If you ask people what they like about their favorite "go-to" restaurant, they typically answer by saying things like: "It's a hidden gem; it's a hole in the wall with the best food around; it's got the most delicious food with the best prices in town". All those things are true of Roundhouse Deli, and the list of great things people say about this place is almost endless. In fact, let's put it this way in today's way of measuring things; in the last 13 years of business, this place has a consistent Yelp 5 Star percentage rate of 90%!!!
The Roundhouse That Isn't Round
One of the extraordinary things about Roseville is its ability to retain its historical merit while allowing growing. Roundhouse Deli, while not a historical restaurant per se, is a restaurant that shows a huge love of Roseville history. Roundhouse Deli is located in the historic section of Roseville that might be the last place you'd expect to see a restaurant. It's not only in the middle of a residential neighborhood; it's across from one of the Union Pacific engine facilities that has absolutely no station anywhere in sight. This extremely popular restaurant is housed in a converted building that may or may not have been a house at one time. It’s hard to tell. But what isn’t hard to tell is that there are strong ties between Roundhouse Deli and the railroad (pun embedded everywhere in the last two sentences). In fact, its name comes straight from railroad history.
Long ago when steam engines ruled the rails, steam engines were housed in a building built in a semi-circle shape that was always centered around a turntable. Engines would enter into the turntable and be shunted into its own stall. These buildings were called roundhouses. Although diesel engines replaced steam engines long ago, the tradition of naming their servicing centers has remained intact. The Roundhouse Deli is across from Union Pacific Railroad's servicing center that is NOT round at all.
Once inside the tiny restaurant, you'll enter into a railroad fan's dream as everything centers around a railroad theme. This restaurant's walls are decorated with many historical photos, many showing an era when Southern Pacific was king of the rails.
The Line Says it All
Besides a hefty dose of word of mouth "advertisement" that has happened over the years, Roundhouse Deli has been featured on the morning television show "Good Day Sacramento" several times. Because it’s a favorite eatery of nearby railroad workers, construction workers, and Roseville locals, there’s always a line out the front door and onto the sidewalk around noon. This sight was a regular occurrence long before social distancing necessitated it. The restaurant’s regulars say you can set your clock by the size of the line formed outside of Roundhouse Deli! While in line, I talked to the person in front of me who looked like she knew exactly what she was doing. It turns out she’s not only a regular diner at Roundhouse Deli, but she's also her business office's "food runner". She says that she's the one that initially found the restaurant and was so delighted with it that she went back to the office and told all her co-workers about it. She said that no one believed that the food could be as good as she described it. Given that challenge to her sensibilities, she said she offered to take their orders and bring lunches back the following day. While she says she was happy that her co-workers admitted she wasn't exaggerating, she’s still unsure how it meant she was elected to be the official Roundhouse Deli food runner. She said this with a laugh because she admitted she loves being the one to pick up their lunches as it gives her a chance to say hi to the people that work at Roundhouse Deli. She told me they're always very friendly to their customers and she thinks of the restaurant as “her place”. Once it was my turn to go inside, I was greeted by a very friendly staff who didn't seem at all phased by the busyness of the restaurant's pace. It was an absolutely delightful experience to ask questions about possible food selections and not feel rushed.
Food That I’ll Be Onboard With Forever!
Roundhouse Deli operates, appropriately so, in a deli-style because you make your selection from the posted overhead menu, pay for it, and then the order is brought to you when it's done. I was there for lunch so I can’t speak to the breakfast food. But if it's anything like lunch, I’d say it’s worth showing up for breakfast too.
My lunch was DELICIOUS! I ordered the shredded chicken taco. I think the name should be changed to "the loaded shredded chicken taco". It was not only loaded with very well seasoned chicken; it included an abundance of lettuce, tomatoes, and cheese with a generous side of taco sauce. The taco is served in a freshly fried corn tortilla that crispy enough to be satisfying but soft enough to hold its form so the taco contents stay inside the taco. As is my habit, I love to see what others order and, if they'll allow me a minute of their time, what they like about their choice of food. Apparently, the freshly smoked tri-tip, either in a sandwich or taco, is a big favorite. From what I was told, it's very juicy and smoked to perfection on a vast, Texas style smoker. Everything is offered either as a meal combo or ala carte but fair warning, the main dish is large enough that there’s little room for sides.
At the risk of sounding overly confident, I'm going to bet you'll love your experience at Roundhouse Deli.
Roseville Self Storage Is Here For Our Community
As your neighborhood self storage facility, Roseville Self Storage is a proud member of Roseville's vibrant community. We're always interested in finding new places to share with our valued customers and community members. Fun fact: Self Storage Is Great For Collectors. If you're a railroad enthusiast and have a collection of model trains and railroad memorabilia, self storage could be the perfect way to organize your collection (and take your collection to the next level). Self storage has so many different applications, and at Roseville Self Storage, we are here for you! We're open for business and practicing social distancing so please come by our state-of-the-art self storage facility and tell us what your favorite Roseville hidden gems are.
Roundhouse Deli is located at 604 Church St.
Roseville, CA 95678