Monthly Archives: May 2015

Peppers & Fries

We tried a new Minneapolis restaurant on Saturday – Peppers & Fries.  As usual, we were on the early side for dinner and were able to walk right in and get a table.  Also as usual, they seated us in an odd location – right near the bar and the pass-through for the food.  We could have asked to move, but just stayed where we were.  I could probably do an entire post on getting horrible seating in restaurants, but not today.

The menu had a nice story about how the restaurant came to be and why they focus their menu on burgers and burritos.  I guess “peppers” is for the burritos and “fries” is for the burger and a nod to the restaurateur’s name?  Also Peppers and Fries sounds more interesting than a restaurant called “Burgers & Burritos” – however, I know of a restaurant in the Phoenix area called Cheeseburgers & Beer.  No need to do additional advertising with that name!  Speaking of beer, Peppers & Fries has a great selection of craft beers.  I was in the mood for a Diet Coke, so passed on the beer.  Definitely a good place for beer connoisseurs though.

The decor of the place was nice.  The owners are big baseball fans and there were a number of TV’s showing different games.  They have garage doors that they open up to include outdoor seating.  We were inside, but had a nice view of outside and had the fresh air coming through.

Now, on to the food….

Shockingly the hubby went for a burrito instead of a burger.  He went with the Carolina Burrito, which was pulled pork, BBQ sauce, creamy coleslaw, and refried beans.  The burrito was served with tortilla chips and salsa.  While the pork was good, the burrito just didn’t work for him.  The salsa was bland and the chips were average.  He would not get the burrito again and is not likely to head back there anytime soon.

I was the winner in the menu selection game.  I ordered the Bacon & Bleu burger – Applewood bacon, blue cheese dressing, tomato, lettuce, mayo, and blue cheese crumbles.  I had a side of tater tots with the sandwich.  I thought the burger was amazing!  The hamburger patty did not seem to be one of the frozen, pre-made patties that you often get at restaurants.  It seemed handmade and the flavor was amazing.  The blue cheese on top of the burger just added to the awesomeness of the sandwich.  Very flavorful.  The tots were good.  Not sure you can go wrong with tots.  I enjoyed using the blue cheese dripping off my sandwich as a sauce for the tots.  I would definitely come back to this place for a burger.  Given that the hubby didn’t enjoy his meal and we don’t live close to it at all, it’ll probably be some time before I go back.

I give it a thumbs up for trying out – just go with the burgers!

Happy Eating!

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Victor’s on Water

Finally a decent afternoon/evening in Minnesota.  We decided to head out for a drive and enjoy the countryside and grab an early dinner in Excelsior.  We went to Victor’s on Water Street in Excelsior.  It’s a relatively new restaurant and was definitely worth the 60+ mile round-trip drive.

We walked into the restaurant and we both were taken back to a restaurant in Australia.  Interestingly enough, we were thinking of different restaurants.  They both had a similar feel though.  Relatively small with a bar and open kitchen against the back.  It took a few minutes for them to escort us to our table, but we were seated against the window and had a prime people-watching view.  And in Excelsior, there are a lot of people to watch!  The area was busy with lots of groups of teenage girls walking around, people walking their dogs, and couples heading to various restaurants for dinner and a cocktail.

Inside Victor’s, we were perusing the menu to determine what to order.  The menu is Italian and they make their pasta onsite every day.  They had an extensive wine list and so I ordered a Malbec-blend while the hubby stuck with water (see mileage note above).

I ordered the Caesar Salad sans anchovies and the hubby ordered the Green salad radishes, sunflower seeds, farro, and white balsamic vinaigrette.  Our salads were delivered fairly quickly and were quite tasty.  My salad was a bit odd in that it had quite a bit of sea salt flakes on it.  Don’t get me wrong, salt is tasty but I think it was prepared with a heavy hand.

We both ordered pasta dishes.  I ordered the waitress-recommended pappardelle hand cut Bolognese, sautéed vegetables, and parmesan.  The hubby ordered the Uovo di Raviolo ricotta, egg yolk, jamon royale, and fava beans.  Both entrees were great and the pasta was definitely fresh!  My bolognese was a bit different than what I’m used to as it was pieces of short rib instead of a beef/veal/pork mixture.  Was very good though and the vegetables were a great addition to the dish.  Half of the dish came home with me; looking forward to leftovers at some point this weekend!

We decided to skip the dessert in favor of a great ice cream shop down the block called Licks Unlimited.  I ordered a scoop of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream in a cup and the hubby got the raspberry chocolate truffle in a waffle cone.  Neither of us veer too far off the beaten path with our ice cream choices.  I always figure that if you get the same ice cream at each place then you can better discern who has the best ice cream.  That’s my story anyway, and I’m sticking to it.

A great evening with good food.  We’ll be back to Victor’s at some point and the area has a number of other good restaurants to try.  Skip dessert at the restaurants though and saunter down to Licks for some great ice cream.  And then if you have time, continue walking over to the lake for a stroll.

Happy Eating!

2015 So far through Burch Pizza

It’s been awhile, but never fear…Debbie’s Discourse is still here. While I’ve not been posting much, I have been eating out and exploring the twin cities food scene.

Some highlights of the year so far include:

  • Red Wagon Pizza – Awesome!  We had the Bar Chips and the Red Wagon Pizza.  We will be back!
  • We had a great dinner with our friend Colleen at Hola Arepa – fun space, great food.
  • Revisiting Heyday Restaurant for Easter brunch.  We went there last year for dinner with Heather, but didn’t love it.  (Though she did.)  Gave it another try for Easter brunch and it was really good.  We will be going back again for dinner!
  • We had a great day of going to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts to see the Hapsburg Exhibit.  We had been to Spoon & Stable when they opened and weren’t that impressed with the food – though the space is fabulous!  Heather hadn’t been so we followed up our museum visit with dinner.  It was much better this time.  I think they worked out some of the early opening kinks.
  • We tried Pilgrimage Cafe for brunch one Sunday before going on a tour of the Eames designed Christ Church Lutheran.  Both are worth a visit.  The donuts at Pilgrimage Cafe were unlike any other donut I’ve had before and very worth the calories.
  • Sassy Spoon made the list before we went to hear Steve Winwood in concert a few weeks ago.  Sassy Spoon is a great addition – especially for the gluten-free population.  Great food and the entire restaurant is gluten-free.

Last night we went back to Burch.  Our previous visit to Burch was in the upstairs steakhouse part of the restaurant.  This time we decided to try out their pizza restaurant in the basement.  The space was great – very cozy, original masonry walls, cool lighting.  We got their early since we went right after work.

The hubby ordered his usual Crispin Cider and I had a nice Bradford Mountain Dry Creek Zin – smooth and full-bodied.  A nice toast to a long work week!  We started with an order of the Fried Semolina Dumpling with Brown Butter and Sage.  Definitely worth getting if you go there!  The one downside is that there are only 3 to an order and some people don’t like to share.  Seriously though I let the hubby have 2 as i had ordered a salad too.  My salad was Belgian Endive with Blue Cheese and Bacon.  The endive was bitter, but the mix of flavors was great.  We shared a pizza – Coppa Cotta – wood roasted red peppers, smoked pork shoulder, mozzarella, and hazelnuts.  The combination was fabulous and the hazelnuts were a great crunchy addition.  We decided to finish out the meal with dessert.  Definitely worth it!  The hubby had a lemon tart with “the best meringue ever” and I had a great carrot cake.

Burch was a great start to the weekend and might make the annual Girl’s Weekend schedule in July.

Happy Eating!