Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Its high time for a....

Restaurant Review!!

So, needless to say, once again, it has been a while since I have last written! I am here to inform my readers about a wonderful new restaurant in my good ol' home town of WBL, MN. 

Restaurant: Manitou Station
Location: Downtown White Bear Lake, MN
Food: English Pub style food

This is the newest eating establishment in the downtown area and it is located next to the newly renovated Avalon mall. The food is down home, made from scratch goodness and news is spreading quickly of its delicious offerings! I first went to this restaurant with my parents for my mother birthday. I had the steak salad with med-well steak and a simple vinaigrette as well as seasoned pub fries. My papa had the fish and chips with mushy peas. My mother had the Rachel: turkey, sauerkraut, and swiss, along with horseradish mashed potatoes. 

The salad was very good, simple, for a salad. The steak was cooked perfectly and very tender and juicy. The Rachel, according to my mother was very good as well. She noted that they sauerkraut was very mild and it was perfect on the homemade rye bread. Her mashed potatoes came out cold at first, but after they were reheated, they were very yummy, with a pleasant kick. My papa loved the fish! It was light a crispy and overly greasy. The filets were of a good size so that you could actually taste fish. The pub fries are wonderfully seasoned and thick and potato-y. My favorite is to dip them into their homemade tartar sauce which is made with dill! One of my favorites! 

For dessert, since it was my mothers birthday, they served us some of their homemade bread pudding. It had a wonderful caramel sauce on it and it was wonderfully moist and warm and made perfect by the presence of vanilla ice cream. 

The next time I went there I split the Avocado Chicken Ranch sandwich with my mother. I believe this also had some cheese on it. It was very good too, but there was not much of a ranch taste to it, but thats okay because I was satisfied with the avocado! 

And, the most recent time I went (all three times, i went with different people) I had the Chicken Wild Rice soup. We also split the Scotch Eggs: Hard boiled egg encased in ground pork and deep-fried and served with a spicy English mustard. These were yummy! Personally I liked them plain with out the mustard, I liked the seasoning in the pork and the egg was a nice accompanying flavor. My friend had the Ale Cheddar soup, and boy oh boy was that good! I had a taste (maybe a few...) and it was wonderful, cheesy, and you can actually taste the ale/beer in the soup! Is that not why you order this type of soup? To get both the cheesiness and the wonderful flavor of beer? Both were present in this soup and they were balanced very nicely, according to my friend! 

I would highly recommend this place for any meal! I believe that they do a brunch on sundays, but I am not familiar with the menu for that. 

Go here...it is GOOD!! REALLY REALLY GOOD!!
Oh yeah, when they give you the bill, they bring out some of their, once again, homemade after-dinner mint truffles. They are yummy, yummy, yummy! They seem to be of the cookies and cream variety with mint tossed in, but I have yet to ask what flavor they actually are, I just know they are good! I have seriously contemplated asking if they can be ordered in bulk....but have yet to tread down that path...haha!

Hope you can make it to this wonderful restaurant and that you enjoy it as much as I did!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The List

So, I have been watching the new Travel Channel show "Chowdown Countdown" where they countdown the 101 "tastiest place to chowdown" in the United States, and chowdown means chowdown, with features like 10lb+ burgers, 7lb burritos, and a 12 egg omelet!
So far so good, almost to number 1. And I really am curious...is it going to be the oldest place? Newest? Meat? Dessert? What what what!! Well, I am soon to find out as I am watching it right now...but in the time being I am going to post the list on my blog. Feel free to copy it to yours and mark where you have been! I will do the same!

For your viewing pleasure:

101 Tastiest Places to Chowdown
101. Abe's Bar-B-Q: "The Big Abe" = double decker BBQ pork sandwich w/ slaw. (Clarksdale, MS)
100. Denny's Beer Barrel Pub: "Beer Barrel Belly Buster" = 15lb burger challenge. "The Ye Olde 96er" = 6lb burger challenge. Also has a HUGE menu! (Clearfield, PA)
99. The Buckhorn Exchange: "Rocky Mountain Oysters" = deep-fried bull testicles. Exotic meats like yak and rattlesnake. (Denver, CO)
98. Bassetts Ice Cream: Oldest ice cream company in America! Established in 1861 with homemade, high milk fat, creamy ice cream! (Philadelphia, PA)
97. Five Islands Lobster Co.: 5lb lobster and crab cakes. Oh, yeah the view is amazing! (Georgetown, ME)
96. Philippe The Original: French dip sandwich. (Los Angeles, CA)
95. Time Out Chicken: Home of the chicken cheddar biscuit = huge, buttery biscuit, topped with a boneless fried chicken breast, and melted cheddar cheese. **I also liked the simple biscuit with honey, their biscuits are just that good!!
94. Gaucho's Village: "Brazilian Churrascaria" = all you can eat meat feast! (Glendale, CA)
93. Jimmy Buff's: "Italian Dog" = A hot dog placed in pizza bread topped with fried potatoes, peppers, and onions. (East Hanover, NJ)
92. Smitty's Market: BBQ ribs and sausage. Old school dining experience. (Lockhart, TX)
91. Black's Barbecue: Oldest BBQ in Texas, established in 1932. Home of world famous smoked brisket! (Lockhart, TX)
90. The Vortex Bar & Grill: "Double Bypass Burger" 1/2lb burger topped with two fried eggs, six slices of american cheese, and eight slices of bacon all sandwiched between two grilled cheese sammies! (Atlanta, GA)
89. Doughnut Plant: Gourmet doughnuts including flavors like lavender, blueberry, and raspberry lemonade, made with fresh fruit both in the dough and the glaze! (New York, NY)
88. Giordano's: "Stuffed crust pizza" = pizza crust, cheese, toppings, another crust, sauce, then baked to perfection! (Chicago, IL)
87. Hominy Grill: "The Big Nasty" = Biscuit with fried chicken breast, cheddar cheese and topped with sausage gravy! (Charleston, SC)
86. Cattleman's Steakhouse: Home of the 2lb T-Bone steak! Located outside of El Paso on a working ranch. (Fabens, TX)
85. Daichan Kaiten Sushi: Sushi conveyer belt delivers a never-ending array right to your seat! (Los Angeles, CA)
84. Cafe Fleuri at the Langham Hotel: Chocolate dessert buffet which includes chocolate soup! (Boston, MA)
83. Schmidt's Sausage Haus: "Bahama Mama" = Spicy signature sausage. "The Autobahn" = All you can eat sausage buffet. Dessert? Famous vanilla cream puff weighing in at 1/2lb! (Columbus, OH)
82. Willie Mae's Scotch House: Fried chicken and cornbread. (New Orleans, LA)
81. Nick Tahou Hots: "Garbage Plate" = Starts with a base of home fries, macaroni salad, backed beans, or french fries topped by a choice of meat(s) and dressed with spicy mustard, and onions, then topped with Nick's signature hot sauce! (Rochester, NY)
80. The Brick Pit: Home of the bank vault sized smoker! Inside is fall-off-the-bone BBQ pulled pork and ribs! (Mobile, AL)
79. The Cherry Cricket: Home of the Cricket burger, a 1/2 lb. patty with your choice of a wide variety of toppings! (Denver, CO)
78. Kopps Frozen Custard: Thick and creamy, rich and tasty. Oh, and its Custard, not ice cream! (Greenfield, WI)
77. Lynn's Paradise Cafe: Crazy eclectic style mixes with crazy out-of-this-world good eats for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! (Louisville, KY)
76. San Francisco Creamery Co.: Home to the "Kitchen Sink" = 8 softball-sized scoops of ice cream, 8 toppings, 8 servings of whipped cream, 3 bananas and a cherry on top! " (Walnut Creek, CA)
75. The Buffet at the Bellagio: When in Las Vegas, there are plenty of buffets to choose from, but this one is the best. With offerings from steak to sushi and pasta to pastries, you can't go wrong! (Las Vegas, NV)
74. Original New York System: New York style wienies since 1927! (Providence, RI)
73. GCS Ballpark: "Krispy Kreme Burger" = A normal burger, cheese, and bacon sandwiched between 2 halves of a grilled Krispy Kreme doughnut! (Sauget, IL)
72. ???
71. The Grill House: Pick your own cut of meat and do the unheard-of, gill it yourself! (Allegan, MI)
70. El Guero Canelo: Tucson's best place to get a local treat the "Sonoran Dog" = a grilled hot dog wrapped in smoky bacon, placed in a bun and topped with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, tomatillo salsa, cheese, mayo, ketchup, and mustard! (Tucson, AZ)
69. The Cozy Inn: Home of the original slider burger. Order yours by the 1/2 dozen! (Salina, KS)
68. Yoder's Restaurant: This place serves up to 25 varieties of homemade pie including Peanut Butter Cream and Shoofly! (Sarasota, FL)
67. Iguana's: Home of the "Burritozilla" = 5lb., 18in. monster burrito!
66. Talkeetna Roadhouse: "Rudy in a Parka" = A giant, cheesy take on a pig in a blanket made with reindeer sausage. Also giant sourdough pancakes! (Talkeetna, AK)
65. Camp Washington Chili: Home of the "5 Way" = Spaghetti layered with chili, beans, onions, and cheddar cheese! (Cincinnati, OH)
64. Round Rock Donuts: Home of famous light and fluffy glazed Round Rock doughnuts and the "Texas Challenge" = a huge 2lb doughnut! (Round Rock, TX)
63. Chaps Charcoal Restaurant: Best place to get a pit beef sandwich = juicy beef piled high and topped with onions and homemade "tiger sauce"! (Baltimore, MD)
62. Goodson's Cafe: Best place to go for authentic Texas chicken fried steak complete with pepper cream gravy! (Tomball, TX)
61. Dinosaur Bar-B-Que: New York can do some Q! Head north for fall of the bone, moist BBQ ribs, brisket, and chicken! (Syracuse, NY)
60. Sylvia's Restaurant: This place is known for its soul food specialties like fried chicken and ribs! (New York, NY)
59. Munchies 420 Cafe: Sarasota's home to "Fat" sandwiches. Best known for the "Fat Sandy" = Two cheeseburgers, mac-n-cheese, chicken fingers, onion hoops, spuds, and mozzarella sticks, all piled onto a 12in. hoagie!  (Sarasota, FL)
58. Taqueria La Cumbre: Place of the Burrito's birth. Huge mission-style burritos keep the locals, and visitors from around the world flocking in! (San Francisco, CA)
57. Chick and Ruth's Delly: Want a HUGE milk shake? Come and get the "Colossal Shake" which weighs in at 6lbs and is the equivalent of 8 regular shakes! (Annapolis, MD)
56. Big Mama's Kitchen: Big Mama runs this soul food mecca in, of all places, Nebraska! Know for their sweet potato pie ice cream, and oven fried chicken. (Omaha, NE)
55. Interstate Bar-B-Q Restaurant: Best place for finger-lickin' good BBQ and home of BBQ pork spaghetti! (Memphis, TN)
54. Steak & Main: When you have a steak craving and a large appetite, come here and order the "Steak Challenge" = 6 juicy cuts of steak, a side of vegetables, and a potato! (North East, MD)
53. Juan in a Million: Home of the huge "Don Juan" breakfast burrito and accompanying challenge. How many potato, egg, bacon, and cheese tacos can you eat? (Austin, TX)
52. Big Lou's Pizza: Home of the "Big Lou 42" = A 42in, 30lb pizza topped with sauce, pepperoni, sausage, peppers, onions, olives, garlic, and mozzarella cheese! (San Antonio, TX)
51. Max and Mina's Ice Cream: Off-beat ice cream flavors are the norm here, some include corn-on-the-cob, beer and nuts, and "Breakfast Bash" = french toast, waffles, pancakes, cinnamon, and syrup! You'll never run out of choices! (Flushing, NY)
50. DiNic's In the Reading Terminal Market: Home of Philly's other famous sandwich, the "Roast Pork" = juicy roast pork soaked in jus, piled high on a hard roll, and topped with steamed broccoli rabe, and chunks of Romano cheese (Philadelphia, PA)
49. Country Pancake House: Humongous pancakes, the size of a manhole cover, loaded with all sorts of toppings, including strawberries and whipped cream, apple and cheddar, and shrimp and prosciutto! (Ridgewood, NJ)
48. Pappy's Smokehouse: Memphis-style BBQ establishment with 100 years of experience in the kitchen. Oder the "Big Ben" = Full slab of ribs, beef sandwich, pork sandwich, 1/4 chicken, and your choice of 4 sides. Or the "Frito Pie" = Frito chips topped with baked beans, pork or beef, cheddar cheese, and diced onions! (St. Louis, MO)
47. Matt's Bar: Birthplace of the "Juicy Lucy" = two beef patties fused together with a hot, molten core of American cheese. Its a hot one! (Minneapolis, MN)
46. Superdawg Drive Inn: One of the last remaining drive-ins in Chicago. Superdawg is home of the perfect Chicago dog, complete with mustard, piccalilli, dill pickle, onions, and a hot pepper. Oh, NO ketchup! (Chicago, IL)
45. Cecilia's Cafe: Birthplace of the huge "Firemen's Burrito" = Home made carne Adocada with eggs, hashbrowns, chicharone, bacon, sausage and red or green chili...comes with an apron to wear while eating! Also known for their stuffed Sopaipillas. (Albuquerque, NM)
44. Doe's Eat Place: Steak joint where cuts are ordered not by the ounce, but by the pound! (Greenville, MS)
43. Big Jud's Country Diner: Best place in Idaho for crispy, creamy french fries and a HUGE burger known as the "Big Jud"! (Boise, ID)
42. Sodolaks's Original Country Inn: Did someone say bacon? Not just plain bacon, but here is the birthplace of Deep Fried Bacon, complete with cream based gravy for dipping! (Snook, TX)
41. Chino Bandido: Mexican-Chinese take out fusion restaurant where the Jade Red Chicken is king! (Phoenix, AZ)
40. Slow's Bar-B-Q: Home of the "Niman Ranch Brisket Enchilada" = Chopped brisket and smokey gouda in corn tortillas topped with cheddar and spicy sauce! (Detroit, MI)
39. Grimaldi's Pizzeria: Simple, fresh, and authentic ingredients make this place Brooklyn's best and most famous place for pizza so bring cash and an appetite because there are no slices and no credit! (Brooklyn, NY)
38. Obrycki's: Maryland's best seasoned hard-shell crabs, served by the bowl full! (Baltimore, MD)
37. Ted Drewes: Serving up ultra-thick custard, and a "Concrete Mixer" = famous vanilla custard mixed up with your favorite toppings, and its so thick, when you tip it upside down, nothing comes out! (St. Louis, MO)
36. TIE! Markey's Lobster Pool & Brown's Seabrook Lobster Pound: Best, and second best, when it comes to New England-style lobster rolls! (Seabrook, NH)
35. The Thurman Cafe: 20 giant burgers grace the menu at this cafe, but the fan favorite is the "Thurman Burger" = a burger loaded with ham, mozzarella, American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, saute onions, pickles, peppers, and mayo! (Columbus, OH)
34. Junior's Restaurant: Serving up giant portions of all types of food, including deli sandwiches, fried chicken, ribs, burgers...but what this place in known for is their NY style cheesesteak! (Brooklyn, NY)
33. Paseo: Known for serving up the best Cuban sandwiches in the country, and its not in Miami! (Seattle, WA)
32. RU Hungry: Rutgers University's best grease truck on campus! Know for their Fat Sandwiches, especially the "Fat Darrell" = Hero sandwich consisting of chicken fingers, mozzarella sticks, marinara sauce, topped with french fries, mayo and ketchup! (New Brunswick, NJ)
31. Helena's Hawaiian Food: Come here for authentic Hawaiian pipikaula = short ribs, soaked in soy sauce, hung out to dry and then fried! (Honolulu, HI)
30. Chipshop: Get your basic, true English-style fish and chips, authentic and delicious. They fry everything here, like pizza, mac-n-cheese, oreo's, candy bars, doughnuts, and more. The Chipshop is also credited as the first place to deep-fry a Twinkie! (Brooklyn, NY)
29. Tony's 1-75: People with huge appetites come here to satisfy them with a huge BLT that contains a full pound of deep-fried bacon! (Birch Run, MI)
28. Ben's Chili Bowl: D.C.'s favorite chili dog, the "Half Smoke" = half smoked hot dog, mustard chili, and onions! (Washington, DC)
27. Heart Attack Grill: Hospital themed restaurant where nurses prescribe you burgers, and there a 4 choices: the single bypass, the double bypass, the triple bypass, and the quadruple bypass. All are accompanied by all-you-can-eat french fries deep-fried in pure lard! (Chandler, AZ)
26. Beth's Cafe: Home of the "Southern Exposure Omele" = a 12-egg omelet loaded with chili, cheese, sour cream, and salsa. Served on a pizza pan with a generous serving of hash browns and toast! (Seattle, WA)
25. Acme Oyster House: Fresh, local oysters are king of the house and put on everything, from soups to sandwiches! (New Orleans, LA)
24. Charles Vergo's Rendezvous: Ribs that are seasoned with a unique Greek-inspired dry rub and slow roasted over charcoal until tender and succulent! (Memphis, TN)
23. El Tepeyac Cafe: Home to the "Manuel Special" = 2 tortillas topped with beans, rice, meat, cheese, guacamole, and Tepeyac's famous chili verde. Weighs in at 4lbs! (Los Angles, CA)
22. TIE! Lafayette Coney Island & American Coney Island: Clash of the coney dogs between these two Detroit-style hot dog (hot dog, chili, mustard, and onion) establishments that are right next door! (Detroit, MI)
21. Eagles Deli: Want a huge, and tall burger? Home to the 5lb "Eagles Challenge" = 10 burger patties staked sky high and topped with 20 slices of cheese and 20 bacon strips. This challenge is rounded out with over a pound of fries! (Brighton, MA)
20. VooDoo Doughnut: Portland's underground crowd heads to this quirky indie shop for some equally quirky and creative doughnut concoctions! Best known for the Bacon Maple Bar. (Portland, OR)
19. Lambert's Cafe': Best place for "throwed rolls" = buttery rolls that are tossed to you by the wait staff. Also, pig out on family style country sides like mashed potatoes and mac & cheese! (Sikeston, MO)
18. Cotham's Mercantile: Home to the "Hubcap Burger" = giant meat patty topped with cheese, mushrooms, onions, and bacon, if you please! (Scott, AZ)
17. Anchor Bar: Birthplace of the buffalo wing! Hot, mild, BBQ? Choose wisely!
16. Big Texan Steak Ranch: Only true cowboys belly-up to the Big Texan's 72 oz. steak dinner, complete with baked potato, side salad, shrimp cocktail, and dinner role. You have 1 hour to complete it! Go! (Amarillo, TX)
15. Hillbilly Hot Dogs: Home to the "Homewreaker" = a 15 in., 1 lb. wiener topped with chili, bacon, onions, cheese, and other ingredients to bring it to the total weight of 3 1/2 lbs! (Lesage, WV)
14. Arthur Bryant's: A legendary barbecue institution in Kansas City. Known for their sauce with a kick! (Kansas City, MO)
13. Jack-n-Grill: Mexican restaurant serving up the 7lb. burrito challenge complete with meat, potatoes, cheese, and jack's famous green chile verde! (Denver, CO)
12. Gus's: Head here when your craving some fried chicken with a kick! Best with ranch to dip it in. (Memphis, TN)
11. Al's Beef: Best place to dig into an Italian beef sandwich dipped in au jus and topped with Al's famous jardiniere pepper relish. Make sure you get some extra napkins! (Chicago, IL)
10. Durgin Park: Home to a rather large, and rather juicy prime rib. Come check it out! (Boston, MA)
9. LuLu's Bakery and Cafe: Best place for cinnamon rolls, be that HUGE 3-and-a-half lb. cinnamon rolls! (San Antonio, TX)
8. Albano's Pizzeria: Home of the "Pizza Puff" = a huge calzone stuffed with meat, cheese, and toppings, then deep fried to golden perfection! (Cicero, IL)
7. The Salt Lick Barbecue: Best BBQ in Texas is cooked at the Salt Lick over an open woodfire pit. Pork ribs, sausages, chicken, and beef are cooking at all times! (Driftwood, TX)
6. TIE! Pat's King of Steaks & Gino's Steaks: Both serve Philly cheesesteaks, both are on the same corner, which one is better? Try them both and choose for yourself! (Philadelphia, PA)
5. Katz's Deli: Overstacked sandwiches are king at Katz's, especially the pastrami! (New York, NY)
4. Fenton's Creamery and Restaurant: This place is still running a classic soda fountain. Mound of ice cream, sundays, ultra-thick malts, and banana splits grace the menu. As well as classic diner food like mac & cheese, burgers, salads, and sandwiches; especially the crab salad! (Oakland, CA)
3. Permanti Brothers: Permanti-style sandwich = freshly sliced french bread with your choice of meat topped with coleslaw, tomatoes, and french fries. Served no other way! (Pittsburgh, PA)
2. Roscoe's House of Chicken n' Waffles: Home to the best sweet and salty combo - fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup! Warm and waiting! (Los Angeles, CA)
1. Louis' Lunch: Birth place to the hamburger, and they are still making it the same way to this day! (New Haven, CT)