#169: Susie’s Country Oaks Cafe

Last weekend I decided to tackle the last breakfast on my list, Susie’s Country Oaks Cafe.  Susie’s is located on Cirby at Melody (between Vernon & Riverside).  They have another location in Granite Bay.  I don’t know much about this place other than it looks like it’s been there forever.  When I walked in just before 9AM the restaurant was pretty busy.  The dining room appears medium sized at first, but later when I paid I could see that there was another room or two further back which were also busy with customers.

I was greeted right away and pointed to a booth in a smaller section off to the side.  The person that sat me handed me a menu and asked for my drink order.  I had a steaming cup of coffee about a minute later.  The place feels well used.  It’s clean, but the booth felt old and hollow (and my bench started sliding out from under me when I went to readjust once).  There is a quite low counter facing the kitchen that I didn’t even notice until I was near the exit and could see it lengthwise.  Despite the place being close to full most of the staff didn’t look to be that busy.

My coffee was a touch on the weaker side, but certainly drinkable.  I had a few minutes to go over the menu, which I had already explored online, before my server came by to introduce herself and see if I was ready to order.  I went with the Belgian waffle and asked for a side of bacon and eggs.  She pointed out the waffle sandwich which is exactly that – a waffle, two eggs and two bacon.  A little less than 10 minutes later it was sitting in front of me.  She gave my coffee a refill and left me to my food.  The first thing I noticed about it was that the waffle was much thinner than any waffle I’ve had before and had smaller squares to it.  It had a little sprinkle of powdered sugar over it and a normal sized scoop of soft butter.  The eggs looked to be well cooked as over medium and the bacon was crispy (I didn’t request anything specific, so I assume this is normal for them).

Cutting the waffle apart was difficult.  The consistency was rubbery.  I thought I was going to be too tired to eat by the time I was cutting the last piece up.  The eggs were decent, well cooked with a slightly runny center.  The bacon actually had a lot of flavor for being as crisp as it was.  The waffle was, OK.  It took me a moment to try and put my finger on what it reminded me of.  I decided they tasted very similar to Eggo’s buttermilk waffles.  The syrup was also similar to Mrs Butterworth, smooth and mild.

I found everything about this visit to be just so/so.  Not bad and not that good either.  The service was satisfactory.  It reminded me of Waffle Square, not very memorable.  This is a short post, but I just can’t think of anything more to say about it; I suppose that confirms my last statement.

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#168: Beard Papa

Here’s a quickie photo only post for this big chain.  I was pretty excited to see this finally show up in Roseville, (inside the Galleria, around the corner from one of the lower Sears entrances).  If you’ve never heard of Beard Papa but think it sounds familiar, the character had a cameo in Wreck it Ralph as a guard outside the race car factory.  Anyway, they make cream puffs.  Delicious puffs with cool, flavored custard injected right when you order.  Try one.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.

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#167: Fast Freddies Pizza and Pasta

It’s been a hectic week but I’m still at it, just a bit later than I had hoped.  Last night I was joined by my friend Justin for pizza at Fast Freddies Pizza and Pasta, located on Main Street in old Roseville.  We arrived at about 7PM that Friday night to about a third-full dining room with a mix of adults, teenagers and kids.  Pretty much everyone was gathered near the front, where you’ll find a selection of arcade games to either side when you walk through the doors.  The space is somewhat narrow and long.  It took us a moment meandering towards the back before we found the menu on the wall and register.  The kitchen runs most of the length and the oven area is enclosed with brick, save for an opening with a tall counter and hanging pizza stands.

There were several employees working at the time and business appeared light.  We were greeted back at the register pretty quickly.  The menu is a good size, and I told the guy we would need a moment to figure out our order.  He waited patiently while we went over some pizza options.  They seem to have just a single crust type, so no choice needed to be made there.  We settled on a half pepperoni & green peppers, half The Alfredo (Alfredo sauce, pepperoni, chicken and basil onions).  I asked if some of the pizzas we could see at a table near the front were larges and he said yes, so we went with that.  Looking at the menu again I see that technically that was an X-Large, as they only have small(8″), medium(12″) and x-large(16″) sizes, strange.  I wanted to get a little something extra and quickly picked out garlic bread from the sides part of the menu.  We each got sodas and our total came to somewhere around $26.  The soda machine is kind of behind the counter, but is apparently self serve since he just handed us the cups.  It felt a little weird to step into that area.  To the right was a walk-in refrigerator-style door that was propped open and the space had been converted to a break room of sorts with a big, worn leather couch just inside.  To the left you could view down the entire length of the kitchen.

We took a seat in the back end of the dining room where it was mostly empty.  They have a little tiny bar at the back where a half dozen or so beer taps are located, along with a small selection of wine, the bottles displayed on the wall in a rack.  The place definitely has that local pizza place feel to it with Polaroids plastered all over the wall near us showing staff and customers.  We had a narrow view into the kitchen and could see several pizzas in the big oven.  Six minutes after taking a seat our bread came out of the same oven and was brought out to us.  At first sight we thought it looked awfully plain.  Had I looked at the menu a bit longer I would have seen that in addition to the garlic bread we ordered there is cheese bread as well.  In my rush I had assumed this would also have cheese.  Big mistake.  The taste of this bread closely matched it’s appearance.  Very plain, dry, and not even really garlicky at all.  There was a hint of it here and there but basically it was toasted bread.  Even had I known this was cheese-less I would have still expected a lot more from it.  Justin didn’t even bother eating his second piece.  Very disappointing.

It was a solid 15 minutes past when the bread had come until the pizza was delivered.  Perched on the raised stand in front of us, it steamed and looked pretty good.  It wasn’t topping heavy but looked to have enough for each bite.  It was cut well and served easily.  The crust was perfectly cooked, nice and crisp on the bottom and nearly able to support the slice on it’s own.  I took my first bite and nothing happened.  I tasted nothing.  I took another bite.  Nothing continued to happen.  Justin and I both quickly commented on how flavorless it was.  On top of that it seemed to have nearly no sauce on either side.  It was some of the driest, blandest pizza I’ve ever had in my life.  Like the garlic on the garlic bread, here and there I would get a hint of pepperoni or chicken flavor as I bit into a piece, but it was just shockingly absent of any substance.  The basil onions were the strongest thing on the pizza, which really isn’t saying much.  The fact that I was extremely hungry motivated me to eat two and a half slices and try a bite of Justin’s half.  I gave up on it.  It was just not at all good save for the texture of the crust.  We both offered each other our leftover slices to take home, haha.

I asked my brother his thoughts on Fast Freddies and he said he and his wife like it so maybe this was a dud, but wow, a dud of epic proportions.  I can say for certain that I won’t be trying this again unless someone else buys and sets it directly in front of me.  The staff seemed friendly enough, but that really needs to come after solid pizza.

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