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Jan 4, 2011 08:45 AM

Worst Meals of 2010

This will be brief, as I've been pretty lucky:

Adelita's Mexican Restaurant (altered review I have posted elsewhere):

Tacos de Papas, corn tortillas filled with potato, served with pinto beans, rice, guacamole and sour cream. There was no seasoning on the plate whatsoever. The rice was over cooked to oblivion. The guacamole didn't appear to be anything besides whipped avocado; no seasoning, no onion, no spice, nothing. The corn tortillas were golden brown, but the potatoes inside were once again completely flavorless. They literally tasted "white". The whole plate struck me as what Mexican food would be like cooked in a retirement home in Sweden. The free chips and salsa were much tastier than my meal.

Of note, the TV's playing in the restaurant and bar had graphically violent images on them. One TV was showing a Spanish language "Americas Most Wanted"-like program which was detailing a dog fighting ring, and the other two TV's were showing a movie from the "Blade" series, where one character was missing half of his face. Not exactly appetizing, regardless of being on my way to see "Machete", which had tons more latin flavor than Adelita's.

Victory 44:

Unfortunately ordered their stock vegetarian option, "pasta with vegetables". It was the same dish as a pasta with protein at the time. The pasta was slightly overcooked, the sauce was far too salty, and the omission of the protein didn't result in a price adjustment (not necessarily expected, but would've been appreciated). I should have sent the dish back, but the service was also mediocre this visit. There is a particular employee whose serving skills are definitely lacking, and I always seem to get him.

V44 will also appear in my "Best Meals".

Victory 44
2203 44th Ave N, Minneapolis, MN

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  1. Grand Cafe

    Both found a way to perform the restaurant exacta... Bad Food coupled with Lousy Service. I'd never return to either of them under any circumstance.

    1. OK, OK, the service was good, but the food at Smalleys was solidly dreadful. Anyone also thinks this place, which should be above average to excellent, strikes out in a BIG WAY.

      Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque
      423 Main Street S, Stillwater, MN

      1. Craftsman

        The charcuterie plate lived up to the billing in every way, but the short rib entree was fatty and full of gristle. I really wanted to love this place, but that meal didn't do it for me. And now, Chef Phillips is gone, so I doubt I'll return.

        2 Replies
        1. re: BigE

          Kip's Irish Pub. Just terrible. Also, Stanleys Northeast Bar Room (albeit they had just opened) and Solera (reeaally underwhelmed, especially considering all the hype.) I have done reviews on all 3 places.

          900 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55403

          Kip's Irish Pub and Restaurant
          9970 Wayzata Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55426

          1. re: BigE

            Agreed. Had the same short rib and it was virtually unedible. I live in Tampa, so made a special trip to see this resto. The service was awful and the wine was served warm. Will never go back.

          2. This list is somewhat context specific, because a "worst" $100 meal is still likely to be better than a mediocre $5. Anyway.

            Il Gatto. Considering the McKee influence, and the price tag, this was easily my most disappointing meal of 2010. I won't be back.

            Bad Waitress. Mediocre food with no service, at a price point that should result in better food + service. I don't get the appeal of this place.

            Key's Cafe (Robert St., St. Paul location). Some folks go gaga over this place. Food is high fat + high salt to cover up mediocre ingredients and questionable skills. The giant cookie you get is adding insult to injury - a high sugar load to combat the utter lack of any flavor. Again, I don't get the appeal of this place. I'll eat my emergency Clif Bar before eating there again.

            Highland Grill. I really want to like this place more. I understand its operating model. To some extent, I think it succeeds. But more often than not, I leave there disappointed. Last time I went, after not seeing anything on the menu that really caught my attention, I ordered my old standby - the Steak Salad. The steak was about 5 bites. Used to be much more substantial. Boo. Now I have little reason to ever go back.

            There may be some more, but I've blocked them out of my memory.

            Highland Grill
            771 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116

            Il Gatto
            3001 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55408