Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Blaze Pizza

John and I visited the new Blaze Pizza in St Louis Park recently, mainly because we had received a coupon ion the newspaper for a free pizza. There was a short line on arrival, and you build your own pizza as you go through the line Chipotle style, they fire it and call your name shortly after.

John had the link in pizza with Italian sausage, roasted red peppers, sauteed onions, mozzarella, red sauce.
I had the white top pizza with white cream sauce with mozzarella, applewood bacon, chopped garlic, oregano, arugula.

Overall, the pizza was good, but I kept comparing it to Punch Pizza. I did not think the pizzas were as good as Punch. At Blaze they cut off the burnt edges of the pizza. WHY?! Hey, that is the good part! I did not think the sauce or other ingredients had as much flavor either. There was a gentleman in front of us telling us how much he loved Blaze, but he had never heard of Punch. He loaded up his pizza like crazy and shared it with his wife. I can see how it would seem like a good value, but I just didn’t think the flavors were that great. The crust is defiantly more of a thin crust and probably doesn’t hold up that well if you add tons of toppings. The crust was shaped by a machine and didn’t seem very light and airy.

John and I were not particularly dazzled and I don’t know that we would return. For about the same price you can get a much better pizza elsewhere.

Blaze Pizza
8126 Hwy 7
Saint Louis Park, MN 55426
1000 Washington Ave S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Ummie's Bar & Grill - Mankato

I visited Ummie's Bar & Grill recently my friends Tricia and Christine for a late lunch on a Saturday. They suggested Ummie's since it is a newer spot in town. It was not busy at all and we seated ourselves near the front. The interior has been nicely redone and has lots of exposed brick and wood floors with a bar down the side of the room.

I had a chicken sandwich with a bourbon sriracha sauce and topped with swiss cheese. The sandwich was excellent and the sauce was sweet and spicy, but not so spicy I did not enjoy it. I ordered the house made potato chips with the secret recipe chip dip. The chip dip seemed to be cream cheese based and was very flavorful, but not spicy.
Christine had a bacon cheeseburger
Tricia had the avocado turkey burger

The service was good and the food was all excellent. Ummie's is a great addition to the Mankato dining scene. The town certainly needs more independent restaurants with great food. I look forward to going back and visiting during patio season.

Ummie's Bar & Grill
530 S Front St,
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone:(507) 625-8277

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Mort's Deli

John and I went to Mort’s deli for a quick weekday dinner recently. It is close by, but we never think to visit. We had a coupon from the Metro Dining Club, so we thought we’d give it a try.

John had the French dip. He thought the flavors were a bit on the bland side for his sandwich. The portions were generous, we both had leftovers to bring home. The chips are not all that great either, pretty bland and I’d guess they are pre-packaged chips.

I had an open faced roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and vegetables. The bread under the roast beef was fresh and tasty, I guess they recently started making bread in-house, the roast beef was good, very tender, though the gravy was really salty. The mashed potatoes tasted real and freshly made and the vegetables, were a bit on the soft side, I liked the variety in the mix. I wanted comfort food and it was a large portion and tasted fine.

The service was pretty fast, we had no issues at all. The restaurant didn’t seem that busy, but many tables were occupied. The atmosphere is pretty low key and quiet.

Deals & discounts: We used a monthly punch card from the Metro Dining Club good for up to $10 off, when you buy one entrée you get $10 off the second. Two beverages are required as well.

Mort’s Deli
525 Winnetka Ave N
Golden Valley, MN 55427
Phone:(763) 544-2900

Monday, March 14, 2016

Fat Lorenzo's

We visited the Fat Lorenzo’s in Minneapolis recently for an early dinner on a Sunday. It is a pretty small location with four rows of tables and booths, but it was not at all busy when we arrived.

We ordered a medium carne pizza (meat crazy) topped with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage and sliced meatballs.  The pizza is a New York style pizza with a pretty thick crust, but it is not deep dish by any means. The toppings were generous and I thought the pizza sauce had a fresh tasting sauce. It was very filling and I could only eat a couple slices. More pizza to take home is always good though!

The service was friendly and prompt and our food arrived in a timely manner. In addition to pizza, the menu offers pasta, hoagies, appetizers and gelato. The Minneapolis location offers wine and beer. Parking is available in a small lot on the side of the building or on the street and it is easy to access just off highway 62.

Deals & discounts: The metro Dining Club has a monthly discount of one complimentary entrée when a second entrée of equal or greater value is purchased or 50% off the regular price of any size pizza for up to $7 off per month. Note: You must purchase a minimum of two beverages per card. Not a bad deal though.

Fat Lorenzo’s
5600 Cedar Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55417
Phone:(612) 822-2040

Also a second location
Inside Everett McClay VFW Post 1296
311 W. 84th Street
Bloomington, MN 55420

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Ideal Diner

John and I visited Ideal Diner awhile back on a Sunday morning. We were thinking it might be busy with lines out the door, so we arrived kind of early, around 8:30 am. It didn’t get that busy throughout our visit though. But, keep in mind this is one of those small places and the only seating is at the counter, so maximum capacity is 14 seats. Of course, I also like watching the action of the cook behind the counter.

I think we both had the same thing, with differently prepared eggs. I had eggs over medium, with hash browns, bacon, toast and one pancake. The food is all very solid and well prepared. The hash browns were crispy, eggs cooked as ordered, bacon excellent quality.
The pancakes are quite good, I’d place them second behind Al’s Breakfast pancakes. It is a thinner pancake with crispy bits on the edges and softer in the center. The pancakes are buttermilk and had some of that nice buttermilk flavor, but not as strongly as Al’s Breakfast pancakes.
Here is John’s plate with scrambled eggs and rye toast.
We found the food and the service to be excellent at Ideal Diner. Considering we got right in and the food was ready quickly, we will certainly return again.

Ideal Diner
1314 Central Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413