Tag Archives: menu

Before Taking Flight…


I like Ike’s.

You may be surprised that I’m stating this, given that I’ve expressed my undying love to Surdyk’s Flights pre-vacay. Yes, SF still remains my favorite place to dine/sip wine before departing the MSP airport. However, our flight to LAX departed at 11:30am last Friday morning. At 10am, I wasn’t really fine the wine vibe. In addition, we’d be wine tasting half of the vacation.

I thought we’d grab something quickly at home and just pick up a good cup of Caribou Coffee before boarding.

Then I had an idea. I began to ask The Google what the best bloody mary was at the MSP airport. The Google couldn’t differentiate MSP with Mpls, so I got a list for the entire city instead. However, in that Top 10 was a downtown Minneapolis restaurant that has been around for years, one to which we’d never been. Not too long ago, they opened up a location in the airport.


We settled up to the bar at about 10am and I ordered The Weekender.

Look at all of the garnishes!

Look at all of the garnishes!

Then we checked out the breakfast menu. Ike’s has a breakfast burger! {Surprisingly, Rob didn’t order it.}

I went with the Key Wester.

006Normally, I prefer omelets with all kinds of veggies – spinach, tomatoes and fresh mushrooms being some of my favorites. But the Key Wester just spoke to me that day.

Rob tried Bill’s Corned Beef Hash.


Then my Weekender Bloody Mary arrived:

The Weekender

The Weekender

Yes, that’s a lot of garnishes! Garnishing is an art form when it comes to the presentation of a Bloody Mary. However, I am firm believe that doesn’t make one. Bloodies need to stand on their own! I’ve had plenty of bloodies that tasted like tomato juice melted down with ice.

This was not one of them!

It had a wonderful spice {not too hot} that made me crave a beer chaser. Since I was not offered one, I requested one. The bartender had no trouble retrieving one for me and even asked me what my choice was. Surly Furious was on tap. YES PLEASE! And she didn’t charge me for it. {Sometimes the chaser is included, but they add a surcharge more for a higher end beer.}

Yes, I was happy. Yes, I was pleased. What a way to start a vacation!

My breakfast was delicious, too:

The Keywester

The Key Wester

The hashbrowns were nice and crispy. Since there were two “pieces”, I slid one over to Rob’s plate. The toast was above average and the omelet nice and creamy, well, with that cream cheese in it and all.

Unfortunately, Rob was not that thrilled with his:


It was good enough for him to finish it, but he said it could have come out of a can. He’d order something else next time.

Our bill was a little high, but it is an airport after all:


But with my Bloody Mary, Rob’s two drinks and a breakfast for each of us, it was worth it. Maybe I’d order just a regular bloody mary {not The Weekender with all of the garnishes} next time.

Even better, our nearly four-hour flight would put us in LAX after lunchtime. We were full enough that we could just skip lunch and enjoy dinner when we met up with our friends.

Another great start to a vacation!

What are your favorite Bloody Mary garnishes?

What are your favorite omelet fillings?


An Irish Pub Calls for Chicken


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.


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?


Beer Here!


Earlier this week, I mentioned that when we are dining out in Michigan, sometimes there are places where we like to dine and there are some places that are just better for drinks.

Piper’s Pub happens to be one of the latter. I’m just not fond of the food here, despite the fact that menu doesn’t look too bad:

Yeah. Piper’s Pub is another one of those dining establishments that doesn’t put its menu online. The menu above is from the Gladwin Buyers Guide.

Rob loves the Bleus Burger here, but when I tasted it last time, the meat seemed “funky” to me. Maybe I’ve just been spoiled with good meat at so many of the farm-to-table restaurants we have going on in the Twin Cities. I do like the blue cheese sauce and the ciabatta bun, though. Can I get this one sans meat, perhaps?

Pipers Burger2

Bleus Burger – blue cheese and bacon

In fact, most of the crew gets burgers when we dine here.

Pipers Burger

M-61 Cheddar Burger – cheddar cheese, onion rings, BBQ sauce {although this particular burger was ordered without the sauce}

I thought that the onion rings on the burger was a brilliant idea. Although, I’m sure that most people just take them off and eat them separately. All the burgers/sandwiches come with fries. It’s an extra $2.49 to add those pub fries that I love so much.

Forgetting that I was going to give a salad a try next time, I ordered a grilled cheese. I didn’t have high expectations, so I wasn’t surprised with the turnout being sub-standard:

Piper's Grilled Cheese

Grilled Cheese – provolone and cheddar

But I did steal a few of Rob’s fries, which are, in my opinion, the best food at Piper’s.

I also got a few photos of the actual menu. Let’s analyze it a little more closely, shall we? Maybe I can find something to order next time.

Pipers MenuHoagies and wings don’t usually excite me. I remember that, last year, someone ordered wings and said Buffalo Wild Wings are better. And do people actually order Hoagies at a sit-down restaurant?

Piper's MenuI actually don’t even recall this menu page! Pizza? They have pizza? Why haven’t I tried that? My guess is that we already had Pizza at M’s and were either pizza’d out or knew it wouldn’t live up. we knew it couldn’t live up. It might be worth trying sometime, though. Maybe.

Pipers Menu2I like to call these apps The Usual Suspects because you can pretty much find them on every menu in this neck of the woods. As for the salads, the fact that there are no descriptions probably shied me away from going that route. I always fear bad chunks of old iceberg lettuce and a mealy tomato. And from our experience last year, I can tell you that nacho pile could be a pile of something else. And I don’t even think that’s because I’m comparing them to the most perfect nacho you’ll find in the area at Beaverton Tavern.

Wait! There’s chili on the menu. If I’m looking for a semi-decent-healthy choice, I might want to give this a try in the future. I don’t remember that being on the menu either. But when it’s July and I just got done swimming in the lake, my first thought is not a big bowl of chili. And would this still be the same funky meat? I’m guessing no, because it’s probable that the burgers are frozen patties. I doubt they’d break those up to make chili.

Pipers Menu4Actually, those wraps sound good, too. It’s interesting how much more you see on a menu when you don’t have to make a decision in two minutes! It looks like there actually are a few things to try if we go back next summer.

Finally! On to the beer. The beer selection is quite good for a small town! The more interesting beers, however, are offered in a bottle rather than on tap. We are okay with that. I’m sure it would be hard to move them otherwise. We wanted to know what was offered, so we asked for a beer menu.

Pipers Beer Menu

Piper’s Pub Beer Menu

Yeah. This is what we got. I think it’s the only list in the place and really for the servers’ reference! Okay, so the beer list isn’t that extensive, but there are excellent beers on it! At least three of those hail from Michigan. Here’s my fave of that bunch:

Pipers Beer

New Holland Brewing – Dragon’s Milk Bourbon Barrel Stout

In fact, this is probably one of my top ten beers of all time.

I am never disappointed when I order it. For the first time ever, I turned over the bottle to read the back. I love the description and now I have some food pairing ideas! And look at that alcohol percentage. This one could be dangerous! It’s too easy for me to drink…

photo 2 Truthfully, though, I always commend a bar or restaurant that serves local beers. Holland, MI may be a few hours away from Gladwin, but serving beer from your own state is local to me!

Have you had Dragon’s Milk?

Name one beer that would go in your list of Top-10-of-All-Time.

{Yeah, that’s a selfish one to get new brews from you!}