Apr 152012

Cuisine: American, Pizza, Pasta
Restaurant Features: Bar, Flat Panel TVs, On-Site Parking, Patio Dining
Locations: Apple Valley, Blaine, Eagan, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Roseville, Uptown, St Cloud, Duluth
Addresses and Maps:
Apple Valley ~ 14998 Glazier Ave Apple Valley, MN 55124 (952) 891-4600
Blaine~ 198 Northtown Dr Blaine, MN 55434 (763) 783-3414
Duluth ~ 327 Lake Avenue South  Duluth, MN 55802 (218) 720-2966
Eagan ~ 1312 Town Centre Dr Eagan, MN 55123 (651) 688-0882
Eden Prairie ~ 12300 Singletree Lane Suite 100 Eden Prairie, MN 55344 (952) 946-1400
Minnetonka ~ 17790 Highway 7 Minnetonka, MN 55345 (952) 401-0030
Plymouth ~ 3505 Vicksburg Lane  Plymouth, MN 55447 (763) 744-1221
Roseville ~ 2100 N Snelling Ave Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 639-0303
St Cloud ~ 4040 2nd Street South St Cloud, MN 56301 (320) 259-1103
Uptown ~ 2841 Hennepin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55408 (612) 870-1918

Hours: Daily 11am-2am (food until 1am)
Links: Old Chicago Website * Old Chicago on Facebook

Atmosphere: The Roseville location of Old Chicago is located at Har Mar Mall,  facing Snelling Avenue.  The restaurant space has both tables and booths that are arranged to break up the space into smaller areas.  There are flat screen TVs tuned on to sports, as well as neon beer signs all over the restaurant and bar area.  There aren’t a whole lot of windows.

The Bar Area is adjacent to the dining area, just to the left of the main entrance.  Old Chicago is known for all the beers they carry; at least 30 on tap!  The Roseville location also has a large patio area facing Snelling Avenue.

Menu: Appetizers include Spicy Spinach Dip, Sampler Platter, Italian Nachos, Artichoke Dip, Nachos Grande, Chicken Tenders, Garlic Cheese Bread, Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls, Wings, and Mozzarella Sticks.

Small Plates include Mini Italian Meatballs, Mediterranean salad, Fried Spicy Pickles, Fried Mac N’ Cheese, and Tomato & Mozzarella Caprese.

Old Chicago also has Salads such as the Roasted Chicken Salad, Asian Chicken Salad, Harvest Salad with Balsamic Chicken, Classic Chicken Caesar, Mediterranean Salad, Crispy Chicken Salad, and House Salad.  Soups include Beef Chili and Potato Chowder.

Sandwiches and Burgers come with fries or coleslaw.  Options include Chicago Stromboli, Italian Sausage Stromboli, Classic Italian Melt, Spicy Chicago Beef, Prosciutto with Lettuce and Tomato, California Chicken Sandwich, Classic Club, and Chicken Wrap.  Burgers include Old Chicago Cheeseburgers, Guacamole Burger, and Bacon Cheeseburger.

Pasta options at Old C are Lasagna, Meatballs and Spaghetti, Chicken Alfredo, Chicken Mac N Cheese, and Classic Spaghetti.

You can also order Entrees such as Shrimp Basket, Fish & Chips, Crispy Chicken Tenders, Fisherman’s Catch, 8 oz Sirloin, and Grilled Sirloin with Shrimp.

Old Chicago is famous for their Pizzas which come with either Classic New York Style Crust, Deep Dish Chicago-Style, and Artisan Style.  Artisan options are Three Cheese with Tomato and Pepperoni, Proscuitto and Mushroom, and Roasted Chicken Pesto.  Specialty pizzas include “Chicago Seven”, Double Deckeroni, Meat Me, The Classic, Hawaiian, Thai Pie, Vegetarian Seven, and Malibu Veggie.

Old Chicago serves a variety of Calzones in addition to their famous Pizzas, including Italian Grinder, Monterey Chicken, Famous “Chicago Seven”, Meat Me, Spinach Artichoke, and Build Your Own.

Desserts offered include Famous Big Cookie, Little Big Cookie, Homemade Cheesecake, and Turtle Chocolate Brownie with Vanilla Ice Cream.
Price guide: Appetizers $3-10  Sandwiches $9-10  Entrees $8-16
Late Night Happy Hour: 9pm-Midnight

  • $1 off all pints, mini one-topping pizzas
  • $2 Miller Lite Pints and Grainbelt Nordeast pints
  • $3 Surly pints, wells, and house wines
  • $4 Sicilian Pepperoni Rolls
  • $5 Artichoke Dip, Italian Nachos and Nachos Grande
  • $.50 Wings (only on Wednesdays, min 4 per order)
    (all late night food specials require a minimum beverage purchase per person)

What we ordered: A couple of us ordered The Classic to share. I have had the pizza at Old Chicago many years earlier and I didn’t remember it standing out, so I had the preconceived notion that I wasn’t going to like it.  I was pleasantly surprised at how good it was, as was my companion.  We got the deep-dish crust that was about an inch thick with a crispy, dense crust.  Unlike most Chicago-style pizzas, the sauce on this pizza was under the cheese, rather than on top, yet it was still crispy.  It was topped with pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms and garlic.  Very good, I would definitely order this again.

One of my companions ordered the Spicy Chicago Beef sandwich which was an excellent choice.  This sandwich was served hot with a pile of tender, sliced roast beef, melted provolone cheese, spicy homemade pepper giardiniera and sweet red pepper mayo.  Served with french fries. It was so good that when I tried a bite, I ended up eating the entire half ;)

Another companion ordered the Fish and Chips.  The order came with four strips of fried cod, salt and vinegar fries, coleslaw and  a tangy tartar sauce.  The fish was very crispy but the fish within was hot and tasty.

Service: We arrived for a late dinner and the restaurant was still fairly busy.  Our server was attentive and our food was prepared in the appropriate amount of time for what we ordered (deep dish pizzas take a little longer).
Overall Impression: Old Chicago is a laid-back place to get a good pizza, sandwich or burger and a large selection of beers.  Yes, it is a big chain restaurant but the food is consistently good.
Old Chicago on Urbanspoon

Dec 182011

Cuisine: American, Fish, Pizza
Restaurant Features: Bar, Flat Screen TVs, Patio, On-Site Parking,
Location: Blaine, MN
Address: 10340 Baltimore Street NE Blaine, MN 55449 763-717-2235
Hours: Mon.-Wed. 11am-11pm  Thurs.-Fri. 11am-12am  Sat. 10am-12am Sun. 10am-11pm (kitchen closes one hour prior to bar)
Links: Bricks Pub Website  * Bricks Pub on Facebook  * Google Map

Atmosphere: Bricks Pub is located off of Hwy 65 and 103rd in Blaine, near several other local businesses.  One of the first things you will see when you walk up to the entrance of Bricks Pub is the beautiful big patio. I am sure this is a lovely place to dine in the non-winter months.  Both the exterior and interior of  the restaurant is made of brick.  The interior also has well worn wooden floors and there are several TVs hung around the space, which serve as the walls only decoration.  Right now, however, the restaurant is festively decorated for the holidays.

The bar area greets you as you enter through the front doors and has seating at a couple of booths and around the bar.

There is a clear view into the kitchen from the front of the dining room, where you can see and smell the smokey goodness of the wood burning oven.  The entire kitchen appears to be entirely stainless steel and very sterile.

Menu: Appetizers include The Brick (fried pickles with cream cheese and pastrami), Fire Baked Cheese, Garlic Hummus, Nachos, Ceviche, Mussels, Applewood Smoked Wings, Meatballs, and Sea Salt Fries.  Soups offered include Wild Rice and Soup du Jour.

Salads include Cobb, Caesar, Seared Ahi Tuna, The Pub (fresh mozzarella, chicken), and the Mediterranean.

Woodstone Pizzas include BBQ Brisket, The Classic (pepperoni, sausage, green pepper, mushrooms and olives), The Greek, Jamaican Jerk, and Margherita.

Sandwiches include The Tipsy Brisket, Cajun Club, The Jerk, Shaved Prime Rib, Egg and Pancetta, Portabella, BLAT, The Cuban, and Grilled Chicken.  Burger options include Bricks Burger, ZinBurger (manchego cheese with zinfadel braised onions), Northern Lights (bleu cheese and onion straws), BBQ Bacon and Cheese, The Dundee (pineapple, beets, fried egg and chili mayo), Market Burger (avocado and  cheddar), Turkey Burger (cranberries, sage, and smoked gouda), and The Backyard Burger.  Sandwiches and Burgers do NOT come with fries.  Upgrade to sea salt fries, truffle fries, garlic herb fries, jicama slaw, fresh fruit to baked beans for $2-3 more.

The Entrees at Bricks Pub include Beer Battered Fish & Chips, Steak and Frites, Pork and Beans, Chili Crusted Salmon, Drunken  Chicken, Jambalaya, Chicken Farfalle, Seared Ahi Tuna and Walleye.

Desserts at Bricks Pub are seasonal.  Current selections include Flourless Molten Chocolate Cake, Apple Strudel, Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake, Hot Fudge Sundae, Rootbeer Float, and Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream.
Price guide: Appetizers $6-11 Pizzas $9-12  Burgers/Sandwiches $7-11

Happy Hour:

  • Monday-Friday 4-6pm
  • $3 Appetizers: The Brickle, Hummus,
  • $3 off Signature Drinks

What we ordered: My companions and I arrived during Happy Hour and took advantage of the drink specials ($3 off).  I ordered the Perfect ‘Rita made with Parton Silver, Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Sweet and Sour, and Orange Juice.  It was strong and delicious.  The Mixologist, Jason,  did a great job with our drinks.

One of my companions ordered the Pomegranate Martini.  This drink was made with Absolut Citron, POM Pomegranate juice, Cointreau and Fresh Lemon. Delicious!

One of my companions ordered a Mojito, made with Bacardi Rum, Mint Leaves, Fresh Lime and Sugar.  Light and Refreshing!

Another companion ordered the Sangria, made with Ruby Port, Cointreau, Brandy, Orange Juice, Pineapple Juice and Sprite.

When I saw Ceviche on the menu, I immediately wanted it.  The Ceviche at Bricks Pub is made with pieces of both shrimp and scallops rather than the traditional preparation of fish.  It was okay.  It had small chunks of avocado and tomato and was very heavy on the lime juice so that it was basically small bites of scallop and shrimp in a green sauce.  It was served with house-made tortilla chips that seemed stale rather than hot and fresh.  The portion was quite small for $11 and despite its small size, we only ate half of it. Overall I was disappointed with the ceviche and would not order it again.

For my dinner I ordered the Shaved Prime Rib Sandwich.  The sandwich was piled with thinly shaved prime rib served on a baguette.  The meat was topped with caramelized onions and bleu cheese and was served with a side of au jus.   The sandwich was pretty good, although the beef tasted like it had been reheated.  This meal does not come with fries so I ordered a side of Truffle Fries for an additional $3.  They were shoestring variety but were very garlicky and I could not detect any of the truffle oil it was supposed to come with.  I suspect I got the garlic herb fries by mistake but they were still tasty.

One of my companions ordered the Tipsy Brisket Sandwich.  The barbeque beef brisket is pulled and slathered with sauce and then topped with smoked sausage, coleslaw, onion straws and smoked gouda on a fresh, toasted Brioche Bun.  My friend upgraded to the Sea Salt Fries.

One of my companions ordered the Bricks Burger, complete with cheddar, fried onion straws, fresh jalapenos, tomato jam and caper aioli.  This burger looked huge and delicious! It was ordered with the Garlic and Herb Fries but they tasted like the sea salt fries without any extra seasoning.

One of my companions ordered the Cajun Club.  This sandwich was served on an herbed focaccia bread with Cajun turkey, fresh avocado, crispy bacon, lettuce, tomato and Havarti cheese with chipotle sour cream.  Ordered with a side of sea salt fries.  I didn’t try this but it looked fresh and delicious.

Service: We had very good service at Bricks Pub.  We enjoyed cocktails at the bar during Happy Hour before moving to a table in the dining room.  Our server was very attentive but also let us be while we sat around and socialized, taking our time to order and eat.  Our server gave us each separate bills to make paying easier at the end, a nice and convenient touch.
Overall Impression: Overall we enjoyed our experience at Bricks Pub.  We had good service and most of the food we ate was good (with exception of the ceviche) and the drinks were especially delicious.
Brick's Pub on Urbanspoon

Oct 092011

Cuisine: American, Fish, Pasta, Steaks, Ribs, Pizza, Southwestern
Restaurant Features: Bar, Gluten-Free Menu, Happy Hour, Late Night Happy Hour
Locations: Blaine, Eagan, MSP Airport, Plymouth, Savage, St Paul, Woodbury
Addresses & Maps:
Blaine– 4365 Pheasant Ridge Dr NE Suite 102  Blaine, MN 55449  (763) 398-2475
Eagan– 1555 Cliff Road  Eagan, MN 55121 (651) 452-0200
Minneapolis/St. Paul Airport 4300 Gluemac Drive RMLT3256  St. Paul, MN 55111 (612) 726-5360 x4633
Plymouth– 3000 Harbor Lane  Plymouth, MN 55447  (763) 398-7408
St Paul– 850 Grand Ave.  Saint Paul, MN 55105 (651) 312-1299
Savage–  14120 South Highway 13  Savage, MN 55378  (952) 447-1122
Woodbury– 1424 Weir Dr.  Woodbury, MN 55125  (651) 735-0085
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-12am  Fri-Sat 11am-2am  Sun 10:30am-10pm
Links: Axel’s Bonfire Website * Axel’s Bonfire on Facebook

Atmosphere: The St Paul location of Axel’s Bonfire is at the intersection of Grand Ave and Victoria St, in the same building as Cafe Latte.  The restaurant is divided into a bar area and a dining room; the latter of which has several tables in the bigger, open section, as well as a number of booths off to the right side of the dining room.  The walls are painted a rich, deep red and the lighting is very soft.  Casual and somewhat trendy.

One feature of the decor that is hard to miss is the giant Bull sculpture hanging from the ceiling over the dining room near the hostess stand.

The bar is also a dominant space with Axel’s Bonfire, a giant island seating at least twenty guests with an additional number of tables near the windows looking out onto Grand Ave.

Menu: Appetizers at Bonfire include Axel’s signature Bullbites, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Spinach Artichoke Dip, Colossal trip (wings, bontons and teriyaki green beans), Tripe Dips and Chips, Alamo Nachos, Walleye Fingers, Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas, Bonfire Sticky Wings, Fire Roasted Peppers, Calamari and Bontons (chicken, gorgonzola and buffalo sauce in a wonton).

Soups include Tortilla, Chicken White Bean Chili, and a Soup du Jour.

Salads include House, Caesar, Bonfire Chopped, Blackened Walleye, Tempe Chicken Salad, Asian Chicken, and Baby Bleu.

Wood Fired Pizzas include Four Cheese, Three Sausages, Bella Roma (artichoke, spinach, tomato), Margherita, and BBQ Chicken.

Burger and Sandwich options at Bonfire include Cowboy Burger, Bacon Bleu, Be Bold Burger (two half-lb burgers with sauteed mushrooms, onions, peppers and four cheese, 1000 island dressing), and the Hickory Burger.  Sandwiches include Arizona Chicken Wrap, Chicago-Style French Dip, Mango Chicken, Bistro Chicken Club, Rotisserie Turkey Ciabatta, Texas Pulled Pork, and Walleye Sandwich.

Bonfire’s Southwestern items include Chicken Fajitas, Steak or Walleye Fajitas, Veggie Fajitas, Chicken Enchiladas, Walleye Tacos, Chimichanga and Baja Burrito.

Woodgrilled Meats include Bacon Wrapped Medallions, 8 oz Sirloin, 14 oz New York Strip, Drunk and Dirty Sirloin, and 8 oz Filet

Entrees include Rotisserie Chicken, St Louis Style Ribs, Prime Rib, BBQ Beef Brisket, and Brick Oven Kabobs, Blackened Grouper Tacos, Pan-Fried Walleye, Grilled Salon, Grilled Roughy, Fettuccine Alfredo and Broccoli, Fire-Roasted Baked Spaghetti, Cajun Chicken Penne, and Bonfire Fettuccine.

Dessert options at Axel’s Bonfire include Towering Carrot Cake, Death by Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Deep-Fried Cheesecake, Kids Sundae and Seasonal Dessert.

Price guide: Appetizers $8-13 Salads $6-14 Sandwiches $10-15 Entrees $12-27

Happy Hour:

  • Daily 3-6pm
  • Sun-Thurs 9pm-close
  • $2 off cocktails
  • 1/2 priced Appetizers

Weekly Specials:

Sunday Limited Brunch Menu 11am-2pm Brunch Menu with Hand-crafted Bloody Mary’s and Screwdrivers $4 and $.99 mimosas.
Sunday Night– 4-9pm Kids build their own pizza and sundae for FREE with the purchase of each adult entree.

Mondays- 1/2 Price Bottles of Wine (1/2 price on bottles that are sold by the glass & 20% off our reserve bottles)

Wednesday & Tuesday Evenings- Dinner for Two: Your four course culinary adventure includes an appetizer to share, two entrées with sides, shared dessert for $49 per couple

What we ordered: My visit happened to be during Happy Hour so I enjoyed the $2/off on cocktails and got myself a Margarita for just $4.  Just the right mix of tart and tangy with sweet and sour and Don Julio tequila.

A couple of my companions ordered the Dirty Martini, which came with a shaker full for $8 at the Happy Hour price.  Such a deal!

Dirty Martini at Axel's Bonfire ~ St Paul, MN

Appetizers were half off during Happy Hour so we started with the Spinach and Artichoke Dip.  I love artichokes and get this dip at many restaurants but Bonfire’s version was one of the most boring I have tried to date.  It had several decent sized chunks of artichoke but the sauce was very thin and didn’t have a lot of flavor.  It was served with tri-colored tortilla chips (which also happen to be my least favorite accompaniment to artichoke dip).  The good news is that we paid half-price for this during Happy Hour.

We also got the Triple Dips and Chips, which came with salsa, guacamole and jalapeno cheddar dip.  The salsa was very good, spicy and slightly sweet.  The guacamole was decent as well, but the serving was very small.  The third dip didn’t look very appetizing to me so I didn’t try it at all. The dips were served with tri-colored tortilla chips.

As usual, I had a hard time making up my mind about what I wanted to eat for dinner.  I was leaning toward fish tacos and since Axel’s has both Walleye or Grouper,  I asked the server his opinion.  He didn’t hesitate to recommend the walleye, so that is what I ended up getting.  There were three flour tortilla tacos, each piled with hand-battered Shore Lunch walleye fingers topped with pico de gallo, cilantro and shredded lettuce.  The walleye was good, crispy and not at all fishy.  One of the pieces of walleye still had a small bone in it which wasn’t very appealing but not unheard of.  I wish I would’ve asked for a side of salsa to spice up these tacos because while they were good, they were kind of bland.  The pico didn’t have as many jalapenos or cilantro as it could’ve. The order was served with burracho beans and tomatillo rice, both of which were full of flavor.

One of my companions ordered the Chicago French Dip.  This sandwich looked wonderful and was at least eight inches long, thinly shaved prime rib on top of a fresh ciabatta roll.  The beef was complimented by homemade giardiniera with spicy pickled peppers, onions, carrots, and caulifower.  My companion thought this sandwich was wonderful but wished there was more beef then what it came with.  Also, ketchup is preferred to be self-serve from a bottle instead of partitioned into a little dish.Chicago French Dip at Axel's Bonfire ~ St Paul, MN

Another companion ordered the Veggie Fajitas as a vegan option.  These were wonderful! There was a very large pile of seasoned and sauteed broccoli, green beans, baby carrots, portabella mushrooms and onions.  Hot tortillas, beans and rice were served on the side.

Another companion ordered the Mango Chicken Sandwich, a grilled chicken breast topped with fresh mango salsa served on a grilled bun with french fries on the side.

The last of us ordered the Margherita Pizza, light on the cheese.  This pizza looked really good but I think it would’ve been better with the standard amount of cheese.  It was topped with plenty of tomatoes and fresh basil.  This was also half price during Happy Hour.

Service: My five of us in my party all arrived at different times and met in the bar until we were all present.  We had made an advance reservation and our table was ready for us when we wanted to sit down.  Our server was patient with us while we perused the menu, and offered suggestions that were vegan-friendly for one of the members in our party.  The food was prepared reasonably fast so we decided to wait until our appetizers were served before ordering our entrees.  When presented with the bill, our server had taken the liberty of giving us separate checks with the appetizers split five ways…. so easy and convenient!

Overall Impression: This was my first visit to Axel’s Bonfire in many years and I had forgotten what a hassle it can be to park near Grand Ave.  I highly suggest parking in the ramp on the southwest corner of Grand and Victoria, as parking on the nearby residential streets is likely to get you a parking ticket for around $30.  You may also want to make a reservation, especially on the weekend evenings.  We had very good service during our visit.  The atmosphere is contemporary and somewhat artsy and the menu has a lot of variety.  The portion sizes were well sized.

This is an original review of Axel’s Bonfire on Twin Cities Restaurant Blog
Axel's Bonfire on Urbanspoon
Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking Reviews in St Paul

Sep 262010

Cuisine: American, Bar & Grill, Burgers, Desserts, Pasta, Pizza, Steaks, Ribs
Restaurant Features: Bar, Happy Hour, Kids Menu,  Patio, On-Site Parking, Sunday Brunch
Location: Blaine, MN  ( Sister Restaurant is Tavern on France in Edina, MN)
Addresses & Maps:

Tavern Grill– 10950 Club West Parkway Suite 270  Blaine, MN 55449 763-398-8100

Tavern on France– 6740 France Avenue South  Edina, MN 55435  952-358-6100

Hours: Mon-Thurs 11a-12a   Fri-Sat 11a-1a  Sun 10a-10p
Links: Tavern Grill Website * Tavern Grill on Facebook
Atmosphere: Located in the space previously occupied by Bella Italian Grill, The Tavern Grill in Blaine opened its doors in June 2010.

The interior of The Tavern Grill has changed since it was Bella, with a mix of dark wooden tables and cushioned booths.  Tables seemed to be spaced enough that each is afforded a little privacy.  Lighting at night is low without seeming too dark, a very calm atmosphere.
Inside The Tavern Grill ~ Blaine, MN
There is also a large oval-shaped bar on one side of the restaurant that can accommodate a large numbers  of patrons.
Bar Area at Tavern Grill ~ Blaine, MN
The patio at The Tavern Grill is one of its most beautiful features.  There are many tables spread out amongst the expansive walled-in rock patio, centered by a beautiful fountain.  There is an outdoor bar at the back of the patio as well.
Patio at Tavern Grill ~ Blaine, MN

Menu: Appetizers at The Tavern Grill include Burger Sliders, Philly Sliders, Chicken Littles, Crab Artichoke Quesadilla, Toasted Bruschetta, Onion Rings, Tavern Fries, Lemon Basil Calamari, Crab Artichoke Dip, Bleu Chips (homemade potato chips topped with bleu cheese crumbles and bacon), Sesame Chicken Stix, Walleye Fingers, and Buffalo Wings.  Soups include Chicken Wild Rice, French Onion and a Soup du Jour.

Flatbread Pizza options include Build-Your-Own where you choose your Sauce, Cheese, Toppings and Meats, or the Farmers Market Pizza, Prosciutto & Tomato, BBQ Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Classic Pepperoni and the Beachcomber (canadian bacon, pineapple and cilantro).

Salad options include Build-Your-Own (choose your cheeses, Veggies Mix-Ins, Crunch, Meats and Dressings).  Chef Specialty Salads include Chop, Chicken Thai, Grilled Chicken, Buffalo Chicken and Caesar Salad.

Burger Options include the Build-A-Burger (choose your Meat, Bread, Cheese, Toppings and Extras).  Specialty Burgers include Tavern Burger (bbq, gouda and bacon), Veggies Burger, Widowmaker (cheddar, caramelized onion, philly beef, 4 cheese sauce, onion strings) and the Beachcomber (ginger orange teriyaki, swiss and grilled fresh pineapple).

Tavern Sandwich options are the Grilled Club, Walleye, Grilled Chicken Wrap, Buffalo Chicken, Philly Cheesesteak, Corned Beef on Rye, Steak with Swiss and Mushrooms, French Dip, Steakhouse Wrap, Patty Melt and Crispy Chicken Wrap.

Pastas at The Tavern Grill are the Baked Ravioli with Chicken, MOnterey Shrimp, Fettuccini Alfredo, Baked Spaghetti and the Shrimp Ravioli in Sundried Tomato Pesto.

Entrees include Walleye & Chips, HomeStyle Grilled Meatloaf, Seared Teriyaki Salmon, Tuscan Chicken, Naked Filet, Tucker’s Filet (marinated in soy sauce and garlic), Ginger Garlic NY Strip, Baby Back Ribs and Spicy Ginger Seared Tuna.

Desserts include New York Cheesecake, Key Lime Pie, Fill-Your-Own Mini Donut Holes, Build-Your-Own S’Mores, and Chocolate Cake with Whiskey Sauce.

Items from the Kids Menu include Chicken Strips, Mini Cheeseburgers, Pepperoni or Cheese Pizza, and Grilled Cheese.
Price guide: Appetizers $7-11  Pizzas $8.50-11  Salads $9-12 Burgers $9-12  Sandwiches $9-12  Pastas $13-15  Entrees $ 13-19  Desserts $6-7.50

Happy Hour:

  • M-F 3-6pm and 9pm-Close
  • $2 Off Specialty Cocktails
  • 1/2 Priced Wines & Pizas
  • $3 Appetizers including Tavern Blue Chips, Sliders, Chicken Littles, Cheesy Jalapeno Nachos, and Waffles Fries
  • $4  Cheesy Jalapeno Beef or Chicken Nachos
  • $5  Crab Quesadilla

Weekly Specials:

  • Sunday Brunch 10am-2pm
  • Adults $14    Kids 12 and Under $6
  • Carved Roast Beef, Pancake Bar, Made-to-Order Omelettes, Baked Reggiano Hashbrowns, Garlic Mashed Potatoes with Gravy, Hickory Smoked Bacon, Sausage Links, Chef’s Special Scrambled Eggs (changes weekly), Scrambled Eggs, Fresh Skillet Caramel Rolls, Fresh Fruit, Assorted Fresh Pastries.

What we ordered: We started with an order of the Buffalo Wings, which came with 9 wings in the order.  We requested the Buffalo sauce be served on the side, as we were feeding a small child within my party. The thick and spicy dark orange Buffalo sauce had a nice kick to it, I poured it very liberally on the wings I ate (along with bleu cheese, of course!)

I was debating between a burger or the walleye sandwich and ended up with the walleye (sorry about the terrible, blurry photo!). The walleye fillet was sliced rather thinly and then breaded with the Tavern’s special batter before being deep fried to a crispy golden brown.  I was expecting a bigger sandwich but was still satisfied with the fillet, which came served on grilled herb focaccia bread with shredded lettuce and tartar sauce on the side.  I had my choice of potato and went with the delicious golden waffle fries.

Walleye Sandwich at Tavern Grill ~ Blaine, MN

One of my companions ordered the Monterey Shrimp Pasta, which came with several sauteed shrimp and vermicelli tossed with roasted garlic, asparagus, roasted red peppers, and spinach in a light white wine, lemon and butter sauce.  The ingredients in this dish were plentiful but the sauce was so light it didn’t go far in the way of flavor.  My companion requested a side of the Pesto Alfredo sauce to kick up the flavor a little and was very satisfied after doing so.

Monterey Shrimp Pasta at Tavern Grill ~ Blaine, MN

One of my companions ordered a side salad with her meal, a great add-on for $2.50.

Side Salad at Tavern Grill ~ Blaine, MN

Bread does not automatically come with any of the meals at The Tavern Grill, however our server brought out a plate of sliced ciabatta after one of my companions requested bread.

Chiabatta Bread at Tavern Grill ~ Blaine, MN

Another companion ordered the Baby Back Ribs, served with garlic mashed potatoes and coleslaw.  The ribs were very tender and moist, falling off the bone after being slow-roasted for several hours.  I did not try this at all but according to my companion, the bourbon barbeque sauce was slightly spicy but very flavorful.

Baby Back Ribs at Tavern Grill ~ Blaine, MN

There were a couple of fun items on the dessert menu, such as the Build-Your-Own-S’mores, but what really sounded cool was the Fill-Your-Own-Donut-Holes.  The hot and freshly-fried donut holes were served in an overflowing chinese-food container, with three types of fillings: Chocolate Creme, Bavarian Creme, and Raspberry.  The little tubes have a sharp point to them where you jam them into the center of your donut hole and squeeze until the donut is filled.  What a delicious and fun concept.  These disappeared very quickly!

Fill-Your-Own Mini Donut Holes at Tavern Grill ~ Blaine, MN

Service: I had tried to make a reservation on a busy Friday night but was told that The Tavern Grill would only take reservations for parties of 7 or more, however they would put me on the list for call-ahead seating.  I arrived about 45 minutes after I had called to put my name on the list but was told that they had taken my name off the list because I was late.  I was told my party could be seated right away at a table or I could have my name added to the bottom of the list for a booth.  We didn’t want to wait 40 minutes for a booth so we sat at a table.  Our server was nice and asked if we had been to The Tavern Grill before.  Since we had not, she explained how the Build-Your-Own options worked.  No mentions of highlighted items from the menu, nor did she make any suggestions.  She was helpful however, when helping to decide between a couple of items on the menu.  Food took awhile to arrive, drinks were faster. We had to ask for refills on a  few occasions when our glasses were empty, but the server responded to our requests in a timely manner.

Overall Impression: The Tavern Grill has many specialty items on the menu but also has many Build-Your-Own options.   I would love to go back and try one of the burgers or pizzas.  The Tavern Grill also has great Happy Hour specials on food and a gorgeous patio area.  The service was decent for a very busy Friday night.
The Tavern Grill on Urbanspoon

Sep 182010

Cuisine: American, Burgers, Dessert, Pizza, Pasta
Restaurant Features: Bar, Delivery, Flat Screen TVs, Kids Menu

Albert Lea, MN
Bemidji, MN
Blaine, MN
Bloomington, MN
Coon Rapids, MN
Duluth, MN
Eagan, MN
Eau Claire, WI
Eden Prairie, MN
Fairmont, MN
Fargo, ND
Grand Forks, ND
Hastings, MN
Minneapolis-Uptown, MN
Hudson, WI
Lakeville, MN
Overland Park, KS
Plymouth, MN
Rochester, MN
Roseville, MN
Shoreview, MN
St. Cloud, MN
St. Paul, MN
Wausau, WI
Wichita, KS
Willmar, MN
Winona, MN
Woodbury, MN

Address: 57 So. Hamline St. Paul, MN 55105 651-698-0353
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-1am Sun 11am-12am
Links: Green Mill Website * Green Mill on FacebookGoogle Map

Outside Green Mill

Outside Green Mill

Atmosphere: The  St Paul Green Mill on Grand Ave is the original restaurant location, where it was once the Green Mill Inn for almost four decades.  The Green Mill as we know it today has been around since 1975 and has been very popular since it became a franchise in 1990.

The inside of the Green Mill has the standard wood-paneled walls that you see in many of its locations, along with padded wooden booths and wood tables.  The bar area is located on one side of the space, the dining area on the other.  There are multiple TVs hanging from the ceiling.

Menu: The Green Mill recently updated its menu in the summer of 2010.

Appetizers include Red Pepper Hummus and Pita Chips, Mozzarella Sticks, Walleye Bites, Sweet Potato Fries, Asian Pot Stickers, Coconut Chicken Fingers, Chicken and Bacon Quesadilla, Crispy Chicken Chipotle Wontons, Chipotle Chicken Nachos, Fried Green Beans, Buffalo Bites, Thai Eggrolls, Spicy Chicken Quesadilla, Spinach Dip and Onion Ring Cyclone.  The Green Mill is also famous for their Chicken Wings, which can be served with bone or boneless, drenched in any of the following sauces: Jim Beam, Diablo, Sesame Teriyaki, Garlic Parmesan, Peking Zing, Dixie or Extreme Jamaican.

Salads at the Green Mill incude Warm Smoked Salmon, Coconut Chicken, Bangkok Chicken, Chipotle Chicken Chopped Salad, Blackberry and Grilled Chicken, Chicken Stir Fry, Thai Chicken Salad, Cilantro Lime Shrimp Salad, Cobb Salad with Chicken, Caesar salad, or House Salad.

Sandwich offerings are the Asian Chicken Wrap, French Dip, Cashew Chicken Salad, Parmesan Walleye, Millhouse Club, Greek Gyro, Crispy Chicken, Chicken Caesar Wrap, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Turkey Bacon and Avocado Wrap, and Italian Ciabatta.  Burger s are 1/2 lb and served with fries, fruit, or chips.  Options include Build-Your-Own, Black Angus 1/4 lb, Summit Bacon, Blaze Burger (jalapenos and pepper jack), 4-Cheese Bacon Burger, Western Mill Burger, Cheeseburger and Veggie Burger..

Pizza options are extensive, with four crusts including Thin N’ Crispy, Pescara, Classic, and Chicago-Style Deep Dish.  You can Build-Your-Own from a variety of ingredients or order a pizza from the menu like the Margherita, Chipotle Chicken, MVP (Pepperoni and Canadian Bacon), Romano, Low-Cal Chicken, Extreme Supreme, Triple Meat and Cheese, and Il Primo (sausage, pepperoni, mushroom and 4 cheeses). Thin N Crispy Pizzas include Positano, Jalapeno Bacon and Garlic Chicken, Pepperoni, 4-Cheese Spicy Italian, and Sausage and Pepperoni.  You can also Build-Your-Own Calzone.

Pasta Options include Seafood Cannelloni, Five Cheese Lasagna, Mostaccioli, Butternut Squash Ravioli with Asparagus, Spinach Tortellini, Desert Fire Pasta, Wild Mushroom and Chicken Penne, Spaghetti, Lobster and Shrimp Linguine, and Fettuccine Alfredo.

Entrees include Bourbon Flat iron Steak, Summit Battered Fish and Chips, Chicken Parmesan,Chicken Marsala, Chicken with Crab Stuffing,  and Pan-Fried Walleye.

Desserts at Green Mill include Chocolate Pyramid, Chocolate Molten Martini, and Skyscraper Cheesecake.

Kids Menu items include Hamburger, Mac N Cheese, Quesadilla, Spaghetti, Personal Pizza, Corn Dog, and Chicken Strips.
Price guide: Appetizers $5-10  Wings $7/10 Salads $5-10  Burgers/Sandwiches $8-11  Pizza $9-18+   Pastas $10-14  Entrees $10-16  Desserts $6-7

Happy Hour: 3-6pm and 9pm-12am

  • $5 appetizers include Red Pepper Hummus and Pita Chips, Mozzarella Sticks,  Sweet Potato Fries,  Coconut Chicken Fingers, Chicken and Bacon Quesadilla, Crispy Chicken Chipotle Wontons, Buffalo Bites, Thai Eggrolls, Spicy Chicken Quesadilla, Spinach Dip and Onion Ring Cyclone.

Weekly Specials:

  • M-F 11a-2pm  Bottomless Soup and Salad or Salad and Pizza $8.99

What we ordered: We started with an order of Boneless Wings with Sesame Teriyaki Sauce.  These were delicious! The pieces of white-meat chicken were very lightly breaded and fried to a golden brown.  They were lightly tossed in the sweet yet tangy sesame teriyaki sauce and topped with sesame seeds, served with both ranch and bleu cheese dressings for dipping.  Excellent choice!

I had no doubt in my mind I was going to order the Deep-Dish Pizza, so that is exactly what I did.  The crust of this pizza was indeed thick, chewy and crispy on the bottom.  The cheese was baked directly on top of the crust and then topped with a generous amount of pizza sauce.  I love the sauce at Green Mill, it is sweet and zesty and has small chunks of stewed tomato mixed in. The 8″ small was more than enough for me, I even had half a pizza leftover to take home! So yummy!

Deep Dish Pizza @ Green MillDeep Dish Pizza @ Green Mill

One of my companions ordered the Chicken Cashew Salad Sandwich.  This sandwich looked great; so fresh and light!  The salad itself  had chunks of white-meat chicken mixed with cashews, diced green onion, red grapes and mayonnaise.  It was served on toasted cranberry bread with shredded romaine lettuce.

Chicken Salad Sandwich @ Green MillChicken Salad Sandwich @ Green Mill

Another companion ordered the Chipotle Chicken Nachos and an order of Sweet Potato Fries.  The Nachos were served on a long plate, with crunchy chips topped with shredded chipotle chicken, pepper jack, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and topped with fresh pico de gallo, salsa, guacamole, shredded lettuce and sour cream.  These were also very yummy but slightly overcooked.

Nachos at Green MillNachos at Green Mill

The Sweet Potato Fries were served in a large cone, very good!

Sweet Potato Fries @ Green MillSweet Potato Fries @ Green Mill

Service: My party of 3 adults and one small child arrived shortly after opening on a Sunday and we were the first customers of the day.  Needless to say there was no problem getting a parking spot or a table!  We had great service, our server was very accommodating to our needs.  Food and drinks were brought promptly; service with a smile.
Overall Impression: Green Mill is a great restaurant with a varied menu that appeals to just about anyone. Their Deep Dish Pizza is awesome.  Many locations to choose from!
Green Mill Brewing Company on Urbanspoon

Apr 032008

Cuisine: Mexican
Restaurant Features: Bar,  On-Site Parking

Locations: Blaine, Stillwater, Coon Rapids, Woodbury, Maplewood
Addresses & Maps:

Blaine- 9360 Baltimore St. Blaine, MN 55449 (763) 795-0347

Coon Rapids– 12759 Riverdale Blvd. Coon Rapids, MN 55448 (763) 323-8772

Maplewood– 3069 White Bear Ave. Maplewood, MN 55109 (651) 748-0316

Stillwater-240 West Frontage Rd. Stillwater, MN 55082 (651) 351-9462

Woodbury-1795 Radio Drive Suite A Woodbury, MN 55125 (651) 739-6360

Links: Acapulco website


Atmosphere: Festive, with the walls painted with murals and is somewhat made to resemble a  Mexican courtyard. 


The Woodbury location also has a large bar area with several large-screen TV's playing different sporting events.
There were also several round tables for their weekly Texas Hold 'Em tournaments.  Seemed like a quite  a popular place!


Menu: Appetizers include Acapulco's famous Cheese Dip, Guacamole, 5 Layer Dip, Taquitos, and Nachos.  Burritos include the Acapulco Burrito (steak), the Burrito National (smothered with cheese sauce), Creamed Burritos, Fajita Burrito, Wet Burrito (covered in enchilada sauce), and Chile Relleno Burrito.  Tacos include ground beef, grilled chicken, grilled beef, shrimp, mahi-mahi, and carnitas (pork).  Quesadilla include Queso (cheese), mushroom/onion/tomato, Relleno (stewed chicken or beef), or the Fajita Quesadilla.

Entree specials include Grilled Beef or Chicken Fajitas, Carne Asada, Chile Colorado, Carnitas, Chimichanga (with stewed chicken or beef), Seafood Chimichanga, Grilled Chicken, Taquitos, Pollo Dulce (Marinated chicken with sweet salsa), Chilaquiles Pollo (Stewed chicken casserole), Green Chili Pork, Poblano Chili, and Chicken with Rice. 

If you're in the mood to try a few different items, Acapulco has 10 menu combination plates.  They also offer a build-your-own combo where you can pick-two or three or four items (tacos, enchiladas, burritos, chili rellenos, tostadas or tamales). 

Price guide: Appetizers $4-8  Burritos $7-8  Tacos 2 for $5-6  Quesadilla $5-8  Entrees $8-14  Combos $8-10
What we ordered: To start off, we had complimentary chips and salsa.  The chips were hot and crispy and the salsa was good for standard mild tomato salsa.


My companion and I ordered several plates to share. We ordered a four-combo platter with a beef taco (for me), a chill relleno (for her), and two enchiladas.


The beef taco was pretty good.  The crispy corn shell was filled with beef.  The chile relleno was also pretty good, with a nice crispy batter and delicious spicy pepper.  The enchiladas….um, how can I say this diplomatically?….were not to my liking. I did not care at all for the soggy stewed chicken mixture and the enchilada sauce itself did not seem to be the kind of homemade origins.  The beans and rice were served separately…the refried beans were thick but good.  The rice was not the custom Spanish rice, but rather a mild flavored rice with mixed vegetables.

The fajitas were pretty good. The chicken and steak were marinated and grilled and served with a ton of peppers and onions.  Our server happily brought us an extra side of tortillas and never charged us for them.


Service: Pretty friendly and fast.  Drinks were served frequently.
Overall Impression:   The restaurant had a fun atmosphere, especially with the crowd that was in the bar area playing poker… I know that at least the Woodbury location offers Texas Hold 'Em tournaments a few nights per week, not sure about the others.  The food however, was nothing to rave about. Mediocre.  My suggestion is to stick with grilled meats rather than the stewed.