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French Chocolate Macarons with Chocolate Ganache

Jul 04, 2015
jbanana in Recipes

Best Pie

Nothing at all holds a candle to Stockholm, that is the truth.

But Keys Cafe (at least the Roseville location), has some pretty respectable pie.

Well, if we are speaking the truth, I am only talking about their French Silk pie, which I now disclose as a personal weakness. Theirs is really really good, and if I could ever get myself to try another variety, I'll report back.

Mar 07, 2013
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Maya Cusine. Fantastic.

Fresh masa = fresh tortillas = yum.
Homemade tamales, with familiar and unique flavor combos (the mushroom one is deeeeelish).
Most of the meats I have tried are really fresh and flavorful.
Glad to have a place of this caliber in NE, it really is a gem.

Mar 07, 2013
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

*PATIO* season! --pleasant Coffeeshops/Cafes with such?

Aster Cafe on St. Anthony Main. Parking is a pain (easy on a bike, though...), but well worth it. The patio has kind of a European public square vibe, nice small plates and a good tea selection.

Jul 18, 2012
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Best Cuban sandwich in Twin Cities

I've had a good Cuban at Whitey's bar, believe it or not. No vouch for authenticity, just tastiness.

Jul 18, 2012
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Filfilah in Columbia Heights

I'm not Turkish, but I did eat a whole lot of Turkish food while visiting Turkey, and Filfilah serves pretty typical Turkish "fast food". The only thing at Filfilah that I never saw in a Turkish restaurant is falafel. The schwarma here is called doner in Turkish, and one of the very few places you can get actual meat-roasted-on-a-spit in your gyro/doner sandwich in the Twin Cities, as opposed to the standard commercial pressed meat product. A couple of menu items use non-Turkish names, probably for ease of use for the general public, but are still very much Turkish food. A couple of items - adana and iskender kebab - are dishes you can't find elsewhere in the city, as far as I know.

There are a lot of similar dishes in the cuisines of the middle east and central Asia, with loads of regional specialties. We certainly have standard repertoire of Americanized favorites at many of our local ME restaurants. Just because Filfilah serves some of these dishes doesn't mean it isn't a Turkish restaurant. And it isn't serving fine Ottoman cuisine or Anatolian specialties, just really typical, everyday food.

Yes, there is pide. Not pide/pita bread, but pide, a Turkish pizza-like dish. I have not tried it myself, but you should and report back.

Every time I run into a Turk in town, I mention Filfilah and get very favorable review, for what its worth.

Here's the menu:

Jul 18, 2012
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Major Ramen craving

i saw that on craigslist too and promptly went scouring the area for any sign of a noodle shop. alas, i could not figure out where they were opening.

Jan 31, 2012
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Doner Kabob in The Cities?

Filfilah is the real deal, and it is amazing. The owner is a very friendly and welcoming and the food is marvelous. The doner is excellent and so is everything else. Can't say enough good things about that place. Yes, it is worth the drive.

Dec 29, 2011
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Asking your guests to bring their own plates and silverware for large/r dinner parties...

Huh. We have monthly pizza parties at our house that average around 40 guests. I specifically note in the invite/announcements that we do not provide eating utensils or cups for container-less beverages (although we do bring out some cups for kids or the forgetful). People have a choice about whether they want to eat communally or off their own wares, and there are some of each. Our rationale for this was that the monthly expense of disposables ("eco-friendly" ones can be really expensive) and the work of washing 30-60 dishes on top of the rest of the party prep was a little much, not to mention having no space to store that many dishes. And no, that doesn't make us cheap or should limit our desire to entertain, this is our financial reality. No one has ever said anything negative about it and the atmosphere of sharing (we ask people to *gasp* bring toppings too!) has been very well received.

We have started taking a cheap re-usable set to parties and have no problem keeping track of it. For me, I am more interested in challenging the prevailing notion that is ok to use up resources for things to be single-use, and to demonstrate that it really isn't that much work actively try not to use them in creative ways, like having a traveling set of dishes. I look forward to reviving this thread in twenty years, when this kind of stuff if common practice!

Additionally, I think it is kind of tacky to assume that hospitality directly correlates to how much the host provides. I don't think anyone leaves a great party lamenting whatever they were asked to contribute (whether that is something or nothing), they leave feeling happy about good food and drink, good company and good times.

Oct 13, 2011
jbanana in Not About Food

In Search Of real good pickled herring in cream sauce

I am not a big fan on pickled herring, but I used to bring my grandfather the varieties from Ingebretsen's and he really loved them. I believe they make all of them in house.

Apr 17, 2011
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Bengaluru - New Year's Eve and more...

thanks for the link. i'll post an update as we figure out our options.

Nov 10, 2010
jbanana in India & South Asia

Bengaluru - New Year's Eve and more...

hello all 'hounds

we are looking forward to spending our (happy) new years in bengaluru, and several days in travel around.

i think there are lots of arts-interested people in bangalore, yes?

we would much appreciate recommendations for our new years eve--

we are arts-interested people (a ceramic artist and horticulturist) looking for a more relaxed-than-fancy-club place to celebrate new years eve. where should we go?

outside of chow, but maybe not too far out of CHOW limitations:
what galleries or studios should we see in bengaluru? we like ART, FOOD and GOOD company!

Oct 31, 2010
jbanana in India & South Asia

Parish Pierogi in Northeast Minneapolis?

Indeed they are wonderful, but they are not served on Fridays the few weeks just before Easter -the cooks are too busy preparing food for the holidays! I am pretty sure they start up again the Friday immediately following (this year, April 9), but don't go this Friday, as they'll be closed. Hours 11-1, be sure to call ahead for pick up orders, since they often run out.

Also, St. Mary's Orthodox sells them on Fridays from 11-3 (but again, not this Friday). 1701 Fifth St. NE, 612-781-7667

I <heart> pyrohy.

Mar 31, 2010
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Street food in downtown Minneapolis


makes me wish i worked downtown...

Mar 24, 2010
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP- The Anchor Fish & Chips

I live nearby and am anxiously awaiting this place to open. The sign on the window says they are opening "summer 2009". Their website has a rough menu and a little bit about the folks who are opening it (Irish transplants and an American with ties). It sounds very neighborhood pub-like - I am really excited too!

Jun 18, 2009
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

(MSP) Northeast Social Club

We were really excited to go last Thursday, when it was also absolutely packed, though this may have been partly due to an event at the Rogue Buddha next door. I was certainly prepared for kinks and imperfection, given the place has only been open for a couple of weeks. Inside is lots of dark woodwork, a spectacular refinished tin ceiling, and an odd choice of wicker chairs as seating.

They seem to be trying to provide a global wine and beer menu, with several affordable wines by the glass. They offer a brands of beer by the bottle and three "social" style (large bottles meant to be shared, common in other parts of the world, but not here). I would have liked to see an actual variety of beer styles, since the list seems almost exclusively pilsners.

Ok, the food. We all shared the welsh rarebit to start. Good organic bread covered with a beer cheese sauce, augmented with a sprinkle of blue cheese. It was tasty, but not really warranting the price. I had the risotto primavera special, which was not actually anything special - under al dente rice, good asparagus, button mushrooms and sliced roma tomatoes. The basil oil drizzled on top was good, though the whole dish was underwhelming in flavor. Sweethound had the potato gnocchi stroganoff, which was described by our waitstaff to include oyster, shitake and button mushrooms. We found an oyster, but it was mostly the buttons, which I feel didn't add much to the dish. I couldn't tell if the scoop of sour cream buried underneath the mushy gnocchi was not properly mixed in, or to allow the diner to adjust the level of creaminess in the dish. I hope that this dish gets better, as it has great potential. Another diner had the lamb sandwich, which looked really tasty and came with fantastic homemade potato chips. They had run out of both salads, so the last diner tried the vegetable bean soup, but didn't have much to say about it.

Service was obviously a little off, as everyone seemed to be figuring out who did what, when and where. They definitely need some time to get food and service figured out. Like MNLawGirl, I want to try it again, but in a little while.

MSP: Fasika chowdown report

And Everett's on Cedar and 38th has it too! They'll grind up the lamb or beef for kitfo right at the meat counter. Berbere and clarified butter are in the refrigerated section.

Oct 23, 2008
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

A yogurt flop...

I started to make some yogurt this morning, but I think the milk was just a bit sour. It separated as I heated it, with the solids settling to the bottom of the pot and a nice layer of yellow liquid on top. I didn't add my culture and make the yogurt, since the texture of the milk was grainy. Is there any use for this stuff now? I hate to just toss a quart of milk. Can I use it like sour milk now that it has been heated?

Sep 24, 2008
jbanana in Home Cooking

(MSP) Pierogies

i think they are pretty much the same, just different permutations on the same dumpling... and st. constantine makes a mean pirohy, handmade and only available from september to may. they have potato, kraut and prune versions, which you order in multiples of three. when you eat in, they are served with browned onions in butter and sour cream, if you like, as well as church coffee. the pick up orders are not served with the condiments, and you need to phone your order in (and i think that many people phone in early in the week for large orders). they are worth a trek across town, though if you eat to many, you may need a nap afterwards. chat up the volunteers and/or sit with some strangers for some local color.

Sep 16, 2008
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP - Manioc Flour - need help quick!

where are you located (or where is convenient to you)?

i would imagine you can get this anywhere that sells west or central african, or carribean foodstuffs. or also try a shop specializing in south american foods, rather than mexican... there are several ecuadorian shops on central in NE and one on 26th and 1st in south mpls, and maybe they might have it? as mentioned before, many folks refer to this as yuca.

i was recently in a liberian shop at 18th and nicollet, and am pretty sure they had it. there is also a caribbean shop on lake street, east of minnehaha (but don't remember the cross street...) also try calling this place: Guy-Am Groceries and Video, 4539 Lyndale Ave. N. 612.522.9222

you will find the manioc, oh yes, you will.

Mid-month dining out highlights MSP

One of the vendors at the Minneapolis Farmers Market sells B-grade maple syryp, extremely chuggable. He's from Wisconsin, I think his name is Keith, and his tiny table is in one of the middle aisles in the northern half of the market. Look for the little maple lollipops. yum.

Markets between Charleston and Edisto

Y'all are golden! This is so helpful - I love my fresh produce and local color, and am so happy to hear that there are more options than the PW. Many many many thanks!

May 15, 2008
jbanana in General South Archive

Markets between Charleston and Edisto

Hello Hounds,

A group of friends is spending next week in Edisto, South Carolina, and I am looking forward to cooking up some fantastic self-catered meals. We are all out of towners, and will be making a couple of trips to and from the airport during the week. I understand that the Piggly Wiggly is the only supermarket in Edisto, so I am wondering if there are any daily farmers markets in Charleston, or anything worth stopping along the way from there to Edisto. Mostly I am looking for local produce or other products, and would appreciate any tips on where we should buy our seafood. We will be driving the stretch from the airport to Edisto on a Monday and Thursday afternoon, if that changes anything.

Also, I am really looking forward to a meal at Poogan's Porch on our way out of town. I can still remember those biscuits from a childhood family vacation...

Any suggestions are welcome and thank you in advance for your help!


May 14, 2008
jbanana in General South Archive

pizza puffs and itailan beef (St. Paul, MN)

very good to know. personal experience far outweighs random suggestions.
cheers j

pizza puffs and itailan beef (St. Paul, MN)

in minneapolis:
-the southside food and deli on chicago ave and 33rd st advertises both pizza puffs and italian beef, its a corner store with a deli inside.
-A & J's chicken and fish on lake and 7th ave (i think,,,) also has both.
-broadway ave, between lyndale and irving on the northside, has several deli-type eateries that might have them. one is called olympic cafe, but i can't remember any of the other ones.

closer to you in st. paul:
-a taste of chicago - someone posted about a serious italian beef sandwich at this place a while back and i can't find the post. it is (or was) located in the midway shopping center at university and snelling.
-also, there is an A & J's knockoff (called J &J's maybe?) on university ave between fry and aldine that might have 'em too.

apologies for such a vague post, devoid of good directions or even recommendations - i haven't eaten at any of these places, i just remember seeing the items on the menu. why is it that i can remember this kind of stuff but can never find my keys?

Hurray, Spring: Mpls Farmers market open this weekend

you are spot on - bushel boy introduced the "live lettuce" in addition to their tomatoes, and they are both grown hydroponicaly, though I think they mostly sell to groceries, rather than via farmers markets. its still awfully early for local non-greenhouse produce of any kind, even foraged, but i would think that Living Waters would have their hydroponic tomatoes, cukes and peppers. the asparagus doesn't usually show up until late april or may. meat, dairy and egg producers will likely be there, as well as bakery etc. (and of course the importers, but it is clearly not broccoli or pineapple season in minnesota).

MSP - Arepas?

Guayaquil on the corner of Bloomington and Lake serves arepas.

[MSP] St. Paulite ISO great MPLS chow (Philipps/Wedge/Lyndale)

i once had an excellent ham and cheese sandwich served with a lovely green salad. also once tried a pasta dish with cream sauce, prosciutto and peas. this rivaled the ice cream in decadence. they make an effort to use locally produced meats, cheeses and vegetables when possible.

Feb 21, 2008
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

[MSP] St. Paulite ISO great MPLS chow (Philipps/Wedge/Lyndale)

there is an aspect of "build your own meal" with several choices of meat or fish, several choices of veggie sauce/stews/soups, and several choices of starch. i would guess that that veg soups are made with palm or peanut oil and not animal fat, but they may have some dried fish or shrimp in them. there are also some bean dishes available, although these take extra time to cook, and again, there is the possibility of some meat cooked with them. we'll have to find out. this place is a chowgem, in my humble opinion.

Feb 21, 2008
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul

[MSP] St. Paulite ISO great MPLS chow (Philipps/Wedge/Lyndale)

this is far to late to be relevant for your trip today, but just in case you venture back again, here's a couple more places that haven't been mentioned:

just south of 28th street on lyndale is three crowns (nigerian food). if you are avoiding gluten, you could try some pounded yams or cassava to go with your meat/fish or veg stew. the woman that runs this place is really delightful.

continuing down lyndale at 34th street is crema cafe, home of sonny's ice cream. sonny recently passed, but the ice cream legacy lives on. they have fantastic sorbets as well.

Feb 20, 2008
jbanana in Minneapolis-St. Paul