2nd- pizzeria uno, edina
9th- big 10, hopkins
10th- panzanella bread co., shakopee
16th- eddington's, edina
19th- papa murphy's pizza, st. louis park
22rd- fajita republic, shakopee
23rd- al's breakfast, minneapolis
25th- jewel of india, minneapolis
26th- 3 muses, minneapolis, psycho suzi's motor lounge, minneapolis
30th- french meadow bakery and cafe, minneapolis
2nd- pizzeria uno, edina (b+)
well huh. i thought i had been here in recent memory, but apparently either i wasn't, or i didn't write about it. i do kinda like their pizza, deep dish fan that i am... chicago style. they had a lovely chicken alfredo pizza on limited offer many years back that i still recall with fondness... but tonight, pasta. i was in the mood for noodles, and needed to pick up my watch at southdale (how does the second hand fall off?), so uno it was. we had a buy one get one free with purchase of two beverages on the pastas.
mrs. bad restaurant karma got the chicken parmesan over fettucini with marinara. the chicken part was ok, but i thought the marinara a bit too sweet for me. i had the chicken (i want to put spiccoli) spinocci, which was a cheese, tomato, broccoli, and spinach stuffed chicken breast over pesto cream penne. the chicken part was tasty, as was the pasta, it just didn't gel together well. both dishes would have been better served with the chicken cut into bits, not whole or large slices over the pasta. hard to eat and cut with a butter knife that way. i would've liked the pasta with pine nuts, that'd be a natural fit, what with the pesto theme. both dishes came with breadsticks, and we spilt a house salad beforehand, both of which were the usual chain restaurant quality (not horrid, not great).
service was prety good. because of the placement of the place (attached to a large pod of office buildings), the joint tends to be overrun at lunchtimes on weekdays. dinner on weekdays is much less of a wait for stuff and a less hurried experience. the menu isn't extensive, but it's got a variety of things (pizza, pasta, sandwiches, burgers, etc.).
9th- big 10, hopkins (b+)
did i get the half-turkey sub? yes. did i get the fries with that? yes, though they were not as good as yesterday's. did i like it? you bet (dontchanknow), but the fries could've used a touch more seasoning. can't have everything, where would you put it (steven wright). service was most excellent, too.
10th- panzanella bread co., shakopee (b+)
this place has a b+ vibe to it. i seem to be having a b+ month. which is probably a better average than most months. though now i've probably jinxed it. quel dommage. i got the chicken pesto panini, which i am sure had more words in the actual sandwich name. i was in the mood for chicken and pesto, and kinda wanted the pasta that comes with it here, but i went here for lunch and they don't serve the pasta until dinner.
anyway, the sandwich comes with chips. or you can go with the half sandwich with soup or salad for about the same price (the beer cheese soup looked intriguing, and they do get bonus points for having a bowl of popcorn out for people to stick in that soup, the traditional sconnie topping, i think). with pop it came to over $8, which seems a bit spendy. it's a large sandwich, yes, but not what i think of an $8+ lunch. but it was tasty, and my craving for chicken and pesto has subsided for now.
16th- eddington's, edina (b)
so the intention was to go to kaffe stuga in one of the hotels in the 494 cluster. when we went into the hotel, there was a sign pointing to 'restaurant' and a map on the wall that showed the location of kaffe stuga. so we trooped off to find it.
and trooped back. and checked the map again, and hied in another direction.
and came back. and checked with a person at a desk, who pointed us to a place that we had seen before, but had 'nine mile grill' on it. so we went in, and were told kaffe stuga didn't exist anymore.
a bit funny, as i had asked mrs. bad restaurant karma, who had a two for one card for the place, if she had called and asked if it existed, as hotel restaurants tend to flip randomly.
so we went to eddington's nearby instead. something different. it wasn't that crowded, we came in half an hour or so before they closed. counter service was good. i think a few of the soups had suffered from sitting around for a while, they don't do a big dinner business, it's more of a lunch and takeout place. it's a quiet place for dinner, and for about $6, if you're a big eater, i'd be really worth it, it still is if you are more of a medium eater, for that matter....
i had three bowls of soup, which seems like a lot, but they give you the bottomless bowls pretty much a ladle at a time, so it's more like three cups of soup. i started with the cheese soup, which was a bit starchy, then had the white chicken chili, which was nice and spicy, but would've been better without the chicken (a bit stringy and flavorless), and finished with the pine nut and basil soup, which i thought would be green, a la pesto, but was a tomato and tiny pasta affair hit up with the basil and nuts. the nuts were a bit soggy, but it was otherwise the best of the lot.
mrs. bad restaurant karma had the chicken and dumplings (same stringy, flavorless chicken in a not that great broth and not that great dumplings), and the beefeaters stew (reportedly tasty, but was more souplike and less stewlike, and not so very beef-full).
19th- papa murphy's pizza, st. louis park (b+)
i'd heard the delite line of pizza (veggie delite sounding less like a drag queen than carmel delite) was good, but i didn't believe it. i'm not that fond of take-out or delivery pizza as a general rule, and i had had something else from papa murphy's before and was not so impressed with it.
so surprise me, this wasn't that bad. i will say we did get extra cheese on it, and since fat makes things taste good (for those of you thinking that sounded alton brown-ish, it's not just you), that probably didn't hurt the taste. but i think it would've been fairly good without it still.
a thin-crust pizza with a white sauce (a creamy garlic), it has spinach, mushrooms, and tomatoes. i think it would have been even better with some olives on it, but since the whole 'delite' gist is lower in calories and such, that would've defeated the purpose (like that extra cheese did, natch). also, i found myself eating more of it, not because it was lower in calories or pretty tasty, or what have you, but it's not as filling as regular pizza. had we baked it for a crisper crust, it would've been better, too. we just did the regular bake.
i was looking forward to leftovers for breakfast, but it doesn't work well at all cold. so be warned.
22nd- fajita republic, shakopee (c)
brought to you by the same people who do panzanella (and dangerfields, where i've not been), only with less tasty food. the food isn't cheesy enough to be american (literally and fitguratively) nor authentic enough to be mexican, and kind of suffers for it. though i will say the counter service is pretty good.
the place is like a ch*potle (owned by the arches, i don't like that place) only different (local). big portions, low prices, etc., but less specialized. you can get burritos, fajitas- who would have guessed?- salads, and a few other things. the person i was with got the fajita salad, i got the nachos on special. you pick your rice and bean types (if applicable), and your toppings, including the meat, if you want that, and the salsa type as you go. (i got black beans, chicken, and went with tomatillo salsa, and had them throw in a few jalapenos).
the chicken was kind of bland, the nachos didn't stand up well, there were no olives, and nothing was particularly flavorful or spicy (with the exception of the jalapenos), and it was hard to eat with both the fork and my fingers. the fajita salad looked hard to eat also, but ok.
so yeah, i was underwhelmed with it, don't think i'd be back. there's one or two other places i have to check out for mexican food now that el burrito mercado is closed apparently forever to go when i'm jonesing for mexican food.
23rd- al's breakfast, minneapolis (a)
even during mid-week at about 10 am there's a wait for one of the 14 stools here (yeah, part of the legendary atmosphere... it works... just go with it). it's worth it, though. tasty omelets. iforgot to order hash browns, but wouldn't have had room for 'em anyway. they looked the right kind of greasy and tempting, though, and the pancakes didn't look bad either. i'll probably be craving hash browns for a while, though, 'til i get the good kind.
omelet-wise, mrs. brk just went with the cheese, i got the mexican, with hot pepper cheese, black olives, and... something else, added mushrooms and got some salsa on the side. it was more spicy than yesterday's lunch, in a pleasing way. a few more olives would've been good, ditto mushrooms... i want more... mrs. brk mentioned she'd not had an omelet this good in years.
25th- jewel of india, minneapolis (b)
ok, a bit more disorganized. we got there at around 11:15, thinking it was open at 11. and the door was open. so we went in. and sat down. and saw the buffet wasn't up yet, so we stayed sitting. about 5 minutes after that, someone came out and said they weren't open yet, they open at 11:30. er... the door was open? and i only saw the hours for dinner posted outside... but they let us stay inside. it was before 11:30 they let us at the buffet.
a lot more vegetarian items this time (they're aiming more at the west bank folk, i guess... some items even had signs saying they were vegan), only two dishes with chicken (tandoori and curry... the curry wasn't that great unless you dug for the tiny bits of chicken on the bottom, the larger ones were chewy) and one beef item (called, imaginatively... beef. apparently it's what's for lunch). some of the ones i've not seen anywhere, including a very tasty okra dish with green pepper and onion. the vegetable curry was quite nice, too. the pakora are still tasty, as is the kheer (try it with a bit of tamarind chutney), as is the bread. still nothing with paneer. alas.
we were also told that as of... today... the two for one card was not good on the buffet, so it's not that affordable anymore. not out of place for a work lunch, but for a student lunch a bit high in price, i've never seen lots of students in there, really. service was... schitzophrenic. friendly, sometimes, not there others. same person, though. perhaps they're new, they seemed a bit confused on a few points.
26th- 3 muses, minneapolis (a)
ok, all you random (and not so random people) reading this, go here. you don't have to go right... *now* but you should go soon. this us one of those small, local places that may close soon if they don't get a customer influx.
and they deserve it. i wouldn't tell you to go if it sucked. (and if you read the grade, you know it so didn't.)
so the food. the person i was with ordered a duck liver mousse to start. it came with cranberry chutney, crostini and some cornichons, and they brought over some extra bread when they saw it wasn't enough. the cranberry and duck were a nice match of flavors you don't see a lot of places. (cranberry=turkey in this part of the world). it was a lovely starter.
they then went with the gnocchi, accompanied by what we think are parsnip chips. unusual, to say the least. the gnocchi were fried, and good, but they could've used a bit of light cream sauce to finish it off, it seemed a bit naked. i went with the chicken, and was really happy i did. the seared breast was perfectly done, and the braised thigh was so tender the meat fell right off the bone when you picked it up. it came with polenta that was topped with gorgonzola, and some spinach. and it all went well together.
i was going to finish with a cheese plate, but oddly they had none. oddly as they're more french now with their new chef, emily streeter (formerly of bakery on grand). though they did have some interesting sounding goods.
we got a bottle of the cote du luberon. though i am generally not considered a 'wine person' (whatever that is), this is one of the few wines i had some that made me want more of it. i first had it on a trip to france, and then it took me a few years to find it in the twin cities (france 44 had it but not until their remodel was done... natch), and i don't recall seeing it on a wine list before. it's like a cote du rhone, but softer and fruitier, as it's from a nearby bit of france. (yeah, girl drink drunk even in wines, that's me.) though the wine is reasonably priced without it.
we were confused about their great wine deal (buy two entrees, get a bottle of wine for $5 until the end of this april to celebrate the arrival of said new chef). we thought it was all wines on the list, but it was just one kind (or maybe one red and one white... i'm apparently still confused... ), which was not the one we ordered. but they were nice enough to give us a significant discount on the wine. it's things like that that makes you want to go back to the place... besides the lovely food.
they should have their outdoor tables set up soon, which is always a mixed blessing on that part of lyndale (go after the rush hour, i'd say). the interior is all brick and silver and kind of modern. i do like they had some benches at tables and some chairs, so you could snuggle up for dinner if you like.
and when you go, be sure to check out the restroom door. (i'm easily amused.) and the speakeasy bar next door.
26th- psycho suzi's motor lounge, minneapolis (b)
a tiki bar. we stopped here for birthday drinks (for someone else's birthday, that is) postdinner, and possibly dessert. the drinks here, though fruity and girly tasting, can be strong enough to knock you on your hinder in a few sips, especially for a cheap date such as myself (and more so when i've had half a bottle of wine in the not too distant past). good, though. and a nice selection of 'em too. you may want to go with my ordering methodology- get the drink with the name you consider the stupidest (in my case, i went with a special- the hottie hula ho.)
the food varies. i tried a cheese curd. the state fair has nothing to worry about. the onion rings were quite nice, though. oddly served with ranch dip. the pizzas smelled and looked lovely.
lots of smoke here, it'd be interesting to go here post-smoking ban and see what it's like. i bet the patio will be very very crowded. lots of noise here too, the jukebox is full-blast and since the place was an a & w in a former life, the acoustics here are not so that personal conversation was a priority. the result- you can barely hear the person next to you, let alone someone across the table. (yeah, i'm old.) but it's a fun place to gaze around and be sure to check out the... interesting flooring.
30th- french meadow bakery and cafe, minneapolis (b+)
went here for dinner for a change up, usually i hang here for lunch. they have some of the same things on the dinner menu as lunch, they're just a bit spendier. there was a very nice two for one entree coupon in a local mag, which made the dinner way affordable. (not that it's out of line with other places, etc.). so dinner for two was about $20 or so before tip. tres bien (get it, it's french....)
i went with a pasta special, it was fettucini with shrimp, green and red pepper, and onion in a light lemon sauce. very spring-like, though it didn't suit the rainy weather. tasty, though. however, not something i'd necessarily go back for. mrs. brk had the half of a roast chicken. it comes with garlic mashed and haricot vert in a nice cherry-wine sort of sauce, which starts out maybe a bit sweet, but mellows out as time goes on. that was tasty. very tasty. that i'd have. maybe i'd try the salmon, too, dinnerwise (the special's through the end of next month, so it could happen.) they also bring a lovely bread basket to the table.
service was a bit... distracted, though cheerful. no one told us the roast chicken takes that much longer than a regular entree, a server would say 'i'll go do that/get that now,' and i'd see them do a few other things first, then go do something else, and finally get around to doing what they said they were going to (don't use 'now' if you don't mean it....).
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