#181: Timbers At the Lodge

Last night I made yet another attempt to go to El Charro Taqueria.  I think this was my third one.  Last time I had noted the hours on the door and saw that they essentially open for late night business, from 6PM-2:30AM, on Fridays and Saturdays only.  I arrived with my friend Justin just after 7PM to locked doors and a dark dining room.  The lights were on in the kitchen and I saw someone back there, but they simply were not open.  It’s like the universe is telling me to remove them from my list.  I’ll give them one last shot sometime soon.

Moving along.  We decided to head out to Timbers At the Lodge instead.  This restaurant is located, of course, in a lodge.  The lodge is part of the Timber Creek Golf Course within the massive Sun City Roseville development.  Yesterday was the very first time I had ever even driven in there.  Earlier in the day I had passed through while spending a few hours scoping out Roseville for any new restaurants.  I had wanted to see what Timbers looked like from the outside.  The signs were fairly clear that it was within the large complex that is the lodge and fitness center, but I couldn’t tell at the time exactly where it was.  Justin and I arrived right at about 7:30 and headed into the right-most entryway where there were a lot of cars parked and the path to the door was decently lit.  Through the doors it’s clear that Timbers is located further back within the lodge.  We walked around a large ball room where a wedding reception was in full-swing.  Down a long corridor, running along the side of the ball room, we saw the entrance.

Once through the doorway we were standing at the hosts desk alone.  There was a host there a moment ago, but as we made our way down the corridor she had walked away, not seeing us.  We stood there for at least four minutes before a server noticed us and let us know someone would be right there.  A couple more minutes went by and finally the host reappeared.  She took us to a seat in the middle of the L-shaped dining room.  At this time of night the windows were all black, but I bet you get a nice view of the golf course during the day.  The dining room had a smattering of customers here and there.  Similarly to my dinner at Suede Blue, we were the youngest customers by at least a decade or two.  At least here it made sense though, given the location in Sun City.  We were greeted almost instantly by our server who took our drink orders.  They did not have Dr Pepper so I went with a Coke, as did Justin.  These came out pretty quick.  We also had water poured by someone else around the same time.

The menu is medium sized, fitting entirely on two letter sized pages, so it didn’t take very long to go over it.  It’s basically American cuisine with several comfort food type items like the pot roast, meatloaf and chicken fried steak.  Justin was decided on Timber’s Burger (grilled 1/3 pound patty, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and your choice of cheese, served with fries) [$8.95] right away.  I briefly considered the liver and onions, mostly out of curiosity, but eventually settled on the Bacon Wrapped Stuffed Chicken (chicken breast with a sage provolone cheese and sundried tomato stuffing wrapped in bacon and oven roasted finished with the drippings served with mashed potatoes and seasonal fresh vegetables) [$15.95].  We both had a choice of soup or salad with our entrees.  Justin passed and I went for the tortilla soup.  The other option was pea soup with ham, my archenemy from childhood.  Our server was ready to take our order soon after I had closed my menu.  We received a basket of warm bread rolls and butter.  The bread was pretty good.  I especially liked that the butter was very soft, like the kind you get with a waffle.

While we snacked on the bread I listened in to a conversation at the next table over where our server chatted with them about the restaurant’s hours and various specials they do throughout the week, including a night were they wave the corkage fee.  We weren’t sure when they closed until now, when he mentioned that they close at 8PM every night except Friday.  This became apparent because over the next half hour as the other customers slowly filtered out, eventually leaving just Justin and I with the staff, who were cleaning the dining room and preparing to close.

Seven minutes after the bread had ben delivered, my tortilla soup was set in front of me.  It was hot, but not too hot to sip immediately.  The flavor of hot chili was very strong, and it was about all there was to this little cup of soup.  It was not at all spicy.  Instead of the little fried strips of tortilla you’d get with this soup at most places, here it was served with a packet of saltines.  It was OK, I guess.  I think in, in hindsight, I would pick the salad if faced with that choice again.

Our entrees followed the soup by eleven minutes.  Justin had requested medium rare when asked by the server.  The patty on it was quite thin looking, but he said that they somehow managed to leave a small amount of pink in the center.  It came with a ton of shoestring cut fries.  Overall he said it was decent but he didn’t need to order it again.

My bacon wrapped stuffed chicken was accompanied by brussels sprouts which I think had simply been pan cooked in some butter.  They were warm, buttery and were fairly soft.  I can’t think of the last time I’ve had brussels sprouts or if I liked them but these were pretty good.  I would get them again.  The mashed potatoes were extremely soft and had little bits of the potato skin mixed in.  They too were buttery in flavor.  I did not detect any other flavoring, they were very simple.  The chicken appeared to be a single breast which was sliced open and stuffed with cheese.  I didn’t see or taste the roasted tomatoes.  The chicken itself was for the most part quite moist.  The edges were very dry though.  Bites with only chicken were very bland, even with the drippings to dip in.  I made sure to get a bit of cheese and or bacon with each bite after a little while.  The cheese was pretty tasty.  The bacon however was extremely lean, a bit on the thin side and dried out.  While still bacon-y tasting it was not as rich and delicious as I prefer, especially when used to wrap around something else.

All in all Timbers At the Lodge actually met my expectations exactly.  It’s a place where you can go to eat.  It’s not terrible but it did not leave me much desire to return.  It’s probably nice and convenient for the residents of Sun City who can jump in a golf cart and drive here in a dedicated lane (but watch out for those pesky Lincoln Town Cars that like to also drive in the golf cart lane for a block and a half while signaling a turn you’re not sure if they actually intend on making – this was my experience on the way out).  The service was generally pretty good, save for the six minute wait to be noticed/seated.  He was on top of our Coke refills the whole time.  The Coke was outstanding by the way.  Excellent syrup ratio.

Website: http://www.timbersatthelodge.com

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