Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bauhaus Brew Labs

After we ate dinner at Hazel’s Northeast we decided to check out Bauhaus Brew Labs, as it was not far away. Bauhaus is a new brewery that just opened over the summer. It is just down the street from 612 Brewery. There are getting to be so many breweries in Northeast Minneapolis, you could easily make a day of going from one to the next.  It was pretty busy on a Friday night in September, with lines to order when we arrived.

The beer sampler board is color coded for your sampling pleasure. The beer is decent too. John liked the Sky-Five and I liked the Stargrazer best.

Everything is very visually pleasing.  I kept thinking that they must have a graphic designer on staff.

The patio here is huge and very cute with decorative lights overhead. The taproom is a very nice open airy space and the patio has jumped to the top of the list for one of the best patios in town. It’s even covered in case of precipitation.

They often have food trucks on site; the Butcher Salt truck was there the night we visited.

It's too bad summer is coming to an end. I look forward to visiting this patio again soon and also next summer. Bauhaus is a great addition to the Northeast Minneapolis brewery scene. 

Bauhaus Brew Labs
1315 Tyler Street NE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55413
(612) 276-6911

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hazel's Northeast

Using coupons for dining deals in the Entertainment and Chinook book can be very hit or miss sometimes. But every once in awhile you find a gem and I think Hazel’s Northeast is one of those gems. It is a cute cafĂ© with a wide ranging menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner options.

We arrived and were seated immediately as it was somewhat early, around 5pm on a Friday evening. Our server arrived quickly to take our drink order and we both opted for a tap beer as they had some interesting local selections available. I had a Fulton and John had a Summit seasonal.

I had the butternut ravioli with pecans, fried sage, brown butter and Parmesan. This dish was delicious and just what I was in the mood for, a savory fall dish. The fried sage and pecans added some nice crunchiness to the dish and the pasta was cooked perfectly.

John had the blue ox burger with fries.  The blue ox burger is a 6 oz chopped steak patty on a toasted croissant bun with caramelized onions and brie cheese. The burger was cooked as ordered and really juicy and delicious. The fries were freshly cut and very good with a nice mixture of crispy fries and a few less crispy fries.

The service was excellent and we never felt rushed or anything, though it was getting quite busy by the time we left with people waiting for tables.  We really enjoyed Hazel’s and I am thinking we need to return for breakfast or brunch sometime soon.

Deals & Discounts: We were drawn in by the Chinook book coupon for $5 off our purchase. They also offer a nice happy hour from 3-6pm Monday through Friday with $3 tap beers, $4 wine and $2 off appetizers.

Hazel’s Northeast
2859 Johnson St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55418
(612) 788-4778

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Travail 9.19.14

Stephanie and I went to the "new" Travail last weekend and enjoyed it a lot. It is still all about immense amounts of unpredictability and fun, but in a much larger room. The cocktail menu has even been made to fit their mold, with everything presented dramatically.

Rather than spend my time taking notes, I just tried to remember to take photos of each course. The key word here is tried. I know I missed one course for sure, maybe two. I'm not sure! Anyway, I wanted to share the photos so everyone can get a sense of the food at the very least.

 We had a course with himachi that I forgot to take a photo of…..

The tasting menu is $65 per person and no reservations are accepted.  Here's a link to our last visit at Travail with more complete details: http://whereshouldwegomsp.blogspot.com/2013/01/travail.html

4124 W Broadway Ave
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
(763) 535-1131

Friday, September 19, 2014

AZ Canteen food truck

We made it out to Canterbury a couple weeks ago for the final food ruck fair of the season, held during the races on a Saturday evening. It was a bit rainy when we arrived, but the weather eventually cleared up and we went down to purse the food truck selections. John and I both decided to try the AZ Canteen truck for the first time.

I had the pork belly sandwich with vinegar slaw. The pork belly was very tender and the slaw and pickled onions added just the right amount of acidity and bite. This was excellent and I need to watch for this to be on the menu again!
John had the pork sandwich with vinegar slaw and it was a large portion, but he said there were dry bits of meat in the sandwich that he did not care for very much.
I grabbed AZ Canteen one day for lunch recently, since I liked it so much at Canterbury. They did not have the pork belly on the menu so I tried the pork sandwich. It was very solid, and a large portion, though there were again a lot of dry bits of meat. I'm just not sure I'd get this sandwich again. I also got a free cookie as it was customer appreciation day. The white chocolate chip macadamia nut cookie was soft and fresh.
I also tried the fresh squeezed lemonade. I think sometimes they have different flavors, but this was standard lemonade though, very good. It had just the right amount of added sugar.

Overall, the selections from the Z Canteen food truck tend to be very solid, granted some items are better than others. The specials change often and are often very creative and delicious. This is a truck to watch as they are doing a great job on a regular basis.

AZ Canteen food truck
Twitter: @azcanteen
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Andrew-Zimmerns-Canteen/419353244766708

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Twin City Grill

I recently joined the Lettuce Entertain You loyalty club called Frequent Diner Club Rewards. It costs $10 to join, but you get a $10 off coupon on your first visit with the card as well as a birthday discount and points for each dollar spent at the restaurants that you can redeem for free food and drink. There are quite a few restaurants in the company's line up in our area too. So we decided to visit the Mall of America, get some walking in and then have lunch at Twin City Grill.

We did not make a reservation, but we were seated right away. The restaurant was pretty busy, but not packed. The atmosphere is rather dark and clubby, with lots of leather booths and dark wood. Our server arrived quickly to take our beverage order and tell us about the specials.

I had the walleye sandwich and salt and vinegar fries. The walleye sandwich was beer battered and topped with tartar sauce and lettuce and tomato. The walleye was very good with a nice crispy breading. It was a very large sandwich and very filling. The salt and vinegar fries were OK. There was just too much salt on them and the vinegar gave them a very sour flavor. Maybe there was too much vinegar on them as well. Either way, they would have been fine with a lot less seasoning. I should have just ordered plain fries.

John had the Baja burger with salt and vinegar fries. The Baja burger was topped with avocado, jalapenos, provolone, chipotle mayo, lettuce and tomato. He said it was a good burger, but certainly not close to the best he’s ever had. It was a bit overcooked actually. He thought the salt and vinegar fries were too salty as well.

We’ve always liked Twin City Grill quite a bit and overall, we had a good experience and will certainly return, especially now that I have the Frequent Diner Club card. I believe you also get birthday perks and we also received some coupons for all of the other restaurants in the chain such as Big Bowl and Wildfire.

Deals and Discounts: The loyalty club has proven to be a good value so far, since I already recouped the cost for the card. I also received some discount coupons for all of the restaurants in the chain in the Twin Cities. Twin City Grill also offers happy hour specials on food and drinks available Monday through Friday from 3-6pm in the bar area.

Twin City Grill
130 N Garden
Bloomington, MN 55425
(952) 854-0200

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Tru Pizza truck

One of the newer players on the food truck scene this season is the Tru Pizza truck. The owner previously worked at Pizza Man in Chaska and has now ventured out on his own, with traditional and adventurous menu options to choose from.


I ordered the light pizza and it had prosciutto, fresh garlic, fresh arugula, goat cheese and mozzarella on it. The overall flavor of this pizza was very fresh and a bit spicy, I suppose due to the garlic. The crust was a bit thicker and had a hint of sourdough flavor with some nice crispy lightly salted edges. The lightly blackened crust is so good!

The pizzas take awhile to make, but the wait is very much worth your time. The pizza really is cooked in a wood-fired oven built into the truck at 800-1000 degrees. This is probably the best pizza available downtown right now. It definitely reminded me of the pizza at Punch, but since there is no Punch location downtown, this is a great option. It is also with noting that many of the ingredients are locally sourced whenever possible.

I’m looking forward to trying some of their other menu selection soon! I hope they stay out on the street well into the fall.

Tru pizza truck

Monday, September 8, 2014

Original Pancake House

We visited the Original Pancake House recently for breakfast. We have been to the one in Maple Grove before, but it was a long, long time ago. Last time we waited forever, so we remembered to call ahead this time. However, we accidentally called the wrong location. We called the one in Plymouth, thinking if was just off 494 and Rockford road, but on the way, we checked and we realized the location we called was off County Road 101. The location off 494 is actually in Maple Grove and had a 90 minute wait, so we went to the Plymouth location and were seated almost immediately.

John had the sourdough French toast with a side of bacon.

I had the bacon, eggs and pancakes. The regular buttermilk pancakes were quite good, although I think I still prefer Al’s Breakfast pancakes or even Perkins pancakes. The bacon was very good thick cut bacon and cooked perfectly,  so it was just crisp enough. My eggs were cooked over easy as requested.

We found the service to be quite good. The server was friendly and kept our beverages refilled as needed. The prices were average, most items are in the $8-10 range.

I was surprised to learn this is a very large national chain with locations in 28 states. There are five locations in Minnesota and they are headquartered in Portland, Ore. I never would have guessed actually.

If you know you are going to visit, I highly recommend calling the location you want to go to ahead of time. The Maple Grove location told us to call 90 minutes before we wanted to dine.

Original Pancake House
1415 CR101
Plymouth, Minnesota 55447