Jan 062012

Our craving lately has been for D-Spot.  Their wide variety of wings is incredible, but they offer a handful of sandwiches and burgers as well.  I have now been to D-Spot three times and this past visit I tried something altogether new to me.  The sign on the wall said, “50-50 Burger” and when I inquired as to what that was, I was told “1/4 lb burger made with 50% ground beef, 50% ground bacon”. Yes! The bacon-lover in me couldn’t resist.  We ordered a double with cheddar to share (along with some wings).

It was about as greasy as you would expect a burger made with 50% bacon to be but we both thought it was pretty fantastic.  It was served on a toasted bun-like bread and had great flavor, especially the smokiness of the bacon. The outside  of the burger was crispy from the extra fat added by the bacon but otherwise the texture was similar to any other burger.  I love bacon and cheddar together and was glad I ordered it with the cheese, which was served between the two patties.  It was served with an aioli of some kind that was the perfect topper.

I would order this again as long as I had someone to share it with; otherwise it might be too much for me.  This is a must-try for Bacon Lovers ;)

Dec 112011

I recently tried the Thai Chicken Pizza at ZPizza and thought it was really good.

This was the XL pizza (16″), a hand tossed crust layered with Thai peanut sauce, cheese, sliced red onion and chunks of white chicken.  It was baked until the cheese was browned and bubbly then topped with fresh cilantro, bean sprouts and shredded carrot.   The sauce is not super sweet but rather tangy from the vinegar. So full of flavor and 100% delicious.

Have you tried Thai Pizza before? What did you think?

Nov 272011

I do not eat donuts very often, but I enjoy them when I do.

I recently tried this Maple-Glazed Long John with Crispy Bacon from Grandma’s Bakery.  It was delicious! It was a raised donut that was light and airy, soft on the inside with a slightly crunchy golden crust.  The maple icing was sweet and when paired with the crispy, salty bacon crumbles, it tasted like classic breakfast with every bite ;)

This was very good and I would definitely eat it again.

Have you tried a donut with bacon on it yet??


Jun 282011

Would you believe that I often eat at the same restaurant more than once?

It’s true.

I even have a handful of favorites that I eat at regularly.  One of those is Norman Quack’s Chophouse in Forest Lake.  Not only is Quack’s just a ten minute (or so) drive from my house, but they also have a great Happy Hour and awesome weekly specials.  The best deal in town might just be on Sundays for the 12oz Prime Rib with Hand-Battered Onion Rings for $11.99.

The last time we were there we ordered a double cut (24oz+) that was a real “Humunga Cowabunga”.  Just look at this piece of meat!

I still can’t believe the size of this thing. Ginormous Maximus. Oh so good!

Jun 272011

I love pizza.

LOVE it.

One of my all-time favorite places is Cossetta’s Italian Market and Pizzeria in St Paul.  This is a New York-style pizza, with a chewy crust and a sharp, creamy low-moisture mozzarella that melts beautifully. The sauce and the pepperoni stand above the norm as well.   The large pizza is at least 16″ and is cut into  eight slices  which are big enough that you can fold in half or eat with silverware.  If I were super hungry I could maybe eat two slices.

$20 for a large one topping (8 large slices)

Jun 202011

I was recently at Famous Daves BBQ & Blues in Calhoun Square to see the legendary Eric Gales Band.  While there I ordered the Famous Bread Pudding.

Oh Heavenly, Lord.

The bread pudding itself is very good but what makes this dessert is the pecan praline sauce.  Sweet, buttery, rich and decadent.  Did I mention divine?!

Want the recipe?

Famous Dave’s Bread Pudding
1 1/2 lb loaf cinnamon egg bread 2/3 cup golden raisins 1 1/2 cup sugar
4 cups milk 2 cups heavy whipping cream 1/4 cup vanilla extract
8 eggs, beaten 1 tsp cinnamon unsalted butter
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Coat the bottom and sides of a 2-inch deep 9″x13″ baking dish heavily with butter. Tear the bread into 1-inch pieces. Mix with the raisons in a bowl. Spread the bread mixture evenly in the prepared dish, turning crust side down as this tends to burn easily. Whisk the sugar, milk, whipping cream, vanilla, eggs and cinnamon in a bowl until blended. Pour gently over the bread mixture, making sure every piece is wet. Place the baking dish inside a larger, 4-inch deep roaster pan. Add water to the roaster pan to reach halfway up the side of the baking dish. Bake for 1 hour. Remove baking dish from water bath immediately. Let stand for 20 minutes. Serve while still warm. Spoon into dessert bowls. Drizzle each serving with warm Ol’ Southern Plantation Praline Sauce. Top with whipped cream and add a scoop of vanilla if desired.


Ol’ Southern Plantation Praline Sauce
2 cups unsalted butter, cubed
1 1/2 cups chopped pecans 3 pounds light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 1/2 cups sour cream 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Heat 1 cup of the butter in a large saucepan until melted. Add the pecans and mix well. Bring to a boil. Cook until the pecans begin to change color. Be careful! This mixture will foam over, so use a large saucepan (3 qts or larger). Add the remaining 1 cup of butter and mix will. This will cool the pecan mixture and stop the cooking process. Remove from heat. Combine the brown sugar, whipping cream and cinnamon in a large(4 qt.) sauce pan and mix well. Cook over low heat until blended, stirring constantly. Increase heat. Using a candy thermometer, cook to exactly 230 degrees. Immediately stir in pecan mixture. Then add sour cream and vanilla and mix well. Remove from heat. Serve over Famous Dave’s Bread Pudding, but save some for vanilla ice cream, French toast, pancakes, etc.
Yield: 8 cups.

Jun 172011

I know there are many restaurants around town that have really good fried or broasted chicken, but there is one I have been going back to again and again over the years……

Magnolia’s Restaurant over on the East Side of St Paul.

1081 Payne Avenue  651-774-3333  Hours Daily 6:30am-9:30pm

You get a 1/2 chicken, bowl of soup or salad, and fresh cut fries and service with a smile for under $10.  The batter on the chicken is crispy and salty, well seasoned and flavorful while the chicken is moist and juicy.

I usually get the Chicken Wing Meal (7 whole wings).  Comes with soup or salad, fresh cut fries. 4 wings/$8 or 7 wings/$9.50.  I definitely take the extra wings for only $1.50 more, then I have a little snack for later ;)

Fried Chicken Wing Meal at Magnolias Restaurant ~ St Paul, MN

Fried Chicken Wing Meal at Magnolias Restaurant ~ St Paul, MN