Db Cooper's Profile

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Best New Must Dine Digs?

Zentral is the best dinner I've had in the Twin Cities this year. Nothing else comes close. Their chicken for 2 is the dish of the year in my book. Lots of great openings, but nobody else is stuffing chicken with brioche and foie gras.

Best New Must Dine Digs?

It's not on the level of some of the more upscale breakfast joints in town, but I don't think they are trying to be either. It's a neighborhood joint first and foremost, similar to what Serlin's was for all those years. Maybe some of the other entree options aren't hitting the mark and the fact there is no booze turns off the Brunch crowd. But I can advocate very positively on the Eggs Benedict.

Best New Must Dine Digs?

When you go to Ward 6, my strong recommendations are the Reuben or the Fish and Chips. Believe me, they are about as good as it gets.

I'm trying Zentral on Thursday for the first time. I don't go downtown very often anymore, but we have tickets to Book of Mormon so why not. The reviews have all been positive so I really looking forward to it.

Best New Must Dine Digs?

"I've heard Cook St. Paul is off the mark"

I've been to Cook St. Paul several times. I always get the Eggs Benedict with Short Ribs. It's one of my favorite breakfasts in the city.
I've always gone on a Sunday morning. The restaurant is small (I think about 10 tables at the most), but I've never had to wait.
Service has always been friendly. They've also sped up recently which makes sense as they've been open longer now too.

I can't speak to everything on the menu and I'm not going to advocate driving across town for it. But if you are in the area and craving a more traditional breakfast option, it's a solid bet.

BTW: Is Brasserie Zentral already in the rear view mirror? I think that was about the most anticipated opening of the summer.

Milwaukee Trip Report – Bacchus, Rocket Baby Bakery, Maxie’s, Smyth, Odd Duck

I've had the chance to eat at Bosley a couple of times. It's excellent and I really like their shrimp & grits. They are going for a Key West/Florida Coast type of theme with most of their food. You can't go wrong with any of the seafood/fish dishes.

They also are trying to be a great wine restaurant and it seems, at least to me, that the servers are being tasked with constantly trying to upsell more expensive options. That really got annoying on one visit as the guy was almost overbearing. The wines are not cheap either. They are good choices and well selected, but not much for value.

It's definitely one of Milwaukee's Top 25 restaurants IMO. Though the atmosphere is more laid back and casual than some of the other fine dining restaurants in town.

Aug 25, 2014
Db Cooper in Great Lakes

Tanqueray gin

Morelli's in St Paul usually has the best prices on booze in this town. Be aware of their policy on cash or check only. Their refusal to take credit cards plus their volume usually results in savings of 5-10% over other retailers

Parents 50th anniversary

Restaurant Alma
Piccolo

Parents 50th anniversary

The Kozlak's started the Royal Oak but hadn't owned it in years. Yes that restaurant is no longer in business but they weren't involved in it for years.

Parents 50th anniversary

I've found the more traditional places work well for these type of events. For my money, nobody does these better than Jax. The Kozlaks provide top notch service. Mid-August will be perfect patio weather. The food is always solid and the fun in catching your own trout for those who prefer fish. And they'll add in little touches including personalized match books to mark the event.

Your Top 5 Restaurants in Town

I'll choose these on where I'm usually apt to go myself instead of the usual suspects:

Ward 6
Tongue in Cheek
Ngon
Meritage
Restaurant Alma

Dinner suggestions for pre & post-3Day 60-mile walk

Edina - Try Ciao Bella. It's off France and 494. It's Italian which will work for the carb-loading for the walk. Solid cocktail list and veg options abound. About 1/2 mile from your hotel.

Big Bowl Rest./@Galleria Edina: WHAT A RIP OFF!!!!

Im sorry but you deserve everything you got. You are on a low carb diet and chose a resto that is 95% rice/noodles? Ever thought of reading a menu before you went?

I'm no giant fan of Big Bowl, but there is no way they could have made you happy. You picked the wrong restaurant, chose a menu item where you couldn't, by your choice, eat 90% of, and then expected them to fix it at no cost to you. I'm sorry but the bad experience is pretty much all your fault, at least from what I'm reading above

St. Paul's Grand Ave.

Is Grand Ave a must? I think it's about as generic and uninteresting as most suburbs. You are far better off going a couple blocks North to Selby or across town to Payne Ave. I know that 5 years ago, that would have been a preposterous statement. But with Ward 6, Tongue in Cheek, and Cook St Paul, Payne Ave has 3 options that easily outclass anything on Grand these days.

Looking for the Soul of Chicago

So of them all, which one did you prefer? I'm a Mr. Beef guy. I think because of them all, it tastes most like beef. The extras don't overpower the beef, simply compliment them.

Glad to hear your trip was a success based on your posts here and good on you for reporting back. So many don't so thanks for taking the time.

Jun 06, 2014
Db Cooper in Chicago Area

Go to place for fine dinning????

I love Alma, but I don't consider a restaurant that doesn't serve liquor "fine dining". That and the interior reminds me of a Caribou/Dunn Brothers. The food is great, but to me it isn't fine dining.

It's LBV in Minneapolis and Meritage in St Paul for me. I need to try Joan's in the Park

Potatoes Minneapolis

Use your judgement depending on size/type of potato. 10 minutes is an average. Goal is to cook halfway to 2/3, then shred, then fry. All your great hash browns/home fries use this method. You can par boil too if you don't have a steamer. I'd only go 5-7 mins on that.

Potatoes Minneapolis

Steam the potatoes whole before shredding for 10 minutes or so. This will ensure they are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Waygu Beef, Really?

American Waygu is no where near as expensive as its counterpart from Japan. For that price, you got the American version and not the stuff that gets hand-rubbed, etc.

Apr 23, 2014
Db Cooper in Chicago Area

SE WI area - Any opinions on Dickey's Barbecue Restaurant?

Chain BBQ which I generally avoid at all costs. The real stuff is too good to suffer mediocre.

In my experience, Dickey's is a small step below Famous Dave's food-wise. That isn't saying much. I enjoy ribs and Dickey's have always been really chewy and lacking in smoke flavor. But Dickey's is much better for children than Famous Dave's for the reasons VTB mentioned.

4 hour early morning stopover

The only issue with the Sky Club is that they don't serve a hot breakfast. It's more rolls, cereal, etc. They have a toaster for bagels, bread. But you aren't going to have eggs, bacon, and other breakfast foods available.

But it is comfortable and quiet and gets you away from the rest of the bustle of the airport.

4 hour early morning stopover

As a traveler, you are going to be on a tight timeline. Are you a TSA-Pre member? If you are, that will cut down your security time to a mere minutes and save you the hassle of taking off your shoes, removing your laptop, and the rest. For the regular lines, most times the average time to get through is 20-30 minutes recently.

If I was going to try this, I'd take a taxi to Mickey's Dining Car in downtown St. Paul as Chilly Dog suggests. It's about a 20-minute taxi ride from the airport. it's about as unique as it gets. The All Day is their signature breakfast and the hash browns are about as good as it gets: http://www.mickeysdiningcar.com/
Mickey's is open 24/7, every day of the year.

Minneapolis will take longer to get to and thus be considerably more expensive.

Lexington sold to Smack Shack owners

I think it is because you see the potential talent and you are hoping they find the right place where it all clicks. Some of the names above are more style than substance, but America is built on more than one chance to get it right.

Steven Brown comes to mind with Tilia.

Hollandaise sauce, do you use whole or clarified butter?

I made this the other night only to find out I didn't have any lemon. I used tablespoon of white wine and a tablespoon of white wine vinegar and still got that citrus/acid taste I was looking for.

Just a shortcut if you are in the mood, but don't have any lemons at home.

Apr 15, 2014
Db Cooper in Home Cooking

Rye Delicatessen - Minneapolis

So then why is it the half the restaurant reviews I read contain stories about consistency issues? If it's just giving a damn, that should never be a problem right?

You should have helped. You probably had more experience in smoked brisket and chicken soup than Rye did coming from Oak Ridge. \

Anyway, good luck. I"m signing off this thread now.

River north

We can disagree about Burke's. We've obviously had different experiences or maybe different definitions. I don't take this as personally as you do so I'll just stop there.

Brindille would work well too. The food was excellent. The only reason we haven't gone back was value. A lot of the guys thought the portion sizes were way too small for how much it cost. Their menu with prices is online so the OP can judge that for themselves.

Apr 03, 2014
Db Cooper in Chicago Area

Easter Leg of Lamb Recipe

http://www.all-clad.com/Pages/Elevate...

Here's one from Mr. Keller. He's a big lamb guy for holiday meals.

Apr 03, 2014
Db Cooper in Home Cooking

Slow cooked Beef Ribs

Yes, you need to add liquid. Otherwise, you are just dry roasting them and they'll get overcooked/burned.

Put them in a pot with some beef stock, but any flavored liquid will do. Heck, water will work the trick if it is all you've got. Add some carrots, celery, onions, a few cloves of garlic cut in half, and half a bottle or red wine. I usually roast the veg before I put them in, but you can skip it if time matters.

I usually add herbs I enjoy like thyme and rosemary, but that is up to you. You want enough liquid so that you are just covering the top of the ribs. Bring the entire thing to a boil on your stovetop, put a lid on the pot, and follow the instructions above.

I recommend tying the ribs with kitchen twine before you braise so they don't fall off the bone.

You can always take that and make a sauce afterwards once you strain it.

Apr 03, 2014
Db Cooper in Home Cooking

Rye Delicatessen - Minneapolis

Food is simple
Reproducing it, perfectly or as close as you can get it, hundreds of times per day. Not so simple. Ask any chef.

Rye Delicatessen - Minneapolis

If somebody did, what would the folks in St. Louis Park and Highland Park have to complain about then?

I stand by the original comment. No matter what anyone tries from a deli standpoint in this town, it will never be good enough. So why bother. Open up a place that serves a bunch of small plates, five or six entrees, and focuses on craft-cocktails and local beer. It's a much safer investment.

Rye Delicatessen - Minneapolis

I personally didn't say it was, at least in regards to Rye.

I'm saying that there are some, no matter what is done, that are going to complain about it.