Monthly Archives: January 2014

Half-Priced Wine Nights in the Twin Cities

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Twin Cities peeps, remember last Wine Wednesday when I said that I have a gift for you?

Did you notice the new heading at the top of the page? If not, here you go… Just click here.

It’s my new page on all of the restaurants in the Twin Cities that I have discovered offer half-priced wine nights!

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You’re welcome.

I was inspired to keep my own list when I did a search on any given night and came up with out-dated lists from 2008. I know it will take a bit to keep up and I can’t promise that it won’t become outdated because a restaurant can change their offerings at any time.

But I’m giving you the tools of somewhere to start.

Here is what I’ve done:

  • I’ve categorized the list by days of the week. Let’s face it, when you aren’t sure where to go on a particular night, knowing which restaurants offer half-priced wine may persuade you!.
  • I’ve included a link to the restaurant website where you can get the phone number of the restaurant.
  • Not all restaurants will list their half-price wine specials on their websites. Even if they do, it’s recommended that you call first because not all restaurant website are up-to-date either.
  • If you find a change or want to add a new restaurant, just comment below or email me at Uncommon Wine (at) Yahoo (dot) com.

Now go find that restaurant with that half-priced wine in the Twin Cities!

Happy Wine Wednesday!

Cheers~
Carrie

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Baby, It’s Cold Outside…

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Looks like we’ll be getting another Arctic Blast soon… And I was just starting to enjoy this 30+ degree weather. Really. It felt balmy. Time to put on the PARKA again!

That is, we used our last Living Social voucher to PARKA. This time, we went for lunch. To read about our first impression of PARKA on Rob’s birthday, click here.

At PARKA, you order at the register and wait for your food to be delivered to your table.

Parka

I find it a bit awkward to tip in the jar on the counter. I feel like I need to make sure someone sees me do it! The food has such creativity and artistry as you’d find on Top Chef and is delivered to your table by course. It just feels strange to get up and leave after you finish your meal, not wait for the bill or leave a tip on the table.

I also noticed something new this time around:

Thirsty Fish

That fish is thirsty for some PBR!

We ordered the Seasonal Indeed local beer on tap:

Indeed Stir Crazy Winter Ale -

Indeed Stir Crazy Winter Ale – ale brewed with cocoa nibs, vanilla, raisins and brown sugar

There was no throwback North Stars Hockey playing on the old television like last time, but I did take a look at the coffee menu, which also illustrated a love, or at least an interest, in hockey:

Parka-CoffeeHockey

What’s great is now they have short descriptions of the food on their menu both in the restaurant and online! But I still liked that they described each dish as it came out. It makes it more personable.

For our appetizer, we couldn’t pass up the Devils on Horseback we ordered last time. They were as good as we remembered!

Devils on Horseback

Devils on Horseback – $8
Bacon-wrapped, blue-cheese-filled dates with blue cheese whizz, ginger-date puree & almond brittle

We chose different main dishes this time around.

Rob selected:

Braised Brisket 11 Roasted sunchoke, pickled pear, watercress

Braised Brisket – $11
Roasted sunchoke, pickled pear, watercress

We were explained that the brisket is braised for 12 to 16 hours and that the sunchokes are actually prepared four ways in this dish – roasted, sunchoke chips, a sunchoke puree and another that I don’t recall. We liked them and decided that we may have to try to find sunchokes to roast on our own! Rob said that the meat was so tender that it fell apart in his mouth; but it didn’t have much flavor. It actually seemed like a pretty healthy dish. Which you don’t always think of when you think of a brisket covered in gravy or a sweet, sugary barbecue sauce.

My choice:

Maple Grilled Cheese 11 Bacon, pickled apple, maple syrup

Maple Grilled Cheese – $11
Bacon, pickled apple, maple syrup

So much food! I only had a couple fries because they aren’t my favorite and I gave half of the sandwich to Rob. But it was so good! There was very little bacon flavor {which you know I liked}, so it didn’t overpower the dish. The cheeses were so gooey and melty and worked beautifully with the onions and apples. I recall being told that there was fontina and cheddar, but missed the third cheese. Perhaps Swiss? The apple slices didn’t taste pickled, but a little sweet and cinnamon-dusted. But I think what really made this sandwich was the maple syrup! It sounded strange to me at first, but it was just this light sweetness, not overpowering nor saturating. And it worked perfectly on the outside of the crusty bread.

Rob said this is what he’d get the next time we come back to PARKA. He also said that it almost beats the The Lowbrow out for best grilled cheese!

We had originally planned to get the chocolate cake we adored so much last time for dessert. But now that there were descriptions, we just had to order the apple pie!

Apple Pie 7 Apple streusel, apple compote, sharp cheddar ice cream

Apple Pie – $7
Apple streusel, apple compote, sharp cheddar ice cream

This was a deconstructed able pie of sorts made with a shortbread-style cookie topped with the apple filling and pecan crumble with a swipe of caramel sauce. We were intrigued by the sharp cheddar ice cream on the side! It didn’t taste sharp, but it was very good. Our only complaint with this dessert? More caramel, please! But everything should have more caramel, shouldn’t it?

We loved this dessert, but think we really loved the chocolate cake we has last time even more.

However, this past week, Rob found this article which states that Chef Erick Harcey “will no longer be acting Executive Chef for Stock & Badge, which includes Parka…” Although “He plans to stay on as a partner,” I’m not sure what this means for the creative menu at Parka. Will it remain the same?

How do you like your grilled cheese?

Cheers~
Carrie

Good News, Bad News {Food & Fitness Link-Up}

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I thought, on today’s post, I was going to share with you all about Unplug Day.

But I’m not.

Rob and I try to plan one about once a month, but it probably happens about once a quarter. I thought, on today’s post, I was going to tell you about my plans to run again. Well, that’s the good news. But it might be a while yet…

The Good News

My appointment with my orthopedic surgeon this past week went well. After my descriptions of pain and strength tests, he determined that it’s just a flare up and that I can probably expect that to happen once or twice a year. I can minimize that by continuing to do my PT exercises {which I had abandoned altogether while looking for the “perfect” yoga class} and walking. He said that most people are able to go back to their normal activities.

Yay, running!

Normally, when a pain and inflammation occurs, he recommends taking Advil three times a day for three days and keep activity to a minimum. That should be enough to help. {NOTE: I’m merely writing this for my own memory’s sake. This is what my doctor has recommended for me. If you have similar symptoms, you should see your doctor and follow the advice that is given to you.} This time around, though, he prescribed a steroid dose pack. It is helping tremendously.

So I put together my plan to do my PT exercises and walking and then slowly move back into running again. Perhaps I would even run the Challenge Obesity 5k this April. It’s the race where I ran my first 5k and where I walked it last year not long after back surgery. No matter what, I’ll at least walk it this year.

Well, at least I think I will…

The Bad News

Remember when I started running again and stopped due to back pain when I nearly made it to the 5k mark? I was frustrated, annoyed, upset. I found walking to be boring.

Now I just wish I could walk!

Let me explain. On Friday night, as I was getting ready for bed, I stubbed my pinky toe. I hit it on the hard wooden doggie steps to our bed. OUCH! {Our bed is high and these steps also helped me get into bed after my back surgery.} I’m a bit of a klutz at times and I’ve done this before. So I just cursed and went to bed. At about 1am, I woke up and realized it still hurt. Bad. I considered icing it, but was too tired and went back to sleep.

6am rolled around and the pain was bad enough that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I can’t even express how difficult it was to walk.

Difficult to walk!

Looks like while I wanted to run again so badly, I wasn’t being grateful enough about being able to walk. Today, I am grateful for my toes. Sometimes I forget how important they are to walk!

So I immediately broke the Unplug rule for Saturday and got online to find out what was wrong. At this point, it felt like it was broken. But I’ve never had a broken bone in my body, so how would I know? Hopefully, it was just sprained. What I did know is that there wasn’t much that could be done for broken toes, so there was no point in heading to the emergency room.

Here are the basics of what I did learn:
{Take this with a grain of salt for as much as you can believe to be accurate on the interwebs.}

  • A broken toe is generally taped to the adjoining toe and takes about six weeks to heal.
  • A sprained toe generally hurts the most within the first 48 hours, but should heal in about 5 to 10 days.
  • The best course of action now is to ice every two hours and keep the foot elevated.

I love me the google. I am grateful for the google. The area on my foot where my two toes meet is black and blue and the pinky is swollen. I decided to spare you and not take a photo.

This is what this means for me:

  • I’ve been laid up all weekend, icing and elevating.
  • I’m on steroids for the back, so I can’t take any pain killers. But the steroids should help with the inflammation in the toe!
  • I’ll call my doctor on Monday morning to make an appointment.
  • I most likely won’t even be able to walk on the treadmill for a week.
  • But that’s better than six weeks off for a broken toe. Let’s hope it heals quickly!

To be continued…

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Now for this week’s:

planning

Without any exercise, I’m going to have to be really smart and diligent with my eating this week…

Food

Dinners:

  • MondayBeef in Red Wine Sauce
  • Tuesday – We’ll eat here because this is where we’ll be taking our  puppy painting class!
  • Wednesday – Pork Chops and a Vegetable of Rob’s choice
  • Thursday – Leftovers or chicken quesadillas for me!
  • Friday – TBD (My friend Stacy is in town!)
  • Saturday and Sunday – TBD

Lunches:

Breakfasts:

  • I have a lot of options available and will make them depending on what I am in the mood/have time for:

Fitness

  • Yeah. Not so much. Will walk if I can. Will try to do any PT exercises that don’t put any pressure on that foot.

Have you ever broken a toe before?

Cheers~
Carrie

Sophie & Shamrock Saturday!

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Since I’ve canceled all of my subscription boxes, I’m going to turn Subscription Box Saturday into…

Sophie and Shamrock Saturday!

(If you missed my Subscription Box Saturday post on where you can get free samples with free shipping, click here.)

I’ve been inspired by Tonto Tuesdays. But I’ve decided that on Saturdays, I’m going to be the crazy dog lady, who loves her fur children beyond description and posts about her pooches. Weekends are statistically the least viewed blog days, so feel free to skip if you have absolutely no interest in our fluffy, furry friends. I won’t be offended. But studies show that images of frolicking pups can emit positive reactors in the brain. {Okay, so I may have made that up. But I can’t be too far off…}

Some Saturdays I may post just a photo, many photos or a little tidbit about our pupper dawgs. But here goes for this Saturday!

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Sophie and Benny learned to depend on each other, but they never really played together. Instead, Sophie would play with toys by herself or with us. But ever since Shamrock came along, she’s got a real-life stuffed animal with which to play! They are best buds. Sophie still likes her alone time and will let Sham know if she’s not in the mood. But we feel guilty for not giving her a playmate the first eight years of her life.

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Next week, we are doing another painting class! This one is through Art & Elixir and is titled, “Man’s Best Friend.” We get to paint our own dogs! We have decided to try to paint from these photos:

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Actually, if all works out, Rob and I are taking an Unplug Day today. I’ve prewritten this post just for you and won’t see any of your comments until tomorrow.

Happy Unplug Day!

Cheers~
Carrie

Fantasy Draft Friday

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This post was inspired by Paige at Alcohol by Volume who recently curated a six-pack for the Four Firkins, a beer store here in the Twin Cities where you can find one of the widest selections. At the end of her fantasy draft post, after listing the six beers she selected, she asks the question:

And if you could chose six beers to represent yourself, what would you choose?

This really got me thinking… There was no way I could list six beers off the top of my head. I needed to give it more thought. I’m not sure that I could pick six beers that represented me. I would probably just end up picking six beers I like right now. And we all know that our tastes change.

For example, for me, 2012 was the year of the IPA. I was a hophead. But I sipped a lot less of those in 2013. I probably wouldn’t put one of those in my six-pack now.

Instead, I decided to create a six-pack of beers that represent this past year.

Fantasy Draft 2013

Indeed LSD Honey Ale (MN)

This beer doesn’t have great ratings over at Beer Advocate, but I love it. It’s an ale brewed with lavender, sunflower honey and dates – LSD. The lavender is evident, some may even think overpowering. But those people don’t like lavender. I do. It reminds me of Provence. And I’m a francophile. It’s a no-brainer.

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018Samuel Adams Cherry Wheat (MA)

Ahhh… This is what summers are made of! Or at least the week or so we spend in Michigan in the summer. It just makes me happy. And while I am busy feeling like a kid again, I can take the afternoon and and sip one of these like an adult. Well, with a cherry on top bottom.

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Southern Tier Pumking AleSouthern Tier Pumking Ale (NY)

In the fall, I almost get annoyed with all of the pumpkin-this and pumpkin-that all over the blogisphere. I just want everyone to stop the pumpkin-ing of everything already! But this year, I realized, that I really do like pumpkin-flavored foodstuffs, especially this beer. In 2012, it sold out so early everywhere that we only got to enjoy it once. But in 2013, we found Pumking at Stone Tap as early as August! Then, in fear that it would sell out soon, we sipped it every time we found it available including at Devil’s Advocate, Groveland Tap and The Lowry {long overdue Restaurant Impression coming next week!}

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FultonFulton The Libertine Imperial Red Ale (MN)

I never thought I’d ever dig a red ale. And while I did discover it beforehand, we took our first trip to the Fulton Brewery in November. And while I love Fulton’s Worthy Adversary just as much, if not more, the Imperial Red Ale was a unique find for me. And the name is perfect for the beer. From their website:

A Declaration of Brewing Independence. A libertine is someone living free of society’s restraints. Similarly, The Libertine doesn’t constrain itself with preconceived notions of what a beer style should be. Loaded with malts that include the UK’s premium Maris Otter and Caramel 60, and topped off with Rye to impart a distinct reddish hue, the Libertine is a malt-dominated red ale like none you’ve ever had before. It boasts a rich, indulgent body without being overly sweet. Conventional classifications fail The Libertine, but who really wants to play by the rules anyway?”

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photo 1O’So Night Train Oatmeal Porter (WI)

Since my husband and I praised this beer the first time my dad had us try it, he seemed to always make sure there was some of it on hand when we came into town. We can’t get it in Minnesota and even in Wisconsin, it can be hard to find. And every descriptor on that bottle works. So good. O’so good.

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086Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin Bourbon Barrel Aged Oatmeal Stout (CA)

2013 whas the year of the Bourbon Barrel Beers for me. So which one to choose? I’ve been a fan of the bourbon barrel-aged brown ale from Wisconsin Tyranena’s Rocky’s Revenge for years from the first time I sipped it on a dock in Hayward, Wisconsin. I’ve even discovered and kicked back plenty of bottles and glasses of the smooth and lovely Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout from Michigan. On my birthday this past year, I almost passed up an Old Rasputin Imperial Stout, until I learned that the “XV” was aged in bourbon barrels! But the I selected the Firestone Walker Velvet Merkin as part of my six-pack because sipping it at the PUBlic House in Temecula was the start to our late afternoon / early evening of a wonderful craft brewery crawl where I came to love Bourbon Barrel Beers even more. I really hope our local breweries jump on this band wagon soon!

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So there you have it, my friends, my fantasy draft for 2013. I’m not even sure if you can get all of these in Minnesota or where you live. But by now, you know that I love to travel. So the fact that some of these beers were tasted on vacation do represent me and where I’ve traveled in 2013, too.

What beer(s) represent(s) your 2013?

Cheers~
Carrie

The Pear & Half-Priced Wine

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Happy Wine Wednesday!

I heard on Robert Irvine’s Restaurant Impossible that the slowest night of the week for restaurants is Monday. It makes perfect sense. Weekends will be busy. When it comes to the start of the week, people get back to their routines and often reconnect with health or financial goals.

In Europe, you’ll often find restaurants closed on Mondays. You may even see that where you live.

But for those that are open, one way to get people inside…

Half Price Wine Nights

Monday just happens to be Half Price Wine Night at one of the most convenient restaurants for us South of the River – Roasted Pear. And this post is long overdue.

We’ve been frequenting this place for quite some time. In fact, The Pear (as we affectionately call it) has been in business for about ten years now – just as long as Rob and I have been together!

For us, this place is an easy choice. We can always get a seat, even if it’s just at the bar. We know what we like {and don’t like} to eat there. And the service is great. {Shout outs to The Michelles, Olaf and Dan!}

The Wine

So the wine list isn’t stellar, but it’s inexpensive. Actually, even when it’s not half-price, it’s affordable. My only beef? Reds are not usually the right temperature. They have what looks like a cellar where they house the wines, but it is not temperature controlled. Red wines should not be warm. They should not even be room temperature. Go for cellar/basement temperature and you are usually golden. To rectify this? I ask for a wine chiller to bring it down a few degrees.

My absolute favorite wine to order on half-price wine night is the Edmeades Zinfandel:

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This is a flavorful wine for any restaurant. It’s any wonder why I choose any other wine when we go there on Mondays. I do like to vary things a bit and try new things. But a lot of the other reds on the menu, I have found, have that “sweet” generic taste to me.

Because we’d easily spend $25 or more elsewhere on a crappy bottle of wine any given night, we decided to try The Pear’s highest price wine ($50) on a half-priced one night. We knew it would be a much better value.

Decoy

Only that wine really was a Decoy! The menu (shown below) said that the wine was from Napa Valley (most known for its cabs), but the one we received was from Sonoma. But it’s a region I love anyway!

RP-redwine

One Monday not too long ago, the lights went out while we were dining at The Pear. In fact, the entire block of businesses had a power outage. Michelle was bartending and brought out flashlights for her guests. And some of us lit up our tables with our cell phones. However, when one diner left, the headlights of his car shown through the window illuminating our half-price wine bottle like this:

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Actually, we see a lot of people who are dining alone ordering a bottle on half price wine night. I’ve even seen one couple who ordered a red for him and a white for her. Yes, they had two bottles of wine at their table. Why on earth? Because you can doggie bag it! Why not get what you like?

The Food

We honestly don’t love everything at The Pear. But we do have a few favorites that never do us wrong! First, you can always start off with a good bowl of soup.

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Tomato Basil Soup

This is the best tomato soup I’ve had in the entire Twin Cities. {Sul Lago takes a close second.} When they finally put this soup on the menu full-time, I felt that it was the best thing they ever did. For just $5, you can get a filling BOWL {they don’t serve it by the cup} of Tomato Basil Soup topped with a grilled-cheese crouton. It is served with of a triangle of their yummy bread topped with herbs and served with a composed butter:

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But at dinner time, you can’t order a grilled cheese with their tomato soup. 😦 Instead, I opt for the Cheesy Garlic Bread. Dip it right in the tomato soup. I’m not telling you that this is low-calorie or healthy by any means; but you won’t be disappointed! During Happy Hour, you can get the Cheesy Garlic Bread for just $4, making your entire dinner just $9 when you add the soup.

We are nearly always pleasantly surprised with their pizzas. {Note: We hear that you won’t find pizzas at the Brooklyn Park location. As I understand it, they don’t have a pizza oven.}

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Reuben Pizza – $13.50
Thousand island dressing, corned beef, sauerkraut, five cheese blend and swiss cheese

The Reuben is Rob’s favorite pizza. It’s what he orders the majority of the time. The Thousand Island you see above is not how the pizza arrives though. While the crust is absolutely perfect, the pizza doesn’t always turn out consistently the way he wants. So he orders an side of Thousand Island, just in case. Before we boxed up and took this half of the pizza home, he poured the remaining dressing on top.

If I’m to order a pizza at The Pear, it’s often this one:

Margherita Fresh basil, garlic, mozzarella, and roma tomatoes 11.5 - See more at: http://www.roastedpear.com/Burnsville-Menu/Dinner#sthash.5tmnwn2W.dpuf

Margherita Pizza$11.50
Fresh basil, garlic, mozzarella, and roma tomatoes

During Happy Hour, you can get a mini version of the Margherita Pizza for just 5 smackaroos.

There is a signature item on the menu that cannot be missed:

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Roasted Pear Spinach Salad – $11
Spinach, roasted pears, caramelized pecans, gorgonzola cheese and balsamic vinaigrette, Add grilled chicken – $3

I adore this salad! But I love spinach and always add grilled chicken. So, it makes me happy. The salad, I’ve found, hasn’t been consistent either. Sometimes it’s under or overdressed or there is a limited amount of blue cheese. You can always ask for the dressing on the side. But somehow, I think that’s wrong here.

We also have liked:

~ Cajun Tenderloin Bites – $10.50 – Spicy sauteed tenderloin tips with bearnaise and horseradish sauce

~ Roasted Pear Baked Brie (though it’s been years since I’ve had it!) – $10.50 – Caramelized onions and roasted pears wrapped in puff pastry

~ Rotisserie Chicken – $15.50 – Rubbed with a house spice blend and served with vegetables and choice of potato, as well as a salad to start

~ French Dip – $9.75 – Slow roasted beef and swiss cheese on a french roll with au jus (Ask for a side of horseradish sauce to give it more of a kick.)

What we have tried a few times at The Pear and haven’t really enjoyed are the steaks {minus the cajun tenderloin bites app} and the burgers. The fries aren’t memorable either. But we know we can get our favorites of those elsewhere and know what we really come to The Pear for that we can’t get anywhere else!

Brunch

The Roasted Pear has a very nice Sunday brunch, something I’m usually not a fan of when it means a buffet. Not included in the brunch, but something I like to order is a Bloody Mary. It was my fave Bloody Mary for a while. It’s still good, I just have a few others that have topped it since.

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Roasted Pear Blood Mary {meaning it belongs to the RP, not that there are roasted pears in it!} with beer chaser

Brunch is reasonably priced and includes the choice of sparkling wine or mimosa, their brunch buffet {which I normally won’t do!}, and your choice of a made-to-order Eggs Benedict on an English muffin. Once I get my complimentary beverage, I’ve got quite a variety in front of me. {Sometimes there is even coffee, too!}

RP9

What I like about the Roasted Pear Brunch is that I can put a teensy bit of everything on my plate. They even have their Roasted Pear Salad on the line! One thing I never order off of any menu is lasagna. But The Pear’s is to die for. So I can nab just a bit at brunch time, without ever having to order it as a heavy meal in and of itself.

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And then there is dessert. I usually am filled up on my Eggs Benedict and one plate of food; but if there is room, I might try a couple of mini desserts to enjoy with my remaining bubbly.

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We rarely get dessert on any given night. But if you do, you must try their signature Roasted Pear and Craisin Crisp. Per their website, it’s “Pears and cranberries baked with a crunch topping served warm with vanilla ice cream.” It’s not something I’d normally ever order; but our table split it once and I was won over immediately!

I love that The Roasted Pear incorporates pears, especially roasted ones, in so many dishes on their menu. We love The Pear for it’s location, friendly staff, casual atmosphere and the signature dishes that you can’t really find elsewhere.

Happy Wine Wednesday! Twin Cities peeps, stay tuned in the next week or two… I have a Half-Priced Wine gift for you… 🙂

What’s your favorite signature dish at a restaurant?

Do you go out for half-price wine nights?

Cheers~
Carrie

You Can’t Always Get What You Want…

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…Especially when it comes to beer.

I’ve been missing all the Bourbon Barrel beers we had in Temecula. I haven’t been able to find many ’round here. But I guess I haven’t been trying too hard. {Note: After this was written, but before it was posted, we did find the Central Waters Brewer’s Reserve Bourbon Barrel Stout. Soooooo good!}

But we did take a trip to see our friend Nora at Excelsior Brewing a few weekends ago. She moonlights there occasionally and we’d been wanting to make a visit. It had been over a year since our first trip to Excelsior. But of the four breweries we visited that day, it wasn’t our favorite. So it was about time to give them another chance!

As far as IPAs go, Excelsior’s Bridge Jumper IPA is a pretty solid one. It’s recently become one of Rob’s favorite local IPAs. Excelsior Brewing likes to celebrate all things lake-related, as it is inspired by its own Lake Minnetonka. So it’s only fitting that this is named after a childhood rite of passage of the locals living by the lake.

However, on this visit, Nora pointed out a new brew and I decided to give it a whirl. And it was then that I fell in love with Mister Jimmy’s Ruby Brown Ale as well as the story behind the local legend, Mr. Jimmy.

photo 3(2)“You can’t always get what you want,” Jimmy told Mick. But Jimmy gets his cherry in this gracefully caramel accented ruby hued ale. Starts with a refreshing tart cherry sweetness, followed by a subtle wave of chocolate. Portions of proceeds sold in tap room go to Local ICA Food Shelf in honor of this local legend.

Well, what I’ve been wanting lately were those rich Bourbon Barrel stouts and porters. But what I didn’t realize was how much I needed something new like the Mr. Jimmy Ruby Brown Ale! Excelsior describes this release as:

“…an imperial version of our Black Ale, Nunnmorblak, with the addition of Cherry puree and Belgian Candy Sugar.”

Um, yeah. With Bridge Jumper in hand, Rob had beer remorse. And he did make his own jump over to Mr. Jimmy himself afterward. Our only gripe? We couldn’t get it by the growler. 😉

Speaking of growlers, I learned a thing or two by reading this on the Growler cooler:

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Important: Please note the shelf-life of beer in Growlers. It’s good to know because I’ve found it a common topic of conversation whenever a Growler is opened. Now we have a definitive answer.

But I find the last bullet point the most educational of them all. 😉

One thing we love about the Excelsior Brewery is the how laid back the tap room is. The first time we were there, we were on tour with sixty people. It was a tight fit in the small garage. But hanging out was much more relaxed this time around.

Excelsior

Rob pointed out that a couple brought a deck of cards to pass the time while tipping back a few brews.

excelsiorcards

Excelsior-Brewing-logo-ed everything fills the room. Much of it you can buy, but some just decorates the interior of this warehouse. I also liked the fact that you could buy your friend a beer for a future visit:

excelsiorforward

“Beers not redeemed within 90 days become old and stale so we will remove them.  But we will donate 50% of the investment to ICA Local Foodshelf.”

I love that! My friend Lisa and I first came across a pay-it-forward style bar when Rob and I were visiting at their cabin. We knew we’d meet up with the boys later after golf and decided to buy them a beer for later. Genius.

Have you been to a bar or brewery where you can buy a beer for someone in advance, even if they aren’t with you that day?

Have you found a new beer you love lately?

Cheers~
Carrie