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Mel Carne's Profile

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Raw bar in MSP

Three years ago I moved here from Milwaukee and I have been searching for some good food, but I can't find it. Milwaukee has a great raw bar (pandls), the best deli west of Katzs in NY (Jakes, 17th & North), BBQ (Speed Queen), hot dogs, burgers, farmers markets - you name it. It seems like MSP has nothing. I have lived in MSP twice (Roseville, Dinkytown, Fridley, New Brighton and again Rosevile), Chicago, Milwaukee, St Louis, Kansas City and DC, plus I have worked in 48 states and 17 countries, and I have always found great food in those areas. Not so here. Please advise. Thanx.

Mar 31, 2009
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Pastor Hamilton's - St Paul

Has anybody tried this place lately? Any other recs for local BBQ? Thanks

Mar 21, 2008
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

RUSS KENDALL'S KNIFE RIVER

We have a cabin on Lake Superior and we stop at Russ's shop each time we head up North. A thirty year tradition with us of great smoked fish.

Feb 06, 2008
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Lindy's Prime Steak House Arden Hills MN

I have a daughter who recently spent six months in Argentina where she gave up her vegetarian ways and became a fan of grass fed beef. Her boyfriend was in town last night, and she wanted my wife and I to treat them to some MN corn fed beef to see how it would compare (she just wanted us to treat the two to a nice meal). We decided to go to Lindy's Prime Steak House in Arden Hills.

In the early sixties I worked as a busboy at a fancy restaurant just down the road from Lindy's, and I was alway suprised at the crowd they would gather. They don't take reservations, so people would get their names on the list, buy a six pack of beer from the liquor store in Lindy's basement, and sit drinking in the woods around the parking lot waiting for a table. My first visit to Lindy's was July 12th, 1977 - I remember the date because I took my wife-to-be there for her 21st birthday.

For those of you not familiar with Lindy's, they serve three items - ground sirloin, sirloin (end cuts) and special sirlon (center cut). With your steak you get a salad of chopped iceberg lettuce with a tomato wedge (although last night it was a cherry tomato, probably due to the ungodly price of tomatoes right now. I bought some tomatoes at Rainbow last week and they charged $3.99/lb. When they asked me "paper or plastic?", I replied that at these prices I would like to have them gift wrapped.) The only choice of salad dressing resembles a Thousand Island dressing without the islands. A plattter of "greaseless hashbrowned potatoes" is set on the table along with a basket of garlic hot dog buns, and each diner gets a watermelon pickle.

I started with a gin martini, and it was good, a true crystal yum-yum. We all ordered the special sirloin done medium rare, and my daughter selected a very nice bottle of wine. The salads were, as usual, insipid. Why not a steakhouse classic wedge of iceberg with a homemade Thousand Island? Where is the classic creamed spinich? The potatoes had good flavor, and the garlic hot dog buns were tasty. The steaks however were not even cooked to the rare stage (80% of the meat was ice cold) and had to be returned for further cooking. When you only serve three items, this is unacceptable. The tab before tip was over $150.00. We did bring a lot of food home.

My daughter didn't think that the beef was up to the standards of Argentina - it was tender, but had little flavor. I agreed. In fact, her boyfirend asked for steak sauce - I tried to talk him out of it but the poor lad is only 22 and doesn't know any better. They brought him a bottle of Heinz 57 that was 1/3rd full, and had about two year's worth of crust on the neck of the bottle.

On a visit to Argentina I had reservations that the beef would be tough and flavorless because it is grass fed, and would not have the marbling achieved by running the steer throught a grain feed lot to fatten him up. I was wrong. The beef in Argentina was wonderful.

It will probably be another thirty or so years before we return to Lindy's. By that time I will be so old that I will have forgotten last night's experience.

Feb 02, 2008
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Rockford IL Recs

My wife will be developing a large windfarm in the Rockford IL area which will require her to spend everyother week in that area through summer. Any places that she shouldn't miss? Thanx

Jan 19, 2008
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Jake's in Milwaukee

I have a trip planned to Milwaukee and I am wondering if Jake's at 17th and North is still going strong? I used to love the corned beef.

Dec 06, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

MPLS Breakfast downtown or NE Tomorrow

Is Hells Kitchen still open/good? My wife wants to meet some friends from Milwaukee tomorrow for breakfast in either downtown MPLS, NE, or Uptown. Thanks

Nov 17, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Madison WI, Recs Needed

My wife will be attending a four day convention in Madison later this month, and she asked me to get some recs for her. I guess the Brat House on State isn't quite up to her standards. Thanks.

Oct 20, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Sausage Making [MSP]

I buy mine from the buthcer at Beyerlys.

Sep 15, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Milwaukee and Lake Winnebago recs please

Try Salty's in Fond du Lac. It was one of my favorite places for lunch in all of WI.

Sep 12, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Alexandria MN Recs?

I'm going up to Alex tomorrow to visit the boat museum, and I wonder if there is a special place for lunch?

Aug 30, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

MSP Liver and Onions

You can't get good liver/onions/bacon in these towns. You have to go to Pandls in Milwaukee to get the great stuff (grilled). Do what I do - when my wife is out of town on business, I just make it myself, and it is wonderful.

Jul 10, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Milwaukee, WI. Any feedback on Sobelman's for Lunch Please

A few years ago when I wrote restaurant reviews for a local magazine in Milwaukee, I did a column on best burgers, and the Sobelman's burger came out on top. Don't order any other burger - go for the Sobelman special.

Jun 06, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

L.A. Hound seeking Sunday (6/10/07) breakfast ideas in northern Milwaukee suburbs

Pandl's in Bayside has the best Sunday brunch in WI. They are located on Brown Deer Rd and Lake Drive. They serve 10:00-2:00. Make reservations. You won't be dissapointed.

Jun 06, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Visiting St. Louis. Want Italian Recommendations

Tony's downton on Market Street. Tony's is one of the better restaurants in the country. Google Tony's St Louis MO to check out their menu and awards.

Jun 03, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

WHERE TO BUY LIVE MUSSELS IN MSP

Dragon Star Foods in St Paul. Dale St & Minnehaha. Great live seafood. Crabs, oysters, clams, mussels, etc.

May 28, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Fond du Lac lunch?

Check out Salty's - The best food in Fond du Lac. I used to drive up from Milwaukee just to have lunch there.

May 13, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Recs needed for MDW Area

My wife flies into Midway airport every other week for business, and would like to find some better fare than she has had in the past. The hotel employees recommend an Italian place and a steak house, but she is tired of them. Anything good in the area? Thanx

Mar 17, 2007
Mel Carne in Chicago Area

Better to buy food supplies in Key West or back on mainland?

If you go to a Winn Dixie, sign up for their discount card. If you don't, you will be paying 10%-20% more for your food.

Try the food at No Name Tavern on Big Pine Key. Good fish sandwiches and pizza.

Jan 14, 2007
Mel Carne in Florida

Niche Chow in MSP

I agree, Maverick's has a great roast beef sandwich, but then I live in Roseville. However, I get to the Midtown Global Market, El Burrito Mercado, Pete's market & El Ray's in Milwaukee, Pike's Place Market in Seattle, Reading market in Philly, etc. You just have to go where the good stuff is.

Jan 13, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Midtown Global Market MSP - It's Up To Us

I have purchased Georgia peaches and blood oranges that were wonderful, but I have been dissapointed with meals I have tried. International fair food.

Jan 06, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Best Eats Recommendations from Milwaukee to Fond Du Lac

While in Fond du Lac, don't miss Salty's - great seafood and low prices.

Jan 06, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Port Washington, Wis

The Port Hotel is the place to go. Great steaks, seafood, etc., in a lovely setting. I used to live in Mequon WI, and my wife and family would visit often. If you want something cheaper, try the Newport Shores on the lake. They are known for seafood, but their burger is one of the best in the state. Plus they are right on the lake and have a pretty view. Walk out on the pier for me.

Jan 01, 2007
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Dulce de Leche in MSP?

I have a daughter that spent six months in Argentina recently and really liked Dulce de Leche. I would like to get her some for Christmas, but I have not been able to find it here. Does anyone know where I might purchase some in the Twin Cities?

Dec 15, 2006
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Matt's Jucy Lucy MSP (Yes spelled correctly)

After 28 years since my last jucy lucy, I finally found myself back in Matt's neighborhood, (my wife-to-be used to live in the neighborhood and we would stop there quite frequently for a buger) and since it was lunch time, decided to try it again. (Do a search on this website for jucy lucy, and read the 2004 review for a great piece of writing - you will love it.) The bar serves beer and wine - no booze. The Jucy Lucy is now $4.50, fries not included. I ordered a burger and a glass of the house red (which comes in a water glass - they don't serve much wine). The barmaid popped the wax paper wrapped burger in front of me, and asked if I knew how to treat the burger. Yes - I used to eat them over 28 years ago, and you unwrap them, let them cool a bit, and bite around the edges so you don't burn the hell out of your mouth when the cheese starts to flow. She introduced me to the old guy (I'm 60), sitting next to me "...he probaby cooked your last Jucy Lucy - he's Matt". Is the burger good? Yes. Is it the best burger I ever had? No. Worth the trip. Have fun.

Nov 20, 2006
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Mpls/St.Paul What's up with Coastal?

I have been very happy with the live crabs, clams, oysters and mussles at Dragon Star.

Nov 09, 2006
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Thanksgiving dining recs

What town are you in?

Oct 26, 2006
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Midtown Global Market - Minneapolis

The only think that I really liked about the market was that I could buy Georgia peaches at the produce stand. I got two pecks when they were in season, and they went fast. The food is so-so. Like international state fair food.

Oct 23, 2006
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

Bratwurst btwn Chi and Milwaukee

I agree - hit the brat shop in Kenosha WI. It is about a block West of the freeway as you are heading North. It is a strange place. I went down there for a combined Chicago-Milwaukee guitar show, and sold a guitar amp that I had bought for $14.00 for $370.00. I walked out of the ballroom, into the restaurant, and had a brat. I like the ones I make myself better, but it was pretty good.

If you want to make your own brats, you need pork, veal, nutmeg, mace and salt. Most brats today do not include veal. Too bad.

Oct 11, 2006
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive

DC Chowhound looking for good places to stop between Madison and Green Bay

Salty's in Fond du Lac has some of the best seafood in the state.

Aug 30, 2006
Mel Carne in General Midwest Archive