Sep 012012
 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Apr 172011
 

Cuisine: American
Restaurant Features: Banquet, Bar, Free Wi-Fi, Games, Live Music, Waterfront
Location: Stillwater, MN
Address: 317 Main Street Stillwater, MN  651-342-1502
Kitchen Hours:
Mon-Thurs 11 am-8pm Fri-Sat 11am-10pm Sun 11am-8pm (Bar open later)

Links: Rafter’s Website * Rafters on Facebook *  Google Map

Atmosphere: Rafters Food & Spirits is located on the second level of 317 Main Street, near the heart of downtown Stillwater.  There are entrances into the building from the back (facing St Croix waterfront) and from Main Street.  This space has been occupied by several different restaurants over the years, with Rafter’s Food & Spirits being the newest as of January 2011.

The space is long and open, with large windows looking out onto the St Croix River which is just across the parking lot.  There is nothing fancy about Rafter’s, it definitely feels like a bar inside and there is nothing cozy about it.  They do offer live music late-nights on the weekend and they have a variety of entertaining bar games.

Menu: Appetizers at Rafter’s include Mozzarella Sticks, Potato Skins, Boneless Wings, Jalapeno Poppers, Cheddar Jack Buffalo Chips, Fried Pickles, Santa Fe Chicken Eggrolls, Bamboo Shrimp Skewers, Fried Ravioli, Chicken Wings (Jerk, Buffalo).

Salads include House, Caesar, and Southwest.

Burgers are all 1/3 lb and served with chips.  Options include Black Blue, California, Mushroom Swiss, BBQ Bacon Cheddar and the Rafter’s Burger (two 1/3 patties with bacon, three cheeses, sauteed mushrooms and onions).

Chicken Sandwiches include Buffalo Chicken, Chicken Club, Cajun Southwest Chicken, Citrus Grilled Chicken, Rafter’s Spicy Chicken Hoagie Melt.  Other sandwiches that Rafter’s offers are the Walleye, Reuben, Hot Beef & Cheddar, Beer Battered Fish, Meatball Marinara, Philly Beef, Burgandy Peppercorn Steak, Veggie Burger, and BLT.

Price guide: Appetizers $7-8  Burgers/Sandwiches $8-10

Happy Hour:
  • Monday-Thursday 3-6pm

Weekly Specials:
Monday- All You Can Eat Wings 5-8pm $4
Tuesday- All You Can Eat Taco Bar 5-8pm $5
Wednesday- All You Can Eat Pulled Pork & BBQ Chicken 5-8pm $5
Thursday- All You Can Eat Fettuccine Alfredo & Spaghetti/Meatballs 5-8 pm $5

What we ordered: We visited on a Monday night to discover that they had an all-you-can-eat wing bar for $4.  Score! They had three types of wings: Buffalo, Jerk, and Plain and several types of dipping sauces.  I started with the Jerk Wings.  Each wing was cooked in its entirety but they were soft and tender and very easy to remove from the bones.  The flavor on them was zesty and slightly spicy.

I also had a plate of the Buffalo Wings when a hot new batch was brought out. I love buffalo wings but I wasn’t the biggest fan of the sauce they used but at $4 for AYCE I wasn’t complaining!  The beer was also cheap at $2 for domestic taps so we washed a few down.

I really wasn’t sure what I was in the mind for, so I asked the server/bartender was he recommended.  He told me he wasn’t sure.??? That is usually a bad sign if your server can’t make a recommendation.  So next I asked him what he has served other people that looked good and he immediately said the Reuben.  You know I am a Reuben girl so I went with it.

I was immediately dumbfounded to be presented with a Reuben that looked like it had melted cheddar cheese.  Does this not look like Cheddar cheese? I hate to be picky but I did not want a reuben with cheddar cheese, so I alerted the server who asked if I would like a new one or for this one to be removed it from my bill. I opted for the latter and told him not to bother making me a new sandwich, I would just eat a few more wings from the wing buffet instead. A short time later the cook appeared at my table to apologize about the sandwich but also to explain that it was not, in fact, cheddar cheese on the Reuben.  It was thousand island dressing that had oozed over the edges when they put on the bread.  Honest mistake on my part!  Minutes later he brought me a new reuben without the thousand island.  I thought that was nice considering he didn’t charge me and I ended up getting two sandwiches out of the deal.  The sandwich was actually decent, but far from ranking with the best.  It was served with potato chips.

My companion ordered the Mushroom Swiss Burger, which was satisfactory but on the small side at just 1/3lb.


Service: We visited on a Monday night when it was not very busy, so the only employee working with customers was the bartender.  He was nice but didn’t have any recommendations from the menu and wasn’t in a hurry to check up on us.  However, he handled the situation with my food professionally when the problem was brought to his attention.

Overall Impression: I wasn’t terribly impressed with Rafter’s Food & Spirits.  The food, service and atmosphere were mediocre but $4 for all-you-can-eat wings and cheap beer make it an acceptable place to visit on a Monday night.  I see potential for this location but would love to see something more upscale with really good food.

Rafters Food & Spirits on Urbanspoon

Dec 212010
 

Cuisine: American, Burgers
Restaurant Features: Banquet, Bar, Flat Screen TVs, Games, Happy Hour, Kids Menu, Live Music, On Site Parking, Wi-Fi
Location: St Paul, MN
Address: 995 West 7th St.  St. Paul,MN 55102  651-228-9925
Hours: Daily 11am
Links: Shamrock’s Website *  Shamrock’s Facebook Page *  Google Map

Atmosphere: Located on West 7th at Randolph Ave, Shamrock’s Irish Nook is the second restaurant owned by Casper & Runyon, their other restaurant being The Nook.  The space is decently sized, with the restaurant on one side and the bar area on the other.  The main dining area has booths and tables and is colorfully decorated with flags and seasonal decorations.

The Bar Area at Shamrock’s easily takes up half the space, with the bar running along the entire wall.  There are several bistro tables and seating along the bar.  Shamrock’s also has a couple of banquet rooms in the back of the space that can be reserved for large parties.

Menu: Appetizers at Shamrock’s include Buffalo Zingers, Wings (Hot, BBQ Wings, Bourbon Teriyaki, Chipotle Garlic, Wasabi, Thai Peanut, Szechuan Apricot and 59 Sauce Wings), Chicken Tenders, Nugget Meatballs, Jalapeno Poppers, Runyon Rings, Cheese Curds, Mozzarella Sticks, Mini Tacos, Riblets in Smoky Sauce, Nacho Grande, Walleye Fingers, Mini Corn Dogs, Cheese Bread, Nook Bites, Shamrock Bites, Deep Fried Green Beans, Buffalo Shrimp, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Baked Artichoke Dip, Sweet Potato Fries and Fresh Cut French Fries.
Shamrock’s salads include Caesar, Buffalo Chicken, Thai Asian Peanut Chicken, Asian Sesame Chicken, Black and Bleu Steak, and Raspberry Chicken.
All Burgers at Shamrock’s are the same burgers you would get at their sister restaurant, Casper & Runyon’s Nook. Options inclue  The Mickey’s Original, Cheeseburger, Bacon Cheeseburger, Patty Melt, California, Pepperjack Burger, Shwishmushroom Burger, Bourbon Bacon Burger, Alumni Burger (Worcestershire sauce enhanced), Casburger, Nookie Supreme (Double Decker cheeseburgers with special sauce), Juicy Nookie (stuffed cheeseburger), Paul Molitor Burger (stuffed with pepperjack), Matt Birk Burger (two patties with pepperjack), Lodge Burger, Reuben Burger, Notre Dame Burger, Bleu Cheeseburger, Burger of the Month, and Garden Burger.  The newest burger options are the Firehouse (onion, bacon and pepperjack), Saucy Patty, Stuffed Philly Cheeseburger, Olive Cream Cheese Burger and Bison Burger.  All burgers come with fresh cut fries or sub for onion rings just $1.50 extra.
Sandwich offerings include the Reuben, Bourbon Bacon Chicken, Charbroiled Chicken Breast, Charbroiled Chicken Club, BBQ Chicken, Buffalo-style Charbroiled Chicken, Chicken Tender Melt, Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, Spicy Tuna Melt, Seafood Sliders, Half Pound BLT, Battered Cod, Salmon Burger, and Grilled Shamrock’s Cheese.  All sandwiches come with fresh cut fries and pickle.
Shamrock’s entrees are the Emerald Isle Steak Sandwich, 10oz Ribeye, Riblet Dinner, Charbroiled Chicken, Chicken Wing Dinner, Fish & Shrimp, Fried Shrimp, Walleye Fingers and Grilled Salmon.
Items from the Kids Menu are the Wee Burger, Wee Taco, Chicken Nuggets, Mini Corn Dogs, Mac N Cheese, and Grilled Cheese.
Desserts at Shamrock’s include Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookie, Homemade Brownies, Cookie Sundae, Cookie Sundae, and Ice Cream Sundae.
Price guide: Appetizers $6-10 Salads $6-8 Burgers/Sandwiches $7-8 Entrees $9-15 Desserts $2-5

Happy Hour:

  • Mon-Fri 3-6pm
  • 2-for-1 Domestic Taps, $2.25 Bottles, $1.75 Rails
  • Thursday Ladies Night $5 All you can drink domestic beer and rails
  • Free Taco Bar on Fridays

Weekly Specials:

  • Saturday & Sunday- Corned Beef and Cabbage $9.95
  • Monday- 8:30-10:00pm Mini Burgers $1.25
  • Tuesday- 3 Fried Flour Tacos $6.95
  • Wednesday- Ribeye $9.95
  • Thursday-  Pork Tenderloin $6.95
  • Friday- Fried Shrimp or Fish Fry with Cole Slaw and Fries $9.95

What we ordered: I ordered what I order at just about every Irish Pub I visit; Corned Beef, specifically the Reuben Sandwich.  The sandwich was made with real corned beef which was flavorful but somewhat dry.  The ends of a few slices of corned beef were so hard that they were inedible and had to be taken off the sandwich which was disappointing, but fortunately the rest was pretty good.  The thousand island dressing and sauerkraut were both plentiful and tasty, and the grilled, swirled rye bread completed the sandwich.  The fries that come with all sandwiches and burgers at Shamrock’s are fresh-cut and oh so good!

One of my companions ordered the Mushroom Swiss Burger, a juicy thick 1/2lb patty of ground angus beef.  It was topped with a generous amount of sauteed mushrooms and melted swiss cheese and served on a toasted bun.  A delicious burger you can really sink your teeth into!

Another companion ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger, another giant burger perfectly cooked and loaded with cheese and crispy thick-cut bacon.

Another companion ordered the Grilled Chicken Caesar.  The salad was tossed with just the right amount of caesar dressing and then topped with sliced grilled chicken breast.

This was the Grilled Salmon Caesar that another companion ordered.  The salmon fillet was pre-grilled and served cold atop the salad greens and a generous amount of crispy seasoned croutons.  It was good but my companion said she prefers warm salmon on her salad.

A few of us tried this Brownie Sundae for dessert, which was very good.  The brownies are handmade by a professional baker and are rich, chocolately and delicious.  I recommend it with the ice cream, as the vanilla perfectly compliments the chocolate and cuts the richness somewhat.

Service: My visit was part of a party taking place in one of the new banquet rooms, where we had two servers.  We had been given a  banquet menu to order from that had only six selections on it, but my server was nice enough to let me order from the regular menu, which made me happy.  Drinks were brought in a reasonable amount of time.  Overall the service was very good.

Overall Impression: If you love Casper & Runyon’s Nook you will enjoy many of the same tastes in the bigger space of Shamrock’s.  Great burgers and a plethora of beers and other cocktails to choose from.  Perfect place to have a gathering or party.

Casper & Runyon's Shamrock on Urbanspoon

Nov 022010
 

Cuisine: American, Breakfast, Mexican
Restaurant Features: Catering, Free Wi-Fi
Location: St Paul (West Side)
Address: 637 South Smith Ave St Paul, MN 651-290-0218
Hours: Mon-Sat  7:00am-2:30pm  Sunday 8:00am-2:oopm
Links: *Capital View Cafe Website * Google Map

Atmosphere: Capital View Cafe is located on Smith Ave, on the “West Side” of St Paul, just a hop-skip-and-jump away from the High Bridge that crosses the Mississippi into downtown St Paul.  The interior of Capital View is the perfect picture of a retro cafe, with a mix of both booths and tables and an orange checkered floor in the back room.

Menu: The many breakfast items at Capital View Cafe include Eggs Any Style, Biscuits and Gravy, Grilled Fried Egg Sandwich with Cheese, Country Fried Steak, Huevos Ranchers, Eggs Benedict, Farmer’s Breakfast, Tex-Mex, Chporizo con Huevos, Breakfast Burritos, Machaca, Cajun Breakfast, and Cajun Benedict.  Many of the Breakfast Specialties can be made into a 1/2 order, the server can tell you which.

Capital View Omelets include Chorizo with Cheddar, Vegetarian, Farmer’s, Fajita and Build-Your-Own.

Breakfast Favorites include Breakfast Quesadillas, Smoked Country Sausage, Chipotle Pork Chili and Eggs, Pork Chop and Eggs, Corned Beef Hash, Oatmeal with Brown Sugar, Buttermilk Pancakes, Chocolate Chip Pancakes, Blueberry Pancakes, Banana Pecan Pancakes, Cinnamon Swirl French Toast, Buttermilk Waffle, Pocket French Toast, French Toast Fritters, and Belgian Waffle.

Appetizers include Chips and Salsa, French Fries, Battered Onion Rings, and Cheese Nachos with Jalapenos.

Salad options at Capital View Cafe include Garden, Chef, Caesar, Taco, Chinese Chicken and Steak or Chicken Fajita Salad.

Sandwiches and Burgers are served with kettle chips or upgrade to fruit or fries for $1.  Options include Patty Melt, B.L.T., Grilled Cheese, Grilled Ham and Cheese, Grilled Reuben, MOnte Cristo, Philly Steak Sadwich, Sirloin Steak Sandwich, Capital Hill Burger,  Chicken Club, Grilled Chicken Breast, Cajun Style Chicken Breast, Chicken Strip Basket, Grilled Tuna Melt, Cold Sandwich, Mushroom and Swiss Burger, Cajun Burger and Plain Burger.

Mexican Specialties include  Cheese and Onion Enchiladas, Chorizo with Cheese Enchiladas, Beef or Chicken Enchiladas, Chicken or Beef Tacos, Tostadas, Steak or Chicken Fajitas, Chipotle Red Pork Chili, Burrito Especial, and Chimichangas.
Price guide: Breakfast Specialties $6-10 Sandwiches $7-9 Mexican Lunch Specialties $ 7-10

Early Bird Specials: Mon-Fri 7am-9am

  • $3.99 2 Eggs and Toast
  • $4.99 2 Eggs, Potatoes and Toast or 2 Eggs, Meat and Toast
  • $5.99 2 Eggs, 2 Cakes or French Toast, and Meat
  • $6.99 2 Eggs, Meat, Potato, and Toast

What I ordered: I had never been to Capital View Cafe before but had heard great things about their breakfast, so I stopped one morning before work.  The server had many recommendations off the Cafe’s Breakfast Specialties section of the menu, including the Chorizo con Huevos, Cajun Breakfast and Tex-Mex.  They all sounded great but I settled on the Tex-Mex Breakfast  (1/2 order) and a 1/2 order of the Pocket French Toast.The Tex Mex breakfast was a giant portion of shredded hashbrowns, scrambled eggs, and  sausage, topped with a flour tortilla, enchilada sauce and melted cheddar cheese.  This was very good!  I couldn’t believe how big this 1/2 portion was, I was only able to eat a fraction of it!  I could choose from breakfast sausage, chorizo or andouille and went with the server’s suggestion of andouille, which is well seasoned and slightly spicy. Great choice!  The enchilada sauce was on the mild side and went great with all the layers of ingredients underneath it.  A very hearty breakfast (for sure!) and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

The second breakfast item I got was a 1/2 order of the Pocket French Toast, which came highly recommended by my server.  Oh my, was this delightful! The arrangement itself was very appealing, with fresh strawberries and blueberries topping the french toast, and little kisses of whipped cream here and there.  It was also served with the cutest little dish of warm syrup.  There were two pieces of the French Toast, each with a “pocket” inside filled with melted sweet cream cheese.  The sweetness of the toast and berries and the satisfaction that came with every bite convinced me I was eating dessert for breakfast! I loved every bite I was able to eat.

Service: My server was excellent, very sweet and had the best suggestions for what to order. It was great that she let me know I could get a half-order of just about all breakfast items so that I was able to try two different things.  The food came out in about 5 minutes which was much faster than I expected.  One thing to note is that credit cards are only accepted for over $50, otherwise it is cash only.
Overall Impression: Breakfast served all day? That’s my type of place!! Capital View Cafe has a large selection of breakfast items and the portion sizes are enormous. I will be back soon to work my way through the breakfast menu!

Jan 222010
 

 

**** Glaciers Cafe has closed as of June 2012 and is now known as Mosaic Cafe***

Cuisine: American, Breakfast, Delicatessan, Healthy Eating, Ice Cream
Restaurant Features: Bar (beer & wine only), Catering, Counter Service (in addition to table service), Free Wi-Fi, Patio Dining
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Address: 3019 Minnehaha Ave So. Minneapolis, MN 55406 (Mosaic Building) 612-746-1504
Hours: Mon-Thurs 8am-9pm Fri-Sat  8am-10pm  Sun 8am-7pm
Links: Glaciers Cafe Website * Glaciers CafeGoogle Map

Glacierscafe-outside
Atmosphere: Glaciers Cafe is conveniently located on Minnehaha Ave at East Lake St in the beautiful Mosaic Building, just a couple of blocks from the Light-Rail Line.  The inside of the cafe is somewhat small but modern and trendy with a variety of seating arrangements including wooden tables, an over-sized booth, and bar-height seating that looks outward along the wall of windows.  There is also small counter where guests can order or pick up coffee, food or frozen custard to-go.  The lighting at night is just right, not too dim and not too bright.

One thing that I think is really cool about Glaciers Cafe is that it is an eco-friendly restaurant.  All fruits and vegetables are organic, they serve fair trade organic coffee, meats are vegetarian fed and antibiotic free, and all to-go items are served in biodegradable disposables.  Save the Glaciers!

Glacierscafe-inside
Menu: Breakfast is served all day and includes Fresh Fruit, Granola, Breakfast Burrito (eggs, meat, peppers, cheddar, salsa, and sour cream served with cumin dusted potatoes), Three Egg Omelet, Muffins and Scones.

Appetizers at Glaciers Cafe include Mini Burger Sliders, Buffalo or
Sesame Teriyaki Wings, Bruschetta, Mozzarella Sticks, House Salsa &
Chips, and French Fries.  There is also Homemade Chili and a Soup du Jour served every day.

Salads are served with breadsticks and include Greek, Buffalo Chicken, Albacore Tuna, or Classic Caesar.  Side green salad also available.  Add chicken to any salad for $1.75.

Glaciers Cafe also makes Flat Bread Pizzas.  Build your own starting with either the House Marinara or Roasted Garlic Olive Oil and then top with ingredients such as the standard pepperoni, sausage, or go with chicken, bacon, pepper mix, roasted veggies or kalamata olives.  The “Glacier Goodie” Flatbread is the house specialty with BBQ Chicken, Caramelized Red Onions, Cheese Blend, Chiffonade Basil, and Applewood Smoked Bacon.

There are a handful of really delicious sandwiches and burgers at Glaciers Cafe, all made with lean, hormone-free meats.  Sandwiches are served with pickle, and choice of kettle chips, roasted veggies or upgrade to french fries (trans fat free!) for just $.75 more.  Options include Marinated Char Broiled Chicken on Ciabatta served either: California Style (cheddar avocado, lettuce, tomato, roasted garlic mayo), Buffalo Style (buffalo sauce, lettuce, tomato, caramelized red onions and bleu cheese dressing), or the Glacier House Chicken (melted cheddar, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, caramelized red onions and roasted garlic mayo).  Burgers are char grilled and served on a multigrain bun, either Buffalo style or the Glaciers House Burger (melted cheddar, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, caramelized red onions and roasted garlic mayo).

Other sandwich options include All Beef Vienna Hot Dog (plain, Chicago-style, or chili-cheese), Turkey/BLT/Swiss, Roasted Vegetarian Wrap, Toasty Cheese (grilled cheese with cheddar, swiss and tomato), or the Mexi-Cali Burrito (jalapeno cheddar tortilla stuffed with beans, rice, cheeses, lettuce, tomato and avocado.  Chicken additional.  Served with choice of cumin dusted potatoes, roasted veggies or chips and salsa).

One of the best reasons to visit Glaciers Cafe is for the Frozen Custard.  You will always find chocolate, vanilla, and a Flavor of the Day or you can create a custom flavor by adding “mix ins”.  Frozen custard can be served in a cake cone or cup, or buy a quart or pint to-go.  Other options include Malts, Shakes, Floats, Smoothies and Sundaes.
Mix in and topping options include Gummy Worms, Heath Bar, Marshmallow, M&Ms, Oreos, Reeses, Snickers, Sprinkles, Butterfinger, Chocolate Chips, Whoppers, Butterscotch, Caramel, Chocolate Sauce, Hot Fudge, Hard-Shell, Marshmallow Sauce, Peanut Butter, Blueberries, Bananas, Pineapple, Strawberries, Raspberries, Pineapple, Almonds, Chopped Peanuts, Coconut, Pecans and Spanish Peanuts.

Glaciers Cafe is also a great stop for coffee and espresso.  Drinks include Dark & Light Roast Coffee, Latte, Cappuchino, Chai Tea, Iced Latte, Mocha or Caramel, and Coffee Coolers.

Price guide: Appetizers $2-6 Flatbread $9  Sandwiches/Burgers $6-8  Salads $7-8   Frozen Custard $2.75-4.75   Coffee Drinks $1.50-$3.50

What We Ordered: My companion and I started with an order of Buffalo Wings.  The order came with eight very large chicken wings and a generous coating of Buffalo sauce.  The sauce was thin and mildly spicy with just a hint of sweetness.  The portion size is just right for two people if you plan to have a meal as well.

Glacierscafe-buffalowings For my dinner I ordered the Glaciers House Chicken sandwich served on a ciabatta roll. Great choice! The main star of this huge layered sandwich was a large breast of chicken marinated in a blend of fresh herbs and spices, then char broiled. The meat was wonderful- very tender and flavorful.  I enjoyed it even more knowing it was hormone and antibiotic free! The chicken sat atop lettuce and tomato and was then topped with melted cheddar, thick applewood smoked bacon, and caramelized red onions.  The sweet, soft caramelized onions provided a sweetness that perfectly complimented the smokey flavor of the applewood bacon and the zesty herbs of the chicken.  The roasted garlic mayo was delicious as well and added to the party of flavors.  I upgraded to the trans-fat free fries for $.75 more (what a deal!).  The golden fries were hot and crispy.

Glacierscafe-glacierchicken My companion ordered the Glaciers House Burger, the ground beef version of the chicken sandwich I had with melted cheddar, thick applewood smoked bacon, and caramelized red onions.  The burger was served on a multi-grain bun.  The patty was 1/3- 1/2 lb of lean, vegetarian-fed beef, that was still slightly juicy but not at all greasy.  The toppings on the burger were enjoyed every bit as much as on the chicken, as were the fries.

Glacierscafe-glacierburger Frozen Custard is a specialty of Glaciers Cafe, so I made sure to save room for a Turtle Sundae.  This sundae was bigger than I expected, served parfait-style in a large glass.  The sweet, creamy vanilla custard was layered with caramel, hot fudge and pecans then topped with whipped cream and a cherry.  So heavenly!  Have I mentioned that ice cream/frozen custard is probably my favorite dessert?!

Glacierscafe-turtlesundae My companion ordered the Banana Supreme Sundae, a parfait of frozen vanilla custard, chocolate sauce, slices of banana, and Spanish peanuts, then topped with whipped cream and a cherry.  The custard is so creamy and smooth! Yummy.

Glacierscafe-bananasupremesundae
Service: I had no problem whatsoever in finding a place to park during my dinner-time visit, but please note the only nearby parking is metered so bring your quarters!  A sign greeted us at the door to ” Please Seat Yourself” and since the restaurant had only a few other diners at that time of the night, my companion and I chose the large, over-sized booth.  Our server was very nice and admitted right away that she was a new employee, but she did great! Our drinks were filled in a timely manner and we were given plenty of time to look over the menu before ordering.

Overall Impression: Glaciers Cafe is a great place to stop at any time of the day, whether you want a  coffee, an appetizer, salad, sandwich or the delicious frozen custard.  The prices are extremely affordable for the portion sizes you get and the food is prepared with only quality ingredients.  Quick and friendly service.
Glaciers Cafe on Urbanspoon

Jan 092010
 

Disclosure: I was invited out to do this review and my meal was provided by the restaurant. All opinions are my own.
Cuisine: American, Bar & Grill
Restaurant Features: Sports Bar, Free Wi-Fi, Games, Happy Hour, Large/Flat Screen TVs, Live Music, Kids Menu, Patio Dining
Location: St Paul, MN (Highland Park neighborhood)
Address: 2051 Ford Parkway St. Paul, MN 55116 651.690.4747  (corner of Ford Pkwy & Cleveland Ave)

Bar Hours: Mon-Sat 11a-2a  Sun 11a-1a

Kitchen Hours: Mon-Sat 11a-11p  Sun 11a-10p

Links: Tiffany’s Sports Lounge Website * Tiffany’s on FacebookGoogle Map

Tiffanysportslounge-outside

Atmosphere: Located on the corner of Ford Parkway and Cleveland Ave, Tiffany’s Sports Lounge is located in the heart of St Paul’s Highland Park neighborhood and is close to many of the local Universities.  Tiffany’s first opened in 1971 and has been a cornerstone in the area ever since.  “Lounge” is the perfect name for the big and open space that has a bar, pool tables and games on one side and tables and booths on the other.  It is a fun place with a friendly and energetic vibe.

Tiffanysportslounge-bar

One thing you will notice as soon as you walk in to Tiffany’s is that there are big screen TV’s mounted everywhere ~ I think I counted nearly 14 of them! Every seat in the house has a good view of one TV or another.  As you can expect, Tiff’s is the happening place to be during just about any sporting event, including all local games. Tiffany’s is also the St Paul headquarters for KU Jayhawks games.

Tiffanysportslounge-diningroom
Menu: Appetizers at Tiffany’s Sports Lounge include Hand-Cut Fries, Quesadillas, Chicken Wings (Asian, Buffalo or Diablo), Chicken Fingers, Mozzarella Sticks, Beer-Battered Onion Rings, Sampler Platter, Chicken Nachos, and Mini Tacos.  Soups include French Onion, Chili, and a Soup du Jour.

Salads offered are Chicken Caesar, Salmon Caesar, Cobb, Buffalo Chicken, and Dinner Salad.

Sandwiches at Tiffany’s include French Dip, Grand Avenue (turkey on foccacia), Club, Reuben, Italian Beef, Tiffany Dagwood (ham, turkey, bacon, swiss, cheddar), Ford Parkway (turkey with cranberry chipotle cheese), and Juicy Luigi (Italian sausage stuffed with provolone in marinara).  Specialty sandwiches include Fish & Chips, Salmon Sandwich, Steak Sandwich, BLT, Walleye, Steak Wrap, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Grilled Cheese, Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and Southwest Chicken Sandwich.

Tiffany’s burgers are all made with fresh Black Angus and include Cheeseburger, Hangover (fried egg bacon and cheddar over beef patty), Tommy Burger (Cajun spiced, jalapeños, bacon, pepperjack and chipotle mayo), Ground Turkey Burger, Black & Bleu, Tiffany Melt (sauteed onions and melted cheese on toast), Highland Park Burger (loaded with everything!), and the Infamous Summit Slam (over 1 lb of meat and toppings served with fries and a 24 oz. Summit beer- eat it all and win a T-shirt!).

Tiffany’s also has “Sliders” which are mini-sized burgers and sandwiches (3 to an order).  Sliders include Cheeseburger, Italian Burgers, BBQ Pork, Blue Gill Burgers and Fire Dogs (jalapeño sausage smothered in Diablo sauce topped with onions, peppers and pepperjack cheese).

Save room for dessert! Tiff’s has Turtle Cheesecake, a Hot Brownie Sundae, Cheesecake and Root Beer Float.

Kids Menu includes Grilled Cheese, Chicken Fingers, Cheeseburger and Mac & Cheese

Price guide: Appetizers $5-10  Salads $9-11  Sandwiches/Burgers $9-10

Happy Hour:

  • Mon-Fri 3-6pm
  • Half-Priced Wings (Buffalo, Diablo, Asian) and Mini Tacos
  • Top Shelf 2-for-1s
  • $3 Tap Beer (24oz) Miller Lite & Premium Grain Belt

Weekly Specials:
Sunday- Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar (10a-6p) $6  Free Kids meal with Adult Meal
Monday-  Double Cheeseburger w/Fries $6.95, MNF Miller Lite or Premo 20oz $3.75
Tuesday- Cubano Sandwich $8.95   Hot Ham & Cheese w/Soup $7.95
Wednesday- Wimpy Basket $6.95  Wimpy Platter w/Fries $18.50  Midwest Pint pf Beer $2.50
Thursday- Sloppy Joe Sliders w/Fries $8.95   Endless Mug of Miller Lite $8
Friday- Homemade Weekly Pasta $12.95
Saturday- Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich w/ Fries $8.95 Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar (10a-6p) $6

What We Ordered: My companion and I shared a bowl of the Soup du Jour which happened to be Cream of Chicken Wild Rice.  It was a hot and hearty soup, perfect for warming up on a freezing cold day like we have had all too frequently lately.  The soup was very flavorful with the chicken, vegetables, wild rice and and was also seasoned nicely.  It included a hint of some kind of pepper and just a little kick to it that I wasn’t expecting but thoroughly enjoyed.  The breadstick was pretty good too; warm, soft and slighty buttered with garlic salt.

Tiffanysportslounge-wildricesoup

I love sandwiches and while there were many that caught my eye at Tiffany’s, I ordered my favorite sandwich of all, the Reuben.  It seems that I am always on a quest for a really good Reuben and this one at Tiffany’s ranks up there with the best! The corned beef brisket is cooked for 8 hrs. in Guinness and special spices and was very flavorful and tender.  The meat was sliced thin and piled high on top of the buttery-grilled, swirled rye bread.  The Swiss cheese was melted perfectly and the sauerkraut and thousand island dressing gave it the extra zip to make it a most delicious Reuben.  The hand-cut fries were also excellent, just like what you get at the State Fair except slightly thinner.

Tiffanysportslounge-reuben

My companion had the Blue Gill Burgers, which were three “sliders” AKA mini fish sandwiches.  Each of the three sandwiches had a nice-sized sunfish fillet that was slightly battered with bread crumb’s and Leinenkugel’s, then pan fried to a light golden brown.  The batter gave it a little bit of a crispy texture but it was very light and the fish was tender.  Each sandwich was topped with a tomato slice, romaine lettuce and garlic aioli sauce.  Very delicious! It is a treat to see sunfish on a local restaurant menu such as Tiff’s.

Tiffanysportlounge-bluegillburgers

The desserts also sounded wonderful so I tried the Turtle Cheesecake.  The cheesecake was layered, with a thin layer of chocolate cheesecake at the bottom that slightly marbles into the main layer of cheesecake, which was rich and smooth and creamy.  The top was covered with a thin layer of caramel cheesecake and then topped with candied pecans.  So good! Too rich for me to eat by myself or in one sitting for that matter, but I would definitely eat it again :)

Tiffanysportslounge-turtlecheesecake

Service: We were able to get a parking space on the street and a table immediately upon our arrival.  I did not notice a host/hostess the night of our visit so I assume it might be seat-yourself.  Our overall service at Tiffany’s was very good!  Our server was very friendly and had several recommendations off the menu for us.  Drinks were brought and refilled quickly, as was our food.

Overall Impression: Great Sports hangout!!  The recent renovation to the kitchen allows Tiffany’s to serve really good food at extremely reasonable prices.  It is a very fun place to get a bite to eat and watch a game or play a round of pool, which makes it a popular place for local college kids as well as for families (anyone would enjoy it at Tiff’s!).  There are many other sandwiches on the menu that I would like to try, as well as the burgers and wings.  I will be back to Tiffany’s Sports Lounge to eat again very soon!
Tiffany's on Urbanspoon