12:20PM, 3/12/2023 – UPDATED WITH VISIT ON 3/21/2023
It’s been a little slow start to 2023. I took some time yesterday to refresh my list of pending restaurants and was a little shocked at the number. I came up with 50, with only a couple of those just outside Roseville. With that work done I took to my random picker app, spun the wheel and ended up on Cluck N Cone, a place I knew nothing about other than the name. Brief searching to see hours and location spoiled the concept a bit when I saw photos next to the map location. It’s a different take on chicken and waffles, essentially. I headed out a bit after noon and arrived in the Stone Point center at about 12:15. I had a slightly windy but rain-free moment to toss up my drone for some snaps and then headed in.
Cluck N Cone is located off in the corner, near Costa Vida, in the location that Trademark Pizza once held (sad to have seen them go, I really enjoyed that place). Much like my first visit to Trademark, I was greeted by the enthusiastic owner, in this case Lauren, who happily answered my questions about various menu items and talked some about their food and how they had some executive chefs design the recipes, all while zipping back and forth in the kitchen working on some Mac and cheese for a to go order.
The space has retained the basic layout from Trademark, but it’s seen a significant facelift in its aesthetics. Gone is the wood paneling and cream-colored walls in favor of a brighter white brick wall. The high top and low top tables have been replaced, including with new colorful seating, although Cluck N Cone mirrored the original seating layout mostly, with the high tops at the back.
I went over the menu for a while, which is a daunting display of mostly text. Now that I’m more familiar with the concept I can make a lot more sense of it. It was pretty confusing at the time though. It could use some lines or boxes or bolder headings to help differentiate sections from one another, at a minimum. Anyway, basically they have a bunch of pre-configured cones you can choose from [$12.95, or make it a combo with fries for $18.95]. Additionally, you can configure your own. I’m not sure if it’s sort of a Chipotle sort of situation where they build it in front of you as you pick out the toppings, or if you need to know what you want when placing the order. I didn’t see any obvious list of possible ingredients, other than what I could see in the make table through the glass. The menu does show a list of various sauces available. Obviously I had gone with a pre-made option. When asking what they would recommend for a first-timer I was told that the popular one was The Millionaires, which is what I went with. This had Shredded Lettuce, Millionaire’s Bacon, Waffle Battered Chicken, Ranch Dressing and Avocado. As my eyes are usually bigger than my stomach, and wanting more things to photograph, I also picked out the Cluck Yeah! (Fries, Chicken, Cheese Sauce, Cluck N Sauce, Ranch & Buffalo Sauce)[$9.95] to go with it. I finished my order off with a fountain soda [$2.25].
Although I was the only customer in the place at the time, Lauren and the one other person working at the time had their hands busy with to go orders for much of the time. Noticing one of the cones prepped to be bagged up on my way to the fountain machine I stopped to snap a photo. How a cone would be packaged for a to go order was fascinating to me and I loved how they used basically a Frappuccino cup with its bubble top lid to hold the cone upright. The straw hole at the top probably helps keeping it from getting all steamy and soggy. It was a really nifty idea, I thought.
I filled up my cup at the fountains, located a the far back, then picked a table up at the front to get some of that nice even, overcast light coming through the windows. My order took about 15 min to prep and deliver to my table. The cone was in a little wire frame to hold it up, and it was nicely constructed with each main ingredient on display at the top with a drizzle of ranch across it all. This was slightly messy to eat, but not nearly as messy as I thought it was going to be. The cone was crisp and it sort of wanted to crumble yet held on just long enough as I worked my way down. The bacon was very crisp and seemed like it was candied as it had some sweetness to it. The cone was loaded with chicken all the way down. Each bite-sized piece was fried perfectly with a thin, crisp batter that enclosed the tender and delicious chicken within.
The Cluck Yeah! consisted of a medium-sized tray with a layer or two of fries generously covered with the four different sauces and topped with more of that fantastic chicken. It should be noted that these are not their normal fries. Lauren explained how their vendor was out of the usual type they used (I think curly, might have been a waffle fry though) and she was not happy with these. I had to agree, they were just limp. The idea is good though, and the combo of flavors work well. Lauren insisted I return to try this again, on them, when they have the right fries, and I certainly will. I’ll add a little update to this in a week or so when I get a chance to stop by again.
Overall I was very happy with this. If the Cluck Yeah with proper fries is as good as I’m hoping, I would give this a solid 5/5. This shopping center continues to have stellar food options.
UPDATE! I tried the proper Cluck Yeah fries and they were night and day better, very crisp. Under the sheer amount of sauces they eventually succumbed to some sog, but that’s going to happen to any fry with enough time. I also tried out a different main, the Hot Honey but in a bowl (Millionaire’s Bacon, Green & Purple Cabbage, Fried Shshito Pepper, Mike’s Extra Hot Honey Sauce). The flavor on this was awesome and I loved the Shishito pepper. It was much more sweet than it was hot, despite the “extra hot” in the Mike’s Extra Hot Honey Sauce name. I wish there was more Shishitos in it, but that’s about all I would change.