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Archive for the ‘Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives’ Category

641 University Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN
612-379-4069
www.emilyslebansesdeli.com

August 26, 2009

Just in time for the end of summer, our girls finished their Twin Cities tour of Diner, Drive-ins, and Dives! After attempting to visit Emily’s twice before, turns out third time was the charm. Beyond hungry, Hannah and Claire speed-walked into the restaurant only to be stopped at the door by a building full of other hungry patrons.  Stifling a hunger-scream Hannah and Claire pressed again the wall to wait for a table to open.

Okay…okay…okay…we feel this post deserve a different tone. As excited as we were about Emily’s, we left with disappointment flavoring our palate.  Yes my dear readers, this may be the first (and hopefully last) time you hear us disappointed with a meal.

We arrived with bellies rumbling and left with bellies rumbling. Having limited knowledge in the world of Lebanese cuisine, we haphazardly chose dishes: Hummas and Baba Ghannui with pita bread as a starter and  ½ lamb kabob and baked kibbi to round out the meal. To be completely fair I did love both of these dips and the pita bread was delicious. I think we ate 3 baskets full and I may have occasionally taken a spoonful of dip and just eaten it. I really liked those two so that was a definite positive, unfortunately I am sad to say that that’s where the positives end.

We dived into the hummas and ghannui and patiently waited for the server to bring us some silverware and our drinks. After far to long the silverware arrived, and shortly after – our food. The service I am also sad to say was not wonderful. We were never asked for drink a order and practically had to stick a foot out to get the server’s attention. We sat for a long time before someone even knew we were there. It just added to our general negative experience. You know something is up when we lunge into our food and, between bites, stop and look at each other in disbelief.  It was not good.  Just plain not good. The lamb was overcooked with little to no seasoning. The kibbi…as Hannah said: “tastes like a whole head of garlic…” and Claire: “like garlic mixed with *crap* and flowers…” Just plain not good. It was dry, the portion sizes of lamb were tiny, the rice that it came with was gooey and had zero flavor, basically everything was unpleasant and difficult to eat.

We picked at the dishes and when Hannah asked, “Are you eating this cause it tastes good, or are you eating it because you’re that hungry?” we realized it was time to leave.  With a pain in our hearts, we left our half-eaten dishes on the table, quickly paid the bill, and ran out the door. Ok everyone I just want to point out what Claire just said because this is a rare occurrence: we left with half-eaten dishes still on the table!!! I can count on one hand the number of times we have done that.


A rumble left our bellies as we headed to the car. “Not fullllll….” we groaned. But what to do? A faint glow caught our eyes as we looked up to the glorious arches across the street. Rejoice! McDonalds – Our true friend that has yet to let us down! We zipped across the street and into McDonalds. A burger and fries later, all was well in the world! “Soooooo full!”

**As we believe there is good in everything, we are willing to give Emily’s another go.  Maybe we stopped by on an off-day, or there was a new guy in the kitchen, or the fresh food shipment had yet to arrive…either way we don’t want to discourage one from trying it out, but may we suggest not ordering the Baked Kibbi! We will definitely go back if anyone wants to be our tour guide and show us which day to go and what to order!

Hannah and Claire were disappointed with:

Hummus Bi-Tahini
fresh garbanzo bean dip made with
sesame paste, lemon juice & garlic…….3.75

Baba Ghannuj
baked eggplant whipped with sesame
paste & seasoning into a light dip…..3.75

1/2 Shish Kabob
chunks of lamb with onions & zucchini brioled
with garlic butter. served with rice……..7.25

Baked Kibbi (kibbi Bis- Soyniyyi)
ground beef, cracked wheat, & spices
baked around a layer of lamb,
onions and pine nuts…………………………..4.00

Tasty Tip: Don’t go to Emily’s Lebanese Deli if it takes you three times to get there – God does not want you to go! AND If it tastes disgusting on the first bite, it does not get better on the 16th or the 43rd.


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Al’s Breakfast
413 14th Ave SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
(612) 331-9991

August 5, 2009

Far out of character, we find our girls one early Wednesday morning [that is dedication right there folks…], piling into the Jetta and heading out to Dinkytown (The only possible thing that can get me up that early during the summer is food. If it is for any other reason, don’t even try… not even if the world is ending and the house is on fire. You try to wake me, I throw my alarm clock at you.) The destination – Al’ Breakfast.  Smooshed between two storefronts, so be sure to keep your eyes open or you’ll slide right by, is a tiny diner from ages past.  Our girls showed up just in time to nab two of the last stools left at the counter.  (Seriously there are maybe 15 stools along a bar and that is it so be prepared to wait and be patient! It’s worth it my friends.) With a steaming cup of coffee in hand [thank Jebus for coffee!] (Every time I went put my coffee cup down after finishing a cup the waitress was standing there waiting to fill it, it was basically my version of heaven and I had about 10 cups!!) and rumbling bellies, it was time to order: Eggs Benedict for Hannah and the Hawaiian Omelet for Claire, with a Whole Wheat Pancake to split.

The intimate atmosphere of the restaurant allows for plenty of opportunities for some friendly eavesdropping. Either you chat with the server behind the counter [which ours didn’t seem up for…], chat with the folks sitting next to you, or listen to everyone else. (I’m not much for conversations early in the morning so I prefer to listen. If you try to talk to me early in the morning you may get grunt or you may get something thrown at you…. It’s a toss up.) It’s clear to see that Al’s Breakfast is a home for the “regulars”.  As one conversation our girls overheard went:

Server to gentleman just sitting down: “Why, Hello Commissioner.”
Guy just sitting down: “Hello! What am I eating today?”
[And yes, he ate whatever it was they whipped up for him!]

It was during coffee refill #5 [HELLO AWAKE CLAIRE!] that the food appeared. Creamy, steamy, and smelling delicious it was a matter of minutes before Hannah and Claire looked up again.

[Now, I have mixed feelings about my omelet.  Good, but not enough flavor to entice me to eat the whole thing.  About ¾ of the way through, I’d had enough. Wheat Pancake on the other hand = delicious. I’m not writing off Al’s quite yet, I think there are some other gems on the menus that need to be consumed first!]

(Mine was quite freaking fabulous if I may say so! The hollandaise sauce was very unique and went wonderful with my eggs Benedict! However, I really want to go back and get an omelet with EVERYTHING in it. Yeah that’s right, I could take that on.  Claire’s was interesting to say the least. I think that it was just such a shock to my mouth and I am not a huge fan of omelets to begin with. But the unlimited amount of coffee will definitely get me back there. Also, because the place was adorable!)

With a steadily growing line of hungry patrons waiting behind , Hannah and Claire decided to quickly wrap up the food fest and open up their seats. (HA! That’s funny. This implies that we usually eat slowly which our usual readers will immediately detect as false. Yes we shovel food down like our lives depend on it and no amount of disgusted looks deter us form this. Take that Society!) After a quick stop at the cash register [mind you, they ONLY take cash…thank goodness for being a waitress and always having a wee bit of cash around!] our girls were back out into the sunlight and mumbling….”We’re…so…full….!”

Shout Out! Gotta give a quick shout out to Ed, who was heading home from working like an 18 hour shift as we were driving to breakfast!  Yay for the night shifts!

A breakfast feast for two:

Hawaiian Omelet: 2 eggs, smoked sausage, and Swiss cheese covered in sour cream and pineapple chunks. Served with rye toast.

Eggs Benedict: Sweet!

Whole Wheat Pancake: Huge and delicious!

Next time: Bacon Waffle [How in the world did we miss this?!] (Next time Claire, next time!)

Price – $22 (that includes parking…)


Hannah and Claire’s Tasty Tip:
If the food’s that good, it’s worth getting out of bed before 9 a.m. to consume and never deny free coffee refills!


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A big THANK YOU goes out to our pal Jenn for writing this up.  Our first guest blogger (of what we hope to be many)!!  As usual, our comments are added in for a little spice.  Me, in orange and Jenn, in blue.

 

Seattle, Washington – August 21, 2009

 

This is the story of Claire and Jenn’s foodie adventures in Seattle, Washington [Side note – at the time, Jenn was residing near Seattle and I ventured out west to visit some folks…why everyone I know moves to Washington is beyond me…].  Jenn was super excited to introduce Claire to some of her favorite places and Claire was excited about trying new food [correction – I was excited about food in general…] in the Pacific Northwest.

 

After a lazy start to the day, the adventurers headed off to Pike Place Market.  After several minutes of driving, and one super creepy parking ramp that had a handful of cars (one had a broken window!!), they found a reasonably priced parking spot and traversed the 3 short blocks to Pike Place proper.  The first stop on their list of things to see and do was a stop for food!  Jenn knew of this really yummy place called “Piroshky Piroshky”.  The name comes from the Russian word “pir” which means “feast”.  Sounds perfect for a couple of food-loving girls, right?

 

While standing in line on the sidewalk, Jenn filled Claire in on the history of this little family-owned Russian bakery while they watched the employees creating more stuffed pies for the delight of the customers crowding the counter [crowding is right…talk about a line, but talk about worth it!].  Back in 1992 when they were trying to open the restaurant, the family realized they were about $1,000 short of the funds they needed for their supplies and ingredients.  One morning when they entered their shop they noticed an envelope on the floor.  Inside was $1,000!  (I’m really glad someone donated that money so we could enjoy the awesome deliciousness of the piroshkies!!) They never found out who donated the money but they are still grateful for it now.

 

Anyway, by the time Jenn finished the story, the girls were in the tiny store and admiring the rows and towers of stuffed pies and second-guessing their choices.  In the end they bought a “Potato, Onion, Cheese Piroshky” and a “Cherry and White Chocolate Piroshky”.  (I liked the Potato, Onion, Cheese but not so much the Cherry and White Chocolate one.  My favorite of all of them is the Spinach, Egg and Cheese Piroshky.  Mmmmm!!!!) [I liked them all! This is why I like Jenn…I come in demanding we each get something different to split.  She doesn’t like the Cherry and White Chocolate, so I get it!  What a friend…] Since there is no seating in the shop and there was quite a few people pressing in, trying to get their bellies filled with the piroshkies as well, Claire and Jenn sat on a bench outside where they proceeded to tear the piroshkies in half, swap halves and then devoured the delicious Russian treats (Claire devoured.  I nibbled.  Daintily.  The way I do everything.  Just ask anyone.  Wait, don’t ask anyone that… lol). [I won’t answer that one!]

Piroshky Piroshky Claire with her Cherry and White Chocolate Piroshky Jenn with her Potato, Onion, Cheese Piroshky

 

The ladies then had to walk around Pikes Place to make room in their tummies for more delicious food.  Claire purchased kiwi, strawberry and peach fruit logs from a fruit stand and Jenn got some chocolate covered fruit to snack on later from the Chukar Cherries stand.  Claire has been working on a sort of bucket list lately and one of the items on her list was to try sushi!  Using the GPS in Claire’s phone [seriously, how in the world did I survive basic life functions without that phone.  I love you Google Maps!] the girls made their way to a reasonably priced sushi place which turned out to be more of a fast food type of place [Yes, warning bells should be going off here.].  After some debate it was decided that they would stay but sit in a place where the workers of the sushi counter would be unable to view them.  This turned out to be a good idea… (All I can say is YUCK) [Here’s a call out to any sushi fans – Jenn and I had no idea what we were doing or what we ordered!  We’re willing to give it a second go…but with guidance…].  Some of Jenn’s chocolate covered cherry assortment and many pieces of Claire’s breath freshening gum later, the taste was finally beginning to leave their mouths and they felt ready for the next culinary adventure at Slim’s Last Chance Chili Shack (Claire, HOW many times did you have to ask me that restaurant’s name??  HaHaHa!!). [Well it’s not one that roles off the tongue now is it?]

Our first attempt! Let's just see about this... Hmmmm....

No thank you! Not for Jenn! Failed attempt...

 

This restaurant, located in a slightly shady, Warehouse-district equivalent of Seattle, boasted “Burgers, Chili, Booze & Music”.  No more incentive was needed to get these two food-lovers in the door [Chili and Booze, that’s good enough for me!].  Considering the amount of food that had already been consumed, the logical choice was to split the meal.  While making that all important decision, Claire sipped on the house brew, that was served in an old-fashioned jelly jar and Jenn, who has yet to find a beer she likes, had a fruity concoction.  The girls finally decided to try the Texas Red, a traditional chili made with beef, and when the food came they were so glad they opted to share it.  It came in a huge bowl that had white cheddar grits covered with steaming hot, savory chili and topped with tons of melted cheese [White Cheddar Cheese Grits = Delicious].  The girls waited about 1.2 seconds to take some pictures before diving in.  (I was uncertain of how the chili was going to taste with the grits, never having had grits before, and it was soooo good!  Claire will concur.  I had to knock her fork from my half of the bowl quite a few times…) Waddling out to the car, the girls decided that, with the exception of the sushi, it had been a successful foody day.

Slim’s Last Chance Chili Shack A meal fit for two! Cheese is a good thing! I'm so fulllllllllllllllll!

 

Tasty Tip:  Never try sushi in a food court.  But if you do, make sure you have plenty of chocolate covered cherries and Trident gum for after!


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2707 E Lake St
Minneapolis, MN 55406
(612) 722-1312
http://www.towntalkdiner.com/


Round #5
– July 26, 2009 (This is out of order… we know… but things burrow into your computer sometimes and need to be hunted for through the cyber forest of gigabytes and megatrons.)

 

Hannah’s Note: I just want everyone to be aware that I don’t play favorites…. But this was definitely my favorite out of all the places we have visited. I am taking into account atmosphere, food, and the fun we had. This is just an all around wonderful place and if you haven’t been able to visit any of the restaurants so far, this is one that you just definitely don’t want to miss! And make sure you sit at the bar! It’s much more entertaining!

With the delicious memories of Victor’s 1959 Café still fresh in their minds, our two foodies venture towards onwards through the list Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Next stop – Town Talk Diner.

Located off Lake Street in East Minneapolis, Hannah and Claire were familiar with the area – having visited the diner on numerous occasions only to find it closed…[may I remind you of a past Tasty Tip: Just because you assume that a restaurant is open does not mean that a restaurant is open.] Known as “The Finer Diner”, Town Talk prides itself as “a chef-driven, clever, creative, modern take on the classic American diner.  The menu features new spins on classic dishes like macaroni & cheese, meatloaf and fried chicken and all from local farmers for the ultimate in freshness, flavor and taste.(Just reading this makes me hungry! I love this place!)

Our girls slipped through the front door to find a near-empty restaurant waiting and a liquor-laden bartender holding a beverage asking: “you want something to drink?!” [Um, it’s free?! Yes please! And mind you, it was 3:30 in the afternoon on a Sunday, Hans and I know how to time our feasting…] (We sat at the bar, which I highly recommend because it was so much fun. The bartender was very excited and offered us a free drink. I not being 21 could not partake but the drink sounded wonderful, something along the line of herbs and mint or melon or something that just sounded refreshing!)

Having again familiarized themselves with the menu in advance, there was no time wasted on trying to decide what to order. However, with an unexpected joyful surprise there was 15 minutes left during Happy Hour and 1/2-off appetizers, a plate of Tempura Asparagus was ordered to munch while the meals were cooking. [And this is why you eat early dinners, not only are the restaurants near empty, but you have Happy Hour!!!] (Some may call us cheap, we prefer to think of ourselves as economical eaters! Hey, this way you can eat so much more!)

While waiting for the asparagus, Hannah and Claire sat at the bar and passed the time watching the bartenders (the bartenders were happy and laughing and taking the occasional shot and were quite the spectacle to watch) and laughing at the drink menu. Hannah’s favorite – The Panty Dropper, sorbet and sparkling wine ($6.50). [2.5 more years Han…2.5!] (I am not so sure that I want to drink this drink because I would like to keep my underwear where they are but it sounded HILARIOUS!)

When the appetizer arrived, the girls politely contained themselves from gnawing it down in one gulp and munched while the food cooked. (Lies! They were so delicious especially with the two sauces! I don’t remember what they were but they were delicious!)

(While we ate we listened to the conversations that happened around us and they were wonderfully entertaining! The Bartender was also the chef and while they chatted it up with those of us who were at the bar they would take shots in between. Yes my friends, shots of alcohol! To our right was a couple and one woman who quickly went from being strangers to sharing their drinks! The two people to our left were new to the establishment so the bartenders took it upon themselves to yell: “Virgin! Virgin! Virgin!” and shine the lights on them. Thank goodness Claire and I were spared.)

The food arrived [ps – my sandwich was HUGE!] and silence followed.  Hannah and Claire did the usual trade off, cutting each sandwich in half and swapping. (I just want to say that my burger was very delicious but Claire’s sandwich was freaking amazing! The chutney was the perfect balance of sweet and savory and the ham was nice and salty and it was warm and gooey. I could have eaten the whole thing and I probably would have if Claire didn’t beat me to it. All I can say is try it but whatever you get you will be happy. I promise!!)

With full mouths, they listened in to the conversations around them as the bartenders created drinks for other thirsty guests. [If you’re up for trying a new beverage, this is the place to go – A great drink menu and bartenders that will cater to your taste buds!] With empty plates and clean bowls [If I wasn’t in public I would have licked that soup bowl clean! I’d go back just for the Tomato Gorgonzola Soup. And mind you, I’m not a Tomato Soup fan…bad memories, but we won’t go there.  The Town Talk Diner found a way to combine tomato and cheese with just the right balance – creamy, cheesy, and just plain delicious.] our girls leaned back and heaved; “We’re so fullllllll…….!” (As we toddled out of the store the two gentlemen behind the bar called out to us “COME BACK WHEN YOU’RE 21!! Yes, my two dispensers of deliciousness, I will be back. Probably before I am 21 but definitely when I do! My friends if you take one thing away from this posting let it be this: GO HERE! You will have fun and you will get a great meal out of it! Sunday nights are super cheap for a feast and you can get some unique drinks. As the bartender said “You can’t get that at TGI Fridays!”) [Agreed!]

 

Tempura Asparagus – with Thai chili sauce, $6.50

Croque Monsieur – shaved ham, brie, pear and onion chutney, with a side of Tomato Gorgonzola soup, $9.75 (additional for soup [and worth every fricken penny!])

Kitchen Sink Burger – cheese, lettuce, tomato, bacon and kitchen sink sauce, $11.00

Watertight – Bacardi Watermelon Rum, watermelon juice, sparkling wine, basil, $8.00 [Perfectly refreshing!]

 

Hannah and Claire’s Tasty Tip: Never say no to a free drink…never.

Town Talk Diner

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337 13th Ave NE
Minneapolis, MN 55413
612-378-9882
http://moderncafeminneapolis.com/

August 4, 2009

Hello dear readers and welcome back to the culinary adventures of these two gluttonous gals. We last left them in a dizzying daze of cheese and meat at Donatelli’s and we join them again on a sunny Tuesday afternoon in August.  Heading into North East Minneapolis they worked their way towards The Modern Café. It is a quaint little establishment that is nestled into a row of buildings so make sure to keep your eyes open. There is a small bar and a few tables scattered about and the girls were shown to a booth along the wall opposite the bar. Yet again arriving a moment before 4pm to an empty restaurant, a friendly waitress, and wonderful Happy Hour specials [And for two girls on “hey-we’re-poor-and-have-no-money budgets, the lunch menu is a wonderful way to go.  Tons of food and little cash!].  Once Hannah was settled with her double/extra/triple/gigatron espresso (I have an addiction, I’m definitely big enough to admit that. But if anyone comes between me and my coffee they better be prepared for me to kill them!) and Claire with her traditional Bell’s brew – they took a look through the menu. Pot roast, meat loaf, and eggplant risotto swirled about as possibilities (I want to go back for that risotto so badly!!!) until Hannah and Claire settled on the Lamb Burger and Macaroni and Cheese. (Also freaking good but multiple trips are necessary.)

The food arrived just as tummies were beginning to rumble.  Hannah grabbed the Lamb Burger and Claire dug into the Mac and Cheese. As usual, silence ensued.  [The Mac and Cheese was unlike any I’ve tried before. Not creamy like your boxed Velveeta, but creamy like it was made with real, delicious cheese – sharp but balanced with the sprinkle of peas.] (The Lamb burger was wonderful! There was some sort of warm spice that I could not put my finger on.. cinnamon or clove or something along those lines. Whatever it was, the burger was definitely unique. There was also a Tzatziki sauce which balanced nicely with the warmth of the chutney. I would recommend this for people who are looking to explore different flavors but in a familiar way.) There was a slight rustling of plates as the girls swapped dishes and a “Ooo-OOOOoo” as Hannah tried the creamy Mac and Cheese while Claire tried to hold together the pieces of burger that were seeping out of the bun.

8.2 seconds later the food was gone and Hannah and Claire were trying to find the space to swallow one more bite of Mac and Cheese…[As Hannah said – the small bowl of Mac & Cheese was equivalent to Mary Poppin’s magic bag. You’d take one last bite only to have only last bite still at the bottom. So you’d scope that up only to have just a couple of noodles left, which of course you’d feel obligated to eat. So you’d find room, heave it in and see more creamy globs of cheese at the bottom of the dish.  I think you  get the picture…] Our girls finished up, slurped down the coffee and beer [separately of course], waddled outside into the sunshine and moaned: “We’re sooo fullllll!”

Never ending dishes:

Macaroni and Cheese – Peas, white cheddar, croutons, and Donnay chevre, $10.25

Lamb Burger – Tzatziki, red onion, and tomato chutney, $10.50


Hannah and Claire’s Tasty Tip:
“Leave no morsel behind.”



Cinnamon

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2692 East County Road E
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
(651) 777-9199
www.donatellis.com

August 1, 2009

With only a handful of restaurants left on the list and only a few weeks left in the summer before Hannah heads off to college (WAAAAAAAAAAA!!! I MISS CLAIRE!!), a dinner was in order. This time the girls ventured to bring guests, and the boyfriends were invited along. (Only because Claire and I wanted to order the maximum amount of food possible. They came so we could eat off their plates, but Claire and I ate more than twice what the boyfriends did.)

On a Friday evening there wasn’t a seat open in the house. After a 15/20 minute wait, the waiter led the group to the back, passing a booth covered in roses and rose petals, before dropping them off in a roomy, high-back booth. Hannah spent the rest of the dinner watching as a husband surprised his wife with the romantic dinner. [I do believe I saw Hans shed a little tear.] ( I feel like I should admit my passion and obsession with romantic/adorable gestures. I get entirely too excited.) [Side Note – dress nice to a dinner date or Hannah will kick your ass.] (WHO WEARS SWEAT PANTS TO A ROMANTIC DINNER!!! I almost went over and asked her to leave and change and then come back.)

The menu was simple to navigate and, as usual, our girls had studied it in advance and were ready to order within minutes. (The menu was a lovely combination of all things Italian. I really want to go back for the Tortellini.) [Lucas and Anthony have realized long ago that they have no say in ordering any sort of food related dish/item.] On the menu for the evening: The Heart Stopper Pizza, Baked Mostaccioli, and The Meatball Sandwich [as Lou said; “I only want pizza…”].

The table passed the time waiting for dinner with some people watching and enjoyable conversation [Example: If Hannah, Anthony, Claire, and Lucas were trapped on a deserted island, how would they survive? Answer: Hans and Claire would use each other as sustenance, each donating a leg to the cause of survival. Lucas and Anthony – they’d be off hunting wild beasts with leaves, thread, and solar power…] (I still think Claire and I had the right idea. I mean hunting and gathering? That means exercise… I’d prefer to be eaten thank you.)

As the food began to arrive and table space became limited, our group ceased conversation and focused on eating. [Oh my gosh the food was delicious! Ridiculously hot, but delicious! Cutting into the pizza you could see the grease just ooze out. There were full strips of bacon artfully arranged on the pizza…full strips!! The Mostaccioli was covered in sauce and the meatballs in the sandwich were huge!] (Oh goodness the Pizza. I capitalized Pizza because this particular Pizza deserves it. There was literally an entire pig on that!!!! AN ENTIRE PIG!!!! I think I heard it oink as I bit into it….. too far? Anywho, it was sooooooooo good! Everything was just all around delicious and it all just came out of the oven. This is the heartstopper because just seeing it will stop your heart, not from grease but because you just fell in love.)

When asked about the food for the evening:
Anthony on pasta – “It was good.”
Hannah on pasta – “A piping hot bowl of deliciousness!”
Lucas on pizza – “It was amazing.”
Claire on pizza – “Piglicious – Cut up a pig, fried it in grease, threw it on a pizza crust, and sprinkled it with cheese.”
[And this my friends, is why Hannah and I eat together…without the BFs] (We are just so much more clever and whitty. I know that’s not how you spell whitty but I prefer to say it as if there were an “h” present. It sounds more refined.)

The group boxed up what was left of the pizza [leftovers = wonderful] and waddled their way out the door. (After this outing we went to “Canada Days” in Little Canada for Fireworks. The fireworks were awesome and when we got back to the car the whole thing smelled like fried cheese and bacon…. I almost bit into the seat it smelled to good.) Hannah and Claire mumbling; “We’re so fulllllll….” While Lucas and Anthony shook their heads in the background. [In disgust perhaps? They just don’t understand.] (They are just jealous because they can’t pack it away like we can. In an “eat off” battle Claire and I would win, hands down, while looking as adorable as always.)

The dishes of the evening:

Yes please!

The Heart Stopper – We pile on the sausage, pepperoni, ground beef, ham & breakfast bacon. Smother it with our homemade pizza sauce and cover it with cheese. This is not a “Weight Watchers” approved menu, $24.99.
Thin Crust – $17.99/$24.99
Deep Dish – $18.99/$26.99

Yup, that's a full slice of bacon.

Yup, that's a full slice of bacon.

Baked Mostaccioli – Fresh homemade mostaccioli covered with our red sauce, topped with a blend of mozzarella, sharp cheddar and freshly grated Parmesan cheese and baked to a golden brown, $10.99.

Anthony and Hans

The Meatball Sandwich – Homemade meatballs served open faced on fresh Italian bread, crowned with homemade red sauce and mozzarella cheese, half – $5.99 or whole – $9.99.

Claire and Lou

Chocolate Coke – Coke mixed with chocolate syrup. [And yes, it is as amazing as you think it should be.] (SO FREAKING GOOD!! I WANT ONE RIGHT NOW!!)

SIDE NOTEIt wasn’t until after we had ordered that this little drink made itself known – the Suicide and the Super Suicide. Everyone knows the classic Suicide, mixing all the fountain drinks together. Now image the Super Suicide…all the fountain drinks AND all the syrups. Talk about a sugar high!


Hannah and Claire’s Tasty Tip –
The more animal you can fit on a pizza, the better it is.

We're so fulllllllllllllllllllll!


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3756 Grand Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55409-1119
(612) 827-8948
http://www.victors1959cafe.com/

 
Round #4 – July 18, 2009

As the month of July slowly sauntered along, Hannah and Claire made their way through the list of Diner’s, Drive-ins, and Dives.  Next up – Victor’s 1959 Café.
 
As per website request, the girls called in to make dinner reservations. Not knowing what to expect, and with their ability to 1-visit restaurants when closed and 2-get horribly, horribly lost, they felt the need to check-in with Victor’s and announce their coming. (A smart idea in any situation involving me Claire and a car.)
 
Located off the beaten track, the restaurant was surprisingly easy to find, and to our girls delight – virtually empty. [Nothing to do with the food, mind you – just the timing. We missed the dinner rush. Yeah, we’re that good.] Moments after sliding into the booth and scanning the menu, their food was ordered and nothing left to do but wait.
[If you’re worried about passing the time while waiting, say, with an uncomfortable dinner date, don’t be. There is enough character throughout the restaurant to keep your eyes entertained. Not an inch of free wall space is left, having been taken over by layers and layers of fellow food lovers little notes and drawings. Hans and I spent our wait reading the walls and laughing at the comments.] (They were also bright yellow which made it super happy!)
 
After what seemed only a moment, the waitress was back with two huge, colorful, heaping plates of food. [The color of the restaurant walls, with the color of the plates and the color of the food was amazing! Heck, the food could have tasted like crap, but it looked delicious.  And yes, it was as delicious as it looked.] (The food was just what I was hoping for! A delicious meal that warmed me to the bone. I had never had saffron before and that was my first experience with it. The chicken stew was so thick and yummy, I could eat it every day for the rest of my life and not get sick of it.) The second of awe ensued followed by flying forks and silence, broken only by the waitress stopping by to check in.
 
And in record time the food was gone. Unlike usual though, the plates were not wiped clean. [Okay, have you had ‘yucca frita’? Image a potato and now make it thicker…like a giant, thick, French fry…as delicious has it was, those yucas stick to you!] (I feel like there was also fried plantanes somewhere in there too and it was wonderful!) With jeans unbuttoned [I am neither denying nor confirming this statement.] (I’ll confirm it!) eyes slightly glazed over – Hannah and Claire threw in the towel and moaned…”Sooooo fulllllll.”

Hannah’s After Thought– After this gigantic and delicious meal we waddled over to the Raspberry Festival in Hopkins. The fireworks were super awesome and really unique but I have a bone to pick with you Hopkins: I could not find a single raspberry at a RASPBERRY festival! I was expecting to have raspberry mini donuts (don’t ask me how it would work, because it worked just fine in my brain) WTF HOPKINS!!!

 

Hannah and Claire feasted on:

Fricasee de Pollo – Cuban chicken stew. This chicken is cooked with red & green peppers, onions, finished in our creole sauce and served with fried sweet plantains. You’ll love it – you’re in old Havana now. Served with a side of Arroz Amarillo – Yellow rice, seasoned w/our creole sauce and a bit of saffron.

Fricasee de Pollo

Fricasee de Pollo

 Sandwich Cubano – Proudly serving our authentic sandwich Cubano at dinner! Sweet ham, pork loin, Swiss cheese, mustard and pickles. Served with choice of yuca frita or a small tropical salad. [All you mustard lovers, this is a must! While it may sound like just another sandwich, Victor’s has perfected the combination of ingredients, squished it just right, and warmed it to perfection. My mouth waters just thinking about it…]

Sandwich Cubano

Sandwich Cubano

 

SIDE NOTE
– After visiting Victor’s 1959 Café, we read the menu online and realized there is a whole different lunch menu that looks just as delicious. A second trip is in order. How dare these sneaky restaurants keep luring us back with tasty bribes! 

Hannah and Claire’s tasty tip: 
Bring your own raspberries to a raspberry festival…

 

Victor's 1959 Cafe - it wasn't a good night for us...

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