rockyd's Profile

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Egg White Powder

You sure Lunds and Byerlys don't carry it? Maybe not on the website, but I swear I have seen it in the stores.

Mar 20, 2014
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Nightingale on Lyndale

Have heard nothing about this place. Glanced at the menu one night months ago, but have not tried it. Anyone?

Feb 02, 2014
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Parka--Never again and worried

Interesting. I live in the neighborhood and we just dined there last night. The place was packed but I too am worried about Parka and their ability to handle the Art Institute kitchen.

My hamburger was OK (what is with the American cheese), the brisket did not look appealing at all. I am not a huge celery fan and so much of it was a turn off. Both salad options we had (the spinach and the roasted sunchoke) were fabulous, however.

The no table service policy is aggravating. Wait to get a table, then go to the counter to order? By the time we left at 8 pm, they were out at least 2 of their 5 entrees. Places like this need a decent system or it will just make everyone nuts. (We accidentally butted in line as there was no one to tell us where to go or what to do. )

At the museum, speed is somewhat important. I go for the art, and if I am hungry, I usually want a quick nibble not an hour long affair. And, with the menu Parka has now, I can think of a dozen friends who would find nothing to eat because of tastes or food allergies.

Overall, I have had OK food and service there. We generally avoid the peak periods and after last night, I know why.

Nov 24, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Village Wok goes downhill

I agree. I work around the corner and stopped there for lunch not too long ago. Just not good. It used to be so fabulous. And yes, a good cleaning would help (but that is true for the Big 10 next door, too.)

Sep 03, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Wine bars

Went to Toast. It was exactly what we were looking for.

We sat outside, not loud, not rushed. Tables seemed to turn over on a somewhat regular basis. The place is very much a neighborhood joint...lots of dogs and lots of people who seemed to know the servers.

Wine choices were extensive and interesting and server was knowledgeable and gave us a couple of "tastes" so we could make some decisions.

The do not have flights (which I generally enjoy), but do offer half glasses so you can have a little variety. I am quite a lightweight so two half glasses is all I can do. Glasses were in the $7-10 range with a few well beyond that. (not sure what they charged for half glasses as I did not pay the bill.)

Food choices were also good. We had the spanish cheese and meat plate and one of the polentas. Plenty of food.

Not cheap, but a perfect evening and just what we wanted to celebrate our 15th anniversary. thanks for the suggestions.

Street parking was free and not a problem (no Twins game).

I would go back in a minute and look forward to checking out what it is like inside on a less perfect weather evening.

Aug 23, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Wine bars

A quick search for wine bars shows there has been no new discussion in quite awhile.

Looking for someplace for a Friday night, good wine selection AND good food. Not really loud and a place one can actually find a seat, please. Would the bar at La Belle Vie be an idea?

Riverview is close but always kind of food disappointment. I admit, I haven't been anywhere else recently.

Suggestion appreciated (Mpls or St. Paul proper most appreciated.)

Aug 20, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Sea Salt waiting time

I have not been to Sea Salt this year. I have been frustrated in the past by the long lines and long wait times for food. I have family coming to town next week (Friday) and was wondering how things are working there this year. It would be the perfect place for an early lunch if I thought we could get in and out in an hour or so. (The last time I was there, my fish taco took 45 minutes and that was after the half hour in line.)

Please share thoughts or tricks and timing (better to go at 11:30 or 1:30?)

Aug 06, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Girls dinner out

Yes, Bar La Grassa....thanks.

Jul 10, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Girls dinner out

The food at la Brassa is great.

I think the noise is almost unbearable when it is busy and last time I went with a group, I could only talk to the person immediately next to me as I could not hear anyone else.

Jul 09, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Girls dinner out

Inexpensive is relative. Here are a couple of my suggestions based on what I think is inexpensive for a birthday dinner with a small group of 4-6 people in mind.

i would think most thai and vietanmese places are out due to the shellfish allergy. (Shrimp paste is in almost everything Thai.)

I have had some nice group dinners at Scusi on St. Clair and it can be moderately priced depending on how you order. The salads and entrees are designed to be shared. Reservations are a must.

I think the Barbary Fig would be fun, but the menu may be limited for unadventurous people. (wine and beer only.)

Its Greek to Me on Lake and Lyndale might fit the bill. The food is OK, but my friends swear by the bartender. If you can get on the patio, it is really nice out there.

If South is the preference, how about Indian (Surabi in Bloominton) or mexican(not a cusine I eat often so no suggestions for you.)

Jul 08, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Perry's--downtown, good steak, too much salt

I didn't see anything recent on Chowhound about Perry's. I was in Austin for a family wedding and I dined there with family. Our service was attentive and the food was overall good (perfectly cooked steaks, yummy desserts.) And since I did not pay, maybe I don't have the right to complain.

The place just missed the mark for me in terms of food. My dining companions were all much happier than I, so take this with a grain of salt...(a little humor if you read the rest of this review.)

My salad was over dressed and salty (and I had asked for the dressing on the side to begin with.) My steak was done as requested and I shared with another member of my party, and they split it for us which was great. It was really salty. I asked for my sauce on the side and I was happy I did because it was also overly salted. The combination of the already salted steak and the sauce was too much. Brocollini well cooked, but too salty, the lyonaise potatoes were very crisp, but were, yes, over salted. The creamed spinach was nice, but over nutmeged(is that a word). I am not all that sensitive to salt, but wow, thank god they kept the water coming.

The bread pudding was enough for 4 and others were very able to share desserts.

It was perfect for our group, but if I lived in Austin I might seek another location or remember to order things unseasoned and do some of the salting myself.

Jul 07, 2013
rockyd in Austin

Quiet Coffee Shop on or near Lake St.

Often have met people at Blue Moon (39th and Lake) can be busy, but never thought it was loud.

Also Jackson's at Bryant and Lake has pretty spread out tables so one could have a fairly confidential conversation.

Jun 07, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Dinner near Macalester College

Not been, but hear raves about Joan's in the Park which I just noticed you mentioned down the post. Meritage always gets shout outs, but their menu rarely inspires me personnally.

Jun 04, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Candy Store (MSP)

Candy Jar-38th and Cedar. I like it's old school feel.

May 31, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Anniversary dinner

Great suggestion...always good food and almost never too loud to hear your companion.

May 15, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Anniversary dinner

Without any sense of location or preference, there is a infinite universe. So, three places that have a more "romantic" feel.

Our go to spot is Grand Cafe. You could get out for $100 if you order well, but easy to go over that. I love the feel of the place (better after dark.)

Another odd little intimate space is 128 Cafe on Cleveland across from St. Thomas. Yes, it is a basement, but I find it a nice place to connect with my dining companion.

And, Al Vento is another favorite, but can generate quite an array of opinions on this board.

May 14, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Who has best scones in Twins Cities

Rustica has the best texture and flavor.

May 14, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Source for buffalo mozzarella and OO flour

I would suggest Buon Giorno in Lilydale, they have a great cheese selection and usually 00 flourer.

Feb 18, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Date night within 15-20 minute drive of Como Park

Someone needs to explain the Strip Club to me. I don't get it. I had a mediocre, and really expensive meal there. Service was indifferent and the space not all that cozy. Why do you like it so much?

Feb 12, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Date night within 15-20 minute drive of Como Park

+ 1 for Ngon, but also since you are going so early, lots of options in my mind.

-Muffuletta (the only Parsole place I like)
-Cafe Biaggio-on University (generally quiet on the weekend, at that time you might be alone.)
-Craftsman (might be 25 minutes and little pricey, depends how you order-but I love the space and feel is quiet and adult)
Also look at the places along Selby and Dale/Western (La Grolla, kind of sweet space, or Moscow on the Hill (never been.)

Feb 12, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for Spanish Chorizo

Kitchen Window and Clancy's both carry spanish chorizo.

Feb 05, 2013
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Gruyere at the Best Price

I have had good luck with the Comte at Costco. Big hunk, but as you indicated, it has lots of uses.

Dec 11, 2012
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

El Mason-closed!

Embarrassed I cannot spell or type--El Meson, what was I thinking.

Oct 11, 2012
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

El Mason-closed!

So sad to read this in the paper this morning. El Mason was a frequent (every couple of months) mid week stop for us. The food was almost always good and the prices reasonable. It had that nice combination of feeling like more than a burger joint, but not quite fussy and pretentious. You could get a nice glass of wine without cashing in bonds, too. I will personally miss it. (The space was in need of some sprucing, but no complaints other than that.)

Cafe Ena is great, but a little harder to get to from my end of the world and bit more than I spend on a mid week meal. (There is something about that over $20 entree price point that still hits me as making a place more "special occasion." )

So, where do we go now for a good Spanish/latin-influenced meal?

Oct 11, 2012
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

La Grolla

I just had a lovely happy hour experience at La Grolla last night. The calamari was very nice (the zuchinni that came with it a bit greasy) and gnocci was pretty good too (thought I am not sure I have a sense of the perfect gnocci, only what I enjoy.) I haven not eaten there in years and was meeting a friend. I thought the patio would be nice; the weather was not. Has anyone had dinner there lately? I am just wondering if my mini meal was representative of a whole dining experience.

The Happy Hour by the way is a great deal. My $3 glass of pinot grigio was perfect for the evening and $6 apps were great. It was less than $40 for two--I was stuffed and we had dessert!

Jul 19, 2012
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Birdhouse Opening

I did go for breakfast in the last week. It was good. My husband's quiche was tasty and crustless and came with very fresh greens. The portion was small. My omelet was very good. A friend had the wild rice pancakes. They were good, but dry (I think that is the nature of wild rice pancakes.) They came with plenty of butter and syrup and she could not finish them as she found them very filling. The house made sausage was well received...I am not a sausage fan.

All in all, it was fine. The place was very quiet, the patio looked pleasant (if it hadn't been 90 degrees outside). Service was efficient. We ate early on a Saturday and were almost alone.

I would go back, but not sure I would race back. It was pricey (omelete and quiche both about $10) and if you are looking for big piles of food, this is not a good choice.

I scanned the dinner menu and now cannot remember any of it. So either it did not impress me or I am just losing my memory (both distinct possibilities.) I will look forward to hearing from someone who dined there for dinner.

Jul 09, 2012
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Dinner near Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis

Vincent-- a few blocks down on Nicollet. Always good and quiet enough you can carry on a conversation.

Jul 08, 2012
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul

business dinner near Minnetonka or Wayzata

I believe he is staying at 169 and 394. He is not too far from the whole host or places in St. Louis Park--at West End. I have enjoyed the Cooper, but there a bunch of other places in the area, too. http://www.cooperpub.com/. Easy to get to, relatively easy parking for multiple cars if not everyone fits in one. Blue Point is lovely and if your expense account can handle it, that is a great suggestion.

Jun 07, 2012
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul


I was in Tacoma on business and we ended up at Indochine at 1924 Pacific Avenue. The food was indeed delicious, but the serving sizes were huge! I wish our server had told us how significantly we over ordered. It kind of made me mad since I was in a hotel and didn't really have an option to take any leftovers home.

The crunchy tofu app was great. It must have been a pound of tofu. The spring rolls were fresh and the serving size a bit more reasonable. The potstickers were not my favorite-too porky for me, but I think there were at least 10 of them on the plate. (Ah, you start to see the problem. We were all famished and each ordered our own appetizer only to see they were not designed for single person consumption.)

I got the tuna--very nicely prepared and tasty. I didn't try the salmon, but my co-worker enjoyed it. The walnut shrimp was good, too many lycees for my taste and the sauce reminded me of a good Minnesota fruit salad with kind of sweet dressing. The honey walnuts were the best part by far.

The atmosphere is very pleasant, and if the weather had been better a nice after dinner walk would have been very possible.

To all restaurants: if you have huge portions, great. Just let some innocent out-of-town guest have a clue!

May 26, 2012
rockyd in Greater Seattle

How to get up and down University Ave

I think the trick is to know the cross street. There are often back alley access paths to parking lots or at least off street parking. Last year I was able to get to On's without driving on University at all.

Apr 11, 2012
rockyd in Minneapolis-St. Paul