Written by Katie Rubin | Photography by Zephyr McIntyre

13 years ago, Sacramento was hit by a METEOR!  Did you know that?!  Most people don’t know because the Meteor was a person and his name is William Rolle and he is the owner and chef at Café Rolle.  Before I go on, allow me please to first ask you why you are not currently AT Café Rolle?  Stop reading this.  Close the laptop and get thy ass to his Chocolate Mousse cuz HOLY GOD it is GOOD.  (I guess the Salmon is kind of a thing, too, but I’m not much of a fish lady, so I can’t help you there.)

Ok, the METEOR of William Rolle is, in fact, a meteor, and not just a “man,” because talking with William is like having your hair blown back by the gale force winds of a Hurricane.  It’s like standing, mouth-agape, at the working end of a Fire Hose.  It’s like being suspended over the top of a Volcano with several Virgins on your hip, begging the fires below to blast directly into your face holes.  

And, oh do they blast!  

He’s an intense guy, is my point.  But it’s an intensity you want more of.  An intensity you crave.  An intensity you want to return to again and again because you hope that maybe some of it will rub off on you and that you’ll leave his restaurant as FREAKING ALIVE as he is!  

And the French-ness!  WOWZA.  In light of the recent events in Paris, we wanted to write an article that would honor France and be an homage to its culture, it’s saucy-ness, it’s wonderful uniqueness.  And I can honestly say, if you’re looking to feel like you’re in Paris, no need for a pricey plane ticket, Sacramentans.  Just visit the Rolle!  What’s more, one hour with William will have you swallowing your r’s with the best of them; William’s accent is as catchy as it is thick!  Like a flu in Kindergarten, only with a lot less snot, and a lot more BOISTEROUS JOY!  Everything out of William’s mouth, is punctuated by several exclamation points!!!  It’s a good thing his wife is a Nurse in Cardiology just in case his pipes burst from sheer exuberance.

His wife’s career, William says, is a gift he gives his customers.  “You eat my food, get heart disease, see my wife, she fix you up:  Boom boom boom!”  He’s kidding, of course, and we’re laughing, of course.  (Note to the reader:  A chat with William will frequently place one in a position to spray Perrier through one’s nose and across his festively decorated dining area.)  

What William won’t kid about, however, is the utter simplicity of his enviable business plan.  He cooks, and one other guy brings you the food.  End of story.  Sometimes, there’s a third guy, but only once a week because “Alors!  Why?!  You run, you hustle, you make money!  Why not?!”  

To which I say, “You GO, Sir William!  You do YOU!”  I mean, how many of us have had the displeasure of working in over-staffed restaurants where the tips were terrible because there was essentially one waiter per table?  I know I lived that nightmare in my 20’s.  Back in those days, I would have been thrilled to find a Café Rolle to rule!

When I asked William what he felt was the main difference between Americans and French people, I foolishly expected him to tell me that French people are cultured, elegant, and well-fed on fois gras and frogs legs, while Americans waste their soul-less lives at artless mall, desperately consuming the swill that passes for “food” at Hardy’s.  But, gratefully, my preconceived notions were once again dashed to the rocks.  His response was as simple and sassy as his food is delicious:  “I have no idea, I just make sandwiches!”

Delicious, fabulous Frenchy-style sandwiches...

Cafe Rolle-10.jpg

So, in the name of solidarity with France, and in honor of their general and all-around awesomeness, we hope you’ll dip your baguette into William’s sauce because we can pretty much guarantee you won’t be disappointed. 

5357 H St. Sacramento | 916.455.9140 | rollegourmet@aol.com | caferolle.com