Rollin’ with Rollins in LODA
May 6, 2011
I’m in route to Fort Worth, Texas to visit my Brother and his family. Before I left, Matt and I wanted to have lunch together downtown since I was leaving him for a week, so we went to Rollin’s Deli. I had heard good things about Rollin’s and their colorful store front beckons me every time I pass by so I just had to try it!
Rollins is located downtown off Dauphin Street. It’s exterior is very colorful and provides an immediate focal point on the street. Identity Signs, a local sign shop was responsible for the branding and I LOVE it! It really makes them stand out amongst all of the other restaurants downtown that relied on their own abilities for branding. I think that that is one of the biggest mistakes that mom & pop shops make. Branding is SO important and I’m not just saying that because I’m a graphic designer. I think other restaurants downtown should definitely take a cue from Rollin’s Deli and consider their store fronts. Are they luring customers in? If not, you may want to think about a makeover. Identity Signs would be a great company to help you with that. Or you can use me for graphic design and I’ll be happy to send the artwork to them for them to install :) BUT we’re here to talk about food.. not design, so I’ll move on.. (Sorry about that little plug)
When Matt and I walked into Rollin’s we were thinking it was a self-serve kind of restaurant but it’s not. You sit down and they take your order. Well, the shop was really cute. It was painted in fun colors and they had a large chalkboard menu at the register where they used brightly color chalk to write the menu down. Because it was so cute, I wanted to see what the bathroom looked like so I went to go wash my hands. It was clean and I really appreciated that they did not leave a single detail out. Even the sign that said, “Employees must wash hands..etc..etc..” was in the same type face as their Logo. I, the graphic design nerd that I am, really appreciated that.
As I was walking to the bathroom, I saw two picture frames with pictures in them. They were portraits. The men looked like writers to me. Well, I later found out that those are the pictures of Rollin’s namesake. Rollin is the name of owner Jason McLendon’s grandfather, “Papaw”, and his uncle, Rollin Jr. Rollin’s Deli was founded in homage to both of those great men. So that’s savory… but not as savory as their steamed sandwiches!
It didn’t take long for me to decide what I wanted because I saw, “Grilled Chicken with Avocado, Pepper Jack Cheese, crisp Romaine Lettuce, Salt & Cracked Peppered Tomatoes, Red Onion, & Raspberry Dijon.” but I was torn between that sandwich (The L.A.) and the Jackson Philly with “Grilled Chicken or Seasoned Filet Roast Beef with Natural Swiss, sautéed Peppers and Onions, crisp Romaine Lettuce, Salt & Cracked Peppered Tomatoes, with our “Sweet Home” sauce. Well I asked the waitress what she thought, and she said go with the L.A. and I am SO glad I did! The flavor was so delicious!
The roll that the sandwich was on was steamed and very soft! The flavors were tantalizing and while I couldn’t really taste the raspberry vinaigrette, it didn’t matter because there was a party going on in my mouth from the other flavors on the sandwich. I love the combination of ingredients that were on the L.A. sandwich.. especially the avocado! I just don’t think having avocado on a sandwich is offered enough as it should be! It’s packed with antioxidants and healthy fats and it’s green, which is my favorite color.
Each sandwich comes with a side. For my side, I got mashed sweet potatoes. They were pretty tasty but I kind of longed for the brown sugar and cinnamon. BUT they are healthy.. and it’s probably better that I didn’t fatten them up! :)
Matt loves anything with “Philly” in the title so he decided to try the Jackson Philly with the Boar’s Head roast beef. It was composed of “Seasoned Filet Roast Beef with Natural Swiss, sautéed Peppers and Onions, crisp Romaine Lettuce, Salt & Cracked Peppered Tomatoes, with their “Sweet Home” sauce.” I had a taste and really enjoyed the flavor of the roast beef. It had the ingredients of a Philly but was definitely a different take on the classic. It tasted very fresh and it wasn’t as heavy as most Philly cheese steaks normally are. That’s something I appreciate. Especially at lunch time.
For Matt’s side, he got Rollin’s Beer Cheese Soup. I know that beer is commonly used in cooking. I’ve never liked the flavor of beer, but I have seen many people use it on Food Network and figured it must be really flavorful. So I made some chili with beer to see what all the fuss was about….. GROSS! I did not like it one bit! For some reason, the “flavor” of beer in cooking tastes rotten to me! Well, I tasted this beer cheese soup and liked it immediately! It did not have that “rotten” taste that I normally associate with soups that use beer. It was cheesy and delightful in every way! Matt really liked it, too. It was a comfort and would definitely be a great soup to cook around tailgating season. I also think it would be a great “sauce” to use for a fondue! Skewer up some Hawaiian rolls, toast them and dunk em’ in this yummy concoction! Now that would be yummy!
Did I mention how sweet our waitress was? At first, I got a diet coke (I know, I’m not drinking those but I did that day) and it tasted like it was out of a can instead of a fountain (I’m weird), so I changed to raspberry lemonade. Well I’m not 100% sure, but I don’t think I was supposed to get a free refill on the raspberry lemonade but the waitress gave me one anyway! So that was really nice. I don’t think she had the heart to tell me that they weren’t free.
Overall, I thought Rollin’s Deli was a really nice place. The food was delicious, the people were sweet and the environment was hip and fresh. It is a great addition to the downtown area and I am certain that it will be very successful! For more information on Rollin’s Deli, check out their website here and be sure to “like” them on facebook!