Sep 182011

Cuisine: American
Restaurant Features:  Bar, Games, Flat Screen TVs, On-Site Parking, Patio, Sports Bar
Location: Saint Louis Park, MN
Address: 5916 Excelsior Boulevard  Minneapolis, MN 55416 (952) 922-9515
Hours: Mon-Thurs: 8am-1am Friday-Saturday:  8am-2am Sun: 10am-1am
Links: Bunny’s Website * Bunny’s on Facebook * Google Map

Atmosphere: Bunny’s Bar & Grill is located on Excelsior Blvd in Saint Louis Park, just west of Hwy 100.  The space has been renovated since 1998 when Bunny’s first moved into this location, it is big and open for the most part, with nearly 30 TVs hung up around the restaurant and bar area.  There are round tables in two sizes spread throughout.

Menu: Appetizers include Chicken Wings (cajun or buffalo), Onion Rings, French Fries Mexican Style Nachos, Artichoke Dip, Potato Skins, Catfish Fingers, Chicken Strips, Garlic Cheese Bread, Mozzarella Sticks, and Chicken Drummies.

Soups include Chicken Noodle, Tomato Basil, Chili and a Soup du Jour.

Bunny’s Salads include Taco, Grilled Chicken, Texas Steak, Cobb, Oriental Chicken, Spinach, Caesar, Chef and Dinner Salad.

Sandwiches come with fries, coleslaw, potato salad, cottage cheese, kettle fries or fresh fruit.  Options include Taco Burrito Wrap, Steak Wrap, Clubhouse, BLT, Veggie Sandwich, Southwest Wrap, Chicken Caesar Wrap, French Dip, Triple Grilled Cheese, Grilled Reuben, BBQ Beef, Pork tenderloin Sandwich, Poprk Chop Sandwich, Dante’s Inferno, Tuna Melt, Jumbo Hot Dog, Original Chicken, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Hawaiian Chicken, Buffalo Chicken, Broccoli Chicken, and Cajun Chicken.

Burger options at Bunny’s Bar & Grill include Build-your-own, Rack Attack, and Grilled Garden Burger (black bean).

Pizza options include Build-your-own, Deluxe or Margherita.

Pasta selections include Spaghetti Marinara, Fettuccine Alfredo, Cheese Tortellini, and Pesto Fettuccine.

Entrees include 12oz Sirloin, Pan Fried Walleye, Jumbo Shrimp.  Low Carb Entrees include Grilled Burger Platter, Grilled Chicken Breast Platter, Chicken or Tuna Salad, and Cajun Pork Chop Platter.

Desserts include Ice Cream Sundae, Ice Cream Pie, Hot Fudge Brownie Sundae, and Bunny’s Football Float.

Price guide: Appetizers $  Salads $5-10  Sandwiches $8-9 Entrees $9-16

Weekly Specials:

  • Monday- Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy, veggie and roll $8.50
  • Tuesday-Roast Pork with Mashed Potatoes and Dressing $8.50
  • Wednesday- Hot Turkey on sourdough with mashed potatoes and gravy $8.50
  • Thursday- Lasagna with garlic toast $8.50
  • Friday- Hot Roast Beef with mashed potatoes and gravy $8.50

What we ordered: We started with an order of Artichoke Dip, a creamy blend of artichokes, roasted red peppers, chiles and parmesan cheese.  It was baked in a ramekin and served with garlic toast.  Delicious and flavorful!

I was having difficulty deciding what to order and ended up with a French Dip.  The sandwich was alright; it was piled with deli-style roast beef on a toasted french roll with a side of au jus.  It was decent but not the greatest; would have been better with real shaved roast beef rather than the processed deli stuff. I’ve gotten really picky about my meats in that regard.   I had the choice of side and went with the french fries.

My companion ordered the Rack Attack Burger with American cheese, bacon, sauteed mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and mayo.  This burger was much better than the french dip! The burger was 1/2lb and had an impressive amount of freshly sauteed shrooms.  It was served with a side of barbeque and fries as choice of side.

Service: We had no problem finding parking in the big lot or a table inside, although it was a busy Saturday afternoon.  Our service was alright; it took a little longer than usual to get drinks refilled and meals were served before we had finished our appetizer.
Overall Impression: The atmosphere was lively and the Artichoke Dip was very good.  Service was kind of slow.
Bunny's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Dec 112010

Cuisine: American, Burgers, Dessert, Steak, Ribs, Kids Menu

Restaurant Features: Bar, Catering, Flat Screen TVs, Happy Hour, Pull-Tabs, On-Site Parking, Sports Bar

Locations: Bloomington, Eagan, Plymouth and Roseville

Addresses & Maps:

Bloomington4217 American Blvd. West Bloomington, MN 55437 (952) 835-1191

Roseville– 2350 Cleveland Ave Roseville, MN 55113 (651) 631-1781

Hours: Open at 11am

Links:Joe Senser’s Website * Joe Senser’s Facebook Page

Joe Senser's Sports Lounge ~ Roseville, MN

Atmosphere: The inside of Joe Senser’s is the ultimate haven for Sports Enthusiasts, (besides being at the stadium, of course) with every wall lined with giant 5’x9′ HDTVs displaying just about every televised sports event.  The area along the walls is slightly raised, housing both tables and booths, as does the dining space throughout the middle of the restaurant.

There is also a decent sized bar area near the entrance, flowing into the center of the restaurant.

Menu: Appetizers at Joe Senser’s include Seasoned Waffle Fries, Pizza Spirals, Onion Rings, Chicken Wings, Boneless Wings, Bacon-Wrapped Tenderloin Bites, Quesadillas, Crab & Artichoke Dip, Chicken Fingers, Nachos, Southwest Eggrolls, Coconut Shrimp and Asian Lettuce Wraps.

Salad options are Buffalo Fiesta, Bangkok Peanut Chicken, Chipotle Ranch Taco Salad, Cobb, Island Salad (chicken, bacon, pineapple), and Caesar.

Soups include Chicken Noodle, White Chicken Chili and then a Soup du Jour. Mon- Creamy Potato bacon Tues- Black Bean with Andouille Sausage  Wed- Tomato Basil with Tortellini  Thurs- Creamy Chicken Wild Rice  Fri-New England Clam Chowder  Sat/Sun- Chef’s Choice

Burgers at Senser’s are Half-Pound fresh ground sirloin, served with chips or upgrade to fries for $1.59.  Options include Cheeseburger, Applewood Smoked Bacon Cheeseburger, Bleu Cheese, Jalapeno Pepper Jack, Deli Burger, Sourdough Patty Melt, California Burger, Mushroom Swiss, BBQ Bacon & Jack, Rookie Burger (1/3 lb), and Southwest Turkey Burger.

Sandwiches also come with chips or upgrade to fries or fruit.  Options are the French Dip, Buffalo Chicken, Turkey Bacon Parmesan, BBQ Jack Chicken, Tuna Melt, Reuben, Beer Battered Walleye, Chicken Teriyaki, Clubhouse, and Shaved Prime Rib Melt. Wraps include Baja Chicken and Buffalo.

Joe’s Specialties include Wood Roasted Chicken, Beef Brisket, Hickory Ribs, Smoked Pulled Pork, Chopped Sirloin, Parmesan Ranch Walleye.  Prime Rib available on Saturday and Sunday.

The Entrees at Joe Senser’s include Center But Sirloin, Filet Medallions, Steak and Shrimp, Citrus Chicken and Shrimp, Chicken Bruschetta Pasta and Coconut Shrimp.

Dessert options are the Turtle Brownie Sundae, Midnight Chocolate Ecstasy, and New York Strawberry Cheesecake.

Kids Menu items include Mini Corn Dogs, Chicken Strips, Cheeseburger, Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and Grilled Cheese Sandwich.

Price guide: Appetizers $5-9  Salads $8-10  Sandwiches/Sandwiches $9-10  Specialties $9-18  Entrees $11-19  Desserts $4-5  Kids Menu $5

Happy Hours:

Mon-Fri  3:00-6:30

  • $5 Appetizers-  Sicilian Pizza Nachos, Loaded Senser Fries, Buffalo Chicken Dip, Buffalo Chicken Minis, Cheeseburger Minis, and Pepperoni Cheese Loaf
  • $2.50 Short Domestic Taps, Rail/Calls, Domestic Bottles, Short Signature Teas, House Wine
  • $1 off all other drinks
Sun-Mon 9pm-Close  Tues 10p-Midnight
  • 2 for 1 Drinks: Captain Morgan, Bacardi, Short Domestic Taps
What we ordered: There were many appetizers that looked good but the Crab & Artichoke really stood out as a winner.  The piping-hot baked dip was served in a ramekin with a pile of hot pita wedges, topped with fresh pico de gallo.  I thought this dip was delicious and flavorful.  You could distinctly taste both the well-blended crab and the artichokes, and a slightly smokey flavor somewhere in the blend of cheeses.  There was enough dip to pile it on every piece of pita.  A very different flavor than artichoke-spinach dip, but excellent all the same.

Crab & Artichoke Dip at Joe Senser's~ Roseville, MN

Several of the sandwiches sounded really good to me so I asked the server for a recommendation, who declared the Prime Rib Melt the most popular with the employees. It sounded really good so that is what I ordered.  I loved the flavor of the thinly sliced prime rib mixed with the onions, but the bread got soggy very quickly from the juicy beef and creamy horseradish sauce.  I didn’t even try the au jus because I was afraid my sandwich would fall apart in seconds flat if I did.  It would’ve been better on a hoagie roll or a more substantial bun.  I am also a huge fan of fresh horseradish, so I would’ve loved a little more kick than this creamy mild version served at Joe Senser’s, but that is just a personal preference.  It was still very tasty.  I upgraded to the shoe-string fries which were good but only slightly crispy.

Prime Rib Melt at Joe Senser's ~ Roseville, MN

My companion ordered the Mushroom Swiss Burger, which was a thick, juicy 1/2 lb patty made of  freshly ground sirloin.  The flavor of this burger was hearty and beefy, even better topped with thick mushrooms and melted Swiss.  The bun wasn’t much of a match for this big burger; it was very light, fresh and lightly toasted.

Mushroom Swiss Burger at Joe Senser's ~ Roseville, MN

Service: It was a very busy weekend evening during my visit, so we were lucky to get a table right away.  We were asked if there was a particular game we wanted to watch so they could seat us accordingly.  Our server was very busy and service was slightly slow, but nothing out of the ordinary for how busy it was.

Overall Impression: Excellent Happy Hour specials and a big selection on the menu.  The vast number of Large Screen TVs, delicious big burgers and many beers to choose from make Joe Senser’s the perfect place to watch any televised sporting event or hang with your buddies after work.

Joe Senser's Sports Grill 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


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.


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 :)


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

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

Oct 262009

Cuisine: American
Restaurant Features: Sports Bar
Location: Duluth, MN
Address: 207 W Superior St, Duluth, MN‎ – (218) 727-7494
Hours: Opens 11am Daily

Links: Website Google Map

Sneakers-outside Atmosphere: Located within the Holiday Inn complex in downtown Duluth, Sneakers Sports Bar can be accessed on the 2nd floor of the adjacent mall area.  Like its name implies, Sneakers is a Sports bar that has tons of local UMD and professional Minnesota sports team memorabilia.  The bar take a main portion of the restaurant space, with bistro tables surrounding it.

Sneakers-inside Menu: Appetizers at Sneakers include Quesadillas, Mozzarella Sticks, Chicken Fingers, Potato Skins, Chicken Wings, Spinach and Artichoke Dip, Super Nachos, Onion Rings and Chili.

Salads offered are Caesar, Buffalo Caesar, Team Captain (chicken breast, egg, bacon, etc), The Driver (ham, turkey, egg, etc) and  Taco Salad.

Sandwiches at Sneaks include Grilled Chicken Breast, French Dip, Fiesta Chicken Pita, Gyro, Ham & Cheese, Turkey Cranberry Panini, Ham and Cheddar Panini, Roast Beef and Gouda Panin, Tuna Melt, Reuben, Chicken Cesar Wrap, BLT Wrap, and Fire Cracker Chicken Wrap.  Burgers are build-your-own.

Entrees include Ribeye Steak, Ground Sirloin topped with Mushrooms and Onions, Fish & Chips, Chicken & Cheese Enchilada, and Chicken Fingers.

Price guide: Appetizers $7-9  Salads $7-9  Sandwiches $8-10  Entrees $9-12

What I ordered: I was in the mood for a sandwich and followed the server’s suggestion of the Roast Beef and Gouda Panini.  While the description sounded good to me, this ended up being a poor choice.  The roast beef tasted like it had been sitting around for way too long, to the point of almost tasting “bad”.  The smoked gouda and horseradish mayo conglomerated into thick globs of tasteless creaminess.  I honestly couldn’t get past more than 2-3 bites and I was starving.  The fries were good and helped ease my hunger.

Sneakers-roastbeefpanini My companion ordered the Ribeye Entree which turned out to be a much better experience than my Panini.  The steak was only 8 oz but was flavorful and somewhat tender.  It came with a side salad that I shared and the fries that were hot and crispy.

Sneakers-steak Service: There was almost no one in the restaurant on this Sunday during lunch time, which I can attribute to the fact that 1. The Vikings were not playing that day, but rather the following evening for Monday night football and 2.  Another of the Holiday Inn restaurants, Porter’s, was also serving their popular Sunday Breakfast.  Our waitress was nice and meant well by giving her suggestion for the sandwich and only charged me half price when she discovered that I did not care for it.  Drinks were sometimes slow to be refilled.

Overall Impression: Avoid the Roast Beef Panini unless you know the meat is fresh.  I am leery to ever go back for the food but it seems like a cool place to have a drink and watch a game.
Sneakers Sports Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Nov 232008

Cuisine : American, Steak, Chops, Ribs, Fish & Seafood
Restaurant Features: Sports Bar, Patio, On-Site Parking, Happy Hour

Locations: Brooklyn Park & Vadnais Heights, MN
Addresses & Maps:

Brooklyn Park– 8078 Brooklyn Blvd. Brooklyn Park, MN 55445 ( 763) 424.9919

Vadnais Heights– 953 County Road E Vadnais Heights, MN 55127 (651) 287.3900

Link: Mad Jack’s Website


Atmosphere: The Vadnais Heights location is just off 35E and Co. Rd E in a large building outside a long strip mall, Festival Foods and Target complex.  The restaurant is divided into two main area, the dining room and the bar area.  There is a nice double-sided fireplace and lounge area between the two dining areas.  The kitchen is also open so you can watch the cooks work their magic.


Here is a peak at the mini lounge area between the main dining room and the bar area.  The bar area is very large and has several tall tables in addition to ample seating at the bar.


One thing that is easy to notice about Mad Jack’s is that there are a LOT of TVs throughout the restaurant.  Each high-backed booth in the dining room also has its own personal TV.


Menu: Appetizers include Sirloin Tips, Coconut Shrimp, Crab Cakes, Jacked Up Nachos, Hash Browns, Filet Tips, ** Spinach Artichoke Dip, **Bruschetta, **Calamari, **Jackadilla, **Szechuan Green Beans, **Wings, **Cornbread, **Chicken Tenders, **Garlic Cheese Bread, **Potato Skins, **Onion Rings, **Cheese Curds, **Chili Cheese Fries, **Sweet Potato Fries, **Homemade Potato Chips, and **Chips and Salsa, and **Flatbread (choice of Margherita, Caprese, Rotisserie Chicken, Sun Dried Pesto, and BBQ Chicken). Appetizers with ** are 1/2 price daily from 3:30-6:30pm and Sun-Thurs 10pm-12am.

Soups include Chicken Wild Rice and Chili.  Salads offered are Jack’s House Salad, Chopped, Buffalo Chicken, Taco, Caesar, Strawberry Feta, Greek, and Thai Chicken Peanut.

Sandwiches offered at Mad Jacks include Philly Beef, Old Fashioned Club, Meatball Sub, BBQ Chicken, Pork Loin, Cuban, Artichoke Chicken, Fish, Veggie, Hawaiian Chicken, Reuben/Rachel, Turkey Melt, and Grilled Ham and Cheese.  Wraps include Asian, Chicken Caesar, Club, or Southwestern.  There are also several specialty burgers.

Handmade Pizzas can be made-to-order, or choose from Garbage Pizza, BBQ Chicken, White Delight, or Mad Meat.

Pastas include Spaghetti & Meatballs, Baked Ziti, Fettuccine Alfredo, Sausage Tortellini, and Tilapia Farfalli.

Entrees offered are Lumberjack Salmon, Chicken Marsala, Shrimp Scampi, Walleye Fillet, Grilled Pork Loin, Fish & Chips, Filet Mignon, New York Strip, Jack Kebabs, Open Faced Chicken, Rack of Lamb, Rotisserie Chicken, Rack of Ribs, and Beef and Broccoli Stir Fry.

Desserts include Creme Brulee, Cheesecake, Apple Crsip A’La Mode, Vanilla Ice Cream, Milkyway Mousse Cake, and Bread Pudding.

There are also a couple of weekly specials: 1/2 price Spaghetti & Meatballs with garlic bread on Wednesdays! ($4.50 for a huge helping!)

Price guide: Appetizers $7-12 Salads $4-10 Burgers & Sandwiches $8-11 Pasta $9-15  Pizza $9+ Entrees $12-22  Desserts $3-8
What we ordered: Since it was Happy Hour, we started with a couple of half-prized appetizers, Calamari and Hot Wings.  The Calamari was a combination of rings and tiny squids, both cooked perfectly so that the breading was crispy with calamari cooked perfectly tender.  Served on the side was a chunky sweet marinara sauce and also spicy mayo, both very good.

The Hot Wings were huge and seemed to be just a little more spicy than other buffalo wings (I like that!), with a fair amount of sauce.  Bleu cheese and celery on the side for dipping.


I had the meatball sub for my entree, which came with homemade potato chips.  The meatball had tender but firm texture, seasoned with pepper, fennel, rosemary, onion.  Very good! The meatballs had a light amount of marinara and then provolone baked over the top, served on a somewhat soft French roll.  It was too huge and messy to eat with my hands, so I cut it into smaller bites and dipped it in a side of marinara.  The potato chips were crispy but I wasn’t very interested in them.

Madjacks-meatballsub1000 One of my companions ordered the Flatbread Caprese Pizza, which consisted of a very thin, flat crust with melted gorgonzola cheese, fresh basil, roma tomato slices, and balsalmic vinegar.  The crust was nice and crispy and the flavor of the ingredients blended together rather well.


Another companion ordered a Mushroom Swiss Burger with French Fries.  The burger patty was quite big, and the bun it came on was thick and substantial.  Fresh mushrooms were sauteed and then swiss melted on top.  The giant portion of homemade fries were fresh-cut of varying sizes and fried to a crispy golden brown.


I chose to go back to Mad Jack’s later the same week as my first visit and ordered The Reuben Sandwich.  The first two bites were awful! The corned beef was very tough and I couldn’t even bite through it.  The server offered another sandwich, but the rest of it was actually pretty good.  I think those first couple of bites of corned beef should have been removed by the cook before it was served, but the rest of it was  tender and flavorful.  The sauerkraut was mixed with the 1000 Island dressing and on the mild side.


Service: The service at Mad Jacks was exceptional.  The servers were very attentive and when our food was ready, it was the cook himself who served it to the table, wanting to know if there was anything else he could do.  The responsibility of serving staff seemed to be somewhat shared, as we seemed well taken care of.
Overall Impression: Thought it was great! The Happy Hour specials are a great deal, the food was quite good, and the service was exceptional.  I’ll be back soon
Mad Jack's Sports Cafe on Urbanspoon

Aug 282008

Cuisine: American,
Restaurant Features: Banquet Room, Bar, Sports Bar, On-Site Parking

Locations: Burnsville,  Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, *Maplewood, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, New Brighton, Richfield, St. Paul, Woodbury
Addresses & Maps:
Burnsville- 1200 W. County Rd. 42 Burnsville, MN 55337 952-898-5050
Eden Prairie8010 Glen Lane Eden Prairie, MN 55344 952-942-3331
Maple Grove– 13521 80th Circle North Maple Grove, MN 55369 763-494-4515
Maplewood-1734 Adolphus St  651-487-5050
Minneapolis– 100 N. 6th St. Minneapolis, MN 55403 612-335-5050
Minnetonka– 641Plymouth Rd. Minnetonka, MN 55305 952-546-3333
New Brighton– 2397 Palmer Dr. New Brighton, MN 55112 651-639-0339
Richfield- 790 W. 66th Street Richfield, MN 55423 612-861-3333
St Paul– 2401 W. 7th St. St Paul, MN 55116 651-698-5050
Woodbury– 8418 Tamarack Village Woodbury, MN 55125 651-735-5050

Links: Champps in Maplewood Champps Corporate Website


Atmosphere: Known primarily as a Sports Bar/Restaurant, Champps in Maplewood has Neon Signs and Memorabilia adorning the Logos of our Minnesota Sports Teams throughout the building.  The main dining area has a mix of round wooden tables and booths.  The building is very large, with a banquet room on the lower level and two large parking lots on either side of the building .


The bar area has a number of tall tables in addition to seating around the bar.  There is also an enclosed patio area with multiple windows that wraps around one side of the building.


Menu: Although Champps is a national chain, each restaurant is individually franchised and has control over their own menu.  Here is a link to the Champps Corporate Menu.  The menu that I am going to review is that of Champps in Maplewood, the site of my review.

Appetizers include Garlic Cheese Bread, Chicken Fingers, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Santa Fe Eggrolls, Buffalo Wings, Asian Pot Stickers, Merlot-Grilled Sirloin, Quesadillas, Nachos, Potato Skins, Mozzarella Sticks, Onion Rings, Cheese Curds, and Waffle Fries.

Champps also has a large selections of salads including Southwestern Chicken Caesar, Caesar, Greek Chicken, Cobb, Buffalo Chicken, Oriental Chicken, Crispy Chicken Tender, Bleu Steak, Chopped, Taco Salad and Pasta Salad.  Soups offered are French Onion Au Gratin, Chicken Noodle and Soup du Jour.

Sandwiches at Champps are served with choice of chips, potato salad, cole slaw or cottage cheese.  Selections include the Mediterranean Tuna Melt, Mile High Turkey, Chicken Cyn, Gyro, Adobe Turkey, Muffaletta Hoagie, Buffalo Chicken, BBQ Pulled Prk, Spinach and Artichoke Chicken, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Champps Clubhouse, Hawaiian Chicken, 3-Cheese Chicken, Reuben/Rachel, Grilled Cheese, Cajun Chicken, French Dip, Walleye, Turkey Bacon Ranch, Buffalo Chicken Wrap, Ranch Chicken Wrap, Club Wrap, Southwestern Chicken Wrap, Philly Cheesesteak Wrap, and the Texas Fajita Wrap.  There are also a large selection of Specialty Burgers.

Specialty Pizzas that are offered are Margherita, Spinach Artichoke and Pepperoni, and Meat Lovers.  You can also build-your-own pizza.

Pasta Specialties are the Fettuccine Alfredo, Cajun Chicken Fettuccinne, Baked Mostacioli, Roasted Artichoke and Grilled Chicken Penne, Spaghetti and Meatballs, and Jambalaya.

Entrees include the BBQ Rib Platter, Lemon Pepper Walleye, Grilled Fajitas, Kung Pao Chicken, Fish & Chips, and Sirloin Steak.

Desserts include Cookie Espresso Sundae, Brownie Sundae, New York Cheesecake with Berries, Hot Fudge Sundae and Chocolate Cake.

Price guide: Appetizers $6-10  Salads $9-12  Sandwiches $7-9  Pastas $11-15 Entrees $12-19
What I ordered: I ordered the Taco Salad, which came in a fresh, crispy tortilla bowl.  The bowl itself was on the small side, and was packed full of lettuce, seasoned ground beef, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions and fresh jalapeños, with sour cream and salsa on the side.  It was so packed full of ingredients that there wasn’t enough room for me to mix the salad, but I thought it was really good.


One of my companions ordered the sandwich/soup combo, a Grilled Cheese with potato salad and side Caesar salad that they happily substituted for the soup. The bread was thick and buttery, grilled to a nice golden brown.  The salad was a generous portion for a side salad.


Another companion ordered sandwich/salad combo with Grilled Turkey, Potato Chips, and Garden Salad.  The chips they serve are of the kettle variety; crunchy and salty.


Another companion ordered a BLT with Waffle Fries and Seasoned Sour Cream.  The BLT isn’t actually on the menu, but the restaurant was more than willing to accommodate the request since they had the necessary ingredients.


Service: My party arrived at the beginning of the lunch hour, immediately after the restaurant opened and we were seated promptly at our choice of table.  The staff was friendly and more than willing to accommodate a couple of minor changes to the menu, such as substituting a side salad for soup in the sandwich/soup combo, and making a BLT which was not on the menu at all.
Overall Impression: Decent food with huge portions for the price.  Service is prompt and friendly, great place to watch any of our local sports games.
Champps on Urbanspoon

May 042007

Cuisine: American, Burgers, Pasta, Pizza

Restaurant Features: Banquet Rooms, Bar, Flat Screen TVs, Games, Happy Hour, On-Site Parking, Sports bar

Location: Vadnais Heights, MN

Address: 1132 County Road E E, St Paul, MN (651) 482-1100

Hours: Drink:  10AM – 1AM (Everyday)  Food:  10AM – 12 Midnight (Everyday)

Links: *Jimmy’s Website * Jimmy’s Facebook PageGoogle Map











































Atmosphere: There are actually three main parts to Jimmy’s: The Restaurant, the Bar, and the Banquet Center.  The restaurant itself is  smoke-free area with several booths and wooden tables, with several large flat-paneled TVs on the walls tuned in to various sports programming.  The large bar area is a very popular happy-hour hangout, with pool tables, dart boards, pull-tabs and other video games.  The banquet area accommodates up to 500 people and is available for wedding reception, conferences, etc.












































Menu: Jimmy’s has a large selection of Appetizers including 13 flavors of chicken wings, Southwest Spring Rolls, Italian Dunkers, Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Walleye Fingers (beer-battered or Cajun), Coconut Chicken Fingers, and Quesadillas.  Check out the happy hour specials.

Sandwich selections include BBQ Pork sandwich, Chicken Caesar Wrap, Beefeater, French Dip, Monte Cristo, California Chicken, and Walleye.  There are also nearly 15 varieties of burgers.

Dinner entrees include Walleye prepared 5 different ways, Batter Fried Chicken, Champagne Chicken, Lasagna, Alfredo,  Seafood Linguine, Lasagna, Spaghetti, Battered Shrimp, Grilled Pork Chops, New York Steak and Baby Back Ribs.  Jimmy’s also has a selection of thin crust pizzas.

Price guide: Appetizers $6-9  Sandwiches $7-10 (fries $1.50 extra) Burgers $6-8  Entrees $12-19




















What I ordered: My companion and I took advantage of Jimmy’s Happy House appetizer specials.  One thing we tried were the Cajun walleye fingers.  I’ve had the regular walleye fingers several times, but this was the first time I tried them Cajun-style.  I enjoyed the additional spiciness combined with the crispy batter and fresh tartar sauce.









































We also wanted wings but I was debating whether I wanted the delicious teriyaki wings that I’ve had before or if I would try the spicy sesame.  The waiter recommended the sesame, so we tried those.  They were not at all what I expected, which was something more “Asian” inspired.  The “spice” in these wings tasted very much like their buffalo sauce, which I don’t particularly care for, topped with sesame seeds.  Won’t be ordering this flavor again, I will stick to the sweet, rich teriyaki.





















Our other companion ordered the grilled chicken breast sandwich, served with honey mustard dressing and thought it was pretty good.
























Service: Friendly, prompt.  There are usually free games going on for discounts on food or drink.


Overall Impression: Good happy hour specials, good place to meet with friends for happy hour or to shoot a game of pool.

Jimmy's Food & Drink on Urbanspoon