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May 18, 2009 07:17 PM

Jfood hits Bulldog and Izzy's - Thanks MSP Hounds

Jfood took the advice of many of his MSP colleaguess and went to Bulldog (N.E.) for a burger tonight, and he is glad he did. On a beautiful night Jfood sat outside with 95% of the patrons. The menu is the same as the online so Jfood was prepared

Jfood decided on a balanced approach to the meal. He ordered the Tillamook Smokey Cheddar Burger with Fischer Farms thick cut bacon and fried onions; French Fries, cut in house truffled with parmesan cheese; and a Chili Dog with Texas-style chili.

He first attacked the chili. A few bites and he thought the chile was excellent. It was made with brisket, jalapeños and tomatoes, no beans and had just the right amount of spice and tang. The next bite brought in the hot dog. It was a typical Midwest dog, not too salty, not too spicy. The roll was the third feature. And it was one of the best hot dog rolls Jfood had tasted. Altogether it was a great dog. The only downside was the dog was a little on the cool side versus being nice and steamy.

French fries. The truffle effect added just a bit of background flavor. It also played nicely with the parmesan cheese but the cheese was a bit overpowering, in Jfood's opinion. The fries were perfectly cooked but Jfood would try a different version the next time.

Hamburger. Finally, Jfood can now say he has eaten a great hamburger in Minneapolis. The meat was very flavorful, and the mix of meats must have included some brisket or skirt or hangar to add that level of depth. One of the best he has ever tasted. The cheddar is described as Smokey Cheddar on the menu, but the cheese was more a mild cheddar than smokey, and the bacon was not as smokey either. This is not a negative but merely a head’s up. The fried onions were also excellent. It was surrounded by another great bun. So Jfood placed some ketchup on the burger, cut it in half and was amazed that the kitchen actually delivered a med-rare to rare burger. What a treat. This was a great burger. Best so far in MSP.

Jfood was so excited he needed to celebrate so he plugged Izzys on 25th street into the Garmin and off he went. With only three flavors to choose from Vanilla, Soy Strawberry and Chocolate Hazelnut his only choice was the vanilla (no soy and he has a nut allergy). And a scoop on a cone and away he went. The vanilla beans still maintained their crunch and the flavor was not the sweety stuff of massed produced. A great end to the evening.

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  1. Oooh, you must have gone to the Birchwood Cafe for your Izzy's ice cream! I keep forgetting that the Birchwood has it.

    Izzy's home base is a few miles away, a few blocks east of the Lake Street Bridge across the Mississippi River (a lovely spot for viewing the river, by the way). If you ever have the time - perhaps when Mrs. Jfood is here - I recommend making the trip, especially since you'll have 20 or more flavors to choose from, and they let you taste before you order!


    Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe
    2034 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104

    1. I like their Tater Tots...maybe a bit too much.

      You ought to try Izzy's at Izzy's. Also good in MSP are Sebastian Joe's, Sonny's and Grand Ole Creamery.

      7 Replies
      1. re: JimGrinsfelder

        And don't forget the best of them all (I realize this is a highly contested opinion), Pumphouse Creamery....

        1. re: mtullius

          Add Crema (what Sonny's is actually called) and Liberty Frozen Custard to the list.

          I'm not going to play favorites. You can wander around this town and get fabulous ice cream at many places. Nobody loses in this game. :)

          1. re: mtullius

            I heartily second this opinion. So heartily that I sincerely wish I'd moved into the neighborhood instead of buying a house by Como Lake. Her ice cream reigns supreme over all others. My favorite flavor so far is Local Buckwheat Honey.

            1. re: ShinyCake

              Wait! Which place has local buckwheat honey? Pumphouse creamery? Is it anything like the honey sunflower seed ice cream at the State Fair? I love that stuff.


              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Well TDQ you got me on a mission, just phoned Pumphouse since they would be a prime suspect for a flavor called Local Buckwheat one answered the it too cold today? or are they just super busy? Can't believe they don't list their flavors online! horrors! I guess they are busy making new fun ones too often to update a website...will have to go down there, someone's gotta do it. Question- tdq- have you ever been to Pumphouse? I would guess that their icecream wouldn't be as sugary as the State Fair sunflower honey which I did try- but I love Pumphouse because the flavors are great in a more healthy natural way, still plenty o'fat though- organic fat! :)

                1. re: faith

                  Yes, I've definitely been to pumphouse, although only once or twice. I got whatever their version of the salted caramel is. I confess, I thought the state fair honey ice cream, especially the "sundae" that I always get to share, was more honeyery than sugary... Still, craveworthy. Would love to find a more regular source for it to satisfy my craving (more regular than the UofM dairy lab!) :) I guess it's the time of year for ice cream research, eh?


                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                    So, was the pumphouse version of salted caramel any easier to eat more of than the izzy's for you dq?

        2. The original comment has been removed
          1. Jfood-- when you go to the izzy's shop, you can get your choice of many flavors in a cup or cone, of course, but you also get "an izzy"-- which is a little mini-scoop of a second flavor that they throw in for free, atop your regular cup/cone. it's a delicious way to sample a second flavor that's new to you, with little commitment (and devious on the part of izzy's to get you to come in again for a full cup/cone of the second delicious flavor, with another new "izzy" sample ;-P)

            some of the notable izzy's flavors, grab 'em if you see 'em, include salted caramel-- this is the flavor izzy's won the ice cream throwdown w bobby flay with-- and my fave, birchwood key lime pie. also enjoyed the guinness izzy's and any number of the fruit flavors. the only one i've had recently that i haven't been nuts about was strawberry cheesecake. too much strawberry syrup imho. anyway most folks in msp seem to be crazy for ice cream, we slurp it down even in subzero winter, even. go figure

            Izzy's Ice Cream Cafe
            2034 Marshall Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55104

            7 Replies
            1. re: soupkitten

              I thought the Bobby Flay throwdown winner was Hot Brown Sugar ice cream? (The '04 newsletter describes the event and the ice cream: "a burnt brown-sugar caramel ice cream with praline pecans toasted in cayenne pepper.")

              No matter, though - any of the caramel flavors are fabulous. My best Izzy's experience was on the day that they had ALL of their caramel selections, and I got a Dizzy Izzy cup (five mini "izzy" scoops) of Hot Brown Sugar, Burnt Caramel, Dulce de Leche, Salted Caramel, and Caramel Swirl. That was truly caramel heaven!

              I agree 100% on the Key Lime Pie ice cream - it's my absolute favorite. Izzy's uses the Birchwood's key lime pie as the base of this mind-blowing ice cream. Unfortunately, they almost never make this flavor...

              Whatever they have when you're there, be sure to sample everything that looks appealing to you. I've had as many as four samples before getting embarrassed, but the staff is willing to dish up more tastes than that!


              1. re: AnneInMpls

                I love Izzy's, and I even love the salted caramel, but only as an Izzy. If you get a full scoop of it, it's, well, too salty. And if you hit up Izzy's in St. Paul on Marshall before the end of May 2009, swing by Legacy Chocolates a couple of doors down before their doors are closed for good.


                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  Wrong, wrong wrong wrong. It's not TOO salty, it's perfectly salty in that perfect counterpart to sweet salty way.

                  Although having been a kid who preferred eating her chocolate ice cream scooped onto potato chips rather than in a waffle cone, I could be unusual in my sweet/salt ratio preferences.

                  1. re: clepro

                    clepro, too bad Sunday May 7 has passed, or I'd demand that you submit your recipe for chocolate potato chip ice cream to this year's people's choice flavor awards. I know it would blow all the other entries away. I suppose there's always next year. :).

                    (Note to self: mark my calendar with June 25, the date we can all go to Izzy's and taste/judge this years' entries!



                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                      Silly me, that link was from 2006. Still, the date to submit has passed. Here are the finalists:

                      Judging is June 28 this year (2009).


                2. re: AnneInMpls

                  oh, *duh*-!- i believe you are completely right about the HBS being the throwdown winner, Anne-- i must have been channeling all the salted caramel izzy's threads (and where to find it all over msp) when i typed that. anyways, any of the flavors you mention are terrific!

                  must. go. to izzy's. sooooon. :)

              2. And to pile on.... Another reason to love Izzy's is their commitment to sustainable energy. Their St Paul outfit is run on solar power.

                1 Reply
                1. re: babaoriley7

                  I do have one beef with Izzy's- too many fluorescent dyes in their product- Sebastian Joe's, Sonny's and Pumphouse don't use artificial coloring. This can result in a woman coming in with her little boy as I overheard today, to Sebastian Joe's in uptown, and asking if they had any green ice cream for her child, they had to say no, sorry. Although I suppose you could use spinach juice to get a natural green color....