AM23: Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop

4:10PM, 5/27/2022

Although I recently learned this was a large nation-wide chain, anyone I’ve ever mentioned it to had not heard of it. This location, at Sierra College & Douglas, opened a little over 2 years ago. The next closest locations are in Reno, Carson City and Fresno. I was introduced to this chain by my friends in Vegas and it became a must-go spot for lunch any time I traveled there. I was ecstatic when I noticed the sign go up on the building in 2019. Anyway, although this is not unique to the area, I don’t think they are well-known to NorCal, which is a shame, so I figured it was worth doing a post on.

They offer a few traditional deli sub options like Italian, tuna & meatball subs and have a line of Wagyu cheesesteaks as well. The sandwiches that really stand out to me are The Bobbie and the Capastrami. These are the ones I was introduced to Cap’s on and regularly order to this day.

This location is situated in a row of excellent food options (Vampire Penguin, El Sombrero, Falafel Corner & Habit). I headed in just after 4PM and was greeted right away. I had already mentally picked out what I would order today. Looking at the menu I don’t see anything new. A year ago I noticed a sign advertising Flat Fries with a couple topping options (Capastrami or Cheese Steak). This day I decided I would finally check them out. They come in a regular ($6.69) or large ($8.69). I asked what the size difference was like and honestly did not get a good sense as he appeared to hold up two identical containers, though he did liken it to appetizer vs entree sizing. With that I got the regular size and added on a Half size Bobbie (Turkey, Cranberry Sauce, Stuffing & Mayo)[$6.49], because I can’t come here and not get a sandwich.

The Bobbie is offered in cold and hot versions, but I’ve only ever tried cold. For some reason hot has never appealed to me (until I type this that is, I’m suddenly very curious now…). Toward the bottom of this post I’ve added additional photos of the Bobbie, Capastrami and a Cheese Steak from previous visits. Today’s sandwich was no different than any other time. If they have one thing, it’s consistency. But they have more than one thing and that’s a damn good sandwich that’s like Thanksgiving any time of year. I never cared for cranberry sauce until I first had the Bobbie. It won me over on it. The only thing I think that they might be able to do better with is the roll, which is totally fine and nothing to write home about. It’s a fairly dense bread and I think this sandwich would be incredible with something a bit lighter.

Moving on to the Capastrami Flat Fries. The sandwich version is Pastrami, Swiss cheese, Cole Slaw & Russian Dressing. The flat fries are basically flat steak fries with all that on top. The way this comes is not exactly the most photogenic. You can’t really tell what’s in it and it sort of just looks like a salad at first glance. It was only once I started moving things around that I found a thin later of pastrami underneath the Cole slaw and the fries under that. While I will say that flavor-wise this was totally on point, I strongly prefer the sandwich version. Steak fries are possibly the worst type of fry in my opinion. They are often not cooked long enough, leaving the entire thing too mushy instead of having a crisp outer shell and soft inside. These had that issue which was compounded with the ingredients piled on top. The pastrami and Russian dressing really carry the flavor here, with the dressing adding a sort of 1000 island flavor but more tangy.

The fries were an interesting idea but ultimately I’ll be sticking to the sandwiches. As far as other sandwiches here I’ve tried both the Wagyu and the Impossible Cheese Steaks (side by side even) and they are both solid and I can recommend them.

Factoring in the fries for this visit I’d knock it down from 5/5 to 3.5/5. It’s the first miss for Capriotti’s that I’ve experienced.


#274: Rose Café & Bagel

9:20AM 4/9/2022

This morning I headed out to far West Roseville to check out this little bagel spot for breakfast. Rose Café & Bagel is tucked just into the edge of the suburban sprawl on Baseline right in-between Junction and Fiddyment. It’s not easy to miss. The several buildings in this little complex are all painted bright barn-red and across the street is a tall radio tower. According to one of the employees both the large daycare center and the Cafe have the same owner. Perhaps they own all three buildings, given their shared aesthetic.

They make all their bagels in house each day and have a variety to choose from. In addition to your typical bagels with spreads they also have breakfast bagel sandwiches and hot or cold bagel sandwiches for lunch. They also have a full menu of coffee drinks.

Now I’m a bit out of my element here. About the only time I ever eat bagels is when they are brought to work or the couple times I visited NYC. Adding to that I’m not much of a coffee drinker beyond my morning cup of basic drip coffee I make at home in the morning. I decided to grab a Mocha and one of the breakfast sandwiches.

The cafe has a nice bright interior with a medium-sized dining area. They have a nice patio that I would have used if it weren’t so gusty out. My attention was immediately drawn to the ceiling, which was laced with loads of tiny string lights. It must look very cool in the winter when less light is blasting in through the windows in the morning. Behind the counter were about 4-6 people and I was greeted as soon as I had stepped inside. I took a minute to go over the sandwiches and picked out the Southwest (Egg, Ham, Havarti Cheese, Tomato, Spinach, Avocado)[$8.95]. “Sandwiches come with a sourdough based plain bagel”. I went with the large for my Mocha [$5.50].

Just before I had left the counter a barista started working on my mocha and asked if I wanted it “kinda sweet” or “sweet”. I thought for a second and the few white mochas I’ve had from La Bou and Starbucks and how I think they are way too sweet but usually forget since I get them so infrequently and went with kinda sweet. It ended up being a pretty good choice, and I was glad he asked.

Within about five minutes he brought my drink out and the sandwich was delivered a minute or so later. I was mildly disappointed in the to-go presentation of the mocha, not very photo friendly, but oh well. Taking the lid off revealed the optional whipped cream and a drizzle of chocolate. The drink was hot, but not too hot to enjoy right away. It was very chocolatey and fairly sweet without being too sweet. Not too shabby, though I have little to compare it with.

My sandwich was neatly prepared and wrapped. I think they forgot the avocado, despite the obvious avocado-like green stain in the cross-section of the bagel where it was sliced. I assume that must have come from the spinach, because I remember no avocados. The sandwich was very light and simple. There was not a huge amount of any particular ingredient, so the bagel itself dominated the flavor overall. It was a good bagel though, toasted just right and soft within. I did hope for a more substantial sandwich, but having a relatively light breakfast ended up being good and gave me just the right amount of energy to go tackle all the weekend chores before noon.

Like I said, I’m not much of a bagel/coffee guy, so it’s hard for me to get super excited for this place. The staff was incredibly friendly and efficient and I liked the general feel for the place. I think a 3.5/5 is a reasonably fair score here. One of their lunch sandos could be something to bring me back some day. Carnitas and Caprese options both caught my eye…


#270: Bruchi’s CheeseSteaks & Subs

1:15PM | 1/22/2022

This is one of those businesses where I can’t quite figure out what they want to call themselves. The sign on the building is “Bruchi’s CheeseSteaks, Salads & Subs”. Google Maps shows “Bruchi’s CheeseSteaks & Salads”, and their website shows “Bruchi’s CheeseSteaks & Subs”. See Kelli’s Cookies for another example of this naming madness. Anyway, I stopped here yesterday for lunch. This is located in the blue-roofed shopping center on Douglas across from Target/Raley’s.

Bruchi’s is a smallish chain almost exclusive to Washington. This and the location in Sacramento seem to be about as far south as they have come so far. A location in Boise is the only other one I see outside of WA.

I came into this one with somewhat lowered expectations. I recall when it first opened years ago I stopped by to see how their cheesesteak stacked up against The Cheese Steak Shop and Cheesesteak Grille. All I know is that it wasn’t memorable enough to come back since.

Out front they’ve put in some artificial turf with a couple tables to sit at. I thought it was a nice little touch. Inside is a medium-to-large dining room, with maybe 1 or 2 tables too many in the main section, leaving it looking slightly cramped. The light fixtures were a bit dusty but otherwise the place felt clean and well kept.

The menu is split up into 5 sections: Cheesesteaks, Salads, Subs, Burgers, Sides/Drinks. I wanted to give their cheesesteak one more try. I decided to check out the 7″ Peppersteak (Lean steak grilled with jalapenos, peperoncini’s, melted white American cheese, mayo & spices)[$7.95]. I made it a combo with fries and a drink for $4.50 extra. I was handed a cup, which I filled at the Coke machine and then grabbed a seat. My food was brought out in just under 10 minutes.

My first impression of the tray of food was “oh no, crinkle fries, the worst kind of fry”. My coworkers and I have had a number of conversations lately about how we all hate this kind of fry and how they are usually incredibly bland. I was therefore thoroughly delighted when these turned out to be pretty damn good! They were cooked great and had just the right amount of crunch and a soft center. They were generously seasoned with salt. I admit that I got up immediately to get ketchup when I saw that they were crinkles, thinking this would be the only way to enjoy them. First off, they were perfectly good on their own. Second, had I not gone for ketchup I wouldn’t have found a condiment next to the ketchup called “fry sauce”, which was very tasty and took them to the next level. I’m guessing based on the color and flavor that it is a ketchup/mayo blend of some kind. The fries were great with both or no sauces.

On to the Peppersteak. Upon first unwrapping this it kind of settled on the tray totally split open, making it look deceptively light on fillings. Once I had it in my hands though it felt decently substantial. My main takeaway with this is the type of jalapenos they use, which are the kind that come packed in a brine and are incredibly potent with that spicy and almost sweet flavor and aroma. I’ve never been much of a fan of these. Give me fresh sliced and grilled/roasted jalapeno any day over this. However, once again, I was kind of won over on these. They jived really well with the pepperoncini’s. The steak itself was average to above average. It provided enough of the savory balance needed against the peppers and the creaminess from the white American cheese and mayo. I will note that this felt light on cheese, and that I love the balance achieved at The Cheese Steak Shoppe.

While Bruchi’s didn’t blow my socks off it didn’t really disappoint either. I left full & satisfied and it felt like a pretty good value to top it off. The service I encountered was minimal but polite and professional. I think it’s worth a return. If ordering a cheesesteak I would probably stick with the less traditional variants like the Peppersteak. For a standard cheesesteak I’ll still go to Cheesesteak Shoppe or Grille. I am curious about the subs and burgers here. Anyone try them? Leave me a comment!