Sunday, August 30, 2015

Pannekoeken Huis--Minneapolis, MN

Our visit to Pannekoeken Huis earlier this month was largely a walk down Memory Lane for me. There were a bunch of Pannekoeken locations back when I was growing up more than thirty years ago. Now it appears there's just one.
Strawberry Pannekoeken
The important things haven't changed, though. The pannekoekens are just as fluffy and eggy as ever and, this is important, the server announces (more like sings) the delivery of the pannekoeken when it arrives the table with a enthusiastic "Pannekoeken!" I told our server the pronouncement reminded me of my childhood, she said it was her favorite part of working at Pannekoeken Huis. How can you not love that enthusiasm?
Walleye BLT

Wanting to eat like a local, Jenny got a walleye BLT, which I thought was delicious. While the walleye is the Minnesota state fish and Minnesotans love their walleyes, keep in mind that, by law, commercial walleye fishing is banned in Minnesota. Instead, the commercial walleye stock comes from Canada.
Dutch Dip

Wanting to bring some more protein to the table, we shared a mettwurst, a thick sausage with German origins. I'm not quite sure why it's at a Dutch restaurant. Perhaps it's a Minnesota thing connected with the state's heavily German roots? It doesn't matter: The side dish was delicious and there's no way you'd get this much meat for six bucks here in California.

Pannekoeken Huis

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Brasa Rotisserie--Minneapolis, MN

Gumbo Fried Rice
We enjoyed a wonderful lunch at Brasa Rotisserie in Minneapolis about a week ago. The collard greens were as delicious as I'd ever had, cooked in and served with chicken broth. As for the plantains? Think of extracting the flavor of a dozen bananas and condensing it into a bite-sized oval. That's what you'd get at Brasa. By the way, the plantains order pictured here is a "small", which seemed large. As for the kale, on the other hand, we had a medium, which seemed small.

Everyone at the table who tried it really liked the Gumbo Fried Rice and it was delicious! The shrimp was every bit as succulent as the photo (top) shows. It was a little spicy, but not something a ten-year old can't handle. The rotisserie chicken we felt compelled to get because, well, it's Brasa Rotisserie after all. It met all the expectations you'd have of a rotisserie chicken (juicy, tender) but in my mind what set it apart was the the crisp, flavorful skin

I didn't notice until Jenny pointed it out, but we were actually eating in a garage with the doors open. I don't know how they pull this off during the brutal winters, but what a great environment it is during the summer!

The prompt, cheerful service made the experience all the more enjoyable.

Brasa Rotisserie

Thursday, August 13, 2015

BLVD Kitchen and Bar--Minnetonka, MN

Last night Jenny and I celebrated our anniversary on vacation for the fourth consecutive year. And, the dinner was probably the best of the bunch.

Jenny had a salmon salad and especially appreciated the flavorful heirloom tomatoes. Wood fired ovens grilled the salmon. Tyler, already having expensive taste at a mere ten years old, had the lobster mac and cheese. It was loaded, I mean loaded, with lobster. I thought it a little rich for my taste, but Jenny and Tyler agreed that the creaminess was just right.

Jambalaya at BLVD Kitchen and Bar
I've had many jambalayas in my life--including during my first ever date with Jenny, in fact--but I have to say on its own last night's was the best. Loaded with mussels, prawns and shrimp, the dish came with pillowy soft rice. The level of spiciness was perfect--as if the chef knew me personally (he doesn't, of course).

Chicken tenders off the kids' menu at BLVD Kitchen and Bar

The service was impeccable. The staff constantly refreshed plates and silverware and made sure the glasses were topped off. Our server memorized six entrees and two appetizers--no mean feat! He was personable, too.

BLVD Kitchen and Bar
Minnetonka, MN

Calamari appetizer at BLVD Kitchen and Bar

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company -- Half Moon Bay, CA

Half Moon Bay Louie with bay shrimp and crab. This full portion went for $10.75

Last weekend we went to Half Moon Bay to meet Jenny's brother and his family. Afterwards, we went to the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company. Though we got there a bit before six, the restaurant was packed and their parking lot full. Be sure to make a reservation, even if on a Sunday night.

One other piece of advice: If you have kids with you, get the fish and chips off the kids' menu. You won't believe the deal: Six dollars buys you the same fish and chips as on the adult's menu which goes for $15.75. The ONLY difference between the two is the kids' dish comes with two pieces of fish while the adult version comes with three. The "fish" in the fish and chips is pollock.

Jenny had the seafood fajitas, which came loaded with shrimp and fish--far more than needed to fill the tortillas.

I had the Dungeness crab roll. There was plenty of delicious crab and the bread super-soft. I'm just not used to paying $22 for a sandwich.

About a month earlier, we ate a delicious brunch at Flavor. Half Moon Bay Brewing Company serves up equally good food and is a little noisier but perhaps a bit more cheerful, too. You won't go wrong with either restaurant.