Aug 30

Four Sisters Cafe – Roseville

9050 Fairway Dr #165

Roseville, CA 95678

Rating: ★★★★½ 

Located in a strip mall near Costco in Roseville, Four Sisters Cafe serves up a variety of traditional and innovative breakfast and lunch items in a modern location. Upon arrival a little after noon, groups of people stood outside and inside waiting for their tables. When we entered the queue, we were quoted for 30-35 minutes. There was not a lot of standing room inside the restaurant, but wait area seating soon became available. After around 20 minutes, our buzzer sounded, and our table was ready. We seemed to have avoided a longer wait from the earlier crowd as lots of people finished their meals as we were seated. Our hostess quickly had us seated and asked for our drink orders after providing the menus. She quickly returned with water and stated our server would arrive soon.

After a few minutes passed while reviewing the menu, our nice server did come to take our order. We decided to order the large orange juice; corned beef hash with scrambled egg, no onions or peppers, and with a side of biscuit; simple is good omelet with ham, bacon, and sausage with a side of toast, and one stack of mancakes. The large orange juice was not really large, rather it was the size of the standard water cup. The orange juice tasted very freshly squeezed while not being too sour and having a good amount of sweetness. The cup was nicely garnished with a thin orange slice. The food ended up arriving fairly quickly after ordering.

The corned beef hash consisted of fresh scrambled eggs on top of strips of fresh corned beef on top of country potatoes. I liked how the corned beef was not too salty. There was plenty of food on the plate, almost enough for two people. I could not get to the side biscuit because of how full I got, but it did come with soft butter and strawberry jam. The mancake is a bacon and sausage infused pancake. When eating the fluffy pancake, you will notice the bacon and sausage pieces, which adds a savory flavor to the sweet syrup. The syrup was not too sweet and tasted homemade. I wished the pancake was more crispy because the thick cake fell apart at times. The simple is good omelet was extremely cheesy and came with plenty of meat inside. You get all three meats in each bite coated with cheese in the fluffy fresh real egg. The potatoes had dill and green onion in it as well, which added a fresh flavor, but gets to you after eating it for a while. The omelet may have went better with a side of rice instead. The sourdough toast was pre-buttered and came with a side of fresh strawberry jam, which went well with the omelet.

Overall, Four Sisters Cafe provided exceptional service at bearable wait times serving up extremely fresh fulfilling food at reasonable prices. At first glance, prices are a bit on the high end, but you do get what you pay for in quantity and quality of food. Our server checked up on us multiple times throughout the meal and provided prompt refills. He even noted that after the meal, we can pay as we leave. With the fresh food and variety of options, I strongly recommend Four Sisters Cafe in Roseville if you are looking for great breakfast.

Aug 26

Pho Kim Long – San Jose

2082 N Capitol Ave

San Jose, CA 95132

Rating: ★★½☆☆ 

Pho Kim Long. Pho Kim Long. Pho Kim Long. You can try saying that loudly multiple times in public, and you will sure have people looking at you funny. Located just south of Milpitas near the Great Mall, Pho Kim Long serves up authentic Vietnamese food in a fast-paced, people-packed environment. Parking was available, but harder to find. Upon entering the restaurant, another couple was right in front of us as well. A server noticed the new guests, and flagged both the couple in front of us along with us towards the back of the restaurant. Without any words, she pointed the couple to a table and subsequently directed us to another table. Menus were quickly dropped in front of us, and I knew we had to act quick to skim the menu. Less than a minute latter, the server comes back to ask what do we want.

Today, we quickly ordered the Spring Rolls, Large Pho Tai, and BBQ Pork and shrimp over rice. The spring rolls came a little different than with other restaurants as the ends are actually cut off. There was an adequate amount of pork and shrimp in each bite. The rolls included mint, which I usually don’t like, so I decided to add hoisin sauce to help neutralize the taste. The pho came quickly right after the rolls and had the fresh rare steak cooking inside the fairly clear broth. The broth did not seem to have a lot of flavor and was on the bland side. I ended up adding more hoisin sauce and black pepper for flavor. I was quite amazed at the quality of the beef because it was extremely tender. The menu states they use filet mignon, but I don’t believe them; however, considering how tender the meat was, I would not rule it out. A while later, the BBQ pork and shrimp over rice arrived. I really like how they butterfly the shrimp, but I would have preferred they remove the shell from the shrimp as well. The shrimp used was quite large, but slightly overcooked as it was a bit rubbery. The pork was marinated well and went well with the provided sauce, but was quite burnt at parts. The soup provided was very savory, but just tasted OK.

Overall, Pho Kim Long serves up good pho, but their lack of service and poorly made rice dish reduced their recommendation. Although you get seated quick, and food usually arrives quick, you have the sense that they just want people in and out as quick as possible. Going to a Vietnamese restaurant, you would have to expect that to be the case. After you finish your meal, you need to personally go to the register to pay. Something did not sit will with me from the pho, which was odd as well. If you are in San Jose and need to look for pho, Pho Kim Long will satisfy that need, but I was not very impressed.

Aug 23

Angelou’s Mexican Grill – San Jose

21 N 2nd St

San Jose, CA 95113

Rating: ★★★★☆ 

Located in downtown San Jose, Angelou’s Mexican grill serves up both traditional Mexican entrees as well as Taqueria fare. Validated parking is available across the street and nearby street parking is sometimes available. Upon entering the small eatery, you will notice the large menu posted above the cash register. At the time, I was also able to check in on Yelp to earn a free Taco with a specific purchase. Staff was nice, a few guests were busy eating, and two TV’s broadcasted various programming.

Today, we decided to order the Cali moco burrito and three tacos. The Cali moco burrito was huge and contained steak, french fries, cheese, guacamole, and egg. All of the ingredients tasted fresh and went well together. There was not a lot of meat or guacamole, but there was enough. The egg added an interesting texture to the burrito. I really liked how there was no pocket of grease at the bottom of the burrito that is ever-apparent in California style, fry-filled, burritos. An even better addition was the provided orange sauce, which added a creamy texture and very strong delayed heat. The sauce is a bit sour and tangy too. Compared to La Victoria, Angelou’s orange sauce packs a lot more heat, but does not seem as creamy. Without the orange sauce, the burrito did taste a bit bland. The orange sauce also went well with the tacos and chips. We ordered both Carne Asada and Al Pastor tacos. The provided salsa on the tacos tasted very fresh over the fresh meat. I like how the tacos were lined with cilantro, which added a clean flavor. Orange sauce matched up well with the meat and tortilla. The green sauce tasted refreshing with refreshing notes of cilantro and lime, but still packing heat from fresh pepper. I did like the Carne Asada more than the Al Pastor because the beef had more flavor.

Overall, Angelou’s serves up delicious tacos and an impressive Cali burrito. I definitely recommend the use of the orange sauce if you can handle the heat. Compared to La Victoria, I would suggest coming to Angelou’s instead if you can make it downtown. Service was good and prices were reasonable, but slightly high. If you are in the area, you definitely need to get Angelou’s a try.

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