Nov 252011

Cuisine: American, Wings
Restaurant Features: Counter Service, Delivery, Flat Screen TV, On-Site Parking
Location: Maplewood, MN
Address: 705 Century Ave N Maplewood, MN 55119 (651) 730-7768
Hours: Mon-Thur 11am-10pm  Friday 11am-11pm Saturday 12pm-11pm  Sunday 11am-7pm
Links: D-Spot Website * D-Spot on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: D-Spot is located in Maplewood (bordering Oakdale), in a strip mall at the corner of Century Ave and 10th Street.  When you first walk in, you will see the front counter where you order your food.  The dining room itself has a handful of tables for dining in, or there is a small waiting area near the front if you choose to take-out.

Menu: The plethora of Chicken Wings at D-Spot can be divided into 4 groups: Spicy, Savory, Comfort and Sweet.

Spicy Wings include Chipotle BBQ, Spicy BBQ, Asian BBQ, Ginger, Szechuan, Voo Doo, Jerk, Buffalo, Iron Man (sweet/spicy), Incredible Hulk (green coconut curry), Pachadi (mago yogurt curry), Volcano, Ochre (honey mustard), Vaporizer (horseradish, mustard, honey), El Loco (super HOT), Toxic Avenger (green coconut curry, italian salsa verde, and sriracha), Ben Grimm (red and green curry, pineapple and toasted coconut), Kamikazee (chili, horseradish buffalo and fried garlic), War Machine (jerk and iron man), Bathala’s Bliss (ginger, honey, thai chilis, coconut milk, peanut butter, lime juice and cilantro), Dragon’s Breath (sriracha, honey, horseradish aioli) and Desert Heat (harrisa, sriracha, honey and dry rub).

Savory Wings include Honey Butter, Italiano (mint, parsley, basil, garlic, capers, anchovy and red pepper), Salsa Verde, Moroccan (yellow curry, apple and orange juice, raisin, carrot, yogurt), Twist (lemon/lime zest, toasted cumin, coriander), Kitchen Sink (3 dry rubs, 3 sauces), Teriyaki (soy, pineapple and orange), M.P.G (fondue style potato and gravy), Muay Thai (coconut milk, peanut butter, chili), Tunisian (harrisa), Meatball (chili cranberry marmalade), Marsala (pancetta, mushroom, marsala), Cordon Bleu, Iberian (chorizo, smoked paprika), Black Widow (soy glaze, crackel fennel, jerk rub), Frenchy (caramelized onion and sweet balsamic), Widow Maker (iron man and black widow).

Comfort Wings include Peanut Butter and Jelly, Country Fried, Alfredo, Lalapalooza (lavender, peppercorn, mustard vinegar), Blue Moon (bleu cheese cream), Four Seasons, Ranch, El Rancho (ranch and buffalo), Buffalo Bill (bleu cheese and buffalo), Cacciatore (tomato, rosemary, garlic), Pesto, Johnny Apple Seed (apple pear, caramelized onion, bleu cheese), Kariboo (coffee, chocolate, acho chili), Sri Lanka (pineapple gastric dusted in cayenne), Traditional BBQ, Honey BBQ, Pineapple BBQ and Huckleberry Finn (blueberry, honey, barbeque).

Sweet Wing varieties include Mound of Joy (coconut milk, dark chocolate, crushed almonds), Snackers (peanut butter, caramel, crushed nuts, chocolate and sea salt), Reese’s (peanut butter, milk chocolate, sea salt), Chicken and Waffles (maple brown sugar, creme anglaise, cinnamon, powdered sugar), The Canadian (bourbon, brown sugar, maple syrup, sea salt), Caramel Delight (caramel, sea salt, drizzle of chocolate), Black & Blue (black and blueberries), Strawberry (strawberries and balsamic syrup), D’s Short Cake (strawberry, creme anglaise, almonds and cream), Naked Turtle (caramel with pecans), Fruity Pebbles (boisenberry, lemon, lime and honey) and French Toast (cinnamon, maple syrup).

In addition to wings, you can also order Burgers and Sandwiches such as Luciann (two 1/4lb patties), D-Burger (with coleslaw, fries and american cheese), Emma James (smoked pancetta, fried egg, and harissa aioli), Mushroom & Swiss, and Red Baron (caramelized shallots, red wine butter), Cheddar Cheese, Pulled Pork, Grilled Chicken, and Falafel.
Price guide: $6/6 wings or $10/dozen  Burgers/Sandwiches $5-8
Weekly Specials:  Monday Nights during football season:  $40 for 60 wings

What we ordered: We started with the Bathala’s Bliss, which was my personal favorite of the five flavors we tried.  These wings were lightly floured and then fried until golden, then bathed in a delicious and somewhat thick Thai-inspired sauce consisting of ginger, honey, peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice and then topped with Thai chilis and cilantro.  Very flavorful; slightly sweet from the honey and peanut butter but also savory from the chili and cilantro. Yum.  I will crave these from now on whenever I think of wings, they were awesome.

Next we tried the Black Widow, which were wings rubbed with jerk seasoning and cracked fennel then tossed with a somewhat sweet soy glaze.  Very good, I liked the sweet/savory combo.

Next we tried the Ginger Wings, which were tossed in a sauce of honey, ginger, garlic and then topped with spicy Thai chilis.  These were also good; the honey flavor came through stronger than any of the others so they were slightly sweet.

Another of the Wing flavors that we tried was the Twist.  These were a dry wing seasoned with lemon/lime zest, toasted cumin, and coriander.  These were very good if you like a drier wing.  My companion loved them and preferred these over any of the others.

We also tried the Buffalo Bill, which were a step up from your basic buffalo wing.  The sauce was very tasty and had a decent amount of spice and the wings were coated nicely with it then topped with bleu cheese crumbles.  I love buffalo wings and I love bleu cheese so this was a winning combo for me.

We also ordered a side of seasoned fries, which were delicious! They seemed to be lightly battered and heavily seasoned, which I loved.  They came with seasoned mayo for dipping.  I had a couple of fries in between each new flavor of wing I tried.

Service: Our wings were prepared to-order, and the five different wings took approximately 15 minutes.

Overall Impression: I had heard about D-Spot a few months ago and had been wanting to try it ever since.  My actual experience exceeded expectations!  With 60+ flavors of wings, there is a wing for everyone.  My new favorite spot for wings is definitely D-Spot!
D-Spot on Urbanspoon
:D-Spot Reviews in Maplewood

Jul 012008

Cuisine: American, German, Steaks
Restaurant Features: Bar, On-Site Parking

Locations: White Bear Lake, Oakdale, Inver Grove Heights, Hastings, Red Wing
Addresses & Maps:
White Bear Lake 2670 E. County Road E,  White
Bear Lake, MN 55110 651-773-5854
Oakdale- 7121 10th Street N. Oakdale, MN 55128 (651) 731-8381
Inver Grove Heights–  6434 Cahill Ave. Inver Grove Heights, MN (651) 451-8073
Hastings- 109 W. 11th St. Hastings, MN 55033 (651) 437-8259
Red Wing–  233 Withers Harbor Dr. Red Wing, MN 55066 (651) 385-8852

Link: JJ Bierstube’s Website


Atmosphere: The White Bear Lake restaurant is located at the far end of a large strip mall on the south side of the city of White Bear Lake.  The restaurant itself is one large open room, with wooden tables throughout and a bar along one side of the room.  I believe there are also a handful of booths along the wall opposite the bar which provide a little more privacy than the other tables.


Menu: Appetizers include Wisconsin Cheese Curds, Ber Battered Onion Rings, Garlic Toast, Breaded Mushrooms or Cauliflower, Jalapeno Poppers, Breaded Cod Strips, Colossal Buffalo Shrimp, Chicken Drummies, Mozzarella Sticks, Reuben Bites, Brat Medallions, Mini Burgers, and Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites.
Sandwiches offered at the Bierstube include Filet Mignon, French Dip, Ham & Cheese, Pork Loin, Chicken Breast, Buffalo Chicken, Jamaican Jerk Chicken, Turkey Club, Weiner Schnitzel, Cof Filet, Crispy Chicken, BLT , Deluxe Grilled Cheese, Bratwurst with Sauerkraut and the Reuben or Rachel.  There is also a selection of specialty burgers.

Authentic German Dishes include the Sauerbraten, Weiner Schnitzel, Schweine Haxen, German Meatballs, Bratwurst Platter, Gebratene Leber (Liver Steak), Jaeger Schnitzel or the Taste of Deutschland sampler platter.

Steaks include quality Sirloin, Angus Porterhouse, New York Strip, Rib Eye, Filet Mignon, as well as a small Hamburger Steak.  Baby Back Ribs are also a popular dinner feature.

Specials include: Half-priced Burgers on Monday, Surf & Turf on Saturday and Sunday is Family Day (Free soda to kids under 16 with purchase of burger or hot dog)

If you’re still hungry after your meal, try the Hot Fudge Choclate Volcano Cake  or the Bavarian Rhubarb Pie (both served with Raspberry Sauce), Vanilla Ice Cream served a la carte.

Price guide: Appetizers $ 6-8 Sandwiches and Burgers $6-8.50 (does not include fries) German Dishes $10-18 Steaks $10-22
What I ordered: I am a big fan of Reuben Sandwiches so I decided to start with the Reuben Bites.  I thought they were interesting and tasty with the inside a cheesy mixture of Swiss, Corned Beef and Sauerkraut while the outside was breaded and crispy.  The inside actually reminded me of the Reuben Dip that you often encounter at Potlucks, but much warmer.  The crispy outside was a nice compliment to the inside and I liked that the Thousand Island was served on the side for dipping. I would get these again! Although they aren’t exactly gourmet, I think it was a pretty tasty invention….I think I might need to try the Chicken Cordon Bleu Bites next!


My visit was on a Monday night, which happened to be half-price burger night! You can order any of the specialty burgers or build your own 50% off whatever you get.  I went with a 1/2 pounder with Swiss, bacon and fried onions.  Burgers and sandwiches do not come with fries, so I got a half-order of onion rings as well.  I was very pleased with the burger.  It had nice texture and rich flavor, without being too charred.  The bun was lightly buttered and grilled, which is always a thumb’s up in my book.  I thought the onion rings were also good but at an extra $3.50 for the half-order, I could have done without them.


My companion ordered the Wiener Schnitzel, which are breaded pork cutlets.  It was served with German Potato Salad, Fresh Asparagus and Garlic Toast.


Service: There weren’t many guests dining in the restaurant on the evening my companions and I visited, so we had our choice of tables, etc.  The service was good considering we were practically the only ones there, but the server tended to leave us alone.
Overall Impression: I was actually pleasantly surprised at how large the menu was.  I had driven by this restaurant many times without stopping because I was under the false impression that the Bierstube was just a bar serving basic bar food.  It was much more than I expected.  The prices were good and the food was good too, especially the half-priced burgers!

Apr 012007

Cuisine: Italian

Restaurant Features: Bar, On-Site Parking

Locations: Bloomington, Burnsville, Coon Rapids, Maple Grove, Maplewood, Oakdale

Addresses & Maps:

Bloomington– 4701 American Blvd W. Bloomington, MN 55437 (952)841-4044

Burnsville– 1451 County Rd 42  Burnsville, MN 55306 (952)898-4200

Coon Rapids– 150 Coon Rapids Blvd Coon Rapids, MN 55443 (763) 786-1089

Maple Grove– 12520 Elm Creek Blvd N Maple Grove, MN 55369 (763) 420-9699

Maplewood– 1749 Beam Avenue Maplewood, MN 55109 (651) 773-0200

Oakdale– 8367 3rd Street N.  Oakdale, MN 55128 (651)264-1447

Roseville– 1525 County Rd C Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 638-9557
Saint Louis Park– 5235 Wayzata Blvd Saint Louis Park, MN 55416 (952) 544-4423

Links: Olive Garden website  

Atmosphere: One look at the house wines lining the walls, and there should be no doubt this is an Italian restaurant!  Cozy, warm and dimly-lit are the words I would use to describe the atmosphere.  Several small sections of the dining area offer privacy and romance.


How cute is this little indoor courtyard that greets you upon entry? The perfect place to have a glass of wine while waiting for your table!


Menu: Warm breadsticks and Italian house salad are brought out almost as soon as you place your meal order

Appetizers include brushetta, stuffed mushrooms, smoked mozzerella, calamari and shrimp scampi.

Entrees include classic Italian recipes such as lasagna, fettuccini alfredo, ravioli, manicotti, spaghetti and linguini, and chicken or eggplant Parmigiana.

Not in the mood for pasta? No worries…there are a variety of Italian pork, beef and chicken dishes as well.

Price guide: Appetizers: $6-10  Classic recipes $9-12 Meat entrees: $15-20

What I ordered: Baked Manicotti with a delicious blend of cheeses…so much cheese in fact, that I needed to order a meatball to balance it out a little.  Very rich.


My companions ordered the Tuscan Garlic Chicken (Pan-seared chicken breasts with roasted garlic, red peppers and spinach in a white wine and garlic cream sauce, tossed with curly fettuccine).  Absolutely delicious, I will order this dish next time.  The huge cloves of garlic laced throughout the dish are a garlic-lovers dream, a vampire's nightmare. 


and the Stuffed Chicken Marsala (Oven-roasted chicken breast stuffed with Italian cheeses and sun-dried tomatoes, topped with mushrooms and a creamy marsala sauce. Served with garlic parmesan mashed potatoes.)  Another delicious dish!


Service: Our waitress was very nice and friendly, patient throughout the ordering process.  She offered suggestions and offered us samples of the house wines.  She was very friendly and prompt in checking on us.

Overall Impression: The food and atmosphere at Olive garden is pretty much the same at every location you would visit.