Tag Archives: Bloomington restaurants

Wally’s Roast Beef


After returning from all the festivities of my brother’s wedding in Green Bay, I began my 10-Day Reset to get myself feeling a little better before our next little getaway.

I can’t believe that our next little trip is coming up when I haven’t even covered all of our Australian Vacation of a Lifetime yet! Although, that was the biggest trip we’ve been on together, so there’s a lot to cover.

But yesterday, my boss told me to take my husband out to lunch. How could I say “no”? I do what I’m told when the boss says so! That’s when Rob decided to finally introduce me to Wally’s Roast Beef – a joint that he’s been raving about ever since a co-worker took him there.

The trouble is, they are only open for lunch 11am to 3pm – Monday through Saturday. Sure, we could go on a Saturday, but there is usually something else going on when we think of it. Yesterday was an unusual circumstance. Normally, I never have the occasion to meet anyone for lunch.

So this was the perfect opportunity.

You’ll find Wally’s in a little Office Park in Bloomington. Rob says that 11am, there is a line out the door!


Rob told me to trust him; he was going to order for me. So we walked up to the counter to do so.


But here’s the thing:

Rob ordered something not on the menu: The Smokey Beef. I asked Rob if that was the same as the Big Smokey, which is on the menu.


He said with a smile, “No. This one you just have to know about.” I still don’t know what the Big Smokey is. Now that I look at the menu again, I wouldn’t even know what I’d find on a Green Plate nor a Red Plate!

So in my hurried state, the only shot I got of this beloved sammie shows virtually no roast beef. Doh!


Instead, picture the roast beef sandwich below topped with melted cheese {perhaps smoked?} and bacon. Then you’ll have a Smokey Beef.

{Source: MNFoodBros.com}

{Source: MNFoodBros.com}

I know what you are thinking… Bacon, Carrie, BACON? I took it off my sandwich and ate it on the side. And that was Just. Fine. But I couldn’t get a Roast Beef Sandwich without horseradish! Rob was sure to order me some of that, too, along with a side of fries:


“It’s the best horseradish sauce, “ said our cashier as she promptly gave us those two little containers. And it was damn good – spicy and intense, just like I like it. I only used one!

Wally’s is a diner-type joint with lots of bottled sodas {including Buddy’s out of New Ulm} and a jukebox in the corner.


You’ll find the tiled walls decorated with a few old signs and miscellaneous extracurricular activity articles from Bloomington Lincoln High School.

People from all walks of life were lunching there on a Tuesday – a mom with four kids, retirees and businessmen in suits.

So, I took a break from my 10-day reset, which defeats the whole purpose of said reset. But sometimes you just need to live life and take an opportunity when it comes. No guilt. No regrets. And I didn’t tell myself I’d “start again tomorrow.” Instead, I returned to my reset with the very next meal.

When did you last seize an opportunity or do something completely spontaneous?


Colette Bar & Bistro – Bloomington {Closed}


Francophile  – an individual who has a strong positive predisposition or interest toward the government, culture, history, or people of France. (Wikipedia)

That’s me! I’m not sure where it began. Maybe it was when I was a kid and my dad would come home from his fishing trips in Canada with crackers or other items that had French written on the box. He took French in high school. I followed suit. I loved my high school French class! In fact, I saved my pennies from my part-time job at KFC to go on the high school French Club trip to France when I was 17 – not only my first trip abroad, but also my first time on a plane! Then, I studied for a semester in Toulon, France in college. At one point, I was returning to France every three years. I love the French culture and way of life. (Yes, the French Paradox will appear in a future post!)

Friday night, Rob and I dined at Colette Bar & Bistro in the Sofitel Hotel.

“WHAT?” you ask? With all of the options of French cuisine in the Twin Cities, why would I be dining in a hotel bar if I wanted to go out and have a French meal? Here’s why:

  • I had rescheduled my last loooooooong run (60 min) for Friday night since I missed it earlier in the week.
  • It was a Friday night. After my run, where on earth (um, the Twin Cities) can you get a seat at 6:30 or 7pm without a reservation?
  • We had a gift certificate.
  • We’d been there before and liked it.
  • It’s actually a very nice place!

I was right in my assumption that a Friday night would be a great night to dine at a Hotel Restaurant. Try it  sometime! People staying in hotels are usually out and about because they just got into town and want to check out their destination, not stay in the hotel.

I love the fact that we can order a Kir or Kir Royale as a cocktail here! Brings me back to Paris…

Kir Royale – Champagne with crème de cassis

Colette gets brownie points for including De-Light options on their menu!

Colette has “De-Light” Options

I was really in the mood for fish, so I inquired on all that was listed. The staff gave me very detailed descriptions. I did pass on the “De-Light” option (230 calories) because after running 60 minutes, I wanted something a little more substantial. The Sea Bass with Saffron Cream Sauce sounded fantastic, but a little rich for my tastes that evening. So after sharing a bruschetta appetizer with Rob, I had the Halibut with Ratatouille.

Alaskan Halibut, Traditional Ratatouille, Sauce Vierge

The presentation of all dishes at Colette was breathtaking! And while that little seasoned tomato you see above was divine (I’ll take four of those next time, please!), the fish was something to be desired. It seemed overdone and not that exciting. But the waitstaff did describe the dish correctly and indicated it was a healthy option, especially if I wanted my veggies.

However, I did have a bite or two of Rob’s dish:

Wild Mushroom Risotto with Truffle Oil

Creamy goodness! I’d call it comfort food with elegance.

We did opt for dessert. And while normally I try to only have a couple of bites, I hate to admit that I probably ate half of this huge piece of decadence:

Chocolate Mousse with a Basil Cream Center

Sounds strange, right? But oh it was so creamy, chocolatey, and the basil really worked in this dessert!

Yes. We will be back to Colette. And you’ll probably find us there on a weekend night when we don’t yet have plans, want to stay close to home, and still enjoy high quality food.