Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Chick-fil-a has been in Minnesota as of this past summer. This should have been cause for celebration on my part! It has been a favorite of mine for years now, ever since I first tried it while visiting a childhood friend that lives in Atlanta. I have not done a post because I was not sure I wanted to promote the business in any way due to the CEO’s viewpoints. However, I decided that the sandwiches are just too tasty to ignore and I have loved Chick-fil-a long before that fiasco made the news.

Chick-fil-a’s  menu is not extensive, but it has more items on it than I recalled. They offer a breaded chicken sandwich, spicy chicken sandwich, salads, grilled chicken, wraps, chicken nuggets, chicken tenders and even breakfast.

On this visit I had the Chick-fil-a chicken sandwich and waffle fries. I always add some mayonnaise to my sandwich and remove the pickles. I just don’t love pickles. The chicken is a whole breaded chicken breast and not some preformed mystery meat like McDonalds. The breading is quite thin, crisp and light. I really like the fact that they have waffle fries instead of regular French fries. The waffle fry has better potato flavor and more surface area for the fry to become crisp and golden.

There are now six Chick-fil-a locations in Minnesota; U of M campus, MSP airport, Bloomington, Maple Grove, Apple Valley and  Coon Rapids. Maple Grove is closest to home for me. Just don’t forget that Chick-fil-a is not open on Sundays. We did that once and I should have known better!

11820 Fountains Way
Maple Grove, MN ‎
(763) 416-1773

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Fuji Ya

We went to Fuji Ya for happy hour on a Friday recently. This is one of the best happy hours around with food and drink specials. I highly recommend it, if you can get there before 7pm on a weekday. The bar was pretty full when we arrived around 6pm, but we found a table right away.

We started with gyoza (potstickers) and the yakitori (chicken skewers). The gyoza were really good because they had a nice crisp exterior. The dipping sauce had touches of chile and was delicious as well. The yakitori was ok, maybe a bit bland. The server snatched the plate away before I could try the sauce on the plate unfortunately. I hate it when that happens.

The second plate was our sushi order with spicy tuna roll and tuna nigiri. The tuna roll was good, nothing spectacular. The nigiri tuna was really good, so I ordered another plate, which I forgot to take a photo of. The second batch was not quite as good as the first as it had different coloration and was separating a bit, but it smelled and tasted ok. We also ordered a tempura shrimp sushi roll, which was also tasty. The specialty rolls were only $5.25 and $6.50, and the nigiri were $3.50 for two, so it seemed like a really good value for all of the sushi.

For drinks I started with a glass of house white wine and John had sake and a beer. I also had a really good whiskey ginger drink later on after happy hour was over.

The service was acceptable, nothing memorable, but not bad either. He was pretty busy the whole time we were there as the bar area was quite full.

Deals and Discounts: The happy hour is a great deal for food and beverages. Drinks start at $3.50 and food starts at $3.00. The happy hour runs Tuesday-Friday from 5-7pm. The late night: happy hour is Tuesday-Thursday 9pm-11pm and Sunday 8-10pm.

Fuju Ya
600 W Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 871-4055

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sea Change

We visited Sea Change at the Guthrie just before the holidays. We’ve been here before, but it was over four years ago for my birthday. We both remembered the food as being very wonderful, so we were excited to go back. We made a reservation, but arrived a bit early to walk around and tour the Guthrie’s public areas before our meal.

We had some time before our reservation so we ordered a round of drinks in the bar before being seated in the dining room. The restaurant and bar were clearing out as we arrived, since a couple of shows were just starting, so it was a bit hectic. One somewhat rude lady expected to have time to order food in the 10 minutes before her show started. The bartender handled her request beautifully and suggested several menu items that could be prepared quickly.

We started with an F Scott Fitzgerald and a cucumber infused vodka drink. The F. Scott Fitzgerald was a whiskey drink with Two Gingers whiskey, blackstrap bitters, maple and apple foam. It is a nice entry level whiskey drink for people like me that are trying to get into whiskey, but can't quite handle it straight. Both were really great drinks.

We were seated right on time and at a table near the window, on the side closest to the river. Our server was great, very helpful and friendly. She offered menu descriptions when we asked for more information on a few items. She definitely knew the menu very well. We started with a few appetizers of the oysters, langoustines and tuna poke.

John had the Fanny Bay oysters. They came with different sauces in the eye droppers provided on the side. One was horseradish emulsion, rosemary something and I can't recall the other one. John thought the sauces were unnecessary as he prefers to taste the oyster rather the mask the taste with sauce.

The tuna poke was really good. I liked the rich sauce on the tuna.

I think the langoustines are my favorite menu item at Sea Change. They are so buttery, rich and tender with hot olive oil, chile and rosemary. I think raw langoustines might be one of the best foods ever. They are much tastier raw and cooked. We dipped our bread in the remaining olive oil around the langoustines. The bread basket here is really good as well. I forgot to taker a photo of it, but there were 2 different types of bread plus crackers and all were made in-house and very delicious.

John’s lobster spaghetti was really delicious. It had lobster, heirloom squash, brown butter and chili in it. I liked how they incorporated seasonal ingredients into the seafood entrée. The pasta had to be made in house, though I’m not totally sure if it is or not.

I had the tuna entrée, which was porcini crusted tuna with salsify (root  vegetable), chevre (goat cheese) and miatake (mushrooms). The tuna was seared perfectly and all of the elements tasted good separately, but when you took a bite with a bit of everything together it was really amazing. i was not crazy about the salsify, it had a very bland flavor.

We skipped dessert as we were both really full at that point and just finished our drinks. We had an amazing visit to Sea Change and I look forward to going back soon. The ambiance, food and service were all truly perfect.

Deals and Discounts: I was somewhat surprised to see that Sea Change does offer a happy hour on drinks.  It runs Sunday through Thursday 3pm-6pm and every night 8pm-11p.m.

Sea Change
806 S 2nd St
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 225-6499

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Monte Carlo Restaurant

I visited the Monte Carlo restaurant recently with John and Michele. I've been here once before, but it was a long time ago, definitely before I started blogging.

It is very dark and clubby with a huge bar as you walk in. We had a reservation, but we had to wait a few minutes for our table before we could be seated.

Michele and I both tried a seasonal martini, the pumpkin spice, and it was really good. Not too sweet and not too strong.

John and I both had the Charlie's Kitchen steak sandwich on pumpernickel with slices of filet Mignon with horseradish sauce served on the side. The steak was served rare as requested and very tender and delicious. The horseradish sauce is really good and it adds a bit of spice to the sandwich. I have a serious soft spot for different versions of the Charlie's Kitchen sandwiches around town and is one of the best.

Michele had the meatloaf sandwich on pumpernickel with grilled onions and a side of fries. She said she enjoyed it a lot.

The service was very good and we were in and out in a very short amount of time. We were seated in the side room, so the sound level was not loud at all, though it felt like we were removed from the action a bit. I'd like to sit in the main room next time. They have a very nice patio on the side of the building when the weather is nice.

Monte Carlo
219 3rd Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 333-5900

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Redstone - New Year's eve

We visited Redstone on New Year's eve thinking if we went early it would be easy to get in as they do not take reservations. However, it was quite busy when we arrived around 5:30pm. And I learned they do take reservations now. Good to know I guess. We only had to wait about 30 minutes for a table, which is not bad at all for a busy night like New Year's eve.

We both had the scallops off of the specials menu. The scallops had a lobster sauce and spinach underneath and lobster mashed potatoes in the center. The lobster mashed potatoes were so rich and amazing. The scallops were seared perfectly and not too salty, which can often be the case.

John's entree
my entree

As usual, the food and service were very good. I don't think Redstone gets much respect from the critics in the area, but I think it is always high quality food and service that never fails to deliver. 

12501 Ridgedale Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55305
Phone: (952) 591-0000

8000 Eden Road
Eden Prairie, MN 55344
Phone: (952) 903.9500

12109 Main Street North
Maple Grove, MN 55369
Phone: (763) 420.0232

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Anchor Fish & Chips - breakfast

We accidentally ended up going to brunch at Anchor Fish and Chips recently. We had intended to have fish and chips, but it turns out on weekends they don't serve the fish until noon, so we settled for the brunch menu. 

I had the breakfast buddy sandwich, which is eggs, rashers, Irish cheddar on a potato bun. The bun was really soft and rich and I found the sandwich to be quite filling.

John had the mini whack that includes two eggs, potato bread, and choice of one side. John got two sides as they had an extra side of rashers and he also had the bangers.

The brunch food was pretty good, but it does not compare to the fish and chips at Anchor. We will be going back soon for the fish!

Here's the post from our previous visit to Anchor for fish and chips:

Anchor Fish and Chips
302 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
(612) 676-1300