Monday, October 22, 2012

Trieste Cafe

There are plenty of places that serve average to poor tasting gyros in the skyways of Minneapolis. So after a long and lengthy search, I think I may have found the best gyro place downtown at Trieste Cafe in the Lumber Exchange building.

The meat seems to be about the same quality as everywhere else, but the warm, fluffy pita bread stands out, and so do the freshly chopped vegetables and generous amounts of a light and creamy yogurt sauce. The yogurt sauce stands out to me because it tends to be very soupy and sparse at other gyro places around town. The guy actually chops the vegetables while you watch. That should not be as impressive as it is, but how often do you see that anymore?  By the way, the portion was massive and the entire basket was full of just one giant gyro.

The lemonade is very good as well, seems to be freshly made. The place is about the size of a postage stamp, and there are some tables to eat in if you wish, but I recommend arriving early or late in order to avoid the line. I think it was about $8 for the gyro, chips and a drink.

The Lumber Exchange building is skyway connected, but it is a bit off the main habitrail, so I recommend consulting a map before setting out. Just when you think you know your way around the skyways, you find another corner with a hidden gem. That's just one more reason I love working downtown.

Trieste Cafe
10 S 5th St
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 333-4658

Saturday, October 13, 2012


I visited Zelo a couple times recently for weekday lunch with friends, so I thought I'd share photos of both visits. I have not been there in many years, so I was excited to go back since I have never heard anything but good things.

On the first visit, Kelly and I were able to sit outside on one of the last warm days of the fall. The patio is really nice and it faces Nicollet Mall, so there are a lot of people to watch if that is your thing at all.

Kelly had the walleye sandwich and french fries. She said it was very good and just the right amount of food for lunch time.
I tried the ahi tuna burger with fries. It was cooked perfectly to medium rare and the avocado really made the sandwich great. There was also a touch of wasabi aoli to give it a bit of extra spice and flavor. I really liked the french fries though. The menu says they are house cut fries and they were very light and crispy and not at all greasy, which is perfect.

A couple weeks later I went back with my friend Tracy from work. On this visit I tried the walleye sandwich. Kelly's looked so good last time, I thought I'd try it on this visit. I'm glad I ordered it, it was really good. The walleye was great, very mildly flavored with a really light, crispy breading. I really liked the lemon aoli sauce that gave it a nice tart bite overall. The bread was wonderful too, very light and fluffy, it tasted like milk bread that has become rather popular lately. The fries were really good again as well.

Tracy had the tortiglioni rossa and really enjoyed it. She also started with a ciao baby salad that I forgot to take a photo of. I had a bite of the salad and the pasta and both were great. The pasta was very flavorful with a wonderful tomato sauce. I really liked the sausage in the dish; it was flavorful without being spicy.

On both visits the service was excellent overall, very friendly and efficient. We were in and out of there within an hour, which is nice for a weekday lunch. Every now and then a nice sit down meal is a great change of pace from the usual cafeteria and skyway options, so I can't recommend it enough.

Deals & Discounts:
Zelo does not have too many deals that I am aware of, but they do have a happy hour Monday through Friday from 3-6pm where they offer a variety of food and drink specials for $5 each. I suspect the lineup changes, so I would suggest checking the website or calling for the most up to date information.

831 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Which Wich

Which Wich opened in downtown Minneapolis over the summer and has been a very popular lunchtime destination ever since, with large lines almost daily. I've tried it a few times now, and I think it is ok. For some reason I don't love it as much as everyone else does, but I can't pinpoint the exact reasons.

The way that you order at Wich Wich is a bit different. There is a big menu on the wall, and underneath are a bunch of different paper bags with the sandwich names printed on them. So, say you want a turkey sandwich, grab that bag and printed on the bag will be a bunch of different boxes to check to customize your sandwich. They offer tons of choices from ham, beef, turkey, chicken, seafood, vegetarian, Italian, classics and more.

On this particular visit I had the TBR, which is a Turkey Bacon Ranch sandwich. So, to customize my sandwich I chose the bread (white), if I wanted it toasted or not (toasted), cheeses, sauces, onions, veggies, oils and spices, and don't forget to write down your name which they will call when your sandwich is ready to go. With this method, I guess you are not hovering over them telling them what to do like you do at Subway, but you still get your sandwich custom made each time. I thought the sandwich as fine, but I think I prefer Erbert and Gerbert. I think the bread is better at Erbert and Gerbert, with the bread middles and all. Maybe I need to go back and try some of their more unique flavors. On a previous visit, I had a muffeletta sandwich and enjoyed that a bit more due to the very tasty and flavorful olive spread.

Deals & Discounts: Which Wich has a birthday club! You get a free sandwich around your birthday. It does not have to be used on your birthday and you do not even need to bring another person along. You can sign up on their website Great deal!

Which Wich
800 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Hours: Monday-Friday: 10:00-2:00

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


I visited Campiello with a couple girlfriends on a beautiful Saturday afternoon a couple weeks ago. We sat on their patio, which is very leafy and lovely. You can hardly tell you are in a strip mall parking lot. I tend to forget that Campiello is still open since the Eden Prairie location is tucked away off highways 62 and 212. The food and ambiance were still very good even though I had not been here in some time.

Since we arrived pretty early, we were offered the early dining menu in addition to their regular menu. This is available from 5-6pm daily. I'd call or visit their website for details as I'm sure the selections change often.

Kelly and I both started with the Caesar salad. I had anchovies on mine. I have no idea why I said yes to them when the waiter asked if I wanted them. They just taste super salty, but I don't really care for them all that much. I especially liked their Caesar dressing as it had a nice strong garlic flavor.
Michele ordered the Sicilian meatballs for her appetizer. I had a bite and the sauce had amazing fresh tomato flavor.
All three of us ordered the penne pasta for our entree. This is one of my all time Campiello favorites.  The pasta has chicken, artichoke, basil, garlic and lemon in it. The chicken is the rotisserie chicken you can order as an entree, but they pull it off the bone for the pasta. It is very rich and delicious and the pasta was cooked perfectly.

The service was very attentive without being overbearing, which I prefer. The servers and busers were very good at keeping our water glasses filled as well. We had a great experience and I look forward to returning again soon.

Deals & Discounts: An early dining special menu is available from 5-6pm daily. For $24.95 you get a choice of appetizer, entree and a glass of wine. We felt this was a great value and we were able to change out the menu's wine selection with another for an additional change if we wished. There is a nice variety of appetizer and entree choices, which includes some of their most popular items such as penne, hanger steak and roasted chicken.

6411 City W Pkwy
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
(952) 941-6868