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Kilgore's Profile

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Can't miss recommendations for an out of towner

That last sentence nailed it! Been living in Mpls for 15 years and have never seen a place where the quality of food is such an after thought. It's all about being trendy or at least how tall you can stack the entree.

Jul 16, 2015
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

La Chaya Bistro [MSP]

Sorry to hear that La Chaya Bistro has closed. Confirmed on their website. Anyone know the details?

Jan 21, 2014
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Food fads that are over-used

Overhopped beer. I love a good hoppy beer but one that balanced. I'm tired of seeing these ultra hoppy messes that are coming out from microbreweries everywhere. Might as well serve a decent beer along with a bowl of dried hops.

Budvar beer

I can almost guarantee you won't find Budvar in a local liquor store. Budvar can't be sold under that name anywhere in the US and Canada. The beer you're looking for is called Czechvar here.

There's been a long-standing trademark dispute over the name. Take a look at

At one point, I'm pretty sure I saw it at Trader Joes. You might want to give them a call.

Jan 12, 2013
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Looking for a request along transit route

Any Hillcrest Thai or Indian suggestions?

Jul 14, 2011
Kilgore in San Diego

Looking for a request along transit route

Great! Sounds like I'll be using my public transportation pass to head up to Hillcrest more than once.

Last year we were in the Sheraton by the airport and stuck at the Marina. I had trouble finding anyone who wanted to venture very far - a taxi to the Gaslamp was standard. This year I'm glad that I'll have transit options available - now just to find some conference goers who will venture out with me.

Jul 13, 2011
Kilgore in San Diego

Looking for a request along transit route

Thanks scottca075, so it sounds like there should be plenty of decent places to pick from up in Hillcrest.

Your recs are just the type of places I was looking for since I'm dining alone. Off the top of my head, I'm most interested in Ortega's, Khyber Pass, Amarin Thai and Bombay. Any thoughts on those or is there a hidden gem elsewhere on the list or in Hillcrest that I should consider?

To be honest, if I was picking up my own tab, I'd probably just hit up one of the taco places.

Amarin Thai Restaurant
6755 Mira Mesa Blvd Ste 109, San Diego, CA 92121

Khyber Pass Restaurant
523 University Ave, San Diego, CA 92103

Jul 13, 2011
Kilgore in San Diego

Looking for a request along transit route

Thanks Cathy,

when I travel, I much prefer public transport to car rentals and taxis. I'm planning on purchasing a multi-day transit pass, so if there's anything along the route - I don't mind stopping along the way.

Jul 11, 2011
Kilgore in San Diego

Looking for a request along transit route

I was pretty sure that I was closer to the University Ave. location, but I checked just in case. It's almost twice as far to the Liberty Station store and 54 min. vs. as little as 19 minutes by public transportation.

Last year I was at a different hotel and went to the Truxton Rd TJs - it was a mess, I had to go by taxi and the driver had no clue where it was - at least he was nice and turned off the meter and charged me a flat fee. Coming back was even worse - I had the restaurant call a cab for me and it was over one and a half hours later, before I actually got in a taxi. They kept getting snagged by patrons from the bar around the corner.

Jul 11, 2011
Kilgore in San Diego

Looking for a request along transit route

Hey everyone,

I have a very specific request that I hope you can help with.

I'll be in town for a conference in early August. I'll be arriving early Monday afternoon and the conference starts Tuesday morning. I'll be staying at the Bayfront Hilton and I'm planning on grabbing a quick bite at Tin Fish when I get in and then exploring a bit.

At some time i the afternoon/evening I'd like to head up to the Hillcrest Trader Joe's to grab some wine and supplies for the room. I'm planning on buying a transit pass and taking public transportation to TJ's from near Petco Park. I'd like to hear of any recommendations for a moderately nice place to dine alone (and have a beer/wine or two) in the neighborhood near the TJs or anywhere along the route. (It will be on a Monday, that might impact what's open.)

Thanks much,

The Tin Fish
2750 Dewey Rd, San Diego, CA 92106

Jul 10, 2011
Kilgore in San Diego

Sea Salt Eatery

Remember, this is Sea Salt.... the one thing you will do have to do is wait. I hope they can somehow manage the crowd better. I love their food, but hate the line.

Mar 31, 2011
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Celebratory Dinner with Kids (5 and 2)

Hey everyone, thanks for the replies. I got some good ideas, both for this dinner as well as just fun, more casual type places. I should mentioned that I was told to go "some place nice" and take the entire family.

I think that we'll probably go to Al Vento. It's not too far away and we always wanted to try it. I mentioned it to my wife yesterday and she liked the look of the menu on the website. We'll go early in the week and as early as we can - around 6:00 or so.

I was seriously thinking about Cafe Maude until we read the Heavy Table post and comments. Thanks for pointing that out.

Cafe Maude
5411 Penn Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55419

Al Vento
5001 34th Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408

Feb 20, 2011
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Celebratory Dinner with Kids (5 and 2)

My boss, who is from Chicago, asked me to take the whole family out for a nice dinner on the company. I'm looking on suggestions on where to go.

The five year old is quite well behaved, but the toddler is, well, a toddler. She does fine at places like Highland Grill, but we were looking for a step up from that. We considered Cafe Levain. On several recent visits we've found it to be pretty empty early in the week, but I don't want to put out other diners.

Any ideas???

Highland Grill
771 Cleveland Ave S, Saint Paul, MN 55116

Feb 18, 2011
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

What to do with a teeny "slow cooker"

We have one and in addition to keeping dips etc. warm, we love it for cooking steel cut oats overnight. I found it ran a little hot on the low setting and the oats would stick in where the wall meets the bottom. Now instead of just using water, I fill up the measuring cup with ice and then add the water to the cup and the oats are perfectly cooked in the morning.

Jan 23, 2011
Kilgore in Home Cooking

smoked country ham

Are you looking for small pieces of a salt-cured country ham? If you were look
Ing for a whole one, I'd suggest Costco. I know they sell whole country hams down south. As for small pieces, I've seen them in sold in Piggly Wiggly stores down there, but have no clue where to find them here.

If you're just looking for smaller pieces of a "regular" smoked ham. I buy Cooks ham steaks for that purpose.

Jan 11, 2011
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

St. Paul Butcher Shops

Count me in for Everett's too - they are helpful and unpretentious. Last weekend, I got a very nice butt for my Memorial day barbeque and a fantastic flank steak for the grill. One tip, if you don't see it on display, be sure to ask - they have additional stuff in the walk-in.

Much preferred over Clancey's and Mike's. I've had very lackluster and mealy sausages from both of those places. I can forgive Mike's, but I expected so much more from Clancey's (with those prices.)

Jun 03, 2010
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Would like some suggestions based on past experiences in Boston

Thanks for the tip, but I should have mentioned that heading to that one to grab a couple bottles of wine for the stay. I'll pop over to the little on on Boylston if I need more yogurt, etc.

Apr 21, 2010
Kilgore in Greater Boston Area

Would like some suggestions based on past experiences in Boston

I'll be returning to Boston for five days in mid-May to attend a conference. I've been to Boston a half-dozen times and this is my third trip to this particular event, held in the Back Bay Sheraton. I'd like to hear your suggestions based on my past experiences and preferences.

Here's some background:

I'm a southerner who's been in Minneapolis for a while and to be honest, I don't have many good things to say about dining in the Twin Cities. In short, I prefer good solid cooking to trendy. I'm much more interested in the taste of the food rather than it's ability to be described as infused, scented, foamed or deconstructed.

I won't have a car, but will have a T-pass and I'm willing to explore any places accessible by transit. More than likely, I'll be dining alone (it seems most attendees have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory or Legal Seafood in the Prudential Center that's attached to the hotel) and the solo-dining vibe is an important part of the experience. In general, I much prefer funky to formal. I don't have a big budget - only about $70 a day, but almost all of that can be allocated to dinner. (Not a big breakfast person and lunch is provided, although I usually get out a couple of times for something more interesting.)

The last couple of years, I've been searching Chowhound's Boston Board before the trip and found some wonderful restaurants and had some fantastic meals. However, I feel that I'm missing some great places - so I'm looking for your suggestions.

What worked:

East Coast Grill - My favorite by far! Perfect for dining at the bar, good food, great bartender. Went twice during my visit in 2008, and then last year I sat down at the bar and was greeted with "Minneapolis, right?" How can you not love a place that has a bartender like Brian?

India Quality - Visited in 2008 & 2009. Enjoyed the food both times, but looking to try something different this year.

Busy Bee (Brookline) - Like I said, I'm not much of a breakfast person, but this place was great for the experience. I sat at the counter and spent well over an hour chatting with the locals and the staff.

Galleria Umberto - I love down to earth places like this - they don't seem to exist in Minneapolis. Had a super cheap and interesting lunch, while poking around North End.

What didn't:

Neptune Oyster - I know it is a favorite, but it didn't work for me. I don't care that much for raw oysters, but the Lobster Roll came highly recommended. I was given a seat at the bar and the experience here was totally opposite my experience at ECG. The bartender pushed the raw bar and was miffed when I didn't order anything - from that point on, service was haughty. Of course, they were out of the lobster roll, so I ordered clam chowder and the lobster spaghettini. After I got my chowder and my $17 glass of wine that he insisted would be a perfect match for the lobster, I was informed that they were all out. I don't even remember what I finished with, but the service left a bad taste in my mouth.

Cafe Polonia - I lived in Eastern Europe for four years, so I was excited to read good things about this place. However, I arrived after a long T ride to find the place closed at 8PM, even though I'd called earlier to confirm that they were open until 9. Anyone have any thoughts about whether I should try again this year?

Lobster Rolls - Should I give up? In addition to the Neptune Oyster attempt, I've had them at Summer Shack and Charlie's Kitchen (that's where I ended up after my failed Cafe Polonia trip) and neither were wonderful. in the past, I've had a few on the New England coast that were fantastic. Is there a great lobster roll that I'm missing?

If anyone has any tips based on my likes and dislikes, they would be much appreciated. Also, I have a couple specific requests/questions:

- Does anyone have a dinner suggestion for me in Brookline? I'll arrive late afternoon and would like to pick up some supplies at Trader Joe's. Thought I might as well eat around Coolidge Corner.

- Clam shacks sound like my kind of place. Are there any decent ones reachable by public transit?

Thanks for reading this long post. I'm really looking forward to visiting your city again.

Neptune Oyster
63 Salem St Ste 1, Boston, MA 02113

East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

Cafe Polonia
611 Dorchester Ave, Boston, MA 02127

Trader Joe's
1427 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02476

Summer Shack
310 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

Charlie's Kitchen
10 Eliot St, Cambridge, MA 02138

India Quality Restaurant
484 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215

Busy Bee Restaurant
1046 Beacon St, Brookline, MA 02446

Apr 20, 2010
Kilgore in Greater Boston Area

Grilling Time - Fresh Brats?

They have them at Sam's Club and they are not frozen.

Apr 19, 2010
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Trader Joe's MSP - Crushing Disappointment (very long rant)

I happen to like Trader Joe's and disagree with many of the posts in this thread. Most of these are opinions, so I've not responded. However, this post is blatantly untrue.

In addition to 3BC, Trader Joe's stocks many wines that are only available though their stores. Most of these are priced in the $4 to $8 range and are what I consider the great values at TJ's, not 3BC.

They also offer many wines that can be purchased elsewhere and at lower prices, but 3BC isn't their only wine that can't be found at other stores.

Trader Joe's is about value - a good product for a good price. If you don't feel you get a good value there, that's fine, but don't make a blanket statement that's just not true.

Apr 01, 2010
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP - Looking for Pork Back Fat

I got it at Von Hansens. I called ahead and they said that they could place an order for me.

Dec 04, 2009
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Kabobs Minneapolis

I waited until last week to go, hoping that they would be serving from the menu. However, they've changed their original plans and are now going to be buffet only. With the lines that were there, I'm guessing that they had to do this to meet demand. Five dollars is a good price and they charge $1 extra for dosas.

I also liked the goat curry the best and found everything else to be pretty ho-hum. The appetizers (lentil doughnuts, etc.) were lukewarm and soggy. The tandoori chicken didn't seemed to be baked in a tandoor - the spices didn't set - it was almost like roast chicken with Indian spices. I'm hoping that this has been fixed based on Dave's second report.

I'll go back to give it another try, but it might be a while, as I normally bring my lunch.

Sep 10, 2009
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Slaw dog

I'be been away from Atlanta for over 10 years, but I do love a Varsity slaw dog. Most of the time we have hot dogs at home, I add slaw to mine. My wife just thinks it's weird.

Jun 29, 2009
Kilgore in General Topics

Jfood's Ice Cream Tour Continues (MSP) - Return to Pumphouse

I'm glad that someone else has experienced less than spectacular ice cream at Pumphouse. I don't live too far away and have tried it three different times - and found most flavors to be bland and not as "luscious" as expected. I never got what all the raves were about.

Sorry, but I could care less whether they use local and organic ingredients if the flavor and texture isn't there.

MSP farmers markets

I think that you're talking about Brewery Creek Nursery. I got my heirlooms from them for the last several years. The owner, Tim Kornder, passed away last winter and they're not selling anything this spring

I happened to drive through Belle Plaine a couple of weeks ago and saw the nursery was in severe disarray. I asked about the business at the Farmers Market and several vendors said that it seems unlikely that the family will re-open.

MSP: L'Ecosse

I updated the Places link. When I called to get the hours, the person I spoke with volunteered that they do take reservations.

May 01, 2009
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP: L'Ecosse

I'm also very excited to hear about this place. I live in the area and I had no idea that it was there -- I'm guessing that it replaced Michael's Cafe???

I never tried Michael's, but the popularity of Pepito's has me baffled. (I guess it must be one of those places that people grew up with...)

Based on Earl said and what I read on-line, they're only open for breakfast and lunch until they get their beer/wine license. I'm bummed about that because I work downtown. However, I saw that dav3m just had dinner there on Thursday - are they open for dinner? Does this mean that they already have their license?

I'm looking forward to trying, maybe I'll call this afternoon and find out their actual hours.

May 01, 2009
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

Aribel's closed (MSP)

I walk past First Course daily and have noticed that the outside tables have been pretty bare this year. Also, a month or so ago, they put up a cheap fabric sign advertising tap specials in the afternoon.
Even though I live very close by, I stopped going there after being insulted by the owner. When I want something close by in that price range, I gladly I take my business a few blocks up Chicago to Cafe Levain. In my book, competition is a very good thing.

MSP - Jambalaya & Po Boys

I think that Sea Salt is an excellent suggestion and probably does have the best seafood Po Boy in MSP. However, when I've ordered them in years past, they've been served on a soft hoagie roll. (I've been several times this year, but had to bail after seeing the lines.)

In and around New Orleans, Po Boys are always served on French bread and that's actually the key ingredient that makes a Po Boy a Po Boy, not so much the fillings. (Southern Louisiana French bread is very crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.)

Is Sea Salt still using the soft hoagie rolls for their PBs? If they've remedied that, then I'll make sure I get down there ASAP.

Jun 26, 2008
Kilgore in Minneapolis-St. Paul

MSP-Nicollet Mall Farmer Market

I saw them a couple Thursdays ago. They were near a stage set up at the Xcel offices (between 4th & 5th.) However, it was about 3PM and it seemed they were already in the process of packing up.

I looked for them last week in the same spot and didn't see them. But I got out a bit later than the last time, so maybe they had already gone.