I have a long-held fascination with malls and food courts. Especially mall food courts.
Growing up, we frequented the mall food court. Everyone could split up and reconvene with their favorite foods; A slice from Sbarro, a baked potato loaded with teriyaki chicken from 1-Potato-2, a combo from the Chinese restaurant or Philly cheesesteak from Steak Escape.
These days many malls are barely hanging on for dear life and others are still thriving.
The Rosedale Center, a thriving mall, located in Roseville, Minnesota (a suburb located near St. Paul) revamped their food court. Sure, there’s still an Orange Julius/Dairy Queen/Karmelkorn. But now there’s this fancy new food *hall.
Revolution Hall just opened just last month. The concept of a food hall is very cool. With the decline of malls and giant department stores, food halls are a compelling way to fill these empty spaces. It’s especially fun to see one of our childhood malls revamped – it was actually built long before we were born in 1969.
This food hall is composed of two levels. Most of the vendors are located on the first. Oceantail (sushi burritos and bowls) and Canal Street Noodle Co. are located on the top along with restrooms and plenty of seating.
Some of the tables are decorated with these little green lamps that remind me of something my grandparents might have had on their work desks. I kept wondering if they were supposed to be ironic.
They’re probably supposed to be Instagrammable which may be a synonymous these days. Reading through this Star Tribune article, it’s clear the Revolution directors are going for Instagrammable moments. They mention their neon Instagram wall where they hope people will pose for selfies and the Pastry Director mentions serving desserts that are “Instagram’s greatest hits” like the Piecaken.
As a semi-retired, fatigued influencer, I physically cringe at the word “Instagrammable.” If an event invitation boasts Instagrammable moments, I typically decline. I think it’s that I’ve attended enough of those events where people post selfies like they’re having the time of their life, but actually don’t look like they’re having fun. Hell, I’ve been one of those people!
Anyway, back to the food hall. It looks very modern and Instagrammable and appealing. There’s a good variety of foods to choose from and even board games. If you want a drink or cocktail, there are a couple of bars to choose from. Something we didn’t love about the actual set-up is that the passageways between food stands are narrow. It’s difficult to wander around the stalls when it’s busy.
Note that the vendors do not accept cash.
The types of foods range from sandwiches to freshly baked pizzas to sushi, plus the very Instagrammable bakery near the entrance which sells its namesake piecaken.
I visited with a few of my family members this weekend.
I ordered a sushi bowl from Oceantail. You can choose from a variety of proteins including marinated tofu, up to five toppings, something crunchy, plus sauce.
The portion size was quite adequate and the employee was generous with the toppings. Of the things I liked: The tuna tasted fresh. I liked the freshly scooped avocado and mango cubes. The rice was cooked and seasoned well and the fried garlic added a nice flavor, but an unpleasantly hard crunch in some bites. Overall, the ingredients worked well together (I had also added green onions, cucumber and pickled radish).
The weak points were the lack of sauce and price. I added spicy mayo and ginger-miso dressing and couldn’t taste either. The line was long, so I added a packet of soy sauce for flavor. If you visit, don’t hesitate to ask for enough sauce. Also, the bowl + a can of soda cost $18 not including tip which is more than I expected.
My folks split an order of sandwiches from Handwich, choosing The Bavarian (a reuben) and Gobbler (turkey, stuffing, cranberry mayo). For $8.95 you can choose two. The deli case displays logs of meat and cheese logs. I thought the sandwiches would be slider-sized but they were closer to something I might make at home. But, not so large that I wanted to ask for a bite.
When I asked how the sandwiches were, they shrugged. My folks might not use Instagram, but they do appreciate a good meal. “Mediocre” and “basic” were their descriptions, adding “I think they put most of their efforts into the decor.”
Another family member described the cheeseburger from Saltbrick as “fine” and waffle fries as “good.”
I love the concept of a food hall in a mall. As time goes on I hope the food strengthens. The feedback I read online implies people feel the prices are high. I feel the prices seem fair if the food is good. Otherwise, if the food is just ok, the food will seem overpriced.
When I return, I will order a pizza. And a drink. Besides the sushi bowls, they looked the most appealing.
Revolution Hall at Rosedale Center
1595 Highway 36 West, Suite 1030
Roseville, MN 55113
More mall posts:
- A post about the 90’s mall experience and a return to my old favorite food court at the Burnsville Center.
- Eating and drinking at the Mall of America hotel bars
- An old post I wrote about our favorite, affordable Mall of America restaurants. A couple of restaurants I might add besides happy hour at Cedar + Stone are Twin City Grill (large portion sizes + complimentary bread basket), Cantina Laredo for drinks (we received free chips + salsa at the bar) or split a calamari wrap at Piada for a snack.