Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Visited on Saturday, November 10th

Outside Heartland

Ben's Review
Erin had been antsy to go on a date night to a nice restaurant and gave me a short list of places to choose from our list. We settled on Heartland because they actually had a reservation available at a reasonable time, and it was within walking distance of a pre-dinner drink spot.

I had some credit with the new driver service, Uber, that recently launched in the Twin Cities, so I figured we could really make a night of it and get a ride to and from dinner.

Using Uber is way easier, and more fun, than ordering a cab. You request a driver through their iPhone app and then optionally watch the car on the map as they arrive at your pickup location. The phone tells you how far away they are as well as the driver’s name. When you arrive at your destination, you simply get out of the car and go on your way. No money changes hands, as Uber has your credit card info and will charge it automatically. Tips are also built-in and there is zero pressure from the drivers.

Uber car service!

We had Uber drop us off at Barrio in Lowertown, about two blocks away from Heartland, to get a drink and an appetizer. We had a little over an hour to kill, so we were in no rush at all. Barrio was surprisingly (to me) quiet for 6pm on a Saturday and the bartender joked that IF they got busy, it would be much later.

We sat at the bar and got drinks and chips with salsa. I was impressed with the chips - they were salty, thick tortilla chips that came with three different salsas of different heat levels. I was less impressed with my martini that was small and watered down. That’s what you get for ordering a martini at a tequila bar I guess.

Starting the night out right!

We made our way to Heartland a little before 7:30. It was oddly warm out (a stark contrast to this Monday morning), so the walk over was pleasant. Heartland is across the street from the Saint Paul Farmers Market location, which I’m more familiar with at 9am on the weekends with kids in tow.

Outside Heartland

We were seated right away in the bar area. Heartland seems to have several different rooms with slightly different feels to them. The bar spot was fine with me, I think the bar there is rather pretty, as is the entire building for that matter.

Inside Heartland

We had the server recommend a bottle of wine for us, within our price range, and he chose a Green & Red zinfandel. It was good, but I’m not one to judge a wine. I’m sure this bottle would be $30 cheaper at the liquor store, but not much you can do there.


Erin quickly settled on getting the three course tasting menu. The tasting menus are a decent value, but I saw the cassoulet and instantly had fond memories of our dinner at Meritage a couple years ago and how awesome the cassoulet was there, and I knew I had to try Heartland’s.

I wanted something else to share with Erin, but her tasting menu came with an appetizer already, so I got the broccoli with smoked tomato bechamel sauce for myself. The broccoli was excellent, with a rich, creamy tomato sauce drizzled over the top. Also, it wasn’t very filling, leaving me with a fighting chance of finishing my cassoulet. While we had our appetizers, we were also brought dinner rolls, which I happily had seconds of when they came around a second time - so much for not getting full :)

Roll with fennel seeds and flax

Broccoli/smoked tomato béchamel sauce

The cassoulet came out in a bowl that didn’t appear to be large, but was deceiving by it’s depth as well as the richness of the food inside. The creamy mixture of beans with several variations of rich, cured meats was absolutely delicious. In spite of all the food that I’d had so far, I still managed to finish the bowl, though I woke up painfully full around 3am. Probably not the wisest choice, but fun at the time :)

Midwestern cassoulet

As we sat finishing our glasses of wine, I inconspicuously requested the Uber driver to head over to pick us up. I could see that he was a few minutes away, so we were in no rush to leave. We had a great time at Heartland and I would definitely go back.

Erin's Review
It had been awhile since we got to have a date night that didn't involve a wedding, so we confirmed with my sister and her husband that they could babysit, and I set out to try to get a reservation somewhere! Most of the places we have left on our list are definitely on the expensive and fancier side. I checked quite a few places in downtown Minneapolis (including the new-ish Butcher & the Boar and Bachelor Farmer) and saw they had ZERO reservations available even a week in advance! We decided on Heartland, and had no issues getting a reservation. Lowertown definitely has more action than it used to, but it certainly will never be the same as downtown Minneapolis. I actually went to Heartland for the first time back in April with girlfriends and LOVED it, so I was excited to check it out again with Ben.

We enjoyed our pre-dinner drinks at Barrio, and walked the few blocks over on the unseasonably warm evening to Heartland. The building that Heartland is in is quite beautiful - it's a very open space, with a few different rooms. They also have a separate market that is more like a deli and you get get things to go. I loved the bar area where we were seated this time - the separate rooms have a bit more formal of a feel to them.

Inside Heartland

Heartland changes their menu daily, and has two 3 course menus - Flora, vegetarian, and Fauna, with meat. I got the Flora last time and really loved it, so wanted to try the Fauna this time. It was settled when the main course even had "Irish Creek Annie" beans in it - I'm a sucker for trying anything with my daughter's name in the description! I was a bit nervous reading that the beef and beans were in a goat's milk sauce, as I am not a fan of goat cheese no matter how many times I try it. I wasn't really sure if goat's milk always had the same flavor as goat's cheese so I figured I'd give it a try regardless. The flora option also had something with goat's cheese too and for some reason I was set on the 3 course menu.


Ben requested a zinfandel for our wine, so I asked the server to recommend one that paired well with the food we were getting. He talked for awhile about how the one he recommended was a good "food" wine, and how many zinfandels are not... whatever. I enjoyed the wine and it DID seem to pair well with our food, so he chose well! While we enjoyed the wine, we were brought an amuse bouche of butternut squash mousse and apple which was delicious.

Squash mousse and apple

I LOVED the first course of my meal - the fish was so tender, and the sauce was amazing. I wished there was much more, especially because sadly I was not a fan of the 2nd main course of beef roast and beans in the goat's milk sauce. For anyone wondering (and yes, I should have asked), goat's milk does indeed have the same flavor as goat's cheese. The meat also LOOKED like it would be tender and delicious but I found it very tough. The server came back and raved about how delicious the sauce was - it wasn't his fault I don't like goat's milk so I just smiled and nodded. After the bread, appetizer at Barrio and the first course, it wasn't as if I was actually HUNGRY, so I wasn't too upset about it.

Rainbow trout

Grass fed beef roast

The dessert course was fine. Nothing amazing, nothing bad. The pairing of flavors was a bit odd to me. Pumpkin pot de creme with a cranberry mousse - Thanksgiving flavors I suppose, but the white chocolate in the mousse was just not working for me. I still finished most of it, of course but it wasn't my favorite dessert. I did really enjoy the little french  press of decaf coffee I got to go with my dessert! I love how they instruct you to wait one minute to press - reminds me of every weekend morning where Ben sets a timer for 3 minutes before we are allowed to plunge our french press at home.

Pumpkin pot de crème


Having gone to Heartland twice now (check out the instagram photos from my first visit here), I would definitely recommend it for a delicious dinner. I was truly wowed the first time I went, and while this visit didn't live up to that experience, it was still an excellent meal. The setting is beautiful, and being in downtown St. Paul it's a pretty relaxed and low key atmosphere.

Ben also talked about the Uber car service we used that night - I LOVED it, and it was definitely worth the few more dollars versus taking a cab! Such a nice experience to be able to order the car and see it coming on the map while we were sitting at our table, versus calling a cab and just hoping they show up. I also loved not having to exchange money. And, you for sure feel like a high roller with a town car pulling right up to the curb, and a driver getting out and asking for you by name! Definitely a great service, and one I can see us using again in the future.

Heartland Restaurant
289 East 5th Street
St. Paul

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Colossal Cafe

Visited on Friday, September 28th

Collosal Cafe

Erin's Review
Our 7th wedding anniversary was September 24th, and because we had a few weddings in the weekends surrounding it that required babysitters for the kids, we chose to celebrate it by both taking a day off work and going to breakfast and then to the Ivy Spa Club to spend the day there (you can use their facilities all day by booking a service, it's awesome!).

When I sent Ben the list of breakfast options available, I realized just how slim the pickings are getting on our list. We have plenty of options should we ever want to have a nice dinner out, but very few for breakfast or a casual dinner. I guess it just goes to show just how many new places we've been to since we started this blog!

We settled on the new-ish outpost of Colossal Cafe that opened in St. Anthony Park, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods in St. Paul, and happened to be somewhat on the way to downtown from our house anyway. It was a beautiful fall Friday, and we were both in good moods with the anticipation of our spa day.

I was somewhat surprised to see that this was the type of place where you order at a counter versus table service. I'm not sure if that is always the case, but it was for the weekday breakfast. This to me makes it a good option for kids, since the food tends to come a lot faster. I made a quick decision to order an omelet with bacon, green onions and cream cheese as well as a mammoth cinnamon roll which they heated up for me. They are "famous" for their pancakes, but I was told by 2 people to avoid them, so I did just that :)

Table sign

We sat down, got ourselves some coffee from the self-serve coffee station, and I enjoyed a few bites of my cinnamon roll before I started to lose my appetite and feel a little ill. I had a slight cold and headache going into the day, and unfortunately it was only getting worse. Ben and I seem to be plagued with these random bouts of flu-like feelings that only last a day, and always seem to happen at the exact same time.

Cinnamon Roll

By the time our food came, I had zero appetite and started to even feel queasy so I just nibbled at my toast while I downed some coffee to see if caffeine would perk me up. I did end up feeling okay for awhile, but not well enough to eat my food. Luckily, it kept well (the toast was amazing actually), and when I finally regained my appetite later in the day, the omelet really hit the spot. The combination of green onions, cream cheese and bacon vaguely reminded me of one of my favorite absolutely not authentic sushi rolls, the Philly. Delicious! Far too rich to enjoy while feeling icky though.

Omelet and Toast

Colossal Cafe in St. Paul is a cute little cafe - it looks like they probably have remodeled the whole place, and I really liked the completely open kitchen. We'll definitely be back, especially since I love the neighborhood and it's so close to our house!

Inside Collosal Cafe

Ben's Review
For our anniversary we had planned to go to the spa at Hotel Ivy in downtown Minneapolis, with a stop for breakfast beforehand. My getting LASIK delayed our spa day by a few days, but the day finally arrived a few weeks ago. We dropped the kids off at daycare and headed to Colossal Cafe in Saint Paul for breakfast.

I wasn’t feeling too great that morning, it felt like a cold was coming on, but since we had the day off with breakfast and a day at the spa planned, I figured it would still be a good time.

We arrived at Colossal Cafe around 8 and headed in. You order at the counter, about halfway into the restaurant, and they give you a placard for your table to identify you with your order. There was no line, though plenty of other diners, so we quickly made our decisions from the blackboard menu. I opted for a sausage breakfast sandwich on a biscuit with a cup of coffee.

Inside Collosal Cafe

I like the model of ordering at the counter and having self serve coffee. I’m not much of a breakfast guy in the first place, and I would just as soon be in control of my own coffee refills rather than wait for the server to come back around.

We got some coffee and just enjoyed being out to eat without two little kids :) Colossal Cafe is a cutesy place in a cutesy neighborhood, so hanging out waiting for food among the laid back crowd isn’t a bad place to be on a Friday morning.

Inside Collosal Cafe

Our food came out rather quickly and my sandwich looked delicious. However, what I had noticed in the minutes between ordering and the food arriving is that my headache and ill feelings had gotten a bit worse and my appetite was literally non existent.


It’s rare when I can’t even bring myself to have a bite of food, but that’s how I felt at this moment, and I was really sad about it :( The sandwich looked so good and I WANTED to enjoy it, but at that moment the thought of eating it made me feel even worse. Erin hadn’t felt great either and HER appetite was minimal at best as well.

Having never ‘failed’ at breakfast before, we were pretty bummed. Luckily we thought that our food would keep ok, so we drove it home before going to the spa to enjoy later.

Eating my sandwich later in the day, while still not feeling well, was certainly better than having it in the morning when I felt awful. I’m happy to report that their breakfast sandwiches stand up well to being refrigerated for a couple hours and reheated in the microwave :)

We’ll be back to Colossal Cafe so we can give it a real try in the near future, if for no other reason than to erase the bad memories of the day when I couldn’t stomach breakfast.

Inside Collosal Cafe

Service: The service was good and everyone was friendly.
Food: We need to go back, but what I had was pretty good.
Drinks: Small list of beer, but it’s got several local options and a couple on tap.
Ambiance: This is a low key breakfast spot in a low key neighborhood.
Convenience: Plenty of street parking and bus routes. Didn’t see any bike racks, but they can’t be too far away.

Colossal Cafe
2315 Como Ave
St. Paul

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Visited on Saturday, August 18th

Outside of Manny's

Ben's Review
Finally. After three years of sitting a Parasole gift card that became two gift cards, and then three gift cards, we finally made it to Manny’s. We planned to go a few times before now, but our plans were always thwarted by something. I made reservations three weeks ago, and they were still booked from 5:30 to 8:15, so I got us a table in the bar at 8:15 last Saturday night.

I had wanted to sit in the bar anyways, as long as we could get a booth, as it had seemed a little more happening than the dining room. I had heard people complain about the bar being loud, and it was, but for some reason it didn’t bother me like it normally would. I think we were just excited to finally be there :)

The bar at Manny's

We were sat and IMMEDIATELY served water, which I’m sure Erin appreciated. The service throughout the night was excellent, as I would expect. We were seated in a large, high backed booth that would comfortably fit four people, so we had room to spare.

In spite of the $2 upcharge to get your cocktail served “up or on the rocks”(???) I ordered a Manhatten up, while Erin went straight to the wine we had planned to order. I told our server, Tony, that we were in no rush and wanted to hang out and enjoy ourselves and that seemed to suit him just fine, which I appreciated. It’s rare that I actually wanted to sit and chill at a restaurant for very long, so I was glad he wasn’t going to rush us.

Ben's drink

We ordered the lobster cakes as an appetizer that Tony had recommended and they didn’t disappoint. They were just barely done, soft and crumbly and delicious, just enough to whet your appetite for more food, and from this point on, the portions were ridiculously sized.

Meat Tray

Even though I was fairly certain I was going to get a filet, it was fun to have Tony wheel over a cart that contained each different steak they offer, so you could see exactly what it was you were getting. They have a cut called the “bludgeon of beef’ that comes with a long bone protruding out of it like a handle. It was disgustingly large and $85. I passed. The filets looked tiny in comparison, but I was pretty sure a 12 oz steak was going to be plenty, so I stuck with my gut.

I ordered my steak medium rare and we added some loaded mashed potatoes as a side. No vegetable, and I’m glad we skipped it because they probably used five potatoes in our side dish, which was obviously more than enough food.

Our food came out incredibly quickly, they must get on those steaks as soon as they are ordered. I have to imagine the mashed potatoes are mostly made, and then mashed to order.

Loaded Mashed potatoes

The steak, as expected, was fantastic. I ordered medium rare, Erin medium, and there was a clear difference between the two. Erin kind of wished she had ordered medium rare, and I was kind of wishing I had ordered rare :) They were served with a bearnaise sauce on the side (the horror!) which was very good, but I didn’t use it on the whole steak - it was delicious on its own.

Large filet, medium rare

Bernaise sauce

Erin was ordering dessert, and I was ordering scotch. I asked for a small glass of Glen Livet and Tony informed me that they don’t pour them small. Fine. I just want some scotch. Erin ordered banana cream pie and I figured I could have a bite or two. The scotch and pie came out and both were out-of-this-world large. Seriously. We both had pie at the restaurant, both of us had some the next day, and then Erin had more the NEXT day and it was finally gone. The scotch pour was nearly four fingers in a good sized low ball glass. Tony set the scotch down on the table and said “Good night!”. He was right. By the time I finished the scotch and a couple bites of pie, I was painfully full, even after having unbuttoned my pants before dessert even arrived.


We took a quick glance around the dining room to see what it looked like before we left, and I felt justified in choosing the bar, seemed like a much more fun vibe. If we ever go back I’ll make sure to get a booth in the bar again. You can even request a server by name if you want. I recommend Tony if you ever go, he’s great :)

Service: Excellent service, we wanted for nothing.
Food: Awesome. Steaks were great, as you would expect. Lobster cakes were a good suggestion. The mashed potatoes could use a ton of garlic.
Drinks: Full, and beautiful, bar. No tap beer, which I think is kind of lame. Huge wine list.
Ambiance: Loud, but fun in the bar, the dining room seemed to have a life of its own, even though there is just a doorway separating the two.
Convenience: We took a cab both ways, which was convenient, but expensive. Downtown can be a pain in the ass. There, I said it.

Erin at Manny's

Erin's Review
This dinner out reminded me just how much I LOVE going to nice restaurants and having a long leisurely meal. As Ben mentioned, we have had gift cards to Parasole for YEARS - we always intended to use them at Manny's, so we knew we'd need a lot to actually have a decent meal since the prices here are absurd. Completely and utterly ridiculous, along with the portion sizes - but, we knew that going in and just let go and enjoyed it. We got the original gift card years ago, but I was pregnant for much of the last 3 years and wanted to at least enjoy a bottle of wine and not well-done steak here, so those times were out. We tried a few months ago, but the night before both came down with some random illness - so finally it all worked it. We decided that this meal was to celebrate Ben's birthday and Father's Day, and then I got a promotion at work last week too, so that was well timed for this "celebration" dinner as well! For us, we'd need a special occasion to go to a place like this - however, it seemed like there were a lot of people in the bar area just enjoying a normal night out there - who are these people!? We got a bit dressed up and even decided to take cabs to and from the restaurant - going all out, because who knows when we'll be able to get a babysitter again!!

As we've done at several places now, we chose to sit in the bar and I'm glad we did. The dining room looked very stuffy, and the tables were super close together. Since we were in a large booth, it felt a bit more intimate, despite the volume of the bar area. We immediately got bread and water which was good since I was starving (it was 8pm after all). The bread was pretty good, but not the best I've had, and was a little too salty for my taste.

Bread and butter

The wine list was completely overwhelming to me. Back in June when we had originally planned to go, I sent it to Kate and told her to just pick a reasonably priced red that was delicious. She told us to go with the Benzinger Estate, so that was easy enough. Ben briefly considered paying the $25 corkage fee and just buying a nice-ish bottle (which to us, is like $15 at the liquor store) but it was worth the extra $10 to not seem like a bunch of cheap a-holes. This wine was absolutely divine. I enjoyed more than my fair share of the bottle, but as you saw above, Ben was pretty well served himself.

Wine list

Benzinger Estate

Our server was quite chummy without being super annoying. So chummy, that apparently Ben even remembered his name even days later?? He recommended the lobster cakes when we mentioned that we were considering an appetizer, so we went with those and it was a great choice. They had HUGE chunks of lobster in them, and lots of cheese and herbs. So good. This was the only thing we ordered where the portions actually seemed appropriate, so that was good because I did NOT want to ruin my appetite and I had far more food to eat that night.

Lobster cakes

I knew before even getting there that I'd get the filet. I was kind of surprised that Ben chose that as well, even after observing all the other completely absurd cuts of meat that were available. I ordered it medium, which was described as pink and warm in the center. Medium rare was described as pink and cool, which sounded gross to me, but after tasting a bite of Ben's steak, I think would have been a bit better. We could clearly taste the difference between medium and medium rare and they matched the descriptions perfectly. I really did enjoy my steak, and the Bearnaise sauce was a nice addition, and somewhat shocking that there wasn't an additional charge for that. That being said, this was not the best steak I've ever had. That title is still held by Murray's, and the steak I had at erte might even eclipse this, which surprised me greatly. I think this steak just seemed a little less juicy and tender than the others - even Ben's medium rare as well, so it wasn't like mine was just overcooked. It's possible that I'm pickier now, or that my tastes have changed. I will likely never know, because I don't plan on going back - there are way too many steakhouses and other nice restaurants in this city for me to go to the same place twice.

Small filet, medium

We also got the loaded mashed potatoes, and they were indeed loaded. Ben was borderline offended that there did not seem to be any garlic in them. I suspect there was, just not the massive amounts he tends to put in everything. I thought they were great, but far, far farrrrrr too much for 2 people.

By this point, I was drunk and full - definitely the sign of a good night out. I still wanted dessert - the key lime pie and banana cream pie were both recommended - I probably would have chosen key lime, but Ben wanted a few bites and he swayed me toward the banana. This was also just so absurdly huge it was laughable, especially after everything else. It was basically a whole pie, just for us. Topped with homemade caramel, it was absolutely delicious and still was the 2 additional times I ate it at home! I only had a few bites at the restaurant because I went to the bathroom and when I came back, Ben had it boxed up already because he thought I was done. Very sad. I also got a decaf coffee and was kind of upset because the first cup was not very hot, and they just had packets of sugar which seems too diner like for a nice place like this. I prefer when they have sugar cubes, but that's a little nitpicky I guess.


Banana Cream Pie

We had such an amazing dinner at Manny's - it was definitely worth the wait. I loved the atmosphere in the bar area - it was fun and loud, but since we were in a booth we could still feel like we were on an intimate date and could hear our own conversation well. I would definitely recommend it for a special occasion.

Manny's Steakhouse
825 Marquette Ave

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Twisted Fork Grille

Visited on Sunday, June 3rd

Mom and kids at Twisted Fork
Forgot to take any photos of the outside of the restaurant, so this will have to do

Erin's Review
So, I guess it turns out that having a toddler and an infant really does put a damper on dining out! It also makes finding a babysitter that much harder - I don't even like watching both kids alone, so I can't exactly ask anyone else to do it too often :) I also am not inclined to bring out my DSLR when out with both kids, so these are all iPhone 4s photos. Good enough!

We purchased a 50% off Living Social deal to Twisted Fork Grille before Luke was born, and I was sure we'd have NO problem using it - low and behold, the expiration date quickly approached and we had to squeeze in a visit. A friend had told me that breakfast is the best bet there, so we headed over a week before it expired, despite it being Grand Old Day and thus difficult to find parking. We did have to walk 2 blocks with a 1 million pound carseat and very slow toddler, but I still think it was worth it :)

The restaurant was pretty empty and the ambiance is definitely nothing special. I have driven past this particular establishment probably hundreds of times, and it took a LivingSocial deal to entice me to try it - it just blended in with the Green Mill and didn't seem like anything that would be too great, especially in comparison with far more interesting eateries in the general vicinity. The inside looks pretty much like any generic bar/restaurant. We were told we could sit wherever, and it definitely took far longer than I prefer for anyone to greet us and bring us beverages, especially since we were laden down with children.


The kid options are pretty good - they have a separate kids menu and a coloring sheet along with a package of crayons. The menu options were the usual - kids pancakes, eggs, maybe oatmeal or something like that. I went with pancakes with strawberries for Annie since I knew she'd eat that. The girl definitely has inherited her mom's sweet tooth!

Mom and Annie at Twisted Fork

Annie drinking milk

Strawberry Pancakes

Ben and I commenced our discussion of what to order. The last few times we've been out to breakfast, we've split a sweet and savory dish which worked well. I knew I wanted some form of eggs benedict (we chose the smoked salmon) and had to work to convince Ben to get the cinnamon roll french toast. (my first choice would have been the lemon blueberry pancakes, but Ben does not like "warm fruit" in his breakfast items so I knew that would be a no go) We both love french toast lately, but the toppings (caramel, whipped cream, candied nuts) sounded like a BIT much to both of us. As soon as the waitress said that all the toppings could be brought out on the side, that sealed the deal.

The food took awhile, especially considering Luke was being cranky and Annie kept testing us to see if we REALLY meant "No, you can't sit on the table". Finally, I was able to get Luke to fall asleep on my lap pretty much right as the food arrived - I LOVED that they split our dishes for us, and it was a nice touch that they even went so far as to split the toppings on the side as well - completely unnecessary and resulted in a comical display of dishware. Thankfully Luke was sleeping and isn't in the grabby phase just yet, and Annie was focused on her own meal, since that amount of breakables within reach could have been a disaster!

Sleepy Luke

I enjoyed both dishes more than Ben did, it seems. The only thing that really bugged me was that the poached egg on the salmon benedict wasn't runny at all, which I hate. Especially after the perfectly poached egg at Bon Vie, it was disappointing. However, the hollandaise was delicious!  I loved the french toast, and did end up piling on all the ridiculous sweet toppings. The whipped cream especially was amazing - it appeared to be freshly whipped with some kind of flavoring. SO good.

Overdone poached egg :(

toppings on the side

Cinnamon Roll French Toast

This isn't a place I would normally go, but I did like the food and the kids options were pretty good. I'm glad we tried it, but can't say I'm itching to return anytime soon.

Ben's Review
I just looked back and realized that we haven’t posted in over three months! We have gone out to eat in that time, just not new places. We had a LivingSocial deal to Twisted Fork that was going to expire soon, so we made plans to head over for breakfast, thinking that would be the safest time to go out with Annie and Luke.

It turned out to also be Grand Old Day in Saint Paul on that day, so we had to park a couple blocks away on Summit. Luckily we arrived before the parade got underway and things got really crazy.

Twisted Fork wasn’t busy this morning and we had our choice of seats. I opted for a large booth so we could lay Luke down on the bench. We got our menus quickly and I started perusing my options. We had $30 to spend on the groupon and the menu items were hovering in the $10 range, so I wasn’t sure we’d even hit $30.

I was having a really tough time selecting what to get as they have several menu items that sounded excellent: mexican hash, pork shoulder hash, huevos rancheros, smoked salmon eggs benedict, walleye cake benedict, pancakes, and cinnamon roll french toast.

We eventually agreed that I would get the smoked salmon eggs benedict and Erin would get the cinnamon roll french toast and we could share them.

We occupied Annie and Luke while we waited for our food; Grand Old Day was getting going outside and Annie enjoyed watching the goings-on. Luke was causing a bit of a stir so between the two of them the food seemed to come out quickly.

Watching the action on Grand for Grand Ole Day!

Split entrees

I’m not sure I’ve ever had this many dishes on a table for two breakfast orders. Between the split orders they did for us, and all the toppings for the french toast, there was hardly any room for our plates to eat off!

While the menu sounded awesome as I read it, I was a little disappointed in the salmon eggs benedict. I was expecting a single, large piece of salmon, but instead it was more like shredded salmon pieces. The eggs were also overdone and not runny, which was sad.

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict

The french toast was good, but we make better stuff at home. The toppings were certainly good, if you like dessert for breakfast :)

I realized towards the end of the meal that we probably were a little under the $30 we had to spend, so I looked around for something to order. I had overheard someone else order a bloody mary and thought that would be a good way to put us over the top. I hadn’t noticed that there were no bottles of alcohol at the bar, just beer and wine, so the bloody marys were actually made with sake instead of vodka. Not something I would normally try, but what the hell, right? The bloody mary was ok, but I prefer vodka (or gin for that matter), I couldn’t even finish it before we had to head out as we were overstaying our welcome with the kids :)

Bloody Mary at Twisted Fork

Service: Service was OK.
Food: The menu has some items that I’d like to try, but the salmon eggs benedict was a little disappointing.
Drinks: Beer and wine, and sake bloody marys :)
Ambiance: Not much ambiance on a Saturday morning, might be a little more hopping in the evening.
Convenience: Off street parking and bus routes.