Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Manny's Steak House

We visited Manny’s Steakhouse for our anniversary celebration this year. We had a reservation, we were seated right away and it was surprisingly busy for a Monday night. It took awhile for our server to come by with drink menus. He seemed to be very rushed right off the bat.

We ordered drinks, he dropped them off and then a bit later brought menus over for us to review. It seemed like we were waiting a long time for him to come back to take our order. We did get the tour of the meat cart with the live lobster handing out on the side. The meat cart is a bit of a spectacle and an important part of the Manny’s experience though.

my Irish cock and bull drink; very strong! 

bread basket; tried not to eat much, but we were starving 

We started with the lobster crab cakes and they were excellent. There was a lot of lobster in them and not much filler. They had a lot of Old Bay flavor and were maybe a touch salty, but not bad.

Then we waited some more. I don’t know how long it took our food to arrive, but it was a long time. I knew things were off when the server came back and asked if we wanted onions in the hash browns. I’d originally asked to have bacon added as well, but I forgot that when he came back in a rush to confirm. Oh well.

So we had the hash browns with onions and they really were excellent. The portion is gigantic and the potatoes were crisp on the edges and less done in the center.

We shared the ribeye steak. The steak was delicious and seasoned well. It was cooked unevenly however. The left side was far more done that the other side.

Since it was our anniversary we did get a complimentary dessert, the Bailey’s chocolate cake. They pour additional chocolate fudge over the cake at the table, to make it even more decadent. It was topped with real whipped cream and the bottom was very dense and sweet and the top had the Bailey’s flavor in it. You could taste the alcohol a bit!

Overall, our Manny’s experience felt very mixed. The service was not that great and the steak was not cooked evenly, so I felt a bit disappointed. I feel at this price point everything should be perfect or darn near perfect and it certainly was not.  Our night was not ruined by any means, it just could have been a lot better. I’m not sure that we will be rushing back to Manny’s anytime soon. I think our money is better spent elsewhere.

Manny’s Steak House
825 South Marquette Avenue
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 339-9900

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Hola Arepa

We’ve been trying to get to Hola Arepa for awhile now, but it is always super busy with a really long wait. We decided to go for a late lunch on a recent Saturday and we were seated after they cleared off a table for us. The restaurant is actually quite small, but cute and cozy.

Jolly poltergeist drink

John had the slow-roasted pork arepa. In case you have not yet tried an arepa, they are cornmeal griddle cake sandwiches. This had pork, black beans, cotija cheese and Hola sauce with yucca fries and chimichurri sauce on the side. John liked the arepa because it was light and tasty.

I had the tostada chilaquiles with tomatillo salsa, fried eggs, black beans, queso fresco, pickled onion, radish, jalapeno, cilantro and pork. The pork was very rich and tender and I am glad I added it. (It was $2 more to add the pork.) The dish did not look that large to me at first, but I was unable to finish everything. The tomatillo salsa had a nice tart bite to it and it was actually quite spicy with the fresh jalapenos.

Our server was great and the food was amazing. It seemed like the prices were considerably higher than they were when Hola Arepa was a food truck, but I suppose they have a lot more overhead now. The portions were certainly generous enough.

Deals & discounts: Happy hour is served Thursday – Friday form 3-6pm and Tuesday – Sunday 10 to close. Both food and drink specials are available. The prices are pretty nice too.

Hola Arepa
3501 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 345-5583

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


I visited Spasso recently with a couple friends. It has been open for quite awhile now, but it is one of those places just off the radar for me. Kelly suggested we check it out as she liked the $3 wines available during happy hour.

I had the butternut squash ravioli. The portion did not look that large, but it was more than I could finish. The pasta was very good and cooked perfectly.

Michele had the penne bolognese, a red meat sauce with cream and Parmesan. The portion was very large and she had a lot left over to take home.

Kelly had the grilled salmon burger with a Caesar side salad. She visits frequently with her family and said she gets this all the time.

Our server was great and we enjoyed the food and wine a lot. There is a wine shop attached that is owned by the restaurant and we found our server to be very knowledgeable as well. The menu has a wide variety and there is certainly something for everyone from pizzas to pastas to burgers and steaks.

Deals & discounts: Happy hour is served Sun-Thu 3-6 & 8-close and Fri-Sat 3-6 & 9-close. They offer one red and one white wine for the $3 happy hour as well as rail drinks for $3 and domestic taps for $3-4. A variety of food options are available starting at $3 as well.

Spasso Restaurant
17523 Minnetonka Boulevard
Minnetonka, MN 55345
(952) 224-9555

Friday, February 6, 2015

Tilia brunch

In our quest for delicious brunch food, we ended up visiting Tilia last weekend on Sunday morning. I have to say, it was not busy at all, so it was a great time to visit. We were seated right away and we started with a couple coffees.

We ordered the canela churros to start. There were tow different sauces on the plate and the dark brown one was sweet and cinnamon flavored and was the best. The white sauce was vanilla and not quite sweet enough to add much to the churros. They were light and fluffy with just a bit of crunch on the exterior, however, the serving was quite small.

John had the fish taco torta. I had enjoyed it a lot on a previous visit and he liked it a lot as well. The fish was light with a crunchy breading and it was topped with slaw, cilantro, lime and tortilla chips.

I had the black bean tostada with pickled onions, cilantro and a hard-boiled egg surrounded by chorizo. The chorizo was very good, and not too spicy, but spicy enough to give the dish some extra flavor. The plate did not look like a huge serving, but I was unable to finish everything.

The food was excellent, but the service was not so great near the end of our visit. We had to ask another  server for our check as we were waiting and waiting and ours did not come by. He took a long time to come back and pick up my card as well.

Here is a link to my Tilia post from a few years ago. It is old, but the menu is still pretty much the same anyway.

2726 West 43rd Street
Minneapolis, MN 55410
(612) 354-2806