Monday, October 31, 2005

Duluth Weekend
Highly recommended, first choice for pub dinner. The Brewhouse has live, acoustic music on weekends. The food is wonderful. My favorite thing to order is the Wild Rice burger, which is vegetarian, but delicious. Great Onion Rings and the beer is fantastic. You can do a tasting of all they have on tap or go with the Witchtree, it's fantastic and very popular. It would be a great spot for a casual dinner. After dinner you can pop across the hall to this really hip new bar called Red Star. It's just so cool, but I usually only last for a fancy martini before the crowd starts filling up and getting progressively younger. Good dessert would be a chocolate martini. All is in the Fitger's complex which is where my mom's store is, The Snow Goose, if you go on Saturday night, my sister will probably be working and it's cute if you want to poke around at gifty things. (Gary might be bored.)
Another restaurant in the complex is Bennett's which is by far the area's nicest restaurant if you feel like going a little more upscale. Baja Billy's should probably be avoided.
For breakfast there's the Amazing Grace It's in the basement of the DeWitz Sites building in the heart of Canal Park. They serve breakfast as well as yummy scones and muffins. Their coffee and lattes are so delicious. And it's a lot sunnier than you would think. This another venue where a lot of local mucians play, but only at night. For breakfast it's just a happy place. There's a place on the floor with toys for kids of the vegan/hippie parents. There's the killer blueberry muffin and soy latte's for the jogging set and big, hearty breakfasts of the hard working bunch. It's just such a great place. Then, more wandering, all the galleries and what not. There is a super cool store on the second floor of the building you should duck in to if you have a chance.
My two other breakfast spots have recently been, well, one was closed by the Health Inspector for the 10th time (but the food was so good and it gave me a sense of adventure!) and the other, R.I.P the Buena Vista, best view of any city anywhere, has been converted into condos : (
For lunch, if you haven't had enough to eat yet, there's Sir Benedict's. Made to order sandwiches the size of your head, but all really good, fresh ingredients and a lovely view of the lake. They don't have their own website, but it's kind of across the street from Fitger's, on the corner of Superior St. and 9th, I do believe. Super cute and cozy considering it's a remodeled gas station.

Last idea, if you wanted to go up the North Shore for a drive there's this place, That looks amazing is supposed to be wonderful, but I've never gotten around to checking it out.
I expect a full food report.

Thursday, October 06, 2005


The newest and hippest restaurant in the Uptown area has got to be Five. Chef Stewart Woodman, formerly of Levain has taken over the former fifth precinct building on 29th and Bryant. It's been a pretty big deal in the papers. Pioneer Press, Star Tribune and City Pages have written excited, drooly articles about this place.
Me? Well... Eh? It's okay. Firstly, taking a note from all hipper than thou restaurants, it's kinda hard to find. Just aim for the Valet kid and hopefully, some rather wealthy ladies of a certain age (older than me and rather bejewled) will open the door just before you get there, as happened to me. You enter the bar which is really nice. It's architecture is reminiscent of this great new bar in Duluth called Red Star, but that's another story. Tall booths line one wall, interesting art, great lighting and pretty comfy bar stools. I hear the upstairs is gorgeous, but I didn't make it. The bathrooms are supposed to be a conversation piece. The ladies is nice, really cool cooper colored tiles.
I never did have any food, because the people who were supposed to join me for dinner never showed. I was starving, but the only little nosh offerings were chicken liver (I am not that cool,) duck (I just haven't learned to love that yet) or cheese for $11, which would have been lovely if anyone was going to going me, but an $11 cheese plate just for me seemed embarrassing.
I had a glass of wine that I'm sure was chosen because it's called "Five," a bland Zinfandel. I followed this up with a glass of the Pinot Noir that they offer by the glass. Eh... I didn't know any of the vineyards, white or red, so I was kind of stuck. The Five wine was better than the Pinot, so I had another unimpressive glass of that. There were a lot of martini and cocktail offerings, but they were all just a little too much. Too much booze or too much sweet, which is nothing good on an empty stomach.
I called it quits at 8. I couldn't stand it anymore, I was starving. I raced home and ordered one of my favorite lazy meals: a Simple Chicken Philly from McCaffery's Deli on Lyndale, just down from the Falafal King (next to the Country Bar.) Peppery, juicy chicken, gooey cheese, chewy sub roll delivered hot and fast (just like I like my men!) And it's all only five dollars and some change. Plus, no minimum delivery amount. I've been meaning to go down there and hug the wonderful staff. They are always there for me.
Maybe Five is as great as everyone expects it to be. I didn't eat anything, so it's not like I should judge. But I guess I just thought I'd be caught up, enamored with some dazzling Oz of a dining experience. All I've got is... Eh.