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Do all Thai places in TC have too-sweet food?!?

I agree there are some things there that skew sweet; I think unfortunately they still have to appeal somewhat to a mainstream midwestern palate. So it still partly depends on what you order- but I think that's true in a lot of places.

The difference with them is that I think they have the capability of adjusting to your preference- with spice level for sure, and probably if you asked, the sweetness level. Whereas a lot of other "thai" places in your average strip mall wouldn't even understand what you're asking.

Do all Thai places in TC have too-sweet food?!?

Have you tried On's Thai Kitchen?

2014 State Fair Food -- report the hits and misses!

I've been a couple times so far this year. The new things I tried were:
-the Blue Barn's chicken-and-sausage-gravy-in-a-cone. I was pleased; the chicken pieces were moist inside and perfectly crispy. I found the sausage gravy to be mildly spicy in a slow burn kind of way. I was alarmed by the malted milk ball at the bottom; it just seemed at odds with the overall savory flavors. I'd get this again if I were with a big group- it's so rich/salty that I only want a couple bites.

-the Blue Barn's basil blueberry lemonade: Very tasty and refreshing. Maybe a little expensive at $4.5 when some of the beers were close to that price, but def worth it if you're looking for an interesting cold beverage at the fair other than soda or regular lemonade.

-Blue Moon Diner's snoribbon frozen dessert: I admit I was really excited about this, because the flavors sounded interesting, and also because I'm a fan of frozen Asian desserts (bingsu, ais kacang, etc), and I think the Snoribbons are a version of Taiwanese snow ice. I had the "grasshopper pie" flavor which was mint ice with Andes mints, marshmallows, chocolate sauce and mini marshmallows. I'll limit my comments to this flavor but I have to say it was bad. Really bad. My dining companions and I were trying to figure out what was wrong with it- we decided it was the wan flavor of the ice product base; it was a weird mint, like eating toothpaste, and a really flat flavor. None of us ate it, the kids just picked out the toppings. They also handed us what looked like an order which had been sitting out- rather than well defined fluffy ribbons it was already getting mushy. :(

-fried smelt from the Food Building (sorry, I can't remember the vendor!) I think of these as classics bc I've been getting them for many years but I realized maybe they aren't that well known. They're yummy, perfectly sized finger food.

The other classics on my list fortunately didn't disappoint- cheese curds, funnel cake and corn dogs!

Quick! Where should we have date-night dinner tonight?

TDQ,

I have little ones too, and it's a fun challenge to think of the special angle of having a kidless night!

Tongue in Cheek- I think it's still under the radar for a lot of people, so you'll probably be able to walk in and get a table, and if not you could still sit in the bar (feasible without a toddler!).

Heyday- all over the radar of foodies so you'd risk the bar option, but IMO the food is fantastic, and the bar area is not a bad place to sit.

Hoban- again, spicy and Asian. Since you're without a kid you could get one of the ginormous hotpots for two that come to the table on a burner (makes me too nervous to have fire on the table with a toddler). It is in the suburbs but maybe not super far depending on where you're coming from.

Any place where you've wanted to try their tasting menu: ie Travail. Usually tasting menus take too long to do with my little ones, so that's an opportunity we sometimes take on our date nights. Might be too challenging on a Saturday night at Travail, but Victory 44 (that has a tasting menu) might be feasible. Those examples were both in Robbinsdale, which might be too far, but you get the idea.

Hope that helps, have an awesome date night!

High Tea in Minneapolis?

Just an update on high tea options in general, in case anyone is wondering about this topic: went with the family to Maudie MacBride's in West St Paul. It was very sweet; the hosts were charming and the setting was beautiful. The tea service was tasty and fairly substantial (2 kinds of scones, 4 kinds of sandwiches, 3 kinds of pastries plus candies). It's a different, more intimate experience since it's in a private home and garden, vs. a storefront. It felt equivalent to a very nice bed and breakfast.

For those with kids- they were very accommodating to my 5year old; there were some nice little presents for her, and they are very doll-friendly. They do suggest allowing a 2-hour timeframe for the tea, and there's a lot of fine china around, so it may not be for all kids.

For grandmas: there are stairs to get to the house, so if anyone has mobility issues that might be an issue. Otherwise I think most grandmas would love this place.

Would definitely go again.

In Search of... Shishito peppers

Just saw some this past week at Kim's Oriental (on Snelling). Not sure how often they get them in, but the staff there are always very kind; you could try calling to ask if they are in stock.

Ice cream cake, with actual cake?

I'm trying to celebrate a family member's summer birthday with an ice cream cake, but I was looking for an ice cream cake with some actual cake (instead of just a layer of fudge, or cookie crumbs). Considered making my own, but I wanted to know whether there any good options for purchase in the TC area.

I've had cakes from DQ and Sebastian Joe's but the former has a layer of mysterious crumbles only, and the latter was a big cake-shaped slab of (admittedly delicious) ice cream with nothing else. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!

New Sri Lankan Restaurant - House of Curry in Rosemount

I went recently, and it was fabulous. We had the kottu roti (w/ chicken), string hoppers with fish curry, and okra. The kottu had super interesting textures and flavors, and a familiar comfort food feel, even though I'd never had it before. I noticed that even the small things like the coconut sambol that came with with the hoppers, were complex tasting. It felt like everything was made with care. The staff (server and the manager/owner?) were very kind. Wish it wasn't quite so far south, otherwise we would be regulars. Definitely going back when we have the chance.

Zen Box Ramen Festival Overwhelmed

I was there too, with the Mangosteentime clan. We got there at 1 and ended up waiting about 2.5 hours for our food. While waiting we got a teriyaki dog; don't remember what was on it but it hit the spot. We also had a takoyaki "dog" which I thought was a smart way to eat takoyaki (fried octopus), and which had great texture. Full disclosure: the takoyaki came straight out of a freezer bag- but to feed a huge crowd, I'm not surprised. There was also a veggie dog, basically the same toppings as the teriyaki dog. We thought these were very reasonably priced at $3.

About the ramen: We tried 2 kinds. The Ma-Zamen (?sp) was Chef Ng's take on a brothless ramen, with beef brisket, pickled mushrooms, mizuna salad and what I thought was spicy pickled mustard greens. I thought the salad was a little odd, but the rest of it was quite tasty- tender, slightly spicy brisket, chewy noodles with nice heft. The two kinds of pickles made it a little pickle-heavy, but it was good contrast to the other elements. We also had the "Mabo Nasu" which foreverhungry described above. Our group found it too salty, though the toppings were interesting.

We had wanted to try the third ramen available- the "Old School Tokyo" but we didn't get to it because of reasons which may have related to the long, long wait. When we got to the front of the line, a staff member admitted that the "Old School Tokyo" ramen took much longer than the other two to prepare. I was planning to get the other two kinds then wait for the "Old School" but there were at least like, 10 people ahead of me who were waiting just to put in an order for the "Old School," plus at least 15 more who'd placed an order for that particular ramen, and were just waiting for their food. It seems the chef was just taking whatever time it needed to make that particular ramen, and it might have been causing a bottleneck. Made me realize that perhaps proper ramen, done well with quality ingredients, isn't the best food to try to serve to the masses in a setting like that.

Some of our friends had arrived right at 12 and they still had to wait a full hour in line for food. Staff seemed pretty well organized, and given how long the line was it was amazing- I really didn't think people were as cranky as they could have been. We noticed they were somehow keeping a count and specificially did not oversell tickets for ramen, which was considerate/avoided a riot.

It may seem crazy that we stood in line that long, but it was partly because we had already invested money in the tickets for food, plus it was a gorgeous day out and not really that unpleasant. The kids loved the DJ and taiko drumming. If we'd known ahead of time about the lines, we wouldn't have gone, but overall we didn't regret going.

Anyone been to Ward 6?

I went on a recent weekend and liked but didn't love it.

We went on a recent weekend and it was really busy, even groups of 2 standing for 30-45 min, bar packed too.
Cocktails- selection and execution- were great and bar service was attentive despite being busy. Noise level was high. This all might be off-putting for some, but for us it added to the atmosphere.

Food was just okay. We were excited that they offered house-made charcuterie and the selection sounded promising, but the results were disappointing. Chicken liver mousse was so sweet it tasted like frosting and everything else was just bland. Entrees: I had a potroast sandwich which was tasty. My dining companion had the chicken salad on tiny biscuits which was super blah; chicken salad was bland and the biscuits were dry and cold.

Overall I thought the vibe was great, drinks were good, and food was hit or miss. If I lived nearby I would go regularly and consider myself lucky to have it as "my neighborhood place." But, it's not a destination spot for me simply because there are similar places closer to me that have better food.

Left-Handed Cook

Just wanted to add to the love for this place, which I think it really deserves. We've been there twice now and had rice bowls both times. Their rice bowls are crave worthy. I found that each topping on the rice bowl had excellent flavor, which is hard to do; most pickles/veggies on rice bowls, and even panchan at many Korean places around town, are adequate but one-note. The toppings here are anything but. The meat was delectable. The portion size on the meat has been criticized as being small, which I think is fair, especially to more traditional American palates. However if you look at the way it's presented I think the portion size reflects a different philosophy- this bowl is all about the interplay of all the toppings; the meat is one feature, and it is excellent, just not a predominating portion.

The staff are genuinely nice and super helpful, which for me also is a huge plus for a place.

We'll be back soon. Keep meaning to try other things but the rice bowls just keep calling.

Pinkberry

I had to post since I haven't seen it here yet- love it or hate it, Pinkberry has arrived in MN.

There is a Pinkberry stand on the first floor of Macy's at the Mall of America. A worker there said they've been open since after Thanksgiving. Staff were super nice. It's a chain, so not much to say about their offerings- standard crazy buffet of topping choices- but it is worth noting that they don't have cereals for topping, other than fruity cheerios. You'll have to bring your own Cocoa Pebbles. Mochi were freshly chewy and the fruit looked very fresh.

I think the original Pinkberry flavor has a distinctly different, pleasantly tangier flavor than any other froyo chain. In fact, I'd been sampling other places locally in a futile quest to find something similar. Don't know if it's worth a trip just to MOA, but it's a fun snack option while shopping and I'm pleased not to have to keep trying other places!

World Street Kitchen

Very disappointed when we went in the first week of December. I was really excited to go, b/c I had been following the buzz about the WSK truck, and I've really enjoyed and respected their work at Saffron. Unfortunately, the food we had was a letdown for several reasons.

First, the positive: The mango lassi froyo was tasty with inventive toppings (what appeared to be puffed wild rice and an apricot chutney).

My spouse and I each ordered rice bowls, one lamb and one pork belly. We are *not* big eaters but the overall portion size was incredibly small. In a different setting with different food that might be okay, but frankly, rice is cheap and even more of that would have helped. The lamb was intensely salty almost to the point of being inedible. What really killed it was the "sauce" on top of the rice- it appeared to be some mix of cheez whiz and sour cream. Two giant blobs of this on top of a tiny portion of rice rendered most of the rice inedible to me. That point may be just my Asian sensibilities, but even beyond that the other things (small size, over spicing) also tanked the dish. We would have brought it up, but floor staff weren't around until long after we'd given up, and the line to the cashier was long. We cut our losses and went somewhere else and ate a full meal- something I've honestly never had to do before.

Overall, I really wanted to like this place- I like fusion food, I loved their food at Saffron- but the only way I'd come back is if friends really wanted to go or something. If I did I'd try something relatively straightforward like the tacos.