eastlakovore's Profile

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Russian markets in the Twin Cities?

Does anyone have an up to date list/recommendation for someone in Minneapolis/North Suburbs?

The closest I go to is EuroGourmet in SLP in the strip mall on Minnetonka Blvd. Russian in-laws from Boston (large Russian population) coming to town for extended stay and they'd like to go for some staples...

Jerry's Rainbow

Unfortunately I'm with you ChancesR.
Two visits in and I'm not feeling like going a third time, produce left much to be desired. First visit was a cavernous experience, thinking there was a remodel and a restocking of material, which didn't happen...Longfellow Market will fill better fill the niche (fingers crossed).

Going to be in Minneapolis for our 2nd Wedding Anniversary. Restaurant recs?

Had an anniversary dinner at LBV. Sat in the dining room. Perfect, perfect service and wine pairings and the food was special occasion indulgent.

Corner Table - Chef's Table if you can - not 'romantic' sitting in the kitchen, but it will be a memorable meal.

Caterer for 40th birthday party?

Had a successful catering from Salsa a La Salsa for a birthday party at our house. Lorenzo brought the food and set up a pupusa bar, which was a big hit.


List of places open the evening of 24th, or sometime on the 25th?

OpenTable is always a good path to see what's open.

Went to Cosmo's on the 24th and had an amazing dinner two years ago, not really cheaper, but it was quieter.

Also - I don't think Market BBQ is on OpenTable anymore - but they have been open around Christmas, went there last year on the 25th if my memory holds.

Dining up and down University Avenue

Just a heads-up - maybe as a reaction to traffic adjustments impacting business - they are OPEN on Saturday's now. Have gone last two weekend's as I love their pelmeni - sour cream and their mustard are the best and jut a dab of their balsamic vinegar. Also had to get piroshki, because they are darn tasty as described above.
Saturday menu includes blinis, one savory (mushroom, cheese, onion) and one sweet

Duck Breasts

Saw them at Seward Coop a few days ago

Best TC Russian Deli?

I've also gotten their bread and can generally find the Russian specifics I need there. I will add though that they do not serve 'food' - you won't find the salads that I yearn for and instantly grab upon hitting up the Brookline area in Boston.

How about Euro Gourmet -
8032 Minnetonka Blvd, St Louis Park, MN 55426

A week in downtown Minneapolis--where do I eat?

I'd add in Bachelor Farmer and Marvel Bar to pretty much everything mentioned...

Post tap-room tour dinner recommendation

I'm trying to channel my reserved in-laws/grandparents here, who want American food...'If you can't pronounce the restaurant I don't want to eat there' ethos. I suppose they'd be anti-food trucks that are usually there on the weekends?

If finishing the tour in Northeast (Dangerous Man and Indeed) how about Modern Cafe.
If finishing at Fulton - Black Sheep.

2013 State Fair

Agreed, went out and the heat made eating fried foods disinteresting.

To remedy that, we did enjoy the mango with chili and lime on a stick at the MGM stand in the Int'l Bazaar. Perfect for a hot summer day, underspiced though, so I do recommend adding in some additional spice as written elsewhere.

A Quest for Burger Greatness

I have had the camel burger and it is good. Maybe not drive out of your way for - but if already going - absolutely - stop by Left Handed Cook and Sonora Grill while there for some additional great food.

Also - Victory 44's burger is great (at 1/2 price during 'happy hour'- even better). +1 for Vincent also.

Quiet Coffee Shop on or near Lake St.

I'm often at Blue Moon studying or meeting friends. Good place for conversation and a coffee.
When you mean food isn't important, for clarity Blue Moon has just prepackaged sandwiches/wraps so no kitchen at all.

Best Fried Rice in the Cities?

I think there are two - I've always gone to the one in NE MPLS (2211 Johnson St NE).
I do enjoy their egg rolls tremendously and the fried rice is pretty good.

Ginger Beer

I believe you should find Ginger Beer at Byerly's - Feintemen's has a ginger beer, I believe I've seen Gosling's and Reed's at various Lunds/Byerly's also.
I believe I've had a ginger beer mocktail at Cafe Maude, and ordered a Gosling's at Bar La Grassa.
Happy Hunting.

Noise Level - Twin Cities Restaurants

I would second the recommendation for WA Frost. I feel 'calm' eating there, if that makes any sense.

Craftsman is generally at the right sound level to have a nice conversation, but I do tend to go there during off-peak hours.

Victory 44 Brunch

Have had the eggs benedict a few times at Victory 44. Their benedicts are very solid, with a rotating choice of meat and flavor enhancement to the hollandaise. Recently was a salmon pastrami benedict that tasted fantastic, I'd certainly prefer that protein over the traditional ham choice from now on.

+1 for the Bon Vie rec though too.

Coming soon...Parka

Too early to review review:
Living so close I couldn't help but go on opening night.
Service jitters aside they will get there. Between the mrs and I we shared two apps, two entrees, and a dessert. It's definitely MN comfort food through V44's stylings.
Chicken Wild Rice Soup - Broth poured table side, not cream based, but a very rice broth, toasted wild rice, chicken, and a brown butter. Very good, I could see some argue heavy on the salt, but I lean on the salty side, so no complaints from me, the ras al hanout was a nice touch. Comfort food without being the cream based heavy soup I was expecting
Brussel Sprouts - bacon, quail eggs, walnut, they go well, nothing earth shattering, eggs were maybe slightly over done, but the bowl was finished clean.
Pot Roast - it was just like how my mom should have cooked it moist and fall apart with a fork without being overdone. With a very delicious puree of something and carrots that she could never do at home.
Glazed Ribs - Came with a version of mac and cheese done with vermicelli, a little cold so it lost what I assumed would be an oozy cheesy goodness that you'd like to see. The spare ribs were glazed in rootbeer and mustard seed. Once again a little cold, but the ribs were delicious, the glaze very good. The menu listed kale as part of the dish, though I didn't see it anywhere. I'd order again.
Milk and Cookies - five types of housemade cookies/bars/brownies, so filling, likely perfectly sized for 3 or 4 people. All very good desserts, the apricot bar was the standout for the two of us. As for a flight of milk, it was one type of milk (served in a glass version of the little paperboard version from elementary school), but maybe their intention is to go towards several types in the future.

By the layout, it definitely looks like the right place to sit is at the high top (I think there were 5 seats) that abuts the open kitchen as that seems to allow for a show while waiting for your food.

I think as they work out the bugs and get comfortable (I wasn't expecting flawless on an opening night) I think they will be very well positioned in the area like a Victory 44. They take a nice view on the MN comfort food and from the sampling it looks like they'll be running smoothly quickly.

Where to buy veal bones for stock? Not neck bones.

I faintly recall a few years ago using veal bones from Brothers Meat and Seafood up in Maple Grove - can't hurt to call and the stock did turn out nicely.

Personal "go to" place shares.

+1 for this recommendation. Been going to some incarnation of this place for 20 years, Now I've got a hankering, I'll see you there.

I'd add:
Tanpopo - you just feel better after eating there - Nebayaki Udon for me.
Victory 44 - A coffee and benedict to start a good weekend day is ensured.
Saigon (iPho) - Bahn mi with everything.
I'll take flak for this - Cleveland Wok - if feeling gluttonous and want to fill a void that a heaping helping of American Chinese food, this place does it.

Left-Handed Cook

Went over the weekend for a quick lunch and some groceries at El Burrito Mercado, got the special - Boba Fett-uccine. Delicious. Pork ragu on fettucini with shaved parmesan and some arugula. Usual go to has been the pork belly bowl, and I love coming back to it (runny egg, pork belly, and pickled veggies - are they the triefecta of foodie cool in the past two years??? but so darn good), but I need to explore more...
I feel bad because they've elbowed out Sonora for my semi-regular MGM meals.

Coming soon...Parka

I'm practically across the street and often drive to Victory 44, so I'm keeping daily tabs on this and keeping my fingers crossed that my hopes will be met of three things I enjoy a great deal.

Best Steak Frites in the TC?

I have enjoyed the steak frites at Craftsman, minus one bad experience (steak related). But I have ordered it since and been happy with the steak quality. I like their fries and bearnaise and those have been consistent.

I'd also add a vote for Barbette as a solid choice.

Hole-in-the-wall eats recommendations

I think what's being conveyed is the idea, that while it is all-you-can-eat for lunch. You don't go to a station and select, but rather servers come around to tables with a selection and you say 'yes' or 'no' to it. If yes, a ladleful of food, if no, on she goes to the next person/table.
I enjoyed going for the experience knowing the food wasn't the highlight.
It is a hole in the wall for sure (was it an old gas station/mechanic's shop before it was leo's?).

What happened to Midtown Global Market?

Went two weeks ago to Left-Handed Cook - and it was a fantastic - the pork bowl was definitely crave worthy, soft cooked egg put it over the top delicious.

State Fair 2012 - New Foods

terrible, terrible idea.

D Spot in East Metro

Went last weekend. Gentleman working the counter mentioned end of August for Dinkytown opening.

Tried 4 different types of wings, to varying levels of success.
Mango curry flavored supposed to be hot, Ben Grimm, Frenchy, and Traditional BBQ.
Liked the Ben Grimm and Traditional BBQ. One is over the top (Grimm as explained in original post) and the other is really simple but both were really tasty.
Disliked strongly the Frenchy - balsamic reduction and caramelized onions - way too much balsamic flavor, zero onion. Sounded intriguing, and IMHO less is more with anything balsamic.
Indifferent on the mango curry flavor - good flavor, listed as hot, certainly was not.

I like the concept and will return, they've got a sucker in me because I'm willing to work my way through the misses to find the 'hits'.

I35 Minneapolis to Duluth to Ashland, WI

In Duluth, right off of I35 is Northern Waters Smokehaus - not too expensive (<$10 for sandwich if I remember correctly), counter seating, fantastic lunch.
Tobie's in Hinckley (halfway between MSP and Duluth on I35) for a cinnamon roll would work for breakfast but options are a bit thinner on the road in between MSP and Duluth in my opinion.

Jun 20, 2012
eastlakovore in Great Lakes

Craftsman on Lake

+1 on the drinks and charcuterie comment.
There was a lull after Chef Phillips left, but they've certainly regained solid footing. Have had several solid to fantastic pasta dishes in recent memory.


Wanted to share a recent story here. Went for "Date Night" last night. Arrived at 5:10PM, got seated 85 minutes later. First time I've ever stayed someplace despite the wait, I was that focused on wanting this meal.

They were definitely hitting on high notes. I was impressed as this was the first time ordering their tasting menu. The food, which for appearances last night was a manufacturing line as it didn't look like they were making anything but the tasting menu, was impressive in it's consistently good flavors.

The two best of the 10 plus amuses for us were the Agnolotti and the Rabbit courses. The agnolotti was a Myer's lemon and ricotta filled pasta that was just amazing. The rabbit had breast, a confit, and a rabbit 'oyster' that the waiter tried to slip by to us. The oyster is innocuous, more shock than anything, but kudos to them to get my wife, and the couples sitting next to us at the tasting bar to at least try it.

Desserts were playful and fun, which is their goal, flavor is above average, but homemade dippin dots tableside elicits a smile, its fun, and thats why my wife and I dine. Others can pupu it, I don't care. Once seated it's a great time, and great food, and the chefs are really nice and don't mind interacting which adds to the fun.

Based on my sitting and waiting, I can't understand why they don't set up a 'sitting' routine, if 95% of the people come in wanting/getting the tasting menu, why not go for it, and have seating's at 5, 6:30, etc...Dined at Beast in PDX and that seemed to work very well, and I had an amazing dinner and didn't have to sit and wait for my table. Clearly they have a good thing going, so they won't change, and I had a great time, I just don't consider waiting part of the experience I want to partake in again.