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APRIL 2007 MSP Month End UPDATE - inform your fellow chowhounds

April 30th it is!

Where have you been since......

http://www.chowhound.com/topics/391923

Tell us - rants, raves, etc etc

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  1. had a great old-time Vietnamese type thing at Lotus uptown- baby bok choy and black
    mushrooms in a lovely ginger sauce. could eat this every day! went to little szechuan
    and was reassured they could do food without msg. had the julienned potato dish,
    green beans w/special sauce and stirfried on choy. All tasted yummy but unfortunately,
    was well-dosed with msg- my friend and I were quite altered by the end. If it's in the
    sauces, they really shouldn't be saying they can leave the msg out- unless they are
    willing to make you your own sauce!

    1. Hi, well I won't go into any detail again after my post about 112 Eatery except to say it was fantastic and we're already planning our next dinner there.
      The only other place we've been since mid month was Grand Cafe in Minneapolis. I was still on the hunt for a place to have my 50th birthday dinner so after reading some great reviews on here, we went.
      To start they put some flatbread on your table. Kind of a nice change from bread and something to nibble on while having some wine.
      Appetizers-We had the mussels. Great flavor, a little saltier than we both liked but would get them again.
      Dinner-I had the pot roast/brisket that came with a cauliflower, pot'o gratin. Gosh it was fall apart wonderful. Great flavor, so tender and also loved the pot's.
      My husband had the flat iron steak which he said was a great piece of steak on some really interesting pasta but once again the pasta was a little bit salty.
      Dessert-ok we should have skipped this as we were both so stuffed but we ordered the Banana chiffon which I thought would just be a light chiffon of some sort and didn't realize it was a nice size piece of banana chiffon cake. Very tasty but we were too full to appreciate it fuly.
      I did meet the owner Mary who was so charming and she showed us this lovely room where we could do a dinner for 18-20. I have to say that the room is so nice and anyone looking for a private room for a special day should consider it. We did decide to do the party there as I think it will be perfect for what I'm looking for.
      The whole restaurant is so nice with the wood floors, candles, etc. They had some great jazz music playing in the background. The service was also wonderful. Very attentive but not intrusive and definitely let us take our time eating.
      All in all a great dinner and I look forward to having my party there. If anyone has tried any of the other dishes on the menu I'd love your feedback as I can pick 4 dinners that will be a mini menu for the party goers. Thanks, Janice

      2 Replies
      1. re: janiceh

        Janice -

        Mary & Justin did a private dinner for me. It was wonderful!

        Are you doing a tasting menu? Or just narrowing their regular menu to a few items?

        1. re: St Paul Susie

          SPS, we are just doing a smaller regular menu where I pick 4 items off the menu. Did you do a tasting menu? What were your favorites in case I can pick some of them. It has such a great feeling in there and Mary was so wonderful to work with. I just knew after talking to her that I had to do a party there. Did you do desserts too? I think we'll be doing some appetizers beforehand also. J

      2. A few new things for me these past few weeks:

        Craftsman - we had a gift certificate from here that we finally got to use. I really enjoyed dinner there. It wasn't mind blowing or anything but a good and solid restaurant. We started with 2 cheeses that were described as strong and one as stinky, but they were just okay - not exceptionally strong. For my entree I got polenta which was fantastic and came with this ragu of veggies. Husband got lamb I think and it was very good.

        Italian place at 54th and Lyndale (Prima?) - We've eaten there once before and I picked up takeout while running errands. I got a very good mixed salad and then pasta bolognese sauce. It was okay, nothing special, and a little over priced.

        I went to the Herkimer for drinks and appetizers with some friends. We sat outside and it's just so loud right on Lyndale. I got the pretzel strips which were extremely greasy but their hefeweissen beer was very good.

        Then our usual favorites - Holy Land, Origami, Tum Rup Thai and India Palace. At India Palace we split the veggie sampler for two and it was perfect. We both were stuffed and I had two meals of left overs.

        2 Replies
        1. re: katebauer

          Yes, that's Prima. Terrific location, great-looking room, nice menu ... and they just aren't trying. It's been that way for years. Yet it still packs 'em in, somehow.

          1. re: Jordan

            I don't think they ever tried too hard. Same with their other place, Three Fish. Everything is fine, but completely forgettable.

        2. Fell in love with the Sample Room. Such history, great happy hour! In a historical neighborhood in Northeast Minneapolis, the restaurant and bar is located on the first floor, and the top floor housed a 4 bed hotel. Sample cheeses, meats, seafood and vegetables at $3-7 a piece. If any of the meats and seafood suit your fancy, get the entree the next time you go. 2124 Marshall St NE, Mpls.; 612.789.0333.
          Went to Everst on Grand - Nepalese buffet and was less than impressed. I had been there before, but Friday afternoon buffet provided bleak options. Also had a wonderful dinner at El Meson on 3450 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55408. (612) 822-8062 Fantastic Spanish and Carribean food! Last, nothing beats Victor's Cafe on 3756 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409. (612)827-8948. The Lechon Asada with creole sauce and a glass of mango juice goes down real easy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: MNLawGirl

            SAMPLE ROOM!I I went there after seeing Anthony Bourdain go there on "A Cook's Tour". They have the best ribs in town (perhaps existence) in my opinion...I order like seven plates every time.

          2. April end of month didn't have a lot going on over here....

            Had a GREAT dinner finally at Il Veso Vino (selby ave, st paul - old vintage space)
            They've been thru a bunch of menu changes & its finally practically kink free. Had great food for all 4 diners.

            and had fab beers & hot wings at the bar at Sweeneys.

            and takeout Midori Sushi. Finally didn't over order.

            That's it. May is already looking up!

            1. Namaste Cafe -- Our first time there; I think this one is an undiscovered gem. I hardly hear anything about it, but our dinner was fantastic. We had the Kathmandu Curry, Aloo Chaat, Mustard Fish, and Masala Chai. It was a bit on the oily side, but was the first south Asian place in the Twin Cities where I've had food that really tasted homemade. (Namaste Cafe is officially Nepalese, but we did notice a bunch of Bengali dishes on the menu. I guess there is some overlap.) Our server was in training, so the owner gave us an introduction to the restaurant and menu, warning us that every dish is made to order, so some orders might take longer than others; this (slightly) longer-than-usual wait was well worth it. We ordered with spice level "3" (out of 5), which allowed everything to have significant flavor without too much heat. In fact, I don't think anything was really "hot" -- just spiced. A masterful way of adding flavor. The chai really was outstanding -- they mix their own spices (on the spot) so you can actually request it as you like it. Namaste just won "best chai" in Citypages, for good reason. Definitely, definitely going back.

              Town Talk Diner. I had one of their adult milkshakes for the first time -- holy cow, I think this is the best shake I've ever had (and I'm a big shake fan). I think it was the one with mint and chocolate. This alone will draw me back often in the warm months (along with the great food). Second time I've been underwhelmed by their fries, however.

              Little Szechuan -- Chung King Spicy Shrimp, Diced Fish in some sort of garlic sauce, green beans with special sauce. Mmmm, not much more to say here -- the place was hoppin' as usual these days, but service was still pretty fast.

              Crystal Bistro -- We were house-sitting one night in Crystal, and we saw this Greek place on a certain "favorite restaurant" list that we happen to have stumbled across. We thought Crystal Bistro was good -- above average for a strip-mall Greek takeout place -- but were not blown away by it. Gyros, chicken gyros, falafel, and another meatball-type dish.

              Amazing Thailand -- I tried it for lunch with a few co-workers. There were a few setbacks -- the room was empty, our server was friendly but seemed unexperienced, and the prices immediately struck me as high (especially for lunch). But despite all of these negative first-impressions, I actually thought the food was really good. We did the standards requisite of a first-time visit -- mock duck Pad Thai, tofu green curry, Amazing Basil chicken, and veggie spring rolls. Spice level was right-on, everything tasted fresh, portions were relatively large. I hope they work out the kinks and lower the prices, because I would eat there again. I didn't love the space, but maybe that's because I knew it used to be a Panera. :)

              Mysore Cafe -- We went to the lunch buffet on a Saturday afternoon. Mysore is the new all-vegetarian south Indian place on Hennepin. My Indian friends in attendance were impressed by the presence of some dishes which are typically not found at most Indian restaurants. I thought the food was consistently well-prepared, yet under-spiced. My Indian friends thought it was spot-on. Bizarre! I know this is comparing apples to oranges, since there is basically no overlap in the types of dishes on their menus, but the next time I feel like something along the genrre of Indian cuisine, I will think of Namaste Cafe rather than Mysore. Still, Mysore is a terrific new vegetarian friendly option in the area.

              Pumphouse Creamery -- ahh, spring. Newman-O's malt. Mmmm.

              Also, some usual places: Barbette (cheeseburger), Broders (pizza), Lucia's To-Go (breads, curry chicken salad, chocolate cookies with sea salt), Birchwood (brunch), Yum, etc.

              Oh yeah, one In-n-Out Burger on a brief trip to San Jose, and a visit to Cafe Dhaka in Sunnyvale which I discovered from a chowdown report on the Bay Area board. Wow, lots of stuff this month -- I think this actually covers all of April for me, since I didn't post in the last thread.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Chris Mitra

                I have to agree on your assessment of Town Talk's fries. I ordered them because they
                smelled great- garlicky fumes wafting over from a neighboring table. But up close not
                so great. They actually had an odd unpleasant smell up close and the taste seemed
                like garlic powder or granules rather than fresh garlic. I love everything else at that place
                though.

                1. re: Chris Mitra

                  We also love Namaste Cafe. Best mango lassis in town. Great small plates (the mamacha is so good) and the curries are super fresh (they don;t taste like canned coconut milk) If they can get the service straightened out, it will be my favorite spot in Uptown.

                  1. re: Chris Mitra

                    Crystal Bistro is actually a Afghan place -not Greek.

                    1. re: mnitchals

                      Heh, yeah, you're right now that I think about it. I just remember eating a Gyro. :)

                  2. April was a busy month!

                    You can read all the details at my blog (Twin Cities Eats) but here are the highlights:

                    The Sample Room - Great asparagus with balsalmic reduction! I never get tired of this place.

                    French Meadow Bakery - A great Saturday night dinner with 1/2 price bottles of wine. The goat cheese sprouted quesadilla was delicious as was their nightly vegan special. Best vegan food I have had!

                    Spill the Wine - Mediocre experience. Thought the wine choices could use some work. And boy did it rile some people up on my blog - who would have thought?

                    Ike's Food and Cocktails - Who knew that a US passport was not a legal form of ID to order a drink in Minneapolis? The Grilled Cheese Wedgies were pretty good and the accompanying spicy ketchup was great.

                    Bar Lurcat - Props to the apple, cheese, and chive salad. Yum!

                    Chamber's Kitchen - Edamame Soup was interesting and refreshing. Great flavor and gorgeous color. The Fragrant Mushroom Eggrolls had a nice fragrant dipping sauce but the eggrolls themselves weren't very exciting.

                    BlueSky Creamery - The colors are so bright it is scary!

                    1. I'll just highlight those places outside our neighborhood that we hit this month:

                      Pancho Villa (Eat Street)- While the kitchy "mexican circus" of crazy crap on the walls, a tv playing scenes of coeds drinking giant margaritas and spinning a free drink wheel interspersed with home videos of people getting wacked in the crotch, and a 4-piece mariachi band playing music from table to table (this was as riduculous as it sounds), drove me absolutely insane, the food was surprisingly good. I think it might have been that seeing the scene when we walked in, I had low expectations (there were frozen margaritas on a couple tables, never a good sign) but the asada tacos mexicanos were good, and the pork tamal was the best I have had anywhere. My companion liked her chorizo tostada and sope, and the salsa was fresh and tasty. Not in my top 5 in the cities, but definitely worth some takeout if you live in the area.

                      Craftsman (Cooper) - I posted a review in the Craftsman thread already, but just to encapsulate that: I think we were here on an off-night as the venison leg I had was very good, however the accompanying sauteed onions had way too much vinegar, overwhelming the dish. My wife's manhattan was watered-down and not very good. Marie's polenta was awesome. The service was over-taxed.

                      Azia/Anemone (Eat Street) - Stopped in prior to a day-trip to MIA. Bartender made some bloodies that were good considering they had no worchestershire, mix or celery salt. Four of us shared spring rolls, fried spring rolls, sashimi, crannberry rangoon, and something else I do not recall. Always terrific with the small plates and hospitality. This is the first time I'd been in for something other than dinner and it was very pleasing.

                      Temple (Downtown/Loring) - Thom, $6 for a Heineken. $6. For a Heineken. In a bottle. A small one. Stop it.

                      Masa (Downtown)- Consistant in all the ways that matter most. I know I can rely on Masa (and D'Amico properties in general) to be a good place to bring out-of-towners. I like it because it has a relatively sparse, yet varied menu that allows vegetarians and other picky eaters a chance to get what they want, but also, hopefully try something different. Combine that with great fresh margaritas, mezcal, and Bohemia and it is next to impossible to screw up bringing folks here. The steak is still outstanding. The guacamole is still delicious. The waitstaff is still playful and attentive.

                      Spoonriver (Mill District)- Easter brunch. So refreshing. We'd had a mirth and liquor filled evening the night before and getting this food in my stomach did more to cure my mild hangover than the hair of the dog ever has. The smoked salmon omelette with spinach was light, fluffy, and packed with salmon. Brian raved about the farmer's market omelette. The soup was a puree and was the highlight of the meal. The room is still relaxing with its oranges, browns and greens. Everyone left perfectly filled and delightfully sunny.

                      Sawatdee (Mill District) - Sawatdee is not our first choice for Thai, however it is our first choice on a lazy Sunday when many places are closed or in Uptown or St Paul. People hate on Sawatdee, but I think it is simply a matter of knowing what they do well and not well. The Lob Esan is good. The Thai jerky is always good. The Holy Basil Supreme is good. Rama Thai can be ify. The Som Tom is not as good as most places in town. Curries...not so good everytime we've had them. I like that to make things hotter, they don't just add chili flakes (Chiang Mai), to the basil supreme they add additional fresh peppers. Another plus is that they will deliver downtown now...though I'd ratehr be at Chai's.

                      Chai's (West Bank) - Do I really need to hype this place anymore? No.

                      Little Tijuana (Eat Street) - Worst independent "Mexican" restaurant ever. Yeah, I get it, you're all super alty rude bike messangers that serve bad Americanized Mexican food till 3am. The tamales were huge and mealy; though the pork in them was plentiful it was under-spiced. The beans were not grey and flavorless like other places. The water was cold. Other than that...

                      Central Waters Brewery & Restaurant (Central Wiscompton) - Not even close to the Twin Cities, but I thought I'd let everyone here know that if you are ever in Marshfield Wisconsin, definitely do not miss this place. Incredible beers (the Imperial Stout is aged a year in old oak bourbon barrels, it is incredible) and outstandingly fresh food (the reuben is made with corned beef steamed in their Pilzner every morning). Since Marshfield is on the way to no where except, perhaps, someone's cabin, you might never get near this place. But if you do, pass-up the KFC down the street and make an afternoon of it.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: Foureyes137

                        We went to Amazing Thailand and were amazingly disappointed. Lots of filler, pprepared incorrectly, bland etc.

                        Here's my gripe. Why is it so hard to make simple Thai food in this city? Every damn street stall with a propane burner in Bangkok can put out great Pad Thai or Drunken Noodles yet here we have to suffer all these places that can't make a noodle dish to save their life.

                        It's not for lack of ingredients and it also doesn't help that you can get better Thai food in pretty much every transient-hotel lobby thai dive in Chicago. I mean, c'mon.

                        OK, I'll stop complaining about he overly-sweet boring Thai food we seem to be stuck with.

                        1. re: Foureyes137

                          I have to agree on Sawatdee. If you know what to order (and what not to order), they can scratch an itch. I like them for the "Sarong special" (crispy noodle balls filled with ground chicken ... addictive), reasonably good fresh spring rolls, and Thai fried rice.

                        2. Izzies for my first time ever. I'm not even a big ice-cream fan (I could take it or leave it. I know, I know..). It was wonderful. The peanut-butter soy and the cream cheese, which tasted exactly like licking a frozen block of cream cheese. Sounds gross. Wasn't.

                          A "Turkish" place two doors up from the Ginko Coffeehouse on Snelling. The name is escaping me and I can't find it by goggling. Blue awning. It was FINE. The falafal was undercooked, but the spinch and semi carmelized onion dish was delicately flavored in a way I'd never had before. The spinach was frozen. Overall, nothing in any way to write home about.

                          Tried Patio in downtown St. Paul. Again I liked it FINE. I had a seafood burrito. Not much seafood and what there was was only fish. Wish I'd ordered the fish taco.

                          Something about getting these big slabs of food set before you, dotting with gaucamole and sour cream. It's just too chi-chi's. Heated up the next day, the burrito tasted a lot better. Maybe it just needed to sit.

                          Oh, and we went to Barley John's in New Brighton finally. Great beer of course. I had a smoked turkey wrap, which I liked because they used "fancy lettuce" (endive, from a bag) and cream cheese rather than mayo (shudder). But the turkey was kinda funky..didn't tasted smoked and had that bagged convenience-store turkey taste. Will be back for the beer. Wish we'd tried a piza.

                          Jean

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jeanmt

                            The Black Sea is the turkish place - never been

                          2. Minneapolis Farmers' Market. Finally, after all these cold months. Saturday mornings have the Hub eating a bratwurst from Tollefson's Meats (yep, I have a bite...but ONLY a bite at 8:30 in the morning). :)) Must buy some for the grill for next week.

                            Not *a lot* there yet, but it's early. The olive guys are there, so that makes my week. Their cornichons are marvelous..

                            Anyone want to give an update on where they've purchased excellent provisions, as well as where they've eaten?

                            1. I didn't eat out much (too busy getting ready to leave town, then busy being out of town), but I had a lovely take-out lunch from that little vegetarian Indian place next to Kabobs at 494 & Portland. Is it India Cafe?

                              I had a dosa with curried potatoes and onions, which was delicious and which came with a lentil soup/sauce and a WONDERFUL coconut chutney-type thing.

                              I will return to this place soon, if I can remember that they're closed between 2:30 and 5:00 every afternoon (as well as being closed all day on Monday).

                              What I liked best, as I waited for my take-out order, was hearing the Indian counter staff (perhaps the owners?) talking to the cooks in Spanish. What a wonderful melting-pot culture we have in today's Twin Cities!

                              Anne

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: AnneInMpls

                                Sea Salt is open again. I think I was there three times last month. I'll be there for lunch many more times this month. Great to sit outside with a grilled catfish po' boy.

                              2. Just a few updates this time:

                                Broder's Southside Pasta Bar -- as always, fresh, simple pasta and antipasto. We split an appetizer of a handful of roasted asparagus spears, drizzled with olive oil, fresh dill, salt, pepper, and lemon zest. Extremely simple but delicious -- the combination of dill and asparagus is a great one that I hadn't considered before, and I love roasted asparagus. My entree was a nice spring special of "spaghetti con trota," fresh pasta with bites of poached Star Prairie trout, peas, lemon zest, and fresh basil. This was very light and the flavors melded together delightfully.

                                Sea Salt -- We had a nice lunch on the patio here. My wife had a salad with shrimp and a remoulade dressing; I had the fish sandwich, which was a great piece of fried halibut with a bit of hot sauce on a white roll. (I asked them to hold the tartar sauce.) I like Sea Salt as an option for a snack or a light meal. It's a good snack pavilion. I don't see it as quite the destination that others do.... I mean, you can get a fish sandwich or crab cake or whatever on a plastic plate in a park pavilion. Nice if you're going to the park, but otherwise... so what?

                                Punch (Lake Street) -- Despite my bad experiences with the Northeast Punch, we went here for lunch one weekend with our toddler. Every other family with small children in a five mile radius had the same idea. Just fair warning to you if you want to avoid the kiddie scene. The pizzas were fine -- not as burned or sparsely topped as the Northeast ones. The artichokes tasted fresh, and the prosciutto was good. The crust was a bit too salty. I still think Nea produces a superior pizza, but this was a reasonably good experience.

                                Brianno's Italian Deli -- We hadn't been here before. Based on recommendations here and from local reviews, we stopped in to check out the scene and get some take-out dinner. The staff was extremely friendly and offered us samples and plenty of help. Be warned that they only take cash or checks -- no plastic. For takeout, we got a Caesar salad, loaf of Italian bread, frozen cheese ravioli and stuffed cheese & spinach shells, and a tub of meat sauce. Overall, this was mildly disappointing. Broder's does a superior meat sauce (the Bolognese) and pastas, and the Caesar salad dressing was only so-so. The bread was very good. This was OK takeout, but probably not worth the price and certainly not worth an out-of-the-way trip. If you are closer to Broder's, I would recommend going there instead.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Jordan

                                  Jordan, I post frequently about Sea Salt and Brianno's. Hopefully, I've been accurate in portraying these places. In the event I have misled anyone, here is some extra logic behind my love for these places (not specifically for you Jordan, just to make sure I'm not sending anyone astray):

                                  I recommend Sea Salt for three things (maybe four)...great destination for those wanting to combine chow and cycling or walking (that's the one, maybe two), great destination for a fresh/non-greasy chain snack in close proximity to the airport, and as a good way to showcase MSP's unique urban parkland to visitors coming from out of state (I make an attempt in posts to out of towners to help them find great chow, but also experience the different neighborhoods of MSP...same thing I do when I send friends around Manhattan). I also provide the web site so people can see that this is a snack shack, not a full-service restaurant.

                                  That said, I would challenge that they offer some of the best fish tacos and fried calamari in town. Visitors not familiar with Sebastian Joe's may also appreciate the access to top-notch ice cream.

                                  www.seasalteatery.com

                                  As for Brianno's, there are only two (maybe three) things worth an out-of-the-way trip, one being the pizza. To be 100% clear, this is the flat, cracker crust style of pizza cut into squares...if you don't like that style, don't go to Brianno's. In that genre of pizza, I haven't found anything comparable in quality in the Cities outside of Old World in South St. Paul/Inver Grove Heights.

                                  They also offer two of the better sandwiches in the southern metro -- the Chicago-style Italian Beef is right behind Uncle Franky's on my list of the best in the Cities. It's a bit on the "upscale" end of Italian Beef sandwiches with the crusty bread, but the ingredients are excellent quality. Their Brianno's Special sandwich is also very good if you like Italian cold cuts.

                                  I don't even bother with their pastas, frozen stuff and groceries. Buon Giorno in Lilydale has cornered that market in the south metro as far as I'm concerned. Jordan, if you like Chicago beef sandwiches or flat, cracker crust pizza, I would encourage you to give Brianno's another shot if you're in the area. Otherwise, your assessment is fair as far as I'm concerned.

                                  1. re: MSPD

                                    I'm certainly willing to give the pizza a try ... I do like that style of pizza. I appreciate the detailed feedback.

                                    I agree with you on Sea Salt, although I think the caveat that it is a casual snack shack needs to be emphasized, particularly for people coming in from out of town and wondering why they're wandering around a park looking for a restaurant.

                                2. Tum Rup Thai - good classic Thai food. I ordered the Woonsen Pad Thai with tofu and also had a spring roll, which was probably the best I've had in town. Also, the server was FANTASTIC.

                                  Crema Cafe - LOVED the food. My boyfriend and I shared the organic chicken panini and a bugatoni bolognaise - he didn't care for either meal very much (bread was too dry and pasta too oily) but I enjoyed them. Also had a glass of Malbec, I think, which was perfect and also had the ginger root sorbet. Yum! We also sat on the patio - definitely the best place for a date.

                                  Lotus in Uptown - out with the bf again. We shared the vietnamese noodle salad with BBQ chicken and also the green pepper dish with mock duck. I love this place - good size portions, freshly made meals and all at a good price. Great takeout, too.

                                  Bar Abilene - went for a tequila tasting party and just had some nachos and some chips with guacamole. I think if you want Tex-Mex or great drinks, this is a good place, but I don't think I'd do dinner here (no one seemed to be very impressed with their entrees).

                                  Christos - I hosted a book club dinner here and the staff was very accommodating. I had the special which was basically a spanakopita with chicken and carrots. I just like the homey feel this restaurant has.

                                  So to sum up: go to Crema cafe (for their ice cream at the very least)! I think it's a hidden gem - especially their patio.

                                  1. I can't remember everything, but a few highlights:

                                    Craftsman-- we shared some cheeses and a burger, plus a few drinks. The burger was fantastic (cheddar and bacon, I believe it was), and we enjoyed the belgian beer from Flat Earth.

                                    Taste of India (Roseville)-- weekend buffet. We got there right as they opened so all the food was fresh and fantastic. The samosas were a particular highlight.

                                    Harry Singh's-- an old favorite but a goodie for takeout (eating there is not terribly atmospheric). I love their jerk chicken roti (spiced medium was enough to make my eyes water), while my partner is a fan of the curry chicken roti.

                                    Trotter's-- went there for breakfast on Thursday for Dining out for Life. I never knew they did a full breakfast-- love the attention to quality ingredients, but the service left something to be desired. Though, they may have been more swamped than usual due to the occasion.

                                    Ike's at the airport-- for Bloody Marys before a morning flight. This is a fantastic addition to the roster of airport options.

                                    Everyone else's posts are making me hungry! Mysore cafe is definitely on my list for May.

                                    1. Besides the old familiars (Moose & Sadie's, Runyon's, the Monte, Koyi for dinner, India Cafe, 5-8, Potbelly, First Wok for lunch) we did make it to a couple of places new to us this past month.

                                      Ike's at the airport - Agree that this may be the best addition to the airport in months, and maybe one of the best airport restos in the country. They've replicated their 40s vintage chop-house ambience quite well. They seem to have brought their entire menu (food and drinks) from their 7th Street location with them. And even though I don't eat mammals, this is still one steak house I'm glad to go to. Their salmon tacos are ab fab.

                                      Toast - this was an afterthought to a wine tasting held there jointly by Toast and Sam's Wines. They were serving generous tastes of French and Spanish country wines (although their Vin Pays d'Oc was possibly the worst Occitane wine I've ever tasted). Wines were accompanied by an antipasto platter and one of their pizzas to share around. Afterward, we migrated to the main dining area for more food. This place is a wonderful gem, somewhat hidden off the main resto drag of the warehouse district. The roast asparagus was amazing. Their menu has a host of tasty little crostinis. And for all you Punch fans, the pizza at Toast was infinitely better (albeit not "authentic").

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Loren3

                                        Speaking of airport options, what is up with French Meadow? I have never been a huge fan, but I was amazed at how much they are charging for sandwiches and salads. I think a simple salad was $9 or something. I'm all for paying for quality ingredients, but I also know what quality ingredients marked up for a restaurant cost and they aren't that much. I think my grilled cheese was close to $10. Someone can probabaly refresh my memory as I think the trauma of it all has blanked my memory.

                                        Oh, you're right, Sea Salt is a shack and people should not go there ever. Just stay away and forget it exists. Also, stop going to ice cream places people, I'm sick of waiting in line. Really, you've all had enough and I need more - faster.

                                      2. Little Szechuan - i love the chun king chicken, hate the chun king shrimp (i usually like shrimp, maybe i got a bad batch). Also love the beef short ribs and cucumber stuff. Oh, and fish + tofu + about 10 lbs of chili pepper over cabbage in a bowl is nice.

                                        Dong Yang: Short ribs. Oh my. More juicy and tender than Little Szechuan, and milder seasoning, kinda sweet. I liked them a lot. My mouth is watering thinking of these two restaurants.

                                        Lunch at Punch NE. Love it. It's basically the same pizza as Cleveland as far as I can tell, only faster.

                                        Lunch at Bombay Deli 2 on Central. That woman's wonderful. Somsa's are great and so are the curries. Vegetarian.

                                        Pad Thai on Grand. Decent Thai. Better than most. Leaves Sawatdee in dust.

                                        Sambol in strip mall in Eagan. Chaat Papri rocks. Never had it before, went with some folks from India. The Chicken Tikka Masala is respectable but heavy. The Biryani is pretty dang good. The Naan is fresh, the chutneys and sambols and pickles are good. I wanted to try the Sri Lankan Deviled stuff but we ran out of stomach.

                                        Swedish friends came to visit. They made dinner for us one night: preheat oven to 400F, cover bottom of deep roasting pan with 1" of fresh spinach, take skin off a fillet of salmon, cut into serving size pieces, place salmon pieces on spinach. Sprinkle with lemon pepper and white pepper to taste. Cover liberally with sour cream until you don't know there's any salmon under the sour cream. Sprinkle with 1/2 to 1c grated parmasean cheese. Bake. How long? Maybe 15 minutes. Until the sour cream is bubbling and the cheese melts and begins to brown on top. If it's now browning, turn on the broiler. Don't over cook it. It's absolutely delicious and its' even better cold the next day.