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

Sep 042011
 

Cuisine: American, Greek, Mediterranean, Pizza,
Restaurant Features: Banquet Room, Bar, Patio, On-Site Parking, Sunday Brunch Buffet, Valet Parking
Location: Eden Prairie, MN
Address: 13000 Technology Drive Eden Prairie, MN 55344   (952)546-6722
Hours: Daily 11am-2pm (Kitchen until 10pm)
Links: Santorini Taverna Website * Google Map
Atmosphere: Santorini Taverna is located in Eden Prairie, near Prairie Center, in a giant stand-alone building.  The main dining room is casual yet sophisticated, with a giant fireplace in the center, giving each side of the room a more intimate feel.  There are tables as well as booths, complete with layered tablecloths.

There is a separate dining room that can be used for banquets or large parties and is used for over-flow on busy nights.  There is a fireplace in this room as well as a door leading to the patio.

The spacious lounge area is near the front entrance, complete with a beautiful bar and several bistro tables and an elevated floor.

The patio is a very popular destination for many months of the year.  Tucked away behind the property, you can access the patio around the right side of the building or from the dining room.  There is a giant outdoor bar in the middle and many tables (with umbrellas!) surrounding it.

The far side of the patio has many more tables for dining.

Menu: Appetizers (Mezedes, Tapas and Antipasti) include Dolmades, Wood Grilled Octopus, Grecian or Buffalo Wings, Shrimp Cocktail, Buffalo Shrimp, Artichoke and Crab Dip, Wood Grilled Lamb Chops, Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes, Seared Ahi Tuna, Santorini Gyros, Flamed Saganaki, Baked Mussels, Pastichio en Phyllo, Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Calamari a la Romano, Spanakopita, Wood Grilled Shrimp & Veggies, Greek Peasant Sampler.

There are also a number of Meditteranean Pita Spreads served with warm pitas including Spicy Feta, Taramosalata, Tirosalata, Tzatziki, Tahini Hummous, Roasted Pepper Hummous, Melitzano, Kalamata and Goat Cheese Tapenade.

Wood Oven Pizzas include Four Cheese Classico, Mediterranean, Iberian, and Pizza Margherita.

Salads include Greek Salata, Peppered Steak, Nicklow’s Deluxe, Horiatiki, Caesar, Spiced Ahi Tuna, Shrimp and Avocado, and Chop Salad.  Soups include Avgolemono and a Soup du Jour.

Sandwiches and Burgers all come with choice of Lemon Oregano Fries or Tavern pasta.  Options include Gyro Pita, Chicken Pita, Veggie Pita, Pita Melt, Mediterranean Chicken Wrap, Walleye Sandwich, Burger, Pepper Jack Burger, Surf and Turf Burger, Prime Rib French Dip, Santorini Club Croissant, and Open Faced Prime Rib Sandwich.

Meat Entrees include Lamb Chops a la Thebes, Filetto de Greco, Athenian Pork Chops, Surf & Turf, Bone-In Ribeye, South American Strip Steak, Prime Rib, New York Strip, and Filet Mignon.

Seafood Entrees include Pan Fried Walleye, Scampi con Pollo, Roasted Norwegian Salmon, Seafood Platter (shrimp, scallops, lobster and salmon), Shrimp Mikrolimano, Moroccan Shrimp, Roasted Scallops, and Lobster Dinner for Two.

Pasta dishes include Taverna Pasta, Seafood Bucatini, Spaghettini  Arrabbiata, Ouzo Linguini, Raviolo Basilio, Lobster Ravioli, Tortellini Baronessa, and Cajun Pasta.

Mediterranean Favorites include Grilled Chicken & Shrimp Kabob, Traditional Pastichio, Grilled Beef Kabob, Lamb & Beef Moussaka, Grilled Swordfish Kabob, Kotopita, Eggplant Moussaka, Gyro Dinner and Lamb Shank.

Desserts include Chocolate Fudge Cake, Key Lime Pie, Cheesecake, and Galaktoboureko.

Price guide: Appetizers $8-12  Salads $7-15  Sandwiches $10-19  Meat Entrees $24-34  Seafood $19-49  Pasta $13-26  Greek Favorites $16-23

Happy Hour:

  • Mon-Fri 4-7pm, Sun-Thurs 9-11pm, Fri-Sat 10pm-2am
  • $2-  Mini Burgers, Cheesy Bread with Marinara, Pita & Spread
  • $3- Rail Drinks, Tap Beers, Santorini Wings, Onion Rings, Szechuan Green Beans, Mini Pizza, Mini Cheesecakes
  • $4- Santorini Sliders, Fish & Chips, Sloppy Joe’s, Pork Potstickers
  • $5- BBQ Shrimp Skewers, Mini Crab Cakes, Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Gyro Appetizer, and Shrimp Gazpacho.

Weekly Specials:

  • Friday- Fresh Alaskan Halibut Char-grilled with fresh herbs and lemon, served with roasted potatoes and vegetables $24
  • Saturday-  Boneless leg of lamb stuffed with spinach, feta and loukaniko sausage Served with roasted potatoes and vegetables $23
  • Sunday- Family Style Platter with Avgolemono soup, Greek salad, gyro & fixings, sliced chicken breast, two lamb chops, Taverna pasta and baklava  For two $45 | For four $75

What we ordered: We started with an order of Artichoke and Crab Dip.  This was a delicious blend of cheeses, with garlic and chunks of artichoke and crab, baked until hot and bubbly then topped with fresh tomatoes.  It was a decent sized order served in a ramekin with several triangles of warm pita bread.  Great stuff!

We also ordered the Baked Mussels, which I thought were excellent.  They were magnificently tender and came swimming in a big, deep bowl of broth made with white whine, saffron, tomatoes, fennel and garlic.

Another appetizer we tried was the Goat Cheese Bruschetta.  We loved this! The goat cheese was blended with cream cheese and then placed on a bed of tomato-basil bruschetta.  The order came with several slices of crustini drizzled with balsamic vinegar for building little bruschetta toasts.

There were many items on the menu that sounds really good to me, but I wanted to try authentic Greek food.  The owner of Santorini himself highly suggested the Moussaka, so that is one of the items we tried.  This dish was sort of a Greek lasagna, with layers of ground beef-lamb, eggplant, and slices of roasted potato topped with tomato sauce and bechamel cheese.

We also shared a New York Strip which was extremely tender, juicy and well seasoned.  The steak came with a serving of roasted zucchini, yellow squash, onion and fingerling potatoes.  The steak was wonderful.

We also tried the Kotopita, which was a chicken breast topped with spinach and feta, then wrapped in flaky phyllo dough.  This was a great dish with a wonderful combo of flavors and textures, from the tender chicken to the creamy feta to the flaky phyllo crust.  It was served with Santorini’s famous Angel Hair pasta tossed with brown butter, garlic and mizithra cheese.  Both were delicious!

Our server presented us with the dessert tray and enticed us to order a couple of desserts, including this Galaktoboureko, a lemon custard wrapped in phyllo dough.  Excellent!

We also tried the Chocolate Fudge Cake, which was very moist, drizzled with chocolate sauce.  Way too much for just one person after all that food!

Service: We had very good service at Santorini Taverna.  We arrived after 7pm on a beautiful Thursday night and opted to wait 15+ minutes for a table on the patio.  It was very busy but our server was attentive and had some good suggestions from the menu.  Our appetizers came out in waves and the entrees came much later.

Overall Impression: Santorini Taverna is a beautiful restaurant and has a great selection of Greek and Mediterranean foods.  I thought the food was great and I especially loved the giant patio and good service.
Santorini Taverna on Urbanspoon

Apr 072011
 

 

Address: Eden Prairie Center #2320 8251 Flying Cloud Drive Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Pasta Zola is a fun, new restaurant located in the Food Court at Eden Prairie Center.

Menu: Ordering is a as simple as:

  1. Picking a Pasta- (Corkscrews, Rigatoni, Whole Wheat Penne or Cheese Tortellini)
  2. Picking a Sauce- (Creamy Alfredo, Mac & Cheese, Bolo, Marinara, Smooth Red, or Pesto Fusions)
  3. Adding Goodies- (Meatballs, Italian Sausage, Chicken, Ham & Peas, Smokey Bacon, Veggies)

I have not yet been out to Pasta Zola myself but love the concept and wanted to share it with ya’ll.  Make sure to try it next time you’re in Eden Prairie and let me know what you think!

Sep 292010
 

Cuisine: Pizza, Salads
Restaurant Features: Counter Service
Locations: Eden Prairie, St Paul, Minneapolis, Wayzata (MN)
Addresses & Maps:

Eden Prairie – 8353 Crystal View Rd  Eden Prairie MN 55334  952.943.9557

Calhoun Village Shopping Center – 3226 W Lake St  Minneapolis MN 55416 612.929.0006

Grand Ave– 769 Grand Ave  St Paul MN 55105 651.602.6068

Highland Park– 704 Cleveland Ave S  St Paul MN 55116  651.696.1066

Northeast Minneapolis– 210 E Hennepin Ave  Minneapolis MN 55414 612.623.8114

Stadium Village– 802 Washington Avenue SE  Minneapolis MN 55414 612.331.3122

Wayzata– 1313 Wayzata Blvd E  Wayzata MN 55391 952.476.7991

Hours: Open Daily 11-10pm
Links:Punch Pizza Website * Punch Pizza Facebook Page *

Atmosphere: The Punch location on Grand Ave is  bright and energetic, with mosaics gracing both the walls and the outside of this glorious wood-burning pizza oven.Punch Pizza Wood Burning Oven ~ St Paul, MN

The space inside is not very large but they have gotten creative with using the space. There are a mix of both booths and tables, with the tables all strung together forming a large community table that anyone can sit at.

Menu: Salads at Punch include Punch Salad (pine nuts, prosciutto and balsamic vinaigrette), Chopped Italian, Greco, Caesar, Gorgonzola and Walnut, Artichoke Dip and Focaccia Bread.

Classic Pizzas include Margherita (basil), Napoli (oregano), Adriatico (feta, caper, onion, olive), Borgata (goat cheese, sundried tomato, eggplant), Bruni (salami and sausage), Milanese (roasted red pepper, ham and gorgonzola), Palermo (salami and sundried tomato), Puttanesca (anchovy, caper, onion and olive), Quattro Formaggi (fontina, goat cheese and parmesan), Salame E Funghi (salami and mushroom), Siciliana (prosciutto and artichoke), Toscano (sausage and roasted red pepper), Toto (prosciutto, garlic, goat cheese and arugula), Vescuvio (spicy salami, olive and pepperoncini), Bufalina (mozzarella and olive oil), Cortina (mushroom, garlic, olive oil and prosciutto).

You can also Craft-Your-Own-Pizza, starting with the crust for $6 and adding your toppings of choice ($1.25-1.95 per ingredient)
Price guide: Salads $4-9  Pizzas $6-11+

What I ordered: This was my first time at Punch pizza and I wasn’t sure how or what I should order, there were so many options! I went with the Salame and Funghi pizza, but I substituted pepperoni for the salami.  It had a base of San Marzano Italian tomatoes, then layered with slices of fresh garlic and oregano and was topped with fontina cheese, which is stronger and more flavorful than the traditional mozzarella.  I loved the flavor of the toppings and I liked the crust, but the top just did not get crispy enough for me.  The cheese was runny and just barely melted, I prefer it brown and bubbly which is harder to accomplish in a wood-burning oven.

Service: I arrived on a Friday just before noon and the line was not very long which is great for many but didn’t afford me much time to decide on my order.  I was lucky to find one booth that had just opened up after I ordered, and I had barely sat down and grabbed a drink when my pizza showed up not even five minutes later.  That was record time for a pizza!  (It actually only takes 90 seconds to cook the pizza in Punch’s wood-burning oven). I ate half my pizza and was out the door about 20 minutes after my arrival.  The line was almost out the door by that time and people were waiting for tables to open.
Overall Impression: I had high expectations for Punch and can see why it is a popular pizza place, with everyone ordering their own individual pizza how they like it.  I thought the prices were a little high and would have preferred the top of my pizza to be a little crispier, but I still enjoyed the flavor of the ingredients.

Punch Neapolitan Pizza on Urbanspoon

Sep 182010
 

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

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

Jan 182010
 

Cuisine: Pizza, Delicatessen (hoagies)

Restaurant Features: Catering, Counter-Service, Delivery, Kids Menu, On-Site Parking (at many locations)

Locations: Arden Hills, Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Burnsville, Coon Rapids, Eagan, Eden Prairie, Edina, Golden Valley, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Plymouth, Richfield, Rogers, Roseville, Savage, St Paul, Woodbury
Addresses: (Click here for Maps of Davanni’s Locations)

Arden Hills: 3673 Lexington Ave N Arden Hills, MN 55126 651-481-7100

Bloomington:
8605 Lyndale Ave S Bloomington, MN 55420 952-888-6232

Brooklyn Center:
5937 Summit Dr Brooklyn Center, MN 55430 763-566-8220

Burnsville: 14639 CR 11 Burnsville, MN 55337 952-431-1500

Coon Rapids: 3430 129th Ave NW Coon Rapids, MN 55448 763-712-1000

Eagan:
1960 Cliff Lake Rd Eagan, MN 55123 651-688-6111

Eden
Prairie: 8061 Flying Cloud Dr Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-941-4444

Edina: 5124 Gus Young Ln Edina, MN 55436 952-920-9090

Golden Valley:
663 Winnetka Ave N Golden Valley, Mn 55427 763-398-0303

Minneapolis: 1242 Hennepin Ave Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-338-0000

Minnetonka: 15200 Highway 7 Minnetonka, MN 55345 952-938-4243

Plymouth:
3015 Harbor Ln N Plymouth, MN 55447 763-550-0003

Richfield:
2312 W 66th St Richfield, MN 55423 612-866-3324

Rogers:
14165 James Road Rogers, Mn 55374 763-428-2990

Roseville, 1905 W Perimeter Dr Roseville, MN 55113 651-636-3411

Savage: 14125 Highway 13 Savage, MN 55378 952-440-1200

St Paul:
310 White Bear AveSt. Paul, MN 55106 651-738-6992

St Paul:
41 Cleveland Ave S St. Paul, MN 55105 651-690-4848

Uptown Mpls: 1414 W Lake St Minneapolis, MN 55408 612-822-3111

Woodbury: 1905 Donegal Dr Woodbury, MN 55125 651-739-1010

Links: Davanni’s Website

Davannis-outside

Atmosphere: The East St Paul Davanni’s location is just off I-94 and White Bear Ave.  Like all other Davanni’s location, customers order at a counter and then wait for their name to be called when order is ready.

Davannis-counterservice

There are several different seating areas, each with booths that can accommodate up to four people.  There are also a  couple of tables in the very back section of the dining room.  There are many windows throughout the restaurant, leaving it very well lit during the day.

Davannis-inside

Menu: Appetizers include Potato Chips, Breadsticks and Garlic Cheese Bread.

Salads at Davanni’s are the Garden Salad, Side Garden, Chicken Cobb, Italian Chef, Oriental Chicken, Southwestern Chicken, Spinach Chicken, Chicken Caesar, and Side Caesar.

Hoagie sandwiches are served on either white, whole grain, or ciabatta roll with lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo.   Options include Southwestern Chicken, Chicken Bacon Honey Mustard, Chicken Breast, Turkey/Bacon/Cheddar, Turkey, BLT w/ Cheddar, Club, Roast Beef, Pastrami, Ham, Salami, Tuna Melt, Veggie, and Three Cheese. Hot subs made with meat, marinara and cheese only include Chicken Parmigiano, Meatball, Sausage, and Pizza.

Davanni’s Pizza can be ordered with a choice of three different crusts (thin, traditional and deep dish) and two sauces (red and white).  Sizes pizzas come in are Solo, Medium and Laqrge.  Toppings choices are Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Sliced Chicken Breast, Canadian Bacon, Hamburger, Red Onion, Green Pepper, Garlic, Mushrooms, Hot Peppers, Green Olive, Black Olive, Pineapple, Bacon, Gorgonzola Cheese, Anchovies, Roma Tomatoes, Cheddar Cheese, and Jalapeños.

Davanni’s also has Penne Pasta (with chicken, meatballs or sausage), Lasagna and Stuffed Calzones.

Kids menu items include Hlaf Pasta, Solo Cheese Pizza, or Half Ham Hoagy.

Desserts include Brownies, Rice Crispy Treats, and Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

Price guide: Hoagies $3.25-7  Salads $4-7   Pizzas $5-20  Calzones $5.50+

What We ordered: My companions and I ordered a variety of pizzas, including this large Chicago-style deep dish pizza with pepperoni and sausage.  Davanni’s deep dish is a treat for those who like real Chicago-style pizza and has been my one of family’s favorites for many years.  The buttery brown crust is at least 1″ deep yet it is light.  The lightness of the crust is deceiving because the pizza is actually very filling.   The cheese and meats were baked directly on top of the crust with pizza sauce spread out on the very top to prevent the crust from getting soggy.  The large pizza had 10-12 wedges.

Davannis-deepdishpizza

Our party also ordered a Large Thin Crust Pepperoni Pizza.  The crust on the thin crust pizza was also pretty good, crispy but slightly chewy.  It was loaded with melted mozzarella and a fair amount of pepperoni (although I personally like more).

Davannis-thincrust c and olive oil)

This is a solo deep dish pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and “pink” sauce.  Pink sauce simply means that it has both white sauce (garlic and olive oil) and red sauce.  If you like garlic, you would love either the white or the pink sauce.  This pizza was also very good, the mushrooms were fresh and there was a lot of pepperoni.  The light and buttery deep dish crust practically melts in your mouth.

Davannis-solodeepdish

One of my companions ordered a half pizza hoagy on whole grain with a special request for the sauce to be served on side.  This is a good sandwich but it doesn’t have much substance, just a thin layer of pepperoni and a thin layer of melted cheese on one half of the bread.  You better order the whole sandwich if you’re hungry!

Davannis-pizzahoagie

Another companion ordered a pepperoni and veggie calzone to-go.  Safe to say that this thing was loaded with melted cheese, meat and veggies.

Davannis-calzone

Service: You can call ahead for pick up or delicery, otherwise Davanni’s offers standard counter-service.  There are typically 2-3 cashiers taking orders during the lunch and dinner rush but you can still expect to wait a few minutes before placing your order. It was fairly busy during my visit and it took about 30-40 minutes for our pizzas, which seems a reasonable amount of time for the deep dish pizzas to bake.
Overall Impression: Davanni’s has excellent deep dish pizza and is conveniently located in several places around the Twin Cities.  Service is reasonably fast and menu prices aren’t going to break the bank.
Dari-ette Drive in on Urbanspoon

Aug 282008
 

Cuisine: American,
Restaurant Features: Banquet Room, Bar, Sports Bar, On-Site Parking

Locations: Burnsville,  Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, *Maplewood, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, New Brighton, Richfield, St. Paul, Woodbury
Addresses & Maps:
Burnsville- 1200 W. County Rd. 42 Burnsville, MN 55337 952-898-5050
Eden Prairie8010 Glen Lane Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-942-3331
Maple Grove– 13521 80th Circle North Maple Grove, MN 55369 763-494-4515
Maplewood-1734 Adolphus St  651-487-5050
Minneapolis– 100 N. 6th St. Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-335-5050
Minnetonka– 641Plymouth Rd. Minnetonka, MN 55305 952-546-3333
New Brighton– 2397 Palmer Dr. New Brighton, MN 55112 651-639-0339
Richfield- 790 W. 66th Street Richfield, MN 55423 612-861-3333
St Paul– 2401 W. 7th St. St Paul, MN 55116 651-698-5050
Woodbury– 8418 Tamarack Village Woodbury, MN 55125 651-735-5050

Links: Champps in Maplewood Champps Corporate Website

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Atmosphere: Known primarily as a Sports Bar/Restaurant, Champps in Maplewood has Neon Signs and Memorabilia adorning the Logos of our Minnesota Sports Teams throughout the building.  The main dining area has a mix of round wooden tables and booths.  The building is very large, with a banquet room on the lower level and two large parking lots on either side of the building .

Champps-inside1000

The bar area has a number of tall tables in addition to seating around the bar.  There is also an enclosed patio area with multiple windows that wraps around one side of the building.

Champps-bar1000

Menu: Although Champps is a national chain, each restaurant is individually franchised and has control over their own menu.  Here is a link to the Champps Corporate Menu.  The menu that I am going to review is that of Champps in Maplewood, the site of my review.

Appetizers include Garlic Cheese Bread, Chicken Fingers, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Santa Fe Eggrolls, Buffalo Wings, Asian Pot Stickers, Merlot-Grilled Sirloin, Quesadillas, Nachos, Potato Skins, Mozzarella Sticks, Onion Rings, Cheese Curds, and Waffle Fries.

Champps also has a large selections of salads including Southwestern Chicken Caesar, Caesar, Greek Chicken, Cobb, Buffalo Chicken, Oriental Chicken, Crispy Chicken Tender, Bleu Steak, Chopped, Taco Salad and Pasta Salad.  Soups offered are French Onion Au Gratin, Chicken Noodle and Soup du Jour.

Sandwiches at Champps are served with choice of chips, potato salad, cole slaw or cottage cheese.  Selections include the Mediterranean Tuna Melt, Mile High Turkey, Chicken Cyn, Gyro, Adobe Turkey, Muffaletta Hoagie, Buffalo Chicken, BBQ Pulled Prk, Spinach and Artichoke Chicken, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Champps Clubhouse, Hawaiian Chicken, 3-Cheese Chicken, Reuben/Rachel, Grilled Cheese, Cajun Chicken, French Dip, Walleye, Turkey Bacon Ranch, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Ranch Chicken Wrap, Club Wrap, Southwestern Chicken Wrap, Philly Cheesesteak Wrap, and the Texas Fajita Wrap.  There are also a large selection of Specialty Burgers.

Specialty Pizzas that are offered are Margherita, Spinach Artichoke and Pepperoni, and Meat Lovers.  You can also build-your-own pizza.

Pasta Specialties are the Fettuccine Alfredo, Cajun Chicken Fettuccinne, Baked Mostacioli, Roasted Artichoke and Grilled Chicken Penne, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Jambalaya.

Entrees include the BBQ Rib Platter, Lemon Pepper Walleye, Grilled Fajitas, Kung Pao Chicken, Fish & Chips, and Sirloin Steak.

Desserts include Cookie Espresso Sundae, Brownie Sundae, New York Cheesecake with Berries, Hot Fudge Sundae and Chocolate Cake.

Price guide: Appetizers $6-10  Salads $9-12  Sandwiches $7-9  Pastas $11-15 Entrees $12-19
What I ordered: I ordered the Taco Salad, which came in a fresh, crispy tortilla bowl.  The bowl itself was on the small side, and was packed full of lettuce, seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions and fresh jalapeños, with sour cream and salsa on the side.  It was so packed full of ingredients that there wasn’t enough room for me to mix the salad, but I thought it was really good.

Champps-tacosalad1000

One of my companions ordered the sandwich/soup combo, a Grilled Cheese with potato salad and side Caesar salad that they happily substituted for the soup. The bread was thick and buttery, grilled to a nice golden brown.  The salad was a generous portion for a side salad.

Champps-grilledcheesecaesar1000

Another companion ordered sandwich/salad combo with Grilled Turkey, Potato Chips, and Garden Salad.  The chips they serve are of the kettle variety; crunchy and salty.

Champps-turkeyhousesalad1000

Another companion ordered a BLT with Waffle Fries and Seasoned Sour Cream.  The BLT isn’t actually on the menu, but the restaurant was more than willing to accommodate the request since they had the necessary ingredients.

Champps-bLTfries1000

Service: My party arrived at the beginning of the lunch hour, immediately after the restaurant opened and we were seated promptly at our choice of table.  The staff was friendly and more than willing to accommodate a couple of minor changes to the menu, such as substituting a side salad for soup in the sandwich/soup combo, and making a BLT which was not on the menu at all.
Overall Impression: Decent food with huge portions for the price.  Service is prompt and friendly, great place to watch any of our local sports games.
Champps on Urbanspoon

Dec 232007
 

Cuisine: Italian (family style)
Restaurant Features: Bar, Banquet,

Locations: **St Paul (site of this review), Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove and Minneapolis
Addresses:

St Paul 2728 Gannon Road  St. Paul, MN 55116  651.772.4388
Burnsville 14300 Burnhaven Drive  Burnsville, MN 55306 952.892.7272
Eden Prairie 7711 Mitchell Road  Eden Prairie, MN 55344  952.934.9463
Maple Grove 12650 Elm Creek Boulevard Maple Grove, MN 55369 763.494.3466
Minneapolis 1204 Harmon Place Minneapolis, MN 55403 612.288.0138

Links: Buca di Beppo website *Buca Facebook PageGoogle Map
Atmosphere: Big, loud, happy and crowded, warm and cozy.  There are many sub-sections to the large restaurant, many of which have long tables to fit large parties.

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Menu: Appetizers include Garlic Bread (with or without mozzarella), Bruschetta, Fried Calamari, and Pan Fried Fresh Mozzarella.

**Buca offers three portion sizes for their entrees: Individual (1 person), small (serves 2 or more) and large(serves 4 or more).

Salads include apple gorgonzola, fresh mozzarella caprese, chopped antipasto, Caesar, warm tomato spinach and the Di Beppo 1893 salad.

Baked pasta specialties include manicotti, stuffed shells, baked ravioli, chicken cannelloni, and lasagna.

Pasta dishes include spaghetti marinara or with meatballs, linguine frutti di mare, ravioli al pomodora, gnocchi al telefono, macaroni rosa, tortelloni, penne arribbiata,  penne campofiore, fettuccine alfredo, and  shrimp fra diavolo.

Entrees include chicken saltimbocca, chicken with lemon, chicken marsala, chicken, eggplant, or veal parmigiana, salmon with pesto, veal limone, and porchetta rustica.

Desserts include tiramisu, double dark chocolate cake, cheesecake, chocolate cannelloni, spumoni, chocolate vesuvio, and apple crostata.
Price guide:
What we ordered: My companions and I ordered several dishes to share, starting with Buca’s delicious garlic cheese bread.  Heavy emphasis on the garlic!! They slice the cloves and put on a very generous amount.  The bread is crispy and absolutely amazing!

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Mussels served in-the-shell with Marinara sauce. These were the most delicious, tender mussels I have ever had the pleasure of consuming.  On the small side, but with amazing flavor.  A must-try if you like mussels!

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We had the chicken Canneloni  ( Pasta tubes are overflowing with 100% chicken sausage, Italian
cheeses and fresh sage. Smothered with provolone cheese and Romano
cream sauce. Served on a bed of fresh marinara sauce.)

Bucacanneloni1000

Macaroni Rosa ( pasta with sliced chicken breast, broccoli, peas, mushrooms and Roma tomato bruschetta. Tossed with marinara sauce, a hint of cream
and corkscrew pasta.) This was so much better than it looked! The portion size was huge for a small, and loaded with ingredients and sauce.
Bucamacaronirosa1000

Chicken Marsala (Sautéed chicken breasts and fresh mushrooms in a sweet Marsala wine reduction).  Very good, but disappointing to only get two chicken breasts in a small order.

Bucachickenmarsala1000

Apple Gorgonzola Salad (Tart
Granny Smith apples, spiced walnuts, dried cranberries and Gorgonzola
cheese are tossed with fresh Romaine lettuce and our Italian vinaigrette).  Wow!

Bucasalad1000

Manicotti ( Tubes of pasta stuffed with a rich blend of ricotta, mozzarella and
Romano cheeses and fresh Italian parsley, topped with creamy béchamel
sauce on a bed of  homemade marinara sauce.)

Bucamanicotti1000

Garlic mashed potatoes

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Spaghetti and meatballs (Imported Italian spaghetti with Buca’s famous half-pound mouth-watering meatball smothered in  homemade marinara sauce.)

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Service: Wonderful! We made our reservations several weeks in advance and requested a space that was a little more private.  They put us in the corner or the restaurant at a round table for 8.  So nice that we could all see and talk to each other! It was a very busy night (as it always is at Buca), but server did a great job making recommendations.  One thing that is slightly inconvenient is Buca’s inability to split up checks.  No matter how many people are in your party, they will only give you one check per party.  They will, however, run as many credit card transactions as necessary :)
Overall Impression: Excellent Italian food, as long as you like garlic! Vampires beware of Buca and anyone who has eaten there within 12 hours! Great place to meet for large groups.  Reservations are needed.
Buca di Beppo on Urbanspoon