k

kevin47's Profile

Title Last Reply

BYO-Low/No Corkage

The last truly BYO place I was aware of was Mango Thai, but that policy ended over a year ago, doubtless at the behest of city officials.

That said, I have never paid corkage outside of Napa.

Dec 12, 2014
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Spoon and Stable - Anyone been?

We went for a birthday celebration. They do some nice touches, including cotton candy for the birthday boy, house made apple cider for anyone waiting for doors to open, and a greeting by the entire staff for 5 o'clock resos.

The space is really perfect. Refined, but not pretentious. It incorporates the structure without seeming bare-bones. Bit of an East Coast vibe, and that's fine by me.

This place has the details hammered down. Right amount of visits and refills per table without being overwhelming, knowledgeable wait staff.

The plating (as seen on Twitter) is gorgeous. These dishes are remarkably well composed. They are also refined. I got the sense we got exactly what the chef intended.

On that score, the menu is a bit safe. The dill-cured salmon looks spectacular, but aside from nicely cured salmon (topped with roe, which I liked) there wasn't a lot to really fall in love with. It was paired with beets, including unseasoned, uncooked beet slices. Pretty on the plate, but who wants raw beet slices?

The soup was nicely done and, again, beautiful. The coffee brioche sets as a donut shaped ring above the stuff itself. The soup was a bit too thick and lacked nuance, but the brioche was pretty brilliant.

Goat pappardelle was solid. Kitchen has a very sure hand with pasta, and the goat wasn't dry at all (which, IMO, is the best that can be said for goat... this was my wife's dish).

Pork with papaya salad struck me as an exercise in underestimating the audience. After being warned by our waitress that it had a lot of kick, the dish arrived with little discernible spice. It comes with a pork rib and cracklin on a side plate, which again: this place has the plating part down (they were both tasty). The papaya salad (seemingly infused with plenty of pork grease and bacon bits) was a great idea, and the pork very well prepared. It just needed more papaya salad to match the generous portion of meat. The cabbage wrapped rice rolls were a great idea in need of seasoning.

The cotton candy was honestly the best cotton candy I have ever tasted. That's just pretty cool.

The desserts are great. The apple crisp did a particularly good job of using textures to create different taste experiences. The chocolate banana thing was less successful, largely because the banana elements were flavorless.

Overall, this is a great start. Service is world class, and the place is getting very little wrong, even if it isn't taking a lot of chances. It's also pretty affordable, so there's that.

Where do you like to buy whole chickens?

I'm a big fan of Bar 5. The white meat does it for me. It's always juicy, and holds up to refrigeration, which is perfect for chicken salads and stuff. Also, whenever I pan roast the bird, I seem to get lots of rich, fatty bits for the stock; perfect for vichyssoise. Not cheap at $3.50 a pound, but we get a lot of meals out of it.

Nov 21, 2014
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Do all Thai places in TC have too-sweet food?!?

In my experience, On's curries and stir fries are too sweet, but the rest has great balance. I don't find Lemongrass to be too sweet, or at least not nearly as sweet as many of the Thai places around here.

I haven't had curries or stir fries at Krungthep or Bangkok Thai Deli, and have had good experiences.

The rest? Sugar bombs all around.

Nov 15, 2014
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul
1

Cheap Dining / Dinner Deals Around Town?

$4? That's ridiculous.

Apr 19, 2014
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Good fish & chips

Agreed. Found myself there a few weeks ago and was really impressed. Better than Anchor, IMO.

Apr 11, 2014
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

need a MSP Pho update

I like Ngon for the complexity of the broth and the quality of the ingredients, but also the consistency. With other places, you get a different experience each time, depending on time of day, what gets scooped into the bowl, etc.

Nordeast-where to eat?

I slop them together, but yeah, the region can get pretty big if you do that.

Dec 17, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Nordeast-where to eat?

+1 for The Modern. That's a regular lunch spot for me, and I have never had a bad dish there.

We were happy with Northeast Social for brunch. The Foie wasn't great, but everything else was very good.

We weren't big fans of Element. I found the crust bland.

I would add Obento Ya and Emily's to the list if they haven't been mentioned.

Dec 16, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Parka--Never again and worried

Well, Harcey is also behind V-44, which remains outstanding. He is very talented, but that doesn't necessarily mean the people helming the kitchen always will be.

Dec 16, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Sushi and Large Group

Don't do Nami. My last time there, my (very expensive) omakase included a healthy dose of escolar. That's symbolic of a larger problem.

A couple of ideas.

Origami is all things to all people, sushi-wise. Want uni? They've got it. Want a dragon roll? Of course.

Masu is good if the birthday girl is interested in catering to people who don't like sushi. The sushi is fine, don't get me wrong, but you can build a strong meal without it, which may or may not lose part of the fun.

Fuji-Ya is my personal favorite. They generally have the good stuff. They take the "chef's rolls" more seriously than do the other spots, without becoming a full-on fusion place. I get the sense they'd be willing to work for a party of 18-20.

Nov 11, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Glam doll Donuts

I grabbed a dozen from there and wasn't particularly impressed with any of them. None were fresh or warm, and for all the funky flavors, the donuts were fundamentally lousy.

Sep 02, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

2013 State Fair

Their hibiscus tea was too sweet as well.

Aug 31, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Fast Food Workers Strike Demanding $15. per hour wages

Unless unemployment increases.

Aug 30, 2013
kevin47 in Food Media & News

Fast Food Workers Strike Demanding $15. per hour wages

Exactly. I might be willing to pay more for a crappy burger, but I had better get the service I am paying for.

Aug 30, 2013
kevin47 in Food Media & News

Fast Food Workers Strike Demanding $15. per hour wages

That's an awfully convenient oversimplification. At any rate, we have far more amenities now that weren't available in 1938. Nobody originally thought the minimum wage ought to cover the cost to purchase an automobile. So what you are saying is that you think a minimum wage ought to provide for the many things some take for granted.

That's a fair argument, but it isn't an apples to apples comparison at all.

Aug 30, 2013
kevin47 in Food Media & News

Fast Food Workers Strike Demanding $15. per hour wages

"The thing that everyone in politics knows but refuses to acknowledge is that a rising tide lifts all boats. "

But there is fervent disagreement as to what policies will rise the tide. I don't think the evidence supports the notion that artificially raising wages translates into more economic activity. The reason for this is that when labor costs more, things cost more. This has an impact on both demand for things and the ability of companies to supply the things.

The economy is not a zero sum game, but economic redistribution is, by definition. Whether that makes it sound policy or not is another question.

Aug 30, 2013
kevin47 in Food Media & News
1

Fast Food Workers Strike Demanding $15. per hour wages

McDonalds can't discriminate based on age even if they were so inclined. I think it's a problem where you have people in the entry-level, unskilled job market at a life stage where they need a skilled job. That isn't McDonalds' fault.

I don't think there is less money circulating for the rest of us. Median income is the same as it was 40 years ago, and fast food employees certainly didn't make the equivalent of $15 an hour then.

If fast food companies are required to pay $15 an hour, they are going to get better employees, and the strikers will be out of a job.

Aug 30, 2013
kevin47 in Food Media & News

2013 State Fair

Quick rundown.

Craft beer battered onion rings - Some of the best I have had. Perfectly crisp batter with a boozy aftertaste, onions themselves had just a bit of crunch left. The mustard dipping sauce is fine, but unnecessary.

The bacon corn dog is terrible. Badly overcooked, with dry bacon bits and syrup.

Lemonade at West Indies Soul was very nice. Complex and large enough for sharing. The cheesy grits were really bad, however.

We always enjoy the fried green beans at O'Garas. The fried bread pudding was also really solid. It's what I always want bread pudding to taste like. Almost like french toast, but a bit more decadent.

The place we get cheese curds is hands down better than the other place you can get cheese curds. Everyone who disagrees can go eat at Olive Garden.

Comet corn is pretty fun, but for $5, doesn't offer much else. Cheesy caramel puffed corn (the hull-less kind) mixed with goldfish for some reason.

The gator on a stick is a nostalgic fave of mine, but I think it was sitting in the bin for too long, because it had that dry, but greasy at the same time vibe going on. I still like the flavor.

Izzy's ice cream is great as always, but the donut batter crunch was a bit one note for me.

Aug 29, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Sichuan ingredients in Minneapolis

When I called Penzey's they didn't have them. Are they called something else there too?

Aug 06, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Sichuan ingredients in Minneapolis

You shouldn't have much trouble finding chili bean paste. The trick is knowing exactly what you need for the recipe, because the sheer volume of options can be overwhelming.

Szechuan peppercorns are much harder to find. I thought I read UN doesn't even have them, but Shuang Hur does (just ask for them if you can't find them).

Lee Kum Kee is always reliable, so that's my go to.

Aug 03, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Pig Ate My Pizza Wait Times?

Wait was about 20 minutes @8 on a Thursday night. FYI, it's more or less communal dining if you have a small party.

The food is very good, though I think they have some work to do to get the pizza up to par with the rest (the dough is pretty meh).

The downside is that the waiting area is immediately under the speakers. The music is extremely loud and intentionally bad for irony reasons (and very explicitly vulgar, which is an odd choice since children are invariably present).

Aug 03, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Sandcastle on Nokomis

Wife and I paid a visit

First of all, really nice view, so long as you aren't having alcohol (we weren't). The beer garden is a bit more secluded. This is a great place for families.

The food was hit and miss. Really enjoyed the sweet pea falafel wrap and the Nokomis dog. Both had abundant, fresh, summery flavors.

The cheese curds were a bit cold (timing with the other food items might have been an issue). Certainly competent, but the dipping sauce (caesar in our case) did nothing to elevate it.

The ceviche struck me as possibly the gazpacho recipe with the addition of seafood. At any rate, the seafood was rubbery across the board. Not a good dish.

The fry bread with bison was a strong idea. The bread was absolutely delicious, but the buffalo was under-seasoned and oddly greasy. There is potential there, though, I think.

I should note that the food is dirt cheap and the portions generous. By my lights, this place is already delivering at a higher level than the other newfound, waterside establishments, and the venue couldn't be better.

Jul 24, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

2013 State Fair

Excited about the bourbon sausage and deep fried bread pudding. I also think the deep fried meatloaf could be sneaky good.

Also excited for some decent onion rings. They are lacking at the fair, and in this area in general.

Jul 05, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

2013 State Fair

I don't get the overpriced bit. Sausage by Cynthia is about $6-7, as much as you would pay for a quality sausage anywhere else. The cannolis are $4 or so.

Where is everyone going in the cities to get all this cheap food?

Jul 05, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Downed Maple. Can I profit?

A nominally substantial chunk of our maple tree took a tumble. As we dispense of it, does it make sense to set aside some for grilling? Would we have to treat it somehow to make that realistic?

And yes, I understand this is a naive question.

Jun 22, 2013
kevin47 in General Topics
1

54/Nic Bfst

I'll second the recommendation for Sun Street's biscuit sandwiches. I had a homemade spam one and it was really nice.

Jun 19, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Surdyk's Sandwiches.

That was the sandwich I had, and it was atrocious. Jawbreakingly crunchy, cloyingly sweet. If it was made fresh, it didn't show.

The homemade pretzel was alright, though that beet butter is just terrible.

May 30, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Surdyk's Sandwiches.

Had a sandwich at Surdyk's Flights, and it was pretty lousy. Did not distinguish itself from the pre-fab D'Amico stuff that once ruled the roost at MSP.

May 30, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Dinner in the Loop During Twins Games

30 minutes after the game is perfect. Plus, there will be plenty of 2 hour parking available.

May 18, 2013
kevin47 in Minneapolis-St. Paul