Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Epic Sandwich: Be'Wiched Deli

Egg salad is boring, right? Nope, not at Be'Wiched deli. Take something typical and put it in the hands of folks who take the time to make it from scratch and anything can be awesome. Full review here.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Epic Sandwich: Chatterbox Pub

I was hoping to find a fun way to wrap up a great Sunday so I decided to head over to Chatterbox Pub for some drinks, food and a little cheap entertainment. I had a great time, but was the food any good? Find out here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Il Gatto and the killer salad

I didn't have high hopes for Il Gatto, though I admit that it wasn't exactly fair. I had become totally bored with Figlio and was excited that a new concept was coming into the space, but for whatever reason I couldn't get too excited for it. I was however, excited to meet a few friends for dinner a few Fridays ago, though we were in the heart of Lent, and none of us could eat meat. We decided a pasta/seafood joint would offer enough variety to get us through, and figured it would be a good time to try Il Gatto.

The one thing I was willing to admit right off the bat, is that I like the ambiance and layout much better at Il Gatto. Thank God they did something about the bar. We perused the wine list and ordered a few glasses before jumping on the main menu. I decided I'd get a simple margherita pizza since I had heard their pizza was good and wanted to start the meal off with their isalata rucola. The salad, was quite simply, one of the best I'd had all year (The winter caprese at Broders' still take the cake). The greens were spot on, the dressing strong, yet not overpowering and the portion perfectly arranged. The cherry tomatoes and diced peppers provided a sweetness that helped offset the powerful, but pleasant citrus vinaigrette and the peppery arugula proved a bitter foil for the sweetness and tatartness of the lemon. Lastly, the grana padano rounded out this sweet, bitter, tart and salty plate. All of the flavors were loud, yet balanced by the power of their companions -- good company indeed.

I have to say that the fall off from there was fast. The pizza I ordered had a great crust with plenty of crackle, char and pull. The sauce, However, was about as entertaining as a Jennifer Aniston flick. The mozzarella, though homemade, was pretty pedestrian and the basil alone couldn't overcome the other short comings. A margherita pizza can be a thing of beauty built on simplicity, but this execution just fell short. A sample of Jessi's three cheese ravioli proved rich, strong and all-together overwhelming, wearing the senses out as quickly as an overly-hopped IPA.

So the experience was mixed, but I'll give Il Gatto another shot when I can go back and explore the menu a little more, but again, my hopes won't be too high, though I'd love to be proven wrong.

Happy Eating,


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pizza Time!

I was reading through the SW Journal and almost jumped out of my pants when I read a short describing that one of my beloved corners is going to be adding a pizzeria! Never mind the increase in house value, I'm psyched for another potentially stellar SW eatery. Did I mention that I'm pumped!?

Anyways, a pizzeria called Lola's is going into the old Xerxes Market space and is literally stumbling distance from my place. It's also adjacent to Cave Vin, which is another stellar spot. This could be the next hot food corner! I'm so blessed to be so close to Broders', Cafe Maude and Cave Vin and now there's going to be a brand new spot to frequent. I can't get too excited considering I haven't tried a single slice yet, but if they live up to their "Cafe Maude meets Punch" Punch projections I could have a real winner across the street. Looks like the opening won't be until Aug/Sept --Vegas odds on that getting pushed? I for one can't wait!

I will also say that I hope there is room for this new joint and that Michelangelo's and Lake Harriet Pizza will continue to flourish - there's nor reason we can't support all these great local businesses!

Happy Eating,


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Busy and Well Fed Week

On Monday, the talented and hilarious guys that produce The Well Fed Guide to Life had a temporary lapse in judgment and invited me to be a guest on their show. We met at Cupcake in Minneapolis (home of seriously good sweets) to discuss my blog and other food related topics as well as the Oscars. These guys put on a brutally honest and an extremely entertaining show and I suggest you check them out. They usually record at local establishments and cover a wide variety of topics and give a pretty insightful run-down of their surroundings and the food they serve.

I also hit Falafel King--home of killer falafel for this week's Epic Sandwich feature. Check out the full review here.

Happy Eating,


Thursday, March 4, 2010

Galactic Pizza

Friday nights during Lent are usually reserved for pizza or a good-old fish fry. I made a tasty tuna salad for lunch, so it was time for pizza. We headed over to Galactic Pizza in the Lyn-Lake neighborhood (sandwiched between The Lyndale Tap House and Tiger Sushi) and quickly realized that it's a pretty darn unique place. Just about everyone is familiar with their super hero-styled delivery drivers and the corresponding electric cars, but you may not know that they've created other initiatives such as leveraging wind energy and creating an extensive waste reduction program.

You'd think all these extras would lead to some sort of gong show that limited the end product, but I don't think that's the case at all. Galactic leverages fresh, local and organic ingredients whenever they can and the ingredients are often coupled to make eccentric and unique combinations. Take the "Thailander" featuring green onions, bean sprouts, shredded carrots, crushed peanuts, cilantro, marinated chicken and mozzarella as an example. It's like pad thai woven into a pie. The "Paul Bunyan" features a unique blend of MN ingredients including morel mushrooms, wild rice and bison sausage. Sounds interesting for sure, but you definitely get the vibe that this place is run by some pretty free spirits - as illustrated by the 5 minute break our waitress took. Hmmm, what could one accomplish in only 5 minutes? Needless to say she seemed very relaxed (but still attentive) when she came back.

Jess and I ordered the "Organic Veggie" featuring mozz, button mushrooms, roma tomatoes, green peppers and onions in accordance with my vegetarian experiment. The veggies were fresh, but lacked any true excitement - pretty common for produce this time of year. However, the mozz was fresh, evenly melted and incorporated just the right hint of salt as it mingled with the zesty, but balanced sauce. Thankfully, Galactic didn't go overboard on either the cheese or the sauce -- a critical mistake in several MN pie shops. Thankfully, the crust was relatively thin for the "hand tossed" variety and was prepared at a temperature that creates a nice char and crackly edges amounting to a more flavorful crust. I'll definitely head back to the friendly folks at Galactic, but hope to try one of the more exciting pies on my return trip.

Happy Eating,


Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Epic Sandwich: The Good Earth's Planet Burger

The Epic Sandwich feature may be a bit more difficult than usual with my new diet habits, but I'm also viewing it as a bit of an adventure, or an opportunity to try things I normally wouldn't. Take the Planet Burger at the Good Earth for instance. Never would have tried that on my own! Full review here.
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