eajohnso2000's Profile

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I get it at the St. Paul Farmer's Market. Grass Roots Gourmet in the Midtown Global Market carries their products, as do various co-ops, I believe.

Jan 29, 2014
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul


I've been getting Prairie Pride bacon for the past few years. I rarely get any other kind, maybe once in a while when it is on sale. The usual store brands don't compare at all. PP has a nice smoky flavor and has a good fat content so you can either keep it chewy or crisp it up.

Jan 29, 2014
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Broder's Recommendations?

+1 on the tagliarini. My husband gets that every time we go and I usually get the other dish he wanted to try but fears doing so because it won't be as good as the tagliarini.

Jan 29, 2014
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Trip Report Oct. 3-6

I used Chowhound quite a bit to plan a recent trip to Portland, so I thought I would return the favor by posting a trip report. DH and I spent a long weekend in Portland. Our appetites were somewhat stifled by lingering colds but we enjoyed our trip nonetheless.

Coffee: I'm not a huge coffee drinker but I did sample a cappucino at Spella, Public Domain and Stumptown. Spella was far and away the best.

Food Trucks: This endeavor was limited by our lack of appetite and that we thought the trucks would be closed on Saturday...many were open. I got dumplings from The Dump Truck: sweet potato curry, portabello mushroom, pork and ginger. The sweet potato dumplings were the best. DH got tacos and tamales from La Jarochita. These were both not good at all. They had no taste and the spice level was just heat with no flavor.

Wine: We took one day in the Willamette Valley and went to Arborbrook, Trisaetum, DePonte and Beaux Freres.

We visted the SE Wine Collective on SE Division Street in Portland proper. We loved this place and went twice. We even got to watch as grapes were being delivered and they started to sorting process. Our favorite wine from SE was a 2011 Pinot Noir from Vincent Wine Company.

We went to a small wine bar called Oregon Wines on Broadway. We really wanted to like this place. We really did. They had many wines from places we weren't able to visit in our limited time in Willamette: Patricia Green, Soter, Stoller, Brick House. Unfortunately, we felt somewhat ignored in favor of a group of about 10 or so regulars. The service and atmosphere was lacking. We ended up leaving after only a couple of tastes.

Whiskey Soda Lounge: The wait for Pok Pok was 2 hours on a Saturday night so we went with the first come, first serve lounge. We ordered the Ike's Wings, deep fried anchovies with sricha sauce, dry-roasted peanuts and Jin Tup Roht Dii (flank steak with a chile-galangal dipping sauce). We liked the steak the best. Both DH and I could only eat two of the wings; they were really salty. We weren't blown away by this meal. Maybe we should have waited for Pok Pok instead.

Lardo: Lardo Fries, Pork Meatball Bahn Mi, special of the day Turkey Dinner sandwich (turkey, stuffing, cranberry spread). I thought the pork meatballs were too sweet in the bahn mi, but that is probably just a personal preference. The turkey dinner sandwich was fine, nothing special. DH and I frequent a sandwich shop at home that does a turkey/brie/cranberry combo that is much better so I think Lardo suffered in comparison.

Pine State Biscuits at PSU Farmer's Market: The Chatfield (fried chicken, bacon, cheese, apple butter). I really liked this sandwich. The apple butter cut the grease and fat of the bacon and chicken to make a nice sweet and savory combination. Note on the biscuits: I read about the Lauretta Jean v. Pine State debate on this board. I did not try Lauretta Jean but I did note walking by that their biscuits were much fluffier and had more layers than the flatter Pine State biscuits.

Roe: Far and away the best meal in Portland and one of the better meals I've had in the past few years. DH and I did the "Guest's Choice" menu and each got something different from the four courses. I meant to take the menu with me but forgot...probably the result of the wine pairings. The best bites, however, were an appetizer that involved big eye tuna sashimi and a second course with shrimp. Sorry I can't be more descriptive. Overall, just an excellent meal.

Thanks again for all the postings. It was a great help in planning the trip.

Oct 31, 2013
eajohnso2000 in Metro Portland

High Tea in Minneapolis?

Lady Elegant's in Como in St. Paul...I've never been but passed by it a few times visiting a bridal shop that is no longer in business (Milton's).


May 06, 2013
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

City Pages "Restaurant Guide"

Actually,I think Sea Salt in the summer is very kid-friendly. You have the whole park to wander around in while waiting for food and sitting outdoors lessens the impact when, say, your two year old decides to shriek at the top of his lungs.

Mar 08, 2013
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Anyone been to Ward 6?

I went to Ward 6 this weekend for brunch. I had the bloody Mary, the Welsh Rabbit and the table split the beignets. I liked the bloody Mary. They infuse the vodka with garlic, horseradish and black pepper, so it had a nice kick, which I like. The garnishes were nothing special, however, especially when compared to a place like the Bulldog NE with Kramarcuk's beef sticks.

I have never been to New Orleans but I really enjoyed the beignets. They came still warm and three were enough for our table of four to share.

The Welsh Rabbit was two pieces of wheat toast, broiled tomato, fried egg and cheese sauce. I have never had this dish before so I have no basis for comparison. The fried egg seemed more like it was scrambled and it got really soggy in the cheese sauce. I liked the cheese sauce alot and wished I had some hashbrowns or fries to sop it up.

The portions were smaller, both from what I had and what I observed. I liked not having a big greasy brunch plate. I also thought the prices seemed in line with portions. This was just for brunch, mind you, and they did not have any other menus available at the time.

I don't think I would necessarily make a special trip to Ward 6 but would consider it for a drink and a bite if I needed a place to meet on the East side.

Feb 25, 2013
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Ramen - Minneapolis-St. Paul Dish of the Month (Dec 2012)

I had the pork belly ramen at Masu last week. This was my first experience with ramen that wasn't of the 25 cents per package variety. So, I am not really sure what I should have been expecting.

I really liked the noodles, nice and chewy but not gummy or soft. I also liked the greens.

The pork belly and shoulder were both fine, nothing out of the ordinary.

I was diappointed with the broth. It did not have as much flavor as I would have liked, in fact, I thought it was rather bland on its own. Maybe the broth is supposed to be as such but I would have preferred a deeper flavor, something more savory that you could consume on its own.

While the ramen was fine, I would try other ramen before returning to this one.

Dec 27, 2012
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Personal "go to" place shares.

+1 for Cleveland Wok for American Chinese delivery.

Dec 17, 2012
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Personal "go to" place shares.

Sea Salt for calamari and a pitcher of Surly
Shamrocks/The Nook for burgers
Broders for the taglairini di Locando del Lupo
NE Bulldog for the Venezuelan Hot Dog (me) and the Truffle Burger (husband)

Dec 12, 2012
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Gift ideas

I gave coffee from local roasters one year that went over well. Especially popular - not for the politics but for the flavor - was the Obama Blend (half Kona, half Kenyan) from J&S Bean Factory in St. Paul.

Also, I just found out that Legacy Chocolate (used to be open on Marshall Avenue in St. Paul) is now back with some items at the Haskell's in Highland Park. I recall they had a good hot cocoa mix and this liquid chocolate stuff that was awesome.

Nov 20, 2012
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Omelets - Dish of the Month Minneapolis (Nov 2012)

I went to Fat Nat's Eggs in New Brighton. I ordered the Fat Nat's Supremo Omelette: 3 eggs, chorizo, cheese, onions, tomato covered in Hatch green chili, served over home fries. I don't know if I had already had too much coffee so my tastebuds were dulled, but I was expecting more spicyness. It was fine, just nothing special.

However, I only ate half of the omelette and brought the rest home. Two days later, it was much better. I think the flavors had time to meld. I tasted more chorizo spice and the cheese was nice and gooey. The hatch green chili sauce had a nice smoky flavor.

Overall, I would go to Fat Nat's again but would probably try a different omelette...perhaps the Emily or the Jacob.

Nov 20, 2012
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Kid-friendly in Eagan/Mendota area?

Also, here is a thread about baby and toddler friendly places. Its more focused on Minneapolis/St. Paul but you mentioned you are okay with a 20 minute drive or so.


Nov 09, 2012
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Kid-friendly in Eagan/Mendota area?

Its not mindblowing in terms of food (in fact, some CH'ers do not like it all all), but Chatterbox in Highland Park in Saint Paul has worked well for us with almost two year old.

Also, there is seating at the Buon Giorno Italian Market in Lilydale. The food was okay when we went a few years ago (pre-toddler), but I have often seen families there when we go to to I Nonni next door (without the kiddo, of course). Its cafeteria style, if that makes a difference.

Nov 09, 2012
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Oysterfest at Meritage Meltdown

I arrived at around 4:00 and had about a 15 minute wait for oysters. By the time we got out of the 5:00 oyster class, there was almost no wait. Hog Island did run out of oysters, though.

Despite the lines, we would go back. This is the kind of event I definitely want to support.

Oct 02, 2012
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

where did the smoked trout from mpls farmer's market go?

Star Prairie is also at the St. Paul Farmer's Market on Saturdays, both the main location in Lowertown and the Highland Village location.

Aug 03, 2011
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Brewery Tours around the Twin Cities

Summit in St. Paul has brewery tours on Saturdays. Surly has tours on Fridays from 6 to 8, I believe, but they always seemed to be booked. You will probably want to call for reservations at either spot.

Sep 14, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for _really_ good pie

I have co-workers who swear by Joseph's in Stillwater. I haven't tried their pies, so I can't vouch for that opinion.

Jul 30, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza: MSP

I also went to Black Sheep last night, but a first time trip for me. I went with my in-laws and husband. Husband was pleased to see Fulton on tap. We ordered the meatball, ricotta and garlic and the tomato, green pepper and kalamata olive pizzas. Overall, we all really enjoyed the pizza. Great thin crispy crust and nice fresh ingredients. All of the staff were exceptionally nice; even the employee mopping the floor by the bathroom! We will definitely go back, as this is a spot I want to support.

Jul 22, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Restaurant Alma

I was also there on Saturday night with my husband. We were both very impressed with our tasting menu choices. The highlights for me were the swiss chard souffle and the lemon orzo pasta. My husband found the duck confit dish to be outstanding.

We will definitely be back.

Jul 19, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

New Farmer's Market STP

Another farmer's market also just started in Highland Village behind the Starbucks/Barnes and Noble building. Its on Saturday mornings from 7:30 to 11:00, I think.

Jun 18, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best outdoor patios in Twin Cities

Sweeney's (food isn't great, though)
Black Forest Inn

Black Forest Inn
1 E 26th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Jun 04, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Private Cooking Class for 4 People

I came across this chef at a CSA fair. I don't know her prices or have any reviews, however.


May 31, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Thoughts on Duplex?

I am likely going to Duplex for the first time this weekend. From my search of the board, Duplex seems to be regarded well, but I could not find any specific reviews or discussion of their food. Any suggestions on dishes I should try or dishes to skip?

May 06, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Outdoor dining in NE?

Psycho Suzi's has a nice deck/patio area. Also, the restaurants (Pracna, Vic's, Tuggs)along the river at St. Anthony Main are a great location, although the food, in my opinion, is average at best.

Apr 07, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Ft Myers Trip Notes, Pt. II

If I recall, there were two other branches of Blu Sushi but I don't remember where. We just chose the one closest to our hotel. It was kind of hidden behind The Prawnbroker, I think, but again, we really liked it.

Apr 06, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Florida

Grilling Time - Fresh Brats?

Prairie Pride farms has spectacular cheddarwurst, and their other brats are good, too. Not fresh, though. They are at the St. Paul Farmer's Market, and I think they are also at some of the local co-ops.

Apr 05, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul


I'm a newbie as well. Many of my top favorites have been mentioned, but I'll throw in Sea Salt Eatery, especially on a nice summer evening with a pitcher of Surly and some calamari to start.

Sea Salt Eatery
4801 Minnehaha Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55417

Mar 31, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Ft Myers Trip Notes, Pt. II

Continued reviews from a week in Fort Myers...

Doc Ford's Fort Myers Beach Rum Bar and Grille - we wanted to watch college basketball while eating, so we chose this place. Atmosphere was very touristy, which is to be expected, but it was still somewhat overwhelming. The food was decent. I had the banana leaf snapper. I enjoyed the masa coating and the sauce had a nice lime zip to it. Husband had the cuban sandwich, declared that it was okay, nothing special. I doubt we would go back during another visit.

Blu Sushi on McGregor - We decided this was our best meal of the trip. We went on a Sunday, so it was not very crowed. We split edamame and four rolls: the Bahama, Yellowtail, Lava Drops and Fire Dragon. The Bahama had conch in it, but I couldn't make out a distinct flavor. The yellowtail roll tasted very fresh and seemed to have lime or cilantro added to it. The Lava Drops were sections of a roll with cream cheese, crab, spicy mayo and rice that were then deep-fried and sprinkled with eel sauce. My least favorite roll, as it was warm and mushy on the inside. The Fire Dragon was spicy tuna wrapped in snapper and avocado; this was really good. I had hoped for more rolls or options incorporating local seafood but other than conch, shrimp and crab, there didn't seem to be much.

Fresh Market, Bell Tower Shops, Fort Myers - This is actually a grocery store, more upscale than Publix. We ate here before a movie on one of the cloudy, rainy days. Just outside the entrance, they had a grill set up offering either a grilled steak or fried cod sandwich, with a drink and salad for $7. We observed a large number of people partake in one of these lunch specials. Husband had the grilled steak, which he really enjoyed, and he is a connosieur of steak sandwiches. I got food from the deli, one of their bistro express meals. Turkey meatloaf, potatoes and broccoli slaw. The rotissiere options looked enticing as well. This would be a good spot to pick up to-go meals if you didn't feel like cooking and didn't really want to go out.

Sun Harvest Citrus - we stopped after a baseball game. Sampled some great juice and split a smoothie, all excellent.

Places we didn't get to but had on the list: Skip One Seafood, La Casita, Sasse's, Bert's Bar, Sunshine Seafood Cafe. We also ate plenty of ballpark food.

La Casita
101 W Shell Point Rd, Ruskin, FL 33570

Mar 31, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Florida

Ft Myers Trip Notes, Pt. 1

I just returned from a week in Fort Myers with the husband. Since I used Chowhound to find suggestions before the trip, I decided to post my own findings.

The first find was Yuengling beer. Us midwesterners had never had it before, and we loved it!

Pincher's Crab Shack Waterfront, North Fort Myers - we chose this location based on a board posting and for the location, right on the river. This location was much more scenic than the strip mall option closer to our hotel. Hubby and I split the stone crab claw appetizer and then split peel and eat shrimp with green beans and french fries as sides. The food was decent, made much better by the location.

Yabo - Split the calamari in marinara appetizer. The calamari was sauteed, not breaded, and it had a good texture, not rubbery. I had a nightly special of duck breast with a raspberry-chipotle glaze, spinach and potatoes. I enjoyed the duck quite a bit. Husband had the penne vodka with chicken, which was also good but not mind-blowing. Not impressed with our wine selections.

Lazy Flamingo, Sanibel-Captiva location - I started out with a half dozen oysters and a Yuengling. The oysters were superb; cold, good texture, just the right amount of brine. I then had the mesquite grouper caesar salad. I couldn't really taste the grouper because of the seasoning. The garlic bread was good, though. Husband had the fried shrimp basket; he felt it was okay and the fries were better than Pincher's. Split the conch fritters, couldn't really taste any conch. Husband thought they tasted like egg rolls.

Beach Seafood Market - We each had the lunch buffet. For $14.95, we got all-you-can-eat stone crab claws, rock shrimp, steamed head-on shrimp, grilled and fried fish, grilled and fried shrimp, seafood salad, and clam chowder. There were not non-seafood items that we passed over. The food was good, and the price was great, considering we spent the same amount on an appetizer of stone crab claws at Pincher's. The restaurant is really a back room of a market. It's no frills and offers you a view of the processing room. Be prepared to smell fishy for the rest of the day.

Pincher's Crab Shack
10029 Gulf Center Drive, Fort Myers, FL 33913

Lazy Flamingo
6520 Pine Ave Ste C, Sanibel, FL 33957

16681 McGregor Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33908

Beach Market Seafood
1100 Shrimp Boat Ln, Fort Myers Beach, FL 33931

Mar 31, 2010
eajohnso2000 in Florida