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Where are the donuts?

Just went on one of our "donut adventures" this morning - Decided to give Bogart's Doughnuts a try.

In all honesty, we weren't overly impressed. After all the buzz about lines and sold out doughnuts (or is that donuts?), we *really* wanted to be impressed, but after our first chomp into a lavender cake doughnut, we looked at each other and said, "Mojo Monkey." As in, Mojo is far better.

As we plowed thru the brown butter glazed raised, a triple berry bismark, a chocolate cake, and finally the Nutella bismark, all of them failed on various levels, for various reasons. The over-arching failure seemed to be the heavy dense, almost flavorless dough. The lavender cake lacked overall lavender flavor, which could have been a been more pronounced. I kept thinking that it would be really good with a slight lemon back note too. It was just dense and flat. Next was the brown butter glazed raised doughnut. It was very good and was probably the high point of this adventure, but that too was burdensome and unwieldy. However the brown butter glaze was flavorful and interesting.

We continued on - The triple berry bizmark was heavy, and the filling was especially runny and really seemed to only taste of raspberry. The chocolate cake was dry, dense and not very chocolatey. Finally the Nutella bismark wasn't filled with Nutella infused pastry cream, but was just straight Nutella injected into the bulky pastry.

One notable high point was the coffee. It was quite tasty and rich! However that too was marked with a low point when the top popped off my fellow adventurer's cup in the car on the way home and scalded him with piping hot coffee. spilling it all over the interior of the car.

Gosh, when you drive 15 minutes for an adventure, you certainly hope it to be worth it. In this case, we'll stay closer to home and venture down the hill to greener donut pastures in our own backyard.

The State of Toast in the Twin Cities

Yeah. They crack the eggs, scramble the yolks to titch, throw some seasoning on them (well, at least they did at Edina), cook them, then throw them into a warming tray. They cook six eggs at a time in a special cooking table.

They also have these magical infrared ovens that heat bagel sandwiches in like 45 seconds... Pretty amazing.

All in all, not bad. They've certainly upped the quick-breakfast game. No more frozen and reheated "egg" sponges.

Feb 27, 2015
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

The State of Toast in the Twin Cities

Just as a side note to my egg rant - I picked up a bagel egg sandwich from the Brueggers off of South France Ave in Edina yesterday - and they seasoned their eggs as they cooked them!!! Preach that!!! There is hope yet!

Feb 25, 2015
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

ISO Artichoke Hearts jarred in plain Olive Oil

I stopped by Bills on friday - epic fail. They looked at me as if I had come from an alien planet. Ha!

Some friends suggested Cub - I scoffed at their suggestion - And I was right... So I hit Trader Joe's this afternoon and picked up some of the frozen artichoke hearts - I'll give those try later in the week on a Bacon, Shrimp and Artichoke heart pizza... Hopefully this will be the winning arti-hearts!

Thank to everyone for their suggestions!

Feb 22, 2015
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Banana Cream Pie?

Stumbling on this thread made me think of one of my favorite "Banana Cream Pie" desserts that I've had a few times at a restaurant in Chicago. Bandera on N Michigan Ave has a wonderful deconstructed banana cream pie - I wouldn't be surprised if someone of influence at Redstone had this at Bandera and decided to re-create it. I think I may have first had this at Bandera back in the late 90's.

Bandera
535 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

Feb 22, 2015
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Hola Arepa

+1 - Love this spot! I think this post nails it.

I'm heading there with friends tonight for dinner and drinks. After a long week of very long days/late evenings at work, and boring late dinners by myself, I'm really looking forward to it.

Feb 21, 2015
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

The State of Toast in the Twin Cities

I completely agree! What passes for toast nowadays is a crime against humanity. (and no, I'm not going overboard here! :) If I wanted lightly toasted or slightly warmed bread, that's what I would have asked for... Instead I routinely receive untoasted toast in place of what is described as "Toast" on the menu -- and speaking of breakfasts, don't get me started on the sorry state of "scrambled eggs" (Note to all budding and bloomed cooks and "chefs", flat sheets of unseasoned egg material do NOT qualify as a scrambled egg).

Just because you're in a hurry to get out of the weeds (and even if you aren't), there's no excuse for cooking without some thought that if it's worth doing, do it well.

It takes little or no time to season an egg. In case you weren't paying attention in class, or maybe were sick that day, you may have missed the mention that your job as a cook (or chef) is to properly season food. A pinch of salt and a quick turn of a pepper mill is literally all it takes to elevate boring to extraordinary. (which by itself is sad that I even have to say that.)

If someone doesn't want or can't have salt, they'll tell you. Really.

Feb 21, 2015
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

ISO Artichoke Hearts jarred in plain Olive Oil

I hit Bills Import Foods yesterday over my lunch break (I work not very far from there) - No luck on the olive oil packed varieties. Amazon.com, however, has them --- for $14-$15 (ha!) a jar.

The search continues - Maybe I'll try the frozen ones from Trader Joe's...

Feb 21, 2015
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

ISO Artichoke Hearts jarred in plain Olive Oil

Minneapolitans and St. Paulites - For the life of me I can't seem to find any jarred artichoke hearts that haven't been marinated in vinegar or some Italian-dressing-like concoction... I know you can get artichoke hearts packed in plain olive oil, but I can't seem to find them. My local grocery store doesn't carry them anymore <grumble>.

Any help is much appreciated!

Feb 14, 2015
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Ginger Beer

yup! HFCS... Sorry...

Aug 25, 2014
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Ginger Beer

I don't know. I don't have a can handy to check... Next time I'm by the liquor store, I'll take a peek.

Aug 02, 2014
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Really Fresh Eggs

Shoo Bee - You can email me at s4zando at g mail

Jul 28, 2014
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Really Fresh Eggs

I dont go thru a lot of eggs, but when I need them (for homemade pasta, salad dressings, sauces, etc.), I'd like to use really, good, fresh eggs.

So, I'm attempting to find a source in St Paul for good fresh eggs. (Besides the farmers market) Anyone have a small source in town?

You don't have to do a public shout out here - just let me know and we'll work out detail exchange later.

Jul 27, 2014
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Ginger Beer

My two cents - I'm a huge fan of the Dark and Stormy (Gosling's Dark Seal rum, Ginger Beer, lime squeeze). I've tried these with many kinds of ginger beer. Thus far my favorites are Ward 6's house brew and Gosling's brand.

Luckily, I've found Goslings ginger beer is stocked in my 'hood at First Grand Liquors...

Jul 27, 2014
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP--- Green Chili...? ? ?

+1 to Fat Nats - Try the Green Chili Huevos (with the pork carnitas) or the Green Chili Benedict with Carnitas... The pork is great!

May 03, 2014
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Cheap Dining / Dinner Deals Around Town?

Hey all!

So here's a good topic that could use some help from everyone - Weekly dining deals around the Twin Cities... What do you know about? What have you found? What have you tried and thought, "Yeah, ummm, no." or maybe, "Wow! Now that's a deal!"?

I'm not necessarily talking about $45 dinner and wine deals, but probably the more pedestrian, daily eats, cheapie (or relatively so) kind of stuff...

Here are some examples:
> Kafe 421: Tuesdays - Cheap Date Night, $25 p/couple dinner and wine
> Jakeeno's Pizza: Mondays - All you can eat Spaghetti $6.99
> Bryant Lake Bowl: Mondays - Cheap Date Night: $28 per Couple Includes 2 Entrees, Bottle of Wine (or a Few Beers), and a Round of Bowling!
> Carbone's Pizza (Randolph Ave): $6 Spaghetti Dinner w/Meatballs, Salad, Garlic Loaf bread

You get the idea - $6 plates of pasta, $5 sandwiches, etc. I'd say around $30 for two or less...

Thanks!

Apr 16, 2014
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Nominate: Best Pizza in Minneapolis-StPaul (if you say Dominos, you are banned from chowhound 4 good)

Maverick's Pizza
http://maverickspizza.com/

1215 Randolph Ave. St. Paul, MN 55105
(651) 698-3439

Hours: (Closed Monday
)Sun - Thu 11am - 10pm
Fri & Sat 11am - 11pm

Mar 22, 2014
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Golden Chow Mein on W. 7th

Golden Chow Mien (or as we like to call it, "You Call?!") is one of our faves for Am-Chinese.

The owner at the front desk is a hoot, and probably succeeds as much on her personality as on the food.

Don't expect much ambiance - but the food is pretty solid quality wise, and the prices are more than fair.

The "Special" Chow Mien (made to order), the Sesame Chicken, Lo mien, Egg Rolls, and Pork Fried Rice are all standouts for us. Honestly tho, we've never ordered anything that we haven't liked.

This isn't haute cuisine - It is what it is, but it's certainly better than many of the local competition.

Jan 17, 2014
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Waffles?

We need a Waffle House around these parts. ...or I need to get to Kansas City more often.

Sep 22, 2012
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Chris and Rob's Chicago Taste Authority?

two words: Overpriced dreck.

Uncle Franky's is less expensive and better.

http://www.unclefrankys.com

Sep 22, 2012
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

BBQ places and canned baked beans

There's McDonalds and there's Burger Jones. They both sell hamburgers and shakes. Which is better? (hint: there's no *right* answer)

You're right, some people aren't going to go to a more expensive restaurant and aren't going to pay more. Some people don't find quality worth it and are more fond of quantity. I understand that and I'm OK with that.

Splatgirl's initial message in this thread asked about quality.

So what torques me is restaurants that (try to) pass off canned beans (or doctored canned beans) as homemade. They may not say "homemade" on the menu, but they certainly give you that impression - Meanwhile they are storing dunnage racks of cans in back...

There's cheap BBQ and really good BBQ. Really good costs money. But it's really good.

If you've never been, I'd highly suggest you take a weekend trip to KC and give Jack Stack (among many others) a try. However if you want to experience a BBQ baked bean that is out of this world, Fiorello's Jack Stack is the king.

Aug 12, 2012
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Nominate: Best Pizza in Minneapolis-StPaul (if you say Dominos, you are banned from chowhound 4 good)

You want square cut? I got your square cut right here... I mean over there - at Carbone's on Randolph Ave (a couple blocks west of Snelling Ave) in St. Paul.

Also like Punch (Highland Park over the quick turn-over locations).

Am a fan of Green Mill's Deep Dish as well.

People rave about DiNoko's but I almost died of a heart attack just trying to life the dang thing and carry it out of the store... Sorry, there really is such a thing as too much cheese... DiNoko squarely crosses the line, and then some.

Aug 11, 2012
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Cuban sandwich in Twin Cities

I can't vouch for it's authenticity, but I sure do like Manny Tortas' version... The Manny's Special is a damn fine sammy too.

I tell ya, that man makes a mean sandwich and is the main reason I slog over to MGM (aka MidGloMar)...

Aug 11, 2012
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Hot Dog Bun ??

Good question for which I do not have an answer... WHAT I really want is a GOOD east coast style split top hot dog bun... *swoon*.

What the hell is wrong with bakeries in the midwest? Our hot dog buns are all wrong... They suck for toasting; Your condiments fall out; and they are just stupid.

Seriously, this invention has been perfected - We don't have to stand for mediocre hot dog buns any more...

BAKERS: Win my heart with a real hot dog bun. Please reply here and make me cry tears of joy.

This thread leads me to another thought - God I want an east coast style flat-top grilled hot dog for lunch today.

Aug 11, 2012
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Waffles?

I believe that the counter "syrup" is called Mapleine ("One 2 oz package makes 24 pints!")... Blech - I go for the *real* stuff at Al's...

Aug 11, 2012
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for Pickled Parrot 24 Karat Gold Margarita recipe [Moved from Minneapolis-St. Paul Board]

YOU RAWK!

THANKS!!!

Aug 11, 2012
s4zando in Spirits

BBQ places and canned baked beans

Why spend the money? Because you (as a restauranteur) should give a sh!t about what you sell. Craft a recipe of your own, spend the time, money and adjust the sale price. You should care about putting a quality product out there for sale. If YOU don't care, then why should I? Consequently why should I spend my hard earned money at your establishment?

I have plenty of options for my food-dollars. I choose quality over quantity. I choose care over don't-care. I choose smiles over frowns. I choose service over mediocrity.

Your attitude explains the existence and success of TGIFridays and Olive Garden.

Would you like another bread stick with that?

Aug 11, 2012
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

BBQ places and canned baked beans

Bakers uses canned beans. I've seen the large commercial food service cans stacked on dunnage racks by the bathrooms. I even made note of this fact in me Yelp review of their place.

I have the same complaint -- Why would you buy beans when you can make them for half the cost... That's like an immediate 50% profit... But instead these yo-yo's insist on buying cans, and often doing *nothin* to them. Lame. Waste of my money.

As far as Jack Stack in KC is concerned, they're the real deal. They start with dried beans and work the recipe up from there... Including sitting in the smoker below the smoking meats... OMG are they good.

Jul 21, 2012
s4zando in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for Pickled Parrot 24 Karat Gold Margarita recipe [Moved from Minneapolis-St. Paul Board]

Great idea, except the restaurant is out of business. <sad trombone sound> Which is why I think we're both looking for the recipe.

I think we were sorta hoping a bartender from one of their locations would stumble on this thread...

Feb 18, 2012
s4zando in Spirits

Looking for Pickled Parrot 24 Karat Gold Margarita recipe [Moved from Minneapolis-St. Paul Board]

Me too! Any luck!?

Anyone?

Jan 29, 2012
s4zando in Spirits