#201: Roundhouse Deli

Roundhouse Deli is a tiny little breakfast/lunch spot on Church Street right across from the Union Pacific rail yard engine maintenance facility.  It’s been around for a long time, 35 years or something like that.  Recently, however, it has come under new ownership and, after a brief closure, is back to work serving up breakfast, deli sandwiches and Mexican cuisine.  Somehow, I’ve never been here.  I decided early this morning that today was the day and had a small lunch in anticipation.  They close at 5PM M-F so I was plenty hungry by the time 3:45 rolled around and I pulled up.

There is no parking lot but a lot of room on both sides of Church Street to park.  I took the above picture a while back when they were closed, but when they are open they have a couple of small tables and umbrellas set up outside where you can sit and eat.  Inside was actually a bit larger than I had expected.  I wasn’t even really sure if there would be seating on the inside until then.  Indeed there was though, and a decent amount of it, considering the size of the place.  I sat in the far back corner, so what you see in the photo is pretty much 90% of the space.  The only thing you can’t see is a series of large coolers, like you’d find in a convenience store, which had a large selection of bottled beverages.

I had planned for quite some time, even before they reopened, to have a reuben when I finally visited.  Unfortunately I did not see one on their menu.  It’s a pretty basic one, a handful of deli-type sandwiches and sides along with breakfast burritos and sandwiches.  I ended up deciding on a simple hot pastrami [$6.99] and a side of fries [$1.99].  I also ordered a fountain drink which must have been just over a dollar as the total was $10.79.  As I paid the cashier told me that the pastrami came with mustard only, but they could add produce if I wanted.  I said to go ahead and add lettuce and onions.  I took my seat by the coolers and waited while I listened to some sounds coming from the kitchen and the TV.  There were a couple of guys that had just finished eating when I arrived and they were getting up to leave as I sat down.  A few minutes later, just before my food was ready, a couple came in, then another, and some more.  They had a bit of a rush there for a while up until I left.  Good to see for a little place like this off the beaten path.

It was maybe just over 5 minutes from when I ordered when I saw my sandwich and fries being assembled on a tray up at the counter with napkins and my drink.  I got up to grab it and the gentleman who I think made my food asked me if I ended anything else.  I grabbed at a red bottle that looked like it was probably ketchup which turned out to be mostly empty and he reached under the counter to get a handful of packets to place on my tray.  With that I was back to my seat and ready to chow down.  The fries were the crinkle-cut type that you can get at the supermarket.  That said, they were fried perfectly and had a good crisp to the outside while still being soft and hot inside.  They seemed to have some salt on them, but most of it had filtered through to the bottom.  If just a bit more had stuck to the fries, they might have been perfect on their own, but these needed a little dab of ketchup to enjoy.

The hot pastrami was probably about a foot long, maybe just a touch under.  There was less pastrami than I had expected, having heard rave reviews for this place for a couple of years I had built up an image of a monster sandwich.  This is my own fault, as no reviews I’ve ever read/heard made a big deal about the size.  I dug in.  The mustard, despite being very thinly applied (none oozing out in any place), was quite strong and at first I felt like it dominated the sandwich.  With each further bite however, the pastrami slowly asserted itself more and more.  Taking a couple of test bites of stray pieces on their own, I found that it had a solid, strong flavor by itself.  These two ingredients were battling for my attention.  The pastrami was oddly dry and moist at the same time.  I find it difficult to explain.  As if the outsides of the meat had dried out and somehow sealed in some moisture deeper within.  It was a little odd.  The lettuce and onions seemed fresh and crisp.

Overall I was fairly happy with this sandwich and with Roundouse Deli in general.  It was not mind blowing, but it was simple and tasty.  The bread was soft and I enjoyed each bite to the end.  The service was minimal but friendly.  To be honest I think I like the idea of this little place, and it’s potential, more than the execution.  I feel like this could be one of those famous little hole-in-the wall joints that gets a feature on a show with a spiked, bleach-blonde headed host who wears flaming button-up shirts, and blows up bringing in food tourists.  In the end, it’s just a decent deli though.  Oh well.


#200: Scoreboards Pizza & Grill

For post # 200 my family and I went to the brand new Scoreboards Pizza & Grill.  It’s located in what used to be a coffee house at the corner of Sierra College & East Roseville Parkway, the extreme South-East corner of Roseville.  This restaurant opened just last Wednesday.  We had planned on BBQing for mothers day dinner but scrapped the idea due to wind and instead went to try this out.  It’s an interesting spot for a restaurant.  There is only one other eatery (not counting Papa Murphy’s) in the little CVS shopping center, which is a Jalisco Grill.  As I mentioned, this used to be a coffee house, which means it’s not a particularly big space.  What it lacks in dining room, it makes up with patio space.  The outside is as big as the inside, if not bigger, and has a couple nice features in a large fountain and fireplace(s).  They are apparently waiting on some additional tables and chairs, but the few that are out there were occupied by the time we had left (and the wind had died down a bit).  The way the patio is oriented with the building and some large trees behind it leads to some nice shade in the evening.

We arrived at roughly 6:15 and were greeted and seated immediately.  The place was about half occupied at the time and luckily there was a few small tables together where they could sit our group of 6 + a baby.  There is a very small bar off to the left upon entering with lockers making up the back wall.  A couple of TVs are built into this decoration.  In the main dining room to the right, there is a combination of booth seating, small tables and tables with half booth seating (which is where we were sat).  Up above, fairly high up, are 4 TVs, each facing a different direction.

Our server came by as soon as we had settled and took our drink orders.  A couple of minutes later she returned with glasses of pinot grigio, waters, iced tea and soda.  They either didn’t have the in-house menus made up or they are going the budget route because we had a handful of folded-paper, black-and-white, take-out style menus to look over.  The selection is relatively basic.  Pizza, salad, burgers and a handful of appetizers.

We decided on a half Chicken Gourmet (spinach, garlic, onions, mushrooms, fresh tomatoes and chicken) and half Pesto (pesto sauce, spinach, fresh tomatoes and chicken).  My brother and his wife were each getting a green salad (fresh romaine lettuce, kidney and garbonzo beans, croutons, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes)[$4.75] and sharing a small cheese pizza.  That left four of us to share the half and half pizza.  I asked about the size, how many slices and how thick the crust was before agreeing that a medium [$24.50 – prices vary based on toppings] would be good enough.  The server said the crust was pretty thick and the menu says that the medium serves 3-5.  This 14″ pie ended up having 8 slices which was just about perfect for us.  I asked for the Chicken Gourmet side to be made with creamy garlic sauce, since it is strangely made with original red.  Within just a few minutes the salads were brought out.  The dressings that you can choose from are all freshly made in-house.

Our pizzas arrived 15 minutes after the salad, bringing the total wait time for the pizzas from when we ordered to a little under 20 min.  The crust was indeed pretty thick, but only around the outer edge.  Through the middle it was actually fairly thin.  A second hand was needed to hold a slice up.  My mom commented on how our half and half didn’t really look half and half.  I hadn’t actually looked that closely at the menu when we ordered, so I didn’t realize at the time that we were missing onions and mushrooms from the Chicken Gourmet.  I figured they were just very similar.  This was a bummer, because while that side was fairly tasty, there did seem to be something missing.  Both the tomatoes and chicken were plentiful across the entire pie.  The tomatoes were very ripe and the chicken pieces were large and generally tender.  One here or there was a bit dry.  The spinach was distributed a little more sparsely and you’d only get one or two leaves per slice, but each one was surprisingly strong in flavor.  I’m so used to fresh baby spinach in salads and on my pizzas for so long that I had forgotten how strong spinach can get.  It was good though.  The pesto sauce on that half was oily and filled with that wonderful pesto flavoring throughout each bite.

Overall we were pleased with Scoreboards.  Our server seemed attentive, bringing refills quickly, and offering up a different pino grigio to try after the first two glasses had finished off the last bottle of the one listed on the menu.  Once they get all their patio furniture and are set up, this will probably be a nice dinner spot for the local residents when the weather is nice.  The prices of the pizzas are high.  Our medium specialty was $24.50.  This is more expensive than Round Table, my baseline for generally expensive pizza, where you can get a large specialty for the same amount.  I knocked one point off my rating for the missing mushrooms and onions.

Website: http://www.scoreboardspizza.com

(Scanned) Menu: Click Here