Nela's Mexican Restaurant is a small, family owned and operated restaurant, located in the heart of downtown Roseville, that has been serving authentic Mexican cuisine for many years. It's a favorite of Roseville locals, "foodies" and everybody who appreciates delicious Mexican food, in an "old school" downtown diner.
As with all restaurant reviews I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.
Photo: It's a little after 10:00 in the morning, Sunday, January 09, 2022, and I've arrived at Nela's Mexican Restaurant, located in downtown Roseville, CA to enjoy a Mexican "diner style" breakfast.
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you'll be greeted by a friendly staff member, and seated. On this mid-Sunday morning, the restaurant was very lightly seated, so I was offered a seat at any table or booth that was open.
Nela's takes COVID seriously, as the cashier's station is enclosed by a barrier of plastic, and the tables in the dining room are widely spaced. All staff were wearing masks, and guests were requested to mask-up unless actively eating.
Unfortunately, Nela's is only open from 11:00 to 2:00 Tuesday through Saturday, and from 09:30 to 1:00 on Sunday, and closed entirely on Monday. I heard the shortened hours are because of the virus, along with staff shortages.
Photo: The dining room at Nela's is quite large, clean, comfortable, and sparsely decorated. Booths line the walls and tables are in the middle of the room. The dining room is spacious, and the tables are spaced at a comfortable distance apart, perhaps to allow for "social distancing." I noticed that the dining room has been completely remodeled since my last visit... as it's been almost eight years since I last enjoyed a meal at Nela's. So many restaurants... so little time...
Photo: The menu at Nela's offers salsa, with or without chips, sauces and drinks to-go, and there's a handy board near the cashier's station that helps you make your choice.
Photo: As the menu was placed on my table, my host brought out a basked of fried tortilla chips, salsa cruda, along with a bottle of in-house made hot sauce. My entrees come with chips and salsa, but there are exceptions. Check the menu or ask your host when you place your order.
The chips were standard corn tortilla chips, lightly salted, cold, and most likely made the day before. The salsa was fresh, "pico de gallo" which is diced tomato, onion, chili pepper and fresh cilantro. Like the chips, I suspect it was made yesterday, but both the chips and the salsa were very good, fresh, and made for excellent "munching" as I waited for my order to arrive.
I tried some of the hot sauce on a chip, and I was rewarded with great taste, but LOTS OF HEAT! This sauce is delicious, but it's HOT... more than "jalapeno hot" so when you try it, caveat emptor...
Photo: "Lunch Specials" and "Breakfast" make up for the first page of the very extensive menu. Since today was Sunday, I was hoping to enjoy a bowl of "Menudo," but I was out of luck, as there was no menudo today. I settled for a breakfast of "Chorizo and Eggs," which always works with me.
The entire menu is six pages of all your Mexican favorites! Scroll on the photo to see the complete menu.
Photo: The soft drink selection of Jarritos and Mexican Coca Cola line a window, which gives a peek into the kitchen. The colorful soda bottles make for great decoration, and make your soft drink choice easy.
Photo: My friendly server delivers my breakfast to me with a masked smile, about fifteen minutes after I placed my order. That's fast service! In all of the excitement, I neglected to catch this gentleman's name...
Photo: I'm a happy guy, as I'm ready to enjoy an amazing breakfast of "Chorizo and Eggs," at Nela's Mexican Restaurant.
Photo: From the "Breakfast" section of the menu, I went with "Chorizo and Eggs," and an order of corn tortillas. Rice and beans were included with my order, and all "Breakfast" selections. The menu simply describes my breakfast as, "Eggs scrambled with Mexican sausage, dices onions, tomatoes and bell pepper."
Chorizo and eggs is a Mexican breakfast staple, and Nela's prepared my breakfast in the tradition of northern Mexico, starting with two large, scrambled eggs. Chorizo was added to the eggs, along with diced bell pepper. The menu says tomatoes and onions are included in the scramble, but my breakfast didn't have any, but that wasn't a "deal breaker." The scrambled eggs and chorizo were perfectly fried, flavorful, seasoned perfectly, and made for a great entree.
The rice was good, but quite forgettable, as it was simply rice, most likely cooked in chicken broth and finished on the griddle to give it a little pizzazz. My breakfast included three warm, moist corn tortillas - you have your choice of corn or flour tortillas - which made for great dipping in the salsa, and the refried beans.
Quite possibly the refried beans were the highlight of the breakfast, as they were simply delicious, and reminded me of the countless times I've savored refried beans at small loncherias, during my many trips to Mexico. The beans were the perfect mixture between soft, whole beans and mashed beans, mildly spiced, and super flavorful. I suspect these refried beans were fried in lard, as they had the delicious taste that only real lard can give to beans... The beans were topped with melted, Mexican cheese for added goodness.
A breakfast of "Chorizo and Eggs" is a great way to get your Sunday going!
The dining isn't fancy, and the hours are limited, but the food is delicious, the prices are reasonable, and the staff is super friendly. When you're in the mood for delicious Mexican cuisine, think of Nela's Mexican Restaurant, located in downtown Roseville, CA.
Let's return to a previous visit to Nela's Mexican Restaurant, as my wife and I enjoyed a fine lunch, back on Saturday, March 08, 2014...
I've been pretty busy cruising Roseville and dining at Mexican restaurants, as I must admit that I love Mexican food more than anything... even more than hamburgers? On Vernon Street, on the east side of the railroad tracks, in downtown Roseville, there is a little gem of a Mexican restaurant, by the name of Nela's Mexican Restaurant - it used to be called Eva's - and on Saturday, March 8, 2014, Sharlene and I finally got around to enjoying a fine lunch at Nela's...
Photo: At this writing, ongoing construction makes it a little hard to find the right door, as the "other" door seems to allow only egress from the inside of the restaurant... The only sign is the small sign in the window that reads "Mexican Restaurant," as shown in the photo. Nela's Mexican Restaurant is located next to the now-shuttered, "Sammy Hagar's..." Sadly, I never had the opportunity to visit Sammy's...
Photo: Surprisingly, the restaurant has a rather large dining room. Booths line the walls, and tables are placed in the center, which allows for very flexible seating. Photo was taken actually just before we left, about 1400 on this Saturday, March 8, 2014, but when we first arrived, about an hour earlier, the restaurant was packed with happy diners.
Photo: At Nela's Mexican Restaurant, you get two varieties of salsa: A fresh, "salsa cruda," which is very mild, and a hotter variety, served in a squeeze bottle that you pour into a small dish for dipping. Note the chips, which are made "in house," and are quite thick and are able to hold up to any dip. Nela's has some of the best chips that I've enjoyed during my eating adventures at Mexican restaurants in Roseville. Ah, the "Pacifico" beer works wonders too...
Photo: A small salad is included with the price of lunch. The salad is nothing special, as it's mostly lettuce, with slices of carrot and cabbage. But, it's fresh, and it's a salad! Sharlene and I asked for dressing on the side, so we were rewarded with a small cup of creamy ranch dressing, served on the side, as per our request. In my humble opinion, too much dressing spoils a salad.
Photo: Our friendly server, Nela, brings my "Carnitas Plate" to the table. If her name seems familiar, she shares the name of "Nela," her mother, who owns the restaurant. Nela's Mexican Restaurant is a friendly, family owned and operated restaurant...
Photo: My "Carnias Plate" is in the foreground, and Sharlene's choice of "Chicken Flauntas" is in the background of the photo. Truly a delicious lunch!
Photo: Oh, yes! ... My "Carnitas Plate!" Check out the big pieces of carnitas, which is different, as the "usual" protocol of carnitas is shredded, and not in chunks, as per the photo. However, if you're a lover of carnitas, the carnitas served at Nela's Mexican Restaurant are good, really GOOD, and ditto can be said for the rice and beans, as they're really GOOD as well. The salad was fresh, and the presentation was, in one word, "beautiful," In more words, it could be described as a "work of art." The taste test rendered the lunch a gobble-down, delicious meal. As seen in the photo, the lunch was HUGE, and I was full for the rest of the day. Life at Nela's is good!
Photo: Sharlene and I, enjoying lunch. Photo taken by our gracious server, Nela. Thanks, honey!
Nela's Mexican Restaurant is definitely a hidden treasure in downtown Roseville. Yes, due to the construction activity, it's a little hard to find, but it's definitely worth the effort, as the food is some of the best to be found in Roseville, the price is right, and the people are friendly. Nela's Mexican Restaurant is truly a wonderful restaurant, and served delicious Mexican cuisine.
Nela's Mexican Restaurant
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