Thursday, August 30, 2012

Devil's Advocate

I could make tons of jokes about balls since this place only serves meatballs, but I think they've already been done by everyone else so I will spare you my bad jokes. In reality, I followed the opening of Devil's Advocate this spring with a lot of interest. The concept sounded so interesting with the wide beer selection and the offbeat menu. I'm pretty tired of the standard sports bar fare anyway.

I ordered the two beef meatball sandwich with pomodoro sauce and provolone cheese on a baguette. I am pretty sure both of my meatballs were the pork meatballs though as they were a bit spicy with lots of fennel and garlic flavor. They were great and it was a great sandwich, but it was not what I had ordered. I was starving, so I just ate it and did not complain about it. And we did not figure it out until we had almost eaten everything anyway. I also loved the fries. They looked and tasted like hand cut fries. They were very crispy and not at all greasy.

John ordered the three meatball sandwich with pork meatballs and Sunday gravy sauce on a pretzel roll with a chopped salad on the side. It seemed like his sandwich had two beef meatballs inside and one pork meatball. So they mixed up his order with mine I guess. John liked his sandwich a lot as well. He liked the side salad option as it was a crunchy and fresh change from the heavy sandwich.

I wish I could recall what kind of beer we had, but I forgot to take a photo. Let me just say that they have a huge variety of beer on tap and something to please everyone. We had a great server who was very friendly and helpful and very prompt with everything. We were quite confused about all of the different menus they had on the table and she did a good job summarizing everything and suggesting combinations. We enjoyed our meal and would definitely return again.

Deals and Discounts: I had bought a Groupon for Devil's Advocate shortly after they opened and I got $30 certificate for $15, which was a good deal. They also offer a happy hour with some great beer and food specials.

Devil's Advocate

89 S 10th
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 843-2260

Monday, August 20, 2012

Nate Dogs

I visited Nate Dogs with a few co-workers late last week. I keep missing him this summer. Sounds like he's been doing a lot of private events.

I had the 2 hot dogs and a pop special for $8. I ordered one hot dog with the Surly mustard and one with the honey spiced mustard and slaw and caramelized onions on both. Both mustards were great! I really liked the Surly mustard as it had a bit of spice to it. (The honey spiced mustard is the one he is bottling and selling now. I think this mustard would be great on sandwiches as well.) The hot dog itself had a great snap to it and good flavor. I really liked the tartness of the slaw. He also offers Spring Grove sodas, which I highly recommend. I tried the root beer this time and it had a rich root beer flavor and no corn syrup!

I forgot to take a photo until I had a few bites. Sorry about the bad picture.

Nate Dogs
Twitter: @Nate_Dogs

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Colossal Cafe

We have been trying to visit Colossal Cafe for awhile now, only to find a line out the door each time we arrived. We decided to try the St Paul location as I had heard it was a bit larger than the Minneapolis location. It is not a big place by any stretch of the imagination, but we did not have any trouble getting in and finding a table on a Sunday morning.

John ordered the breakfast plate with two eggs, hash browns, bacon and toast. Wow, that was a lot of food! The bacon was really good, very thick and cooked just right. The hash browns were good as well, quite crispy.
I ordered one flapper (their version of a pancake), as I had seen an old episode of Diners, Drive Ins and Dives, in which the former owner was interviewed and demonstrated how to make the flappers. I was not all that crazy about the flapper though. It had an unusual flavor that I'm not sure I cared for. Maybe it is because I like a fluffy buttermilk pancake normally and this was a thinner pancake. I believe these are yeast pancakes actually. I think the syrup was real maple syrup though. You don't run into that too often anymore.
I ordered the breakfast sandwich with egg, cheddar cheese and bacon on a biscuit. This was a great sandwich! The biscuit was very light and fluffy and the cheese had a nice cheddar flavor and the bacon was thick and cooked perfectly. I really liked this sandwich and I'd go back just to order this again. 

Colossal Cafe is counter service, meaning you order at the counter and they bring the food out once it is ready. So we did not have much interaction with the staff other than when we placed our orders. The staff we did speak to seemed friendly and helpful. Minneapolis location is open for breakfast and lunch only. St Paul recently started serving dinner in addition to breakfast and lunch.

Colossal Cafe
1839 E. 42nd Street
Minneapolis MN 55407

2315 Como Avenue
St. Paul MN 55108

Note: The Minneapolis location is really, really tiny and always looked super busy whenever we tried to stop in. The St Paul location is a bit more spacious and we had no issues getting a table on the Sunday morning we visited.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Taqueria La Hacienda taco truck

Another new food truck out and about this summer is the Taqueria la Haciencda truck. They've been visiting downtown Minneapolis all summer with their rather fancy yellow taco truck, yet I have not heard much about them yet. I was aware that they have a few brick and mortar restaurants in Minneapolis and Burnsville, but I have never had the chance to visit.

On this visit I ordered the Tacos Arebes one with chicken and one with pork. Inside the tortilla, in addition to the meat was some cheese and grilled onions. They come with a side of chipotle sauce as well. I really liked the chicken taco arebes and it was especially good when dipped in the smoky and flavorful chipotle sauce. I was not very crazy about the pork taco arebes though. The meat was dry and seasoned with some sort of a red seasoning that was not a good match with the chipotle sauce.

I also ordered a side of chips and salsa. The chips were pretty good, I'm not sure if they were freshly made or not, but they were thinner chips. The salsa was a bit watery with no chunks of tomato, but there were some pepper flakes floating in it which gave it some heat.

The prices were a bit more affordable compared to other taco trucks though. The tacos arebes were $2.68 each and the chips and salsa were $1.99 I think.

I think I will probably go back to this truck and try some of the other items on the menu as they offer a rather wide variety of items such as tortas, burritos and quesadillas.

Taqueria la Hacienda taco truck

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Sushi Fix truck

Very quick post today! I went back to the Sushi Fix truck earlier this week. It has ruined sushi from places in the skyway for me. This is good, because I am learning what sushi is supposed to taste like, but it is bad because it is not cheap to eat here.

On this visit I tried the seaweed salad and the sushicado roll with salmon. The seaweed salad was different than I've had at other places in that it was a bit acidic. I'm still deciding if I liked it or not. The sushicado roll was great, with great rice and lots of salmon and ripe avocado. These are very large sushi rolls too!

Sushi Fix
Twitter: @SushiFix

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Bar Abilene

I saw a Groupon for Bar Abilene come up awhile back so I grabbed it since we have not been there in a couple years, maybe longer. It is always fun to go out in Uptown Minneapolis, especially in the summer time.

We started off with a couple drinks (margarita and mojito I think) and an order of chips and guacamole. They mix and mash the guacamole right at your table, and I love table side preparation of any food for some reason. The guacamole had great avocado flavor and it was a huge portion for two people.
I ordered the chipotle barbecued shrimp from the appetizer menu since we also had the guacamole to eat. I loved the shrimp. The barbecue sauce was very flavorful and actually rather spicy. And I mean spicy in a good way. The barbecue sauce had a nice tomato flavor too. The toast with goat cheese helped cool things off at bit anyway.
John had the tacos al pastor which had pork, pineapple and salsa in them on corn tortillas. These were very good and the pork was very tender. He really liked the touch of sweetness from the pineapple.

The service was very good throughout our meal and we enjoyed our visit very much. The food was much better than I was expecting and what I remembered from past visits and I think we will try to head back here again soon.

Deals & Discounts: Bar Abilene has a great daily happy hour with both food and drink specials. On this visit we used a Groupon I bought recently. It was only good on weekdays, but it was a good deal anyway.

Bar Abilene
1300 Lagoon Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408