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semanticantics's Profile

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Gift ideas

Penzey's Spice would be another solid option.

Nov 13, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Gift ideas

Surdyk's. Who doesn't like booze and cheese? Plus truffle butter, duck confit, olives, oils, preserves, chocolates, etc.

Another suggestion would be seeking out Oregon Truffles online. They aren't as good as the real McCoy's (still very good), but they are one millionth the price.

Nov 13, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Prepared/Take-out to Keep in the Fridge for Microwaving/Reheating..

Been to Dosa King?

Nov 12, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Travail

I thought it was 8, and $1000 reservation for all you can eat / drink.

Nov 10, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Homi - the best Mexican restaurant in the Twin Cities

My food was terribly bland, but more interesting was what was on the televisions when I went. A movie from the "Blade" series, with a guy missing half his face, and a real crime show featuring a dogs hurt in dog fighting rings.

Nov 08, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Homi - the best Mexican restaurant in the Twin Cities

Adelita's is some of the worse food I've ever had.

Nov 08, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Travail

They shut down last night too.

Nov 07, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Travail

Travail isn't open Mondays.

But going with someone else is a good suggestion.

Nov 06, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Minneapolis-St. Paul Dish of the Month (Nov 2012) Voting

Can't think of more than 2 places that serve chili (Wendy's being one of them) or Cassoulet. Spring Rolls is somewhat-similar establishments as Pho.

So OMELETS.

Oct 29, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

New St. Paul Restaurants

Wuollet's is over priced and below average. They are consistently on Deal of the Day sites (indicating just how overpriced they are, also possibly desperate).

Oct 29, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Pham's Wondrous Asian Kitchen Closed

That and $20 Pad Thai...

[Edit] Forgot about the retooling of the failed menu to nonsense burger fusion. Oof.

Oct 19, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Place to buy Sichuan peppercorn in MSP

Dragon Star or Sun Foods might have them.

Oct 16, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Left-Handed Cook

There is street and a lot with meters. LHC is inside the Midtown Global Market.

Oct 12, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Mushroom Pâté

Please do, and I'd be interested to know if they specify types, if anything exotic is used.

Oct 10, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

D Spot in East Metro

What are you even talking about? Maplewood location (the one that actually exists) has prices and flavors.

Oct 09, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

D Spot in East Metro

Websites aren't cheap. Can you call ahead?

Oct 08, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Mushroom Pâté

Try Kowalski's or Lund's yet?

Birdhouse has one on their menu. Fungi Perfecti.com or Earthy.com might sell one. I'm a bit of a mushroom nerd / forager, I'll see if anyone knows anything.

Oct 08, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Oysterfest at Meritage Meltdown

That's the issue in a nutshell. A money grab versus an event for your loyal, and possibly new, customers to generate buzz and a little press that still generates a profit. Sounds like they had it right last year and dropped the ball this year, specifically because they oversold tickets at the gate.

Oct 02, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Oysterfest at Meritage Meltdown

As a gesture of apology and appreciation; all VIP Pass Holders will be offered a complimentary dozen oysters at Meritage on their next visit, just bring in your pass.

We have listened to your feedback. It's no easy thing to put together a festival, and will continue to learn & refine.

[Customer]What if we threw the pass away? will you still honor this if we bring in our receipt showing we purchased our passes?

Meritage - St. Paul Restaurant We have a log of all passes, if you have your receipt number that will be enough, we can cross reference.

[Customer]I know you put a ton of work into this and I really hope you do another. But yes, I do have to say that I didn't even get 1/3 of the oysters I was able to eat last year...and I was first in line at the tables at noon. It was a 20-30 deep line after 1pm and at that point I left in frustration. I would be willing to pay extra for a super VIP pass with a dedicated shucker! Anyway, love what you are doing at Meritage and this is still a great event. See you at dinner sometime soon!

Meritage - St. Paul Restaurant thank you for your grace. I think our largest problem was that everyone was extremely punctual - and we have learned from this year that if we do another Oysterfest we are going to have to have all ticket sales be advanced sales and that's it.

The lines that formed for same-day ticket sales were around the corner by 11:30am, which created almost immediate lines.

We did hear and observe the lines lightening up by about 2:00pm (with 6 more hours to fest!). We had another guest suggest a staggered in-time with advanced arrival for VIP Pass holders - we thought it was a pretty great idea... We take all of this seriously and thank you for your feedback.

Oct 01, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Oysterfest at Meritage Meltdown

It looks like they are listening and addressing concerns on their Facebook page. It ultimately sounds like they need to make it pre-sale tickets only and increase staff. Looks like they are offering a dozen oysters of your choosing as a make up in the restaurant.

Oct 01, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Meritage or Heartland or somewhere else?

WA Frost has been supporting local farmers for a couple of decades. Maybe not to the level / fanfare of Heartland, but they do. Was at Frost last Friday night down in the lodge for drinks and happy hour snacks, everything was really great and a perfect little evening.

Sep 25, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Meritage or Heartland or somewhere else?

Meritage is a touch noisy, but it's a matter of the acoustics vs. crowd.

Meritage was the best meal of my life (did a 5 course tasting two years ago). I've twice had the prix fix at Heartland and left both times hungry and wondering where my money went. My vote would be for Meritage between the two.

For somewhere else, Ngon is nice, as is WA Frost (i like to get easy food in the bar or better yet, downstairs in the cozy lounge). Cheng Heng is a Cambodian restaurant on University that is hole in the wall but tasty.

Sep 24, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Another TC's sojourn begins.

When I think of a "pub", I of course think of Guinness, chips and salsa, and pizza. Oy.

Sep 21, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Next weekend in MSP

Lund's definitely has a great cheese selection (well, the ones I've been to), but you're going to pay for it. A lot. Kowalski's are the same way, great selection, shocking prices.

Also, Surdyk's will give you a taste if you're curious about something. Don't know if everyone does that. They are also generally knowledgeable about pairing cheese with a wine or other things.

The only better cheese shop I've been to was in Glasgow and the cheese were just on a counter, unrefrigerated. It was heavenly.

Sep 20, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Next weekend in MSP

Surdyk's for cheese. Period. I like the stuff out of the left-most case of the counter.

Double check Bachelor Farmer doesn't need reservations, that is a hard get, but maybe it's different for brunch?

Patisserie 46 is a bakeshop you might want to investigate.

Travail is definitely worth the trouble (you have to line up before 4:30 to get in when they open at 5, or you're looking at a possible 2+ hour wait). It's the most adventurous / fun / foodie option on your list. It's only 10 minutes from downtown, so maybe not too terrible a cab fare. Victory 44 is a great second option if you venture that direction but can't nail the logistics of Travail, though I find it a bit more expensive / portion.

Sep 20, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Place to Buy Porterhouse or NY Strip Steak for the Grill

I've noted in previous threads that Widmer's in St. Paul has a great reputation. Maybe search the threads for them?

Sep 20, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Victory 44

I went to V44 Saturday. I was in the area to visit a couple of friends. There is a new, slightly more formal feel to the proceedings. It appears as though there are dedicated servers along with the cheferver V44 is known for. They also appear to be taking reservations, when we showed up the place was only half full, but the only table available was on the patio (which worked out great).

Our server was friendly and attentive, but seemed a bit nervous. He also didn't seem super keyed into all of the minutia of the menu / plates, which indicated to me he wasn't also putting the dish together. This is absolutely not a complaint, just an observation. All of the servers (as there can be a team aspect) were prone to over-explaining, again lending to the more formal feel.

Anyways, the food was really good. The menu had more vegetarian options for me than typical (seems to have been 1 options for as long as I can remember, 4 viable options this weekend). I got the Beets and Tomato dish, my friends got Asparagus & Mushrooms and the Brisket. I had inquired about the mushrooms in the one dish, but was disappointed to hear the mushrooms were mundane, store bought varieties, nothing in season / wild. Both of my dishes were very good, one of the tomatoes was a hair underripe, and the beet dish overall was quite tart throughout, with nothing to really cut that tang. Both of my friends appeared happy with their food, the brisket was house smoked and then cooked for a very long time, looked super moist / tender. But as is usual with V44, their is a slight disconnect between the portion and price. I understand the concept of smaller, tastier dishes, but V44 is noticeably more expensive per dish than Travail (whom they will likely always be compared to, and vice versa) , for slightly less food. Maybe this is the cost of supporting a small business in an out of the way neighborhood. I decided against dessert, I wasn't really interested in what was on offer, but if they were slightly less expensive than $8 - 10 per, I might've taken a flyer on one.

Overall, I'd rate this experience a 36 out of 44 (there was a comment card looking for a score of 1 - 44). Pretty good with some minor quibbles.

Sep 17, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Hole-in-the-wall eats recommendations

I was just guessing the original poster wouldn't know what Mama's was by name.

Sep 14, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Hole-in-the-wall eats recommendations

Mama's is pizza, fyi.

Taqueria El Ranchito in Richfield.

Sep 11, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Heritage pork availability in the MSP area

I'm not a meat eater, but I definitely noticed Berkshire pork on offer at the St. Paul Farmers Market this past weekend.

Sep 11, 2012
semanticantics in Minneapolis-St. Paul