Sep 022012

Cuisine: Deli, Roast Beef
Restaurant Features: Counter Service, On-Site Parking
Location: Roseville, MN
Address: 1746 N. Lexington Ave  Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 488-1788

Links: Maverick’s Website * Maverick’s on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Maverick’s is located in a strip mall on Lexington Ave at Larpenteur Ave.  One of the first things you will see when you enter Maverick’s is the kitchen/counter area.  A menu board is displayed above, but bring your binoculars… the print is tiny and hard to read (not to mention the white print on a black background).

The dining room is long and narrow, with a self-service condiment bar along the right wall and several tables neatly lined up in rows that extend toward the back.  The tables are interesting, they display a variety of ads for other businesses so they are essentially lacquered billboards.

Menu: Deli-Style Sandwich options include Ham, Turkey, Chicken, Fish Fillet, Spicy Italian Beef, Corned Beef, and Tuna Salad.  Cheese options include Swiss, American, Pepper Jack, Cheddar and Provolone.

Specialty sandwiches include Roast Beef, Beef Brisket, Spicy Jamai, Pulled Pork, BBQ Beef and French Dip.

Maverick’s also serves open-faces sandwiches with mashed potatoes and gravy.  Options include Roast Beef, Beef Brisket or Turkey.

Sides include French Fries, Onion Rings, Potato Cakes, Chicken Fingers, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy, Cole Slaw, Cottage Cheese, Potato Salad, and Garden Salad.

There are also a number of milkshakes available like Chocolate, Vanilla, Mocha, Strawberry, Raspberry, Wild Berry, Banana, Key Lime, French Vanilla, Cherry, Banana Kiwi, Orange, Butterscotch, and Pina Colada.
Price guide: Sandwiches $5-8  Sides $1-4 Milkshakes $3-4
What we ordered: I ordered the French Dip, a hearty sandwich of thinly sliced roast beef piled onto a hoagie roll with real Swiss cheese and a side of au jus.  The roast beef was fantastic! It was flavorful, cooked so that it was still pink and very tender.  I loved that they had fresh horseradish at the condiment bar; I added a bunch to mine.  The au jus was very transparent and pretty weak; I ended up not even using it.

My companion ordered the Roast Beef sandwich, Maverick’s signature item, which comes with a large helping of thinly sliced roast beef on a bun.  Excellent!

We each got an order of fries which were the light, golden shoestring variety.  They were delicious, very similar to Mickey D’s if you like that sort (and who doesn’t?)

When we told the guy working behind the counter that we were first-timers, he gave us a sample sandwich of the Beef Brisket.  This was also good but seemed overcooked in comparison to the roast beef.  It reminded my companion and I both of roast from a  crock pot rather than a barbeque smoked beef brisket.  I’d opt for the roast beef over this brisket any day of the week, but it was still decent.

Service: We had great service at Maverick’s, considering that they offer service behind a counter.  We were greeted with a smile and the guy helping us took his time to tell us about the menu and then gave us a sample of the beef brisket to try.  He also followed up with us later to ask what we thought.
Overall Impression: The roast beef at Maverick’s was as good as its reputation and will be a new regular place to grab a great roast beef sandwich.
Maverick's on Urbanspoon

Sep 012012

Cuisine: Bakery, Breakfast, Scandinavian
Restaurant Features: Counter Service, Free Wi-Fi
Location: St Paul; (Saint Anthony Park neighborhood)
Address: 2264 Como Ave.  St Paul, MN 55108  651-645-9181
Hours: Monday-Saturday 6:30am-6:30pm  * Sunday 6:30am-4pm
Links: Finnish Bistro Website * Finnish Bistro on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Finnish Bistro is located in the Saint Anthony Park neighborhood of St Paul, on Como Ave at Carter Ave, (across the street from Muffuletta Cafe).  Inside, Finnish Bistro makes its home in a space shared by Dunn Bros Coffee.  The counters at Finnish Bistro are easily distinguishable, with a variety of delicious, freshly baked items on display.  There are a dozen or so small tables scattered across the room as well as a patio outside.

The patio area is a cute area around the side of the building, with a handful of umbrella-bearing tables and flower boxes full of flowers and other plants.

Menu: Breakfast items are served All DAY with items such as Yogurt Parfait, Finnish “Perinteiset”(traditional) Breakfast, Chilled Finnish Delight, House Aamiainen (Breakfast), Klassikko (Classic) Breakfast, Bacon & Muna (Egg) Sandwich, Pulla French Toast, Ham & Cheese or Veggie Quiche, Lefse Scramble, and Fresh Hedelmät (Fruit) Crepe. Omelets include Greek, Farmer, or Veggie.

Breakfast sides include Grilled Potatoes, Crisp Smoked Bacon, Grilled Kielbasa, Grilled Salmon, Smoked Salmon Lox, Grilled Lamb (Gyro), Fresh Fruit Plate, Side of Toast,  Sour Cream, and Guacamole.

Specialties offered at Finnish Bistro are the Finnish Beef Pasty, Daily Fish Special, Salmon Lefse and Spinach Pie.

Sandwiches offered include Caprese, Classic BLT, Classic Grilled Cheese, Lamb Gyro, Pulled Pork, Bistro Wrap, Bistro Club, and Spicy Quesadilla.

Flatbread Pizzas come with soup or salad with varieties such as The Baltic Special, The Favorite (Grilled chicken breast, crumbled Applewood bacon, onions, and mushrooms with cheddar and mozzarella cheeses on a creamy ranch based sauce,  Baked Potato Pizza ( mashed potatoes and topped with fresh onions, cheddar cheese, smoked Applewood bacon, sour cream), The Mediterranean Pizza – ( Fresh spinach, fresh tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, onions, Greek oregano and garlic with mozzarella cheese on pesto sauce. Add Gyro Meat for an extra charge), Finnish Vegetable ( fresh diced tomatoes, mushrooms, red peppers, onions, black olives, and mozzarella cheese on pesto or red sauce), and Chilled Finnish Delight (Lightly toasted pita bread topped with a fresh thick layer of cream cheese, topped with chilled smoked salmon, capers, onions and dill).
Price guide: Breakfast $4-11  Pizza $9-10 Specialties $10-12
What we ordered: The Mediterranean Pizza ($8.95) sounded really good, so I ordered that for my meal.  It came with choice of soup or salad, I went with the Tomato Basil soup, which was delicious.  Good thing it was delicious, as I never got my Mediterranean Pizza.  Read service section below for the full, disappointing story.

One of my companions had the Veggie Quiche ($8.50).  It looked delicious with flaky crust and a thick filling of egg, carrot, onion, spinach, and roasted red pepper.

Another companion had the Finnish Beef Pasty ($9.95).  This was a football-shaped pocket of flaky pastry filled with ground beef, carrots, onions, and rutabaga.  This was served with a side of cucumber sauce and colorful side salad.  The pasty itself was good but kind of boring in the flavor department.  It definitely needed the sour cream or some kind of sauce to add some flavor.

Another companion had the Caprese Sandwich ($8.95); toasted French bread stacked with sliced tomato, fresh mozzarella, onions & basil pesto.  It also had sweet balsamic drizzled on it; looked delicious!

We shared a Chocolate Chip cookie.  It was big and tasted very similar to the cookies at Panera.  Soft but not too chewy.

We also sampled a Chocolate Pastry that looked like a brownie but wasn’t.  It was actually somewhat light and crispy, not at all chewy.

Service: This was my first time visiting Finnish Bistro, which was a recommendation from the companions I dined with that day.  We ordered our meals and then took a seat at a table on the patio.  We were told our meals would be brought out to us.  About 15 minutes after we ordered, my soup came out, as did the meals of my companions. The menu says it takes about 15 minutes for a pizza, so I knew ahead of time that there would be a wait.  After 30 minutes of waiting and no pizza in sight, I went inside to check on it.  I was told it would be done in two minutes and they would bring it right out.  I was offered a free cookie for the inconvenience.  Ten minutes later…still no pizza! At this point I was pressed for time as we had another obligation to attend to right away.  I went back inside and requested my pizza to-go.  About five minutes later a server sheepishly appeared to tell me that they had mistakenly given my pizza to someone else and that there was no pizza for me!!  At this point I had waited 40 minutes and would have been starving had it not been for the small bowl of tomato basil soup, but I did not have any more time to wait for another pizza.  I requested my money back and left Finnish Bistro shortly thereafter, hungry and disappointed.  I hope this was just an honest mistake but I feel like they could have offered me something more than just a cookie and my money back.
Overall Impression: I will try it again because the food seemed good but I am hoping for a better experience next time that doesn’t involve me leaving hungry.
Finnish Bistro on Urbanspoon

Apr 272012

Cuisine: Breakfast, Deli, Pizza, Pasta, Pizza-by-the-Slice
Restaurant Features: Counter-Service, Flat Screen TVs, Patio
Location: St Paul, MN
Address: 616 Como Avenue  St Paul, MN 55103 (651) 488-1922
Hours: Mon-Thursday 6:30am-10:30pm *  Friday 6:30-10:30 * Sun 10:30-9:30
Links: John’s Pizza Cafe Website * John’s Pizza Cafe on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: John’s Pizza Cafe is located on the wedge-shaped corner of Como Ave and Dale St in St Paul.  There are two entrances; one in front and one from the patio near the very small parking lot.  The back of the restaurant is where the service counter and kitchen is.  The main dining room has a number of booths as well as tables, live plants and a HUGE (70-80″) Flatscreen TV.

There is a second seating area adjacent to the main dining room that has beautiful natural lighting and live plants.  The tables are smaller but can be arranged to accommodate bigger parties.

There is also an enclosed patio facing Dale Street that has a handful of tables available for outdoor seating.

Menu: Breakfast items at John’s Pizza Cafe include two varieties of Breakfast Pizza9also sold by-the-slice),  English Muffin Egg Sandwich, Egg Sandwich, Omelettes, French Toast, Stuffed French Toast, Pancakes, Yogurt and Granola Parfait, Oatmeal, Caramel Nut Roll, and Cinnamon Roll.

Salads are made fresh throughout the day and include Pear-A-Dise, Garden, Antipasto, Caesar, Grilled Steak, Grilled Chicken, and Taco Salad.

John’s offers and number of fresh-baked Hoagies, all served with chips and pickle spear.  Sandwiches include Philly Hamburger, Works, Chick-A-Dilly, Tex-Mex, Envious Turkey, Turkey Florentine, and John’s Club.

Entrees offered include Spaghetti, Sausage Lasagna, Calzones, Mac-N-Cheese, Sloppy Dogs, Sloppy Meatball, Stromboli and Spaghetti.  Specialty Pastas include Chicken Parmigiano, Linguine Alfredo, Pasta Bolognese, Gnocchi, Pasta Primavera, Three Cheese Ravioli, Sausage Pappardelle, and the Mediterranean.

Pizza is, of course, John’s specialty.  Pies come in 10″, 12″, 14″ and 16″.  Varieties include Create-Your-Own, The Works, The King, Denver, The Hawaiian, Hog in the Bog (brat sausage, wild rice, mushrooms and garlic herb sauce), The Bandito, Chinese Fire Dragon (pepperoni, spicy peppers and pineapple), Mexican Extravaganza, BBQ Chicken or BBQ Pulled Pork, Club, Spicy Caribbean Chicken, Chick-A-Dilly, Reuben, Wisconsin Wonder, Veggie 2000, Meatless Wonder, California Dreamer, Farmer’s Fantasy, Popeye’s Pie, and It’s Not Easy Being Green (artichokes, sun dried tomatoes and basil pesto sauce).

Desserts include Cupcakes, Brownies, Cheesecake, and Cookies.
Price guide: Breakfast $2-7  Hoagies $7  Pizza $9-30 Pizza By Slice $2.50-3.50
What we ordered: I tried a slice of the Pepperoni Deep-Dish, which was great! The crust wasn’t as thick as a traditional Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, but it did have a ton of cheese directly on top of the crust with the sauce just drizzled on top. The piece was quite big and very filling for under $3.50.

I also tried the Chick-a-Dilly Pizza.  This pie starts with the hand-tossed crust topped with a creamy dill sauce ans then mozzarella, red bell pepper, onions, and bite-sized pieces of chicken.  This combination of flavors was delicious, I especially liked the creamy dill sauce which was  a nice change from red sauce.

One of my companions had a slice of the Works, which was topped with Italian sausage, pepperoni,  green pepper, onion, mushroom, and black olive.

My companion also had a slice of Sausage

Another companion ordered a slice of the Hawaiian Pizza, topped with a ton of pineapple tidbits and really good Canadian Bacon.  I need to try this one next time.

Service: I have been to John’s Pizza Cafe a few times now and have had very fast and friendly service each time.  From the hours 10:30-2:30pm they have ten varieties of pizzas that they offer by-the-slice and will get your order ready quickly.
Overall Impression: John’s Pizza Cafe has a large selection of pizzas and hoagies and everything is homemade.  The service is fast and friendly.  This is my new favorite local spot to grab a slice of tasty pizza over the lunch hour.
John's Pizza Cafe on Urbanspoon

Mar 102012

Cuisine: Breakfast, Deli
Restaurant Features: Cafeteria Style, Counter Service, Delivery, On-Site Parking
Location: St Paul, MN
Address: 32 Fillmore Ave E St Paul, MN 55107  651-291-8868
Hours: Mon-Fri 6am-2pm

Links: Wabasha Deli Website * Wabasha Deli on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Located on Wabasha just before it heads across the Mississippi into Downtown St Paul, the Wabasha Cafe makes its home in the same industrial building as Nasseff Mechanical.  The parking lot is quite big but the interior is rather unimpressive.  It has an old, grungy feel to it and the items in the deli case were just as unimpressive. You order at the counter where there are hand-written menu boards displayed on the wall behind.  You wait while your sandwich is being made and pay at the far counter after you get your food.

Most of the seating is in the form of wooden bistro tables and chairs near the front of the space near the windows.

There is also a dining nook that was created for a more cozy place to eat, a very welcome addition.

Menu: Breakfast is served until 10:15 and includes McWabasha Muffin Sandwich, Philly Sandwich, Eggs, Toast, Bacon, Sausage, Pancakes and French Toast.

Omelettes are made with three eggs and include Cheese, Ham & Cheese, Wabasha Special (ham, cheese, onion and green pepper), Veggie, and Protein (bacon, ham, sausage, cheese).

Sandwich options at Wabasha Deli include Club House, Turkey, Roast Beef, Corned Beef, Ham and Hard Salami.  Bread options include White, Wheat, Rye, Hoagie Roll or Croissant.  There are also a handful of Wraps offered such as BLT, Turkey & Garlic, Egg Salad Olive, Pesto Cream Cheese Veggie, Turkey Cucumber Ranch, Turkey Bacon Bleu Cheese, Chicken Caesar and Asian Chicken.

Hot Lunch Items include Sloppy Joes, Chili, Chili Nachos, Italian Roast Beef Hoagie, Corned Beef Hoagie, Turkey Bacon Club Croissant.

Price guide: Breakfast $3-5 Salads $  Sandwiches $4-6

What we ordered: This was my first time to visit Wabasha Deli so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I will almost always choose a hot sandwich over a cold one, and I especially like reubens, so it was an easy choice when I saw Reuben Panini on the menu.  My companion also ordered the same sandwich.  I can be very picky when it comes to Reubens and I have to admit my expectations  weren’t real high, based solely on the looks of the deli counter.  I asked and was told that the meats are all sliced fresh daily.  This reuben was pretty good, better than I expected.  It had several slices of deli-style corned beef, real swiss cheese that was thickly sliced, and a heaping of good sauerkraut and thousand island dressing.  The marble rye bread was crispy from the panini press, giving the sandwich a nice crunch.  We both ordered ours with kettle chips and deli pickle, which was an additional charge.

I also bought a White Chocolate Macademia Nut Cookie that was soft and chewy.

Service: The person behind the counter who helped me was helpful and friendly.  There was a line about 5-10 people deep when we arrived but it went quickly.  I was appreciative of the wait so that I could peruse the menu boards.  Our sandwiches were prepared in about five minutes.
Overall Impression: The Reuben Panini and the cookie that I tried were both tasty, although I think I would prefer to get my order to go next time.  Quick and inexpensive.
Wabasha Deli & Cafe on Urbanspoon

Feb 082012

Cuisine: Donuts
Restaurant Features: Counter Service
Location: St Paul
Address: 1169 7th Street West  Saint Paul, MN 55102    651.224.0142
Hours: Tues-Fri 5:30am-3pm * Sat-Sun 6:30am-3pm * Closed Mondays
Links: Mojo Monkey Donuts Website * Mojo Monkey on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Snuggled between a couple of other small businesses with just a small sign on the window, if you blink you might just miss Mojo Monkey Donuts.  The inside is a somewhat cozy little place with a big counter displaying donuts behind glass cases and a couple of small tables for those who want to enjoy their coffee & donuts on the premises.  The back of the space is where all the donuts are made.

Menu:Cake donut varieties include Plain, Cinnamon-Sugar, Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Ganache with , Assorted Toppings, Vanilla Icing, Mango Glaze with Organic Coconut, Apple Dumpling, German Chocolate, Red Velvet, Double Chocolate with Organic Coconut.

Raised donut varieties include Classic, Cinnamon-Sugar, Chocolate Ganache, Chocolate Ganache with , Assorted Toppings, Vanilla Icing, Sprinkles, Crumbles, Mango Glaze with Organic Coconut.  Old Fashioned come either Glazed or Chocolate Ganache. Cruller varieties include Classic, Cinnamon-Sugar and Chocolate Ganache.

Fritters include Apple and Banana Pecan.  The only Long John variety is the Maple Bar with Thick-Cut Bacon.

Bismark Flavors include Cherry Almond, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Lemon, Blueberry-Lemon, Keylime, Crème Brûlée, Strawberry, Mocha Mouse, Vanilla Crème, Vanilla Cream with Banana.

Mojo Monkey also has Cinnamon and Nutmeg Bun with Maple Glaze.

Danish Varieties include, Cinnamon, Cinnamon Raisin Almond, Cinnamon Raisin Marcona Almond, Pistachio, Cranberry Orange Pecan and Vanilla Cream.

Not in the mood for a big donut? Try the Donut Holes: Pumpkin, Pumpkin Eggnog, Chai.

Beignets are available on the weekends.

Price guide: $1-2/donut $16.99 /  Dozen

What we ordered: I love fritters and when I saw that Mojo Monkey had a Banana Fritter, I knew I had possibly hit the fritter jackpot.  I did, indeed! This fritter was thick, soft and doughy with the flavor of real banana and pieces of banana infused as well.   It was perfectly crispy on the outside and to make it extra special and amazing, it is coated with a brown sugar glaze and has pieces of candied pecans as well. I can’t stop thinking about it, to be quite honest.  It might not look appealing but if you like bananas, you will want to go to Mojo Monkey donuts tomorrow for breakfast just to get this!

My companion had the Cinnamon Bun, which was very big!

I also tried a bite of the Maple Bar with Bacon and this was also very thick; so much so I almost couldn’t get it in my mouth! It had a sweet, sticky and substantial amount of a maple-based glaze and a slice of thick and extra crispy bacon. The salty, smokiness of the bacon really goes great with maple.  Always has, always will.  Needless to say, I enjoyed the bite I had ;)

The Mango Glazed Raised Donut with Coconut is another I have tried.  The mango glaze is made from real mangos and was topped with shaved coconut.  A tropical treat!

Service: There were only a couple of customers ahead of us but it still took a good five minutes before we were able to order.  The attendant was nice and explained that they were currently out of the Maple Bar but were in the process of making more.  We opted to wait a good ten minutes more before our order was complete.
Overall Impression: Mojo Monkey has some unique varieties of donuts that are worth a trek to St Paul
Mojo Monkey Donuts on Urbanspoon

Nov 252011

Cuisine: American, Wings
Restaurant Features: Counter Service, Delivery, Flat Screen TV, On-Site Parking
Location: Maplewood, MN
Address: 705 Century Ave N Maplewood, MN 55119 (651) 730-7768
Hours: Mon-Thur 11am-10pm  Friday 11am-11pm Saturday 12pm-11pm  Sunday 11am-7pm
Links: D-Spot Website * D-Spot on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: D-Spot is located in Maplewood (bordering Oakdale), in a strip mall at the corner of Century Ave and 10th Street.  When you first walk in, you will see the front counter where you order your food.  The dining room itself has a handful of tables for dining in, or there is a small waiting area near the front if you choose to take-out.

Menu: The plethora of Chicken Wings at D-Spot can be divided into 4 groups: Spicy, Savory, Comfort and Sweet.

Spicy Wings include Chipotle BBQ, Spicy BBQ, Asian BBQ, Ginger, Szechuan, Voo Doo, Jerk, Buffalo, Iron Man (sweet/spicy), Incredible Hulk (green coconut curry), Pachadi (mago yogurt curry), Volcano, Ochre (honey mustard), Vaporizer (horseradish, mustard, honey), El Loco (super HOT), Toxic Avenger (green coconut curry, italian salsa verde, and sriracha), Ben Grimm (red and green curry, pineapple and toasted coconut), Kamikazee (chili, horseradish buffalo and fried garlic), War Machine (jerk and iron man), Bathala’s Bliss (ginger, honey, thai chilis, coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice and cilantro), Dragon’s Breath (sriracha, honey, horseradish aioli) and Desert Heat (harrisa, sriracha, honey and dry rub).

Savory Wings include Honey Butter, Italiano (mint, parsley, basil, garlic, capers, anchovy and red pepper), Salsa Verde, Moroccan (yellow curry, apple and orange juice, raisin, carrot, yogurt), Twist (lemon/lime zest, toasted cumin, coriander), Kitchen Sink (3 dry rubs, 3 sauces), Teriyaki (soy, pineapple and orange), M.P.G (fondue style potato and gravy), Muay Thai (coconut milk, peanut butter, chili), Tunisian (harrisa), Meatball (chili cranberry marmalade), Marsala (pancetta, mushroom, marsala), Cordon Bleu, Iberian (chorizo, smoked paprika), Black Widow (soy glaze, crackel fennel, jerk rub), Frenchy (caramelized onion and sweet balsamic), Widow Maker (iron man and black widow).

Comfort Wings include Peanut Butter and Jelly, Country Fried, Alfredo, Lalapalooza (lavender, peppercorn, mustard vinegar), Blue Moon (bleu cheese cream), Four Seasons, Ranch, El Rancho (ranch and buffalo), Buffalo Bill (bleu cheese and buffalo), Cacciatore (tomato, rosemary, garlic), Pesto, Johnny Apple Seed (apple pear, caramelized onion, bleu cheese), Kariboo (coffee, chocolate, acho chili), Sri Lanka (pineapple gastric dusted in cayenne), Traditional BBQ, Honey BBQ, Pineapple BBQ and Huckleberry Finn (blueberry, honey, barbeque).

Sweet Wing varieties include Mound of Joy (coconut milk, dark chocolate, crushed almonds), Snackers (peanut butter, caramel, crushed nuts, chocolate and sea salt), Reese’s (peanut butter, milk chocolate, sea salt), Chicken and Waffles (maple brown sugar, creme anglaise, cinnamon, powdered sugar), The Canadian (bourbon, brown sugar, maple syrup, sea salt), Caramel Delight (caramel, sea salt, drizzle of chocolate), Black & Blue (black and blueberries), Strawberry (strawberries and balsamic syrup), D’s Short Cake (strawberry, creme anglaise, almonds and cream), Naked Turtle (caramel with pecans), Fruity Pebbles (boisenberry, lemon, lime and honey) and French Toast (cinnamon, maple syrup).

In addition to wings, you can also order Burgers and Sandwiches such as Luciann (two 1/4lb patties), D-Burger (with coleslaw, fries and american cheese), Emma James (smoked pancetta, fried egg, and harissa aioli), Mushroom & Swiss, and Red Baron (caramelized shallots, red wine butter), Cheddar Cheese, Pulled Pork, Grilled Chicken, and Falafel.
Price guide: $6/6 wings or $10/dozen  Burgers/Sandwiches $5-8
Weekly Specials:  Monday Nights during football season:  $40 for 60 wings

What we ordered: We started with the Bathala’s Bliss, which was my personal favorite of the five flavors we tried.  These wings were lightly floured and then fried until golden, then bathed in a delicious and somewhat thick Thai-inspired sauce consisting of ginger, honey, peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice and then topped with Thai chilis and cilantro.  Very flavorful; slightly sweet from the honey and peanut butter but also savory from the chili and cilantro. Yum.  I will crave these from now on whenever I think of wings, they were awesome.

Next we tried the Black Widow, which were wings rubbed with jerk seasoning and cracked fennel then tossed with a somewhat sweet soy glaze.  Very good, I liked the sweet/savory combo.

Next we tried the Ginger Wings, which were tossed in a sauce of honey, ginger, garlic and then topped with spicy Thai chilis.  These were also good; the honey flavor came through stronger than any of the others so they were slightly sweet.

Another of the Wing flavors that we tried was the Twist.  These were a dry wing seasoned with lemon/lime zest, toasted cumin, and coriander.  These were very good if you like a drier wing.  My companion loved them and preferred these over any of the others.

We also tried the Buffalo Bill, which were a step up from your basic buffalo wing.  The sauce was very tasty and had a decent amount of spice and the wings were coated nicely with it then topped with bleu cheese crumbles.  I love buffalo wings and I love bleu cheese so this was a winning combo for me.

We also ordered a side of seasoned fries, which were delicious! They seemed to be lightly battered and heavily seasoned, which I loved.  They came with seasoned mayo for dipping.  I had a couple of fries in between each new flavor of wing I tried.

Service: Our wings were prepared to-order, and the five different wings took approximately 15 minutes.

Overall Impression: I had heard about D-Spot a few months ago and had been wanting to try it ever since.  My actual experience exceeded expectations!  With 60+ flavors of wings, there is a wing for everyone.  My new favorite spot for wings is definitely D-Spot!
D-Spot on Urbanspoon
:D-Spot Reviews in Maplewood

Nov 192011

Cuisine: Barbeque
Restaurant Features: Counter-Service
Location: St Paul, MN
Address: 625 University Ave St Paul, MN (651) 222-2516
Hours: Mon-Tues: Closed  Wed-Thurs: 11am – 6pm, Fri-Sat: 11am – 9pm Sun: 11am – 6pm
Links: Big Daddy’s Website * Big Daddy’s on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Located on University just past Dale St, Big Daddy’s BBQ is a very small restaurant, snuggled between other businesses.  There is a small sign hanging above the door but blink and you might miss it!  Inside Big Daddy’s the predominant feature is the front counter where you order and pick up your food.

There is room to seat only eight people, so a majority of the customers take their food To-Go.  There are four seats along the window and four seats adjacent to the counter area.

Menu: Sandwiches include Pulled Pork and Pulled Chicken, 4oz or 6oz.

Barbeque items include Pork Ribs, Rib Tips, Southern-Style Beef Ribs and Chicken.

Side items include Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Coleslaw and Collared Greens.

Desserts include Lemon Cake and Chocolate Cake.

Price guide: Sandwiches $5-8    Barbeque $8-21

What we ordered: I ordered the 6oz Pulled Pork Sandwich with Potato Salad and Baked Beans.  The pork had been pre-heated and pre-portioned into a little container and was plopped onto the bun when I ordered it.  The meat was tender, very finely pulled pork tossed with a tangy barbeque sauce.  I got a side of the spicy barbeque and added extra sauce to make it more moist.  I especially liked both the beans and the potato salad.

A couple of my companions each ordered the Half-Rack of Ribs.  Served dry, these ribs looks both meaty and moist.

Another companion ordered the Rib Tips with coleslaw and beans.  There was a big pile of rib tips which looked and smelled delicious.

Service: I was surprised at just how quickly our food was ready for take out.  All of the food had been prepared ahead of time so as soon as I ordered, my food was ready less than a minute later.
Overall Impression: Big Daddy’s offers quick and friendly service with tasty, quality BBQ.
Big Daddy's on Urbanspoon

Nov 112011

Cuisine: American, Pizza, Tacos
Restaurant Features: Catering, Counter Service, On-Site Parking
Location: Willernie, MN (Mahtomedi)
Address: 468 Stillwater Road Suite B Willernie, MN 55115 651-429-1141
Hours: M-F 3pm-10pm  Sat 12pm-10pm Sun 12pm-8pm
Links: Google Map

Atmosphere: Wildwood Pizza opened in a new location in March 2010, just a few blocks down Stillwater Ave from their original location in the former Wildwood Bowl (which is now home to The Hanger Room).  The new location is smaller and while the service is mostly take-out, there are a couple of tables set up for dining in.  The memorabilia on the walls is the same as what adorned the walls in the old location.

Menu: Appetizers include Nachos, Garlic Bread, French Fries, Cheesy Bread, MOzzarella Sticks, Onion Rings, Deef Fried Breaded Mushrooms, Buffalo Wings, Deep Fried Cauliflower, Cheddar Nuggets, Chicken Nuggets, Chicken Tenders, Chicken Drummies, Jalapeno Poppers, Tator Tots, Pizza Rolls, and Mini Corn Dogs.

Salads offered at Wildwood Pizza include Taco Salad and Chef’s Salad.

Sandwich options include Hot Dago, Philly Cheese Steak, Chicken Sandwich, Hamburger, Cheeseburger, California Burger, Fish Sandwich, Corn Dog, Hot Dog, Chili Cheese Dog, Coney Island Dog, Grilled Pulled Pork.

Wildwood Pizza also offers Fried Flour Tacos (seasoned ground beef and toppings), Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Beef Ravioli.

Dinner Entrees include Fried Chicken and Fried Pollock (come with coleslaw and fries).

The Pizzas are where its at!! Wildwood offers several Specialty Pizzas sized 10″, 12″, 14″ and 16″ including Brian’s Super Deli Specialty (Canadian Ham, onion, pepperoni, sausage, muchrooms and green peppers), Tiffany’s Gourmet Deluxe (provolone, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, onion and sour cream, plus four toppings of your choice), Cheesy Willermedi Pie (5 cheeses), Boboli, Mushroom Special (pepperoni, mushrooms, green pepper, onion, green olives and bacon bits), Mexican Fiesta Special (jalapenos, refried beans, taco sauce, onion, taco chips, taco beef and tomatoes), Sauerkraut Special (pepperoni, onions, green pepper, green olives, bacon bits and sauerkraut) and Chicago Style (10″ classic deep dish).

Other Pizza Toppings include all of the classic ingredients as well as meatball, asparagus, banana peppers, spinach, jalapeno, shrimp, anchovies, chicken nuggets, grape jelly, peanut butter, black beans, dill pickle, sauerkraut and water chestnuts (just to name a few!
Price guide: Appetizers $2-8  Sandwiches $3-8  Pizzas $11+
What we ordered: For the past decade (or longer) the pizza that we always order from Wildwood is the Jumbo 16″ thin Crust with Pepperoni, Mushrooms, and Shrimp.  Shrimp on a pizza?! YES! These are teeny, tiny baby shrimp but they are wonderful.  The sauce at Wildwood is slightly sweet but it is delicious.

The Fried Flour Tacos are also a tasty treat.  The order comes with three fried flour tortillas filled with seasoned ground beef and lettuce, tomato and cheddar cheese on the side for you to build-your-own. $4.50/order

Service: Depending on how busy it is, Wildwood makes pizzas quickly and they are usually accurate about how long it will take when you order it.

Overall Impression: Wildwood Pizza has long been a family favorite and one that I crave on a regular basis.  The fried flour tacos are also awesome! Really wish they still offered their famous malts that were served at the original location…. I miss the strawberry malt.