Apr 222012

Cuisine: Barbeque, Ice Cream
Restaurant Features: On-Site Parking, Patio, Waterfront, Boat Delivery
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Address: 4441 Lake Avenue South, White Bear Lake, MN 55110   651-493-6763
Hours: Closed Monday and Tuesday  * Wed-Sat  11am-9pm * Sundays 11am-5pm
Links: CG Hooks Barbeque Website * CG Hooks on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: CG Hook is located across the street from Tally’s Dockside on White Bear Lake, in a stand-alone building.  There are a couple of entrances, the front leads you from the parking lot to the ice cream counter, where there are colorful T-Shirts and a giant wooden sculpture of a pig.

The main dining area has a handful of wooden tables and chairs, as well as a sit-up bar fashioned from an old surfboard that looks out the windows.  There is a beach-like feel to the place and overall I thought it was really cute.

Menu: Appetizers include BBQ Slider, Frito Burrito Pie, Barbeque Rib Smackers, and Southern Style Barbeque Pizza.

Salads include House Salad and Hook’s Salad.  Soups offered include Smoked Chicken and Wild Rice and Soup of the Day.

CG Hooks offers a variety of sandwiches including Smoked Ham, Smoked Turkey, Smoked Club, Reuben Panini, Rachel Panini, Brisket Reuben, Raspberry Ham and Brie Panini, BLT Panini, Hot Dog, Chicago Style Dog, Miss Piggy’s Nightmare (hot dog topped with pulled pork and bacon), Grilled Cheese, and Peanut Butter and Jelly.

Barbeques Meats are where its at! Pulled Pork, Pulled Pork topped with Bacon and Swiss, Beef Brisket, Pork Ribs, and Pit Smoked Chicken.

CG Hooks also offers 16 flavors of Chocolate Shoppe Old Fashioned Ice Cream.
Price guide: Appetizers $3-14  Sandwiches $3-8 Barbeque $8-23  Ice Cream $3-5
What we ordered: CG Hooks has a handful of beers of tap, just the right beverage to cool down the spicy barbeque

For my entree I had the Beef Brisket, a moist, tender and slightly marbled beef that had fantastic flavor.  There are two types of homemade barbeque, I tried the spicier of the two.  It had great kick to it and the flavor of peppers but when I asked which peppers they were, I was told it was a secret.  Bummer that this barbeque sauce is not yet available to buy.  It was served with three sides: Moist cornbread in the shape of a fish, baked beans and Memphis style coleslaw.  The beans were homemade with a couplf of types of beans and a sweet, savory sauce with the distinct flavors of garlic and brown sugar.  Yum! The coleslaw was Memphis style, which is more vinegary and less creamy than traditional coleslaw.

One of my companions had the Full Rack of Ribs, a huge pile of very meaty, moist ribs that were smoked until the meat was practically falling off the bones.  Served with corn bread, beans and coleslaw.

Another companion had the Pulled Pork Sandwich, a big pile of tender moist pork on a fresh bun. Looked great!

Another companion had the Smoked Turkey Sandwich.  The smoked turkey had good flavor but was slightly dry.  It was served on white bread with lettuce and tomato.  This wasn’t bad, just the least exciting of all the things we ordered.

Less than a week after my first visit I went back to CG Hooks and tried the Chicago Dog.  It was everything a perfect Chicago Dog should be: all-beef hot dog with a nice skin on it, topped with tomato, pickle spear, onions, relish and mustard served on a poppy seed bun.

I also tried a small dish of old fashioned ice cream. CG Hooks uses Chocolate Shoppe ice cream and has a selection of 16 flavors at all times.  I couldn’t resist the Fat Elvis, which was banana ice cream with chunks of peanut butter and dark chocolate.  Delish!

Service: The staff at CG Hooks are very friendly.  On both of our visits we were able to get a table and order as soon as we were ready.  The food is prepared reasonably fast and staff is very friendly.  On one of our visits we met the owner who came over to chat with us and see how we liked everything.  That is always a nice gesture in my book :)
Overall Impression: CG Hooks is a hidden gem on White Bear Lake, open year round.  It is the perfect place to order your favorite barbequed meats and old fashioned ice creams.  They also offer boat delivery to Tally’s Dockside.
C.G. Hooks on Urbanspoon

Oct 232011

Cuisine: American, Italian, Pizza, Pasta, Ice Cream, Dessert
Restaurant Features: On-Site Parking, Gluten-Free Menu
Location: White Bear Lake, MN
Address: 2692 East County Road E  White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-777-9199
Links: Donatelli’s Website * Donatelli’s on FacebookGoogle Map

Atmosphere: Donatelli’s is a popular family restaurant located within a strip mall on the south end of White Bear, right next to JJ’s Bierstube.  The restaurant itself is long and narrow, with a main dining room and a smaller dining area used for bigger parties or on busy nights.  Along the outer walls of the dining area there are several private booths (topped with seasonal decorations), with tables in the middle of the restaurant which can easily be adjoined for larger parties.

Menu: Appetizers include Bruschetta, Chicken Strips, Chicken Wings, White Cheddar Cheese Curds, Onion Rings, Donatelli’s Caprese, Cheesy Fries, Bread Sticks, Garlic Toast, Donatelli’s Haystack Fries (covered with cheese and bacon), Fried Ravioli, Hot Chips, Seasoned Fries, Meatball Sliders, Italian Fries and Italian Dunkers.

Salads at Donatellis include Antipasta, Chef Salad, Oriental Chicken, NLT Grilled Chicken Breast, Spinach Salad, Caesar, Blue Apple, Blue Burger, Grilled Veggie Salad, and Crispy Chicken Salad.

Soups offered are Chili and Minestrone.

Donatelli’s also has a number of Sandwiches, all are served with chips or you can upgrade to seasoned fries for $1.  Options include Chicken or Veal Parmigiana, Meatball, Italian Sausage, Hot Dago, Submarine Sandwich, Grilled Chicken, Beer Battered Fish, Turkey, Donatelli Reuben, Grilled Ham and Cheese, BLT, Turkey Club, Club Wrap, Steak or Chicken Caesar Wrap, BLT Chicken Wrap, and Grilled Salmon Caesar Wrap.

Donatelli’s also has a number of Specialty Burgers  including Plain Burger, Luigi Burger, Cheeseburger, Pizza Burger, Mama Mia Burger, Honey Mustard Ham Burger, Jack Burger, One Eyed Jack, Patty Melt, Chili Cheese Burger, Donatelli Burger, Philly Burger, Blue Bacon Burger and Red Portabella Burger

Pasta selections are numerous and include Spaghetti, Spaghetti Supreme, Rigatoni, Linguini with Marinara, Fettuccine Alfredo, Chicken or Veal Parmigiana, Baked Mostaccioli, Baked Manicotti, Baked Tortellini, Baked Ravioli, Baked Gnocchi, Baked Spaghetti, Baked Lasagna, Baked Rigatoni,  and Baked Linguini Carbonara, Tortellini Alfredo, Butternut Squash Ravioli with Asparagus, Spinach and Roasted Garlic Tortelloni, Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli, Chicken and Spinach Cannelloni, Stuffed Shells, Seafood Cannelloni, Linguini with Shrimp and Pesto, Cajun Chicken Alfredo, Fettuccine with Steak and Alfredo, Italian Jambalaya, Linguini with Chicken and Pesto, and Spaghetti Pie.

Donatelli’s also has a variety of Pizza Turnovers (stuffed pizza pockets) and Specialty Pizzas (deep-dish or thin crust) including Fresh Mozzarella and Roasted Tomato, Veggie Delight, Heartburn Deluxe, Super Heartburn Deluxe, Heart Stopper, Bacon Cheeseburger, Taco, Donatelli’s White Pizza, Margherita, BBQ Chicken, and the Upside Down Pizza.

**Gluten-Free Menu*** Items include Gluten Free versions of all of the following: Caprese, Italian Fries, Blue Apple Salad, Spinach Salad, Chicken and Pesto, Baked Cheese Ravioli, Stuffed Shells, Ravioli, Baked Rigatoni, and Gluten-Free Pizza.

Donatelli’s also has a selection of Old-Fashioned Ice Creams.  Other Desserts include Milk Shake, Malts, Ice Cream Soda, Turtle Sundae, Root Beer Float, Hot Fudge Sundae, Scrumptious Sundae, Old Fashioned Banana Split, Hot Fudge Cake, Turtle Fudge Cake, Black Forest Cake, Tiramisu, Berramisu, Chocolate Flourless Torte, and Death by Chocolate Peanut Butter.

Price guide: Appetizers $7-11 Sandwiches $7-12 Pasta $8-17 Desserts $3-7

What we ordered: Our party was dining on borrow time on the night of our visit, so we went straight to our entrees instead of ordering an appetizer as I normally would. Although I didn’t order Italian Fries on this visit, I highly recommend them.

There are so many awesome past choices at Donatelli’s and I have had the pleasure of sampling many of them over the years but on this night I ordered the Spaghetti with Meatballs.  I typically never order spaghetti at restaurants but Donatelli’s makes their spaghetti from scratch and it is perfect.  The noodles are fresh and cooked slightly al dente with a generous amount of the hearty house red sauce.

One of my companions had the Seafood Cannelloni.  This was delicious, but extremely rich.  There were three shells stuffed with a blend of lobster, scallops, and shrimp in a lobster sherry cream sauce.  It had several cheeses baked on top until just melted.  It was served with a slice of garlic toast that was great for dunking in the sauce.  Take the cannelloni shells out of this dish and you have yourself a wonderful seafood dip.

Another companion ordered the Cajun Chicken Fettuccine Alfredo, which was fettuccine mixed with several bite sized pieces of grilled Cajun chicken breast, and sauteed green and red bell peppers.

Another companion started with the Antipasto Salad followed by the Rigatoni.  The Antipasta salad looked wonderful with ham, pepperoni, mozzarella, cheddar, onions, mushrooms and black olives.  Tossed in Donatelli’s homemade Italian dressing.

The Rigatoni was a bowl of standard rigatoni topped with Donatelli’s red sauce.

One person in our party had the Steak Caesar Wrap.  This wrap had a substantial amount of beef in relation to lettuce.  Tasty and filling.

Service: Our visit was early evening on a Saturday night and it was already busy at Donatelli’s.  We were able to get a table big enough for the six of us with a few minutes of arriving and were greeted by our server shortly thereafter.  Drinks were refilled quickly and food was prepared reasonably fast for how busy it was. Six of us were in and out in about an hour.  Our server, as well as the staff in general,  seemed very friendly.

Overall Impression: A true institution in the White Bear Lake area, Donatelli’s has something that will appeal to everyone.  The menu is huge and the service is very friendly.

This was a review of Donatelli’s Restaurant originally published on Twin Cities Restaurant Blog
Donatelli's on Urbanspoon
Donatelli Bros Family Rstrnt Reviews in White Bear Lake

Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop ~ Stillwater, MN

 American, Ice Cream, Stillwater, Take-Out Window  Comments Off on Leo’s Grill & Malt Shop ~ Stillwater, MN
Apr 302011

Cuisine: American, Burgers, Ice Cream
Restaurant Features: Take-Out Window
Location: Stillwater, MN
Address: 131 Main Street S Stillwater, MN 55082 651-351-3943
Hours: Daily 11am-8pm (9pm in summer)
Links: Leo’s Malt Shop Website * Leo’s Malts on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Leo’s Grill and Malt Shop is located in downtown Stillwater, on Main St.  Both the interior and exterior of Leo’s has a classic look and is a throwback to the 50’s.  There is a walk-up window outside where customers wanting ice cream can place and pick up their treats.

Menu: Appetizers at Leo’s include French Fries, Cheese Curds, Kettle Chips, Waffle Fries, Chili Cheese Waffle Fries, Pizza Rolls, Mini Corn Dogs and Onion Rings.

Leo’s also offers salads, including Asian Chicken, Cobb, Garden, Grilled Chicken.  Soups include Chili and a Soup du Jour.

Leos’s is well known for the burgers, all are 1/3lb and come with kettle chips or can be upgraded to fries, waffles fries or onion rings for an additional charge.  Options include Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Bacon Cheddar, Blackened Blue,  Mushroom Swiss, Chili Cheeseburger, Big Daddy (doubled patties), Muchos Leo’s (with jalapenos presses into the meat Leo’s Melt, and Patty Melt.  Leo also offers a burger challenge: eat a 1 lb burger with meat, onions and cheese in less than 20 minutes and get a free t-shirt.

Hot Dog and Chicken Finger Baskets with Fries are also offered.

Hot Specialty Sandwiches include B.L.T., Clubhouse, Cod Filet, French Dip, Grilled Cheese Deluxe, Turkey Melt, Cowboy Chicken, Reuben, Philly Cheese Steak, Ham and Cheddar Melt, Tuna Melt, and Chicken Tender Club.  Cold Sandwiches include Turkey, Corned Beef, Ham, Cream Cheese Cucumber, Roast Beef, Tuna Salad and Egg Salad.  All sandwiches come with kettle chips.

Leo’s has a large selection of ice cream treats such as Sundae, Malts, Shakes, and Hand Dipped Cones.  Specialty Sundaes include Turtle, Caramel Cashew, Muddy Banana, Chocolate Almond Fudge, and Classic Banana Split.

Price guide: Appetizers $3-7  Salads $6-9  Burgers $7-9  Sandwiches $7-10

What we ordered: My companion and I had already eaten dinner elsewhere, so we decided to split a Strawberry Malt, which was served in two small paper cups.  The malt was very good, it had plenty of strawberry chunks as well as  rich malt powder blended in, too thick to sip through a straw.  It was topped with whipped cream, making it extra creamy

Service: We didn’t have to wait long at the Take-Out Window before placing our order and our malts were ready in about 3-4 minutes.
Overall Impression: The malts were great and I am sure the burgers are too.  I will be back again to have a burger and onion rings in addition to another ice cream treat!

Leo's Grill & Malt Shop on Urbanspoon

Nov 262010

Cuisine: American, Bar & Grill, Burgers, Dessert
Restaurant Features: Bar, Kids Menu, On-Site Parking
Locations: Apple Valley, Plymouth and Shoreview, MN
Addresses & Maps:

Apple Valley– 15560 Cedar Ave. Apple Valley, MN 55124 (952)997-6250

Plymouth– 2669 Campus Drive Plymouth, MN 55441 (952)997-6250

Shoreview– 1090 Gramsie Road Shoreview, MN 55126 (651)766-8417

Hours: Sunday-Thursday 11am-10pm  Friday-Saturday 11am-11pm

Links: * Red Robin Website * Red Robin Facebook Page *

Atmosphere: The Shoreview Red Robin is located just off 694 and Lexington Ave , in a large stand-alone building next to the Hampton Inn.  The decor is contemporary and somewhat industrial, with exposed air ducts,etc up above and abstract-patterned booths and tables gracing the dining room floor.  The walls are adorned with a variety of interesting memorabilia and framed posters.

The Expediting window is open to the dining room and is a very busy place as servers quickly grab hot fries and burgers to take to their customers. I happened to be sitting on the other side of a partition from it and had this lovely view.  Our table had a lamp similar to the ones you see here, with the exception that it wasn’t a heat map, just a mini spot-light on our food!

The Shoreview location also has a nice bar area just inside the main entrance, with more booths as well as an extra-long pub table that can be used for big groups.

Menu: Appetizers at Red Robin include Towering Onion Rings, Riblets & Chips, Buzzard Wings, Chili Nachos, Chicken and Bacon Quesadillas, Creamy Artichoke and Spinach Dip, Chili Con Queso, and Guacamole & Salsa with Chips.

Soup options at Red Robin include French Onion Soup, Homemade Chili, Clam Chowder, and Chicken Tortilla Soup.  Salad offerings include Mighty Caesar, Asian Chicken, Cobb, Apple Harvest Chicken, Crispy Chicken Tender, Grilled Chicken and Southwest Grilled Chicken Salad.

Premium Sandwiches offered at Red Robin are the Grilled Salmon, Grilled Chicken, Crispy Arctic Cod, Lettuce-Wrap Burger, Garden Burger, Boca Burger, California Chicen, Chicken Teriyaki, Crispy Chicken, Pulled BBQ Chicken, Blackened Chicken, Simply Grilled Chicken, Bruschetta Chicken, and Chicken Caprese Sandwich.  Lighter sandwiches include BLT with Avocado Croissant, Chicken Cesar Wrap, BBQ Chicken Wrap.  All sandwiches come with bottomless steak fries.

Gourmet Burger offerings at Red Robin are the Banzai Burger (marinated in teriyaki with pineapple), Bleu Ribbon, Guacamole Bacon, Royal Red Robin, Whiskey River BBQ, Shroom and Swiss, Bacon Cheeseburger, A-1 Peppercorn Burger, All-American Patty Melt, Red Robin Gourmet Cheeseburger, and Burnin Love Burger.  All burgers come with bottomless steak fries.

Red Robin’s Entrees include Clucks & Fries (chicken tenders), Jumbo Shrimp & Slaw Platter, Creamy Mac N’ Cheese, Grilled Chicken Pesto Pasta, Prime Rib Dip, Riblet Basket, Arctic Cod Fish & Chips, Red’s Rice Bowl with Chicken Teriyaki, Grilled Chicken Alla Caprese, and Ensenada Chicken Platter

Desserts at Red Robin include any of their Ice Cream Shakes and Malts, Hot Fudge Sundae, and Hot Apple Crisp.

Items on the Kids Menu include Burger, Corn Dog, Cheesy Mac N’ Cheese, Pizza, Grilled Chicken on a Stick, Spaghetti, Chicken Fingers, Grilled Cheese, and Chick-N-Cheese Quesadilla.

Price guide: Appetizers $5-10 *Soup $3/5 *Salads $6-10 *Sandwiches $9-10 *Gourmet Burgers $9-10  *Entrees $9-13  *Desserts $3-6 *Kids Menu $5

What we ordered: My companion and I shared a Strawberry Malt which was like Heaven in a glass.  Ice cream is one of my most favorite of foods and if it is going to be mixed with fruit it also better be mixed with a lot of malt powder!  It had a great amount of strawberries mixed in, making it perfectly fruity and creamy.  It was topped with a good amount of whipped cream and sprinkles as well.  Almost too thick to sip through a straw which is just how a malt should be.

Just about everything on the menu looked good but since this was my first-ever visit, a burger was the only choice I would be satisfied with.  The Burnin Love Burger came highly recommended from our server and the spiciness sounded right up my alley.  Every element to this burger was all about the spice, from the Jalapeno infused kaiser roll, the cayenne-seasoned beef patty, to the pepper jack cheese, the crispy fried jalapenos and the chipotle mayo.  Oh, I can’t forget the salsa!  It also had sliced tomato and shredded lettuce.  This burger was awesome! It was spicy but not to the point where your face is going to burn off or anything.  All the burgers at Red Robin come with bottomless steak fries, how great is that?

My companion ordered the Blue Ribbon Burger, which is one I would likely get on another visit.  The 1/2 lb burger of juicy beef is basted with a steak sauce then placed upon a bed of crispy onion straws then topped with bleu cheese crumbles, shredded lettuce and tomato.  It is all placed on a freshly baked onion bun.  After having one bite of this burger, I think I could eat onion straws on every single burger I eat from now on.  I love the sweet and crunchy texture. Yum! And meat with bleu cheese? Double Yum!

Service: We had an adorable, friendly server who was genuinely great at her job.  She made good suggestions and stopped by frequently to refill sodas and water. and our food was served quickly.

Overall Impression: I know Red Robin is a big chain and I tend to avoid the Big Guys, but I won’t be able to stop myself from heading back to Red Robin for another delicious burger and malt very soon!

Red Robin-Shoreview Saint Paul, MN

Red Robin Gourmet Burgers 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

Apr 182009

Cuisine: American, Bakery, Burgers, Desserts, Steaks
Restaurant Features: Bar (beef and wine), On-Site Parking
Location: Brooklyn Center, MN
Address: 5524 Brooklyn Blvd, Brooklyn Center, MN‎ – (763) 560-4947
Hours: Daily 11am-10pm
Links:50’s Grill Website * Google Map

Atmosphere: As the name suggests, the atmosphere of the 50’s Grill is one that takes you back in time.  When you first walk in to the restaurant, you see that all the servers are wearing pink Poodle Skirts!  There is a large bakery counter filled with delicious pies and cakes, and there is also a counter where Old Fashioned ice cream treats are made (complete with black & white tiling and antique malt mixer!)


If you didn’t already feel like you were in the 50’s just upon entering the building, the dining room will surely do the job with its’ black & white checkered flooring, blue and pink neon lights around the edge of the ceiling, and an impressive collection of framed posters and art from the 50’s Era.  The space is divided into several four-person hot pink high-backed booths that allow for more privacy.  There is also a section of the dining room near the windows that has tables that can be arranged to accommodate bigger groups.


There is also this lounge area to the right when you first enter 50’s Grill


Menu: Appetizers and sides include Shrimp Basket, Chicken Tenders, Onion Rings, Pepper Jack Cheese Fries, Krinkle Cut Fries, and Mashed Potatoes.

Salads at 50’s Grill are served with homemade bread and include Grilled Chicken, Caesar, Chicken Caesar, Shrimp Caesar, Orange Almond, Ranch, Garden, Chef and Turkey Salad (mayo based).

Homemade Soups: Mon- Chicken & Wild Rice, Tues-Split Pea & Ham, Wed- Cream of Broccoli, Thurs- Navy Bean & Ham, Fri- Seafood Chowder, Sat/Sun- Beef Barley

Sandwiches offered are the Santa Fe Chicken, Cajun Chicken, Rajun Cajun, Grilled Chicken Club, Turkey Guacamole and Bacon, Turkey Reuben, Walleye, Turkey, Turkey Club, Turkey Salad, BLT, Cod FIsh, and Veggie Burger.

Burgers at the 50’s Grill are made from 6 oz. of fresh ground beef include 50’s Grill Burger, 50’s Grill Cheeseburger, The Big Cheese, Bacon & Smoked Cheddar, Guacamole Burger, Multi-Grain Melt and Patty Melt.  4 oz burgers can also be made and include Hamburger, Cheeseburger, Pepper Cheeseburger, Bacon Cheeseburger, and California Burger.  Bison Burgers are also available made from lean ground Bison.

50’s Grill Dinners are all served with fresh baked bread, soup or salad, real mashed potatoes and homemade gravy, and vegetable.  Entrees include Carved Turkey, Rotisserie Roasted Chicken, Homemade Meatloaf, Hamburger Steak, Hot Turkey Sandwich, Canadian Walleye, Jumbo Shrimp, Famous Chicken Pot Pie, and 8 oz Sirloin.  There are a coupe of surf & turf combos as well.

The number of Desserts to choose from is astounding! Handmade Pies baked fresh daily include Apple, Sugar-Free Apple,  Apple Crisp, Wild Blueberry, Cherry, Strawberry Rhubarb, Banana Cream, Coconut Cream, French Silk, Lemon Merinque and Pecan.  Cheesecakes include Plain, Cheesecake topped with strawberries, raspberries, chocolate or caramel, Turtle Cheesecake, and Raspberry Hot Fudge (topped)Cheesecake.  Award-winning Cakes include Carrot, Chocolate Fudge, Turtle, and German Chocolate.

Ice Cream treats include Old Fashioned Ice Cream Cones or Dish, Old Fashioned Malt (25+ flavors), Sundaes, Banana Split, Root Beer Float, and Ice Cream Sodas.

Price guide: Appetizers    Sandwiches $6-8    Burgers $6-8   Dinner Plates  $9-15  Pie $3.79/slice  Ice Cream $3-5
Weekly Dinner Specials: Monday- Stuffed Rotisserie Chicken, Tuesday- Carved Roast Turkey with Dressing and Mashed Potatoes, Wednesday- Pot Roast with Carrots & Onions Thursday- Hot Roast Beef with Mashed Potatoes, Friday/Saturday- Hickory Smoked Bar-B-Que with Coleslaw and Baked Beans
What I ordered: Many of the many choices looked great but I was in the mood for a burger so I had the Guacamole Burger. The ground beef patty was pretty big and tasty and was served on a toasted bun baked fresh at the restaurant.  The bacon and fresh guacamole added the expected flavor and really made the burger.  I think it would’ve been even better if I had added Pepper Jack or Swiss cheese and maybe even some jalapenos (I love spice to kick things up a notch).  The krinkle-cut fries were your standard frozen krinkle fries.


My companion had the 50’s Grill Cheeseburger, topped with American cheese, tomato, lettuce and red onion.


I couldn’t come to a restaurant like 50’s Grill that has so many desserts and not try a few (for the sake of this review of course ;) ), so we also got a couple of slices of pie to-go.  The strawberry rhubarb pie was delicious! You could tell from the freshness of the ingredients and flaky pie crust that this was fresh, homemade pie.  The filling had large pieces of both strawberry and rhubarb, both a little sweet and a little tart.  Delicious!


We also tried the Coconut Cream Pie because this is one of my favorite types of pie.  The filling was  thick, vanilla-pudding-based (homemade and not from a box!) with grated coconut shavings mixed within.  The pie had a thick layer of real whipped cream atop the pudding, then topped with toasted coconut flakes.  Delish!


Service: We were shown right to a table when we arrived and were then promptly greeted by our server.  Our server (dressed straight out-of-the-50’s with her poodle skirt and bobby socks!) was nice and made some good suggestions about the menu.  Our food was served quickly and beverages were refilled often.
Overall Impression: Fun place! Good burgers and awesome desserts!
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Mar 142009

Cuisine: Delicatessan, Ice Cream, Italian
Restaurant Features: Counter-Service, On-Site Parking
Location: Vadnais Heights, MN
Address: 3435 Centerville Rd. Vadnais Heights, MN 55127
( 651)484-6656

Hours: Tues-Fri 11am-6pm    Sat 11am-5pm        Sun & Mon Closed
Links: Google Map

Thatsamore-outside1000Atmosphere: Located near the intersection of Centerville Rd. & Edgerton, That’s Amore is snuggled into an antique strip mall that also holds a hardware store and possibly a service station.  It is a very small restaurant but they make you feel right at home.  The kitchen area and ice cream counter take up a good portion of the space, but there are three portable tables set up in little private nooks for customers to sit at.  Two of those nooks are located in the front window areas, each of which have cute little curtains hung over the windows.

Menu: Appetizers include Mini Pizzas, Luigi Fries, Homemade Chili, or Soup of the Day.

Salads offered at That’s Amore’ are the Caesar, Garden, House, Italian, and Spinach Italiano.

The sandwiches include Hot Dago, Meatball, Chicken Italiano, Hot Italian Beef, Hot or Cold Subs (choice of ham, turkey, salami, and roast beef), Turkey Sandwich, Luigi’s Favorite (ham & turkey with pepperjack grilled), Grilled Ham & Cheese, Tuna Melt, Grilled Cheese, Spiedini (Italian Sausage), and Coney Island or Chicago-Dtyle Hot Dogs.  Wraps include Chicken Caesar, Chicken Ranch, and Club.  Broiled Cod Sandwich is offered on Fridays only.  Hamburger or Italian Burger also available.  All Sandwiches and Wraps are served with potato chips or substitute potato salad for $.50 extra.

The two pastas offered at That’s Amore’ are Baked Mostaccioli and Fettuccine Alfredo.

Sixteen Flavors of Old-Fashioned Ice Cream for dessert!

Price guide: Appetizers $4-6    Salad $5-8    Sandwiches $6-7    Pasta $7-8
What I ordered: I tried the meatball sub, which came with a small bag of Lays potato chips, pepperoncini peppers and cherry tomatoes.  I thought the sandwich was pretty good. The meatballs were cut in half to make it a little easier to eat, as this was a good sized sandwich!  The very fresh bread (baked that same day at a local bakery) was thick and soft on the inside, toasted just slightly on the outside.  Snuggled between the meatballs and the bread were thick slices of cold pepperjack cheese, which I would have preferred melted.  It was good nonetheless and I really liked that it came with a side of sauce for dipping, etc.

Thatsamore-meatballsub1000 My companion ordered the Italian Beef Sandwich, which had tender, juicy and flavorful spiced roast beef piled onto thick, fresh bread that had been toasted just enough to make it golden brown.  This sandwich also came with cold pepperjack and a side of warm au jus.  Also served were potato chips, pickle spear and veggies.

Thatamore-italianbeef1000 I was also given this complimentary donut which I assume to have been baked at the same bakery where they get their fresh bread every day.  The cake donut was airy and fluffy, very moist inside with just the right amount of sugar coating it on the outside.  A sweet little extra after eating the meatball sub :)

Thatsamore-donut1000Service: The people who run That’s Amore’ are very courteous, friendly and seemed appreciative of our business.  We ordered our food at a counter, but they brought it out to us and seemed to go out of their way to make sure we were taken care of.  I loved the gesture of offering my companion and I free fresh donuts for dessert.  Stopping at That’s Amore’ can also be quite convenient if you need to buy lottery tickets, milk, eggs or fresh bread, as these things are all available.
Overall Impression: Great little deli that has both hot and cold sandwiches at reasonable prices.  Great service.  Disappointed that it isn’t open later than 6pm (or on Sundays or Mondays)
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Donatelli’s Italian- White Bear Lake, MN

 American, Ice Cream, Italian, On-Site Parking, Pizza, White Bear Lake area  Comments Off on Donatelli’s Italian- White Bear Lake, MN
Aug 042007

Cuisine: Italian, Ice Cream

Restaurant Features: On-Site Parking

Location: White Bear Lake, MN

Address: 2692 East County Road E  White Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-777-9199

Links: Donatelli’s Website * Donatelli’s on FacebookGoogle Map

Atmosphere: Donatelli’s is a popular family restaurant located within a strip mall on the south end of White Bear.  The restaurant itself is long and narrow, with a main dining room and a smaller dining area used for bigger parties or on busy nights.  Along the outer walls of the dining area there are several private booths (topped with seasonal decorations), with tables in the middle of the restaurant which can easily be adjoined for larger parties.


Menu: Start off with Donatelli’s famous Italian fries! Other starters include chicken strips, chicken wings, cheese curds, garlic bread, mozzarella sticks, or french fries.  Sandwich offerings include the Reuben, chicken or veal Parmesan, meatball, hot Dago, Italian sub, grilled ham & cheese, turkey club.  You can also order wrap sandwiches- chicken, steak or shrimp Caesar or BLT chicken.  There are also several burger choices.

The Pasta at Donatelli’s is where its at! There are five different sauces (spicy marinara, traditional red, supreme red sauce, basic white sauce and Alfredo.  Dishes include spaghetti, rigatoni, linguine, tomato basil fettuccine, chicken cacciatore, chicken or veal Parmesan, Butternut Squash Ravioli with Asparagus & Portabellas, baked manicotti,  ravioli or mostaccioli, lasagna, stuffed shells, linguine with grilled chicken and pesto.  Pizza is also quite popular at Donatelli’s, as are the pizza turnovers.

Don’t forget ice cream for dessert, Donatelli’s has many flavors of old fashioned ice cream, as well as malts, sundaes, chocolate cake and tiramisu.

Price guide: Appetizers $ 5-11    Sandwiches/burgers $7-10   Pasta $6-14 Pizza $5-23

What I ordered: My companion and I shared a medium thin-crust Italian Fry.  If you have never had these before, you must hurry to Donatelli’s to try it!  They bake thin pizza dough topped with a light coat of garlic butter topped with mozzarella and cheddar cheese, served with a side of spicy marinara.


After deliberating over the menu, I decided to order the tortellini Alfredo (Cheese filled tortellini tossed with baby peas,portabella mushrooms, prosciutto ham & our Alfredo Sauce, topped with fresh Parmesan cheese.) I am not usually a huge fan of Alfredo sauce (too boring for me), so I took my server’s suggestion and ordered the dish with the white sauce instead of Alfredo.  My mistake! I realized with the first bite that the white sauce is even more boring than the Alfredo!  The other ingredients were very good, but I had to get a side of marinara to mix into my dish to give it a little more flavor. Donatellis31000 The garlic toast was pretty good.

My companion ordered the Donatelli Burger (Topped with pepperoni, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and smothered with mozzarella cheese; served with a side of our red sauce. )


Service: Always friendly.  Donatellis is quite busy during the dinner hours, so you may need to wait until a table becomes available (very small lobby area).

Overall Impression: Decent Italian food at reasonable prices.  Good place to come with a group or with the kids.  Ice cream is definitely a great value!

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