Monthly Archives: January 2013

January Foodie Pen Pal Reveal!

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This month, my Foodie Penpal Box came from Terri in Georgia.

I opened the box to find this lovely note:

Jan 2012 note

Of course, I opened to find some exciting breakfast treats!

Jan 2012 Contents

Vanilla Bean Scone Mix, English Breakfast Tea, S’mores Pankcake Mix, Maple Syrup, Sarabeth’s Peach Apricot Fruit Spread, Double Chocolate Hot Cocoa Mix with a Snowflake Mug

I love breakfast! It’s been a really long time since I’ve had pancakes and I’ve never had S’mores ones! And wait a minute… I can make scones myself?! I guess the only times I’ve ever eaten scones were in coffee shops. When I think about someone making scones, I picture a woman slaving away in the kitchen with flour on her face… making them from scratch. I guess that’s one reason why I’ve never attempted them. With this box, I determined we had some yummy weekend breakfasts coming up!

Smores Pancakes

S’mores Pancakes with Maple Syrup – so good!

I sipped the hot cocoa one night when we had a bazillion-below-zero degree weather. It was the perfect warming treat. I do drink tea from time to time, but not often black tea. I experimented and found that I like black tea with a teaspoon of cream and a teaspoon of honey. As a side note, when I pulled my honey bear out of the cupboard, I couldn’t get any honey out of it. It was stuck in the bottom of the bottle! So I put a mug of water in the microwave for two or three minutes and gave my honey bear a bath to loosen it up a bit:

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Bath time for Honey Bear!

We enjoyed some of tea the morning I made the scones. I couldn’t believe how easy they were to make! I just added whipping cream, kneaded the dough, flattened it into a circle, cut it into triangles and baked! The box said to bake for 15 to 20 minutes. I took them out at 15 and they were already a little overdone on the bottom. But, oh that vanilla bean flavor! The only scones I’ve ever had were made of some sort of berry or fruit. I can tell you that these vanilla bean ones rival those! And I wouldn’t be lying if I told you that vanilla bean scone dough is just as good as cookie dough. 😉

Scone

The Peach Apricot Jam was the perfect accompaniment to the Vanilla Bean Scones.

We thoroughly enjoyed our special winter breakfasts.

Thank you so much, Terri!

If you’d like to participate in Foodie Penpals, here’s the best part:

You don’t need to have a blog to participate!

Here’s how it works:

1. Sign up by the 4th of the month that you want to participate.

2. On the 5th of the month, you are assigned a Foodie Penpal.

3. You communicate with your penpal about any food allergies or preferences, as well as where to ship the package.

4. By the 15th of the month, send $15 worth of food to your penpal that may include homemade goodies, local treats or just some of your favorite discoveries that you want to share! The box must also contain something handwritten.

5. You’ll receive a package from another Foodie Penpal, who was assigned to you.

6. If you are like me, you squeal with delight when your package arrives.

7. You enjoy said goodies, which you may have never known about otherwise.

8. If you are a blogger, you post about the package you received on the last day of the month – Reveal Day! {If you are not a blogger, you do not need to do anything, but thank your Penpal, of course! However, if your Penpal does blog, you can choose to write a guest post, if you so wish.}

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This month, my package went to Jillian in Connecticut. Because Jillian doesn’t have a blog, I invited her to write a post on her goodies, but only if she wanted to… So stay tuned tomorrow to find out what I sent and learn more about her!

What is your favorite breakfast and why?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Wine Wednesday – Share the Love!

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Just announced yesterday {I didn’t get the news until last night}, The Traveling Vineyard is having a sale! The sale includes three different three-bottle sets. So share the love with your Valentine or treat yourself to something special. Let me know if you have any questions about the wines in each set. To find out what sets are available, click here.

Valentine Sale

If you are looking for something special for your sweetie or want to treat you and some friends to some wine with corresponding education, consider the Traveling Vineyard Wine Club. It makes a great date night or get together every month. {Perfect to get through this winter, too.} And it’s like your ticket around the world of wine! Find more details here.

The Valentine Sale above, though, ends today. So it’s your last chance to try out a set of three wines (or more, if you wish). Just let me know if you have any questions on the wine or anything else!

Cheers~
Carrie

*The Traveling Vineyard can currently (at the time of this post) ship to the all States within the U.S. except: AL, AR, CO, DE, IN, KS, KY, LA, MS, MT, TN, OK, PA, RI, SD, UT, and VT.

Borough – Minneapolis

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The first time I heard about the Borough was when I read the list of opening and closing restaurants throughout the Twin Cities at the end of an article on the Heavy Table website. I checked out the menu and I stopped at the first item:

SoupChampagne, Fingerling Potato Chips, Black Truffles, Chives – $7

I didn’t even need to read the rest of the menu. Instead, I immediately sent an email to my husband stating that we had to put this on our list of restaurants to try!

But I went without him.

We ended up there by accident. My friends Kim, Jen, Jared and I had scheduled to take a cooking class together at Saga Hill. Unfortunately, the chef had the flu and I totally missed the message that afternoon that they had to cancel the class. We arrived there to find dark rooms and no one inside. When we learned what was going on, we thought that since we were together and were hungry, we might as well dine together!

We all searched our smartphones for nearby restaurants and when Jared suggested the Borough, I gave them a call. They didn’t have any tables left; all were reserved. However, they did have a large bar that wasn’t quite busy yet.

When we arrived, the bar was busy in that nearly all of the seats were taken. There definitely weren’t four seats together. However the hostess asked a few people to move down to allow us to sit. They kindly did so!

As do many restaurants in the Twin Cities now, there was an excellent assortment of beers on tap. I rather liked the bar area and the style of taps.

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Borough Bar

Look closely above. There are no advertised taps here. They all have the same look to them. Instead, the beers are listed on mirrors on either side of the bar.

mirro

These mirrors indicate the beers on tap as well as the basic menu.

However, after Jared ordered a glass of bubbly, I couldn’t help but order a glass myself. Once three of us decided to go that route, we chose to order a bottle instead.

By this point, I was pretty hungry. The menu was separated into categories of small, medium and large plates. I  was hungry, so I totally skipped that soup that sounded so good! And you won’t believe this… Even though they were highly recommended by the bartender, everyone else but me ordered the scallops!

Scallops

Scallops – Parsnips, Maitakes, Maple, Pancetta, Cider Gastrique, Pearl Onion – $16

I think $16 is a pretty decent price for a scallop dish in the Twin Cities. Despite the fact that all of my friends ordered these, I didn’t take a taste! Here are their thoughts on the scallops:

Jared: “I liked the scallops, but wouldn’t say they were the best I’ve had. I thought they were done correctly and had a nice sear on them. The Parsnip puree was slightly sweet and went well with them. I would order them again. The seafood sausage was very interesting, but could have had a bit more flavor in my opinion.”

Jen: “I don’t have anything too memorable to report on the scallops. They were good, but I would not have gotten as excited as the bartender.”

Kim: “They were ok. The scallops were a little chewy and too salty. Presentation was awesome. I would try something else next time.”

Because I was so hungry, I ordered a “large” plate. I also was in the mood for comfort food. Fried chicken was calling my name:

Fried Chx

Chicken – Fried, Buttered Potatoes, Mustard Greens, Radish, Soubise Gravy – $19

Although these pieces just look like over-sized chicken nuggets, it ended up being a lot of food – definitely worthy of being called a “large plate. And to me, the chicken was more like just breaded chicken than true fried chicken. When cutting into the square pieces, I noticed that the white and dark meat was pushed together to form the square. Only a place like this could get away with that! Fast food joints are chastised for it.
I did love the presentation though. The contrasts of colors and the use of the watermelon radish as a garnish was perfect. I adored the mustard greens! But overall, I found this dish to be too salty.
When Jared asked if we wanted to get to dessert, I remembered that there were only three desserts to choose from:

Dessert menu

So why not order them all to split?!

Pineapple

Pineapple Cake – Caramel, Rum, White Chocolate, Pineapple Ice – $7

Chocolate

Chocolate – Flourless Cake, Ganache, Chèvre, Cherry, Ice Cream, Hazelnut, Espresso – $7

Margarita

Margarita – Lime Curd, Saltine Cracker, Tequila, Meringue, Sea Salt – $7

The Verdict on Dessert:

Jared: “I wasn’t really wowed by any of them. I like pineapple upside down cake, but this one left me wanting more. It had more caramel on it than it needed. The chocolate was ok, but I’m not a coffee fan and that was too much for me. I guess, I would give Borough a second chance, but the BEST thing about it was the company.” Awww!

Jen: “I liked the tequila lime dessert the best. I am realizing that I could take or leave flourless chocolate cake.”

Kim: ” My favorite dessert was the lime one with the chocolate a VERY close second. That’s just because I love key lime pie!”

Me: These desserts were beautiful! They reminded me of the presentation at Naha. My favorite of the three was the chocolate cake, but mainly because of the espresso flavor. I loved the combination of the two! A very close second was the Margarita. I tried that one first and looked at Kim immediately and said, “You are going to love this one!” since she adores key lime pie. That’s just what it tasted like!

So you can see we do have somewhat different tastes!

One thing I really loved about Borough is that when they delivered the plates, they explained all of the components to you. Too often, I forget what the menu read. It’s nice to have a reminder and not be left wondering.

The couple next to me had split the burger on the menu and I overheard them raving about it with the bartender. Hmmm… I just may have to come back and bring Rob. Okay, so I really want to try that burger, too! It looked so good.

What’s the best dessert you’ve ever had?

Cheers~
Carrie

Irish Food

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Nobody goes to Ireland for the food. That’s what Italy’s for, right?

People go to Ireland to see the beautiful countryside, to look up their Irish roots or to listen to traditional Irish music in the pubs while rubbing elbows with the locals {more coming on those things in future posts!}.

But just like anywhere else, there are establishments in Ireland that offer high-end, unique and satisfying cuisine. We just didn’t make an attempt to find them.

I remember when my friend Jen and I backpacked Europe in 2000, that our culinary experience in Ireland consisted mostly of fish and chips, Irish breakfasts {for dinner} and Beef/Guinness/Irish stew. I also remember that after spending time in England and Scotland, by the time we got to Ireland, all we wanted were some vegetables. An immense craving for a salad consumed both of us. To our surprise, we found “salad” listed as a side on a lunch menu one day. We were so grateful that we had finally found something! When it was delivered to our table, we were completely dismayed to find that this “salad” was coleslaw.

Before this trip, I told Rob that while I’d probably be trying a lot of fish and chips, he’d probably be safe with the Beef/Guinness/Irish stew. Furthermore, I warned him that the “chips” were thick cut, not the skinny fries he so adores.

Upon arrival, our very first lunch was at the hotel. I enjoyed my sandwich, just fine.

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Look! Coleslaw and a salad!

However, the rest of the crew didn’t like theirs as much.

Rob said the beef on this sandwich was tough and, of course, the chips just weren't his style.

Rob said the beef on this sandwich was tough and, of course, the chips just weren’t his style.

My Best Meal

The best meal that I had in Ireland this trip, was at Kennedy’s in Dublin. I believe it was even our very first night. I ordered a special on the menu that was some sort of chicken dish with tomato, avocado and a balsamic drizzle. Flippin’ out of this world. It was juicy and flavorful. In fact, it was the best chicken dish I had had in a long time anywhere.

I really wish I would have taken a picture. But I started to annoy Rob when I began snapping photos of our beverages that night. I think he wanted me to just relax and enjoy our trip. Understandably so, but taking pictures is soooo not stressful for me! I love capturing memories. And what’s the difference if my vacation photos are of food or the countryside? {As long as I have a little bit of both.} Still, after that, I stopped taking pictures for a while. But  if there is one meal that I should have photographed, this would have been it. Not only did it have fantastic flavors, it was beautifully presented. I nearly licked the plate clean.

Rob ordered the beef stew while his parents ordered burgers. My father-in-law had no problem with the burger there and happily finished it. However, Rob was grossed out by the meat in his stew. He said it was way too fatty. His mom wasn’t fond of her burger either. When Rob decided that he would finish her burger instead, he stopped after just one bite, describing the meat as “funky”.

Chicken

I quickly learned the food that was “safest” for me to order in Ireland chicken. I actually enjoyed nearly every chicken dish I ordered! On one occasion, nothing really sounded good to me on the menu, so I ordered a Caesar Salad. I wasn’t really in the mood for a Caesar Salad either, but everything else just seemed too filling and unappetizing. When it arrived, it was really nothing at all like a Caesar Salad as we know it. But I loved it anyway! The chicken was juicy, there were tomatoes and a creamy dressing. It was actually better than what I had been hoping for.

Tea

Did you know that more tea is consumed by the Irish than the British? That’s a little bit of trivia we learned on our trip. Every hotel and B & B where we stayed had teapots in the room along with an assortment of teas.

Breakfast

Included in our hotel stays was the morning buffet breakfast with toasts, jams, scones, juices, eggs, bacon, sausages, cereals, yogurts… You name it. I love breakfast, so this was great for me. And I quickly found out what I liked and didn’t like. {I was surprised that I didn’t like the sausage!}

My favorite breakfast was at the Radisson Blu in Galway. There were so many different cheeses and pastries and the quality was just much better there. Rob is not a big get-up-and-eat breakfast kind of guy, so he humored me with the whole ordeal of getting down to eat before departing. However, we came to learn that these breakfasts were not included in everyone’s stays. If the breakfast had not been part of our trip cost, it would have been 17 Euro at the Radisson. That’s about $23. I think that’s hefty if they aren’t serving Mimosas! 😉 Plus, Rob only nibbled a bit.

Soup of the Day

The Soup of the Day was always vegetable. It became a joke between my mother-in-law and me. After enjoying a filling breakfast that wasn’t too early in the am, we often didn’t eat lunch until 2pm. A little soup was just fine to tide us over until dinner. When inquiring about the “Soup of the Day”, we always got the response:

Vegetable

I’m not sure if it was just the time of the year or if it’s just the easiest, most economical thing to do with leftovers that made the vegetable the soup of the day nearly everywhere we went. But no matter what, I almost always loved the soup. However, my father-in-law didn’t like the fact that they “pulverized the heck out of it”. He wanted chunks of vegetables in his soup, damn it! 😉

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Vegetable Soup with Brown Bread

And, oh, how delicious was that brown bread with butter! Actually, I feel like I need to try making some soon. It’s winter and a little vegetable soup and brown bread sounds like a nice, comforting meal right now.

Portion Sizes

For lunch, Rob would often try something more familiar on the menu, but the portion sizes were much more manageable than they’d be in the U.S.:

nachos with a side salad

Nachos with – you guessed it – a side salad.

Portion sizes really did vary from place to place.  Here are some examples:

I have no ida

I have no idea what Rob had here, but it was the perfect size for lunch. {And came with a side salad!}

I loved this salmon dish I had at the Bunratty Castle Hotel. And it, too, came with a big side salad!

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Then there was a side order of mashed potatoes that came with a dinner my mother-in-law ordered. But doesn’t it really look like a big ol’ bowl of vanilla ice cream?!

A side of mashed potatoes

A side of mashed potatoes

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In Galway, many menus and signs were written in both English and Gaelic. I ordered this Warm Brie Salad. I devoured the breaded brie, but left the little side salad since I didn’t like the dressing.

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Fish & Chips

In Galway, I finally had some fish and chips, too! I remembered fish & chips being one of the meals I loved in Ireland back on my trip in 2000. I waited until Galway to have them because we were recommended by some Dubliners to get the fish and chips at McDonagh’s Fish and Chip Bar there. They said they were the best in Galway and probably the best in Ireland!

My thoughts were that they were pretty bland. But truthfully, I hadn’t had any fish and chips in a really long time. And those weren’t even in Ireland. My in-laws, who had had some fish and chips earlier in the trip, said that McDonagh’s fish and chips were better in that they weren’t as greasy.

Poor, poor Rob, though. After we looked at the menu and found that there was near to nothing rob could have , we asked him if he’d like to go somewhere else. He insisted we get our fish and chips and he would find something. He ordered some garlic or cheese bread of some sort, but it was the smallest portion size I’ve ever seen. Nothing that could fill anyone up by any means. But a true appetizer shouldn’t do that anyway. Still, Rob insisted that he was fine and we went on our merry way to listen to some traditional Irish music after enjoying our grub.

Beef

That night, after the pints of Guinness and hours of clapping and singing, and after his parents were long gone, Rob and I finally left the bar. On the walk back to our hotel, I noticed that Rob was more than just a bit tipsy after nearly nothing for dinner and drinking all through the festivities. Not wanting him to be sick, as we passed by a McDonald’s on that main street in Galway, I insisted that he get something to eat there. It was the only place open. I didn’t even a see a Spar open where we could grab some snacks.

He agreed to it and ordered some sort of specialty burger, with a smoky sauce.  After devouring it, he exclaimed: “I didn’t know beef could taste that good in Ireland!” Sad, isn’t it? After the first few days of having funky-tasting meat, he nearly had gone vegetarian and even “loved” the chips he would never eat at home.

Then, about a week ago, we read this article about horsemeat being found in “beef” burgers in Ireland. No wonder we saw these billboards all over the country:

Okay, that doesn’t even make sense on my part. This just says that the beef they use is 100% Irish/local, not that the burgers are 100% beef. Which is why my original thought that this was the reason Rob liked the burger at McDonald’s over the meat elsewhere throughout Ireland was wrong.

Instead, it might just be that McDonald’s has achieved its goal to make their burgers taste the same everywhere {regardless of the meat from which it is made}. Or it could be the fact that Irish burgers are made of local meat. We all know that when you eat foods that are local and/or in-season, they are usually fresher.  Finally, it could just be that Rob had too much to drink with no food in his stomach and anything tasted good at the moment. 😉

My advice – order chicken in Ireland. It just might surprise you, like it did me. No one thinks to do this in Ireland, because it’s not really considered “traditional”. But more times than not, I was pleased.

Final Meal

On our last night in Ireland, in the fair city of Dublin, Rob had had enough. We had our last pint of Guinness where it was supposed to taste best, checked out the Porterhouse {the halfway decent micro brew pub in Dublin} and then settled in for some Italian food. Yes. That’s right. We sold out. When traveling, you should try the food of the locals, right?

Although, thinking about that right now, there are not many restaurants in Minnesota that I can think of that serve lefse or a traditional hot dish. It would take a lot to seek them out. Creamy wild rice soup is sometimes hard to come by. {How many prepositions at the end of a sentence can I end with?} 😉

But it was so worth it. Sadly, Rob dubbed it as his best meal in Ireland. The staff there spoke Italian with each other and there were even some Italian teenagers causing a ruckus while waiting for their take-away pizzas. Maybe we could stretch it a little and say that we were in Europe, so we should eat European food. People order New York Cheesecake in California all the time, right? Yeah, I know, it’s a major stretch. Maybe even blasphemous.

 But in the end, it’s not only about the food when you are traveling. It’s the company, the landscapes, the culture, the people that make a trip more than memorable. I’ve yet to share all of those with you…

Want to learn more about our trip to Ireland this past fall? Check out these links:

Wine in Wine Countries, Guinness in Guinness Country

Ireland – Weather & What to Wear

The Beauty that is the Emerald Isle

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Whiskey Wednesday – An Ireland Post

Irish Sport – Hurling

Celebrating Gaelic Football

Sláinte~
Carrie

Simple Cheese & Wine Pairings

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When people host a Wine Tasting, I am often asked what cheeses should be served. My number one rule:

Keep it simple!

The last thing I want the host to do is spend a ton of money on expensive cheese or hours preparing mouthwatering appetizers. The tasting is really about the wine. In addition, I don’t want the tasting to be work for the host. I want them to have fun, too. {Although some people just like to do that!}

That being said, cheese does have the ability to enhance the wine as well and is an essential part of an educational wine tasting. I have often converted sweet wine lovers all the way over to the red spectrum, just by showing them how food can really enhance the flavor and the experience.

If you want to throw together some really easy, inexpensive cheeses for a wine tasting or are having a last minute gathering with a few girlfriends, here are a few suggestions. I like to call these “safe” cheeses, because they tend to go with almost all wines.

Safe Cheeses :

  • Mild Cheddar
  • Gouda
  • Hard cheeses like Parmesan or Asiago

But maybe you want your focus to be the perfect wine with the perfect cheese. Maybe you have a favorite wine and you want to know the best cheese pairings to go with it are. Or maybe you just bought an interesting cheese and you’re wondering what wine to serve. Here are a few classic pairings:

White wines:

  • Chardonnay – Smoked Gouda, Brie
  • Gewürztraminer – Swiss, Muenster
  • Pinot Grigio – Asiago, Fresh Mozzarella
  • Riesling – Gouda, Monterey Jack
  • Sauvignon Blanc – Goat Cheese (chevre), Gruyère
  • Sparkling Wine – Brie, Camembert, Parmesan
  • Viognier – Aged Gouda, Goat Cheese (chevre)

Red wines:

  • Beaujolais – Provolone, Brie, Feta
  • Cabernet Sauvignon Aged or Sharp Cheddar, Danish Blue
  • Chianti – Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, Ricotta
  • Malbec – Manchego, Taleggio, Cashel Blue
  • Merlot – Cheddar, Gouda, Jarlsberg
  • Pinot Noir – Harvarti, Colby-Jack, Feta
  • Shiraz/Syrah – Sharp Cheddar, Gouda, Edam
  • Tempranillo – Manchego, Havarti
  • Zinfandel – Sharp Cheddar, Muenster, Blue Cheese

Dessert Wines:

  • Moscato – Baby Swiss, Cheesecake 😉
  • Very Sweet Wines – Blue Cheese

When in doubt, do a google search like the following:

{insert cheese name here} + wine pairing

{insert wine name here} + cheese pairing

Seriously people, it’s that simple. You will yield several results. The ones that come up the most often will be your best bets. But then, be the judge yourself. Keep a notebook with your favorites so you don’t have to try to remember.

I’m often asked how these cheese should be served. Slices? Cubes? Let people cut their own?

How to Serve:

The truth… It doesn’t matter. People really don’t care about how beautiful your display of cheeses is. They just want to eat it. I would recommend smaller cubes or a not-too-thick slice for a couple of reasons. You want just a taste of the cheese {not a mouthful}. Big chunks are just too overpowering. And you may also want to try several! Think bite size. Small amounts of soft cheeses can even be smeared on crackers in advance to make it even simpler. But if you are just having friends over and you want to have pretty wedges for your guests to cut themselves, by all means… do that!

cheese & Wine

Just remember, grapes make a pretty arrangement, but they don’t go with wine!

For my hosts that decide to choose one cheese for each of the five wines that I bring to their Wine Tasting event, four to six ounces of each cheese is really all they need for an average tasting of about 15 guests.

Cheese is best enjoyed at room temperature. Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Just don’t leave it out for hours on end!

The Truth About Wine & Cheese Pairings:

What really matters is which cheese and wine pairing YOU like. Though classic pairings are classic for a reason, not everyone has the same tastes. So don’t be afraid to experiment! Just remember to cleanse your palate with a plain cracker between each pairing so that you don’t judge the flavors based on your last bite and/or taste. The discover your favorites!

What is your favorite cheese and wine pairing?

Cheers~
Carrie

Ambiance vs. Atmosphere and Best of the Twin Cities

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If you haven’t seen it yet, please check out my new tab above titled “Best of the Twin Cities“!

I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorites throughout the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area and listed them for you. Whether you live in town or are just visiting, if you are craving something specific, give my “bests” a try. If my jury is still out on a particular category, but my husband has a favorite, I’ve listed his favorite as such: (Rob).

Of course, it’s impossible to try everything and by no means am I a professional food critic. This list may just end up being posted for my memory’s sake. If you have some favorites of your own, please share so we can give them a try as well!

I may be updating this list from time to time, but will that be monthly? Annually? Probably just whenever I find a new fave. We’ll see.

Until then, I’d like to clear the air….

I’ve gotten in the habit of saying ambiance when describing the mood and feel of a restaurant. Why? Whenever I’ve said, “This place has a really nice atmosphere,” Rob comments that the atmosphere is composed of the same gases there as anywhere else. Haha. You’d think that he is a science geek; but it isn’t so. Now that I’ve become so accustomed to using the word ambiance, I catch other people using the word atmosphere. And while it technically isn’t wrong, I just can’t get the thought of describing the air in a building as “nice” as being anything but just plain weird.

Why do we have to be so literal?

On that note, we could move on to topic of the overused and misused word literally. For fun, here are a few of my favorites. You’ll get the message. Enjoy!

What misused phrases annoy you?

(All in good fun, of course!)

Cheers~
Carrie

Uptown Cafeteria – Minneapolis {Closed}

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This past August, a Groupon brought us to the Uptown Cafeteria for the first time. Although, the full name for this joint is Uptown Cafeteria and Support Group, I’m not sure I fully understand why. The website states that it meets in both the upstairs and downstairs bar. Another site states that this refers to the bar. And still another says to bring your own Support Group for drinks. I guess you can interpret it any way you like.

But what really matters here is the food.

Contrary to the name, it is not a cafeteria, nor do they serve cafeteria-style food. It’s just goodfood. There’s no theme or style of cooking going on here. I mean, really, at how many restaurants would you find these condiments sitting together on your table?049

There are a variety of taps {some interesting and some not-so-much}, a few wines and some fun cocktails. There’s also a Bloody Mary Bar all day Saturdays and Sundays until 4pm. I noted the Mary Tyler Moore sign for our return:

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“You’re gonna make it after all…”

We started with some sweet and salty popcorn, which is no longer on the online menu. It was fine, but there was so much of it that we didn’t finish. Also no longer on the menu is the Reuben that Rob ordered.

No matter… The definite star of the show here was… You guessed it. The Tuna Melt:

he Tuna Melt (of Tuna Melts)13.00 fresh, house cured ahi tuna salad and aged cheddar on a homemade English muffin

The Tuna Melt (of Tuna Melts) $13.00
fresh, house cured ahi tuna salad and aged cheddar on a homemade English muffin
{I enjoyed mine with a side of cottage cheese for extra protein.}

This Tuna Melt is no joke! It is deserving of it’s name, too. It’s the best I’ve ever had. Or at least in a restaurant. {It rivals my friend Jen’s, but I’d have to try them side by side for a true comparison.} The ingredients are high quality and it’ll be hard to ever eat another English muffin again after you’ve had this homemade one! It flippin’ rocks! I was in love.

Hey, Rob, I know that I love the tuna melt here!

While there are many other things on the menu I’d like to try, it would be hard for me not to order the Tuna Melt when I return! Still, I don’t think that we’ll be going back there any time soon. Despite the fact that we ate indoors, the street was so noisy that it really got on Rob’s nerves. I don’t know if he could have handled the Sky Bar on the rooftop for cocktails.

Do you have a restaurant where you order the same thing every time?

If so, where is it and what do you order?

Cheers~

Carrie