May 062012

Cuisine: Asian Variety, Chinese, Thai
Restaurant Features: Bar, Gluten-Free Menu
Locations: Edina, Minnetonka and Roseville
Addresses and Maps:
Roseville (Rosedale Center) – 1705 Highway 36 West  Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 636-7173
Edina – 3669 Galleria Edina, MN 55435 (952) 928-7888
Minnetonka (Ridgedale Center)-  12649 Wayzata Blvd Minnetonka, MN 55305 (952) 797-9888
Hours:Mon-Thurs 11am-9:30pm * Fri-Sat 11am-10pm * Sun 11:30am-9pm
Links: Big Bowl Website * Big Bowl Facebook PageGoogle Map

Atmosphere: There are several Big Bowl locations in the areas of Minneapolis and Chicago.  The Roseville location is found inside Rosedale Center on the same side of the mall as AMC Theaters, Granite City and Flame. The dining room is big and decorated with a contemporary Asian flair.  There are tables in various shapes and sizes, as well as booths along the outer walls.  There is also a bar area to the left of the entrance.

Menu: Appetizers include Chicken Potstickers, Veggie Potstickers, Chicken Dumplings, Veggie Dumplings, Spicy Sichuan Green Beans, Crispy Garlic Tofu, Grilled Chicken Satay, Chicken and Shrimp Eggroll,  Barbeque Spareribs, Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Thai Beef Lettuce Wraps, Thai Herb Calamari, Spicy Sichuan Eggplant, and Summer Rolls (Chicken, shrimp or Veggie).

Soups and Salads include Dumpling Noodle Soup, Vietnamese Noodle Soup (Pho), Chinese Hot & Sour Soup, Tom Yum Shrimp Soup, Spicy Sesame Peanut Noodles, House Mixed Salad Greens, Asian Chicken Salad, Mandarin Chicken Salad, and Lucky 8 Vegetables & Tofu.

Chinese Chicken dishes include Kung Pao, Ginger Chicken, Spicy Cashew, Orange, and Sesame Chicken.  Beef Dishes include Kung Pao, Spicy Sichuan Beef, Beef & Broccoli, Mongolian Beef, and Seven Flavor Crispy Beef.  Seafood Dishes include Sweet Ginger Sea Scallops & Shrimp, Shanghai Shrimp & Scallops, Teriyaki Glazed Salmon, and Black Pepper Scallops.

Fried Rice options include Teriyaki Chicken, Teriyaki Shrimp, and Barbeque Pork.  There is also an Unfried Jasmine Rice dish.  Chinese Noodle Dishes include Kung Pao Tofu and Spinach, Kung Pao Chicken and Noodles, Steak & Noodles, and Sichuan Pork Belly with Noodles.

Thai Specialties include Red Hot Pepper Chicken Noodles, Thai Hot Pepper Chicken (or Shrimp) with Basil & Peanuts, Bangkok Shrimp & Scallops and Thai Shrimp Fried Rice.  Pad Thai is Big Bowl’s signature dish, try it with Vegetables/Tofu, Chicken, Shrimp or Salmon.  Big Bowl also has a make-it-yourself Stir-Fry bar option.  You choose your vegetables, meat, sauce, and noodles and they will cook it for you.

There are also a number of Curries including  Spicy Thai Green Vegetable Curry, Yellow Curry Vegetables, Yellow Curry Chicken with Sweet Green Beans, and Claypot Shrimp Panang, and Claypot Panang Curry Chicken.

Big Bowl also offers a Gluten-Free Menu, which includes many of the above items.

Desserts include Coconut Tapioca Pudding, Mango Cheesecake, Honey Apple Crisp, Homemade Double Chocolate Brownie, Lucky Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie, and Mochi of the Moment (ice cream and sweet rice).
Price guide: Appetizers $5-7 Entrees $12-18

What we ordered: We started with a round of drinks, I had a Mai Tai, with a traditional mix of light and dark rum, pineapple and lime juices.  Delicious, albeit on the short side.

Later I tried a Margarita, a mix of Sauza white tequila, cointreau, and Yuzu sour.

One of my companions ordered the Ginger Jameson, made with fresh Ginger.

One of us had the Red Sangria

Another companion had the Passion Fruit White Sangria.

For the inconvenience of seating out party of twelve at two different tables, they sent out some complimentary appetizers, including these Steamed Veggie Dumplings ($5.95) served in the house soy-ginger sauce.  The order came with five plump dumplings.

We also tried the Pork Potstickers ($5.95), which also came with five in the order.  These were pan fried to give them a crispy, golden brown crust.  They were served with the soy-ginger sauce, hot mustard and sweet plum sauce for dipping.

For my entree I asked for a recommendation of something spicy and the server suggested the Claypot Chicken Panang Curry ($12.95), so that is what I ended up ordering.  The base of this dish was the delicious, thick peanut-coconut curry, stuffed with pieces of all natural white meat chicken, red bell pepper and snow pea pods.  It had a lot of flavor but only a slight kick to it as far as spice goes.

One of my companions ordered the Pad Thai with Pork ($12.95).  This was a big pile of rice noodles, stir fried with big pieces of barbeque pork, basil, eggs, bean sprouts, peanuts and fresh lemon and herbs.  It looked and smelled great!

One of my companions had the Mongolian Beef ($14.95), a traditional Chinese dish with big tender chunks of beef, shitake and button mushrooms, shredded carrot and green onions in a sauce made with hoisin and soy.

Another companion had the Veggie Stir Fry with tofu, broccoli, green beans, carrots, peppers and onions with Chinese rice noodles.

For dessert we shared a Double Chocolate Lava Brownie

Service: Our visit to Big Bowl was on a busy Saturday night, with a reservation for 12 people made a month in advance.  We had to wait 30 minutes past the reservation time before they could arrange space for us.  When we were seated, they put four of us in a booth and the other eight were seated at two nearby tables that had been put together.  It was very awkward and completely separated our party into two.  For this “inconvenience” they brought us complimentary appetizers.  While we were sitting, the hostess had sat a table fo two at the booth next to ours and three minutes later another employee came rushing over to their table where we overheard her telling that could sitting there that they had to be moved, that that particular table was reserved for someone else and they didn’t seem very apologetic about it. My companions and I were appalled by it. As for the rest of our service, drinks took some time coming from the bar but once we put in our dinner orders, they didn’t seem to take any longer for our party of twelve than it would’ve for a much smaller group.
Overall Impression: This was my second time ever visiting Big Bowl, the first was about five years ago.  Big Bowl is a chain restaurant that prides themselves on using fresh ingredients sourced locally and naturally raised meats.  I liked the fresh ingredients and overall our food was pretty good but the service was less than stellar.  I personally won’t be rushing back anytime soon.
Big Bowl on Urbanspoon

Jan 292012

Cuisine: American, Healthy Eating
Restaurant Features: Beer & Wine, On-Site Parking
Locations: Edina and Roseville, MN
Roseville– 1910 West Highway 36  Roseville, MN 55113 651-636-0956
Edina- Galleria 3460 Galleria Edina, MN 55435 952-925-1001
Hours: Monday-Saturday 7am-10pm Sunday 7am-9pm

Links: Good Earth Website * Good Earth on Facebook

Atmosphere: The Roseville Good Earth is located along the frontage road along the northern side of Hwy 36, west of Fairview Ave.  The decor inside the restaurant is very mellow and casual.  There are many wooden tables throughout the dining room, with a few booths along a couple of the outer walls.

Menu: Breakfast foods include fresh juices & smoothies, Organic Oatmeal, Granola, Ten-grain Hotcakes, Buttermilk Pancakes, Brioche French Toast, Wild Mushroom Omelette, Veggie Omelette, Tomato Basil Omelette, Turkey Sausage Scramble, Grilled Salmon Hash, Good Earth Huevoa, Breakfast Quesadillas, Black Bean Roaster, Vegetarian Joe’s Eggs, Breakfast Wrap, Bacon & Eggs, and the Heartland Breakfast.

Small plates offered at Lunch and Dinner include Middle Eastern Medley (tebouleh, hummus, spiced feta, kalamata olives), Nachos, Edamame, Bangkok Chicken Satay, Vegetable Pot Stickers, Baked Artichoke Dip, Wild Mushroom and Gruyere Flatbread, Thai Chicken Pizza, and Pear and Fig Flatbread.

Soups and Salads at Good Earth include Vegetable Bean Soup, Tropical Spinach Salad (side or full), Cashew Chicken, Mediterranean Greek Salad, Curried Turkey Salad, and Chopped Salad.

Sandwiches offered include Cashew Chicken Salad, Cashew Chicken Melt, Almond Tuna Salad, Almond Tuna Melt, Grilled Shrimp Pita, Grilled Veggie Sandwich, Turkey Club, Rueben, Harvest Wrap, Thai Chicken Wrap, and Bean Burrito.  Burgers include Basic Burger, Bison Burger, Turkey Burger, Patty Melt, The Good Earth Burger, Vegetarian Planet Burger, and Turkey Porcupine Sliders.

Good Earth’s Entrees “From the Farm” include Grilled Chicken Quesadillas, Teriyaki Chicken, Thai Chicken Chiang Mai Noodles, Turkey Meatloaf, Coconut Curry Chicken, and Mandarin Beef.

The Entrees “From the Sea” include Wild Mahi Mahi, Wild Ahi Tuna, Keta Salmon, Atlantic Salmon,  Farm Raised Tilapia, Grilled Tuna with Ginger Noodles, Shrimp and Scallops with Creamy Corn Polenta.

Vegetable Dishes include Wok Seared Seasonal Vegetable, Winter Pear Risotto, Vegetarian Enchiladas, and Winter Gnocchi.

There is also a selection of Monthly Seasonal Specials including Apple and Sunchoke Salad with Pomegranate, Pan Roasted Rainbow Trout, Pomegranate Braised Rainbow Trout, Grilled Pomegranate Glazed Chicken, Vegetarian Chili, Grilled Shrimp and Zucchini, Coconut Panna Cotta, Pineapple Upside Down Cake, and Sorbetto.
Price guide: Breakfast $  Small Plates $5-10  Salads $6-13  Sandwiches $10-12  Entrees $11-16
Weekly Specials:

  • Sunday- Corn Meal Crusted Walleye $10.95
  • Monday- 10 wines, 10 bottles, 10 Bucks
  • Tuesday- Chicken Marsala $10.95
  • Wednesday-All Natural Steak Fajita $10.95
  • Thursday – Wok Seared Shrimp Curry $10.95

What we ordered: We started with the complimentary basket of Breads.  It contained a sampling of many different breads and homemade pita chips and was served with a side of hummus.

I asked our server what the spiciest thing on his menu was and without hesitating he said the Thai Chicken Chiang Mai Noodles. I was sold!  This dish had a nice amount of heat to it, the base of which was a coconut curry sauce.  It had several large pieces of white meat chicken and was tossed with red and green bell pepper, cucumbers, garlic and ginger and noodles that similar to vermicelli.  The cucumber helped to cool it down a little.  I liked this a lot.

One of my companions had the Good Earth Burger.  The burger was made with fresh ground bison served on whole wheat bun, then topped with caramelized onions, avocado, portobella mushrooms, tomato, sunflower sprouts and Gruyere cheese.  It was a big, hearty burger.  It comes with a sweet red pepper aioli and side greens salad.

Another companion had the Turkey Burger on whole wheat bun, also served with field greens.

One companion had the Wok Seared Vegetables with the Tropical Spinach Side Salad.  The vegetables were a mix of  yellow squash, pea pods, bell pepper, carrots, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, mushrooms, water chestnuts, celery, with roasted almonds.  It was served with brown jasmine  and wheatberry rice.

The Tropical Spinach Side Salad consisted of a bed of baby spinach topped with chopped mango, red bell pepper, jicama and candied pecans.  It was served with a tahini poppyseed dressing.

Another companion ordered the Shrimp and Scallops with Creamy Corn Polenta.  This dish was sauteed with zucchini, yellow squash, and tomato in a tarragon wine sauce.

For dessert a few of us shared the Carrot Cake.  It was a large piece; fresh, moist and delicious.  The cream cheese frosting was sprinkled with toasted oats which contrasted in texture with the creaminess of the frosting.

One of my companions ordered the Blood Orange Sorbet.  It looked good and I heard no complaints ;)
Blood Orange Sorbet at Good Earth ~ Roseville, MN

Blood Orange Sorbet at Good Earth ~ Roseville, MN

Service: We had very good service at Good Earth.  It was a busy night and our party of five took our time enjoying our meals and each others’ company.   Our server was very attentive and had good suggestions from the menu.  The Good Earth is great about dietary needs and chef will often discuss options with guests.
Overall Impression: The Good Earth is a restaurant that makes a conscious effort to work directly with the farms who produce the meats and vegetables they use in their dishes. Everything is organic and locally sourced whenever possible.
Good Earth on Urbanspoon

Jun 262011

Cuisine: American, Fish & Seafood, Steaks
Restaurant Features: Bar, Patio, Sunday Brunch Menu
Locations: Edina & St Paul, MN
Addresses & Maps:

Edina– 5034 France Ave South Edina, MN 55410 (952) 929-3764

St Paul– 917 Grand Ave St Paul, MN 55105 (651) 917-2345
Hours: Mon-Thurs 11am-10pm Fri-Sat 11am-12am Sun 10am-10pm
Links: Salut Website * Salut on Facebook

Atmosphere: Salut Bar Americain St Paul is located in the heart of Grand Ave, between Lexington and Victoria St.  The inside of the restaurant is a big open space, with booths along the back wall and tables placed throughout the rest of the dining room so that each table had plenty of space. The lighting in the dining room is very soft and the walls are painted warm colors, giving it a cozy feel.   The black and white checked tablecloths and the tables themselves are reminiscent of many cafes in France, helping to set the mood as a swanky French-inspired American restaurant. One thing that stood out that night was that it was uncomfortably warm inside the restaurant. I am not sure if there was a problem with their cooling system on this particular night or if it is always like that in the summer, but we honestly left as soon as our meal was done because we were all feeling too warm.

There is also a Bar, which is illuminated in a similar fashion as Chino Latino and Il Gatto, two of Parasole’s other restaurants that I have been to.

You can’t miss the patio, as you have to walk through it to get inside the restaurant

Menu: Salut’s Hor’sD’oeuvres include French Onion Soup, Soud du Jour, Ricotta Hushpuppies, Tenderloin Carpaccio, Five Spice Seared Tuna, Baked Brie, Pommes Frites, Crispy Calamari, Escargot Bourguignon, Truffled Deviled Eggs, Artichoke Pizza, Pizza Espagnole, Moules Cafe De Paris, Blue Crab Cake, and Charcutiere Et Fromage.

Raw Bar items include  Jumbo Shrimp Cocktail, Le Grande France Platter (oysters, crab, shrimp, lobster, mussels and tuna tartare), Oysters Moscow, and Fresh Oysters.

Salad offerings are the A La Greque, Baby Beet, Salade de Canard, Salut Bleu, Caesar, Grilled Ahi Tuna Nicoise, Chicken Cobb and Seafood Louie.

Items offered only on the lunch menu include Chicken and Artichoke Crepes, Crepes Madame, Seafood Crepes, Eggs Benedict, French Country Omelette, and Smoked Salmon Omelette.

Sandwiches are served with either hand-cut fries or side salad.  Choices include Le Pesto Burger, Cheeseburger Royale,  French Onion Soup Burger, Burger Bar Americain, Steak Sandwich, Grilled Tuna Steak Sandwich, Knife and Fork Chicken Club, and Croque Madame.

Steak options at Salut include Steak Classique, Steak Au Poivre, Hanger Steak, and Petite Filet.

Fish dishes are made with fish flown-in daily.  Options include Scottish Salmon, Pacific Ahi Tuna, Jumbo Shrimp, Grilled Rum Shrimp and Crispy Walnut Salmon.

Other Entrees include Pepita Poulet, Herb Roasted Half Chicken, Duck a l’orange, Braised Lamb Shank, and Cassoulet (traditional French stew).

Pasta dishes that are offered at Salut include Bolognaise, Smoked Chicken Fettuccine, Butternut Squash Tortellaci, Carbonara Milanese, and Champagne Shrimp Fettuccine.

Price guide: Appetizers $6-15 Salads $8-17 Sandwiches $11-15 Steaks $23-29  Fish $24-28 Pastas $16-18

Happy Hour:

  • 3 – 6 pm daily
  • Late Night: 10 pm – 12 midnight, Friday and Saturday
  • $4 tap beers, well drinks and house wine
  • $3 small plates
  • $1.95 Oysters

Weekly Specials:

  • Monday: Poulet Morrocain $17.95
  • Tuesday: Shrimp Arrabiata $17.95
  • Wednesday: Zee Walleye Feesh N Chips $19.95
  • Thursday: Short Ribs $22.95
  • Friday: Bouillabaise Seafood Stew $29.95
  • Saturday: Cote de Boeuf Prime Rib  $29.95
  • Sunday: Steak Dianne $19.95

What we ordered: I started with a House Margarita, which was decent but only slightly tart and not overly strong.

My companions and I started with a couple of starters, such as the Pomme Frites.  These were skinny-cut fries that had a justa  hint of a batter on them which made them extra crispy.  The order was served with a boat of homemade bearnaise sauce.

We also shared an order of the Moules Cafe de Paris.  This was a big order of mussels steamed and then served in a broth of butter and wine with a sprinkling of green onions for garnish.  The mussels were cooked perfectly so they were tender rather than chewy and the broth was very light.  I enjoyed the mussels but would’ve like them even more in a sauce that had more flavor.

Before our meals were brought out we were served warm baguettes with whipped sea-salt butter.  Simple but delicious.

Like usual I debated about what I was going to order, afraid of getting something boring.  I ended up with the Steak Sandwich and ince I got to choose my side, I went with the Cream of Potato Soup.  I was very happy with my choice, as the beef tenderloin was very tender and perfectly flavored with caramelized onion and melted gruyere cheese, served on a ciabatta bun.  As per my usual when ordering steak, I requested freshly grated horseradish on the side.  The cream of potato soup was also delicious.

A couple of my companions each ordered the Fork & Knife Chicken Club.  You can see from the photo exactly why a fork and knife are needed for this beast of a sandwich; a giant grilled chicken breast atop a ciabatta bun with romaine then topped with thick-cut bacon and half an avocado.  Side salad was chosen for the side item.

One of my companions ordered the Chicken Cobb Salad, which was packed with chopped chicken breast, bacon, avocado, hard boiled eggs, tomato, roasted beets, and bleu cheese crumbles.

Another companion ordered the Croque Madame, a fabulous spin on the traditional Croque Monsieur.  Like the classic Croque Monsieur, this sandwich is open-faced with toasted  ham and  gruyere but then is topped with a fried egg.  This is one item that would be great to eat for breakfast, lunch or dinner!  Mixed baby greens  salad was choice of side.

The last of us ordered the Seafood Louie Salad.  This salad consisted of a bed of greens, then topped with grilled salmon, shrimp and blue crab.  Tossed with tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions  and Louie Dressing (mayo, lemon, chili, worcestershire).  Served with toast.

Service: We had decent service at Salut.  We had a reservation for a group of six and our table was ready for us when we all arrived on a somewhat busy Friday night.  We did not see our server immediately and when we did she was busy getting our drink orders and didn’t tell us about the daily specials until just before we ordered our meals.  Luckily there was a sign near our table that featured the daily specials so we could have time to decide what to order.  Our food came out reasonably fast, appetizers followed by the entrees about 15 minutes later.  One thing I thought was really nice is that the server wrote us all separate tickets, eliminating the need to split everything up ourselves at the end of the night.  I always appreciate that when out with a big group!

Overall Impression: For the most part, I enjoyed my visit to Salut.  I thought the food and service were good and the atmosphere was nice despite how warm it was.

Salut Bar Americain on Urbanspoon

Jun 112011

Cuisine: Fish, Seafood, Steaks, Sushi, Dessert
Restaurant Features: Banquet, Bar, Hotel
Locations: Edina & Minneapolis, MN
Addresses & Maps:
Edina– 3203 Galleria Edina, MN 55435(Edina Westin Galleria Hotel) 952.920.1142

Minneapolis– 800 Nicollet Mall  Minneapolis, MN 55402    612.338.3300

Hours: Mon-TH: 11am-10pm  FRI:    11am-11pm  SAT:     4pm-11pm  SUN:  4pm-10pm

Links: McCormick & Schmick’s Website * McCormick & Schmick’s on Facebook

Atmosphere: The Downtown Minneapolis McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant is located on Nicollet Mall at 9th St..  The restaurant is quite big, or so it seems.  On the way to our table we walked by several curtained-off areas which I can only assume lead to additional or private dining areas.

My companions and I were shown behind one of the very last curtains and into a large dining room.  Deep, rich colors on the walls and floor gave it a masculine feel which was softened up by the white tablecloths.

There is also a  large Bar area at the Downtown location that has booths as well as seating at the bar.  Much less formal than the dining room but just as cozy.

Menu: The Menu at McCormick & Schmick’s changes daily, depending on what type of fresh catch is available.  The following is the menu that was available to me on the night of my visit in late May 2011.

Appetizers include Tempura Shrimp, Lump Blue Crab Tower, Fried Calamari, Duck Potstickers with Raspberry Hoisin, Crispy Thai Chicken Spring Rolls, Portabella Mushroom and Goat Cheese Bruschetta, Steamed Black Mussel & Clams, Crispy Fried Oysters, Crab Cake, Kobe Beef Carpaccio, and Coconut Fried Shrimp.

Offerings from the Seafood Bar include Malpeque Oysters, Deep Bay Oysters, Alpine Bay Oysters , and Spiced Jumbo Prawns.

Sushi and Sashimi includes Tuna Tartare, Salmon Lomi Lomi, Spiced Seared Ahi Tuna Tostada, California Roll.

Soups at McCormick & Schmicks inlcude New England Clam Chowder and Crab Bisque.  Salad options are the Chopped, The Wedge, House, Caesar, and Grilled Shrimp Cobb Salad.

This season’s Wild Features include Angry Tuna Roll, Wild Alaska Halibut & Salmon Baked in a  Crispy Pastry, Wild Canada Whitefish, Wild swordfish Casino, and Wild Seafood Trio.

Seafood Specialties include Cashew Crusted Tilapia, Seared Sea Scallops, Parmesan Breaded Tilapia, Atlantic Salmon Stuffed with Crab, Chilean Sea Bass with Miso and Udon Noodles, Horseradish Herb Steelhead, Macademia Nut Breaded Halibut, and Blackened Catfish with Fire Roasted Corn Salsa.

Traditional Seafood Items include Rainbow Trout, Horseradish and Potato Crusted Red Snapper, Atlantic Salmon with Berry Sauce, Fried Shrimp Platter, and Wild Ahi Tuna.

Other Entrees include Petite Filet Mignon, Filet Mignon, Top Sirloin with Bleu Cheese Sauce, Lobster Steamer, Maple Brined Chicken, Shrimp Linguini, King Crab Legs, Kobe Burger with Mushrooms and Swiss, Tenderloin and Portabello Brochette, and New York Strip.  Filet & Shrimp Scampi combo also available.

Desserts include Key Lime Pie, Apple Pie, Creme Brulee, and Chocolate Trio.

Price guide: Appetizers $-12  Sushi $9-14  Oysters $3+   Seafood Specialties $17-32  Entrees $14-47

What we ordered: We started with an order of Fried Calamari.  Delicious! The batter was crunchy but the calamari was cooked perfectly;  the rings were tossed with banana peppers and sprinkled with fresh parmesan.  The order aame with fire-roasted tomato sauce for dipping.

We also ordered the Large Oyster Sampler, which came with eight oysters in total: Malpeque Oysters, Deep Bay Oysters, and Alpine Bay Oysters.  I can’t honestly tell you which two varieties I tried but they were both fresh and delicious.  I always top my oysters with lemon, cocktail and horseradish.  I’ve said it before but I LOVE horseradish.  Goes perfectly with oysters ;)

We also tried a couple orders of the Angry Tuna Roll.  These fabulous rolls contained spicy tuna, then topped with more tuna, thin slices of fresh jalapeno, spicy mayo and flamed tobikko.  I love spicy sushi and this really hit the spot.

We also ordered the California Roll, which I did not try.  Nothing wrong with a California Roll every now and then but I would take the Angry Tuna Roll over this plain jane any day.

Just before our meals were served we were brought Sourdough Bread which was fresh and crusty.

I had a hard time deciding what to order for my entree. I love halibut and the Macademia Nut Crusted Halibut sounded really good but I was afraid it wouldn’t have enough flavor for me.  The server assured me it was excellent so I did end up ordering it.  The dish looked good but I was immediately disappointed by the somewhat small size, in comparison to my companions’ dishes.  My piece of halibut was about 3″ x 1″, very lightly crusted and pan fried.  It sat on a bed of steamed broccoli and atop the mango butter sauce.  The fish was cooked just right so the texture was firm without being tough but the taste of the overall dish was very mild.  Nothing wrong with this dish, just too boring for my tastes.  For the money, it was about $3 per boring bite.  Ridiculous if you think of it like that.

One of my companions ordered the Horseradish Hashbrown Crusted Red Snapper.  I tried a bite of this and thought it was very good.  The flavor of the horseradish was apparent but not overpowering, it really just enhanced the taste of the fish.  The hashbrowns that were crusted around the fish were a nice compliment in texture, however my companion thought there was a little too much potato in proportion to the amount of fish.  I liked it much better than my halibut.

One of my companions ordered the Sea Bass, which turned out to be one of the best dishes I tried.  The sea bass filet was quite big in comparison to the halibut and it sat atop a bed of stir-fried veggies and udon noodles soaked in the delicious, flavorful Asian miso sauce.  Once I was offered a bite I had to show restraint so I wouldn’t eat half the dish.  A winner!

One of my companions started with the Chopped Salad and then had the Steak & Scampi Combo.

The Steak and Scampi combo is a great value, it come with the filet mignon, jumbo scampi-style shrimp, gruyere croquettes, and steamed broccoli.  I tried a small bite of this steak and it was delicious; tender and juicy.  A grilled Lobster Tail was added to the dish for an additional charge.  The bite of lobster I tried was also excellent; sweet and succulent.

The steak and Scampi combo also came with Creme Brulee.  This was creamy and cooked just right, with a nice crunchy layer of  caramelized sugar on top.

We also tried the Key Lime Pie, a cheesecake-style key lime with a thick graham cracker crust.  Oh, I love key lime and I love cheesecake.  Great combo.

Another dessert we tried was the Apple Pie.  The caramel drizzled on top gave this dessert a messy appearance but by all reports, it was very good.

Service: We had a reservation for dinner and were promptly seated.  Our server was very good but our visit was a long, drawn out experience.  We ordered many courses and ended up staying almost three hours for dinner.  The kitchen seemed to take their time preparing our food, most of it being worth the wait.  Toward the end of our night things started to seem very slow, it took 25 minutes to get our dessert after we ordered it, despite being the only ones left in our dining room at the time.  When our server brought them out to us she said she made them herself, so I guess someone in the kitchen dropped the ball.

Overall Impression: There were many items that I tried at McCormick & Schmick’s that I thoroughly enjoyed and the prices seem reasonable for the portion sizes.  Our server was great but the food did take a long time.  I will definitely try McCormick & Schmick’s again in the future.

McCormick & Schmick's on Urbanspoon
Mc Cormick & Schmick's Reviews in Minneapolis

Apr 132011

I have blogged a few times before about CRAVE…… once for a lavish dinner and another for a big lunch.

Recently  I visited CRAVE at The Galleria around noon on a Sunday and was happy to see they offer brunch items in addition to lunch.  I love breakfast but rarely get to eat it at restaurants, so this was a treat.

Items on the Brunch Menu include:

  • Family Style Brunch
  • Breakfast Wellington
  • Steak and Eggs
  • Huevos Rancheros
  • Eggs Benedict
  • Omelette
  • Sushi Bento Box

I tried the Huevos Rancheros which were absolutely AMAZING and far different than what I was expecting.  The base of the creation was a fried flour tortilla, then topped with a zesty mix of steak, sauteed onion, peppers, black beans, tomato, scrambled eggs, green onion, cilantro and spicy fresh salsa.  I ordered mine spicy and it was deliciously so, without being overpowering.  One of the most genius part of this dish were the fried flour taquitos filled with steak.  Are you kidding me?! I was in Heaven before I even took a bite and I think I made a few of my companions slightly jealous.  It was a huge portion, too.

Several of my companions ordered the Crunchy Roll from the sushi menu.  Sushi always sounds good to me and I was also tempted to order, but I knew I could eat at least two different rolls just to myself.

Another companion ordered the Margherita Pizza, which was much larger than either of us had expected.  It had a light and chewy crust with the customary basil, tomato and buffalo mozzarella.  The smell was irresistible so I tried a slice and thought it was delicious.

Keeping this one short and sweet…….. find your way to CRAVE on a Sunday (soon!) and make sure to try the Huevos Rancheros!
CRAVE (Edina) 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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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


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

Nov 282009

Disclosure: I was invited out to do this review and my meal was provided by the restaurant. All opinions are my own.
Cuisine: American, Sushi, Seafood, Steaks, Pasta
Restaurant Features: Bar, Happy Hour
Locations: Mall of America, Edina (Galleria), St Louis Park (Shops at West End)

Addresses & Maps:

Mall of America– 368 South Avenue Bloomington, MN 55425 952.854.5000 (3rd Floor Across from Macy’s)
Edina-520 W. 70th Street Edina, MN 55435  952.697.6000

St Louis Park-1603 West End Blvd. St. Louis Park, MN 55416 952.933.6500

Hours: MOA- Lunch 11a-4p  Dinner M-Sa 4p-10p Sun 4p-8p

Edina- Lunch 11a-4p  Dinner M-Th 4-10p Fri-Sat 4-11p Sun 4-9p

St Louis Park- Lunch 11a-4p  Dinner M-Th 4-10p Fri-Sat 4-11p Sun 4-9p

Links: Crave Website * Crave on FacebookOpenTable Reservation

Atmosphere: The Mall of America location of Crave is on the 3rd floor of South Ave, across from Macy’s.  The restaurant is large and spacious, with a large bar off to the left side near the entrance and a sushi bar centrally placed along the wall in the middle of the main dining room.  Although the majority of seating is at tables throughout the dining room, there are also several high-backed booths that allow for more privacy.  The lighting is dim and romantic, with mood lighting created by the illuminated art behind the sushi bar and the softly glowing candles at each table.

The kitchen is open along the back of the restaurant, with subtle views of the place where the chefs work their magic.  The lighting from the kitchen also gives the nearby tables a soft glow.


Menu: The menu changes seasonally and features natural, organic and locally grown ingredients.  All beef is certified beef.

Appetizers on the new Fall Menu at Crave include Calamari, Chicken Satay, Lemon Garlic Wings, Pita & Spreads, Seared Scallops, Baked Crab & Artichoke Dip, Pesto Shrimp, Mini Burgers, Gingered Beef Eggrolls, Artisan Bread Basket, and Edamame.

Salads offered include Asian Noodle Salad, Atlantic Salmon, Steak Niçoise, Starter Crave Salad, Starter Caesar, Starter Roasted Beet & Walnut.  Soups include Hearty Tomato Pesto, Roasted Chicken & Wild Rice, and Leek & Potato.

Pizzas and Flatbreads at Crave are also quite popular.  Flatbread choices are the Roasted Chicken (with pesto, sun dried tomato and portobella mushrooms), Grape & Apple (with Amablu cheese and honey), Thai Chicken (a peanut sauce with cilantro, Asian cabbage and marinated cucumber), and the Napoleon (with garlic prosciutto). Pizzas include Pepperoni or Sausage, Margarita, Shaved Ribeye and the Chipotle BBQ Chicken.

Sandwiches on the dinner menu include Steak Sandwich, Ahi Tuna Steak and Crave Burger.

Pasta selections at Crave include Seas Scallop & Shrimp Fettuccine, Fettuccine & Roasted Mushrooms, Shrimp Scampi Al Fresco, Roasted Chicken and Penne, Baked Truffle Macaroni, Baked Cheese Penne, Spaghetti Pomodoro, and Ravioli Bolognese. Crave offers the option of a half-order of any of their pastas.

Crave has a nice selection of dinner entrees as well, such as the Grilled Petite Tender, Grilled Ribeye, Crab Crusted Filet Mignon, Tuscan New York Strip, Brined Pork Tenderloin, Chicken Stir-Fry, Crispy Half Chicken, Mango & Prawns, Grilled Ahi Tuna, Pistachio Crusted Salmon, Minnesota Walleye, Miso Glazed Sea Bass

The sushi selection at Crave is also pretty extensive.  Nigiri and Sashimi offerings include Crispy Rice Bars with Spicy Tuna, Scallops Poppers, Amaebi (sweet raw shrimp), Hamachi (yellowtail), Hirame (flounder), Hokki-Gai (surf clam), Maguro (red tuna), Mutsu (escolar), Sake (salmon), Suzuki (striped sea bass), Ebi (cooked shrimp), Unagi (cooked eel), Masago (smelt roe), Tako (octopus), Tobiko (flying fish roe), Wasabi Tobiko, and Seaweed Salad.

Maki Sushi offerings are the Tekka (tuna), Sake (salmon), Negihama (yellowtail and scallions), Unagi (cooked eel), Kappa (cucumber), Spicy Shrimp Cones, Chipotle Ocean Roll, Keilani;s Roll (shrimp tempuraavocado, wrapped with eel), Mexican Roll (yellowfin and escolar with avocado, cilantro,  jalapeños and spicy mayo), Number Nine (crunchy Spicy Tuna Roll), Dragon Wraps, Rainbow, Caterpillar, Spider, Veggie Roll, Tempura Roll, Spicy Tuna, California, Minnesota(cooked smoked walleye), Dynamite, Spicy Salmon, Crunchy Roll and Fire Roll.  There are alsoa  couple of sushi combos like the Sushi Sampler, Sushi Lunch Combo and Sashimi Lunch Combo.

Crave also has a delicious selection of desserts that changes seasonally.  The Fall desserts at Crave include Golden Raisin Bread Pudding, Key Lime Pie, Molten Chocolate Cake, Vanilla Bean Cheesecake, German Chocolate Cake, and Coconut White Cake.  The dessert menu also includes a variety of after-dinner drinks such as the Girl Scout Cookie and Buttery Bailey’s, Ports and Dessert Wines, and hot cafe drinks.

Price guide: Appetizers $8-13 Salads $8-15 Pizza/Flatbreads $12-13 Pastas $14-24 Entrees $24-37 Nigiri/Sashimi $6-10/order  Sushi Rolls $7-19/order
Happy Hour Specials:


What we ordered: My companion and I started with a couple of the Crave specialty cocktails, the Cranberry Smash and the Blueberry Lemonade.  The Cranberry Smash was made with vodka, ginger ale, mint leaves and cranberry juice.  The Opulent vodka revved up the drink but it wasn’t overly strong. The ginger ale gave it a pleasant sweetness that I wasn’t expecting, but the cranberries were tart enough to counter the sweetness.  I loved that the cranberries were frozen into ice cubes and floated at the top.  The Blueberry Lemonade was also very good and slightly sweeter than the Cranberry drink.  Excellent blend of flavors.


The Pesto Shrimp appetizer came highly recommended by our server so we started with that.  What a great start to a great night of food! The sauteed tiger shrimps were served
on little slices of crostini toast that had been topped with oven-dried tomato, and then the shrimp toast was covered with pistachio pesto.  The shrimp was perfectly cooked so it was tender and complimented the crunch of the toast.  The pesto sauce was creamy and rich, a perfect sauce to go with the shrimp.


The Panko-Crusted Scallops also sounded really good so we tried an order of those as well.  These scallops may have been some of the best I have ever eaten! The scallops were large and coated with a layer of panko bread crumbs before being seared to a golden brown in the pan. They were cooked so that the meat was tender enough to melt in your mouth, yet the panko and seared edges gave it a nice crunch.  The scallops were served with a dressy arrangement of picatta buerre blanc and fresh field greens.  The butter and capers added the perfect touch of saltiness to compliment the sweetness of the scallop meat.


Sushi Chef Tony Lam brought us a special sampler platter that included a Mexican roll, ceviche, flying fish roe with quail egg wrapped in salmon,  amaebi (sweet raw shrimp), crispy rice bars, prawn heads, and three different fish mixtures atop cucumber slices.

The Mexican roll (pictured top right in photo above) is Crave’s most popular roll and became my new
favorite after just one bite.  This roll is the perfect marriage of
Mexican and Sushi, two of my most favorite foods.  It had both yellow fin
tuna and escolar with avocado, cilantro, a slice of fresh jalapeño
and spicy mayo wrapped in rice and seaweed.  It is then topped with a soy citrus sauce (ponzu), and
chili oil with fresh lime juice squeezed on top. It was so good! I
loved the spiciness of the jalapeño, and the lime and cilantro gave it a
fresh citrus twist.  The tuna and the escolar inside the Mexican roll
were very tender and not at all fishy. Bravo!

The Crispy Rice Bars were also wonderful.  The rice cake was like a thick chewy rice cracker and had a lot more flavor than ordinary sticky rice.  It was topped with a heaping pile of spicy tuna mix, flying fish roe, and sliced jalapeno pepper. The combination of textures went together really well and I enjoyed it quite a bit.


The ceviche was one of my favorite items that Sushi Chef Tony Lam made for us to try.  A very thin slice of potato was fried with tempura batter and then topped with sliced raw fish that was marinated with a citrus soy sauce, scallions and fresh chili peppers.  It was packed with flavor and the tenderness of the fish paired with the texture of the tempura potato went perfectly together.

The sushi was so good we ordered even more of Sushi Master Tony’s creations.  Clockwise From Lower Left: The Mexican Roll, Fire Roll, Number Nine, Dragon Wrap (top right), Hokki and Hamachi Sashimi, and Scallop Poppers (pictured in photo after the one below)


The Number Nine was filled with pieces of shrimp
tempura, spicy mayo, kaiware and yama gobo wrapped with salmon and
avocado and topped with a sweet soy based sauce. The Fire Roll was filled with pieces of shrimp tempura, cucumber, kaiware and yama gobo wrapped with
a spicy salmon mix and topped with chili oil.  This one was nice and spicy, just the way I like it.  The Dragon Wraps were also good.  Instead of rice, this roll is made with an egg omelet wrapped around  spicy tuna,
fresh water eel, avocado, fried green onions, crunchy flakes and miso
dressing.  Served in two big rolls.
The Scallop Poppers were also excellent. The scallops were baked in spicy dynamite sauce then wrapped in salmon and topped with crunchy panko flakes. Loved the combination of flavors and textures.


For my entree I ordered the Crab Crusted Filet MIgnon. This was outstanding! The filet was thick and cooked medium, as I requested.  It had a creamy crab and cheese mixture with just the slightest hint of buttery breadcrumbs baked on top and served on a bed of lobster cream sauce.  This absolutely melted in my mouth. The crab and cheese together created a rich flavor that went slendidly with the tender and juicy beef.  Herb roasted new potatoes and buttery seasoned baby carrots were also served, both were very good.

My companion had the Miso Seabass.  The perfectly-cooked Korean miso sea bass was served atop a bed of steamed white rice and adorned with baby bok choy and a crimson ponzu sauce.  Asian pickled cucumbers sat layered atop the fish.  This dish was delicious as well! The flavorful yet mild sea bass went really well with the sweet, fruity panzu sauce.


Despite being extremely full after enjoying all of this delicious food, we also tried a sushi dessert.  What an extraordinary creation this was! The middle of the the roll had homemade vanilla-bean cheesecake and a slice of fresh mango then wrapped with a thin layer of rice and topped with a thin slice of strawberry. The roll was arranged atop a drizzling of chocolate and vanilla sauce.  The cheesecake and rice were such a unique combo of flavors and textures and together it was like a thick, fruity, creamy and sweet rice pudding.  So different and so, so good!

Service: We had exceptional service at our first visit to Crave.  The hostesses were very friendly and our server, Dawn, was very knowledgeable about the menu and had some wonderful suggestions about appetizers, entrees and cocktails too.  We ordered a lot of food and took our time but never felt rushed since food was paced perfectly.  The restaurant wasn’t too busy (nor was the Mall in general) on this pre-holiday-shopping-season Tuesday evening and we were able to get great customer service and attention from everyone all the way up to the manager.

Overall Impression: The culinary and sushi creations were outstanding. I tried quite a variety of foods and loved every single thing.  The Mexican Roll should win an award! There is quite a variety on the menu and the Happy Hour specials are a really good deal.  Great place to have a casual yet elegant dinner and worth every penny for the fine ingredients.  The service was exceptional.  I can’t wait to go back again soon!
CRAVE (Mall of America) on Urbanspoon

Feb 052009

Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Middle Eastern

Restaurant Features: Counter Service, On-Site Parking
Locations: Coon Rapids, Edina, Lakeville, Roseville (Falcon Heights), Plymouth,  and Woodbury, MN
Addresses & Maps:

Coon Rapids
3179 Northdale Blvd. Coon Rapids, MN 55433
(763) 422-2003
6539 York Ave. S Edina, MN 55435 (612) 866-6363
17701 Cedar Avenue (Cedar Avenue & Dodd Road) Farmington, MN 55024 952) 431-3466

1700 Snelling Ave. Falcon Heights, MN 55108 (651) 645-8800
3355 Plymouth Blvd. Plymouth, MN 55447 (763) 553-2040

10060 City Walk Drive  Woodbury, MN 55129 651-738-9757


Links: Dino’s Website * Dino’s on Facebook
Hours: Daily 10am-10pm

Atmosphere: Dino’s offers counter-service and is about the same size as a typical fast-food restaurant.  The entire restaurant is furnished with your basic hard-top tables set close together, without a booth in sight.  There is a beverage station near the front counter with two large soda dispensers.  A couple of TVs hang from the ceilings and there are also some paintings adorning the walls.


Menu: Side Items include French Fries, Seasoned Fries, Pita Bread, Pita Chips, Hummus, Greek Olives, Pepperoncini Peppers, Falafel, Spanakopita, Onion Petals, Spinach Puffs and Greek Meatballs.

Dino’s offers a Greek Salad ( lettuce, feta, Greek olives, cucumbers, peppers, onion, pepperoncini peppers, and Greek dressing) with choice of meat.

The Sandwiches at Dino’s are served on fresh pita bread and include the Gyro (meat with raw onion, tomato and tzatzini sauce), Jr. Gyro, Spicy Gyro, Chicken Gyro, Jr. Chicken Gyro, Greek Chicken Breast, Greek Philly (sauteed peppers and onions and melted Swiss), Greek Meatball, Falafel (deep-fried patties made of a mixture of ground chick peas and seasonings), Steak Souvlaki, and Chicken Mushroom Swiss.  **Any sandwich can be mega-sized for an additional charge. Any sandwich can be ordered as a Value Meal, which comes with soda and either fries or side salad.

There are also a couple of Wraps including Greek Chicken Caesar, Hummus, and the Gyro Bacon Cheddar Wrap.

Entree Plates offer meat choice with Fries, Greek Salad or Rice, and Grilled Pita.  Meat choices are the  Gyro, Chicken Gyro, Steak or Chicken Souvlaki (kabobs), or Spanakopita (spinach, onions, feta and ricotta cheese wrapped in filo dough and baked).  Combination Plate includes each of the meat choices.

There are also two Family Packs available.  The Family Pack comes with 1 lb gyro meat, sauce, toppings, and 5 pitas.  The Mega Family Pack is the Family Pack with an additional two orders of Fries and 1 large Greek Salad.

Desserts include Baklava, Cookies, or Ice Cream.

Price guide: Side Items $1-2 Sandwiches and Wraps $5-6  Value Meals $8-9 Salads $6-9  Plates $7-9
What I ordered: The Greek Chicken Breast Sandwich with Spicy Feta and side of Seasoned Fries.  Normally this sandwich comes with regular feta cheese, but I LOVE the spicy feta and have them substitute the regular feta for the spicy.  This particular sandwich came with both, which was a little too much.  The chicken breast was marinated and tender, cut into strips.  The sandwich was big and messy, so I opted to eat it most of it with a fork.  The onions were plentiful, sliced thin and the spicy feta had a nice kick to it and was full of flavor.  The Seasoned Fries were delicious!  Dino’s adds their own Greek Seasoning which is pretty salty and garlic-y, but so so SO good!

One of my companions ordered the Spicy Gyro Sandwich.  It is similar to a regular gyro except the spicy comes with the spicy feta instead of tzatziki sauce and also has romaine lettuce.  My companion enjoyed it but prefers the traditional gyro.

Another companion ordered the Souvlaki Plate, with one chicken and one beef kabob, Pita Triangles and Onion Petals.  The meat was very good, but there were just five bites of meat on each skewer.  The Onion Petals were crispy brown and the portion was rather large.


Service: Ordering is done at the Counter and it usually takes less than ten minutes for the order to be ready, at which point they will either call your name or bring the food out to your table, depending on how busy they are.  There are often staff members who will walk around to bus tables or ask you if you’d like a drink refill or anything else.  Definitely a step above most other fast-food type restaurants.
Overall Impression: I really enjoy Dino’s, it is fast and the food is good (especially anything with spicy feta!).  The seasoned fries are AWESOME.  Dino’s is more expensive than other fast-food restaurants but less expensive than most sit-down restaurants.  I wish there was a Dino’s in Hugo or Maplewood!

Dino's: The Greek Place on Urbanspoon