Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Shish on Grand Avenue in Saint Paul, near the Macalester campus, has some of the best gyros I've found in the Twin Cities. I just grabbed some lunch while running around and picking up some Minnesota Wild tickets.
I had my first gyro while attending school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison Wisconsin. At the time, there were two incredible gyro joints on State Street. The only downside to having world class gyros so easily accessible, is I'm now spoiled and expect only the best. Shish definitely delivers the goods. Their gyros start out with a full grilled pita. I hate it when places try and stuff everything in a cold pita cut in half. That is not good gyro. Then Shish piles on the lettuce, tomato, onion, tzatziki sauce and more gyro meat than a human could ever fold up in a pita. This is good gyro.
I also picked up a chicken shawarma sandwich. Most places would call this a chicken gyro. The shawarma sandwich is just like their gyro sandwich just substitute the beef & lamb with sliced seasoned marinated chicken. I should also add Shish offers excellent hummus and soup as well as a nice little coffee bar and delicious cakes and pastries.
Shish is located at 1668 Grand Avenue between Snelling and Cambridge. Shish is open 7am - 11pm daily.
Friday, October 10, 2008
I have Minnesota Wild tickets and I can't wait until the next game so I can go back to my latest hot spot find which is Pop!! downtown Saint Paul. Pop!! is the sister restaurant to the original Pop! in Northeast Minneapolis. I'm guessing this is the story behind the double exclamation marks. I have yet to visit the first Pop!, but I have heard nothing but good reviews. Pop!! Saint Paul is located in the old Fhima space on the corner of Sixth and Wabasha. I always liked Fhima and it's nice to see a new restaurant in this space. The space looks very much the same with a few slight cosmetic changes. If anything, feels more fun and casual. I think it would be a great place to take the kids for something different.
We decided to start out with the Pop!! fritters ($6.25) and the ... ($7.50) off the small plate menu. Both were great and the portions are very generous. We could have easily made a meal of just the appetizers. The signature fritters consisted of black beans, shrimp, cornmeal and served with a chipotle and a quasaca (Venezuelan avocado condiment) dipping sauces. The spicy fondue was served with grilled vegetables, cumin bruschetta, flat bread and plantain chips. I would not recommend ordering this unless you bring two or three friends to share with.
For entrees we went with the Swedish Meatballs and a Spicy BBQ Sandwich. Again, all the portions were very generous and we could have easily split either between the two of us. The meatballs were great, but tasted a little plain against all the other spicy food.
For desert we went with the Dulce De Leche filled crepes with candied hazelnuts and vanilla bean ice cream. For carmel lovers this is a must. It was awesome and I will definitely return just for the desert.
Pop!! has a decent wine & beer list with selections that compliment their menu nicely. It's definitely a great place to stop before or after a show if you have Ordway Theatre tickets or tickets to a Minnesota Wild game at Xcel Energy Center.
Monday, September 22, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
For a tiny little restaurant, azuki has a fairly extensive menu. They offer three different soups daily and five unique salads. You will find most of your favorite Japanese appetizers, including Edamame, Shumai, Gyoza, Negimaki, Tempura, Yakitori & Tuna Tataki, just to name a few. There is also a decent list of Japanese Entrees. The prices seem extremely fair. On average, $4-$6 for appetisers, $8-$12 for special rolls, $3-$6 for regular rolls and a la carte sushi and sashimi, and $10-$15 for entrees.
I noticed on their menu they offer delivery, which I plan on trying in the very near future. Azuki is located at 307 Oak Street SE on the University of Minnesota campus blocks away from Mariucci Arena. It is tucked in between Chipotle and the Oak Street Cinema. They are open Monday - Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday - Saturday 11am-11pm and Sunday 1pm-10pm. The phone number is 612-331-9551.
Friday, July 11, 2008
Thursday, May 8, 2008
The guys who own the Eagle Street, Kevin and Joe, have really made it their own since they purchased it. The Eagle Street Grille menu reflects the since forgotten mob presence in St. Paul. The items have names such as ‘the bandit burger,’ the ‘black mail’ chicken sandwich and my favorite the ‘loan shark’ walleye sandwich. They also have a sandwich dedicated to their alma mater, Cretin Derham Hall.
They have a good selection of tap and bottled beer so everyone’s sure to be pleased. The Eagle Street bartenders are friendly and know me and my guys by name now. I ordered the D “Anne” G Burger with blue cheese, mushrooms and bacon. I tried the seasoned sour cream with the fries and was unimpressed, it tasted more like sour tarter sauce than sour cream with ranch seasoning. No worries, though, everyone left pleased. The Eagle Street Grille is a good place to head after Twins Games because it’s a short drive once you’ve escaped the Metrodome Minneapolis traffic and it’s not that crowded.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Kafe 421 was founded by Georgia Sander, who emigrated from Greece at the age of 14. The restaurant consists of a bistro / wine bar with sidewalk seating in the front half with a more elegant dining area in the rear. It's a perfect place to go if you are looking for a gourmet meal without having to get dressed up or spending a fortune. It would be an ideal place to grab a drink and something to eat before going to an event at the Varsity Theatre or Northrop Auditorium. If you have Minnesota Gopher Basketball Tickets at Williams Arena this would be a great place to stop for a sandwich and a beer before or after the game.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
This unintimidating environment makes the Chatterbox an appropriate place to go on a first date or good place to take a study break and just veg. The food isn’t bad either. They have really good appetizers, I come back just for the spinach dip and cheese fondue. They have something for everyone when it comes to entrees. Burgers, pizza, pasta, salad, and feel good favorites like meatloaf and pot-roast. The wine list is extensive and like many restaurants in the area, they have their own line of beer. They have clever names and poetic descriptions, which makes it impossible to only have one! The Chatterbox doesn’t advertise much but every time I go it’s busy. This restaurant is a great neighborhood treasure and word of mouth will keep it alive for many years to come.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
She began Café Kardamena in St. Paul at the age of 21 in 1976, and due to increasing demand she opened Café Brenda in 1986 in its current space downtown Minneapolis. Although Café Brenda is not completely vegetarian, it manages to please both healthy-eating omnivores and vegetarians. Café Brenda is a great place to try some Minnesota favorites from a venerable figure of the Minnesota restaurant scene.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Origami is known to be the place to go for a business lunch with a party of four or more. In fact, going out for a quiet date is not a good idea at Origami, as the house prefers large parties. 5-9 people are sat on a first come first served basis while parties of ten or more should call ahead. If you’re going for sushi, each piece is gorgeously prepared. There is tuna, lobster and salmon. But the squid and octopus somehow look just as appetizing. Sushi is not fast food, even as much as it’s become popular, and Origami doesn’t treat it that way.
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
Last week I ventured to Milwaukee and I ate at the best Italian restaurant I have ever been to. Zarletti’s is located in downtown Milwaukee on Mason Street, close to the Milwaukee Athletic Club. It has a nice atmosphere that emits a professional, but not too stuffy, surroundings. The restaurant itself is dimly lit and offers a great selection of fine Italian cuisine. I had an immaculate dish ‘ravioli al fungi’ which was an assortment of mushrooms in a light cream sauce with cheese filled ravioli. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! This restaurant did not feature drink specials or $2 appetizers, but Italian is kind of a ‘you get what you pay for’ cuisine. Zarletti’s cost a little more ($18-$30 a plate) than Figlio’s, but the quality and taste shows. If you are ever in Milwaukee, be sure to stop in!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
The margaritas are expensive but tasty. The better drink deal here is the 40 ounce draft beers for only six to seven bucks, and that includes Heineken! If you’re feeling Mexican on a Minnesota Wild game night, or any night, El Patio is a good space. If you don’t sit in the dining room, get up and try to check out the mural that is strewn across one of its walls at some point.