Appetizers: Go for the fish tacos, stay for the beer

04/07/2013 12:00 AM

04/07/2013 7:38 AM

As mall food courts go, the one at the Galleria in Roseville is a cut above.

The spacious (and always crowded) second-floor dining area offers a wide range of ethnic-oriented choices – American, Japanese, Italian, Mexican, Thai, Chinese.

We dropped by the Galleria the other day and serendipitously grabbed a bite at the Gordon Biersch Tavern, under an umbrella at a little table for two.

The server was efficient and courteous, and twice the manager stopped by to check on our well-being. Nice touches for a food-court restaurant, where a top priority is turning tables – though we never felt rushed.

The brief menu offers fish tacos, wings, a roasted turkey sandwich, a cheeseburger, sliders and "signature garlic fries" ($2.50 to $10).

This being a brewery restaurant, there's plenty of German-style beer on tap.

GB started in Palo Alto in 1988 and has 36 fast-casual taverns across the nation, including Hawaii.

We found a winner with the fish taco. Blackened mahi joins pepper jack cheese, lettuce, mildly spicy rémoulade (think aioli) and salsa in a crunchy blue-corn tortilla nestled inside a soft flour tortilla ($4.95); we added avocado for $1 more.

We hit the tacos with shots of Cholula hot sauce and took big bites. Were we on the Baja peninsula?

Information: 1151 Galleria Blvd., Roseville; (916) 772-2739, www.gordonbiersch.com

Wine, cheese and thou

Would you like some cheeses with those wines, with emphasis on regional sourcing?

The second Sierra Foothills Artisan Cheese & Wine Festival will offer wine and cheese pairings, workshops, winemaking demonstrations, winery and vineyard tours, tastings of Rhône- and Bordeaux-style wines, a marketplace and more.

Tickets are limited, so plan ahead. The festival will be noon to 4 p.m. May 1 at Lavender Ridge Winery, 3030 Hunt Road, Copper- opolis.

Tickets are $40 ($30 for wine club members). A separate cheesemaking course will be 9 a.m. to noon for an additional $65.

Information: (209) 278-2441, http://www.lavenderridgevineyard.com

– Allen Pierleoni

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