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I like to keep in shape, so as part of my daily routine, I usually hike 10 or so miles per day.  To digress, burning calories helps me persue one of my favorite hobbies, which is eating at various area restaurants.  I've passed by Vernon Street Grill, located in downtown Roseville, many times, have read reviews on the restaurant, and had it pinned to the front of my "things to do list."  On Saturday, January 18, 2014, I met my friends Robert and Kat, to enjoy lunch at Vernon Street Grill.

Photo:  Vernon Street Grill and Deli, is located in downtown Roseville, on the east side of the railroad tracks.  The City of Roseville offers lots of free parking, and Vernon Street Grill offers plenty of outdoor seating.

Photo:  View of the dining room, which is mostly booths, but there are a few tables, and slightly raised seating near the front windows.  You place your order at the counter, pay for it, and you're rewarded with a number, as within a few minutes, your server will bring your order to you table.

Photo:  As I was waiting for my friends to arrive, I took a seat at one of the slightly raised tables near the window, which offers an interesting, and outstanding view of the daily life of Vernon Street, in downtown Roseville.  One of the things I liked about this place, is you can just grab a beer from the cooler, pay the cashier, and enjoy your beer. The price is right, as they only charge $2.50 for a Pacifico beer, which is a dollar less than many nearby restaurants.  

Photo:  After my friends arrived, I placed my order, grabbed another beer, paid for my order, and then took a seat at a booth big enough for the three of us.  Mr. Counter-Guy grins, as I snap his photo, shortly after placing, and paying for my order.  In return, I received a small, plastic number 20, shown in the photo, which was my new identity until my order arrived.  Wow!  I achieved a new identity, sort of like a 2014 version of an Auschwitz inmate?  You can see into the kitchen, over his right shoulder.

So far, so good.  I sipped my beer, and chatted with my friends.  In about five minutes our order arrived, brought by the smiling counter-guy that smiles at me in the previous photo.  As he placed our orders on the table, he very politely informed me that the owner "requested" that I not take photos.  Note, I had taken three flash photos, and one existing light photo.  So, I explained to Mr. Counter-Guy my mission, e.g.., that I run a web site, I do restaurant reviews, and I'm essentially offering free advertising, as my restaurant reviews is simply a hobby, as I have the means to support myself without any earnings from my journalistic endeavors.  He stuck to his guns, and insisted "No more photos!" as per the "owner's" request.  OK, guy, I know you're just a young, minimum wage, worker-bee, just doing your job.  So I respectfully asked him if the "owner" would come out, as I'd like to chat with him/her and explain my mission, and the fact that this could actually be a good thing.  No way!  So, then I explained to Mr. Counter-Guy the "pen is mightier than the sword," and the fact that I daily receive thousands of "hits" from around the world, including Roseville, and a scathing review would not be in their best interest.  Again, he politely explained to me "owner" had a "NO PHOTOS" policy.

Round Two: I explained to him, since there was a "NO PHOTOS" sign posted, and since this is a public place, although publicly owned, under the laws of the State of California, that there is no expectation of privacy, and the "owner" cannot prosecute me for taking photos.  However, since it is private property, and I was "informed" that photo-taking is against the wished of the "owner," I was required to refrain from taking photos.  I complied, and put my camera in my pocket.  However, I did tell Mr. Counter-Guy that I considered the "owner" to be quite lacking in social skills, for not having the wherewithal to talk to me about a his policy on photography, and essentially a refusal of a free, positive review of his restaurant.  

Round Three:  After our polite exchange, I gave Mr. Counter-Guy one of my business cards, and requested him to pass it along to the "owner," so "owner" could read my opiniion of his hostile dining environment.

It is their loss, not mine, as there are many other restaurants in Roseville that serve hamburgers, and it would not be a great undertaking to discover a better burger, in a friendly environment. Just for the record, as I've previously stated, this is article is MY OPINION alone, and not the opinion of my friends.  Under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, I am allowed to state my opinion.  I have no financial interests in my opinions, and I am not concerned about bad publicity, as this is MY web site, and if a reader disagrees with my opinion, they have the freedom to leave, and never return.  In the words of Kathie Lee Gifford, "There, I Said It Again..."

Free publicity was being offered, but at the opinion of this reporter, the publicity of this place was not favorable. This restaurant joins the dubious list of Taqueria El Charro, and especially, Mr. Sub's, as to hostile, unfriendly places to eat.  

Photo:  My friends and dining companions Kat and Robert.  Kat ordered Fish and Chips, with a salad, and Robert ordered a #24 burger, as I did, and a side of fries.  My friends told me they enjoyed their lunch, and reported their food to be delicious.  The opinions stated on this restaurant are mine, and mine alone, and do not reflect on the opinions of my friends Robert and Kat.

Photo:  My order of a #24 Burger, which is labeled as the "Vernon Street Burger."  The menu describes burgers as "All hamburgers are handmade, 1/3 pound of 100% ground beef.  Fresh daily with lettuce, tomato, onion, mayonnaise, mustard & ketchup."  Specifically to the #24 burger, the menu reads, "Bacon, American cheese, avocado, lettuce, tomato & 1000dressing (sic)."  That's how the menu reads - check it out online - but in interpret the "1000dressing" as Thousand Island Dressing.  The burger was cooked to order, the components were fresh, and at $5.23, represented a good value.  But, perhaps due to the hostile atmosphere that I encountered, the burger was quite blasée to me, and entirely forgettable.  If I hadn't already paid for my order, I would have told the staff, "Sorry, I've lost my appetite," and would have walked out.  But, since I had paid for my order, I ate it.  We did take our time, and I didn't "exactly" clean up after myself, as per my normal routine.  You will never see another review from me of this restaurant, as I'll never return to this dive.   I took this photo after Mr. Counter-Guy scurried back behind the counter, to resume his duties.

My opinion of my lunch?  Keep in mind, this is only my opinion, and not the opinion of my friends...  At $5.23 - you have to love the "oddball" price - my burger represented a good value, as it was cooked as per my request, and included fresh ingredients, and it made a very filling lunch.  But, perhaps to the rude, hostile atmosphere of the restaurant, my taste buds didn't shout GREAT BURGER! as the burger just didn't do anything for me.  The burger was entirely forgettable, mediocre and blah!  If you're interested in a much better in a much friendlier restaurant, cross the railroad tracks and head over Nubbins Drive In. I will never return to Vernon Street Grill, as the atmosphere is hostile, and the food is unremarkable, and entirely forgettable.

Vernon Street Grill and Deli
711 Vernon Street
Roseville, CA 95678
916 789-0145

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