Tag Archives: fried chicken

Yankee Tavern

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Yes, it’s true. It’s been a while since I’ve posted about dining out.

But I need to do it – for my memory’s sake!

We recently returned to a new restaurant in our area. We had only been there once and we couldn’t remember what we liked, didn’t like and wanted to try next time! It kind of all mixed together. I even texted our friends who were with us on the first visit and they couldn’t remember either. Maybe it’s safe to say that the food was not memorable?!

In any case, here goes… I’m going to attempt to get back into the blogging game… or help my memory.

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Yankee Tavern is the new South of the River overhaul of the old Valley Lounge, an old dive bar in Eagan we stopped in a time or two. Let me tell you, they put some money into this place to revamp it!

The prices are a bit high for the area; but I imagine it’ll take some time to turn a profit. Also to note… all items are à la carte. No sides are included. There are no prices online, so I can’t offer those up on the blog from memory.

There’s no real “about” information on the Yankee Tavern website at the time of this writing, but a few reviews and Facebook posts from friends and foodies indicated that this place is known for brisket, fried chicken and southern comfort food. But the menu truly is extensive.

When Rob and I went with the girls, we ordered wide variety of food.

First, sammies!

The girls’ general consensus is that these sandwiches were just okay, nothing anyone would order again. I think we agreed the Thin Sliced Sea Salt Kettle Chips were good as was the Blue Cheese Pickled Onion Cole Slaw. I know someone liked the Jalapeno Corn Bread with Salted Caramel Butter

Jalapeno Cornbread with Salted Caramel Butter

… but I found it to be a little burnt and dry.

I bet you’d never guess that Rob ordered a burger:

Neither of us remember which burger it was. He said it was fine; it just wasn’t seasoned at all. The side he ordered ^^Grilled Garlic Kiev Butter Smashed Potato. Also, just okay. I think he was hoping for the unforgettable, mouthwatering smashed potatoes that we had at Heirloom a month or so before, but those boots are just way too big to fill!

I went straight in and ordered according to a recommendation I saw online:

Two Piece Regular Crispy Style Fried Chicken | Louisiana Red Beans & Rice w/Ham & Andouille

The fried chicken was juicy, but the batter had no flavor, nor seasoning. I did get the regular crispy style, instead of the other flavors offered, though. Still, crispy fried chicken at your good ol’ Popeye’s and KFC still has flavor! The red beans and rice were good, but there was definitely way more rice than the red bean concoction, making it seem dry overall.

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When Rob and I went back to give this place another try, we forgot all of this. All we knew is that it was close to another event we were attending and we should probably order something different.

I remember eyeing the “Bowls” on the menu, specifically the Thai Peanut one, the last time we were there. Though on this day, it was particularly chilly and the American Bowl just sounded comforting:

American Bowl – Mashed potato, shredded cheese, corn, deep fried chicken tenders, peppercorn gravy, sour cream, green onion

I liked that the corn was roasted and the gravy had a yummy peppercorn flavor, but biting into whole peppercorns started to get old! The chicken was nice and juicy, I just wished it would have been a bit crispier. The mashed potatoes weren’t completely mashed, which I don’t mind some chunks from time to time; but there were a lot of them. One of them was even under-cooked.

But then we found the star of the show:

Chicago Brisket Sandwich – Smoked brisket, pepper jack, giardiniera, ciabatta bread | Fried Shallot Haystack

It seems the brisket is where it’s at here! Rob loved the brisket along with the way the ciabatta was nicely toasted and the giardinera really set off this sandwich for that little kick that’s to his liking. He added the Fried Shallot Haystack as a side. These were very good! But I find them strange as a side rather than something you’d use as a topping.

Yankee Tavern is still in it’s opening months, so we’ll need to give it some time to work out some kinks. It really seems to be hopping thus far, though. It also appears to be a Viking Football hotspot. So consider timing if you plan to venture out on game day! Yankee Tavern serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

What’s your favorite southern dish?

Cheers~
Carrie

 

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Revival – Reviving My Trust in The People

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Over the holidays, Rob and I spent more time than usual indulging in the wonderful restaurants that cover our Twin Cities. One of these visits was spur-of-the-moment, right after work on a Wednesday. Rob just wanted to have The Burger at Revival, a new-ish southern-style restaurant known for its fried chicken.

I had already tried out Revival with the girls since Rob can’t do chicken. Despite the accolades, impressed I was not. However, Rob’s and my visit was notably different.

Let’s compare…

The girls and I arrived early at Revival one early summer evening. We checked in and the small room was already packed. There wasn’t even room at the small bar.

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We put our name on the waiting list by giving my cell phone number. I would be texted as soon as a table was ready. This means, you could get a drink and pop outside or go across the street to The Lowbrow for a pint, if you’d like!

While the restaurant itself is not that big, the ceilings are high and provide some of the worst acoustics. You can barely hear the people sitting across from you. And while they may be trying to go retro with this wallpaper, it’s just not my style.

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The menu is pretty simplistic and the prices very reasonable. The girls and I were there for the newly famed fried chicken.

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Since my friends don’t tend to like things to spicy, we went with the Southern Fried Chicken. The Poultrygeist is made with ghost peppers are were told that even if we like very spicy foods, we should heed with caution! We also ordered a few southern sides to share.

We also ordered an appetizer to start. Here was my portion. I know it doesn’t look as appetizing as a freshly plated dish!

fried green tomatoes, pickle sauce 7

fried green tomatoes, pickle sauce – $7

It was fine, but nothing I needed to have again. Then we waited. We waited for a good 30 – 40 minutes. I tried to be understanding because I know fried chicken can take some time and you need to have it prepared in advance, having worked at KFC in high school. Still, other tables were getting their food, some seated after us.

And for whatever reason, I only took one other photo that evening:

hush puppies 4.5

hush puppies – $4.50

Of the three of us, Jen loves hush puppies the most. However, none of us were particularly impressed with them. I like mine lightly battered with chunks of corn here and there. Is that traditional? I don’t know. But these were also overcooked. In fact, our chicken seemed to be, too!

We couldn’t understand all of the hype. It’s almost like this chicken had been sitting around awhile. Maybe all of our food had been? The thing is, the restaurant is so small that our waiter could not have forgotten about us. I guess I just need to be more assertive and ask more questions when waiting for that length of time.

In any case, these two homemade sauces are offered and helped the chicken:

Carolina Vinegar BBQ & Sweet Potato-Habanero Sauce

Carolina Vinegar BBQ & Sweet Potato-Habanero Sauce

Overall, the girls and I went away underwhelmed. Still, I noticed a burger while we were waiting near the bar that looked scrumptious…

When it showed up on this list of Best Burgers, I knew that I would be willing to give Revival another chance if Rob asked. Then, after some research, I learned what people were most raving about at Revival was the Tennessee Hot Fried Chicken.

So when  Rob suggested we hurry off to Revival split a burger that Wednesday before the New Year, I countered with him to eat his own Damn Burger while I tried a 2-piece of the Tennessee Hot chicken! {Okay, so I didn’t really say that. But he didn’t argue when I suggested it!}

That is just what we did. Rob ordered his burger. I ordered the chicken; and we picked a couple of sides. Our server told us that there was an up charge for the Mac + Cheese. Later, we concluded that she was substituting whatever comes with the burger with the Mac & Cheese rather than delivering it as an extra side. No matter. It was plenty of food!

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revival burgerdouble patty, american, mayo, b+b’s and mac + cheese

Rob allowed me first bite of his burger and I have to say that the meat was juicy and the full of flavor! However, I thought the bun tasted too “bready” overall. It could have been seared a bit longer, perhaps. Rob loved the burger, but it didn’t couldn’t push the burgers at Parlour or Saint Dinette out of the running for his best burgers.

As for the Mac + Cheese – I loved it. I found it creamy and flavorful, two things that many restaurants seem to forget are what makes any mac and cheese stand out from another. But Rob wasn’t as much in love as I was.

For our second side, I was debating between the White Cheddar Grits and the Collard Greens. Rob made a good point that we’d only be comparing the grits to the mac and one would be enough. I went with the Collard Greens since I learned at Brasa how much I love them!

collard greens 4.5

collard greens – $4.50

They were probably traditional, but boring.

Instead, I focused on my chicken:

2-piece Tennessee Hot Chicken

2-piece Tennessee Hot Chicken

Yes, this is spicy. No, my friend Jen would not have liked it. But I loved it. Yes! Yes! This is what they were all talking about! Flavor, crispy, juicy – everything I wanted. {And I still believe the regular chicken we had on the first visit was either over cooked or sitting out too long.}

My second trip to Revival revived my faith in not only their restaurant, but my trust in The People’s opinion. I now have a go-to meal when I go next dine there: Tennessee Hot Chicken and Mac & Cheese. Now, if only I can get Rob there over St. Dinette or Parlour…

What’s the best fried chicken you’ve ever had?

Cheers~
Carrie

An Irish Pub Calls for Chicken

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This post is meant to show you some photos of the funny things I only TOLD you about O’Sullivan’s Pub last year

Over the past ten years that I’ve been going with Rob to Michigan, we first discovered O’Sullivan’s Pub just last year. We really did enjoy it; so we had to go back. First, I need to post some silly photos of the menu for those of you who are looking, since they don’t post theirs online. You can click to enlarge.

And again, just as I did last year, I wondered if they bought their furniture from an old Buffalo Wild Wings.

Carved into our booth.

Carved into our booth.

Rob’s mom was smart and ordered the Reuben Sliders that we all so adored last year. Knowing how good the corned beef, was, Rob and his dad opted for another take on the Reuben, which they each really enjoyed:

Nathan's Special - Corned Beef, Pastrami, Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing served on rye bread

Nathan’s Special – Corned Beef, Pastrami, Swiss cheese, 1000 island dressing served on rye bread with onion rings

And although we were in a self-proclaimed Irish Pub, I didn’t order any fish and chips nor corned beef. Instead, I did what worked for me in Ireland. I ordered CHICKEN!

Chicken Finger Salad - chicken fingers, lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumbers, black olives & shredded cheese

Chicken Finger Salad – chicken fingers, lettuce, onion, tomato, cucumbers, black olives & shredded cheese

It may look like your basic salad. But it was sooooo good and hit the spot for me that day. And I splurged with that perfectly cooked, fried chicken with just the right crunch to make it worth it!

And now, for the bathroom I was telling you about last year:

Finally, the women’s bathroom was just strange to me. It was just the one-person restroom, not the kind with stalls. It was very narrow, but had two toilets! I guess, ladies, if you are out at the pub drinking with friends, this is just plain efficient.

Really?

Two toilets in one women’s restroom…

We still love this place. And because I like to get a fried chicken salad about once every year or two, I just have to remember that this is the place to get one where I’ll be satisfied.

What’s the strangest restroom you’ve been in?

Cheers~
Carrie

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.

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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