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Downtown Roseville has many excellent restaurants, bars and pubs, but in all of my pub crawling, and eating adventures, I haven't seen anything in town like Monk's Cellar, as it's a unique restaurant... or is it a pub or is it a sports bar?  Monk's Cellar mixes the lines between a restaurant, a pub, and a micro brewery, but it does it with class, and features some of the best upscale pub fare to be found in Roseville.

As with all restaurant reviews I publish, I have no affiliation with the restaurant reviewed, and there is no monetary gain on my part, as I am simply a person who likes to eat, and I love to write-up, and publish my dining experiences.

Photo:  It's just past the 11:30 morning opening time on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, and I've arrived at The Monk's Cellar to enjoy some fine dining.  The restaurant and micro brewery are co-located and co-owned on Vernon Street in downtown Roseville, CA near the Civic Center and Sierra College.

Photo:  The restaurant offers a small, shaded patio that overlooks the sidewalk, so you can watch the happenings of Vernon Street while you sip a beer, or enjoy a side of "Duck Fat Fries."  There is a small fence which conforms to California state law regarding alcohol, so you can enjoy a microbrew or a cocktail from the full-service bar to your heart's content.

Photo:  As you enter, you'll notice the large, full-service bar and the "Please Wait to be Seated" sign.  You'll be immediately seated by a member of the friendly staff.  The dining room is long and narrow and offers table seating, in both bar and restaurant style.

Photo:  As you move away from the bar, there are many high, bar-style tables, with the lower, restaurant style tables further to the rear of the dining room.  Note the micro brewery visible through the glass.  I love the bar facing the brewery, which allows you to sip a beer while you watch another batch in the making.

Photo:  A peek into the micro brewery, where you can watch the staff brew "Vernon Street Lager" and other delicious beer.

Photo:  The "Specialties, Burgers and Sandwiches" side of the menu.  The other side of the menu lists appetizers and salads.  There is a separate beer and bar menu.

Photo:  The patio is shaded, enclosed on three sides and looks out to Vernon Street and downtown Roseville.  On this delightful 75-degree morning in late May, the patio was simply enjoyable!  Note the small fence which makes it legal to enjoy alcohol on the patio.

Trivia time:  Did you know the state of Baja California, Mexico has the same law regarding patio alcohol consumption?  Now you know...

Photo:  Meet Gaige, my amazingly friendly server, who brought my beer and my lunch to me with a smile.  When he wasn't busy, he came over and chatted with me a couple of times about food and beer, as he's a "foodie" and he lovers beer.

Photo:  I raise my glass of "Vernon Street Lager" and toast Gaige's friendly service, along with the fine pub cuisine at The Monk's Cellar.  The food is simply delicious!

Photo:  From the "Burgers and Sandwiches" section of the menu, I went with a "Brother Reuben" and a side of "Duck Fat Fries."  The menu describes the sandwich as, "Corned beer, gruyere cheese, sauerkraut and Russian dressing on a grilled Acme rye bread."  If you're not fond of "Duck Fat Fries" there are several other choices of sides. For dessert... or was it an appetizer? ... I ordered a "Vernon Street Lager" from the micro brewery under the same roof as the restaurant.

The sandwich began with two buttered and perfectly grilled slices of Acme rye bread, that was buttery, crispy and delicious but held the sandwich together well.  The bread was brushed with Russian dressing and piled high with a generous helping of corned beef.  The corned beef was tender, juicy, seasoned and not at all salty, and thinly cut for an added taste enjoyment.  Shredded sauerkraut was placed on top of the beef, and topped with melted gruyere cheese.  

One bite into this amazing sandwich made me realize that I was enjoying a quality Reuben, perhaps the best Reuben in Placer County.  Thanks to the crispy rye bread the sandwich had "crunch," the tender corned beef added the "meat," the sauerkraut added a welcome tang, and the gruyere cheese added both a touch of sweet and sour for an award winning combination. The chef at The Monk's Cellar has talent, as sandwich was perfectly grilled and worthy to note, the bread was not soggy.  Such a delicious sandwich!

Oh yes... how could we forget the famous "Duck Fat Fries?"  The fries were cut from hand to a medium size, very lightly sprinkled with just enough salt to enhance the taste, and deep fried in duck fat to a perfect golden brown, to give them a very crisp, somewhat "nutty" taste.  The fries were simply perfect, as they were juicy tender on the inside, with a golden brown crispness on the outside. Delicious!

My lunch also included a cup of spicy, chunky, horseradish-brown mustard, and a cup of garlic aioli sauce.  I used both for dipping the fries and dipped morsels of my sandwich into the mustard.  The aioli sauce added a smooth, creamy touch, and the mustard added a robust, horseradish sensation to this fine lunch.

When you're looking for one of the best Reuben sandwiches in the area, make your way over to The Monk's Cellar, located on Vernon Street in downtown Roseville.

Photo:  Cross section of my delicious "Brother Reuben" sandwich, along with a portion of the "Duck Fat Fries." You can see all the layers of goodness in this premium sandwich.

Look at that cup of mustard... I had no idea of what it was until I dipped a fry into it, and then the spicy mustard and horseradish hit me like a freight train.  My host had cautioned me that the mustard might be on the tangy side, and it was quite tangy and spicy, but I simply loved it in every way.

Photo:  I hold up a portion of my sandwich that I've just dipped into the cup of mustard, and I'm ready to enjoy another bite.  Each bite into this delicious sandwich was a slice of "Reuben heaven."

Let's go back to a visit earlier this year, when we visited The Monk's Cellar back on Thursday, February 24, 2024...

Photo:  Over the last 20 years, the City of Roseville has transformed downtown Vernon Street from a shabby "has-been" to a vibrant dining and shopping destination, which offers a wide array of dining, small stores, a community college, a "town square," apartments and condos, and much more.  Vernon Street is a great place to explore, shop, "people watch" and enjoy dine dining...  Monk's Cellar is a welcome addition to downtown dining...

Photo:  As you enter the restaurant, you're treated to a view of the full service bar.  The dining room is long and narrow with the micro brewery to the left.  Yes... the beer served at Monk's Cellar is brewed in-house!

Today is Thursday, February 22, 2024, and it's time to enjoy great food and in-house-brewed beer at Monk's Cellar, located in downtown Roseville, CA.

Photo:  The restaurant showcases a lovely patio in front, which offers fine dining, and a view of the "happenings" on Vernon Street, in downtown Roseville.  During chilly February days, heaters are provided to make outside dining comfortable.

Photo:  Not only is Monk's Cellar a fine restaurant, but it's also a micro brewery and serves some of the best beer you can imagine.

Photo:  Mr. Brewmaster is checking out the great beer that is brewed on-site.  

Photo:  Dan, Michael and I enjoy great beer, and the amazing hospitality at Monk's Cellar, located in downtown Roseville.

How about this to enjoy... Dan enjoyed a "Nitty's Cider," brewed in nearby Clarksburg located in the greater Sacramento area.  Michael, a lover of IPA went for a "West Coastin'" classic IPA, and me... I simply enjoyed a "Vernon Street Lager."  Life is always good at Monk's Cellar!

Photo:  "Vernon Street Lager" is the showcase of Monk's Cellar, and the headliner beer, brewed in-house.  As for beer... this beer is as good as it gets...

Photo:  Meet Marryann, who served our appetizer of "Garlic Fries" to us with a friendly smile.

Photo:  "Garlic Fries," fried in duck fat and beer... what could be better?  Maryann's friendly hospitality made for a great afternoon.

Photo:  From the "Appetizers" section of the menu, we went with an order of "Garlic Fries" to share and enjoy.

The menu describes this delicious dish as "Our duck fat fries tossed in garlic oil with fresh garlic and parmesan cheese."

You enjoy an order of medium sized fries, deep fried to perfection in... you guessed it... duck fat!  Yes, the duck fat gives the fries a very unique and delicious taste that you won't find anywhere but at Monk's Cellar.  

Not to be forgotten... if you're a garlic lover, you're in paradise as there is lots of garlic with the fries, along with melted, gooey parmesan cheese, and sprinkled with oregano.  Truly these are fries to remember and share among family and friends!

Let's go back to 3:00 in the afternoon, Thursday, March 16, 2023 when I enjoyed a previous visit to Monk's Cellar.

Photo:  As you enter the restaurant, you'll be greeted and seated by a friendly staff member.  Since it was "Happy Hour" and the special menu is served at the bar, I simply seated myself at the bar.

It's a little after 3:00 in the afternoon, Thursday, March 16, 2023, and I've arrived at The Monk's Cellar, located in downtown Roseville, CA, to enjoy "Happy Hour!"

You'll note the well-equipped bar and the micro brewery, where delicious in-house-made beer is brewed in downtown Roseville.  The decor is very "pub like" with brick walls, dark wood, and many high tables.  

The dining room becomes more "restaurant" than "pub" past the bar, as the long, narrow dining room offers table and booth seating.  No matter where you site, the seating is comfortable and the atmosphere is friendly.

Photo:  The Monk's Cellar features an attractive patio in front of the restaurant, which looks out to Vernon Street, and offers comfortable outdoor dining and great "people watching."  As per state law, there is a fence between the patio and the sidewalk, so diners can enjoy alcohol on the patio.  During chilly weather, there are several large propane heaters to make the dining comfortable.

Photo:  From the main dining room and the bar, you can look through  glass window and see where some of the beer you're enjoying is brewed.  The Monk's Cellar features a fine micro brewery, where amazing beer, including "Vernon Street Lager" is brewed.

Photo:  Weekly specials are posted on a board at the bar.  "Manhattan Clam Chowder" sounded delightful, but I was here to enjoy the cuisine of "Happy Hour," which is offered three days a week.

Photo:  The in-house beer menu is posted on a board near the bar.  Yes, from your bar stool, you can look through the window and see where your refreshing beer is brewed.  I went at the "top" of the "House Biere" menu and went with "Vernon Street Lager," as there nothing that I love more than a fine pilsner beer.

Photo:  The massive bar offers a wide assortment of mixed drinks and is stocked with a wide array of just about anything you can imagine, which it comes to whiskey, rum, vodka and other spirits.  Beer and wine are on tap.  The "Happy Hour" menu is served at the bar.

Photo:  My friendly host and bartender, Kevin, pours my pint of "Vernon Street Lager," made in-house, and one of the many beers on tap.  In addition to tending the bar, Kevin greeted and seated customers, took orders, and seemed to do just about everything.

The gentleman seated near to me at the bar seemed to be more interested in his smartphone than his beer...

Photo:  The "Bar Area Happy Hour Menu" is listed separately, and offers a very limited food menu, along with discounts on draft beer, wine and assorted cocktails.  "Happy Hour" at The Monk's Cellar happens every Wednesday through Friday afternoon from 2:00 to 5:00 PM.

Photo:  Meet Jake, my amazing friendly host, who delivered my order to me with a friendly smile.  Sorry about the photo quality, as the lighting was dim, and I didn't want to resort to using flash, as it annoys other restaurant patrons.

Photo:  I'm a happy guy, as I'm ready to enjoy three "Monk's Sliders," a "Small Duck Fries" and for desert, an in-house-brewed "Vernon Street Lager."  From my barstool, I could look across the pub into the micro brewery, where the beer is brewed... how nice is that?

"Vernon Street Lager" is a pilsner lager beer, and at only 4.4% alcohol, it's very mild, and it won't make you tipsy after you've enjoyed a pint.  The beer has a robust European taste to it, which reminded me of the fine beer that's brewed on the "other" side of the Atlantic ocean.  I definitely enjoyed my pint of "Vernon Street Lager."

Photo:  From the "Bar Area Happy Hour Menu," I went with three "Monk's Sliders," along with a "Small Duck Fat Fries."  The sliders and the fries made for delicious "pub grub" and the in-house-brewed "Vernon Street Lager" beer was delicious, and Roseville-local.  The "Vernon Street Lager" added extra enjoyment to this fine meal!

Photo:  The "Bar Area Happy Hour Menu," describes "Monk's Sliders" as, "Wagyu beef patty, pickled red onions, gruyere cheese, arugula, garlic aioli and Russian dressing."  During "Happy Hour," these little burgers are available for $5.00 each or 3 for $12.00.  Gee... ordering three of them seemed like the right thing to do!

It's interesting to note that "Monk's Sliders" are a miniature version of the signature burger on the restaurant's menu, "The Monk's Burger."  Differing from the "regular" menu, during "Happy Hour," the sliders are sold a-la-carte.

Like it's big brother, "Monk's Sliders" starts out with a choice, perfectly seasoned Wagyu beef patty, grilled perfectly, just the way you order it.  The beef patty is small - you're enjoying a slider, not a burger - but the patty is delicious and perfect in every way.  It's wrapped around a fresh, house-made organic brioche bun, which was simply amazing. I noted the meat-to-bun ratio was perfect, even in "miniature..."  Both the meat and the bun were dressed with garlic aioli and Russian dressing, to add a delicious, somewhat exotic taste to each slider.

Vegetable garnishes included pickled red onion, and arugula to add a "green touch."  Have you ever heard of arugula on a burger?  You'll find arugula to be a cross between cabbage and kale, resembling fresh spinach in looks, with a spicy, slightly peppery taste.  It certainly added a "new dimension" to the sliders.

I truly believe the gruyere cheese set "Monk's Sliders" apart from any other burger or slider that I've enjoyed.  The cheese added a sweet and slightly salty taste, and made for a very delicious and "unique" flavor to these delicious sliders.

"Monk's Sliders" are simply delicious!  They're not your average "pub slider," as they're custom-made from fresh, superior ingredients, and skillfully cooked by the talented kitchen staff.  Such a great way to enjoy happy hour!

Photo:  The 'Happy Hour" menu offers a "Small Duck Fat Fries," which came with a small cup of garlic aioli, and made for a perfect side dish for my order of "Monk's Sliders."

The fries were cut from hand to a medium size, sprinkled with seasoned salt, and deep fried in duck fat to a perfect golden brown, to give them a very crisp, somewhat "nutty" taste.  After being taken out of the deep fryer, the fries were sprinkled with dried parsley flakes to add extra taste, along with a pretty presentation.  Delicious!

A small cup of mayonnaise, infused with garlic aioli - a Mediterrean delight - was included for dipping, and made a perfect dip to compliment the "Duck Fat Fries."

Between the order of three "Monk's Sliders," the "Duck Fat Fries," and the pint of "Vernon Street Lager" beer... today's "Happy Hour" meal was simply amazing!  The food was delicious, the beer was "pilsner amazing" and the staff treated me like family.

"Happy Hour" at Monk's Cellar, located in downtown Roseville, CA, will bring a smile to your face, and truly make you happy...

Let's go back to early Saturday afternoon, April 16, 2016, when I enjoyed my first visit to the then-newly opened Monk's Cellar...

Photo:  It's early Saturday afternoon, April 16, 2016, and I hiked to downtown Roseville to enjoy a burger and a beer or two at Monk's Cellar, as of this writing, one of the newest "pubs" in Roseville.  It's a balmy early afternoon in mid-April, and the patio is full, as it's a wonderful afternoon to enjoy patio dining at Monk's Cellar.

Photo:  With the temperature in the mid-70's, it's a beautiful afternoon to enjoy lunch on the patio.  Monk's Cellar offers several tables outside, where patrons can enjoy patio dining, and enjoy "people watching" on Vernon Street, which is the "main drag" in Roseville.  Monk's Cellar is located on the west side of the street, so by early afternoon, the patio is completely shaded, which makes dining comfortable, especially during Roseville's hot summer months.

Photo:  As you enter the restaurant, through the rounded, wooden door - a trademark of the restaurant - you're greeted to the full-service bar, and many high, barista-style tables.  The micro brewery is out of sight, at the left of the photo.  The front third of the restaurant could be descried as, "pub," "sports bar," or "brewery..."  but the adjoining two-thirds is restaurant.  As can be seen in the photo, the restaurant is very long, and quite narrow.

Photo:  I'm at the rear of the restaurant, looking towards the bar, and the entrance.  As I mentioned in the previous photo, the back "two-thirds" of Monk's Cellar is all restaurant, and the front "third" is all bar and pub.  Such a great mixture!

Photo:  When you look at the beer side of the menu, you'll see two categories of beer:  House Biere and Guest Biere. The "house" varieties are all made at Monk Cellar's micro brewery, which is visible through a glass window, from the front of the restaurant.

Photo:  I HAD to sample a "House" and a "Guest" biere... is "biere" Belgium for beer?  Monk's Cellar's web site promotes the fact that they serve beer and cuisine in the style of Belgium monks, but I really didn't get around to asking the friendly staff.  Andrea, who was my super-friendly bartendress, and hostess, smiles as she brings a glass of "guest-brewed"  beer... "Kwak" to me.  

Photo:  From the "Guest Biere" beer side of the menu, I ordered a "Kwak," and I was dazzled, amazed and surprised at the presentation.  In over 50 years of drinking beer, I've never had a beer arrive like this, complete with a you-can't-believe-the-glass to a custom-made stand to hole it.  My friendly bartendress, Andrea, told me all of the "guest" beers, including the "Kwak," are imported from Europe.

The menu describes the beer as, "Full bodied, Belgium specialty ale, amber in color, with tempting foam and slightly sweet, seductive malt character.  Rich and satisfying."  At 8.4% alcohol, it definitely had character, and it was delicious!  I've never had a beer like this one...

Photo:  The kitchen isn't exactly "open," but there is a window where you can look into the kitchen, and watch the kitchen staff hard at work, on this beautiful Saturday afternoon.

Photo:  Meet Mr. Josh Flores, who was so impressed by my "Kwak," that he ordered one for himself, and toasted me as I took his photo.  Josh is a great guy, an die-hard Oakland Raider football fan, and a connoisseur of Reuben sandwiches, which he's enjoying today.  Josh and I enjoyed a fine conversation about Oakland Raider football, food, beer, and Reuben sandwiches.  His favorite sandwich is a Reuben, and he told me that he's even stopped dating women that didn't share his passion for Reuben sandwiches.  This gentleman knows his sandwiches!

Photo:  I "crawled" all over the food section of the menu, but in the end, I settled on "The Monk's Burger," which is the signature item on the "Entrees" section of the menu.  Friendly Meagan, delivers my burger, with a smile.

Photo:  Thanks Meagan, for snapping my photo, as I sit at the bar, with my burger, and a glass of "Kwak" ale.

Photo:  "The Monk's Burger" is the signature burger on the menu, and can be ordered with either duck fries, or salad.  Yes, the "duck" fries are cooked in duck lard, so how could I resist?  The menu describes "The Monk's Burger," as "House-beef patty, arugula, pickled onion, gruyere, garlic and aioli and Russian dressing served on a house-made, organic brioche bun.  Duck fries or salad."   You can add an extra meat patty, or bacon, if you choose. I didn't choose, as I just wanted to enjoy the burger, stock, as the menu offered.

At $12.00, the burger and fries weren't cheap, but they were worth the price, as the food was delicious.  The meat was cooked perfectly, and this burger was amazing, and it tasted like no other burger that I've had.  Was it the arugula, gruyere or the aioli?  I'm not sure, but it was amazing!  Ditto for the "duck" fries...  I didn't ask what the dipping sauce was all about - Russian dressing? - but I dipped my fries into it and enjoyed.

I really wanted to try a beer from the in-house brewed beers, so I ordered a "Single Malt Scotch Ale."  The menu describes it as, "Strong Scotch ale, with notes of honey.  Light caramel and peat smokiness."  At 9.5% alcohol, it packed a punch, but I didn't notice the booze until I walked out of the restaurant.  Good thing that I never drive after drinking a beer or two, especially a beer as strong as this one.  Definitely, and excellent beer, made in-house, at Monk's Cellar's micro brewery, in downtown Roseville.

The cuisine at Monk's Cellar can be best described as "upscale pub cuisine," or maybe just "delicious?"  The food is delicious, the staff is super-friendly, and the atmosphere is very friendly, and it's the sort of place where you could spend the whole afternoon, or evening.  If you're looking for great micro beer, and a great burger in historic, old-town Roseville, spend some time at Monk's Cellar.  You'll love it!

Monk's Cellar
240 Vernon St.
Roseville, CA 95678
916 786-6665

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