The expression of human creativity takes many forms. But food, by any standard, is arguably one of the best. Although the cuisine at Trax in Roseville isn’t trying to be the culinary centerpiece of artistic expression, the space itself is clearly a local artist hub.
As my wife and I walked up Vernon Street, live music bellowed from outside the historic Tower Theatre. A crowd ebbed and flowed as people stopped to listen to the talented young musicians before entering their chosen establishment—and Trax was clearly the spot.
We walked into the former diner, wandered through the crowd opposite the stage where another musician filled the air with tunes, and found the last two remaining seats at the bar.
A local winery was doing a tasting, much to the excitement of my wife who quickly found one she liked. For me, however, a difficult choice ensued. With an impressive list of 30 (mostly local) craft brews, Trax is a beer-lover’s paradise. After a great recommendation from our friendly beertender, Cas, we were set for appetizers.
The menu has a surprisingly large variety for being so small. When we spoke to head chef, Julia, about the offerings, she accredited the large diversity to her years in Australia where cultural fusion is at its core. From this, a modest but diverse menu that pairs perfectly with a tavern-style ambience was born—think pub grub elevated to foodie standards.
We started with the ahi poke nachos. The crispy wonton chips and spicy mayo, cilantro, green onions, and fresh tuna were everything we hoped for. While we wanted far more tuna, it was a beautiful start that paired nicely with our white wine and IPA.
For a bigger bite, we chose the sliders and Asian chicken salad. The former came as a pair, perfect for one person, post-appetizer, or to share with another entrée. The salad was a nice addition to the sliders—refreshing, sweet, and surprisingly filling.
As we enjoyed our meal, we started chatting to two visiting artists showing their work at Blue Line Arts. Like us, they chose Trax for the wide beer selection and the simple menu, which we discussed at length together and all came to the same conclusion.
While it’s great to have a huge menu, Michelin-level cuisine, and complicated recipes, at the end of the day, sometimes the best thing is a simple, well-made meal, a good brew, and a wonderful chat about the great things our region has to offer. By that standard, Trax is a true work of art.
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (Sunday-Thursday); 11 a.m.-11 p.m. (Friday-Saturday)
TRY THIS: Ahi Poke Nachos, Conductor Sliders, Apple Gouda Flatbread, Trax Tacos, Asian Chicken Salad
DRINKS: Beer & wine
Daily happy hour from 4-6 p.m.; Wednesday night trivia at 6:30 p.m.; karaoke dance nights on Thursday from 6-10 p.m.; 30 craft beers on tap; occasional live music and wine tastings
by Ryan Martinez
PHOTO BY TAYLOR GILLESPIE
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