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MaggieB's Profile

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Non-gimicky Pumpkin Patches?

Do they exist? I thought my fellow food friends might have a pulse on where some of the less-gimicky u-pick pumpkin patches are in the Twin Cities area. In other words, I don't want to pay to get in, pay to ride a wagon, pay to roll around in corn kernels... just looking for a nice farm that I can bring my kids to and not fork over $50!

Oct 06, 2014
MaggieB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Montreal: Business trip looking for recs!

A co-worker and I will be in Montreal Jan 21-24. Unfortunately we are not able to stay in the city due to the location of our office. We will be staying near the airport (YUL).

However, we are willing and ready to head into the city for good eats! I am looking for restaurants that capture a true taste of Montreal but won't break the bank. We have some money to spend but just can't do top of the line on the company.

Also my co-worker is not as adventurous as I am so the menus must have some "regular" options (ie: I am saving Au Pied de Cochon for a trip with my husband).

Thanks for your help!

Kids at Northeast Social?

Looking for a show of hands here... who thinks kids are welcome at NE Social? My husband and I have a gift certificate to use there, only valid M-Th. Our daughter is 20 months and well behaved. We'd likely dine around 5:30 pm and probably be there an hour max. I ask because a neighbor of mine was ADAMANT that kids are not welcome there but I don't know if I agree! My husband and I have dined there before and it seems like a neighborhood family joint especially early on a weeknight.

Thanks Hounders!

May 27, 2012
MaggieB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

What to serve with Tejano-grilled lamb?

My husband, daughter and I will be dining with some friends this coming Saturday. The host said he is preparing "Tejano lamb" on the grill. He was somewhat vague about his description of Tejano lamb but I am told the marinade includes whiskey and garlic. The Goog told me the marinade might also include oregano, lemon, olive oil, salt and pepper.

What should my husband and I bring to serve on the side? Bear in mind a few factors:

It's late July in Minneapolis. It's hot. We want light, summery, seasonal fare.
The host does not like zucchini.
The grill, along with all common kitchen appliances, will be available for use.

We'd like to come up with something somewhat interesting other than just a green salad or fruit bowl. Thoughts? Thanks!

Jul 27, 2011
MaggieB in Home Cooking

(MSP) Best Nachos

Hello Fellow MSP Chowhounders,

My birthday is in a little over a week and this year's desired meal is, you guessed it, NACHOS.

I love nachos. I love them something fierce. However my aging body and slowing metabolism do not lend themselves well to much nacho eating these days. Which is why I'm saving myself for a birthday treat to remember.

So where ARE the best nachos in the Twin Cities? I've searched these boards and found a few tidbits here and there but thought I'd resurface the topic to get some more up-to-date feedback.

I have a few stipulations when it comes to THESE nachos in particular:

I'm looking for classic nachos. Meat. Shredded cheese (but GOOD melty shredded cheese). Toppings such as beans, olives, jalapenos, guac, sour cream and salsa. Good, crispy chips. And a MOUND of nachos. None of this small plate bidness. However, I'm still interested to hear about all nachos in general, for the sake of discussion. For example, Bulldog NE has some killer brisket/queso fresco nachos. Mmm.

These nachos need not appear on the menu of a Mexican restaurant either. If they're good nachos, I'm there.

Help make this a birthday to remember! Give me nachos or give me death!

MSP: Best Eggs Benedict??

This month, Birchwood is serving their version of Eggs Bennie at their Sunday Brunch:

Smoked Salmon, Roasted Red Pepper & Sautéed Arugula on Roasted Shallot and Watercress Scones with Lemon Dill Hollandaise & 2 Poached Eggs. With Mixed Greens & Fresh Fruit Garnish.

Has it on Sunday and it was just awesome!

Farewell to Minnesota tour

In no particular order

Birchwood - probably several times, especially for Sunday brunch. So in love with this place!
112 - anything
Holy Land - chicken gyro combo plate and I'd basically buy up all their hummus and Landry's hot sauce
French Meadow Cafe - love the tempeh reuben and the BBQ tempeh wrap!
The Nook - for the Paul Molitor
Psycho Suzi's - for a few rum drinks and a deep dish za

Mar 18, 2009
MaggieB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Post-run Valentines Brunch this Sat [MSP]

Skip Common Roots and go to French Meadow next door. Consistently one of my favorite places to have breakfast in the Cities. And at the post-run time you might have the option for lunch as well.

MSP: where to get good fish tacos in the Twin Cities when the fair is not going on? [Split from 2008 MN State Fair thread]

I CRAVE good fish tacos. Having moved from Tucson over 4 years ago, these are something I miss dearly.

Went to Barrio last night and tried the fried mahi mahi taco. Excellent. Freshly fried, light and flaky, fresh corn tortilla, tangy sour cream sauce, cabbage and a little pico.

Also, rumor has it that Minnesota is about to be inundated with the Del Taco fast food chain. They have a decent fish taco on the menu. It's by no means the best but it's cheap, accessible and tasty, especially for those late night runs.

Sep 11, 2008
MaggieB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Square Peg Diner MSP

I live right near the Square Peg and have been there a handful of times for breakfast. The corned beef hash is arguably one of the best in the area. The chef (who's come out and talked to us on more than one occasion) brines the beef in house. I've eaten a lot of CBH in my day and this is easily one of my favorites!

MSP: Best Reuben Sandwich

It's far from a traditional Reuben but those willing to stretch their taste buds should absolutely try the Tempeh Reuben at French Meadow. I had my first full one last Sunday (I'd had many bites of my fiance's prior to this) and it was delicious down to the last crumb!

Grilled Tempeh Reuben: Marinated and grilled organic tempeh with sauerkraut and spiced tomato-soy aioli on organic rye bread.

Jul 18, 2008
MaggieB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

2008 MN State Fair

They have these around MN as well. I was at a high school football game in Stewartville last fall (go Tigers!) and they were selling them at the concession stand. Though the first time I was introduced to this was at a group cabin weekend where select couples were responsible for a particular meal. I thought it was a great take on a traditional taco bar. I got some weird looks when I poured mine all out into a bowl though!

Jul 18, 2008
MaggieB in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP: Bizarre Zimmern does MN

I actually don't find Minnesotan humor to be all that mainstream really. I grew up in Chicago and have also lived in Michigan and most recently Arizona before moving to Minneapolis. I was definitely a little wide eyed at the thought of people eating lye-soaked fish and attending meat raffles.

I would agree with the assessment on the name "Bizarre Foods," however. Not everything Zimmern eats is so bizarre (wild rice?). I have a hard time watching the guy, too. I've loved his writing for a long time but the guy comes across as such a schmuck on TV. And the LIP smacking! I can't take it! I'd take Bourdain over him any day of the week.

Mar 27, 2008
MaggieB in Food Media & News

MSP - Anything good at Stella's?

The Florida Stuffer Grouper is decent in that "filled with brie cheese" sort of way. I'll admit the cheese rather masks everything else on the plate but it's good.

Otherwise, you can't go wrong on the Platters and Baskets menu. Or with the Po Boys. I think they do the best with the basic "seafood shack" fare.

Too bad you couldn't hit that rooftop patio right about now!

Breakfast in or near St. Cloud (MSP)

Well I'll be damned, we wound up at Keith's Kettle after all! My boyfriend had eaten there a handful of times on various trips up to SCSU and Duluth so he knew it was a safe bet. We rolled in a little later than the planned breakfast outing (had a little too much fun at the wedding!) but were definitely jonesin' for some good lunch food so we stopped in.

I had the tuna melt with a cup of vegetable beef barley and he had "Keith's Flaming Kettle" burger - a huge burger topped with grilled onions and some sort of homemade hot sauce. For a few cents more you could order jalapenos that had been griddled with the onions so he did. And I proceeded to watch him sweat his way through the rest of the meal.

Overall and AWESOME place for lunch and I'd bet breakfast or dinner too.

Thanks for the recs!

Breakfast in or near St. Cloud (MSP)

Fellow Chowhounders,

I'll be at a wedding in St. Cloud this Saturday and my boyfriend and I are looking for a chow-worthy breakfast stop for Sunday morning. Nothing too fancy or pricey. Non-chain preferred.

We'll be heading back to Minneapolis afterward so we're hoping to find something either in St. Cloud or on the way home. I read on these boards about a place called Coffee Cup Cafe in Becker. Anyone know if it's worth stopping at?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Chowhound mentioned in Shape

I just saw this in my issue at the gym this morning. Kind of cool!

May 14, 2007
MaggieB in Food Media & News

[MSP] Church Dinners

Well, the fish fry was a HUGE success. Everything turned out great. We headed over to Holy Cross around 6 and bought our $8 tickets at the door of the church basement.

We were each handed a plate heaped with two golden fried fish filets, choice of fries or baked potato (I went with fries), a scoop of homemade macaroni and cheese, and dinner rolls. We then went to a small buffet cart filled with coleslaw, tartar sauce, cocktail sauce and lemons.

They had milk and water at a table nearby and coffee on the individual dinner tables. The food was AWESOME. Exactly what we wanted, if not better. Not to mention how great the atmosphere. We dined with toddlers and seniors alike.

PIctures are attached. The bottom shot is of all my pals eating (unfortunately I'm the one taking the picture!).

Thank you Holy Cross for your hospitality!

[MSP] Outdoor Dining?

I've eaten at all of these places and the food is decent to really good at most of them. When it comes to me and eating outside, I'm willing to run the gamut of food quality!

Solera (rooftop!):
Stella's Seafood Cafe (rooftop!):
The Local (sidewalk):
Brit's (sidewalk and rooftop):
Birchwood Cafe (sidewalk):
Sea Salt Eatery (this is a seasonal place by Minnehaha Falls - opens this month sometime):
Mill City Cafe:
Tuggs (gorgeous patio, OK food):
Pracna (gorgeous patio, MEH food):

A few I'd like to try:
Barbary Fig (patio
)Clicquot Club Cafe (sidewalk):
Punch Pizza (E. Hennepin - courtyard)

[MSP] Church Dinners

I'm happy to report that myself, my SO and a few friends will be dining at Holy Cross (1621 University Ave. NE) on Good Friday. $8 AYCE fish fry, including mac & cheese. Yum! I'll report back next week :)

Here's the info:
Fish fry at Holy Cross, Minneapolis — March 30, April 6: 5 to 7 p.m. Features fish, macaroni and cheese and more. Cost is $8 for adults, $4 for children under 12. Sponsored by Holy Cross Educational Task Force.

Bizarre Foods - tell me what you really think

Being from the Twin Cities, I've read a LOT of Zimmern's work over the years and have always found him intelligent, humorous and interesting.

Then I saw Bizarre Foods and now the guy rubs me all kinds of wrong! First, on a surface level, I found his voice incredibly irritating. Second, I, too, found him disrespectful and self-centered. I can't help but wonder how I would feel about the show had I never even known Bourdain existed. But, unfortunately, that's not the case. Zimmern pales in comparison to Bourdain's knowledge and respect for culture.

That said, I certainly won't stop reading Zimmern's stuff but I don't think TV is his gig whatsoever.

Apr 03, 2007
MaggieB in Food Media & News

[MSP] Dieting (gasp!) deliciously in the Twin Cities?

Haha! I feel so flattered! Yeah, I fear I'm doomed to be a curvy gal my whole life but at least I try to eat healthy along the way. Oh and go to the gym. The gym alone allows me to splurge a little bit :)

I'll admit, I had a bad experience with ceviche once and have been reluctant to try it ever since. I gotta dive into one soon!

[MSP] Dieting (gasp!) deliciously in the Twin Cities?

TDQ - I love your "What I had/What I would have rather had" posting style. I've been on Weight Watchers since what seems like the beginning of time and struggle so with eating out. I always go in with a level head and vow to order well and then falter and get something not so great. I never go completely off the deep end but you know what I mean.

So the "would rather have had" reference cracks me up because that's me in a nut shell. I'm slowly learning that food isn't everything. Though I sure do think about/read about it an awful lot :)

Healthy Food note: Ate at El Paraiso Mexican restaurant last night on Nicollet. I ordered the Camarones ala Plancha - Shrimp on the Grill. Came with somewhat plain rice, beans with minimal cheese, guac and sour cream, and tortillas (they seemed more like gorditas at this place). Pretty healthy meal if you go easy on all the chips and dips (which is my total downfall). What I would rather have had: The heaping tower of nachos with the works that the guy at the table next to me was inhaling. Yum.

[MSP] Dieting (gasp!) deliciously in the Twin Cities?

This isn't exactly a "dining out" tip but could help with those dim sum cravings. I'm a Weight Watcher as well and my boyfriend and I love to boil up some of United Noodle's frozen potstickers. The pork varieties are always our favorite but the veggie variety is the lightest and still tasty. Get some of the spicy dumpling sauce to go with and you've got a pretty fantastic meal that's really low-cal.

I suppose you can get these anywhere now but they're the cheapest (and most plentiful in terms of variety) at Noodles.

As MSPD would say, use willpower to avoid the cafeteria stand's fried goodies :)

MSP Month End UPDATE - inform your fellow chowhounds

Let's see...

Erte – Went there with a girlfriend on a Tuesday night and got into trouble with the 1/2 off bottles of wine special. Oops? J I had the special of the evening – seared scallops with curried rice and a light curry sauce. I was a bit nervous ordering it as I didn’t care for the duck entrée the last time I ate at Erte but the scallops were a different story! I love the relish plate and bread, too. Perfect with the wine.

Birchwood – My roommate and I jumped at the chance to sit outside on the first warm night of the year! We originally wanted to do Clicquot but the patio was full (it was a Friday) so we drove a few blocks further to Birchwood. I had the black bean burger with mixed greens and a pint of Surly Bender (beer on a warm patio is a mandatory thing). MAN it was all good. The burger came topped with sprouts, yellow beets and aioli. I ate the whole damn thing :) My roomie had the roasted pork burrito and ate almost all of it. It looks great! And I'm now officially a fan of Surly. The stuff was awesome.

French Meadow - For brunch with my boyfriend and his folks. I'd never been and was thrilled to finally get there. AND we got an outdoor table. Score! I got the egg salad sandwich on hemp bread per a recommendation from a co-worker and wasn't disappointed. Could've used some mustard or something for tang but it really was good. LOVED the hemp bread so much that I bought a loaf at the Wedge afterward (and gave half to said co-worker). Also had a cup of the white bean chicken chili which was awesome. And don't forget the organic fair trade coffee. Yum.

I didn't eat there but hit up Holy Land on Central for several dips/spreads for a girls night I hosted at my house. I grabbed the original hummus, peppertizer, olive tapenade and some French feta and served it in a cool 4-compartment dish I got at Crate and Barrel. Along with some whole wheat pita wedges. It was all great, as usually. I'd just eaten at Birchwood before going in to the store which was a GOOD thing. Otherwise the smell of the Friday night buffet would've probably killed me.

A good month all around!

Minnesota Folk: Are you fans of Salsa Lisa?? [moved from Midwest board]

My boyfriend and I are always adding heat to our food so we opted for the "Real Hot" variety once. Holy crap that stuff was HOT! I was impressed :)

Mar 29, 2007
MaggieB in General Topics

(MSP) Babalu- any recent expierences?

I ate at Babalu back in the fall and loved it. Granted, I realize that's not a "recent experience" but I'd heard so much negative commentary about Babalu that I wasn't too excited to eat there (had a gift certificate). I thought the food and service were excellent and the ambience is really nice and relaxing.

We had the Platanos Machos as an appetizer (“sweet plantains stuffed with choice queso fresco or black beans... ”). SO good. Though were weren't given a choice of stuffing but wound up getting both which is the way to go, in my opinion.

I can't remember what my friend ate but I had the Cazuela de Mariscos (“traditional seafood casserole...”). I was a little hesitant to order something described as "seafood casserole" but took the plunge and boy was I glad! It was more like a spicy seafood stew than anything close to a casserole. Absolutely delicious.

The mojitos were good and really strong, too. I'd definitely recommend them.

Have fun!

Favorite Hot Sauce?

Sriracha - for Asian cuisine
Tapatio - for Mexican cuisine, chili, and to add kick to just about any pot of chow
Chipotle Tabasco - finished my bottle over the summer and haven't bought it again for some reason. MAN it's good. Nice and smokey.
And the finale - CRYSTAL. Better than Frank's, in my opinion. The original Louisiana hot sauce! We especially love it on gyros and pizza. Yuuuum.

Feb 23, 2007
MaggieB in General Topics

The better lean cuisine items

Has anyone tried any of the newest LEan Cuisines? I'm currently eating the Spa Cuisine style Butternut Squash Ravioli - "in a creamy sauce with walnuts, snap peas and carrots."

I'm not sure what to make of this one. I dig the veggies and walnuts but the sauce is pretty bland (had to add a lot of salt to it). The raviolis are good I think? But kind of masked by the sauce.

I've heard a few people rave about this one so I'm kind of disappointed. I find low-fat white sauce to be SO bland, though, so maybe that's my problem!

Feb 22, 2007
MaggieB in General Topics


Marla's was fantastic! Anne, I didn't see your post before we went to eat there. Both myself and the boyfriend ordered our entrees Indian Hot. Sooooo good. We LOVE hot food (and both agree we could've gone hotter!) but the heat was fantastic.

We started the meal with two Indian beers (the name eludes me right now) and parathas (bread made from wheat flour, freshly baked in the traditional tandoor) that was filled with some sort of meat/spice mixture. An Indian quesadilla (minus the cheese) is the best way I can think to describe this. It was delicious! Nice and crispy on the outside and the filling was tasty.

I had the Saffron Chicken ("...boneless chicken marinated in our special seasonings and spices, then roasted to perfection in the clay oven, sautéed with onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic and herbs") and he had the Spinach Lamb ("...lamb cubes cooked in spinach, onions and chopped garlic in a mild sauce"). Both were excellent, with a slight nod to the Saffron Chicken.

Marla herself served us and could NOT have been nicer. Her son bused our table. She was chatty and invited us to come back for the Sunday buffet. She alone would be a reason to come back, let alone how good food was! We'll definitely be going back.