Sunday, January 29, 2012

Masu Sushi and Robata 12/23/11

John and I usually go out somewhere as part of our Christmas celebration a bit before the holiday. This year we chose Masu in NE Minneapolis. I've wanted to try it since it opened, but kept forgetting about it. I noticed it was right on Hennepin when I was shopping in that area before Christmas and suggested we check it out.

I started with a gummi shochu sours cocktail, the rainbow gummi. I really liked this drink, though it was a lot on the sweet side! But I love sweet drinks. John ordered a flight of saki.

We ordered the firecracker roll for a sushi selection. It was really good and somewhat spicy. I would order it again. I'm new to sushi, and I'm loving it more and more each time I order it.
We ordered some spring rolls as well. They had a really great dipping sauce that accompanied them, spicy yet sweet all at once. The spring rolls were the kind I love with a thin, crispy rice paper wrapper too.

Since robata is a specialty here we got a few specific items off that part of the menu. (By the way, robata is basically a Japanese method for grilling food.) For the Robata selections we got Asupara maki which was bacon wrapped asparagus. This was quite good, even though it is probably not the best time of the year to order asparagus.  We also got some grilled shrimp. The shrimp were pretty plain, not marinated or anything. The sauce on the side was a soy type sauce. It did not add much to the shrimp either.

Since we were not sure what else to order, so we got a combination plate to share as well. The Teishoku #2 included ribeye, shrimp tempura, sweet corn robata, tomato bacon maki robata and kani nigiri. The shrimp was good and so was the ribeye. The grilled corn was just average. I was thinking it would be really great, like State Fair corm on the cob or something, but maybe it was just undercooked as it had no good flavor and no extra flavor from the grilling. The kani nigri was amazing, the crab had great flavor.
We had a really fun time at Masu and we'd certainly go back. It was something different compared to anywhere else we've been before, at home or on vacation. It's just another reason to love NE Minneapolis! I saw they are also planning on opening another location at the Mall of America. The mall could certainly use some interesting restaurants and Masu will be a good addition.

Masu Sushi and Robata
330 East Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55414
phone 612.332.6278
fax 612.331.4705

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Al's Breakfast update 1/7/12

We made it back to Al's Breakfast again recently. Still good! There was a very short line when we arrived. Only 2 people ahead of us, but all the stools were full. Took maybe 15 minutes for us to get a spot. We figured it was a good time to go since the U was probably still on Christmas break.

The pancakes were great once more. They are always super fluffy with a nice bite from the buttermilk and not soggy at all, but just slightly crispy where there is browning on the surface.
On this visit I tried the Spike eggs which are two scrambled eggs with cheese, mushrooms and garlic. They were very delicious and I really liked the slight garlic taste.
 John ordred the Summer Special, which he gets on every visit. He said it was very good, as always.

Al's breakfast
413 14th Ave SE 
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Erte - 12/9/11

This post is long overdue in a couple of ways. First, Erte is one of our favorite places for steak in the Twin Cities and I can't believe I have not written about it yet and second, because we visited well over a month ago and my post is very late.

As a result of waiting so long to post photos, I can't recall what kind of soup I  had. I believe it was vegetable curry, but I could be wrong. It was ok, I was not crazy about the curry flavor though. Not sure I would order it again.
John had the house salad with their homemade French dressing. The French dressing is really good and even a bit spicy.
All entrees come with bread and choice of soup or salad as well as a small container of assorted olives and peppers.
We both ordered the House Sirloin. This is an excellent steak even though it is the most inexpensive steak on their menu. It is always very tender and it comes with their homemade steak sauce which had a wonderful savory flavor. It is much less salty than the usual A1 steak sauce most places offer.
I tried the Sweet Potato Mashers on this visit. I do not recall these on the menu on previous visits; they might be a new item. They were very good and a nice change from the usual mashed potatoes.
John ordered the hash browns as his side item. They are quite good here as they are very crispy.
Erte is often referred to as a budget steakhouse. I feel it is a great steakhouse and a wonderful restaurant overall and we have always had good experiences here.

Discounts: Erte is in the Entertainment coupon book as well as the Twin Cities Dining Club. The Entertainment book discount is for up to $18 off when two entrees are purchased and the Dining Club discount is for up to $11 off when two entrees are purchased. Keep in mind, the Dining Club discount is good once a month and the Entertainment discount is a one time discount. Erte also has an excellent happy hour M-F from 4-7pm. I recommend checking the website or calling them for details. The Peacock lounge is a great space for drinks before or after your meal.

Erte Restaurant323 13th Avenue N.E. • Minneapolis Mn 55413
(612) 623-4211
Mon-Thur 4:30-9:00
Fri-Sat 4:00-11:00

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Fat Nat's update 12/10/11

I'm a little behind on posting....going to try and catch up in the next couple of weeks. I have a few good meals to share.

First, I wanted to post a Fat Nat's update. On our last visit I got the Eggs Bacon Avocado Benedict. This is a signature item at Nat's and it is a really good egg benny rendition. The benedict has an added layer of spicy avocado verde and this sauce is delicious! It is a tad spicy and hot but not overly so. I think it just adds to the benedict overall. I believe the sauce is freshly made at Nat's and I have not encountered anything quite like it anywhere else around the Twin Cities. I highly recommend this dish if you like avocado and eggs benedict.
 John had the two eggs with bacon dish again. I guess he really likes this selection a lot!

Discounts: They have a $5 off per month coupon in the Metro Dining guide. 

Fat Nat's Eggs
(763) 540-0234
3540 Winnetka Ave N
New HopeMN 55427