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Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

Nope, I love the stuff. It's just a word of warning to people expecting Pizza Hut. Seriously, the Chicken Pesto is very, very good.

Jan 16, 2007
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

Ok, I'm going to try LaLaibella now. That sounds awesome.

Jan 15, 2007
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

Yes, Zandbroz has an AWESOME soda fountain. It's just as good as Edgar's (down in Elk Point, SD), which has been around for a long time as well. I'm honestly surprised to hear that they had that many dishes available for your main course. They typically only have the pasties, so that's a surprise (but maybe I just wasn't paying attention). I'm excited to hear that.

Cafe 334 is very good. There is no question. It's one of my favorites in the area, however I've found that it can sometimes be hard to get people to go there because they're used to more variety from the chain restaurants. Nothing against the Cafe, it's just my excuse for not going more often, I guess. Cafe 334 typically has a very limited menu that changes often, but it's always delicious.

Red Rossa is a Napoli Pizza place where you get your own pizza made to order, roasted in a wood-burning oven. The pizza comes out blistered and charred and a bit floppy, but it's very good stuff, and the staff is very friendly, in our experience. The Chicken Pesto pizza is our absolute favorite. They also have a pretty solid selection of gelato (very natural-tasting with a delicate flavor). Red Rossa also has a selection of wine and beer, although I've never really paid much attention, I guess.

Hope that helps.

Jan 15, 2007
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

Re-engineered, no reinvented. :) They're less burnt and the meat is different somehow. They just basically taste better, but I do like the mad scientist image that using the 're-engineered' word brings.

Jan 15, 2007
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

Puerto Vallarta is excellent, with some of the speediest service you can find anywhere. We go there very often.

As for pizza, yeah we're kind of screwed. I think it's a chain of some sort, but I like Pizza Man on Marion road. Excellent fresh ingredients. It's very tasty.

Jan 15, 2007
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

This is excellent news. Food and Fermentation has good eats. Hopefully the expansion will work for them. We really should get something to 'stick' in the brew pub. It's a great space.

Jan 15, 2007
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

Honestly I can't really comment on whether there's a difference. When I'm in Minneapolis, I'm usually trying something new. If I eat something up there that I can get down here, I'm usually pretty crabby about it.

The Sierra Chicken Sandwich is an awesome guilty pleasure. The new Mexirolls (re-engineered!) are pretty fantastic for some reason as well.

Oct 24, 2006
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

Yeah, Cafe 334 is solid. Good brunch, with interesting takes on standard menu items. For brunch-like menu items, the pumpkin pancakes are very good, but I always go for the egg and chorizo sausage skillet. It's very, very good. Pretty decent coffee here as well. This place reminds me a bit of Barbette in Minneapolis, with a unique american approach rather than french. It's worth a shot.

Food 'n Fermentation has (had?) the best handmade mac and cheese in town, and amazing sandwiches. The reason I say had is because we recently noticed at work that their space is avaiable for rent!?! I'll look around and see what is going on. The portion sizes are very small, so it gives you a nice opportunity to try a side of soup (or the mac and cheese, hint hint).

Your Taco John's listing is hilarious. I love that place. People who move away from our particular corner of the midwest come back craving that stuff. The drivethrough at the location on Louise never gets our order right (not once), but I just keep coming back for more. The food is worth it, but you don't want to go there very often or next time you might have a heart attack before you get to your cinnamon churro.

Oct 19, 2006
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

Kaladi's is good for sure. The Hot Rhino sandwich is great, other than the fact that the rustic bread is so 'rustic' that it takes the skin off the top of my mouth.

Bagel Boy has the best 'everything' bagel you can get anywhere. It's fantastic. They are still bustling with business, even though Panera moved into town this summer. The coffee is horrible though, in my opinion. Another interesting angle are some of the hot bagel sandwiches that they make. My sons and I love the pizza bagel, but it might be a bit greasy for the uninitiated.

Sushi Masa is a great little place. The owner is very finnicky and particular and it shows. Make sure you have about 2 hours for lunch. Nothing against the staff, it's just a very, very small place. It really is worth it.

Fryn Pan - complete with the typo on the sign! Yeah! Anyway, they definitely don't care how long you sit there. In addition to the bar crowd, this is a college student study hangout, with all-nighters getting pulled all the time. Try ordering the BFR warmed up. It's a big caramel roll I won't elaborate here on what the 'F' stands for, but it's a huge roll. Very ooey gooey and great with black coffee.

B and G is absolutely the best ice cream stand you will find. I literally crave the footlong chili dogs (with everything on em, wouldn't you know it). The apple pie concrete shake must have an entire piece of apple pie in each one, I swear. It's absolutely chunky and amazing. The only place I've been that comes close is Ted Drewes, in St. Louis, MO. I just wish B&G stayed open for more of the year. It opens up in the late spring and it's about to close now. I better go get my last fix!

Oct 19, 2006
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

That's a good way to describe the Tea Steakhouse, good steak, but not like a Manny's steak (or like Manny's in any way at all really).

Yeah, Sanaa's is fantastic. My office used to be in the same building. It was great for lunch. Excellent couscous, and we liked the breads and pastries so much we ordered them in for meetings from time to time. Great soup too. I'd include it in my favorite places list when I get around to putting that together.

As an interesting sidenote, Sanaa is married to James Abourezk, a former Senator for South Dakota, who also has an office in the building. He holds the honor of being the first Arab-American to serve in the U.S. Senate. Both very nice people, btw.

I've never had LaLibela! I'll check it out. Chowhound.com is awesome.

Ouch, that's a bad Spezia brunch review. I guess the pizzas sometimes look like they've been out for a bit, but otherwise I'm going to hope it was just a bad day. I've never really had one there though, so that's odd. I'll keep my eyes open the next time I end up out there for brunch.

Oct 19, 2006
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

Thanks MSPD... I skipped my favorites for this time, so I've definitely got more to cover.

I have eaten at the Tea Steakhouse. It was pretty good steak I guess, but it's been years and I haven't been back, so something must not have made me all that excited about it.

If you're going out of your way, it's probably not worth it in my opinion, but they definitely do have a reputation in the area. Again, it's been a while, so the memories are fuzzy at best.

Yeah, the Hamburger Inn was the greasy spoon to end all greasy spoons. It was kind of scary eating there actually, but hard to turn down. Eggburgers and individual cigarettes for 10 cents our of a rotating straw dispenser? How can you beat that for ambiance? Anyway, it came under new ownership relatively recently (sometime in the last year or two) and got a super high grade from the health inspector, which really surprised me. The last time I was there, it felt like the place could be condemned just because of the length of time since the grill was last scraped.

Oct 19, 2006
pulpster in Great Plains

Sioux Falls Overview Fall 2006 (from a local)

First off, I'm new here. Hello.

Second, I'm from Sioux Falls, SD. There hasn't been a lot of talk on this board about what there is to offer here in my hometown lately, so I thought I'd do my part to throw out some reviews so that three years from now, when you find yourself heading to Sioux Falls for some reason, you can at least have a shot at what options there are (from a local point of view).

Third, I travel to the Cities a lot (and elsewhere somewhat less often), so when you read these reviews, know that they weren't written in a complete vacuum. While I'm probably not the most experienced chowhound, I enjoy a truly great restaurant (probably more than the average person).

A little bit about Sioux Falls and the way the locals treat restaurants. I've heard (but never researched) that Sioux Falls has more restaurants per capita than any other city in the United States with a population over 100,000. If true, and I would believe that it is, it's because there isn't much to do here except eat. As a result, when a new restaurant comes to town (regardless of quality), it gets pummeled by the locals because it's something new. This goes for chain restaurants as well, and we've got a ton of them. Also, Sioux Falls isn't very big, so many people tend to drive to a new location if the wait is over 25 minutes. We're an impatient bunch as a whole, so it seems like the restaurants have reacted to this in our little gastrosphere and service is usually pretty timely.

Ok. On to the specific restaurants. I'll focus on the higher-end, bigger, more expensive places for now, or this post is going to be WAY too long. This means I'm going to miss my favorites for now, but I don't want to die keeping this information to myself.

Minerva's.
There's been some talk about Minervas on this board in the past, but I'm going to put it out there. It's 'alright'. Good steaks, with an outdated interior sporting lots of brass. This restaurant is run by one of the more prominent restaurant families in the area and has launched several spinoffs due to it's success. Due to it's longstanding presence in Sioux Falls, it is frequented by an older crowd.

Foley's.
A more modern version of Minervas (although not affiliated). Similar offerings (steak, chops, pasta, seafood). Slightly above average on a national scale, but probably one of the better places in town if you're looking for an upscale meal. Nice upscale bar area. For food, my personal favorites are the bone-in ribeye, the french onion soup and the walleye cheeks appetizer. Very tasty stuff. The scene is younger than Minerva's, frequented by business people and has a bit of a see or be seen vibe, but in a town the size of Sioux Falls, it's hard not to be seen no matter where you go.

601 Arota.
Used to be Theo's, and was much better when it was, in my opinion. When Foley's came on the scene and drew the 'ooooh, a new restaurant' crowd, Theo's shut down, redecorated in a bizarre artsy art deco kind of feel -- swapping out their menu and steakhouse attitude for a very high-end (and neon-infused?) approach. This didn't go over well and didn't lure back the locals. They've since combined their new menu with some favorites from the old, but the quality (and especially the service) just isn't there. In addition, they lost one of the partners (who was also the head chef), who started up his own catering business. I haven't been there since, so I can't vouch for how they're doing now.

The Country Clubs.
If you are ever visiting locals and get invited to one of the country club restaurants (The Minnehaha Country Club and the Westward Ho Country Club), avoid them at all costs. Really not good. Bad. Laughable even.

Spezia.
This one has been mentioned on this board a few times. Originally a Minervas spinoff, it split off entirely last summer on it's own. Very popular locally, Spezia is an American Italian restaurant that offers consistently good food. It won't blow your mind, but it's good. Look for the Giglio Pasta (with green pesto sauce), the pork roast, or the Arcadian Chicken Pasta (spicy brown sauce). Also immensly popular for their Sunday Brunch, I've never seen anything like it anywhere. It's truly immense and quite good, with a wide variety of unique breakfast pizzas, pastas, meats, breakfast items, pastries and salad items. In season, they offer special menus based around specific locally grown ingredients. Their heirloom tomato menu comes to mind. Worth checking out.

Bracco.
Started up by the Spezia crowd this spring, Bracco is a carribean inspired restarant (with a little mexican/sushi/other stuff thrown in for good measure) that gives me a big 'ho-hum' kind of feeling overall. They turned down experienced wait staff in favor of young, green servers with no clue what they are doing, so the service is awkward. There are good items on the menu (the appetizers and sandwiches are good stuff). Overall, it's a very popular spot, but the service, the food, and the mixed drinks just aren't there for me. That being said, the patio is a very nice place to catch an afternoon breeze, although it's open inconsistently for some reason. Overall, I guess I'm just surprised that the owners can't replicate the consistency of Spezia with Bracco.

That's probably enough Sioux Falls coverage for now. How am I doing so far? Should I go back to lurking, or was this helpful at all?

Oct 17, 2006
pulpster in Great Plains

New to Powderhorn Park Neighborhood and South Minneapolis

I had a great experience at the Longfellow Grill. Very friendly service and an amazing Turkey burger with all sorts of great flavors all working together. I seem to remember it won 'best burger' from one of the Cities mags, but I can't remember which one.

Not sold on the decor, but I guess that's not what's most important. The outdoor patio would be hosting me next time I go.

Oct 17, 2006
pulpster in Minneapolis-St. Paul

New to Powderhorn Park Neighborhood and South Minneapolis

I'll second the vote for Crema. Fantastic organic ice creams...specifically the 'crema' flavor. I don't live in the cities, but I get cravings and have to stop in from time to time. It's great to see Sonny still wandering around, doing his thing.

Oct 17, 2006
pulpster in Minneapolis-St. Paul