Thursday, October 29, 2015

Allie's Deli

I feel like I have been slipping into a major rut with my lunch time dining in the skyways. I tend to go to the same rotation of favorites and find it a challenge to go out of my comfort zone to try new places.

Allie's deli has been in the skyway for some time and they even expanded sometime last year into the old Caribou space next door. It is always busy with long lines, but the line moved very quickly for me.

I tried the French dip (half sandwich) with a pickle and chips. The bread was very good and the salty au jus added flavor to the rather bland meat and cheese sandwich. The meat was not dry, but it was a bit overcooked. I'm not sure I'd order this again, but I liked that you can order a whole or half sandwich option for every sandwich on the menu.

Next time, I need to try the salads or soups as those look to be the most popular items. I also found all of the employees to be very outgoing and friendly.

Allie's Deli
527 Marquette Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55402
(612) 333-6425

Thursday, October 15, 2015


I've been hearing some buzz about Nighthawk's for awhile now, probably since they opened this spring, but we had not had a chance to visit yet. It is operated by the same chef that owns Haute Dish in downtown Minneapolis, so you can expect updated takes on classic dishes, but in a much more casual atmosphere than Haute Dish.

It is basically a diner concept, with lots of bar and counter seating. I think it would be a great place for brunch as well. We were seated at the counter overlooking the kitchen, so we got to check out the food as it was being made and coming out. We each had a drink, but I forgot to get photos of them. A full bar is available with interesting cocktails and craft beers.

We shared an order of french fires with malt vinegar mayo. The mayo was not as strongly flavored as I expected it to be, it just had some extra flavor. The fries were crisp, fresh and perfect all the way around though. You could tell they were made in house.
John had the French dip, which was topped with Gruyere, shallot jam, beef fat mayo and a side of au jus. It was served on a baguette with just the right combination of softness and crusty edges.
I had the Nighthawk's hot dog, which is a Kramarczuk's foot long dog topped with dill mayo, red dragon cheese, spicy mustard, giardiniera and shoestring potatoes. The poppy seed bun was nicely toasted and I liked the dill mayo instead of a pickle. The pickle always falls out anyway. The hot dog had a nice snap and I liked the presentation in the metal holder.

The food and service were both excellent. We were in and out in a short amount of time too. It wasn't overly busy, when we arrived, though people were waiting for tables when we left. I don't think reservations are accepted, so plan accordingly.

3753 Nicollet Ave S,
Minneapolis, MN 55409
(612) 248-8111

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Al's Breakfast 2015

I've been singing the praises of Al's Breakfast a lot lately, so I wanted to share photos from our visit last weekend. I don't have anything to add from previous visits. The food was excellent as always and I highly recommend going and getting the always great buttermilk pancakes. It is worth the wait!

 buttermilk pancakes
 blueberry buttermilk pancakes
 spring special
 side of bacon
summer special

Here's a link to my post from last year:

Al's Breakfast
413 14th Ave SE 
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Seattle Trip Report - 9.10.15-9.14.15

Seattle is one of those cities we have been meaning to visit for a number of years and just never got around to it. I think maybe we get into a rut going to Las Vegas frequently and we forget to consider other locations.

We flew out of terminal 2 at MSP and breezed through security as we had first class tickets (more on that later). We started with breakfast at Cocina Del Barrio, the Barrio outpost at the airport. We both had the bacon and egg sandwich topped with salsa and avocado. The sandwich was quite good. We've eaten here in the past and found everything to be delicious.

We flew on Sun Country airlines because we had both gotten their credit card and by spending $600 on the card we both earned enough miles for a free first class round trip ticket. It was our first time flying first class and we both enjoyed it a lot. The first benefit was skipping the long security lines. It was also nice to be served food and beverage on the flight and to have additional seating space on the plane. We also got to board the plane first and get off first.
lots of legroom!
Crackers and cheese plate
Surly and mimosa to drink
roast beef pita, soup, garlic toast and potato chips
warm chocolate chip cookie

Our flight was great and we really enjoyed the first class amenities. We were picked up at the airport by our hostess for the weekend Kris, my husband's friend from Belfield, ND. We've been meaning to go visit her for ages, though she is often in Minneapolis because her best friend Jenny lives in the area. 
Our first stop was the Pike Place Market for some lunch. We ate at Cafe Campagne for a late lunch.
I had an amazing croque madame sandwich, lots of cheese and a perfectly cooked egg!
John had the calamari
french fries
quiche and a salad
John and Kris at the gum wall. 
We walked around Pike Place Market, watch them toss the fishes and looked at the scenery. Seemed like there were a lot of tour groups being led around with flags. We also stopped at Kells Irish Restaurant for a drink on the patio. The weather was amazing while we were in Seattle, only one cloudy day I think.
John wanted to try a few local breweries, so our first stop was Holy Mountain Brewing Company. It was in the back of an industrial building along some railroad tracks, in a location we never would have found if we had not been with a local.
We stopped at Kris' apartment in Upper Queen Anne and dropped off our bags and freshened up a bit. We took an Uber over to Rooftop Brewing Company and sat on the patio for awhile. Our next Uber driver was a guy in a huge Ford F-150 crew cab truck. He was from Arizona and very nice. He even had bottles of water available in the truck. No wonder he was rated 5 stars in Uber.
We had a late dinner at Mezcaleria Oaxaca in Upper Queen Anne. We started with some chips and guacamole, and the guac was pretty spicy actually.
barbacoa cabrito (goat) for John 
tacos pescados (halibut) for me

The food and drinks were very good. We walked down the hill back to Kris' apartment and called it a night.
beautiful view from her dining room window
We walked back up the hill in the morning and went to 5 Spot diner for breakfast. Here is John's 5 Spot breakfast.
I had the Baby Goat special, which was scrambled eggs with goat cheese and spinach with a side of smashed potatoes and sourdough toast.
and a side of bacon because it is vacation
We headed downtown and took a Duck Boat tour of the city. This is a photo of gas works park form the Duck boat.
downtown Seattle
We're on a boat, or a Duck boat, that is. 
The tour was a good way to get an overview of the major sights in Seattle. 
Stopped at RN74, mostly because we needed to use the restroom. It is a Michael Mina restaurant and it was happy hour, so we stayed for a few snacks.
watermelon smash
The pretzels and tuna poppers appetizers were both really delicious. 

Next, we walked down to Pioneer Square to make happy hour at Taylor Shellfish. John was excited to have a lot of west coast oysters
bread and oysters round 1
Geoduck sashimi. It was interesting to try it, don't think I loved it, it was just OK. 
more oysters and prawns
even more oysters
oysters marco, baked oysters. Not bad. 
Pyramid brewery for a little tailgating before the baseball game. 
Mariners game at Safeco Field

The stadium was very nice. I felt like Minnesota's Target field took a lot of inspiration from this stadium as they felt similar. After the games we headed back to Kris' place and hung out for awhile before going to sleep. Busy day!

Saturday we were off to a bit of a slow start. We went to Chuck's Hop Shop and had lunch from a food truck I can't recall the name of. Chuck's really did have a thousand beers I bet. Lots of bottles to take home and many on tap to enjoy on the patio out front as well.

burger and fries

After Chuck's we headed down to Woodinville to do a bit of wine tasting. It was a pretty drive about 30 minutes of of town. Most of the tasting rooms are grouped together in what looks like industrial parks to me, so the tasting rooms are not anything fancy really. No estates here, those are in eastern Washington.
Elevation Winery

 Upland Estates
 The last one sampled Bunnell and Upland wines. 
We ordered a meat and cheese platter for a snack at Upland. 

It was fun to try a few different wineries in one day, but we ran out of time as most of them closed at 5 or 6pm.
sunset from Kris' place

We stopped back at Kris' before heading down the hill to Umi Sake House for dinner. We met my co-worked Jenny and her husband for dinner here. They recently relocated from Minneapolis to Seattle for his job. 
lots and lots of sushi
I think we over ordered 

house sashimi 

After dinner we went across the street to Ohana. At least I think that is what it was called. I had a huge drink there from what I can recall.
Streamline Tavern
Then a late night snack at Dick's.
The burger wasn't great, kind of like a McDonald's burger. 
The fresh cut fries were excellent however. 
Sunday started out rainy and foggy, but it cleared out somewhat by the time we got down to the Space Needle for brunch at Sky City restaurant.
We took an express elevator to the restaurant, so we got to skip the lines, which was nice. 
view from the dining room
yogurt, berries and fresh fruit
blueberry pancakes, sausage, bacon and potatoes
bread pudding
We walked up to the observation deck to look around a bit.
No hamburgers allowed outside on the Space needle people!
The Chihuly Garden and Glass museum was right next door the the Space Needle, so we went through that next.
I have lots more glass pictures I could post, but I am trying to keep this somewhat brief. The museum didn't take very long to go through, but the pieces were all very beautiful.
We took the ferry over to Bainbridge Island. It was interesting as cars can take the ferry as well, so loading and unloading was a very specialized process.
nice view of the city
We stopped at Alehouse on Winslow, walked the main street and had a glass of wine at Island Vintners.
on the ferry back to Seattle

We went to dinner at Roux, which had French creole food. All of the food was amazing, I highly recommend Roux.
hurricane to drink for me
The shrimp and grits was fantastic. The sauce was amazing and the grits were perfect. The bread was needed to enjoy all of the great sauce.
jambalaya for John
jalapeƱo and cheddar hush puppies with amazing honey lemon sauce
beignets for dessert

Last day, time to pack up and get ready to go, but first one last breakfast at 5 Spot for all of us.
5 Spot breakfast
Sonoran scramble breakfast for me with cheese and avocado. The salsa was really good as well. 

After breakfast Kris gave us a ride to the airport and we buzzed through security with our first class tickets, which was great as the lines were quite long.
The flight home was much like the flight out and very nice, relaxing and uneventful. I could get used to flying in first!

We had a great time in Seattle! Thank you to our hostess with the mostest Kris for taking care of us and letting us stay with her and shuttling us all over the place! Loved your adorable apartment! Can't wait to come back again soon!