Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Pad Ga-Pow

There has not been anywhere to get pad thai in the skyways since Sawatdee closed several years ago. I spotted anew place in the Highland Court building recently and it looked promising. It is in the former location of Sky Bites and seems to have undergone a paint job and menu change mainly.

Other menu items include pho, noodle soups and salads. I took a photo of the menu since I could not find a website for this restaurant. Combo #1 $6.99 is one item plus white rice, Combo #2 is two items plus white rice for $8.99, Combo #3 is three items plus white rice for $10.99, Soups are pho and are $8.99 and salads are $8.99. They also have cream cheese wontons and egg rolls available.
 Chili paste and other sauces to season and spice the entrees. 
My co-worker and I both tried the pad thai. This is the single order, but you could double or triple your order or add other entrees. I thought the portion was perfect for lunch, my co-worker would have liked a larger potion, but he did not realize he could have doubled the order. The flavor of the pad thai noodles was very good and I thought there was a good amount of chicken. The best part was all of the fresh chili sauces available to season and spice your pad thai as desired.

I thought the food was very good and I look forward to going back and trying more items. It certainly fills a void in the culinary scene, in the Minneapolis skyways at least.

Pad Ga-Pow
811 LaSalle Ave
Minneapolis, MN
Highland Bank Court building

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Copper Hen

Yes, we went to brunch again. No, I do not feel bad about it. I like brunch! What’s the big deal?!  This time we visited the Copper Hen in Minneapolis.

This is one of those farm to table rustic chic places with lots of antique looking light bulbs and wooden beams in the ceiling. Yup, stuff is served in mason jars. The room is nice, but very loud. We arrived to a 45 minute wait, but we got lucky and scored seats at the bar, which was open seating.

John started with a Copper Hen bloody Mary: Prairie organic vodka, house made bloody mix, tomato juice, bacon and mini bacon blueberry breakfast cupcake garnish with beer chaser. I’m not a bloody Mary fan, but John liked it. It sure looked cool.

John had the Farmer’s brunch which included scrambled eggs, root vegetable hash, bread pudding french toast  and bacon. The French toast was very rich and amazing.

I had the Copper Hen benedict with crispy pork belly, bĂ©arnaise sauce, two poached eggs on toasted country bread, served with farmer's potatoes. The pork belly added a bit of crunch to the dish and the bĂ©arnaise was excellent. I was not crazy about the farmer’s potatoes. They were just cut up baby potatoes and could have used something more for additional flavor.

The service at the bar was acceptable. We were just happy to get seated. They were certainly very, very busy, but a server was devoted to just the bar and someone else was making drinks. The place was mobbed the entire time we were there, so arrive early or call ahead!

Deals & discounts: We used a coupon form the Chinook book for $5 off our $25 purchase. Not a big discount, but it got us in the door!

Copper Hen Cakery & Kitchen
2515 Nicollet Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55404
Phone:(612) 872-2221

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Jake's Stadium Pizza - Mankato

I’ve been in Mankato a lot recently, so I thought I might as well share a few finds from Southern Minnesota in case you find yourself in town.

Jake’s Stadium pizza has been around for as long as I can remember. According to their website it has been around since 1964. I’m not that old, so no wonder I think it has been there forever. It moved to a newer building in 2010, but the inside center portion of the dining room looks the same as the old location pretty much. I suppose someone would have missed the orange plastic booths if they did not bring them to the new location.

We had a thin crust pepperoni and sausage pizza. The sauce had a nice fresh flavor and the toppings were generously applied. The crust was nice and crisp too. I liked how the edges of the pepperoni crisped and curled up on the edges a bit. It is a solid pizza at a good price. A medium was $12.10 with two toppings and that was plenty for two of us, with a few pieces leftover.

This pizza is what I would call your standard Minnesota style pizza. It has a thin crust, lots of cheese, lots of toppings and it is cut into squares. I must admit, I never knew that was an official type of pizza, but I guess cutting pizza into squares is not done in many other places.

Jake’s Stadium Pizza
330 Stadium Rd
Mankato, MN 56001
Phone:(507) 345-5420

Monday, April 11, 2016

Haute Dish - brunch

It is time for yet another installment of the brunch chronicles. This time we made it to Haute Dish. I have heard about their sourdough waffles for awhile now and as you may know, we have a thing for sourdough toast. So sourdough waffles sounded excellent to both of us.

We both went for the chicken and waffles. The chicken is buttermilk fried chicken, sough dough waffles and bacon maple syrup. The stuff that looks like a dollop of butter was actually some sort of savory ice cream. I loved the ice cream, John did not care for it much. I found it a nice replacement for butter really.
The waffle had a nice sour dough flavor and the bacon maple syrup was really good. There were actual pieces of bacon in this syrup too! Nice flavor. The chicken was excellent too. It had a crisp skin and was juicy inside. The portion was huge too. I was only able to eat half of mine and it made a great meal the next day. We both loved this dish. I love how Haute Dish takes a basic dish and improves and elevates it.

There are a few more intriguing items on the menu that I would like to try. I bet the chilaquiles are great. Next time!

Haute Dish
119 Washington Avenue North
Minneapolis, MN 55401
(612) 338-8484

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Chef Shack Ranch - brunch

John and I have been hitting a ton of places for brunch lately for some odd reason. I guess it is one of our favorite meals. I have wanted to try Chef Shack ranch forever, too. I’ve loved the food truck for years and figured the restaurant would be just as great.

A couple of their famous mini donuts were brought out shortly afar we arrived and were complimentary. 
John had the French toast and brat, which included cinnamon brioche egg dipped breakfast toasts griddled to perfection, served with a vanilla pancake syrup, fruits of the moment, and bacon brat slices. John loved the French toast.
I had the daily benedict, which was two house made biscuits, smoked brisket slices on top, two each of poached beautiful egg, topped with skillful hollandaise sauce and a side salad. The brisket was tender and smoky tasting; very flavorful. The hollandaise sauce was bright and fresh tasting. I liked that this benedict was on a biscuit instead of an English muffin. It was far easier to cut and eat. There were also some breakfast potatoes on the plate and those were a good vehicle for soaking up the extra hollandaise. The salad was fresh and well dressed.

The service was good, the food was great and I look forward to returning and trying more of the items on the menu. The room has a fun shabby chic look to it as well. It was not busy at all either and we arrived around 10am on a Saturday morning. So it is a great place to try if you’d like to get right in without a long wait.

Chef Shack Ranch
3025 E Franklin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Phone:(612) 354-2575