Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Lowry

John keeps winning gift certificates to Blue Plate Restaurant Group establishments on KFAN radio so we keep visiting them. This time we thought we'd check out The Lowry as we have not been there before for some reason. I guess I figured the menu is the same as all the others, but it does have some unique items like oysters and other seafood options I don't think their other restaurants offer.

We were seated after just a wait of a few minutes. It was busy, but not packed when we arrived. There was a longer wait by the time we were finished.

John had the chilaquiles topped with chorizo, tortilla, black beans, eggs, peppers, hash browns and pico de gallo. He said it was very good and especially liked the very crisp hash browns under the egg.
I had the sweet potato hash with onion, pepper, sausage, eggs, jalapenos, guacamole, and toast. The hash was pretty heavy on the peppers and onions, but it had great flavor and was a pretty unique dish.

The service was friendly and efficient and we were in and out pretty fast without feeling rushed. There is ample parking in the lot on the side, so you don't need to worry about finding street parking, which is nice in Uptown. We enjoyed The Lowry and look forward to going back.

The Lowry
2112 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Phone: (612) 341-2112

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mozza Mia Pizza

I had bought a bunch of Parasole gift cards around the holidays, so visiting Mozza Mia was encouraged by that purchase. We arrived after 5pm on a Sunday and were surprised to see a lineup of people waiting to be seated. We were seated very quickly and sat at the bar facing the kitchen.

We started with tomato caprese bruschetta topped with freshly made mozzarella, tomato and basil on grilled sourdough bread. The fresh mozzarella really made this dish excellent. The tomatoes had nice flavor as well, especially considering it is the middle of winter in Minnesota.
John had the supremo pizza topped with bolognese, pepperoni, onion, peppers, mozzarella, provolone and gorgonzola. We felt the crust was a bit on the bland side. I did not get much flavor from the wood fired pizza oven at all.
I had the fig and prosciutto pizza topped with La Quercia prosciutto, gorgonzola and caramelized onion. This was a sweeter pizza and I removed a few figs and enjoyed it a lot.

The service was fine, a bit odd since the server had to wait on us from behind since the kitchen was in front of us, but we had everything we needed when we needed it. We thought the prices seemed a bit high for the quality of the food, so I am not sure we will be rushing back anytime soon.

Mozza Mia
3910 W 50th St
Minneapolis, MN 55424
Phone: (952) 288-2882

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Pat's Tap

We went to Pat's Tap for brunch recently. It was not busy at all when we arrived and I think it was right around 11am. I was surprised. There is no reason this should not be a top brunch destination.

I had the bloody Mary sandwich, which was topped with 2 fried eggs, bacon, tomato bread, Worcestershire aioli, tomato and pepper jam. The bread did not have as much tomato flavor as I expected, but this was a very savory sandwich and very tasty. I d enjoy a good egg sandwich a lot and the did not disappoint in any way. The eggs were just the right amount of runny and the bacon was crisp, plentiful and excellent quality.
John again had the big cheese burger with cheddar, tomato and garlic dill pickles with French fries. The cheese on this was crisped on the griddle and really, really fabulous. It has a slight crunch when you bit into it. So good.

Pat's Tap has great food and service. The see ball in the back should not be missed either!

Here's link to a previous visit to Pat's Tap:

Pat’s Tap
3510 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
Phone: (612) 822-8216

Monday, February 13, 2017

COV Wayzata

My friend Angie and I met at COV in Wayzata for a recent get together during happy hour. It was busy when I arrived, but I got one of the booths on the side of the bar.

Our server was very nice and checked back with us frequently. I was impressed considering it was just happy hour. The good service did make the think it would be a great place for lunch or dinner though.
The sesame ahi tuna for $9. It was very good and a decent portion for the very nice price. 
chicken tenders $7
The chicken flatbread for $9 was a very generous portion.
truffle fries for $5

We had a fun time visiting and enjoyed our appetizers and drinks a lot. I'd highly recommend this happy hour and it makes me want to return to try items on the regular menu. The food quality and service all seemed to be top notch.

Deals & discounts: The happy hour is very good with food and drink specials. It runs M-F 3-6pm and Saturday 10-5 in the bar area only. Check website for current happy hour menu.

700 Lake St E
Wayzata, MN 55391
Phone: (952) 473-5253

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Hi-Lo Diner

We have been intending to visit Hi-Lo Diner since it opened last year. I guess the thought of a long wait has kept us away. We visited late afternoon for a late lunch on a weekend and only had to wait a few minutes for spots at the counter.

I had a Hi-Top special topped with lobster, avocado, hollandaise, poached egg, onion and peppers. I should explain that I Hi-Top is not a donut, it does not have a hole, but it sort of tastes like one. This was sweet and savory, with the Hi-Top being sweet and everything else more on the savory side. It sounds crazy, but somehow it all works great together. It is like an updated eggs benedict that is much easier to cut than a toasted English muffin.
John had the crispy chicken sandwich topped with apple bacon slaw, hi-lo pickles and roasted garlic aioli with a side of crinkle cut fries. He said it was perfect and loved the crinkle cut fries.

The service was excellent! Everyone was very friendly and recommended dishes to try for our first visit. They even checked back to see what we thought after the food had arrived and they were not even our server. We enjoyed our meal immensely and there were a lot of interesting looking items on the menu I’d love to go back and try next time.
The diner is a bit larger inside than it looks on the outside as well.  There is seating around the edges of the room at tables and booths and seating at the counter that runs the length of the interior as well. The diner was built in 1957 and came from Gibsonia, PA. It looks great inside and out and is a great addition to Minneapolis.

Hi-Lo Diner
4020 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Phone: (612) 353-6568

Monday, February 6, 2017

Come Pho Soup

A  new spot opened recently in the hallway between the Medical Arts Building sort of behind the old Walgreens location on Nicollet Mall. The menu offers pho and Bahn mi sandwiches with a variety of different meat options for each available.

Come Pho Soup is affiliated with La Belle Crepe down the hall, which has offered pho for awhile, but this makes the offering much more prominent. Before you kinda of had to just know they had it on the menu or heard about it form someone as a crepe place isn't somewhere you'd think of for pho.

pork bahn mi

We all agreed the pho and sandwiches were both quite good for a quick grab and go lunch, but the meat was a bit bland tasting. The toppings and fillings all looked and tasted fresh. The price was under $10 with a beverage, though I forget the exact price.

Since there are no pho or bahn mi shops in this area of the skyway, I think it will be a great addition to the skyway luncheon options.

Come Pho Soup 
823 1/2 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis,  MN
Phone: (612) 236 4457

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Birchwood Cafe

We’ve been wanting to visit Birchwood Café for awhile now, but the lines out the door have deterred us in the past. Pro tip: visit in January, fairly early in the morning and the lines are not bad at all.

The ordering process is a tiny bit different here, you order and pay at the register, then take a seat and the food is brought out as it is ready.  Servers do come around to refill beverages throughout your visit,  which is nice.
John had the eggs as you wish with two scrambled eggs, grilled birdseed toast and potatoes on the side. He also added a side of bacon. The bacon was amazing too. John mentioned that the potatoes were really good even though they were not hash browns.
I had the savory waffle,  which I had seen in an article someplace. It is a kale, quinoa and feta waffle topped with pineapple chutney, lemon rosemary butter, sunflower seeds, bacon lardoons, sunny-side egg, maple syrup, and powdered sugar. It really is phenomenal and there are so many toppings that the flavors are different in every bite. My bacon was a bit on the super crisp side, but I still enjoyed it. I can’t believe the waffle had kale, quinoa and feta in it. I feel like I was tricked into eating healthy. Which I probably need.

Birchwood is a great neighborhood place, I wished we lived nearby. It is a nice casual spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner and the menu has many vegetarian friendly and gluten free options if you are looking for that sort of thing.

Birchwood Café
3311 East 25th Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406
Phone: (612) 722-4474