Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Depot Tavern

The Depot Tavern is located on the side of the First Avenue building and run by the same owners. We have dined here a few times now and I have never gotten around to doing a review somehow.

The room is pretty basic, but comfortable and clean. The service is always very efficient and the food is definitely elevated tavern fare. The menu has a nice variety with something for just about everyone.

John had the BLT, which is your standard BLT on brioche bread. He really liked the fries though. They are made freshly in house daily and very crisp with excellent potato flavor.
I had the buffalo chicken sliders with fries on the side. The buns were lightly toasted and the buffalo sauce was very good. Everything was freshly prepared.

We really enjoyed our food and found the prices to be in line with similar establishments in the area, and I feel the quality of the food is much higher with the Depot going above and beyond to elevate the bar fare to be higher quality than average. We enjoyed it once again and plan to return. It is a great option near Target Center, Target Field and First Avenue.

The Depot Tavern
17 N 7th St
Minneapolis, MN 55403
Phone: (612) 338-1828

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Shake Shack Mall of America

We were excited to hear earlier this year that a branch of the famed Shake Shack would be opening at the Mall of America. It is located in the newly redone food court area on the third floor on the North side of the mall. The menu ranges from burgers, hot dogs, fries and chicken sandwiches to frozen custard made into concretes and shakes.

You order at the center, are given a number and you can take a seat until your order is ready. The food was ready pretty quickly and the line to order moved very quickly as well.

I had the Smoke Shack burger, shown on the left, which is topped with with cheese, smoked
Niman Ranch bacon, chopped cherry pepper and Shack Sauce. John had the Shack Burger, on the right, which is topped with cheese, lettuce, tomato and Shack Sauce. Shack sauce is basically their versions of secret sauce and seems to be mayonnaise-based slightly spicy, sweet and sour blend of mayo, ketchup, mustard and spices. I really liked it mixed in with the cherry peppers on my burger. the meat was tender and juicy and the buns were lighted toasted and try fresh and delicious.

The crinkle cut fries were hot, fresh and crispy. Very solid overall. 

We thought the food was very good with burgers that are well above average. The service was quick and friendly as well. I think Shake Shack is a very good addition to the average, run of the mill  fast food options at the Mall of America. The mall could use more quality options along these lines.

Shake Shack
332 E Broadway
Bloomington, MN 55425
Phone:(952) 466-6056

Friday, July 15, 2016

Spring Street Tavern

I'd found a list of best wings in Minnesota on Facebook, so we decided to try one the restaurants from the list out. We stopped in to Spring Street Tavern on a Saturday afternoon for a late lunch.  It was surprisingly busy, but there was an event sort of nearby.

The ambiance is definitely more bar than restaurant and probably not family friendly, more adult-oriented. Seating is at the bar or a variety of high top tables along the front windows and some lower tables toward the back.
We had the Spring wings, which are sauced with a honey-hot BBQ sauce. The sauce was definitely sweet, but not especially spicy. We both liked the wings, they were quite addictive actually and the chicken was cooked perfectly. The chicken skin was not soggy or overcooked as is often the case with wings.
We also tried the Seasoned wings, the menu says are served naked, but it seemed to be coated with a dry rub. I want to call it a ranch flavored dry rub. The flavor was good and not at all spicy. These were also quite good as the chicken was cooked well and the skin was very crispy.
 The tots were hot and fresh and a huge serving. No complaints! 
I hate it when restaurants are too cheap to buy Heinz ketchup. This stuff is not a good substitute.

We found the service to be fine, the waitress seemed very rushed whenever she stopped at our table, but we didn't wait for anything. I don't know that we would rush back, but the wings were quite good, so I'd recommend it for that i you happen to be in the area.

Deals & discounts: We used a discount from the Metro Dining Club good forbid one enter and get up to $9 off the second entree.

Spring Street Tavern
355 Monroe St NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Phone: (612) 627-9123

Friday, July 8, 2016

Boston 6.8 - 6.10.2016

I had a quick trip to Boston in early June for a work conference. I didn't have time to do anything too exciting, but I thought I'd post my food and hotel experiences.

I had a quick breakfast at Terminal 2 at MSP at Barrio. The breakfast sandwich is very, very solid. I also learned to make sure your Trusted Traveler number is in the reservation or you have to go through the regular security line. Or I should have brought my card. Lines are short at Terminal 2 anyway.
I stayed at Club Quarters Boston. This is the smallest hotel room I've ever stayed in for sure. The location was near our Boston offices and it is on the approved hotel list, at the right price, so basically I did not get to pick. Oh well.

hotel room view
Before heading to the face for the afternoon I had lunch at Hillstone near Faneuil Hall. The tuna entree was excellent.

After work I walked over to the North End to try and get in at Neptune Oyster. It was early, and I got a spot at the bar right away. The warm lobster roll was really great.
Afterwards, I stopped by the Cheers at Faneuil Hall. It was pretty touristy and didn't look like the TV show inside or outside at all.
Headed back to the hotel and called it a day, since I'd been up since 5am for the 7am flight.
Thursday I had a conference to attend for work all day, but first I visited Cafe Fleuri at the Langham Hotel. The room was very nice and the crab Benedict was excellent as was the service.
After the conference I walked over toward the Barking Crab. It was a bit windy and chilly outside, and the reviews were very mixed, so I went to the Overlook Bar and Restaurant right behind the Barking Crab.
I had the tuna poke
I had breakfast at Remy's Sports Bar near check-in at the airport. It was not great, but serviceable anyway. There was nothing after security where my gate was, so I ended up going through twice. It was only three gates and not much of a line anyway.

The flight home was uneventful and even though I did not have the time to do much in Boston, I managed to dine at a few interesting places.