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Author: Phatphood

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Phatphood Review: Truce Cleanse Part 2

Truce Cleanse

Phatphood Review: Truce Cleanse Part 2 – It’s a new season, and that means time for an all new seasonal 100% organic, raw, vegan and gluten free cleanse from Minnesota’s very own, TRUCE. As you may recall, during the Winter season I did their newly offered soup cleanse, you can find that review here.

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This time around I wanted to cleanse myself after a recent vacation and give their new Complete Cleanse a go. Now, I was told that I can consume my 5 daily products in any order, but I went by the order that they had basically laid out and typed-up for me and attached to each of my daily supplies.

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I started my mornings slamming a bottle of room temperature water as I always do, and continued drinking another 8 to10 bottles of water throughout the day.   I then enjoyed the remainder of my morning routines with my first juice, Morning Greens; Kale, cucumber, spinach, romaine, apple, lemon and ginger. This is your typical green drink that you may have read about (mean green), or may have had with most green juice cleanses that are out there. It’s good and refreshing and gave me a good amount of energy to start the day out.

Truce Morning Greens

I felt like it was a long stretch before I could enjoy lunch, so I had a small handful or two of raw nuts. Figured since this is an all raw cleanse that this wouldn’t do any harm at altering this three day diet I put myself on. Plus I was hungry!   Only on the first day though, the ingredients in each is designed to hinge your appetite as well as be a sufficient amount of daily requirements. So the next two days my appetite was balanced.

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Lunch time, woo-hoo! For the three-days, TRUCE gave me two different salads; The Isles Salad, which consisted of kale, carrot, beet, avocado, pistachio and hemp seed. Also included a Tahini-ginger dressing; extra-virgin olive oil, sesame seed, apple cider vinegar, ginger, salt and black pepper. Now normally I could consume a salad in 5-minutes-or-less. Not today, this mostly kale salad took me a good half hour. I’m pretty sure this was my first time eating raw kale. I’ve had it baked, sautéed and juiced before. This was a lot of work to chew. The beets, carrots and dressing added a good amount of moisture, but I didn’t give it much time to absorb. I plan on doing that when I eat the second one of this creation they gave me. It was still very good tasting, just time consuming and not all the fun. Also, I don’t recall having any avocado, especially like the picture shown on their website. So this was missing in two salads. The second salad that I had on the next day was the New Classic Caesar; Kale, cabbage, cucumber and capers with curried chickpeas. The dressing was made from cashews, grape seed oil, white wine vinegar, vegan Worcestershire, dulse flakes, garlic lemon, mustard seed, salt and pepper. This salad was much better and easier to eat since there wasn’t a large amount of kale.

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My midday snack was another juice called Glowing Greens; Grapefruit, pear, cucumber, dandelion greens, romaine, parsley and orange. Now this was a tasty refreshing concoction, a little more pleasing than the morning greens. I was told my skin had a nice glowing complexion throughout this cleanse, I give credit to this juice right here.

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My dinner every night was their Spicy Greens Soup; Avocado, kale, spinach, water, pepita, lemon, ginger, black pepper, salt and cayenne. Now even though this is a soup, it was recommended not to heat it. This is one of the same soups that I had with the previous cleanse I had from TRUCE and I treated it the same way, by letting it get to room temperature and then enjoying it while getting some work done. It is spicy like its name, mainly black pepper spicy, nothing that lingers, overall good tasting and obviously a bit thicker than the juices.

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This last one I considered a dessert that I looked forward to having every night. It was so smooth and delicious as well as a perfect way to end my evening, Cashew Milk; Cashews, dates, sea salt, maple syrup, water. I rarely drink milk these days, so I was a bit skeptical on this one, but it really won me over. It felt rewarding having this.

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Overall this is a great cleanse offered by TRUCE for approximately $50.00 a day. I had more energy than I did while eating my normal diet. Give it a go and try something new while shedding a few pounds while doing so, you will feel wonderful!

This Saturday, April 30th marks their 3rd year in business. So it would be a good day to go celebrate with them from 9am-5pm while enjoying some special giveaways and the chance to win a one day cleanse.

Truce is located at: 1428 W. 32nd Street, Minneapolis, MN

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Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee Review

Bizzy Coffee 1

Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee Review: When I received my mini crate of Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee I was ecstatic to try it in different varieties and concoctions. Each bottle contains six-servings of sugar and calorie free, fresh organic cold brew coffee. It will cost you roughly $38 for a four pack, or you can save 10% by signing up on there website www.bizzycoffee.com.

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I first tried a sip straight from the bottle; “Whew, that is some strong brew right there!” It is meant to be diluted or added to another substance or beverage, but I wanted to taste it in its pureness, and this I can tell you is some great tasting coffee.

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Next up was adding it to my protein shakes. I added 1-serving of Bizzy – 3-Tbsp PB2 – 2-scoops Nature’s Best Isopure Dutch Chocolate Protein 1-frozen banana and 1-serving of purified water (to offset the coffee). This definitely took my protein shake to a whole new level. The taste was perfect and it gave me the perfect amount of energy to last me throughout the day. I will be having this exact formula every single morning from now on. I do typically add blueberries to my shake, but I wanted to try it without them for this first trial run.

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I tried it with unsweetened coconut milk, but with both of these being unsweetened it felt quite boring, was missing something…probably something sweet! On to the next one.

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This protein shake pictured that I had every morning during the duration of 4-bottles of Bizzy, I used ice when I forgot to freeze my banana. Seriously, try this!

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Time to get a little more dangerous and creative with this local Minnesota cold brew! No longer boring with the coconut milk now that I poured my Bizzy coffee over ice in a mason jar and added Hershey’s chocolate syrup, Trader Joe’s Sugar, Coffee Bean and Chocolate sprinkles, along with whipped topping. Okay, now we are talking, This was a delicious ice coffee that needs to be served everywhere.

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Taking it a step further with a Bizzy Coffee Float. Two large scoops of Edy’s Latte Love Espresso Chip Grand Ice Cream, pour a serving and a half of Bizzy Cold Brew Coffee over and top with whipped cream. Dessert is served! Just don’t have this too late in the evening unless you want to clean your entire house with energy to spare.

If you haven’t yet, give this Minnesota born crafty beverage a try. Get creative and hashtag it with #BizzyMoments, the possibilities are endless and I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with.

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Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Disney Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast Chanhassen

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Disney Beauty and the Beast: It’s been over a decade since the tale as old as time has hit the stage at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, but now through Fall of 2016 you can catch this enchanted full-length musical production of Disney Beauty and the Beast take stage as you sit in a moment of nostalgia.

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Performing to a sold out crowd on opening night the cast gave brilliant big production numbers with mesmerizing choreography, beautiful ballads and seamless set changes.

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The story moved along quite perfectly from beginning to end leaving you entertained throughout, especially with eye catching costume designs along with subtle scenic designs.

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Ruthanne Heyward did an amazing job as Belle, with solo performances such as “Is This Home?” and “A Change in Me” with her crisp and captivating voice.

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One of my favorite performances was a sing-and-dance number done creatively in a saloon-like environment of clinking mugs together that was put on by a large amount of the cast and focused on the ultra sexy ego of “Gaston” which of course the musical number was titled the same. Aleks Knezevich had the look to go with his character and was comically entertaining with his overzealous Derek Zoolander facial expressions.

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Keeping it elegant and seamless, Gargoyle stone figures would come to life and perfectly execute set changes in a soft ballet dance.

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Costume and wardrobe designs were true to the story and brought objects to life in a very unique and fun way. Mark King (Lumière) was a delight to watch as sound effects went in unison every time he lit up.

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Even though Robert O. Berdahl (Beast) didn’t have the brawn I would’ve like to have seen, he had the swagger that carried this newly defined character in his own unique way.

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For me, there was nothing better and more heartfelt then when Susan Hofflander (Mrs. Potts) owned everyone in the audience as she sang the self-titled number “Beauty and the Beast” and it was clearly a breath taking moment.

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Beauty and the Beast will be at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres through September 24th. You can buy your tickets here.

Photo Credit: Heidi Bohnenkamp, 2016

Truce MN

Phatphood Review: Truce Soup Cleanse

Truce Minneapolis

Phatphood Review: Truce Soup Cleanse – I was stumbling around Instagram last week and came across a comment mentioning, “soup cleanse.” Intrigued I was; so I did a quick local Google search and to my amazement, Truce – Minnesota’s first 100% organic fresh-pressed juice shop located in Uptown Minneapolis had a soup cleanse package they have been offering since November of 2015. An alternative to a juice cleanse offered for the wintery months. They state on their website that “Unlike juices, soups contain much of the fiber found in the ingredients, which will help satisfy your appetite for longer and provide that much-needed fuel.” For no apparent reason, I acted immediately upon reading this info and ordered a three-day supply.   Why? To give this new cleanse alternative a review, and to give my digestive organs a reboot and some much needed rest. I started on a Friday morning (Dumb, crazy me, I know!) and ended on Sunday evening. Here is how it went down:

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For $45.48 you get a single day supply of five different soups:

  1. Carrot Ginger: carrot juice, cashews, ginger, salt, cayenne.
  2. Souper Greens: Truce juice ‘greens pulp’, celery juice, lemon juice, miso paste, thyme, shallot, olive oil, black pepper
  3. Curried Squash: kabocha squash, carrot juice, olive oil, scallion, curry powder
  4. Spicy Greens: avocado, kale, spinach, h2o, pepitas, lemon, ginger, black pepper, salt, cayenne.
  5. Tomato: roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, cashews, h2o, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper

They recommend doing a 1-3 day soup cleanse, so naturally I went for the 3-day challenge. They need a 48-hour notice to make these 100% organic, vegan, raw, and gluten free concoctions that can be picked up on Mondays and Fridays only. I ordered the soups above in the recommended order of consumption. They also explained to me to gently warm the soups on the stovetop, or just have them cold or room temp. I was told to not warm either of the green soups, so I obliged.

Day 1 – Friday:

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I had to work on this day and I wasn’t hungry first thing in the morning since I basically ate my weight in fast food that I knew I wouldn’t be having for a while. I just had 32-ounces of fresh lemon water before heading into work. About two hours in I decided I better get this thing started.

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  1. Carrot Ginger: carrot juice, cashews, ginger, salt, cayenne. I do not have access to a stove at work so I just slightly warmed it up (35 seconds) in a microwave. The first thing I noticed was the burn down my throat from the cayenne, perhaps the ginger too. It wasn’t bad, just surprising. Carrot soup with a burn and a decent texture, I can handle this one.

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  1. Souper Greens: Truce juice ‘greens pulp’, celery juice, lemon juice, miso paste, thyme, shallot, olive oil, black pepper. Since I only brought three of these soups to work, I decided to have this one during my lunch break. I let it get to room temperature and then drank it straight out of the bottle. This was like drinking pesto, almost exactly. The olive oil was prominent and it was nicely seasoned with the black pepper. I just convinced myself that I had this poured over a bowl of pasta. Okay, I can do this.

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  1. Curried Squash: kabocha squash, carrot juice, olive oil, scallion, curry powder. Still at work and getting toward the end of the day. I didn’t particularly like the smell of this one once I cracked open the bottle. It reminded me of a week long juice cleanse I did a few years back, and I really don’t know why since it didn’t have any of the same ingredients. I did the 35-second microwave warm-up again and sipped away out of my soup mug. The first sip wasn’t that bad; I sensed the slight distinction of the curry powder and this one definitely had the most texture to it. I kept thinking about my juice cleanse and this soup just became overwhelming for me so I quickly choked it down and hoped the next two days it would grow on me. I think I can do this.

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  1. Spicy Greens: avocado, kale, spinach, h2o, pepitas, lemon, ginger, black pepper, salt, cayenne. Home now and ready for a snack. Took this green bottle out of the fridge and sat on the couch and shook it for about 10-minutes as it arrived to room temperature. Slowly sipped this one as I watched some TV and my son enjoyed Taco Bell per his request. Torture! This soup tasted like a medium-spiced smooth textured salsa. Wasn’t bad, wasn’t great, very much doable. I got this!

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  1. Tomato: roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, cashews, h2o, red onion, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper. Finally, the first one I get to try gently heated on the stovetop. Put the burner at LOW and stirred it frequently until it reached slightly higher than lukewarm. This soup was something familiar to my taste buds, like a great tasting restaurant quality tomato soup. I was impressed with the garlic and the fresh tasting tomatoes. I found a favorite. Can I just have this one five times a day?

Day 2 & 3 – Saturday & Sunday:

The next two days went surprisingly well. Utilizing the stovetop and getting the three non-green soups to the perfect temperature was key for my liking. Even the Curried Squash developed a more tolerable taste. All in all it wasn’t that bad of a weekend. Keep in mind that I was basically detoxing as well. I usually have at a glass of wine every night and coffee every day, so yes I had a headache on the first night that was still lingering around the next morning. After that it was a walk in the park. I only had hunger pains two times over the entire three days; that was mainly because I was out running errands and there was a three-hour gap between soups; I did however feel much more tired on the second day, much more than I typically do, but that could’ve been the lack of coffee, carbs, sugar, you know, food. Would I do this again? Sure, why not. While it is a bit spendy, it was totally worth it and much easier than doing the juice cleanse at home considering both the taste and the preparation. I feel great and ready to slowly start introducing solids. By the way, I am down 10 pounds in three days…how ya like them apples?

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Truce 1428 W 32nd Street, Minneapolis, MN – Website Here

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Danny’s Bar & Grill


Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Danny’s Bar & Grill – Joining me on this adventure to find the perfect food pic is We’ve Tried It’s very own Missy G and we are dining at Danny’s Bar & Grill located at StoneRidge Golf Club in Stillwater, MN. Chef Ron is a multi-medal winner in American Culinary Federation Competitions dishing out some of his amazing creations using locally sourced and naturally raised foods.  Let me start by typing – I need to start dining at more golf clubs if they are all this amazing. Nothing but awesomeness coming up…

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First thing given to me upon my arrival is this foo-foo drink. Yup, one of those but this one does taste pretty damn good, actually.  It is called a Georgiapolitan ~ Ciroc peach vodka, Cointreau, limejuice and cranberry juice, served with a lime wedge. I wouldn’t be mad if another one was accidentally ordered for me.

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Macadamia Nut Encrusted Goat Cheese ~ warm Stickney Hills Farm creamy goat cheese, mango chutney and flatbread crackers. The goat cheese was indeed warm, and it spread like butter. I’ve always been a fan of goat cheese and I’m really enjoy what the chef has done with this. I could smell the mango chutney once it hit the table. This is a lovely medley here combining the three.

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A special that is currently being served as an appetizer, Salt and Pepper Seared Ahi Tuna ~ sauteed Asian slaw, wasabi aioli, with a soy ginger glaze. This is a very, very refreshing appetizer that won’t overfill you. That aioli was on point. Hurry up and get here to try this before the next special takes over.

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You know, I’m not super big into salads, but if it is unique or has this much bacon in it, I’m an instant lover of salads. Iceberg Wedge ~ crumbled black river bleu, crispy bacon, tomato and bleu cheese dressing.

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American Kobe Waygu Burger ~ half pound, lettuce, house pickles, 5-seed bun, thick cut bacon, cheddar cheese.  Local grass fed beef…awwww so savory and fresh. I love how it moo’s with every bite. I’m in burger heaven. It’s served with house cut fries with partial skin on, yup!  Thanks Chef Ron!

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New York Steak & Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti ~ 7oz grilled strip steak with olive oil and charred lemon. I’ve actually been craving white sauce spaghetti for quite some time. Great touch with the NY strip!  Also, I never would have thought to squeeze the lemon over this dish, but sure glad it was recommended, what a delicious citrus splash on this already perfect combo.

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Finally, the dish I’ve been reading about and the gold medal winning best seller here at Danny’s Bar & Grill, Chef Ron’s very own Pecan Walleye ~ dried cherry maple bacon pecan butter sauce (yea, read that again and fall in love with it), wild rice pilaf and roasted seasonal vegetables. Feed her this and she is yours.

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16oz Bone-in Rib Eye ~ with a loaded baked potato and fresh vegetables.  Butter love. This steak melted in my mouth like the butter that puddles upon it; perfectly cooked steak with a tasty potato to accompany it.

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CHOCOLATE TURTLE MOUSSE CAKE ~ rich chocolate cake layered with double chocolate mousse, topped with fudge sauce, caramel and candied pecans. I typed the title of this dessert in all capital letters for a reason. OMYUM!

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Chef Ron wanted me to have a chocolate martini to pair with my slice of chocolate cake. Who am I to say no to a multi-medal winning chef? Pour it up! Chocolate Martini ~ Stoli vodka, Bailey’s and Godiva.  Rimmed with hot cocoa I believe. Perhaps another foo-foo drink, but if you follow me on Instagram (Phatphood), you will see that I am really starting to fall for these.

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Tableside Baked Alaska by Chef Ron. What a wonderful finale to many outstanding dishes, and when the alcohol burns and the flame goes out, it is still…nothing but love.

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Missy and I had a great time not only enjoying the wonderful food presented to us, but also the conversations that we had with Chef Ron. He is well known here because he comes out and talks with the patrons and interacts with them, great guy in and out of the kitchen. I recommend coming during the off-season of golf, this place really has a warm cozy vibe that really fits in with the current season. Everyone that I talked to about Danny’s asked if I had eaten their brunch; unfortunately I haven’t…yet.

Danny’s Bar & Grill 13600 N Hudson Boulevard, Stillwater, MN 55082

Handy Can Opener Review

As Seen On TV Handy Can Opener Review

Handy Can Opener

As Seen On TV Handy Can Opener Review – This past holiday season I had the opportunity to test out a couple of “As Seen On TV” products that are to assist you in the kitchen and make your life just a little bit easier when preparing food.  I’ve included videos that show simple demonstrations of each of these kitchen products:

Handy Can Opener – This product claims that “With one touch this battery operated can opener “walks” around the can and then shuts off automatically” and it does exactly that.

I tried different size cans ever since receiving this product, and it worked every single time with every style of can.  So after testing it many times I finally made a video using it to open a can of tuna prior to making a tuna salad for the holidays.  Simple and easy it is, just place it on the can, push the button and either watch it do its thing, or utilize the time and get other things accomplished at the same time.  There were no sharp edges on the lid or the can when it is finished.  At times you have to snap the lid off the can as shown in the video, but in most cases it removes it 100% and lifts off when removing the opener and stays attached to the magnet.  This is a battery operated product that takes two AA batteries that are not included, so no cords to fuss with.  Great gift idea and a reliable product.  We’ve Tried It and we love it!

You can buy the Handy Can Opener for $14.95.

Eggstractor review

As Seen On TV EGGstractor Review Video

Eggstractor, product review, as seen on tv, weve tried it

As Seen On TV EGGstractor Review Video – This past holiday season I had the opportunity to test out a couple of “As Seen On TV” products that are to assist you in the kitchen and make your life just a little bit easier when preparing food. I’ve included videos that show simple demonstrations of each of these kitchen products:

EGGstractor – This product claims to “peel hard boiled eggs instantly!” as well as “peels eggs 10x faster & easier!”

It comes with a plastic base, an accordion style pump and a 101-egg recipe guide. Let’s get straight to it; I gave this thing a try on multiple occasions before making the video with no prevail. I really wanted it to work, but it just did not. Even though there are detailed instructions (literally a book) included, I know how to hard boil an egg and have been doing so for decades. My method is to place eggs in cold water with a tablespoon of baking soda, bring water to boil, cover and remove from heat for exactly 10-minutes and then place eggs in an ice bath to cool immediately. My eggs typically peel easily and without frustration, not in this case using the EGGstractor; it is a workout that takes longer than just peeling the eggs yourself. I even went out of my way and bought different types of eggs to be fair to this product, I purchased some from Costco, Target and Cub Foods during the trial period of having this; but still, I couldn’t get a single egg to come out as clean as I would by just peeling it by hand. It also claims on the box to be fun and easy. Watch the video below and ask yourself, does that look fun and easy to you? We’ve Tried It, and we will skip it.

You can purchase the EGGstractor for $10.95

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Tamarack Tap Room

Tamarack Tap Room 1

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Tamarack Tap Room – We decided to do a special Christmas segment of #FOODPORN since we will be taking vacation next week. Don’t you worry; I’ll still be eating that good good, just not for TV. We are dressed for the occasion and keeping the theme going by coming here to Tamarack Tap Room. Tamarack as you may know is an American Larch, which is a tree in the pine family, hence a Christmas tree, er…well, close enough right? Snuggled in the 10-year-old Tamarack Village here in Woodbury and what use to be a Champps Americana for 20 years is now home of the finest craft beers, eats, and libations. I’m ready for some strong whiskeys and scrumptious dishes for my holly jolly belly. This will be airing TONIGHT at 11PM on ‘On The Fly’ only on MY29.

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Starting off with some small plates, and what I have presented in front of me is a Sausage Board – Jalapeno elk, Spanish chorizo, Andouille, local cheese, nuts, pickled red onion, beer mustard, sauerkraut and ciabatta. I’m diggin’ every single element on this board. The beer mustard is wonderful and pairs with everything shown and each sausage has its own unique taste that I enjoyed.

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Now if there are cheese curds on the menu, you best try them. These just happen to be Beer Battered Cheese Curds – with Wisconsin white cheddar and served with smoked blueberry ketchup. This dipping sauce is downright awesome! Not to put down the cheese curds at all, but this was truly the star of this dish. I want it on my pancakes.

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Raspberry Lemondrop – A twist on a classic made with Prairie organic vodka, French Chambord, an all-natural black raspberry liqueur, Cointreau, lemon juice and simple syrup served in a martini glass with a lemon peel.
 It’s a great tasting drink, but it’s also a foo-foo drink, so that’s going to Producer Doug back there.

 Bourbon Amaretto Sour – 100% real almond Gozio amaretto, buffalo trace bourbon (a relatively dry, nutty bourbon), house sour mix, fresh egg white (for foam and texture) and Peychaud’s (creole) bitters. I was a bit skeptical of the raw egg whites, but I’ll try anything. This was good and much stronger than I had anticipated. Egg white is the new froth; take that Starbucks. Maple Bacon Glaze – bourbon soaked bacon boiled down with pure maple syrup. Buffalo trace bourbon and Aperol, a bitter orange liqueur for balance. Mr. @tonyflizzle hogged the bacon outta this one, but he did let me get a small sip, and I want another one. Bold flavors here. We’re drankinnn!!

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The Big 24 – 24oz triple decker, 6-slices of applewood smoked bacon, 3-slices of American, 3-slices of Swiss, lettuce, tomato, red onion, house pickles and house sauce, all stacked in between a brioche bun. Each patty is a half-pound special blend of hand ground Midwest beef from Minneapolis butcher W.W. Johnson. This burger is offered as a challenge with having to consume the entire meal (fries included) within 8 minutes. @TonyFlizzle and I were wondering if we cut it in half that maybe we could just do it in 4 minutes. I don’t think they were having it. These seasoned meat patties were superb in flavor alone. Damn big, and very good tasting burger here. Quite impressive, but what’s next?

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Time for another round, on me…for me! 
Whiskey Flight: Knappogue 12 – Irish, pot-distilled whiskey made with barley. Light, grassy, earthy. Yamazaki 12 – Japanese whiskey that is both pot and column distilled and then blended together, aged in Japanese oak barrels that gives the whiskey a unique cherry flavor. Very complex, this whiskey hits a lot of notes. Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel – From Buffalo Trace Distillery, a single barrel, hand-picked by the master distiller. Very aromatic, rich and full of vanilla, caramel, and lactone notes from the wood aging. 
I’m pretty sure I can blow fire out of my mouth at this point.

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Locavore – Local Strauss free range grass fed beef, duck bacon, Wisconsin-aged cheddar, fried egg and pretzel bun. As if one 24oz burger wasn’t enough, we absolutely had to try this just because of the magic words; duck bacon. Just as I expected, the bacon did justice. These aren’t your skimpy slices of bacon here either, and who doesn’t like an over easy egg with #yolkporn on their burger? Pretzel bun again, this one actually has the salt on top unlike others we have devoured in this segment. Always get a side of tots.

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The chef came by and asked if we wanted any dipping sauce for the tots. He mentions Ghost Aioli and it was music to my ears with a slight burn to my esophagus. This sauce needs to be jarred up and taken everywhere. Oh My WOW!

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Short Rib Mac N Cheese – Four-cheeses, wild mushrooms, penne and ciabatta. I almost didn’t get to try this dish, but sure in the hell glad I did. Aside from burning my tongue because I couldn’t wait to dive in, with my remaining taste buds, this was spectacular. This dish had an ample amount of tender shredded short rib in a perfect mixture of cheese. Give me a glass of red with this dish and I’m good.

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Not that dessert isn’t (double negative) my favorite part of dinner…okay, maybe it is. Anyway, it’s about damn time I get some Peanut Butter and Chocolate served up as a shake. The peanut butter was dominant here, and I loved it. I’m kind of full, but I really don’t want to stop. @tonyflizzle and I shared this Lady and the Tramp style. Check out that kinky mess when this segment of #foodporn airs tonight at 11pm on ‘On The Fly’

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The staff said; “you guys cannot leave without trying our in-house bakery chefs Bread Pudding.” Fine, you don’t have to threaten me with stretch marks. It is incredible and it’s served warm even, yum. I think we officially did some damage here. I feel warm and fuzzy. What a great place to come anytime of the day. An awesome staff with a sexy lumberjack like vibe going. I can certainly dig that. I still want to try their bologna sandwich and their chicken and waffles. Next visit. Benjamin is the crafty alcohol wizard here. He can whip ya up something fancy or break down every element in a whiskey so come check this place out. The word is already getting out; it gets pretty packed.

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Tamarack Tap Room, 8418 Tamarack Village, Woodbury, MN 55125

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: The Local

The Local 1

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: The Local: The Local – If there is an award for pouring the most Jameson Irish whiskey in the world, The Local is a four year straight champ.  Surrounded by hand-carved wood and original chandeliers, this local watering hole has been around for two decades, not just serving up some stellar drinks, but are you aware about the food?  Yea, let’s get into that.

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Starting this evening of #FOODPORN off with two Big Gingers with my weekly gluttony man-date @tonyflizzle. This is their signature drink made with 2 Gingers Irish Whiskey. This drink and the whiskey in it were born here at The Local. 2 Gingers is made at Killbeggan Distillery, the oldest working distillery (1759) in Ireland. They just happen to be on special tonight, and we were told to definitely squeeze the lemon and lime for the ultimate flavor mix.  I love this drink and I love 2 Gingers, keep pouring.

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Mushroom Caps – Wild rice from northern Minnesota stuffed into champ potatoes (champ is a simple Irish side dish made of scallions, potatoes and butter, with the addition of spinach and ground mushrooms) and combined with cream cheese and seasoning. They are then topped with roasted garlic Panko and finish it with a dab of truffle oil and some porcini sea salt.  Crispy and tasty, those two qualities are a beautiful thing. The truffle oil made the whole dining area smell grand. Anything served in a cast iron gets bonus points from me, just let them cool and don’t burn your tongue from eagerness.

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Chicken Shots – Their signature appetizer; they brine and marinate chicken breasts. Then they bread them in their seasonal flour and fry them to order. They are then tossed with their whiskey honey glaze – reduced honey, molasses, vinegar and spices with almost 8 liters of booze to bring this lovely sauce together.
These are amazing. I imagine these being just as good the next day, easily.  Sweet and crisp on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.  I would imagine these being great with noodles. I foresee endless possibilities and combinations with these. A staple here at The Local if you weren’t aware already.

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Fish and Chips – Their fish is caught and frozen on the boat and shipped directly to them without going through any extra processing until one of their prestige cooks cuts it down. Because of that, they have the advantage of avoiding the soggy water-logged fish that places try to pass off.  They use Finnagins in their beer batter and it comes with a pile of fries, their house tartar, and finished with course sea salt and fresh dill.
A lightly, yet crisp battered, lovely, fresh, and HUGE portion of fish. Perfectly paired with an ice cold Heineken.

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Guinness Nitro IPA – A perfect beer to pair with our next dish, curry. Seriously this is my first time trying this, and I’m highly impressed. Smooth, delicate, with a nice head, and three heads are better than one. Very well balanced and not what I expected from an IPA. Did you know this place was the first to have it on tap about two months ago?  Now you do.  Bring on that curry!

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Curry Dinner – Curry is a pub staple in Ireland. Theirs is a mild yellow curry with a bit of toasted coriander and cumin to round it out. They prepare the chicken in vinegar and coconut “brine” and simmer it in curry sauce with bell peppers and yellow onions to order. It is served with basmati rice and sides of popadom, chili paste, scratch cucumber riatta, and onion chutney.  What a pleasant and hearty curry. I’d come here just for this if there weren’t so many other amazing dishes to choose from. I’ve never in my curry-eating life had sides to add, and you know what, all of them worked. So go ahead and dump them in and enjoy.

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Trio of DessertsBread Pudding; A denser version of Grandmas favorite, topped with hazelnut struessle. Chiboust; Vanilla flavored pastry cream and merengue folded together and frozen. They then brûlée it and serve it with fresh berries. Guiness Mousse – Two types of beer infused mousse layered to look like a pint.

All three are wonderful and I’m not sure what to write to convince you otherwise. How adorable is that mousse? Also, perfect portions to share this trio of sugar. Paired with The Local Irish Cream…

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The Local Irish Cream – Made fresh in house with 2 Gingers Whiskey, and the rest is a big giant secret.  Just know that you will beg for the secret recipe to this dessert-inspired drink, because it is that good.  Move over RumChata & Hot Chocolate, there is a new after dinner drink in town.  I will get this recipe, give me time.

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I’ve had a few drinks and a few beers tonight, but the final drink to end the night was the strongest and gave me the biggest buzz. Ooooohweeeee! Pictured on the right is Irish Coffee – Sweetened with a little bit of stout and topped with a unique whipped cream.  Aside from the Big Ginger, this is their best winter seller and was named as one of the five best in the US by Imbibe Magazine. I can’t feel my face, and I like it…From a coffee drink? Yup.

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Like a game of clue, there are unique rooms such as the Boardroom, Kissing Room and private event rooms; The Hollow, The Sanctuary and The Choir.  Phatphood got Tony Fly wasted in The Hollow with the boulevardier, I win!  The view looking down from upstairs is like a wide-open old bank or a library, but with a party going on.  Great place to hold an event or meet just about everyone from Target after work… let me get that discount card.  But if mingling and throwing back Irish whiskey is not your thing, the food is magnificent and every plate should be left overturned.  Seriously, keep coming back until you’ve had it all, including the weekly specials.

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The Local, 931 Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis, MN 55402

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: B-52 Pop Up Dinner

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: B-52 Pop Up Dinner – B-52 decided to do their first ever pop-up dinner led by Chef Jason at a secret location on Saturday December 12th, 2015 at 6pm with a text just two hours before from sought out event planner Traci Czech.  The location happened to be at 11 Wells, a distillery located in the historic Hamm’s Brewery on Minnehaha Avenue in St. Paul.

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We were greeted by Tim Egbert, a mad scientist of spirits whom educated each and every of the fifteen guests that attended this secret feast on what they make as well as the process.  Due to cancelations they decided to seat everyone on one long table which was good for presentational purposes but not so good with getting to know your neighbors.  I have to admit, it was nice to sit in a distillery and admirer all of the equipment and machinery while drinking their product and enjoying some grub.

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Here is what I had for the five course meal paired with drinks:

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Bone Marrow with Toast Points – The beef marrow bone is roasted with herbs and spices. The marrow was sourced from Hometown Meats in Inver Grove Heights. The toast points come from a local bakery, Denny’s 5th Avenue in Bloomington, MN.  Paired with a Christmas Cocktail.   I do not believe there was alcohol involved in this drink, but the bone marrow is a meaty jam to this toast, that is a for sure.  Great taste with a good amount of garlic, bravo!

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Chorizo and Wild Rice Stuffed Mushroom Caps – Chorizo is provided by a local mix company. This is a spicy pork blend, mixed with the mushroom stems, shallots, and local wild rice. They are baked and smothered with parmesan cream sauce. Paired with a Planterns Punch.   Both good, I enjoyed the punch and the Chorizo wasn’t overbearing the mushrooms.  It also worked well with the parmesan.   I would order these frequently as an app if they were available at a favorite spot.  Jason, make this happen.

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Parmesan Crusted Tilapia – Most of the items from this dish are supplied from Urban Organics directly next door to 11 Wells here in St. Paul, MN. The tilapia is the freshest fish you can get here. Harvested this morning in fact. It is lightly crusted with parmesan and served on a bed of watercress they also grow next door. The watercress adds a vibrant spice to the dish. Shareable Brussel Sprouts are on the side and is paired with Rye Whiskey Old Fashioned.  My least favorite dish of the evening; parmesan is easy to burn, an in this case it tasted as so in some spots.  I really get turned off when I find bones while eating fish, I found several, so did my neighbors.  After that I was pretty much done with this dish.   The brussel sprouts with bacon were tasty and so was the Old Fashioned.

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Pork Tenderloin with Cajun Honey Crisp Apples – A match made in heaven. These pork tenderloins medallions have been slowly roasted for extra juicy tenderness. Minnesota’s very own local honey crisp apples are balanced with cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  A side of roasted red potatoes and paired with what was supposed to be a Cider with a twist, but it was a rum and ginger instead, which I believe was to go with the dessert.  The apples were thinly shaved which I liked so they weren’t the star of the dish.  The pork was cooked near perfectly and the spices worked very well.  Shame though that the cider wasn’t served with this dish because I think it really would have accompanied it well.

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Panna Cotta with Cherry Liquor – Paired with a Rum and Ginger from the last dish, but also with the Cider with a twist now.  Terrific with the cherry liquor addition, and an ample amount of Panna Cotta satisfied me for this finale.

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Overall, a great experience.  I would love to enjoy some other dishes by Chef Jason and his team.  Cool location for this pop-up, very intimate and felt like a secret diners club of some sort.  Can’t wait to give the next operative a try.

B-52 Burgers and Beer, 5639 Bishop Ave. Inver Grove Heights, MN 55076