Monday, June 29, 2009

HomeMade Pizza Winners

The contest is over and the numbers have been drawn. We randomly picked ten winners from the comments, the first five winners get a $25 gift card to HomeMade Pizza and the second five winners get a $10 gift card.

$25 Winners:

1. mrs.leah.maria (link to comment)
2. anonymous (comment was: "Mmmmm, yummy grilled pizza!.......")
3. Sareen (link to comment)
4. JL (also happened to be the 4th comment, weird.......)
5. Becca Williams (link to comment)

$10 Winners

1. anonymous (comment was: "Wow, such good deets and great pics.........")
2. abby (link to comment)
3. Solstice Mama (link to comment)
4. Fidget (link to comment)
5. Lisa (link to comment)

We'll contact you to get your mailing addresses and then drop the gift cards in the mail. Thanks for all the comments, this was really fun, we hope to do it again soon!

Erin & Ben

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

HomeMade Pizza

Update: The contest is now closed, we'll announce the winners tomorrow night!

A few weeks ago we were contacted by HomeMade Pizza, a "take 'n bake" style pizza restaurant on Grand Ave. in Saint Paul (they also have locations in Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, and Wayzata). They wanted to give us some gift cards to give away to our readers, as part of a contest of sorts. This seemed like a pretty good deal, and I have no problem giving away free stuff to people, so we agreed :)

We had never had HomeMade pizza, and they offered to give us a couple pizzas to try out before we had the contest. We wanted to make sure we weren't giving away gift certificates for crappy pizza! While this isn't like our typical review of a sit-down restaurant, it is still in the spirit of trying new places, so we think it passes muster.

HomeMade Pizza is a great combo of the quality of take 'n bake pizza with the convenience of delivery. Other take 'n bake places we frequent don't offer delivery, so this is definitely a selling point. The delivery guy showed up at our door at the arranged time with two pizzas: one meat with pepperoni, onion, and basil and a veggie pizza with tomatoes and basil. They also threw in a salad, which was a nice starter for the meal.


Two pizzas is clearly way too much food for Erin and I, so we enlisted the help of our neighbors, Nate and Molly, to help us out, since we were told that the pizzas are better if you eat them the day you get them. Nate and Molly were eager helpers for some homebrew and grilled pizza :)


The pizzas come with grilling instructions and it's really easy. You do need to have either a regular pizza stone for your oven, or a special pizza stone specifically for the grill. We have a pizza stone for our oven, which worked out just fine. We preheated the grill for 10 minutes or so and slipped the meat pizza on the stone. I was a little concerned about the parchment paper that hung over the edge of the stone at first, but the paper just turns a little brown from the heat, no big deal.



The pizza cooks in about 10-12 minutes at 400 degrees, having a thermometer on the grill helped out here. It was just as easy as any frozen pizza I've ever made, and much prettier!

Both of these pizzas were excellent. The ingredients are fresh and the presentation is wonderful. The crust is thin and has good structure when you pick it up, it can hold the weight of the toppings well. We had the salad while the first pizza was cooking, Nate particularly liked the garlic dressing that came with the salad, I think he may have dipped his pizza in it as well. I'm not even a fan of tomatoes, but the veggie pizza was great, the tomatoes were nice and meaty.





The contest

I mentioned the gift cards earlier, and this is where you come in. We have ten gift cards: five $25 cards and five $10 cards. To win a gift card you need to comment with your favorite grilled pizza toppings. If you haven't ever had a grilled pizza, just comment with your favorite frozen pizza toppings :)

We will choose ten winners at random from the comments, the first five get a $25 gift card, the second five get a $10 gift card. The comments will close on Sunday night, June 28th, at 10pm central time.

Make sure to give us a way to contact you from your comment! Leave us your blog address or email address, or something, otherwise we can't give you your prize!!! NOTE: Many people have blogger profiles that are private - make sure yours is public, or you'll have to include your blog address or email address in your comment.

Good luck!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Gahndi Mahal

Visited on Friday, June 5th with Jamie and Daniel


Erin's Review

Jamie has been telling me about how great Gandhi Mahal is for awhile - we had a plan to go before our trip to Europe, but that didn't end up happening because of a few illnesses in the group - this time nothing was standing in our way! Ben goes into a lot of detail in his review below, so I won't really write too much so it doesn't get repetitive :)

A little appetizer that was brought out

I debated my order the whole day but finally settled on Chicken Tikka Masala, which is my normal Indian place order. I just love that stuff, and feel like I'll be disappointed with anything else. It's a habit I should break... but maybe some other time :)


I was very glad Jamie and Daniel wanted to split the bread basket - it was delicious! My favorite was probably the garlic naan or the puffy bread. Yum! There was plenty to go around, and Jamie even took some home. At Daniel's recommendation, I also got a Mango Lassi, which was probably my favorite part of the whole meal - slightly creamy and delicious!


The chicken tikka masala did not disappoint - it was perfectly sweet and flavorful and not spicy just as I ordered :) Plenty for me to eat, share with others, and have enough to bring home for leftovers!



I loved Gandhi Mahal and have since recommended it to a number of people! The service is great and it's a cute little place. Nothing fancy at all, which I like. It was also rated as Best Indian by City Pages this year, so you don't just have to trust our opinion! Definitely check this place out.

Ben's Review
Last Friday we went to Gandhi Mahal (I still have trouble spelling that) with Erin's co-worker Jamie and her husband Daniel. Daniel is a big fan of Indian food and was excited to go, especially since we had plans to go previously that fell through. Gandhi Mahal is located at Lake & Minnehaha, right near the old location of Midori's Floating World Cafe and a short drive from downtown as we headed there after work.

We had made reservations but you don't need them, at least not at 6pm. It's not a big place, but there were only a couple tables occupied when we arrived. I had seen on the menu that live music started at 5:30 which made me a little leery, but clearly that was a bit inaccurate because they hadn't started playing, even by the time we left.


The hostess was friendly as she showed us to our table that needlessly had a 'Reserved' sign on it. We were a couple minutes early and just perused the menu while we waited for Daniel and Jamie. I had scoped out the menu awhile ago, before we went the first time, and had nearly made up my mind then to get the Rogan Josh, described as "A traditional North Indian dish cooked in a medium hot spicy sauce and an exotic blend of spices in spiced garlic sauce", sounded good to me! I was nearly convinced to get a form of Korma on the menu by Daniel, but he offered to let me try his so I stuck with the Rogan Josh. I did switch from chicken to lamb at the server's suggestion. One thing I love about Indian food is that most of the dishes have your choice of meat and your choice of spiciness so you can tailor your dish to what you like.

Our food came out rather quickly, in about fifteen minutes, along with the bread bowl we ordered to share. In hindsight, getting the bread bowl was a fantastic decision as you get a tons of various types of naan: garlic naan, cilantro, plain, and this real big, bubbly piece on top of the pile. Naan is a great way to deliver Indian dishes into your mouth :) However, it does make you full faster.


My Rogan Josh was delicious, though next time I will bump up the spice a notch (I got mild/medium). Rogan Josh is a dark sauce so I guess the lamb is better suited for it. I wasn't impressed with the lamb itself, I couldn't really taste much of a difference between the lamb or beef, and lamb was a more expensive option. I think I'll go for chicken next time, in addition to more spiciness. I held off to leave myself enough for dinner the next night and I made some basmati rice with tumeric, which tasted really good for a Saturday night meal :)


(note from Erin: one of these two was Ben's meal... neither of us can remember now though since they look very similar :)

Gandhi Mahal was excellent and I would go back in a heartbeat. The food and service were both great and the prices were reasonable for getting two meals out of the deal.

  • Service: Everyone was friendly and our food was brought out quickly.
  • Food: Excellent food, I tried everyone's dish and they were great. The naan is awesome.
  • Drinks: They had a couple beers, but nothing that really interested me, so I passed.
  • Ambiance: It was quiet when we were there, although there is supposed to be live music.
  • Price: Entrees were $10-$15, but you can easily get two meals out of them. The naan basket was $12 for the whole table, it was worth it.
  • Convenience: Located at Minnehaha and Lake, you can take a bus, the light rail, a bike, or park off-street.
Gandhi Mahal
3009 27th Ave S