Special: Food Truck Cinema Event at Woodcreek Golf Club

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-030-2016-09-16-18-49-07

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.

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-006-2016-09-16-17-22-50

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 😉 )

img_2442

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.

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-003-2016-09-16-17-16-41

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.

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-007-2016-09-16-17-27-37

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-009-2016-09-16-17-29-21

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.

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-026-2016-09-16-18-44-18

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-018-2016-09-16-18-19-10

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.

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-012-2016-09-16-17-45-03
food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-013-2016-09-16-17-45-21

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.

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-014-2016-09-16-17-49-09

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-017-2016-09-16-18-18-34

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).

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-024-2016-09-16-18-34-29 food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-025-2016-09-16-18-35-23

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.

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-038-2016-09-16-19-40-43

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.

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-039-2016-09-16-19-42-59

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.

food-truck-cinema-at-woodcreek-golf-club-036-2016-09-16-19-36-21

Food Truck Cinema: http://www.foodtruckcinemas.com

Advertisements

Wednesdays on Tap @ Vernon Street Town Square

It’s been a little quiet around here lately.  I’ve been traveling, sick or just plain busy for the last few weeks.  Tonight I decided I’d get back to work in a fun way, by visiting Roseville’s first Wednesdays on Tap at the Vernon Street Town Square.  This is the first of 6 continuous Wednesdays from 5:30 to 7:30PM featuring a handful of breweries, food and music downtown.  For a $5 entrance fee you get 8 tickets for 2oz tastings at any of the brewery tents set up.  For another $5 you can get a glass mug that comes with an extra ticket both at the time of purchase and each week you bring it back.  You can get a full mug of beer for just $3.  All in all I think it’s a pretty good deal, mug or not.

I arrived just after 5:30 to beat the crowd and tasted one from each of the 5 breweries that were set up: Hangar 24 Craft Brewery, Lagunita’s Brewing Company, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Six Rivers and Vernon Street’s own The Monk’s Cellar (who should be opening by the end of the month, according to their Facebook page).  They were all pretty tasty but Six Rivers White Chocolate Grand Cru was ridiculously awesome.  I only wish I had been able to have some more but they ran out fairly quickly, maybe an hour into it.  Take a look at the schedule to see who will be there in the coming weeks.

Food options consisted of the usual Dave’s Dawgs pickup truck and one I’ve never seen before, a brick oven pizza trailer.  I opted for that and ordered their Italian Fennel Sausage pizza (sausage, sautéed mushrooms, Mozzarella, oregano & Romano cheese) [$10].  This took about 10 minutes.  I guess they were out of mushrooms because mine only seemed to have the sausage, but it was really tasty and had a great, crisp thin crust.

By the time I had eaten my pizza there had been a good influx of people.  Kids were playing corn hole, kickball and generally just running around and having a great time in the grass in front of the band while their parents enjoyed some brew and relaxed at the tables.  Large lines had formed at all of the remaining 4 booths, so I only visited 2 more to finish off my 4 tickets and got a double pour at them.  All in all it seemed to be a pretty successful little event.  I do hope they plan to have some more food vendors available, but pizza, hot dogs and beer do all work well together.

I put together a quick little video so you can get an idea of what it was like.

 

Sugary Tangent: Lolli & Pops

A while ago I received an invitation to visit Lolli & Pops, a boutique candy shop in the Galleria.  I figured I’d do the same as I did with Stieber’s Sweet Shoppe, which was pop in really quick, buy some truffles, snap a picture or two and head out (and I had mentioned as much in my reply).  I don’t really have that much of a sweet tooth.  Don’t get me wrong, I love desserts, but stand alone candy is not something I get into all that much.  Once in a great while (like months) I might get a Kit Kat, but that’s about it.  I stopped by the Galleria last Sunday, grabbed a bite in the food court and then walked over to Lolli & Pops, located by JC Penny on the 2nd level.

The moment I stepped inside I was greeted by one of the employees who was offering gummy bear samples.  He asked me which of the three flavors I would like to try and then ended up just giving me all three.  The floor was fairly busy with people.  Further back I saw another worker who I soon met as I made my way further in.  This was Chris Ruzic, the Chief Purveyor and the one that had originally invited me.  We hadn’t worked out a specific time and my arrival was unannounced, but he was happy to see me and offered to give me the tour and tastings as his original invitation entailed.  I explained my lack of candy knowledge to him and mentioned, if anything, I supposed I enjoy chocolate the most.  I had no idea what I was in for.

I was shown into the chocolate room.  Yes, the chocolate room.  In here I found the walls loaded with bars and bulk chocolates.  I recognized zero labels.  This was my introduction to the world of craft chocolates.  Chris began telling me about all the different chocolate makers / chocolatiers as we went through the room.  He told me where each one was from and a bit of background such as with TCHO, a Silicon Valley start-up with a very tech-oriented style.  Many of the brands proudly display what country their fair-trade cacao beans are sourced from, including apparently unlikely places such as Vietnam.  He briefly went into some of the methods that the chocolatiers used in making their products and the differences they create in taste and texture.  As he was telling me all this he had samples of many of the bars for me to try and experience the differences myself.  They were vast.  One bar had pop rocks embedded in it, another toasted bread crumbs.  One of his favorites was from a maker in Nashville that stone grinds the beans giving it a very interesting, slightly coarser texture, and included cinnamon and chili which made it taste like a Mexican hot chocolate.  One brand from San Francisco focused on small batch releases.  Each bar was labeled with the country of origin and the year of harvest for the beans that were used in the making of that particular bar, and on the back was a hand initial.  As small batch implies, they only make a limited number of these and when they’re gone they’re gone.  The next batch won’t be the same.

With some instruction from Chris I was able to get a lot out of a very small sample of these bars.  Letting the pieces melt a bit on the tip of the tongue before biting into it released so much flavor.  Many of these flavors changed as you bit into them, revealing either subtle or even intense, in one or two I would go as far as saying sharp, changes with fruity or nutty notes.  This was all a far cry from the usual Hersey, Nestle or even Lindt and Ghirardelli (when I am feeling particularly fancy) chocolates that I was familiar with.

I never knew this scene/industry even existed.  This feels like when I was introduced to craft beer by my friend, Justin, or when I stumbled into boutique cigars of my own accord.  The variety and huge cross section in styles, flavors, textures and the entire culture behind each of these movements is staggering.  The limits are only as far as the brewer’s, master blender’s or, in this case, chocolatier’s imagination can take them.  I’m certain wine is the same although it’s something I never got that into.

I ended up picking out 4 bars in addition to the 4 truffles that I intended on buying in the first place.  I have only just opened the TCHO which is insanely silky and full of deep, rich milk chocolate flavor.  I’ll be nibbling on these bars for several weeks.  They are not the type of casual snack where you might devour the entire thing in a sitting, at least not for me.  The prices you can see on the back of these bars should prove that.  They are not ordinary chocolates and should not be treated as such.  I suspect I will be returning with some regularity for a little indulgence into this fascinating, newfound world of chocolate now and then.

Of course, Lolli & Pops is not all chocolate.  They have a bit of everything, including entire rooms dedicated to gummys, sours and gum balls.  Chris even had me try a specialty marshmallow, insanely light and fluffy, infused with bourbon.  —Drool—.  Chris and his staff were all very friendly and extremely knowledgeable beyond anything I would have imagined.  They are generous with samples so you can try before you buy.  It’s worth stopping in and checking the place out, especially if you’re already in the mall.