Thursday, January 31, 2013


Stephanie and I visited Travail some time back. I am so late in getting this post finished, which is very bad, because this was the most fun and interesting dinner I've had in a long time. We had been talking about going forever and finally picked a date and went for it. Since neither of us are much for waiting, we made sure to arrive somewhat early, around 6pm I believe on a Friday night. We were seated right away at the large communal table in the middle of the room. Later on, by the time we left I noticed a few groups of people waiting, but not that many really.

We decided to go with the smaller tasting menu of 8 items. We did not think we would be hungry enough for the full tasting menu, but I suppose they would adjust the portions accordingly.

First to arrive was the antipasto plate with three items.  First, a tiny monte cristo sandwich with tomato powder underneath, beets with house cured meats and in the bowl, white beans, salami, green beans and olives with a puffed crisped, ravioli. The antipasto salad had great tomato flavors. I'm not bananas over beets, so I did not love those. I did try one though! The monte cristo was very fun. I could not detect much flavor form the tomato powder.

Up next was the pork rib with olives, jalapeno celery, and garlic salt. The pork was so tender and juicy. I hope they have this on the menu next time I go back.

Next, was a creamy mushroom soup. This had a very rich flavor and was one of my favorite courses. I think there were a few different types of mushrooms i it. I'd go back just for this soup!

This is the angolotti with egg and Tabasco powder. It was kind of like ravioli with egg inside.

This is the scallops with potato and grapefruit, sliced jalapeno and red pepper and tarragon jelly. The tarragon and red pepper jelly added the flavor to the potato and scallops.

This is the chicken four ways course. There was chicken soup in the egg with tiny round noodles, chicken boned and re boned on the standing leg, a poached chicken cube and crispy chicken with celery to the right.

Here is the pork rib with radish, cauliflower and balsamic reduction. The short rib was very tender and the balsamic reduction added more flavor to the meat, though it was strongly flavored, so you did not need much of it.

An orange flavored root beer float with snicker doodle cookies. The float was very rich and creamy. The starter for the make your own dippin dots are on the left.

The dipping dots were very fun! They have you make the ice cream with dry ice. You drop the milk from the squeeze bottle into the bucket and later on they came by and dumped it out onto the last dessert plate after a few minutes.

The grand finale was the huge dessert plate. Starting on the left is the croissant with lemon and salt, coffee drink, pumpkin pie with cotton candy, a caramel apple and then the finished dippin dots with a brownie and fruit loops. Stephanie liked the coffee drink a lot. I think my favorite was the pumpkin pie with cotton candy. The meringue was very rich and creamy. 

There was also a fun Pop Rocks course that was difficult to take a photo of. They basically had you get a spoon ready and they dropped these popping bits onto it and you put in in your mouth, still popping. The rocks had a bit of a vanilla flavor. It was very fun as you had smoke from the dry ice coming out of your mouth and nose. The course did not have a lot of flavor, but it certainly was fun!

The service was quite good. There was always someone bringing out the next course or checking on water or beverages. It is a very team-oriented serving atmosphere and quite casual, which was fine with me. We had a great time and I can't wait to go back soon and take other people.

4154 W Broadway Ave  
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
(763) 535-1131

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Matt's Bar

It has been a few years since we stopped in to Matt's Bar for a jucy lucy. I sort of crave the darn things once in awhile for some odd reason. And there is the never ending debate over which place in town has the best jucy lucy. I find it so difficult to call a clear winner as the burgers at Matt's and the 5-8 Club are rather different sandwiches really.

There was a long line when we arrived at Matt's, though it moved pretty quickly and we were seated within 15 minutes. The place was smaller than I remembered it, though they have as many tables wedged in as possible. I had never noticed the super groovy gold wallpaper on the side wall toward the back. The service is quick and efficient.

The jucy lucy was great as usual. It was freshly made and you have to wait awhile till the cheese cools off so you don't sear your mouth on the molten cheese. I added grilled onions to my burger as well.
The fries were good too, though I don't think anyone goes there for the fries. You just nibble on them until your burger is safe to eat.

They only have beer, wine and pop to drink; no hard liquor drinks. The menu is pretty basic as well, but I'd suggest sticking with the jucy lucy as that is what they are known for.

Matt's Bar

3500 Cedar Ave  
Minneapolis, MN 55407
(612) 722-7072

Friday, January 25, 2013

Haute Dish

John and I visited Haute Dish just before Christmas. We have a tradition of going out for our own holiday celebration around this time every year. Stephanie and I visited Haute Dish awhile back and it seemed like a place that John might like too. Here is the link to my previous visit: 

The near drink is the pisco sour and the one in the background is the Hemingway. 

Bread basket and amuse bouche of mushroom soup. The soup was great; very rich and flavorful. 

I don't see this on the menu anymore, but it was the mushroom appetizer/small plate. I believe the mushrooms were stuffed.

Tater tot haute dish with short ribs, porcini, green beans and tots. The short ribs were amazing and very tender. The tater tots were amazing as well, very rich and flavorful. Not like any tater tot you've ever had before! The green beans had a nice hint of garlic flavor and were fresh and just a bit crisp.

This is the steak and potatoes with Texas toast and bone marrow. 

Haute Dish
119 Washington Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 338-8484

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


There are only a few places around town that have really good roast beef sandwiches. Wally's, Maverick's Roast Beef and the Bloomy's truck. Somehow, I have not done a post about Wally's or Maverick's yet!

Lately, I've been ordering the French dip when I go to Wally's. It is a little larger than their standard roast beef sandwich and it comes with a wonderful au jus with good garlic flavor. The French dip was very good, with excellent, rare, roast beef. I love that they serve the standard Heinz BBQ sauce, it tastes great with the roast beef really. Their horseradish sauce is great too. It is quite spicy and not for wimps! Unfortunately, I don't love they french fries at Wally's. I often skip them. They are chewy and soggy and not at all crisp. I wonder if they make them too far ahead of time possibly.

If you have not been to Wally's in a couple years, you should know that they moved to a new location just south of 494 on Penn a couple years ago. There is more parking available, so I consider the move a good thing, since it was sometimes hard to find a parking spot at the old location.

8120 Penn Avenue South  
Bloomington, MN 55431
(952) 884-4349
Open for lunch only, Monday - Saturday

Monday, January 21, 2013

Eat Shop Kitchen and Bar - 2nd visit

We went back to Eat Shop recently, trying to make it in time for their awesome happy hour, but we were a little bit late. They have some great specials for just $3 until 6pm Monday through Friday. Hopefully, we make it one of these days!

I don't have a lot to add to my last post, aside from new food photos below. The previous blog post is linked below as well.

John had the Baja burger. It had avocado, onions, tomato, sprouts and jalapeƱo on it with lemon aioli. This burger has a nice combination of ingredients. It was cooked medium as ordered too.

I had the roast beef sandwich on this visit. It was very good and very filling.

Eat Shop Kitchen and Bar
16605 County Road 24 (Hwy 55) 
Plymouth, MN 55447

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Burger Place

The Burger Place is definitely the best place for burgers in the skyways. You can probably find a better burger elsewhere around town, but if you are looking for a quick, convenient lunch, it certainly fits the bill.

The burgers are Angus beef and quite tasty. I like the fact that they take the time to toast the buns and toppings are added to order. (Why doesn't every restaurant toast the buns? So easy, but so worth it!) The fries are quite good as well and always fresh and crispy.

The Burger Place recently moved into a new location in US Bank Plaza and have a larger, brighter dining room, though the move has increased their visibility and their popularity as well. Expect a line or go early.

Deals & Discounts: The Burger Place has a discounted burger special daily. I recommend visiting their website for the current selections.

The Burger Place

220 South Sixth Street Suite 215
Minneapolis, MN 55402

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A new background photo

I added a new background photo today. I took the photo at the Neon Museum in Las Vegas. Let me know what you think. I think it is a little busy, and I don't like that it is tiled on the screen. But when I adjusted the size down, you could not see the two signs on the left side at all. Hmmm.