Forgot to take any photos of the outside of the restaurant, so this will have to do
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 :)
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.