Feb 062010

Cuisine: American, Bar & Grill, Burgers, Dessert
Restaurant Features: Bar, On-Site Parking
Location: Maplewood, MN  (Sister restaurants include 5-8 Club in Minneapolis and 5-8 Bar & Grill in Champlin)
Address: 2289 Minnehaha Ave S Maplewood, MN 55119 (651) 735-5858

Hours:11a-12a (Kitchen closes at 11p)
Links: 5-8 Website * Google Map


Atmosphere: Located in Maplewood at the corner of McKnight and Minnehaha Ave, 5-8 Tavern & Grill is the sister restaurant to the famous 5-8 Club in South Minneapolis.  The building is divided into two distinct sides, the tavern is to the left when you walk through the front entrance and the dining room to the right.  The dining room  had both tables and booths.  Walls were decorated with a combo of neon lights and 50’s memorabilia.



Menu: Appetizers at the 5-8 Tavern include Nachos Supreme, Jumbo Battered Wings, JoJo Potatoes, Extreme JoJos (with chili and cheddar), Deep Fried Cheese Curds, Chicken Fingers, Quesadilla, Onion Straws, Onion Rings, Buffalo Popcorn Shrimp, Potato Skins, Battered Fried Mushrooms, Mozzarella Sticks, and Summit Pale Ale Cheddar Dip.

Salads offered are the Turkey BLT, Grilled Chicken, Taco Salad, Chef Salad and Tossed Salad.  Soups include Chili and a Soup of the Day

5-8 has several basic sandwiches including Clubhouse, Hot Dog, Chili Cheese Coney Dog, Grilled Cheese, BLT, and Corn Dog.  All served with kettle chips and pickle.

Specialty sandwiches at 5-8 are Pork Tenderloin, Walleye, Chicken Club, Philly, French Dip, Patty Melt, Grilled Chicken, Reuben, Buffalo Chicken, Chicken Bacon Ranch Wrap.  Served with French Fries.

Roadhouse Classic Sandwiches include Steak sandwich (served on Texas Toast), West Chicken (grilled with BBQ sauce, pepper cheese, and bacon), and BBQ Pork Sandwich. Served with JoJo potatoes.

The 5-8 is famous for its “Juicy Lucy”, a 1/2 lb burger stuffed with melted cheese (choice of American, Swiss, pepper or bleu) and has several other specialty burgers as well.  Specialty burgers include Mushroom Swiss, Bleu Cheese, Santa Fe (guacamole, pepperjack and bacon), Supreme (bacon, pepperjack and bbq sauce), the Speakeasy Burger (Swiss, ranch and bacon), Big Jim (double cheeseburger with 4 cheeses), the Saucy Sally (cheeseburger stuffed with special sauce), California Burger, Montana Jack (Heinz 57, bleu cheese, mayo and onion straws), Pizza Burger (marinara and mozzarella), Roadhouse Burger (bacon cheeseburger with 5-8 sauce), and The GCB (garlic cheeseburger).  All burgers are made with Angus Beef (or substitute any burger with with Veggie or Bison patty (with exception of Juicy Lucy or Saucy Sally).

Dinner Entrees include BBQ Pork Ribs, Walleye Basket, Shrimp Basket, 8oz. Sirloin Steak, BBQ Chicken Dinner, Hamburger Steak, Chicken Delight (melted pepperjack and mushrooms ), and Fajitas.  5-8 also has Genuine Broasted Chicken (cooked under high pressure).

Desserts include Chocolate Supreme Cake, Fried Cheesecake, Grasshopper Pie, and Muddy Paws Cheesecake.

Price guide: Appetizers $5-8  Salads $7  Burgers $4-7  Sandwiches $4-8  Entrees $7-11  Broasted Chicken $8-15  Desserts $3-5

Happy Hour: Mon-Fri 2-6pm,

  • $3 Appetizers include 2 mini cheeseburgers, 2 chicken sliders, deluxe fries, beef nachos, onion straws and slider of the day.
  • $2 Appetizers include garlic cheese bread, chips and salsa

Nighttime Happy Hour: Sun-Wed 8:30p-close

  • 1/2 price appetizers
  • 1/2 price taps

Weekly Specials:

Monday- Chef’s Choice $6.99

Tuesday- Hot Beef Sandwich $6.50

Wednesday- Meatloaf $6.50
Thursday- Hot Turkey Sandwich $6.50
Friday- Broiled Walleye $8.99 or  Beer Battered Cod Lunch $6.50 Dinner $8.99
Saturday- Jumbo Shrimp $6.99
Sunday- All-you-can-eat Spaghetti $6.95

What we ordered: My companions and I started with the Deep Fried Mushrooms.  The mushrooms had a thick, crunchy, solid breading that had been fried to a dark golden color.  I thought these were very good but the mushrooms inside the breading had shrunk quite a bit while cooking, leaving a lot more batter than mushroom.  It was served with a mild blue cheese dressing for dipping.


My companions also ordered some of the Potato Skins which were covered with melted cheddar and Monterey jack, bacon, green onions and sour cream on the side.  I did not eat these but my companions liked them.


For my entree I ordered a Swiss cheese Juicy Lucy with bacon ( because bacon makes every burger even better).  The burger was made with two 1/4 lb patties pressed together with cheese melted in the middle.  It was extremely hot so I cut it in half as seen below (served whole).  There was a substantial amount of cheese escaping the pocket of meat but it sure was great tasting! There was a thin layer of pickles under the patty.  I liked it a lot but honestly didn’t have that different of an experience than I would with a traditional bacon and swiss burger.  The french fries were an “add on” to the burger for an additional charge.  Tasty but basic shoe-string fries


One of my companions ordered the American Cheese Juicy Lucy with mushrooms in a basket with Onion Rings.  The Juicy Lucy was indeed hot and juicy, loaded with melted cheese.  The onion rings were fried to a crispy dark golden brown and were just the right thickness for my liking

Another companion ordered an American cheese Juicy Lucy with Bacon and Swiss melted on top, also in a basket with onion rings and a small side of coleslaw.


Service: This was my first time at this location of the 5-8 and the restaurant was pretty busy, being a Friday night.  I have to admit I was a little confused when I first arrived because there was no hostess stand or a sign anywhere inviting guests to find a seat and there didn’t seem to be anyone handy to ask.  My companions and I took the liberty of seating ourselves in a booth and were greeted shortly after by one of the wait staff.  Our server was very friendly and also had a great sense of humor.  The food was prepared in a reasonable amount of time considering how busy it was.
Overall Impression: If you haven’t ever had a Juicy Lucy before, what are you waiting for? The 5-8 is a great place to try the famous creation and they have four different varieties of cheese so there is something for everyone.  They also have a variety of other sandwiches and entrees on the menu with very reasonable prices, especially considering the large portion sizes.  My only suggestion is that 5-8 should have malts on their menu because what could go better with a burger basket than a nice creamy ice cream malt or shake?!
Maplewood 5-8 Tavern & Grill on Urbanspoon

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

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!

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.

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

Dec 112009

Cuisine: American, Burgers, Wings, Pasta
Restaurant Features: Bar, Games, Happy Hour, Pull-Tabs, Sports Leagues ( Volleyball, Broomball, Boot Hockey and Dodge Ball)
Location: Vadnais Heights, MN
Address: 1460 Co. Rd. E. East Vadnais Heights, MN 55110  651.484.6119

Bar Hours: Sun-Thurs 11a-1p  Fri-Sat 11a-2p

Kitchen Hours: Sun-Thurs 11a-10p  Fri-Sat 11a-11p

Links: Sak’s Sports Bar Website * Sak’s on Facebook Google Map


Atmosphere: Located on County Road E just a block from Hwy 61, Sak’s Sports Bar is in the location formerly known as Bentley’s restaurant.  The space is pretty big, with a couple of different seating areas.  Pictured below is the gaming side of the restaurant, with dart boards, pull-tabs, several large  flat-panel TVs and bistro tables.  The other side of the restaurant has a large bar separating two additional seating areas, one of which is the main dining room and the other is a row of booths running parallel to the bar.

Sak’s is also known for its Outdoor Sports.  Leagues are available to play Volleyball, Broomball, Boot Hockey and Dodgeball.  Sporting areas not pictured.


Menu: Appetizers include Buffalo Wings, Ranch Wing’s, Crispy Chicken Wings, BBQ Ribs, Spicy Pork Sliders, Boursin Sliders (green chile ketchup, boursin cheese and fried onion strings), Hot Dago Sliders, Classic Sliders, Slider Platter, Pulled Pork Quesadillas, Fried Chicken Quesadilla, Nacho Bar (chips with melted cheese and all other ingredients on the side to make-your-own), Garlic Cheese Bread, Bucket of Fresh-Cut Fries, Walleye Fingers, Onion Rings and Tator Tots Bucket, Warm Chips with Charred Corn and Black-Bean Salsa.  They also have Chicken with Wild Rice soup and a Soup du Jour

Salads offerings at Sak’s include Asian Chicken, Chopped Cobb, Cranberry Almond, Chicken Club, Red, White and Blue (red onion, bleu cheese), Beef and Garden Salad, Bird of Paradise, and Side Salad.  Any salad can be halved during lunch M-F.

Sandwiches include Hand Craved Butcher Sandwiches (beef brisket, ham or turkey breast), Italian Chicken Hoagie, B.A.L.T., Crispy Chicken, Grilled Chicken, Battered Walleye, Twisted Tuna (on English muffin with guacamole, bacon and melted Swiss), Honey Mustard Chicken Salad, Cucumber Chicken Classic, Grilled Vegetable Melt, Chicago Hot Dog, The Cuban, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, California Turkey Wrap, Chicken Gyro Wrap, The Monster Club and Millionaires Steak Sandwich.  All sandwiches and burgers come with kettle chips but you can upgrade to fresh-cut fries, onion rings or tator tots for $1.59

Burger options are the Classic Ground Chuck, Cowboy (bbq, bacon and cheddar), Bleu Cheese Lover’s, Ranch Burger, Cheeseburger, Shrooms and Swiss, Juicy Lucy, The Big Sak (two patties), and The BMFB (18 oz patty with all the classic fixin’s!)

Pasta Specialties include BBC Pasta (broccoli, bacon and chicken with penne and chipotle cream sauce), Chicken Al Fresco and Pasta, Big People Mac and Cheese (caramelized shallots and four cheese sauce), Blackened Chicken Pasta, Chicken Meatballs and Spaghetti.  Half-sized pastas available for lunch M-F.

Entrees at Sak’s are the BBQ Ribs, Grilled Top Sirloin, Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast, Beef & Beach (sirloin and walleye), and Beer Battered Walleye Fillet.

Price guide: Appetizers $ 5-9  Salads $7-10  Sandwiches/Burgers $7-9  Pasta $9   Entrees $13-20
Weekly Specials:
Tuesday- Sliders 3 for the price of 2

Wednesday- $.25/wings

Happy Hour M-F 3-6pm  7 days 9-11pm ~ 2 for 1 on all drinks  Select half-price appetizers

What We ordered: My companion and I visited Sak’s during Happy Hour and opted to go with a couple of the half-priced appetizers from the Happy Hour menu.  We started with 2-for-1 Blue Moon draft beers and the pork quesadillas which turned out to be an awesome choice!  The shredded pork was tender and flavorful, nestled up with melted cheddar cheese and sauteed peppers and onions.  In addition to the filling being great, the crisp and flaky, buttery flour tortilla was browned to a beautiful, dark golden brown.  It was drizzled with sour cream and cilantro and served with a unique black bean and charred corn salsa.  Delicious!


We ordered another half-priced appetizer (why not at that price?), the Alley Cat’s Ranch Wings.  The ten wings were fried then tossed with melted butter and ranch seasonings, and served with ranch dressing on the side.  These wings were pretty good if you like ranch flavor, which I thought was a unique but very smart way to season the chicken.


There were a number of sandwiches on the menu that sounded good to me, but I decided to order my standard Reuben from the Daily Specials menu.  I thought the Reuben was very good.  The deli-style corned beef was sliced thin and piled high with tangy sauerkraut and melted Swiss cheese on a lightly toasted rye bread.  It came with a generous serving of crunchy, seasoned kettle chips.


My companion ordered the Juicy Lucy with fresh-cut fries.  Juicy indeed! The beef was cooked perfectly and inside was a hot cheesey mixture of American cheese, cream cheese and green onion.  The generous helping of fresh cut fries were also very good, not too greasy but just salty enough.


Service: We were able to get a table for mid-afternoon lunch without a problem and were seated at a booth in the bar area.  Our overall service was decent.  The hostess who sat us was friendly and the male server we had was nice but he didn’t seem very personable or outstanding in any way.  Drinks were filled as needed and food came reasonably fast.
Overall Impression: Another great sports bar to try in the Vadnais Heights/White Bear Lake area .  Wide selection of appetizers, sandwiches and burgers on the menu all at very reasonable prices.  Great Happy Hour specials!
Sak's Sportsbar on Urbanspoon

Apr 112009

Cuisine: American, Chicago-Style, Hot Dogs, Pizza
Restaurant Features: Catering, Counter-Service
Locations: Fridley, St Paul, and Minneapolis, MN
Addresses & Maps:

Fridley– 7429 East River Rd Fridley, MN 55432 (763) 571-0288
Minneapolis– 3101 E 42nd St  (612) 729-5507
St Paul– 603 W. 7th St. (651)228-9347
Hours: Mon-Sat 11am-9pm     Sun 12pm-7pm

Links: Chris & Rob’s Website * Chris & Rob’s Page on Facebook


Atmosphere: The St Paul location of Chris & Rob’s can be found in this cute old dining car on West 7th Street.  The entrance to the restaurant is tucked around the side of the building, leading you to the ordering counter, with the kitchen just behind that.  The dining area is one long, narrow space with wooden floors and wood paneling on the walls.  There are several four-person wooden tables running the length of the space along the left side, and two-person tables along the right, with a walkway between them.  The many windows facing W. 7th offer plenty of light but there are also several pretty stained-glass chandeliers hanging from the ceiling.


Menu: Appetizers include French Fries, Tater Tots, Cheese Curds, Chili Cheese Fries, Bowl of Chili, Onion Rings, Jalapeno Poppers, Mozzarella Sticks, Breaded Mushrooms, Ravioli Dippers, Garlic Toast, Supreme Tamale, Pizza Puff, Cheese Bread, Gravy Bread, Chicken Tenders, Spicy Wings, Shrimp, Rib Tips, and Fish.

All Hot Dogs and Sausage Sandwiches at Chris & Rob’s are made with meat that comes directly from Chicago.  Hot dogs are all Vienna Brand and  include the Chicago Dog (with everything!), Cheese Dog, Chili Dog, Chili Cheese Dog, Polish Sausage, and Maxwell Street Polish.  Sausage sandwiches include the Italian Sausage, Meatball and Brat.

Specialty sandwiches include the Hot Italian Beef, Cheesy Beef, BBQ Beef, Beef and Sausage Combo, Gyro Classic and Prime Rib sandwich.

Chris & Rob’s also has 12″ 14″ and 16″ Pizzas, made on either Traditional Thin Crust or the Famous Sicilian which has a thicker rolled crust.  Pick your own ingredients or try one of the Specialty Pizzas such as the Monster of the Midway or Jordan’s Garden.

Chris & Rob’s also makes Party Platters! Italian Beef, Hot Dogs, and Pasta can all be ordered as a Platters.  Call to arrange specifics.

Chris & Rob’s also has an extensive catering menu.

Price guide: Appetizers $1-6 Hot Dogs $3-4   Sandwiches $6-9  Pizza $10-20

What I ordered: I was in the mood for a chili cheese dog, so a search around St Paul brought  brought me to Chris & Rob’s.  I had never been there before but heard they had Vienna hot dogs and wanted to see what the big deal was about.  I assume the hot dog was cooked by either boiling or steaming it.  The casing on it was thin and the hot dog itself was good but not as flavorful as I had expected.  It was the same size as any other ordinary hot dog and I could probably have eaten two if I hadn’t gotten fries instead.  Served on a fresh poppy seed bun, the hot dog was topped with chili, cheese sauce and onions.  The chili had ground meat and a lot of beans, but was kind of bland and did not seem to be homemade (I could be wrong!) The thick-cut fries were also pretty basic, cut slightly thick so they are soft on the inside, crispy on the outside and just slightly salted.


Service: Incredibly fast! I ordered at the counter and my order was ready literally two minutes later.
Overall Impression: Great selection of Chicago-Style Foods.  The hot dog was decent but I would like to go back for a Beef sandwich next time.  Prices seem to be relatively inexpensive, no guilt at spending money at Chris & Rob’s. Very fast service.
Chris and Rob's Chicago Taste Authority on Urbanspoon