Thursday, April 24, 2008

Fat Lorenzo's Pizza - Minneapolis Minnesota

One of my favorite Pizza places in Minneapolis is Fat Lorenzo's near Lake Nakomis. We recently stopped for pizza on the way home from the Minnesota Twins game at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. They have great New York style pizza. They really load on the cheese and use very fresh ingredients. Because the pizza is so great I have yet to try the hot hoagies or pasta, but from what I've seen they look tempting. If you are looking for an appetizer try the Homemade Bread Stick. My kids love them. Because the food is so great and it's such a popular spot be prepared to grab a beer and wait for table. Fat Lorenzo's is located at 5600 Cedar Avenue South on the corner of Cedar and Edgewater Blvd. They have off street parking behind the restaurant.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Xcel Energy Center - Saint Paul, Minnesota

There may not be a hotter spot in the Twin Cities right now than Xcel Energy Center. Anyone with Minnesota Wild Hockey Playoff tickets knows this to be true. I was lucky enough to score a couple tickets to last Friday's Minnesota Wild Playoff game. As long as I was at the game I figured I might as well check out some of the food offerings. I was actually a little disappointed with how limited the options were if you didn't want a hot dog, something deep fried or drowning in fake cheese. I was excited to see they did offer Davanni's Pizza. Having grown up in the Twin Cities I've been a huge fan of Davanni's since they started out back in the '80's. Unfortunately, the hunk of overcooked dried out cardboard I was served at the Minnesota Wild game resembled no Davanni's pizza I've ever had. One thing Xcel Energy center does offer is a great beer selection, both domestic and import. Luckily my ice cold Summit Beer, a Saint Paul classic, didn't disappoint. Paired with an exciting Wild hockey game win, it more than made up for my terrible pizza experience.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Kafe 421 - Minneapolis, Minnesota

We enjoyed a great dinner at Kafe 421 in the heart of Dinkytown on the University Of Minnesota campus in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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.
I'm glad we made a reservation as the restaurant was packed when we arrived. I tried a glass of the Skouras Moschofilero while we waited for our table. This Greek white wine hit the spot and I could certainly see pairing it with seafood or spicy Asian dishes. Kafe 421's wine list is well rounded and very affordable.
After a very short wait our table was ready. We started out with the Mezedes, which turned out to be a huge appetizer platter consisting or Spanakopita, Caprese Skewers, Coconut Shrimp, Beef Kebabs and Fava Beans with Tomato Sauce. This massive plate of food could easily satisfy two for dinner. It was an excellent way to sample what Kafe 421 has to offer. Everything was great, but the highlights were the shrimp, caprese and beef kebabs. The Shrimp was lightly breaded and served with a sweet orange sauce. The Caprese was served on bite size skewers with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and balsamic vinegar. These would make awesome appetizers for a party. The beef was cooked perfectly and served with a creamy cucumber sauce.
I tried the Rack of Lamb for dinner. The lamb was grilled to perfection with Greek seasoning and served with a Dijon Mustard vinaigrette, Mashed Potatoes and Haricots Verts. My dinner companion had the equally tasty Campesino, which was a grilled London Broil served with a creamy Gorgonzola sauce, asparagus and roasted potatoes. Just like the lamb, the London Broil was done perfectly and the complimented nicely by the Gorgonzola sauce.
For desert we tried the Galatobouriko, which is a Creamy Custard and Orange Zest wrapped in Phyllo Pastry with Grand Marnier and Honey Syrup. The desert was great and I recommend adding a scoop of Vanilla Bean Ice Cream.
Kafe 421 is located at 421 14th Avenue SE in Minneapolis Minnesota. They offer parking validation for the lot directly behind the restaurant. They are open Monday - Thursday 11am - 9pm, Friday & Saturday 11am - 10pm and Sunday 12pm - 9pm.