so they get an upgrade for a few service things that sadly make them stand out among the usual restaurants. the food's in the a- to b- range, depending on what you get.
for instance, someone ordered a pimm's cup, usually pimm's (no kidding!) and lemonade. here it was pimm's (at least) and some other liquors, which made it taste not as nice (something like mad dogs and englishmen, which stupid-drink name liking side of me enjoys). when returned and replace with a glass of wine, the charge was taken off the bill.
there was a group of five people, and one came late. all orders were at the table at the same time (and not soon after the last order in), and all hot.
they asked if we wanted separate checks.
water was in several carafes at the table. i can't recall the last time i didn't have to go begging for water.
what the table ordered:
- beer battered green beans (lightly battered crispy green beans served with plum sauce for dipping), which were very tasty and would not quite be out of place at the state fair. the person who got it also ordered risotto cakes
(pea, leek & sage risotto cakes topped with sweet pepper relish, served with field greens & balsamic vinaigrette). she got the award for the nicest meal. i'd get the cakes if i were going there.
- turkey burger (fresh ground turkey, peanuts, jalapeno, onion, garlic and curry seasonings blended together & topped with pepper jack cheese, poblano pesto aioli and greens), second nicest meal, though it was a bit spicy for me, and i would have liked more cheese (a general state for me...), and fries with that. could be the juciest turkey burger i recall ever tasting. quite nice, worth getting.
- grilled cheese (cheddar, cotswold and chutney on grilled sourdough), fries with that. my choice. the chutney was interesting, though the whole thing tasted better with the plum sauce from the green beans. i would have liked to see more cheese more so than usual as it was oddly not the predominant flavor in the sandwich, and it needed grilling a tad longer, but not bad. not the best grilled cheese i've had in the twin cities, though. i got some homemade ketsup with it, and i will say it is better than hell's kitchen perhaps.
- seafood stew (shrimp, mussels, yellow fin tuna, wild salmon & clams in a spicy saffron stew, with rouille crostini). pretty decent, though a shade too much saffron and the rouille was apparently not all that. a good value, though. apparently i mentally compelled someone to order it, as i wanted to taste it, but wanted to get the grilled cheese, so points for me?
- pear and walnut rigatoni (sauteed pears and walnuts with rigatoni noodles in a gorgonzola cream sauce). i've had this before at one of the other grills, though i think it was a linguine, which i think worked a bit better, even though it is a cream sauce. alas, you couldn't taste the gorgonzola, so it was a bit disappointing, but i did say it was ok, but they can do better. after that, a bread pudding, which redeemed that particular meal. very nice, not too mushy, nice spices, i particularly enjoyed the real maple taste.
the place that owns this also owns the highland grill and edina grill, which are much more convenient to find and park at, and also the groveland tap, where i've never been, but would think it easier to find and park at. yeah, it's on st. clair, so... yeah it's a chain, but it's a local chain, so that makes it ok. that and the food and such. this one was suprisingly busy for a tuesday, too, which made parking more of a chore (one in five people scored the lot... ), though we were seated a couple minutes after coming in.
i'd go to whatever the one is nearest to your house, as the menus are the same only different (depending on where you live, which is kind of nice), though the greatest hits, as it were, are on all menus. the service was mostly good (though my bad restauarnt karma junior rendered me temporarily invisible when i wanted mustard for the fries. so while nice, it won't break your heart if you don't go. and all of the ones in the chain are tco restaurants, so with this and three more you can get a nice gift certificate if you fill out the form. (ask for it.)
the general consensus however was that breakfast here is better and more consistently reliable. and anything on the breakfast menu, if i have it right, is pretty decent. me, i'd stay away from the pedestrian things and go for something like andrew's killer banana waffle, jack cakes, or crab cake benedicts. (speaking of amusing names, they had a drink they called the evil cow, and said in the description it was more evil than cow. though cows aren't evil... close second, purple rain martini... which i assume when you order you have to wave it above your head with one hand and do that part in the song where that's all they say.... the whiskey drink is very plainly named, though it is descriptive.... it tastes of the honey in it and whiskey... anyway...).
please note that i behaved and made no poet jokes. which i should get more points for.
© The bent sun as risen