroseville.com/


#130: Rosati’s Pizza

So this one is kind of interesting.  First off I had planned on grabbing a pizza from Steve’s Pizza, which is in the same shopping center on Foothills where Teriyaki to Go is located.  Apparently they’ve gone out of business, soon to be replaced by another pizza joint.  So I head over one driveway down and go to Rosati’s Pizza.  Now that I’ve eaten and I’m doing a little research into it, I realize that I had actually removed Rosati’s a while back because I decided it was a big enough chain.  But get this, if you go to the Rosati’s website, rosatispizza.com, you won’t see any mention of this California location.  Every other location has it’s own page within that website.  Yelp lists our local Rosati’s website as myrosatis.com.  Same logo, same menu (with slight variations from location to location).  I’m not really sure what the deal is here.  I’ll go ahead anyway.

Unsurprisingly, I was the only customer at 3:30PM.  I walked through the doors and was in a narrow-ish space where the main ordering counter is located.  A woman appeared after just a few seconds to greet me and take my order.  I didn’t see a big menu anywhere, instead they had a small one up on the counter which I looked over.  I planned on getting a half white sauce with chicken something or other.  The other half I hadn’t figured out yet.  First I went over the crusts and asked her what the difference was between their Chicago and pan crusts were.  She explained to me that the cheese and toppings go down in the Chicago crust followed by sauce and tomatoes.  The pan style is made in the same deep pan as the Chicago deep dish, but the order and ratio of toppings is different.  On this one it’s sauce, toppings, then lots of cheese on top.  I’m a thin crust guy, but the pan crust actually sounded pretty good.  That said, I asked which crust they were known for and she said that their thin crust was by far the most popular and was probably about 90% of their orders.  With that I picked thin.  I quickly saw and chose the Chicken Alfredo as one half.  As I looked for my other selection I paused on The Rosati’s Monster (Sausage, Pepperoni, Bacon, Ground Beef, Mushroom, Onion, Green Pepper, Tomatoes, Green and Black Olives with a hand rolled edge).  She mentioned that the green olives pack a punch in this one.  I’m glad she said that because I had missed the green olives and I’m not a fan of them.  Instead I went with the Classic Combo which she recommended.

My bill came out to almost $20 for this medium (14″) thin crust specialty pizza.  It definitely seemed pricey and it’s probably one of the more expensive pizzas in Roseville, up there with Round Table.  I headed to the left, where the dining room was, to wait.  It’s a big rectangular room with a large HDTV at one end and an arcade game or two in a corner (I didn’t take a good look over there).  There are booths as well as big tables that could be moved around to accommodate larger parties.  A fountain drink station that didn’t look like it was intended for self service makes me think they have people working the dining room during peak hours.  I didn’t look at my watch but it felt like about 10ish minutes for my pizza to be made and brought out to me.  The box was quite hot and I rushed home so it would still be that way when I started eating.

This was one of the most elaborate pizza boxes I’ve ever encountered.  It had a flap on each side near the front that you pulled out, freeing the top to swing open, and then the entire thing “relaxed” and laid flat in all directions.  Inside, my thin pizza awaited.  The first thing I noticed was how it was cut.  Instead of typical triangular slices it was cut into squares.  I thought this was really annoying since that meant that the 6 pieces in the center had nothing to grab onto but cheese, sauce and toppings, making for a messy meal, which I hate.  I wonder if they’d cut it the other way if requested.

I picked up my first rectangular slice and it held up nicely.  The bottom of the crust was nice and crisp and supported the toppings, not perfectly but better than a lot of other thin crusts would.  I started out with the Chicken Alfredo (Homemade Alfredo Sauce, Grilled Chicken and Sautéed Onions).  Though their online menu doesn’t mention it, the Chicken Alfredo also has spinach.  This was a really tasty pizza.  The crust was as crisp as it looked, which texture-wise was a nice contrast to the super creamy alfredo sauce.  Toppings were not heavy, but also not light.  Each slice had a decent amount.  The sauce and cheese had to pull a little more weight, and they did well.  I enjoyed just about everything about this one.

Next up was the Classic Combo (Sausage, Pepperoni, Mushroom, Onions and Green Peppers).  Again, the online menu omitted one ingredient: black olives.  Not sure why it’s inaccurate.  The first thing I tasted was the sausage, which was freaking delicious.  Apparently they get it directly from Chicago.  Everything else on this side was really good as well.  Nothing overwhelmed anything else.  The onions and green peppers were crisp.  Most importantly for me, as I tend to enjoy creamy garlic/alfredo type white sauce over tomato based sauces, the red sauce on the classic combo side was amazing.  It wasn’t too sweet, too spicy or too tomato-y.  It was perfect.  I think I actually liked the Classic Combo slightly more than the Chicken Alfredo.  Crazy Town.

I think this might be my favorite pizza in town.  The only thing I didn’t like about it was how it was cut, but that’s an easy thing they could do differently if I asked them.  Despite it’s dubious chain/not chain status, I’m glad I stopped by.  The woman I spoke with was very friendly and helpful in answering my questions.  She also told me about these guys that came in once to shoot a little youtube video (which I’ve put below).  It gives a great look into how they make and cook their pizzas.  The woman in the video is the same one I spoke with.  Check it out.

Website: http://www.myrosatis.com