#274: Rose Café & Bagel

9:20AM 4/9/2022

https://www.rosecafeandbagel.com/

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…

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#257: Goose Port Sports Bar & Public House

Small announcement up front here. In addition to email notifications and FaceBook I’ve fired up an Instagram account @eatingthroughroseville

Date: 9/5/2021

Location: Goose Port Sports Bar & Public House

It’s good to be back! I’m picking up right where I left off, which puts this at #257. Yesterday for lunch I headed down to Goose Port Sports Bar & Public House. I actually thought this place was a chain for a long time. Only recently did I go looking for some more info that I discovered this is in fact the only location. They’re located in a corner spot of one of the newest buildings on Vernon Street, almost directly across from the town square event area.

I arrived at around 20-to-noon on this Saturday. As I approached and took a couple photos outside, I thought it seemed pretty quiet. The patio had just a few people seated. Inside was a different story though. It was 80-90% full. Later I snagged some photos of the interior once it had cleared out a bit.

I had a choice of a couple spots in the bar area, one a window bench-type seat and another at the bar itself. I went with the window seat and was given a few paper menus to look over.

BREAKFAST:

DRINKS:

LUNCH:

A server came by and took a drink order while I was looking over everything. I started with a Disco Ninja IPA by Revision Brewing ($7.50) and she brought a water as well. The bartender brought these out and took my appetizer order while he was at it. I went with the GP Pickle Chips (House made battered & seasoned dill coins; $8.95) Just over 5 minutes later he returned to let me know they were out of those, so I quickly did a re-scan of the menu and picked out the Spicy Poke Nachos (Sashimi grade tuna, Serrano chili’s, pineapple, green onion, sriracha aioli, wasabi soy, sesame teriyaki, crispy wanton chips; $9.95).

I sipped my Disco Ninja while I waited for the nachos. It was very cold. A nice change from many places I’ve been lately that don’t seem to bother and chill their glasses. As mentioned the place was pretty busy, and I made it a point to take a look at my watch’s noise meter, which was registering a consistent 72-74dB. Just below the 80dB that can cause hearing damage after prolonged exposure. I had my own earbuds in which served to muffle the noise slightly.

The nachos arrived in about 15 min. This was a pretty serious plate. About 2-3 layers of chip were piled upon by tuna, pineapple, cucumber, cabbage and green onions, with a decent amount of the 3 sauces applied.

I really dug this. The chips were very light and crisp. I did need to use my fork to maneuver toppings into each bite a bit as the chips were somewhat fragile. The whole chilled pile was well distributed and it was easy to get a little bit of everything in each bite without much messing around. The pineapple was awesome, incredibly flavorful. Although marketed as spicy, these only developed a bit of heat that needed a swig of beer after a number of consecutive bites. The overall flavor of the sauces was on the sweeter side and reminded me a lot of the dressing most sushi places use on their little appetizer salads. I demolished about 80% of this thing and picked out the remaining tuna and pineapple before calling it quits. I had to save room for lunch, after all 😉

There was a lull in the service about here. I waited about 30 min before the bartender came back to check on me. I ordered another beer, a Mango Cart by Golden Road Brewing, a fruited wheat ale($7.50). I also ordered the GP Corned Beef Sandwich (House-made corned beef, sauerkraut slaw, swiss and pickles on toasted sourdough; $11.95) with fries. Although the extended time was slightly annoying it ended up being a blessing in disguise, letting the nachos settle a bit and open up room to pile on top.

The Mango Cart was crisp and light, which went well with the rich flavors in my sandwich.

This thing was epic. Between the perfectly toasted sourdough was a hefty serving of corned beef with tons of melted Swiss cheese, which stretched out with each bite like a cheese pizza commercial. The pickles (wait I thought they were out of pickles…maybe they use a different type for the chips) and sauerkraut slaw blended well with the tender beef for something that just melted in your mouth with each flavorful bite.

The fries were totally fine, nothing amazing though. They needed a bit of salt and ketchup. Not that I ate many of them, I was stuffed.

Thinking Goose Port was a chain did not help my expectations meet what I encountered. I was pretty impressed overall by the food here. Service could have been more present. I would give this place a solid 4.5 or 5 with more frequent check-ups. For now, 4 out of 5 is what I’ll settle on. It’s a nice spot in the middle of Vernon St, it’s patio nearly looking right down on the Washington underpass. When the weather is right this seems like a good spot to park yourself for some drinks and grub.

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#243: Nixtaco Mexican Taqueria

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Nixtaco Taqueria is one of the newest spots in Roseville.  They opened just over 3 weeks ago at Cirby & Rocky Ridge, previously occupied by the short-lived Bhan Thai.  I’ve been hyper aware of their inevitable opening since following them on Facebook several months ago.  They are extremely active and had photos to share every day, even if a lot of them were meme-like, to work up anticipation.

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Owner Patricio Wise comes from Monterrey, Mexico and brings flavors from that region with him.  (random side note, my work has a plant in Monterrey and I look forward to bringing my colleagues here, when they occasionally visit our headquarters, to see what they think).  Nixtaco grinds corn and makes tortillas fresh every day, among other items.

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I met up with my parents for dinner last night.  The space has been hugely updated from when Bhan Thai was here.  There is still a bar/counter, but this one is completely new.  The space otherwise is rectangular and straightforward, a grid of 2-4 person tables with funky looking chairs (the Thai place had odd chairs too come to think of it).  At the end of the bar is the register where you place your order.

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The place was fairly packed when I arrived.  We were still waiting on my dad who was a few minutes behind, so I meandered up near the register to look at the menu. Patricio greeted me and asked if he could get me started with a beer and said we could pay when we placed the rest of the order.  That sounded great so I got a Biere Blanche, a witbier by The Monk’s Cellar on Vernon, took a little table marker and took a seat with a menu.

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Obviously the focus here is tacos, but they do have a good selection of appetizers and burritos.  They also serve brunch from 11-3 on Sunday.  They have 6 tacos to choose from, and if you’re like me you’ll want to try them all, but $3.50 a pop will get a little pricey and you probably won’t be able to finish them all.  Nixtaco had me covered though, they have a sampler for just $9 that has one of each of the 6 tacos on a 2.5″ tortilla, little baby tacos!  I ordered that and we got some guacamole to share (House made guacamole with real avocado, serrano chiles, tomato, onion, cilantro, and lime juice. Chips or tortillas)[$5.50].  My dad ordered the Short Rib Barbacoa burrito (Beef short-rib braised “barbacoa-style” in our guajillo-chipotle and onion braise)[$10] and my mom ordered two of the Shrimp Mazatlan Style tacos (Inspired by the classic “Taco Gobernador”: Sautéed shrimp, with caramelized bacon, garlic, and melted Oaxaca cheese)[$3.50ea].

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We were served complimentary salsas, in addition to the guac we had coming.  There were 3 or 4 of them, we were fairly certain the two were the same, but I might be wrong.  All were tasty and packed a little kick to them, but the most interesting and unique one had a peanut flavoring to it.  I found myself continuing to go back to it all throughout dinner.

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Our fresh guacamole arrived soon and we dug into it.  It was topped with bright red onions pickled in lime juice.  In fact, the whole thing had a strong lime flavor to it.  It was definitely good, but it would have been nice to be able to taste the avocados themselves a little more.  It was about this time that they had a line to the door, which persisted for much of our stay.  Things got a bit hectic.  We quickly ran out of chips since we were using them for both salsa and guac.  I asked someone rushing past our table if we could get some more.  It took a little while though.  They were clearly overwhelmed with the amount of customers that had, and were continuing to, pile in.

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My mom’s tacos arrived first, but had a random 3rd taco with them.  It took us a second to realize that this was not part of our order.  I think we may have received someone else’s plate, however it did have 2 of the tacos correct.  After that there was kind of a long wait before the other items finally came.  We were close to asking about them, but it was obvious that they knew something had been mixed up and were trying to find out where it went wrong.  Eventually, about 10 minutes after the first tacos arrived, my dad’s burrito and my taco sampler showed up.  So we ended up with an extra taco, which appeared to be the Short Rib Barbacoa.

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My mom was not crazy about the shrimp tacos, mostly because she didn’t seem to like the sauce that the Oaxaca cheese was melted into, and also because one of the shrimp still had a bit of tail remaining that didn’t get caught in cleaning them.  She did enjoy the short rib barbacoa though.  On the contrary I loved my shrimp taco.  The sauce was much thicker and richer than I was expecting and all three of my shrimp were well cleaned.

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The burrito wasn’t much to look at, but my dad liked it.  It’s hard to photograph a burrito and have it look good unless you cut it in half and can see into it, so I give the appearance a pass.

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My remaining five tacos were:

Chicharron (Pork belly sliced thin and roasted, then diced and sauteed in salsa verde. Lime-pickled onions on top).  This was really tasty.  The pork was incredibly tender and flavorful.  It pretty much melted in my mouth.

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Asado Norteño (Pork shoulder diced and slowly stewed in our orange-guajillo adobo. Avocado mousse on top).  This was rich and had a lovely citrus flavor to it.ETR 243 Nixtaco Mexican Taqueria 012 2016-06-25 18-51-38 Pollo en Mole (Shredded roasted chicken, simmered in our House-made mole. House-made crema and toasted black sesame seeds on top).  Easily the messiest of my tacos.  This was ok, nothing really stood out to me flavor-wise though.

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Short Rib Barbacoa (Beef short-rib braised “barbacoa-style” in our guajillo-chipotle and onion braise. Avocado mousse on top).  Similar to the Pollo en Mole, I felt it was a bit one-dimensional.

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Finally, the surprise hit and something I know I will be back for repeatedly: Rajas con Queso (Roasted poblano “in rajas”, sauteed with House-made crema, Oaxaca cheese and corn).  Who would have guessed that my favorite item would be the vegetarian option?!  This was so incredibly delicious, I was picking every last bit of poblano from the plate where it had escaped the little tortilla.

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Not every taco was for me, but overall I really enjoyed just about everything.  I definitely expect to return for full-sized Rajas con Queso.  And there were a few things on the menu that we didn’t order that I am very interested in checking out, including the Roasted Bone Marrow appetizer (something you don’t see too often in this area, but is usually delicious) and, from the brunch menu, the Nixtaco Poached Egg (Mexican take on Scotch Egg: soft poached egg, enrobed in our short rib barbacoa, then covered in masa and deep fried. Served on a bed guacamole with salsas verde and rosa).  That sounds amazing!

Website: http://nixta.co