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Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Bombay Bistro Food Review

I've almost tried every Indian restaurant in the Twin Cities area or at least it feels like I have This time my boyfriend was craving Indian buffet. Yes, we are fat!

Bombay Bistro was our destination this time. They offer free parking during dinner and weekends if you hate paying for parking like I do. There was good variety of North and South Indian cuisine. We arrived there promptly at 12 pm and not everything was set out yet, but it was nice and fresh. I think is one of the largest Indian buffets that I've been to in this area.

They also had two sides: one of vegetarian dishes and the other for meat entrees as well. There's something for everyone there, and it was reasonably priced.

Have you been to Bombay Bistro before? Any favorite dishes?

Monday, December 15, 2014

Downtown Philadelphia Restaurants Review

I haven't been on the East Coast in a long time. Luckily, I had some PTO days to use or lose, and a sister who travels for work.

I tagged along for my sister's business trip to Philadelphia for a conference. It was a business growth opportunity and a chance to travel. Finding a cheap flight was more difficult than expected. The cheapest flight I got was to Trenton-Mercer airport in New Jersey which was $144.00 which didn't include the price of $30 for a carry-on item and $25 for a check-in bag including only one personal item. This would then involve a Uber taxi ride from the airport to Trenton Transit Center for about $20. Since, it was a weekend the Septa train was $9 to Center City. Once making one of the last stops in Center City it was one block walk to my destination at Philadelphia DT Marriot.

So far still cheaper than a $500 flight from MSP to PHL. However, it is more time consuming and inconvenient.

First night, we ate at a delicious place called Original Dim Sum Garden.
We ate light Queens. Stuffing our faces with seaweed salad, scallions pancakes, shredded pork cabbage and noddles, hot and spicy soup, and chicken dumplings. We ate our dishes with their dumpling sauce and tried their ginger sauce as well. The dumpling sauce was good and sweet; however, the ginger sauce was too sour for our liking. We both typically do enjoy more sour sauces and flavors.

The seaweed salad, scallions pancakes, and chicken dumplings were very good. However, the hot and spicy soup was very bland. I wasn't a big fan of the shredded pork and cabbage and noodles. It didn't have much meat in it more my liking, but the flavor was good. This was the best place we ate at during our stay. It was also very reasonably priced.

Hot and Sour Soup, Chicken Dumplings, Scallion Pancakes, and Shredded Pork Noodles

Whenever, I travel I like to do some of the typically touristy things such as visiting the Liberty Bell, Brotherly Love sculpture, and eating a Philly Cheese sandwich.

In picking a place to try our sandwich, we went with proximity. We ordered The Works at Campo's Deli. It was disappointing and no different from anything you'd find in the Midwest. I thought perhaps they cooked the meat differently, and it was more tender. But I could have just been looking for some sort of positive of us walking in the cold and myself with a torn ligament for this sandwich.

The Works Philly Cheesesteak
However, there was a perk to our walk for an "authentic" Philly Cheesesteak. We stopped in for some warmth and hot cider at an adorable coffee shop called Menageri Coffee.

Later that night, we ate at a restaurant super close to our hotel, Hard Rock Cafe. Nothing too exciting there, since you can find that in pretty much in every big city in the US. Although, I do regret not trying the Salted Caramel Cafe drink. It looked delicious!

The following night, since I want to try somewhere different we went to Vietnam Palace even though my sister had wanted Thai, but suggested this Vietnamese restaurant. She's my point.

Not gonna was kinda disappointing especially, since we had our mind on Thai food. We ordered the papaya salad with beef jerky, beef pho, and salt and pepper seafood. I think I was most disappointed with the papaya salad since I'm used to Thai/Lao style papaya salad. Also, I wished the beef jerky was in bigger pieces, but the basil on top was a nice touch. The portion of the salt and pepper seafood was smaller than we would have liked, and we had to order rice separate. They were generous enough to bring us some complimentary Hot Tea though. Overall, it was a decent place, but compared to the Original Dim Sum Garden it was lacking.

Papaya Salad with Beef Jerky

Have you been to Philadelphia? What are some of the must try restaurants in the Downtown area?

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Quantum Riveting Red Color Replenishing Shampoo and Conditioner

As mentioned in an earlier post, my hair stylist suggested I get shampoo with red in it.

I went to Sally Beauty Supply, and the only option they had was Quantum Riveting Reds Color Replenishing Shampoo . Since, it was reasonably priced and the ONLY option I went with it.

So far...I'm not in love...I hate the texture since it doesn't lather and smells weird. It also gets red every where. I can't say it does the trick as I do use other shampoos as well, but week 2 of getting my hair dyed the color is still fairly vibrant. We'll see how if fairs after a month or 3...

Have you dyed your hair red before or any color? What types of shampoo or conditioner did you use?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ghost Oil Hair Product Review

WTF is ghost oil? Does it keep the evil spirits away? Not exactly...

I was first introduced to this product when I dyed my hair earlier this month and the hairstylist used it in my hair. It was super light and smelled amazing.

"Ghost oil is a weightless blend of argan + moringa oils. It's a vanishing daily restorative that revitalizes and repairs the hair. The integrated blend of oils enriches the hair shaft with essential nutrients that naturally smooth frizz and promote radiant shine for all hair types."

The weightlessness of it is where the name comes from. On top of it giving you healthier and shinier hair. It smells amazing.

I don't use this product every day, but I think it does everything that is advertise. I think it's worth purchasing if you want smoother and shinier hair.

Let me know if you've tried this before and what you think about it. Do you have any other hair product suggestions?

Monday, November 17, 2014

2014 Iron Fork

This is a foodie's dream! It was a fundraising event to feed the hungry and all proceeds went towards the cause.

I kept on telling my boyfriend how happy I was. I mean what was their not to love. You walk around sample food and booze?! Plus as Chopped fanatics there's a chef and bartender competition?

We got there super early, because I thought they were starting the competitions immediately, and we were able to try the different foods and drinks that the competitors would created. WRONG! Also for general admission there was no seating. So I worried some giant (or average-sized person) would be standing in front of this shorty (I'm barely 5'1'').

There was about 26 different venders there:
-A Cupcake Social & Pipeline Cookie Company
-Ames Farm Limited
-Mattie's On Main
-Caves of Faribault
-Erte & The Peacock Lounge
-Rusty Taco
-Sea Salt Eatery
-Tiny Diner
-The Third Bird
-Lunds and Byerly's
-Yum! Kitchen & Bakery
-Barrel Butter
-Pizza Luce
-B.T. McElrath Chocolatier
-Signature Cafe
-Pour Wine Bar & Bistro
-And more.

You were able to walk around and try decent sized samples for the various venders. It was a fun and exhausting event. I think the least fun was the actual competition. It seemed to take forever. I also don't think the MCs were that great as they were not knowledgable on bar-tending or cooking.

It was still a fun event though, although our feet killed from lack of seating. We were also super thirsty since the cash bar line was super long.

I'd definitely go again next year with more comfortable shoes and a water bottle in my purse. Also, we won a $150 gift basket and a $10 gift card to Lunds. Nothing wrong with that!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Red Hair. Don't Care.

I love red hair, and I've been thinking about dying my hair for years.

I finally took the plunge at Stellar Hair Co.  As a faithful and loyal patron of Star Sisters from Eau Claire, WI finding a new salon to be loyal to has been an anxious feat. I googled "hair dye in Minneapolis" and Stella Hair Co. popped up first on the search. They received 4 out of 5 stars and rave reviews. It's also super close to my place which was another plus. Salon decision made. Thanks Google!

I had three different hair colors in mind.

I'm Asian and of course have super dark brown, thick and long hair which is harder to dye from my understanding. I needed to go for a consultation to see just how much this is going to cost me. The Stellar Hair Co. website was easy to navigate and see the general pricing. It was also super easy to schedule a consultation.

I had no clue which stylist to meet with but I figured those with dyed hair should know how to dye hair right? I chose Petra for my hair consultation. She was nice and enthusiastic about my hair dye and called Katie (the owner) to talk things through. They calmed my nervousness about the change, but when it came to booking an appointment Petra was booked for 3 weeks (well for the times I was available). I couldn't wait. I had an idea in my head and wanted to execute immediately. She understood and set me up with Alaina. The time worked with me.

In retrospect, I would have preferred not to go with Alaina. She did a good enough job, but she had only been working at Stella Hair Co. for about a month. Also she was specialized on men's hair.

When I met with her I told her I was contemplating the last two hair colors. We decided to go with a shade in between the two copper reds. This was exactly what I wanted. I didn't want anything too bold and loud as the second image, but I thought the last image was too safe and normal. As most hair stylist, she was nice and friendly. However, this being my first time fully dying my hair I wish she would have walked me through the process more. For example, I had no clue my scalp would itch so much. It was pretty bad, and I was ready to just stop the whole process and rinse my hair off. But, I suffered through silently. Also, she should have told me all the chemicals she used for the dye. Luckily she said she used some sort of protein nutrient which would help combat the dye and provide my hair some nutrients.

Also, she got some dye on my white sweater. I know bad move on my behalf on wearing white but still. It would have been nice to know so we could have washed it immediately. Luckily, when I got home I washed it out immediately, and it came out easily. However, I think she was gave good advice for getting a shampoo and condition which had red in it. This would help the red color stay in my hair longer as she informed me that red was one of the colors that faded the fastest. She also used this awesome ghost oil in my hair which I immediately ordered within the next few days. I liked that she didn't try to push of their products on to me to purchase.

I regret giving her 20% though. If I had known she got dye on my hair,  I wouldn't have given her that much.

I think I'd give this place another chance, but I'm not going to go to Alaina again.

Below is my red copper hair. It's a more subtle color so it's harder to tell. I like it, but I'm not in love with it.

Do you have a favorite stylist or salon in the Twin Cities? Please share in the comment section.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Meatloaf Zombie

We just had our pre-Halloween party this past weekend. and we wanted everything to be ghoulish and creepy.

We created the dead body set up for our eating table. The top of the head of course was the Meatloaf Zombie.

Since, it was going to be about 20-40 people there, and the party was between 7 pm and 12 am. I made two Meatloaf Zombies to switch out. This was only my second attempt at making meatloaf, and I thought it turned out delicious and juicy.

I bought about 3 lbs of ground meat which was 93% lean.
I mixed in with the ground beef:
-2 eggs
-1 1/2 chopped onion (saved the other half for teeth and eyes)
- 2 cups of almond milk
- 2 cups of crumbled stuffing mix
- 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 4 tablespoons of mustard
- 2/3 cup of ketchup
-salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste

After mixing all the ingredients shape your meatloaf (split in half) into a skull shape. Leave indentations for your meatloaf for the eyes and teeth. Layer the bacon on the top, and bake the meatloaf at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes. Then once completed top with ketchup. The indentations you create for the eyes and mouth will gather pools of oil/juices. Siphon the juice out and place the onions in 5 minutes before taking the meatloaf out of the oven.

Zombie meatloaf before baking

Let me know how it turns out, and any if you tried anything different.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Soap Factory Haunted Basement Review

***Spoiler Alert***

I had been greatly anticipating this event to be the scariest Haunted House I will ever experience in my lifetime, and because I had such high hopes it left me pretty disappointed. Although I enjoyed the theme and concept of the The Soap Factory, it was definitely something different than the typical Haunted Houses, I was severely lacking on the surprise or being startled portion of Haunted Houses.

We just went to The Soap Factory Haunted Basement this past weekend. It was a group of four of us, but we got split up to the couples.

Everyone entering had to wear a face mask. They spaced it out where it was just the two of us, and there was a "creature" which lead us to a direction for a moment and then they left us to wander on our own. It was super dark and an awesome experience to move the sheets and anxiously anticipating what we would stumble upon with each sheet. However, we ran into other groups/people who were ahead of us and heard them being scared/screaming before we were scared. Also, I made the mistake of pointing out all the creatures that were going to jump out at us to my BF instead of letting them jump out at him and scaring him. I'm pretty much the worst person to go through a haunted house with. There was one time that I was startled by an actor that grabbed at my foot, but I wasn't frightened more so pleasantly surprised that I was actually surprised once.

All the actors did a great job, and I appreciated their effort. There was one demon creature who made an awesome vampire/demon sound and looked super creepy that may haunt my nightmares, but other than that it was pretty not scary.

They tried to separate us a few times, but I didn't allow it and just held on to my boyfriend's hand tighter, but eventually I  just let them separate us as one person tried to shove him into a box. Then I ran into him again and had to ask "Are you my boyfriend?" since it was dark and as mentioned earlier we were wearing masks. Then another attempt to separate us. They took him into a pitch black room and apparently just made a lot of noise. I was hoping that would scare him, but he wasn't or so he said. I just waited patiently by the door for him to exit. When we tried to enter they would just slam the door on us. We also ran into the other couple who was at the event. I think what made the event lacking in the scare factor was all of the people what was in our time slot. It was too crowded, which resulted in bad timing. Others ahead of us where scared which made everything predictable.

Even though, it wasn't as scary as I had anticipated. I think it's definitely an event to experience at least once. I'd actually give this another chance having experienced it once. I'm excited to see what they will come up with for next year's Halloween, and I might even be so bold as to let us get separated.

Mask from Haunted Basement
Let me know if you've gone before and what your thoughts are. How does it compare to this year's theme?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Gandhi Mahal Restaurant Review

We went to Gandhi Mahal last night for the BF's birthday dinner.

It was a decent meal, but it was probably one of my least favorite Indian restaurant in the Twin Cities that I've experienced so far. Everything was just very mediocre and decent.

We ordered the Masu Karma Platter for two. We both received our own platter which was nice, since my BF prefers his food a little spicier. It was supposed to come with the following: vegetable pakora, aloo pakora, papadam with chutney, lamb curry, chicken korma, basmati rice, and raita yogurt sauce. We also received a rice pudding for dessert. It was different from what was actually listed on the menu, but it was a good ending dessert as we were already fairly full.

We actually got the papadam with chutney, before we even ordered and didn't get any additional.

I don't think I'd try this place again, but if someone else suggested it I wouldn't be completely opposed to it though. I liked the overall atmosphere of the place, and I thought the customer service was again...sticking to the theme...decent.

I prefer Copper Pot and Indian House to Gandhi Mahal for good Indian cuisine though.

Inside of Gandhi Mahal

Masu Karma Platter

Rice Pudding Dessert

Friday, October 10, 2014

Smash Burgers Review

I know it seems a bit strange for me to be reviewing a fast food franchise such as Smash Burgers, but it was my first time trying Smash Burgers. My BF and I have been eating more "clean," low-carb meals and detox smoothies for dinner.

It's been tough, but we've been managing. Him better than me of course. Yesterday, we were both famished after work I was exclaiming how I could go for a big fat greasy juicy burger. We decided on Smash Burgers for our cheat meal. I ordered the Truffle Mushroom Swiss burger. I though the burger was better than Five Guys. It was seasoned a lot better. The patty was thinner though, but it was still nice and juicy.

I also loved the variety of burgers and sides that they had. If I had to choose between Five Guys and Smash Burgers, I'd pick Smash Burgers. However, I might have to revisit this when I haven't been eating so "clean". I might have a change of heart.

What are some of your favorite burger joints?

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Grumpy's Bar and Grill Review

Last minute impulse stop at Grumpy's.

I've always wanted to try this place. It was pretty much as expected. If you are a huge football fan, I think this would be a great stop for you. There's TVs at every angle, and you will be able to watch any game you'd like.

They also had a $4 bloody mary bar, which I didn't take advantage of, but was glad to see the option.

In regards to their food, it was pretty mediocre and basic. It's nothing worth bragging about. We went there on a Sunday during brunch time. Tosh ordered the biggest breakfast with jalapeno bacon, and I ordered biscuit and gravy.

Let me know what you've had here and what you'd suggest if I make another visit here. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

New Bohemia 2nd Annual Oktoberfest

I've always heard about Oktoberfest and have always wanted to attend an event despite the fact that I'm not a huge beer drinker.

However, my BF is a big fan of beer. I got us tickets off of Living Social for the New Bohemia 2nd Annual Oktoberfest for $30 each. It included all you can drink beer and a $20 credit for Uber for safe transportation to and from the event.

I would definitely not go to the event again. When we entered they put a wrist band on us. However, we were not allowed to leave the event. The food options were limited and as usual over-priced. There were only porter potties available. There were long waits for everything. This wouldn't have been a big issue if we were allowed to leave and come back to the event, we had already paid and their actually restaurant was just a few feet away. It would have been nice to be able to go to the event and go use the bathroom in the restaurant or if they provided water as well. The no entry was complete crap.

They also had other activities there such as life-size jenga, bean bag toss, and keg bowl. Most of the events were too crowded and busy to even play. There were about 12 different kinds of beer on tap. If you are a beer lover and could drink your money's worth in beer. It could have possibly been fun for you. There was also a decent DJ at the event. The event also lasted for a long time from 12 pm to 12 am on Saturday.

Overall, I was too sober and uncomfortable from the event. However, I was pretty impressed and amazed with UBER cab.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

PedalPub Review

Last Friday was my second time on the PedalPub. When the boss announced we would be having lunch and then doing PedalPub in the DT Minneapolis area for a company event, I admittedly was not thrilled. The first time I experienced PedalPub was with my job prior to this one, and it was not fun. I felt like I was too short to pedal and like I was going to fall off the PedalPub and die. Not a fun feeling, when you also have people accusing you of lying for being too short to pedal.

However, the second time around. I had a blast! It really is about who you are with. I really enjoy my current company, and my coworkers. We had a smaller group, and my concern for the last time I did the PedalPub of being too short was not an issue. The driver told us how to adjust our seats, but luckily I was able to be bartender again and not pedal. A bartender is necessary as the driver is not allowed to touch any alcohol or hand out drinks.

It was a great experience for us all. We were able to explore different bars in the Northeast Minneapolis area such as: Nye's Polonaise Room and Otter Saloon. My negative perspective on PedalPub has changed. Although, it really is a lot of work especially after you've had a few. I think it's more fun for a company event than for a social event.

Bar tending for PedalPub

Let me know if you've done PedalPub before and what your thoughts on it are.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Black Forest Inn Minneapolis Restaurant Review

Looking for a romantic restaurant to celebrate an anniversary or for date night?

Black Forest Inn was listed as #9 according to CityPages. The BF and I went there this past Saturday night, since our reservations for UNION rooftop fell through. Even though I booked our reservation a month in advance. They called me two weeks before my reservation that a private party had booked the Rooftop, and that their first floor was available. Pass. I didn't book a month in advance to settle for over-priced mediocre food, it was for the rooftop atmosphere.

Black Forest Inn was not a great third choice. My second choice was actually Forepaugh's despite the rumored ghosts. However, since I only had two weeks for reservations...they had zero openings for the date and time I wanted.

I have heard good things about Black Forest Inn, and they didn't seem too pricey so I thought I'd give that a chance even though it was located in/near Uptown Minneapolis which I dread...due to parking. Black Forest Inn does have a small parking lot located behind/on the side of the restaurant, but it was filled by the time we arrived resulting in a two block walk.

I had made reservations, but it wasn't necessary. Anyone would have been able to stop in without reservations on that night. We walked in...and were immediately underwhelmed. The place seemed run down. The hostess asked if we would like to sit outside since it was more romantic and pretty with the outdoor lights and fountain. Tosh thought it would be better scenery...I hesitated being in a thin dress on that crisp Autumn night.

Black Forest Inn outside seating was more romantic, despite the fact that it was raining which caused a weird dragging sound above our heads, and one near us was talking about how she saw a "cute" mouse running around. I can see the appeal for a nice warm Summer night.

Outdoor seating Black Forest Inn
For an appetizer we ordered, two potato pancakes. It was delicious, and I would highly suggest it. We both enjoyed it and immediately inhaled both pieces. "This pancake is made with grated potatoes, parsley, onion and bread crumbs. It's kinda crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle."The potato pancakes came with some applesauce as well. I'm not sure if it was because I was hungry or haven't had applesauce in a long time, but it tasted like the best applesauce of my life!

Potato Pancakes
For our main course, we decided to split their Saturday special. Veal Cordon Bleu, tender slices of breaded veal wrapped around ham and Swiss cheese and gently sauteed to order. Served with a tossed green salad. It was a good portion size to split between the both of us. I ordered this, because I shamelessly love veal. However, this dish made me rethink why I loved veal. I think what ruined this dish for me was that the combined delicious veal with Swiss cheese and ham. It wasn't a great combination, but the breading on the veal was delicious.

To wrap things up, we ended the night with dessert. The server suggested the black forest torte. Their version of "Schwartzwalder Kirschtorte is four layers of chocolate cake with cream cheese filling & kirsch-flavored cherries between the layers, topped with fresh whipped cream." It was almost amazing, but yet again it was a strange combination. Everything about the torte was amazing except for the kirsch-flavored cherries which tasted too sour and tart.

I'm not entirely sure if I would actively go to this restaurant again, but if it was a spur of the moment choice on a warm Summer night, I'd definitely give this place another chance.

Do you have any favorite romantic restaurants in the Twin Cities area that you enjoy? Please share.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Sarnas Classic Grill Review

I have no clue how we always end up at Sarnas when we are celebrating. I spent my first birthday with Tosh here, and we also ended up coming here for Tosh's celebration on his new job. I supposed both of those events took place on a Monday. That could have possibly played a role on the decision to dine here, in addition to the location in proximity to my place. 

I don't find the food to be particularly amazing, but they do have great drink specials, and Monday Bingo for $1. It's reasonably price for the food for the most part.

The first time I was there, I had their, Alaskan Fish & Chips, Alaskan Pollock filets in a tempura batter, deep fried golden brown. Served with fries and tartar sauce. I was unimpressed with the batter. It was a bit overcooked cooked, brown and too crunchy.

This time around, Tosh's stomach was a bit uneasy from his previous meal. He decided to stick to good old comfort food: Chicken Pot Pie, a creamy layer of mashed potatoes, herbed chicken, vegetables & gravy topped with a puff pastry crust. It was actually the best chicken pot pie I have ever had. It's highly recommended. The puff pastry crust is delicious!!!

I attempted to stay a bit healthier with their Caprese Chicken, grilled chicken topped with fresh mozzarella, basil, tomato & balsamic vinaigrette on a ciabatta bun. Again, I was unimpressed. The chicken didn't seem to be cooked thoroughly, and I apparently hate ciabatta bun for bread. This is of no fault of anyone's than my own. Luckily, I was able to eat some of Tosh's meal, and we did order some appetizers as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bawarchi Biryan Point Restaurant Review

It's amazing how much Indian restaurants I've been eating at lately.

You'd think I'd be an expert now, but not even close. However, I am beginning to recognize the dishes that I enjoy. It seems that biryani is always different though at different restaurants.

We checked a new Indian restaurant called Bawarchi Biryani in Plymouth.

Like usually, the appetizer was delicious and a tad bit spicy. It was enough to get my nose running. We ordered the Bawarchi 999. It was probably my favorite item out of what we ordered. I also ordered an Indian beer called King Fisher. It was similar to the American light beers like a Coors and Grain Belt taste to it.

For our entrees we ordered gongura chicken with naan and chicken biryani. In my opinion, the gongura was the worst Indian dish I've had. The gongura chicken was too sour for my taste. It didn't seem like that large of an amount, but I had zero desire to finish it. Gongura is a dish that is typically found in the Southern part of Indian and especially from my BF's area, Vijayawada, which is unfortunate that I didn't enjoy the dish. The biryani was decent although, I thought it lacked flavor.

Bawarchi 999

Gongura Chicken with naan

Biryani Chicken
Have you been here before? What dishes have you tried? Any favorite Indian restaurants in the Twin Cities area?

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Rosa Mexicano Restaurant Review

We went to Rosa Mexicano for my friend's birthday dinner. It was a great location and a fun environment with outside seating.

However, in regards to the food. It was the equivalent to generic cafeteria food. I ordered the chicken enchiladas with rancheros sauce. It just tasted like tomato soup thrown on top of a soft shell taco. It came out a bit cold as well. My friend ordered the carne asada which she thought was too salty and flavorful.

Chicken Enchiladas with rancheras

The alcoholic beverages were small and over-priced as expected for a Downtown Minneapolis locaton. The server also asked us if we would like some guacamole (for 5) with the complimentary chips and salsa. We all agreed guacamole sounded like a good idea until we saw the bill. It was $25 for guacamole, and it wasn't even that much guacamole. It was about two avocados, some tomatoes, onion, lime juice, and some salt. Super over-price. However, they were fairly accommodating with our special requests in food as well as when we were dissatisfied with the price of the guacamole they did change the price to a half order. 

Overall I'm glad we gave it a try, but I wouldn't go there again and would not suggest anyone to go there. If you are craving Mexican food in the Downtown area...Barrios might be a better option.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Dixie's On Grand St Paul

If you are looking for Southern Cuisine keep on looking, because Dixie's is not it.

I've been eagerly searching for fried green tomatoes for two reasons. One, loooooove the movie "Fried Green Tomatoes" and two, my sister and brother-in-law were raving about how good it was at the MN state fair. Their fried green tomatoes at Dixie's left my friend and I quite underwhelmed. The breading on the fried green tomatoes was a weird grainy texture.

Fried Tomatoes
We had a wobbly table and the atmosphere was quite loud, despite it being a Wednesday night at 6 pm. It was awkward eating with our wobbly table and leaning in to hear what the other was saying trying to hear over the noise of other loud patrons.

I ordered the shrimp po' boy, and although it wasn't horrible. It was definitely the worst po' boy I've had. And that's just in the mid-west. I can't even imagine how it would compare to true southern cuisine. All in wouldn't be missing much if you haven't been here before. I can see why people would come here to get loud and rowdy on a late Saturday night though. If that's not your scene keep on walking...

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Jasla Indian FastFood Review

Jasla Indian FastFood is actually one of my favorite places to grab some Indian cuisine. It seems like we eat more diverse Indian cuisine here, but my BF doesn't like the price of it since it's more of a hole in the wall joint with similar prices to Copper Pot in DT Minneapolis.

Dahi Puri

Paani Puri

Butter Chicken and Naan

The dahi puri is freaking amazing. I'm so in love with it. We order it every time we go there. The first time and last time for me to try paani puri. It's a weird hard dough ball that you break open and pour some strange pea soup looking thing into it. It's messy and not great. It's also pretty bland and sour.

I do like their butter chicken and naan. I can't compare the butter chicken to any I've had any where else though. This place is for me, but that might be because of how close it is to my house. I think it's worth giving a try at least once and multiple visits for their dahi puri. I'm in love!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

MACS: Macaroni & Cheese Shop Review

While on our trip in Wisconsin Dells, my BF and I stumbled upon this delicious casual dining restaurant  MACS: Macaroni & Cheese Shop.Thankfully, they served some beer as we were looking for some good food and drinks.

I was skeptical of the regular size but got it anyways and ordered the bigger size for the BF. He ordered the Chicken Bacon Ranch and I ordered the Buffalo Chicken Mac. Both of these dishes were delicious and filling. They had great customer service, and it was a bit of a wait but worth it.

Have you been to MACS before? What did you order?

Thursday, July 17, 2014

White Rose Inn Wisconsin Dells Review

Hope everyone had a lovely 4th of July.

Every year I'm actually foolishly optimistic and excited about the holiday, and then I realize I actually don't enjoy it. We'll to be more exact I don't enjoy aspects of the holiday, for example, the late night fireworks before the 4th of July and the continuous and never ending fireworks on the 4th of July.

However, this year my boyfriend and I decided to get away and head to Wisconsin Dells. I was super excited, because we would be fulfilling a secret desire of mine to stay at a bed and breakfast, the White Rose Inn in the Kilbourne room.

It was...a bit disappointing. It was actually what I was expecting but a little worse. Don't get me wrong, the location was "AH-MAZING". Just a few blocks down from DT Wisconsin Dells. But it was like staying at "an old white person's house". Thankfully the other guests there were cordial but not overly friendly. We were freaking out, because the room seemed warm. There was not air conditioner in the unit. Luckily, they addressed this issue right away and showed us the hallway control. We could control all of the room units. So hopefully, no one was freezing or too hot because of our adjustments. The TV was outdated; there was no phone. And we weren't sure if there was a community fridge or not. We did wander the house looking for a fridge in the community area and found one, but it might have been the caretaker's fridge. Luckily, they didn't seem to mind.

We arrived about 12 pm...4 hours early before check-in, but luckily they allowed us an early check in. In the deck area, there was some cold water waiting for us. Our room was tiny as expected from the pictures, but at least we didn't have to have a community bathroom, and there was a nice whirl pool.

After the first night of staying there. They did clean up a little bit, but they didn't replenish our shampoo and soap.

Overall, I'm glad we gave it a chance, but I would have rather stayed at a hotel. However, I think the location of the White Rose Inn was perfect.

Where have you stayed in Wisconsin Dells? Any suggestions?

Friday, July 11, 2014

India House Restaurant Review

My BF and I decided to try India House for our 3 month's of dating. Yes, we are adorable like that.

It actually wasn't our initial choice, but we decided to head in that direction since the construction in the TC area is horrible and frankly, we were starving. It was a proximity thing, and I had been there once before and thought it was decent for a buffet. We ordered off the menu.

Here's what we ordered:
Mango Lassi for a drink
Tandoori Dinner for 2 (beef samosas, tandoori chicken, chicken takki, boti kabab, shrimp tandoori, fish tikka, kabab panner, mixed veggies, chicken curry, garlic naan, and kulfi for dessert)
And despite all these food and the server warning us that it was a good portion size my BF also ordered...chicken pakora.

It was a lot and actually one of the most unique entrees I've had of Indian cuisine. I was a big fan of it. My BF said it was better than Copper Pot, but not amazing.

I've never had the mango lassi before or the kulfi. Both were yummy

Mango Lassi

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Smack Shack Food Review

My friend and I decided to catch up and try Smack Shark for their Happy Hour. I arrived there early. There's only street meter parking available and my friend took about 10-15 minutes looking for parking.

There's only Happy Hour available at the bar or patio. You'd think the patio was outside on their patio, but nope. It's actually a small section on the sidewalk. We basically had to move three times, because of this.

Besides the mix up of where we could order off the Happy Hour menu. It was definitely a cute place and fun atmosphere.

I ordered their Blue Point Oysters and Baja Shrimp Tacos. Both which were good quality and delicious.

I'd definitely go there again and try more dishes off of their menu.

Let me know if you've been there before or what you think is a good place for oysters.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Day 4 of Detox/Cleanse

 I thought it was supposed to get better after the third day...

Detox Breakfast Smoothie  (For 2)
Creamy Papaya Mango Smoothie (DetoxPage Instagram)
1/2 papaya (ripe)
1 mango
2 bananas
2 cups of coconut water
2 cubes of ice

I thought this one would be amazing. All the things I could however I didn't like the texture of it. I probably didn't put enough coconut water and should have blended it more. Tosh said this was one of his top three.

Detox Dinner Smoothie (For 2)
Icy Orange Grapefruit Lime Slush
2 oranges
Half a grapefruit (1 lemon)
1/2 lime
1 cup of ice

This was personally one of my favorites. It was nice and juicy and refreshing.

Last day is today. Not quite a full week, but we will be traveling to Wisconsin so that makes things difficult especially with my mom's yummy cooking. And it helps to be at 100% when working at a Food Truck.

Here's what we had this Friday morning:
Using what veggies and fruits we had left.

Detox Morning Smoothie (For 1 - For Him)
Kale Smoothie
4 cubes of ice
2 kale leaves
1 banana
1 tablespoon of agave nectar
1 tablespoon of chai seeds
1 tablespoon of spirlunia
1 cup of almond milk

Berry Delicious (For 1 - For Her)
1 cup of almond milk
4 cubes of ice
1 banana
1 cup of mixed berries (blueberries/strawberries/raspberries - frozen)

Apparently this time around the Kale didn't sit well with him. I personally loved my smoothie this morning. It was one of the few I finished off completely.

Definitely try things you think you'll actually drink, if you are like me and stubborn and would rather starve than drink something that taste horrible. BAD IDEA. I felt so weak doing that. There's no harm in healthy snacking in between meals (ie. cashew nuts, almond nuts, and my favorite hummus and wheat thins) especially if you are just starting out.

Good luck! Hopefully you survived better than I did. Let me know how your experience went for you.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Day 3 of Detox Cleanse

Wooohoooo. Completed the whole day without cheating. Please be proud!

Detox Breakfast Smoothie
Kale Smoothie (For 2)
1 container of cherry greek yogurt (originally made with one banana)
2 cups of Kale (2 Kale leaves)
1 tablespoon spirulina
2 tablespoons chia seeds
1 1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk
1 cup ice
1 tablespoon of agave nectar (optional)

This by far was the worst. I knew it would be horrible, but I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. And I felt that variety was a must. I had about 1/3 of a cup. I gave most of it to the BF who didn't seem to mind it, and had to toss the rest. To crave my hunger, I had my carbonated soda to hold me over for lunch. I was surprised my BF said he was starting to like it especially since he avoids vegetables!

Detox Breakfast Smoothie
Chocolate Avocado Goddess (For 2)

1 avocado, peeled and pitted

2 tablespoons dark unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tablespoons agave nectar

1 frozen banana

1 cup ice

1 cup unsweetened almond milk

This one was probably one of my favorites. However I don't think it sat very well in my stomach. This was Tosh's number one smoothie so far. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Day 2 of Detox Cleanse

So far sooo good.
I learned from Monday's mistakes and cheats.

The solution to crave your hunger...carbonated water.

Detox Breakfast Smoothie
Cherry Berry Banana Smoothie (Serves 2)
Use 2 Bananas
A handful of blueberries
A handful of blackberries
1.5 cups of frozen cherries
Blend with some water (I added almond milk)

It was the best smoothie so far. Also, it held me over until lunch time. Although I was famished by 11:30 and scarfed down my food within 5 minutes for my 12 pm lunch.

Detox Dinner Smoothie
His & Hers Berry Smoothie (Hers) (Servers 2)
2 cups of almond milk
1 Banana
1/2 cup of fresh raspberries
1/2 cup of strawberries
2 cubes of ice

This one definitely turned out better. I actually lasted this time without cheating and even got a workout in.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

A week of Detoxing

My boyfriend and I have just recently celebrated our 3 month. When we had first started seeing each other we were convinced we wouldn't be like other couples and GET FAT. However, it's a difficult feat, and like all good couples before us, we slowly stopped working out, spent most of our time lounging around, gaining weight/losing muscle, and eating unhealthy.

He used to work out everyday, and I at least 1-3 times a week. Now we are pretty much stagnant. 

This past Sunday, we decided to make an active change. We would take this week to detox and cleanse our bodies from all to crap, we've been putting into our bodies. However, we wanted to be realistic and not just drink smoothies for the whole day but would allow ourselves one meal of solid food: LUNCH.

Below are some of the detox smoothies we've tried so far. These smoothies are taking from or inspired by detoxpage via Instagram.

Detox Breakfast Smoothie
Blood Orange-Raspberry
Blend 1 cup of raspberries
1/2 cup of beet juice (I just used one beet)
1 large banana
2 medium blood oranges (I used 3 regular oranges)
1/2 cup of coconut water
(For two people)

This actually tasted a lot better than I expected with the beet juice. I was also worried that it would be too dense. I'd definitely try this one again. Unlike the BF, I didn't make this day without cheating. I snacked on a chocolate chip cookie for my brunch snack. Then I had some cashew nuts for my linner snack. I think if you are going to snack make sure it's healthy snack unlike my chocolate chip cookie.

Detox Dinner Smoothie
His & Her Berry Smoothies
1 cup of almond milk
1 tbsp raw almond butter (I didn't add this)
1/2 banana (I added a full one)
1/2 cup of frozen blueberries
1/4 cup of blackberries
I also added a spoonful of peanut butter and a spoonful of spirulina which isn't in the original recipe. It was a bad move. The smoothie tasted horrible. I wasn't able to finish mine. Also the above version is technically for "Him".

Wish us luck on our journey! Finishing up on Day 2 and eager for tomorrow's solid food lunch.

Dickie's BBQ Pit Review

Drove all the way to Dickie's BBQ Pit, because I  had a gift card to waste to find out their card machine wasn't working.

I was a bit worried that the $25 gift card wouldn't fill us up, but turns out it would have. We ordered the Picnic Pack.

Picnic Pack feeds 2-4 – choice of 1 meat (1 lb.), 2 medium sides, 4 rolls & barbecue sauce.

We decided to go with a pound of Spicy Cheddar Sausage bursting with jalapeño, waffle fries, and a side of potato casserole. It definitely filled us up, and I had leftovers for lunch today. We should have probably had less carbs though. The sausage was spicy as advertise, but they didn't warm up the meat enough. The fries were bland, but I liked the potato casserole.

It's definitely worth a visit once, and even a second time especially if you have a gift card yet to use. 

Have you been there before? Are we foolish for not getting something smothered in BBQ sauce?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Wong's Gourmet Review

Lately, I've been making my eating decisions based on my ValPak coupons or direct mail pieces. Yesterday on my half-day, I was craving greasy Chinese food, and I had a coupon for Wong's Gourmet. It was a deal for a few dollars off if we spent more than $15. The meal was so inexpensive I wasn't even able to use my coupon. They actually have a coupon listed on their website as well.

The meal was mediocre. We order their lunch specials: Kung Po Chicken and General Tso's Chicken (about $5.75 each) which comes with rice and crab rangoon or eggrolls. We weren't given an option of crab rangoon or eggrolls, but we received crab rangoons. They had the option of fried rice or white rice. I thought they put too much vegetables in their Kung Po Chicken and not enough chicken. Their General Tso's Chicken tasted like any other Chinese restaurant decent but nothing spectacular.

Kung Po Chicken Top: General Tso's Chicken on Bottom
I think the portion size were decent. I actually ended up packing my dish to go. I wouldn't go out of my way to try this place, but if you happen to be in the area and craving some Chinese food stop by for a cheap meal.

Any good Chinese restaurants you recommend? 

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Stanley's Bar Room Northeast Review

Is it just me or does nice hot weather make you want to stuff burgers and beer in your mouth?

We had two choices either I would attempt to make juicy lucys, or we would go somewhere close by for burgers. The decision was to go to Stanley's Bar Room Northeast, and that decision was based on the fact that we had a coupon for buy one meal with two drinks and get one for free (up to $10 value). We are frugal or wise like that.

Fruli Strawberry
I got to try my first Fruli Strawberry beer. It was quiet refreshing and was the perfect fix for my beer craving. I don't even really like beer!! This beer was a bit pricey though for someone frugal like me $8. I think it was worth it though. It's something you should try at least once. Even my beer loving boyfriend enjoyed it after saying something like " can you mix some fruit in with beer." They have lots of beer options. Check out there list.

We fatties of course had to have an appetizer to quell our hunger. My BF wanted something "light", and we decided on the jalopeno poppers deep fried in beer batter. Yes, apparently our idea of light is different from the rest of the logical world. No regrets. It was surprisingly spicy; however after the first few bites it wasn't as bad. (Baked jalapeño halves or whole beer battered and deep fried jalapeños, filled with cream cheese and bacon, served with roasted red pepper coulis.)

Also sticking with our "light" theme, we both ordered two burgers. I ordered the Blue Burger - Half-pound beef patty topped with a creamy bleu cheese patty and crispy onion strings. Lettuce & tomato upon request. It wasn't something that amazed me. However, the patty was HUGE. I'm eating the leftovers for lunch today.

The BF ordered the Stanley Burger - Half-pound beef patty topped with our signature smoked BBQ brisket, sautéed onions and gouda. His was nice and juicy and looked waaaay better than my burger.

This place had a good atmosphere. I think it's worth a visit but the burgers aren't anything spectacular. It's had a great variety of beer and wine though some that's something worth stopping in for. 

Any burger joints you go to get your burger fix? Been to Stanley's before? What beers did you love/hate?

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Your Role As Your Parents Age

I just recently came across this short filmed called "Mi Tes Mi Taw" or translated in English "Hands and Feet". It's basically about the roles of Hmong daughters and sons. Although I glazed over the fluff and metaphorical of hands and feet and how that's relevant.

Although I think the film was well scripted and produced, I disagree with the overall message. It was a modern day film but still had an old school message.

If you haven't seen it yet, please watch it before you continue reading.

It had the voice-over of the daughter/sister of the family speaking to her brother about his role in the family and how he's responsible for taking care of the parents after she leaves to marry into her husband's family.

The mother of the two siblings grows old and becomes more difficult to take are of, and the son faces the difficult choice of putting his mother into a home and is pressured to make this decision by his wife. At the end of the film, the sister speaks to her sister-in-law making some soft-spoken but passive-aggressive comment about how she hopes she raises her sons better so she doesn't suffer like her mom alone and in a home.

I understand it's a difficult choice on how to treat your parents and provide them with the care they deserve when they become unable to take care of themselves. However this decision is not on the eldest or youngest Hmong son alone nor is the daughter-in-law to blame if she's unable to provide the care needed and wants her husband to put his parent in a home.

Nowadays parents are not staying with only the eldest or youngest son. They stay with the child who is willing and able to take them in, or they are living on their own. It's actually more common now for Hmong parents to be put in a home. In fact, my grandma was in an assisted Hmong run home with several other Hmong parents. And guess what? My grandma had 6 sons. Are they all bad sons?

Also how qualified are children to take care of their parents? We are not all trained to deal with ailments of old age. The care of elders is 24-hour care. Is a person able to provide the care they need and maintain the care for their children (if they have any) and their other job (if the have one)? Who are we to judge how one makes this difficult decision? Especially who is the daughter to judge her brother and sister-in-law? They are one family. If her brother wasn't able to care for their mother, and she thought her mother deserved a different life. She shouldn't have so passively sat around and did something about it. It's easy to blame others and judge others, but it's best to self-reflect and look at your own actions first. What was holding the daughter back from caring for her own mother? Culture? Obligated role?

I think it's great that there are talented Hmong film makers with modern skills and less cheesy films, but let's maintain this modern with some modern day thinking. 

What did you think of the short film? What are your opinions on the topic?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Las Teresitas Review

Cravings for Mexican food?

Well as long as you are more about the taste of food over service, Las Teresitas in South Minneapolis is definitely worth a visit and be sure to come on a Tuesday. The tacos are only a $1 each which includes unlimited access to their chips and salsa bar. I'm still a little disappointed that I didn't get to try all of their salsa options.  There at least over 5 different options.

Being an over indulgent eater, I ordered 5 tacos. I couldn't really tell the difference, and the server didn't tell me.

-BBQ Mexican Style
-Lengua (Tongue)
-Carnitas (Roast Pork)
-Asada (Steak)
-Chorizo (Mexican Sausage)

Top 3: Lengua, Steak, Carintas Bottom 2: Chorizo, BBQ Pork

Given that I have had chorizo before, I'm assuming they actually gave us ground beef thinking we wouldn't know or maybe I'm ignorant and presumptuous, because it was basically like ground beef. 

I thought the lengua was the best taco meat. I'd go back again and try this place for sure. What are your favorite restaurants for your Mexican food cravings?

Monday, May 19, 2014

Copper Pot Indian Grill Review

Finally got to check out this place called Copper Pot Indian Grill in Downtown Minneapolis. I thought it was a cute place and enjoyed the quality of the food. My Indian boyfriend, however, was not impressed. He did seem to inhale his food with no leftovers, but he claimed it was because he had been craving Indian food for a while now. He thought the food took too long and was overpriced.

They brought us two thin flatbread with two different sauces. I have no clue what it was and neither did the boyfriend. I thought it was delicious like an Indian version of chips and salsa.

We started with the appetizer of Hyderabadi Chicken 65. It was a bit spicy but not "oh my god, my mouth is on fire spicy." It gave me a bit of a runny nose though.

For the main entrees, we ordered the dum puck with a side of naan and chicken briyani.

Dum Puck

Chicken Briyani
No clue how the dum puck is different from any other Indian dishes like chicken marsala, but the dum puck was made with lamb. In regards to the rice that came with my entree, I thought it was decent but it had a few hard pieces of rice in there. Being Asian and growing up on rice, I'm a total rice snob and biased to the Hmong rice I grew up with.

The chicken briyani was decent. It was basically a chicken pot pie with no broth but a ton of ice wrapped in a thin, hard and flavorless breading. The quality of the chicken in it was good though, except the meat was bone which makes it more difficult to eat.

I would probably try Copper Pot again, but I wouldn't go out of my way to eat there. It is probably the second best place I've had Indian food in the Twin Cities though.

Let me know what you think if you've been there before or what other Indian places in the Twin Cities you've enjoyed.