After lunch yesterday, at Aria Kabob Cuisine in the Galleria food court, I walked a few tenants down towards Sears, where a little kiosk sits housing a local Ice Cream Parlor called Sugar + Cream.
They opened up in June and serve 16 flavors each day (at least that’s how many are on display) in scoops, milkshakes and sandwiches (although the sandwiches are not explicitly on the menu, I’ve seen photos of ice cream macaroon sandwiches as well as donut [ponchiks? Google says they are Armenian donuts] sandwiches). I stepped up and was greeted by a friendly person behind the counter who offered up a samples of any flavors I was interested in. I asked for a sample of the Thai Tea ice cream and was given a real metal spoon with a sizable bite on it.
It was fantastic, so I got 2 scoops in a cup [$5.50]. You can of course mix and match scoops. I saw a kid after me get 3 different scoops which was visually quite interesting and colorful. The colors are very vibrant. $5.50 is a reasonable price, I think, considering how massive the scoops are. I probably could have done with one after my filling lunch. The two scoops towered over the rim of my cup.
I love the Thai Tea ice cream that Gunther’s makes, but Sugar + Cream’s is just as good, and soooooo much closer than driving down south of 50 in Sacramento to their shop (edit: according to Facebook commenter Melissa, it actually IS Gunthers ice cream!). I didn’t think to ask if they sell pints, but I’d probably keep my freezer stocked year round if they did. I loved every bite of this, sitting at one of the handful of little tables nearby. I suspect I’ll be finding reasons to head into the Galleria more often now so I can top it off with some tasty ice cream.
I was thinking it’s been a while since I’ve been to the Galleria and I was getting hungry for lunch so I headed on over to see what was new. It was about noon when I arrived and the mall was fairly busy. I found plenty of parking on the upper levels of the large parking structure though and headed in.
The food court seemed mostly unchanged, with the exception of Hibachi San (a business I haven’t seen since I was a kid in Valco Fashion Center of San Jose) and a Persian spot called Aria. I did some quick googling to see if Aria was a big chain and, to my surprise, it actually seems to be a unique-to-Roseville business. I headed on over and took a look over the menu.
Persian cuisine isn’t exactly hugely represented in this area. We had a Persian restaurant for a couple years near Sierra College and Douglas, but other than that the only one I can think of at the moment of is in Rancho Cordova (Shahrzad). From what I could tell looking at the menu here, they seemed to cover the basics of the main dishes – kabobs (chicken, beef, lamb), gyros and wraps. They also have a section with burgers, including one that had my interest, with a ground beef/lamb mix patty, but I’ll save that for another time.
Today I ordered the Chicken Ghormeh (chicken ghormeh in a delicious sauce)[$8.99]. I had first asked what it comes with and was told rice and salad. I decided to add a side of Falafel (golden fried patties of ground garbanzo beans, herbs and spices)[$4.99] and finished it off with a soda [$1.99]. I was given my soda and a pager and headed off into the crowded dining area to find a table. I had just found one towards the center and sat down when the pager lit up. Seemed kind of fast, and it was. When I went back to Aria the cashier told me she was sorry and forgot that they were out of the chicken ghormeh. She offered me a refund or to choose something else @ $8.99. I skimmed over the other items at that price to try and avoid another transaction and settled on the Beef and Lamb Gyro plate.
By this time a seat had opened right next to Aria so I grabbed it and waited just under 10 minutes for my pager to go off again. I found it interesting that most of the customers, as I waited and watched a few come up and order, were almost all of Middle Eastern decent. Meanwhile, Buckhorn grill next-door was hoppin’ with a line 10 deep at times. I hoped that this was not a sign of the quality of food here and that rather most people just haven’t tried Persian food and aren’t too adventurous. I didn’t get to think to hard on that because soon my food was ready to be picked up.
The presentation was decent, except for the salad which was lackluster, and aside from a stay piece of lettuce that made it’s way onto the tray everything was neatly plated. The falafel looked wonderfully golden brown and each piece had a little dab of tzatziki sauce on it. I didn’t realize that this entree also came with some pita bread and red pepper hummus, so that was a nice surprise.
I had a piece of falafel first, which was slightly bigger than bite-sized. The color was a good indication of how nicely it was fried. The texture was great and it was nice and crunchy on the outside while warm and soft inside. They had just a bit of spice that was immediately toned down by the cool tzatziki sauce. I really dug these, however they would be better to share with someone. A half-sized order would have been plenty with my entree.
The salad was about as impressive as it’s appearance. It was simply bits of romain lettuce with a very, very light dressing on it. The pita with hummus was pretty great. As good as most hummus I’ve had so far and the pita bread was nice and soft.
Moving on to the main dish, there was a very good amount of the shaved beef & lamb gyro meat spread out over a large pile of warm, soft Persian rice with a small amount of bright yellow saffron flavored grains over top. Topping the whole thing was plenty of tzatziki sauce for every bite. The gyro was soft and spiced lightly. I really enjoyed this and ate almost the whole thing until I was close to full. I had to leave room for dessert (stay tuned for that)!
Overall I would say Aria is a nice addition to the food court which offers up something a little different compared to the usual fast American / Asian options. We really do have a pretty good food court compared to a lot of malls. I was a little disappointed to not get to try the chicken ghormeh. Maybe another time.
I’ve got something a little different this weekend to share. Recently I was invited to check out the first Food Truck Cinema event over at Woodcreek Golf Club. It took place on Friday evening from 5-9:30 and involved four local trucks (Cousin’s Main Lobster, Dojo Burger, Happy Cow Ice Cream and Chando’s Tacos), Roseville-based band CoverTh!s and a screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on a pop-up 35′ screen set on the driving range.
For full disclosure, I was given free admittance with a dedicated table/seating and some goodies including popcorn and candy, a couple of FTCinema koozies, a Woodcreek photo frame and a certificate for a round of golf with lunch for 2. I did pay for all my food (not exactly a small amount as you’ll see based on what I decided to try out below 😉 )
Tickets are typically (based on these inaugural showings) $5-8 for kids and $10-12 for adults. This, and a showing of Top Gun on 10/22/16 will be the only ones this year as they get started. Next “season” will have considerably more showings, a dozen or so.
I arrived just as the gates opened up at about 5 and took a stroll around. The only time I had been here before was for my visit to Legend’s Sports Bar & Grill two and a half years ago. Everything is set up a short walk from the main clubhouse down to the driving range. Chando’s was a little late to the party but aside from that the tucks were just about set up. Nearby was a beer/wine tent from Woodcreek themselves. The beautiful and expansive course served as a nice backdrop. You can kind of forget you’re in suburbia while you’re out here.
A big inflatable structure supported the 35′ screen and there was tons of room for viewing on the grass in front of it. Over the course of the next couple hours people trickled in and claimed spots with blankets. Areas to the side and back were designated for folding chairs (which most people brought but it sounded like you could rent as well) so everyone would have a good and unobstructed view. Lots of staff were situated all around to direct and assist everyone.
While CoverTh!s entertained everyone from 5:30-7:30 I headed to to trucks to get food. Since I’ve had Chando’s already (both in truck form as well as at their Roseville location on Pleasant Grove near 65) I started at Dojo Burger. I went with their signature Dojo Burger (6oz beef patty, ginger, reddish, fried onion strings, Dojo sauce and mayo on a bacon-loaded brioche roll)[$13]. Soda and waters were very reasonably priced at $1 each.
This burger was fantastic! I was surprised at how well it was cooked with a little pink throughout. The bacon was incredible. It was thick and had a rich maple flavor to it. There was something very familiar about the taste of the dojo sauce that I’ve been trying to put a finger on since last night, and I think it might have been something like a peanut sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed every bite.
I let that settle for a bit, took some more photos and listened to the band, then headed back up to try another truck that I’ve never been to before, Cousin’s Main Lobster. Here I ordered the Connecticut Lobster Roll (Main lobster, served warmed with butter and lemon on a New England style roll)[$15]. While I waited for that I turned around to the beer/wine tent and got a Sam Adam’s Octoberfest[$8] (must have been about a 20oz serving).
The lobster roll was much simpler. The roll was very lightly toasted and the lobster was warm and evenly coated with butter. Hard to go wrong here, it was great! This get’s me very exited for Old Port Lobster Shack, due to open any day now over by Century 14.
Once the band finished up and the sun set there was Ferris Bueller trivia and we were treated to a gorgeous orange harvest moon rising to the right of the screen. Soon it was dark enough, the range flood lights were killed and the movie got started. By this time the field was pretty much full with a great turnout of people of all ages. There must have been several hundred, if not over a thousand attendees, yet it did not feel cramped at all. The screening went well. It was nice and bright, the volume was good and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect.
All in all it was a pretty fun night. Good entertainment, good food and very friendly staff, from the event organizers to security to food truck people. I’ve never been to movies in the park that Roseville puts on, but this was a great setup, especially for families with kids since they could run around in a very safe, family-friendly environment. I think it’ll be a hit going forward.