#222: Guy’s For Lunch

Yesterday I visited the new Guy’s For Lunch.  This is a deli run by Guy, his wife, and three daughters located on Pleasant Grove near Foothills, between Top It Off Frozen Yogurt and ZS Indian Market.  They opened just a few weeks ago and I’ve been looking forward to checking it out.  They are open from 11-3 Monday-Saturday leaving me a limited window to stop by, so I took the opportunity when it presented itself for lunch on Saturday.

I arrived a little before 12:30 and the place was fairly busy.  The nice, new and clean dining room is small to medium-sized. There are a little over half a dozen 2 -4 seater tables, most of which were occupied, and a long counter with stools running along the wall towards the back that added a lot of compact seating.  A couple small tables out front rounded out the dine-in options.  As soon as you enter  you are in front of the ordering counter and the kitchen is right behind it.  To the right is a menu on the wall and a drink cooler with non-fountain drink options.

I took a minute to skim over it and had a small struggle in choosing either the Hot Pastrami (thinly sliced with swiss and spicy mustard on sourdough) or the Pulled Pork (slow cooked with Guy’s spicy BBQ sauce on sourdough).  All the sandwiches are $7.99 and come with chips and a pickle.  You can also add cream cheese [$0.50], bacon [$1] and/or avocado [$1].  I settled on the pastrami and ordered a soda [$1.49] to go with it.  Of course I added all three extras.

Once paid up, I moved over to the counter where no one was seated and filled my soda up near the back.  About this time I noticed that most of the cars in the front parking had left so I stepped outside to get a quick shot outside while there was nothing blocking the view. When I came back in I noticed a little plate at my spot at the counter.  Guy (the one and only) popped out the kitchen and said “potato salad shooter!” and gestured to it.  He had dropped these at at least a couple tables for people to try.  I thought this was really cool.  The single bite was positioned on a fork and ready to go.  It was nicely chilled and freakin’ delicious.  I’ll probably be ordering this on my next visit [$1.95 for a regular order].

It was just about 6 or 7 minutes for my sandwich to arrive from the kitchen.  In-between the two halves was crisp pickle slice.  A bag of “Dirty” brand cracked pepper & sea salt potato chips rested at the back.  A decent amount of the thin pastrami was the bulk of the sandwich (perhaps not as much as I had hoped, but I had to take a step back and realize A. I was not a Beach Hut, and B. I was not paying Beach Hut prices).  All of my additions were hidden underneath.  Some bacon and a bit of avocado peeked out from a corner here and there.

The sourdough was nice and crisp around the edges with a soft middle and and good flavor.  The swiss was a bit on the light side and I didn’t really notice it very much.  It even kind of blended in with the mayo and I didn’t realize it was there at first.  There were about 4 slices of bacon under the pastrami which were tasty.  The cream cheese did it’s job and added it’s smooth flavor and texture to the whole thing.  I was mostly disappointed by the avocado, which was pretty thin and didn’t feel quite worth the $1 adder.  The pastrami was pretty great though.  It was loaded with rich, smokey flavor.  I decided to look back on my Beach Hut comparison yet again because this beef was delicious and definitely holds it’s own at a lower price.  Side by side with the pastrami, in terms of deliciousness, I would say was the spicy mustard.  It was great and the heat kind of snuck up on me by the end of the sandwich.

The chips were good, exceedingly crisp and quite salty.  I even ate the pickle, which I often ignore, and enjoyed that as well.  Overall a satisfying lunch, but I will likely avoid the avocado next time.  As I was finishing the last couple bites Guy swung by once more, this time with a pulled pork shooter.  Good lord, this was ah-mazing!  It sold me on returning sooner rather than later because I have to have that pulled pork sandwich now.  The BBQ sauce was rich, sweet and spicy and left me wanting more, much more.  I haven’t even had the sandwich itself and I’d already recommend it.

Website: http://www.guysforlunch.com

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#221: Chando’s Tacos

Has it really been 3 weeks?  I guess I’ve been busier than I thought!  Things have been happening here in Roseville.  A few restaurants have opened and a couple have closed.  I’ll be updating all the appropriate pages in the next day or so.  Chandos Tacos opened quietly about a month ago and I didn’t notice until today.  This one has been a long time coming and I was excited to go check it out for dinner.

I’m not sure if the food trucks preceded their permanent locations (of which they now have three in the Sacramento area) or not.  The first (and only) time I had Chando’s was at one of the first food truck events on Vernon a few years ago.  This latest location is situated between Starbucks and Taj Oven on Pleasant Grove near 65.

I headed in at about 5:15PM to a very busy dining room.  Actually there weren’t that many people seated, the line was nearly to the door though.  A lot of people seemed to be getting food to go.  The line made the place feel small, although there was a lot of seating and it definitely opened up a bit when the line was shorter later on.  It fluctuated wildly throughout my visit.  At times there were just a few people, others the line was literally out the door.  More than a few people saw this and decided to go somewhere else.  Making things worse, it moved very slowly.

I had about 15 minutes to go over the menu and decide what I would get.  While in line I watched the kitchen though the glass and saw lots of different meats being cooked over the flame grill and saw a particularly delicious looking reddish meat stacked and spinning slowly on a vertical rotisserie.  The menu is fairly simple and is not much different than their food truck, though the truck only had a few meat choices.  Here they have over double the meats to choose from.  Beer is on the way as soon as they get the license.

Once I got to the register I ordered up a carnitas taco [$1.95], a chicken quesadilla [$6.99] and asked what the spinning meat was and was told it was adobada.  I ordered a tostada [$1.85] with that.  A fountain drink [$1.95] rounded out my order and I signed on the touch screen that was spun around for me.  The cashier was proficient and quick, so I have to assume the reason the line moved so slowly was people asking questions once they got up there.

I grabbed a seat at a spare patio table that was inside near the door and waited only 6 minutes for my name to be shouted out from the pickup side of the kitchen.  I had a feeling I had probably ordered too much.  At first glance when I went to grab my food it didn’t seem to be too much.  Then I picked up the quesadilla.  It was HEAVY.

I started with the small items.  The taco comes with fresh cilantro, diced onions, guacamole and salsa.  The guac looked a little thin but was super creamy and delicious.  The carnitas was flavorful and in good supply underneath the toppings.  It was a simple and tasty taco.

The tostada was a fried corn tortilla loaded with the tender adobada and the same toppings as the taco.  This was also really good, the adobada was rich, coated with the red marinade and had just a slight sweetness from the pineapple they cook it with.  The tostada shell was super crisp.

On to the huge quesadilla.  There were four large pieces of this thing and all of them were packed with creamy melted jack cheese, pico-de-gallo, guacamole, sour cream and salsa.  Damn this was good.  Everything contributed equally, including the juicy chicken which carried with it a little charred flavor from the grill.  You could easily make a meal of this alone.

I was really pleased with my visit to Chando’s.  The line was actually worth it.  I suspect they will be very busy for a long time.  This little shopping center has really filled out nicely with a lot of great and diverse eateries (sushi, wings and cheesesteaks, burgers, Indian, and Brazilian).  It’ll be interesting to see what eventually takes the unique building left by Sonic.