Roundhouse Deli is a quaint, "mom and pop," "hole in the wall" restaurant, that serves amazing diner "comfort food," right across Church Street from Union Pacific Railroad's Roseville engine facility, hence the name "Roundhouse." Over the years, this fine diner has achieved quite a reputation, and has been featured on the morning television show "Good Day Sacramento" several time. It's a favorite eatery of nearby railroad workers, construction workers, blue collar workers, Roseville locals, and anybody who appreciates fine cuisine.
Photo: It's about 3 in the afternoon on "Taco Tuesday," February 04, 2020, and the smoker is parked in front of Roundhouse Deli, tri-tip is smoking over oak, and I'm ready to enjoy a lunch of tri-tip tacos.
Photo: Roundhouse Deli is located across the street from Union Pacific railroad's Roseville engine service facilities. In yesteryear, steam engines were housed in a building constructed in a semi-circle, centered around a turntable, which would shunt each engine into a particular stall. Steam engines are a part of history, and the building now services state-of-the-art diesel engines, but the name "roundhouse" has stuck. It's an appropriate name for this fine restaurant!
Photo: As you enter the restaurant, you'll notice the counter, along with the railroad decor, which is a good fit, as the restaurant is just across the street from the railroad tracks. You'll be greeted by friendly Ivan, behind the counter, who will take your order with a smile.
Roundhouse Deli operates on what I call the "taqueria format" in that you make your selection from the posted overhead menu - there are no printed menus - pay for it, and when your order is ready, it will be brought to you by one of the staff members.
Photo: The menu is posted above the counter, and offers breakfast and lunch. Roundhouse Deli opens at 6:00 am and remains open until 5:00 pm Monday through Friday, and from 7:00 am until 2:00 pm on Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Sunday.
It's interesting to note that since I've been dining at Roundhouse Deli, the restaurant is under new ownership for the third time, but there have been very few, but a number of subtle changes to the menu. The major exception with the current owners as the restaurant now features Pepsi products, rather then Coke.
Tuesday is special, as it's "Taco Tuesday," and for your taco meat, you get to choose between tri-tip, beef or chicken. Note the inexpensive prices.
Photo: The dining room is tiny, and decorated with railroad decor, and memorabilia from Roseville's U.S. 40 days, before the interstate. Like the menu, the decor has changed very little over the years, and under different owners.
If you like railroad decor, you've come to the right place, as everything "railroad" decorates the dining room. You'll note many historic photos of Roseville action, many of them dating back to the Southern Pacific railroad days before Union Pacific took over in the 1980's. If you like to watch mainline railroad action in real time, you can choose to dine outside the restaurant on the sidewalk, and watch several Amtrak trains, and numerous freight trains roll by.
I'm standing in the far corner of the dining room, near the drink cooler - yes, you can grab canned or bottled soda, juice, water or beer from the cooler - and the photo gives an idea of the size of the dining room. It's comfortable, "old school," and very inviting.
Photo: Ivan, who works behind the counter, points out since today is Tuesday, it's "Taco Tuesday" and tri-tip tacos are ready for his enjoyment.
Photo: The kitchen is open, if you look behind the counter, where you can watch the friendly staff at work. Ivan works the counter, while pitmaster, Rene, slices meat, and the chef works the kitchen.
Photo: As sign in the window shows when smoked tri-tip is available. Tri-tip is smoked over oak, on a large smoker, parked on the street in front of the restaurant. Tuesday is a bonus day, as it's "Taco Tuesday" and you can enjoy smoked tri-tip tacos.
Photo: Rene, the pitmaster, loads another oak log into the smoker, as an interested customer looks on. The smoker is parked on Church Street, directly in front of the restaurant, and the tri-tip is cooked on the street. There are tables and picnic benches on the sidewalk, in front of the restaurant, for your outdoor dining pleasure.
Photo: Rene opens to pit to check the smoking progress. Since it's just after 3 in the afternoon, he was planning to smoke only one more tri-tip roast, as the restaurant closes at 5.
Photo: Meet Ivan, the friendly guy behind the counter, who brings my lunch of three smoked tri-tip tacos to me with a smile.
Photo: Thanks, Ivan, for snapping my photo, as I relax at a table on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant, and I smile, as I know I'm going to enjoy some amazing smoked tri-tip tacos.
Photo: "Taco Tuesday" features smoked, tri-tip tacos! Beef or chicken tacos are also available, but how can you beat smoked tri-tip? The meal is available as a "combo," which features either macaroni or potato salad, along with a soft drink, but I chose to order my tacos a la carte, along with a tall can of Pacifico beer.
Ivan brought out a bottle of delicious hot sauce, but the tacos are so amazing, they didn't need any enhancement from hot sauce.
Photo: One of my smoked tri-tip tacos. I peeled back the cheese, lettuce and tomato, to get a look at the thinly sliced meat before taking my first bite. Taco heaven!
Each taco starts off with a fried corn tortilla, The tortilla is perfectly fried, soft, yet crispy and holds together well, and doesn't break apart. Yes, you can eat your entire taco without spilling the goodies. The chef who fries the tortillas truly has talent... It's great to note that the sliced tri-tip and the corn tortillas were hot, while the cheese, lettuce and tomato were chilled, which added to the sensational taste.
The tri-tip beef is thinly cut, carne asada style, and placed at the foundation of the taco. The tri-tip is smoked on the street, in front of the restaurant is a huge, "Texas style" smoker, fired by oak, which grows everywhere in the Roseville area. The meat is cooked medium and is smoky, tender, juicy and simply SHOUTS flavor! The meat is "stand-alone" good, and you don't need any condiments, hot sauce or anything else to enhance this amazing tri-tip. The credit goes to Rene, as he's a pitmaster with talent.
Garnishes include shredded Mexican cheese, shredded lettuce, with a few tomato slices thrown in for good measure. If you love cheese, check out the previous photo, as you have to peel back the lettuce and cheese in order to see the meat. No worries, as Roundhouse Deli gives you a generous portion of meat, and when you bite into your taco, you'll taste the smoky tri-tip, enhanced by the lettuce, cheese and tomato.
These smoked tri-tip tacos are simply amazing, and there is nothing else like this in the greater Sacramento area. Over the years, Roundhouse Deli has become a favorite of Roseville locals, and everybody who enjoys amazing deli "comfort food" served by some of the friendliest staff in Placer County. Do yourself a favor, and treat yourself to a lunch of smoked tri-tip tacos at Roundhouse Deli, located in Roseville, CA.
Lets go back to Tuesday, June 25, 2013, when I paid a previous visit to Roundhouse Deli...
Yes, back in 2011, I posted an article, detailing my visit to Roundhouse Deli. Fast forward to June, 2013, and Roundhouse Deli is under new management, and the new management has made subtitle, yet significant changes to their menu, and mode of operation, so it's only appropriate that I publish a new article about my latest visit to one of the best delis that I've had to visit, in Roseville, CA.
Photo: If you're a fan of tri-tip - which is "California," when it comes to barbecue - you'll want to visit Roundhouse Deli on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, as they park a wood-fired smoker in front of the deli, and smoke tri-tip over oak. But if you miss "tri-tip" days, no worries, as everything on the menu is great, and the staff is friendly!
Photo: Tuesday, June 25, 2013 was a tri-tip day, so I made my way over to Roundhouse Deli to order a tri-tip sandwich, where the meat is smoked for hours over oak, on the smoker, parked in front of the deli. Friendly Drea smiles for my camera, after I asked her if I could take her photo. I always love to take photos of beautiful women! Note the railroad photos, and the poster of the Southern Pacific SD-40 locomotive. I love the railroad theme of the restaurant!
Photo: Roundhouse Deli has an appropriate name, as it's located directly across the street from the Union Pacific Railroad engine service facility in Roseville. If you're a trivia buff, U.P.'s Roseville yard is the largest railroad yard west of the Mississippi River. The term "roundhouse" is a tad outdated, as the word hails from the days of steam, when steam engines were housed in a "round house" and turned on a turntable, which isn't the case in 2013. I'm sitting on an outside table, enjoying the smell of oak, coming from the smoker, and enjoying the activities from the railroad facility, just across Church Street. You just have to love that 1965 Chevy pickup truck in the photo!
Photo: It's "Tri-tip Tuesday," and co-owner Chad has just loaded in a couple more tri-tips to be smoked. Chad and Andrea know how to cook tri-tip!
Photo: Friendly Drea, smiles, as she brings my smoked tri-tip sandwich to me. She and her husband, Chad, have owned the deli for about a year, and have made subtle, yet significant changes to the menu, all for the better. Example: tri-tip Tuesday and Wednesday... Yeah!!! You can see U.P.'s engine service facilities in the background of the photo.
Photo: I asked Drea to snap my photo, as I pose, in all of my glory, with my unwrapped tri-tip sandwich, and a quart of Corona beer. Life is good in Roseville!
Photo: My lunch of a tri-tip sandwich, and a 32-oz Corona beer. The sandwich started with 7-oz of tri-tip, smoked over oak, and was diced, and placed on a large, toasted French roll. The sandwich was garnished with diced onion, lettuce, and sliced tomato, and barbecue sauce and mayonnaise were added. Wow!!! What a sandwich! I challenge anybody to find a better tri-tip sandwich, anywhere! In the words of Icona Pop, "I Love It!"
Photo: Tuesday, July 16, 2013, I enjoyed three tri-tip tacos and a Pacifico beer. Before today, I'd never enjoyed a tri-tip taco, but Drea told me about them, so I just had to try one out. Each tri-tip taco starts on a deep-fried corn tortilla, then it's loaded with smoked, shredded tri-tip, and topped with shredded cheese, tomato and lettuce. As you can see, you get a "mountain" of goodies on each tortilla, which makes for messy eating, but that's part of the fun, and there are plenty of napkins. A "ballena" of icy-cold Pacifico beer rounds out a delicious lunch.
Photo: A few days earlier, on June 25, 2013, I enjoyed a hot dog and a Pacifico beer. Roundhouse Deli grills a delicious hot dog, and the price is only $2.50!!!
Photo: September 27, 2013 I enjoyed the "Cheeseburger Basket" and a large Pacifico beer for lunch. The "Cheeseburger Basket" starts with a perfectly-cooked, 1/3 hamburger patty on a French roll that's crusty on the outside, and chewy on the inside, just the way I like it. The burger is garnished with tomato, onion, lettuce and dill pickle slices, along with melted cheese, and includes mustard and mayonnaise as condiments, but if you've got a sweet tooth, ketchup is available in a squeeze bottle, which comes in handy for the fries. It's an outstanding burger. The large helping of fries are delicious, and cooked to a golden brown on the outside, and soft and tender inside, and aren't greasy or overly salted. I really like large, crinkle-cut fries such as these, and Roundhouse Deli knows how to cook fries! This was a delicious lunch!
I challenge you to find a better tri tip sandwich in Roseville, or anywhere else, and I challenge you to find a deli that is staffed by people as friendly as Chad and Andrea. Great food, great scenery - for the railfan - and wonderful people! Roundhouse Deli is as good as it gets!
Now, let's go back to February 07, 2011, when Roundhouse Deli was under different management...
How many times have I walked past Roundhouse Deli in the 11 years or so that I've lived in Roseville, CA? Many times... I say again... many times. Timing is everything, and it all came together at 1100 on Monday, February 7, 2011, when I finally opened the door to Roundhouse Deli.
Photo: Roundhouse Deli is located just across the street from Union Pacific's gigantic engine service facility, and offers lots of parking, and outdoor dining... with a great view of railroad operations. If you're a railfan, this is a great place to enjoy a wonderful meal.
Roundhouse Deli is a small restaurant... as you open the door and walk in, you look to your left, and see the soft drink - and beer - coolers, you turn your head to the right, and you'll see a few tables and chairs, and if you look ahead, you'll see the order counter, with the friendly chief cook and bottlewasher, Sal, behind the counter, with his reserved daughter helping him. Look straight ahead and you'll see their menu that's posted above the counter. Yes, Roundhouse Deli offers much more than hot dogs... but if you like hot dogs, you won't want to pass on Roundhouse Deli.
Photo: This is the order counter with the posted menu, as Sal's daughter begins to prepare my hot dogs. She was quite shy and didn't seem to want her photo taken, so I was discreet with my camera...
Photo: This photo only depicts a small portion of the railroad memorabilia that decorates the restaurant.
Roundhouse Deli is located just across the street from Union Pacific's engine service facility - which is one of the largest rail yards on the west coast - so if you like trains, then this is a restaurant for you. Due to the close proximity to the U.P. yard, Roundhouse Deli caters to the taste of railroad employees... so if you like blue collar fare, Roundhouse Deli is your restaurant. The interior decor is railroad all the way, and even has many photos from the Southern Pacific era - both steam and diesel. If you're a railroad buff, Roundhouse Deli is the place to visit.
Photo: Sal wears a Union Pacific Railroad hat... good thing, as the deli is located as close to the tracks as you can get.
Photo: As my meal was being prepared, Sal and I had quite a conversation of experiences in Viet Nam, Mexico, and other places - we conversed both in English and Spanish - but I got him to snap my photo of me, with my two hot dogs, and my "whale" of a bottle of Pacifico beer, which is my favorite brand of beer. OK, that's a QUART of beer, but kids, I'm walking, so there's no dui in the forecast. No threat of dui, and no problem...
Oh yes... the hot dogs. Each hot dog is a quarter pound, it's split in the middle and grilled. The split dog is served on a French roll and garnished with mustard and sweet relish. Each dog is a meal in itself; I ordered two of them for lunch, and was full for the rest of the day.
Photo: You take a "whale of a beer," a couple of great hot dogs, eat half of one, and split the rest apart, and then leave the other one mostly intact, ready to eat in a few minutes. Geeeezzzzz!!!! These hot dogs are good!!!!
Sal is a great guy to talk to, and a Viet Nam veteran. He and his family will treat you well when you visit his restaurant. I highly recommend a visit to Roundhouse Deli.
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