Rock-N-Fire: Fast Casual at its Finest in El Dorado County
Rock-N-Fire, 1010 Riley Street, Suite 4, Folsom, 916-673-9474, rocknfirerestaurants.com
Hoping to catch fire on the immense popularity of the craft beer, burger, and pizza phenomenon, Michael Sanson, FMP (foodservice management professional), opened his most recent venture, Rock-N-Fire, late last year.
The eatery incorporates the use of an “assembly line” pizza format, allowing consumers to orchestrate pies and salads to their palate’s content. Travel alongside your serving tray from station to station and add toppings to your liking. There’s a lot to be said about this layout; mostly it’s fast, and if you don’t get it your way, it’s you who has to take ownership.
Which brings me to the elephant in the room...why Rock-N-Fire? According to Sanson, “It has nothing to do with food...It’s a nickname from years ago for a pitcher that just sets up and throws heat. He’s a Rock-N-Fire pitcher.” So there’s the tie-in—bringing good food, hard and fast!
Ordering is a snap, whether you choose from one of several “signature” pizzas (gluten-free crust available) and burgers (pick between a bun or a bowl) or create your own version of a home run. Too lazy to formulate a masterpiece, I chose the simple route, starting with a very satisfying Greek salad. Think of all the Greek salad standards—Kalamata olives, crisp cucumbers, salty feta, and vine-ripened tomatoes—plus artichokes, pepperoncinis, bell peppers, lettuce, and a tangy house-made balsamic vinaigrette.
The Bacon Bleu burger was next and featured an “all-natural beef” patty, plus applewood-smoked bacon, gorgonzola cheese, sautéed mushrooms, pickles, red onions, and Rock-N-Sauce on a buttery brioche bun. The El Diablo offering—a hot, but not too hot compilation of jalapeño jack cheese, pico de gallo, avocado, jalapeños, habanero-mango sauce, and fire sauce—was equally delicious…especially alongside one of the cold California craft brews on tap.
If you’ve ever been to Sanson’s other business in Roseville, Trademark Pizza, and enjoyed the pies there, then you’re in luck: The recipes here are the same. I opted for the Lil' Italy—piled high with homemade red sauce, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, diced tomatoes, minced garlic, and extra virgin olive oil—and was not disappointed. The produce all tasted as if it was just picked from a nearby garden, and it made for a light, healthy, and affordable meal (only $7.59 for a nine-inch pizza).
They also serve up some exciting sides, including five types of fries (garlic, pesto, buffalo sauce, sweet potato, and Rock-N-Regular), cheese bread, and Panko-crusted onion rings, plus chicken wings and hand-spun milkshakes in flavors like Butterfinger and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup. In other words, there’s something to turn every hangry frown upside down and keep you coming back for more.
Hours: 11 a.m.-9 p.m. (Sunday-Thursday), 11 a.m.-10 p.m. (Friday-Saturday)
Try This: Greek Salad, Chicken Wings, Create-Your-Own Burger, Lil’ Italy Pizza, The Spartan Pizza, Pesto Fries, El Diablo Burger, Bacon Bleu Burger, Dessert Pizza
Drinks: Beer and wine
Heads-Up: Online ordering available; delivery available through DoorDash; kids’ combos for under $7; gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan options; eco-friendly packaging; happy to support local fund-raisers; rewards program for regular customers; $8 lunch specials served Monday-Friday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
by Lorn Randall
photos by Dante Fontana