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Author: Phatphood

Home/Articles Posted by Phatphood (Page 4)
SisterActwRegina_5inx7in_web

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Sister Act

Sister Act 4

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Sister Act – Hallelujah! Director Michael Brindisi found some of the best in the Twin Cities and brought them together for a disco turned gospel musical production on stage at the nation’s largest professional dinner theatre company, Chanhassen Dinner Theatres.

Sister Act

It was a 4-hour evening of good laughs with the best of company over dinner, followed by an amazing adaption of this blockbuster hit made into a Broadway sensation. If you have never eaten at CDT, do not skip dessert. That is all.

Sister Act 1

Regina Marie Williams did an outstanding performance as Deloris Van Cartier, a hopeful diva in witness protection at a convent under the alias Sister Mary Clarence hiding from her beau Curtis and his trio of thugs. Regina hits you with not only disco style musical ballads and clap-a-long gospel choir inspirations, but also whimsical comedy with short text lines like “These are my FM boots.” The likeness of the movie tribute did not stop there. Three nuns did an indistinguishable performance as Sister Mary Patrick (Therese Walth), Sister Mary Lazrus (Seri Johnson) and Sister Mary Robert (Britta Ollmann). These three ladies had me to believe I was front row to the movie itself. Superb job!

MotherSuperior_Eddie

Although the entire cast was amazing and entertaining, there was one that stood out above the rest for me. Sweaty Eddie. That’s right Lieutenant Eddie Souther played by Reginald D. Haney. A somewhat goofy looking character with an oversized mustache that had a surprising voice that had all of them women in attendance swooning for him by shows end. Reginald is a member of Sounds of Blackness making his debut to the stage here at CDT, and I’m hoping he will be back for many more performances.

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The storyline was quick and to the point without skipping a beat, literally. It was also obviously filled with contagious musical performances created originally by Alan Menken that are different from what you may remember from the big screen performance.   I actually preferred the stage story to the movie version in whole; it shared a little more background to the nun on the run. Perfectly done!

Sister Act will be at Chanhassen Dinner Theatre until February 27, 2016. Buy your tickets here.

Photo Credit: Heidi Bohnenkamp, 2015

5 burgers 1 night

2015 Hudson WI Burger Battle We’ve Tried It

5 burgers

Hudson Burger Battle

2015 Hudson WI Burger Battle We’ve Tried It: This is the 5th year of the Hudson Burger Battle. For a donation of $25, participants receive a Burger Battle Punch Card and visit each of the five restaurants with this card during regular lunch or dinner hours between Nov. 1st and Dec. 31st to receive a free Burger Battle featured burger. After participants have enjoyed all five burgers, they simply visit the Burger Battle voting site (click here to vote) and choose your favorite burger. You do realize that you have two months to eat five burgers, but why not make it exciting and have them all in one evening? Let’s go!

Big Guys BBQ Burger

Big Guys Burger

First up is Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse with their Smokin Blues Burger – 8oz CAB burger patty, blackening spice, lettuce, tomato, breaded onion strings, jalapeño chips, bacon and warm blue cheese cream dressing. 
First thoughts: That seasoning on their CAB (Certified Angus Beef) burger really highlights this featured 8-napkin beauty. I love blue cheese and this sauce was awesome! After thoughts: This was the biggest bite of all the burgers, with the most add-ons. Was offered how I liked it cooked, medium.

Season's Tavern Burger

Seasons Burger 2

Second stop down the road on this Hudson Burger Battle is Seasons Tavern with The Frenchie – A 1/2 pound patty stuffed with sautéed onions and Swiss cheese, topped with sautéed mushrooms and Swiss cheese. Served with a side of au-jus. 
 First thoughts: A French onion soup burger or a French Dip basically. There is a perfect char on both sides of the patty. After thoughts: It didn’t leave me craving for another one. Swiss isn’t much of an oozer when it comes to a Juicy Lucy style burger. No option given as to how I wanted it cooked.

Stone Tap Burger 2

Stone Tap Burger 3

Third spot, feeling a little slow, a bit heavier in my walk, but must keep up the momentum. Luckily I can walk to all the remaining burger spots after this. But for now, I am at Stone Tap and giving something with a simple name a try. The Burger – House ground brisket, short rib and sirloin, 10oz double stacked with 3 slices of melted American cheese. 
First thoughts: Lovely, juicy, bloody, simple. Perfectly seasoned leaning more to the peppery side, which I like. After thoughts: Need to mention buttery, as well as my crave for another one. Was offered how I liked it cooked, medium.

Postmark Grille Burger 2

Postmark Grill

Okay, onto the fourth location on this Hudson Burger Battle. I walked up the street to the Postmark Grille to have their Chili Cheddar Cheese Burger – Topped with a cilantro cream sauce. 
 First thoughts: Although it’s not mentioned in the description, it definitely has horseradish in the cream sauce. Different. Another messy one so keep the napkins close. After thoughts: The cilantro was lost and masked by the horseradish. The chili was lacking something. Came well done by default.

Dick's Bar and Grill Burger

Dick's Burger 2

Woo! Finally made it to the fifth and final burger. Finishing all five in 3.5 hours. Dessert?? Maybe. Last spot is Dick’s Bar & Grill and they are serving up the Sicilian Burger – 1/3 lb. burger with chopped jalapeños and bacon, marinara, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. 
 First thoughts: A little bit of everything that works. I’ll just call it a pizza burger served on a crisp toasted bun. I’m full now. After thoughts: The jalapeños and bacon got lost in the marinara. Love the two cheesy melt combo. A garlic butter sauce on that perfectly toasted bun would have been a nice touch. Ordered mine medium, but had to ask.

The winning restaurant and burger will be officially announced in early January. But you can get my winner right here, right now. Final thoughts: Although all burgers had their own uniqueness, it came down to two burgers for me to choose from. The Smokin Blues Burger from Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse and The Burger from Stone Tap, two outstanding burgers that were both cooked perfectly medium. I am a sauce type of guy that loves a burger with flare. That’s why I really love the Smokin Blues Burger. I love a burger that is seasoned perfectly and stands on it’s own as far as flavor.  That’s why I love The Burger, and a winner for me in this Burger Battle for that purpose alone. Also had the best bun out of all of the nominees. Congratulations, that’s a good burger!

Punch Cards are available for purchase at each of the 5 participating restaurants or from BRIDGE. However, the punch cards are already sold out for the Burger Battle.

One hundred percent of the punch card purchase will go to BRIDGE, supporting programs that allow youth and young adults with disabilities in the St. Croix River Valley to attend year-round day service programs, attain meaningful employment, participate in ongoing recreational activities, and socialize with friends.

A special thank you to all the restaurants and Craig Hofland for getting We’ve Tried It all set up.

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse – Not sure where to go for some good kick ass BBQ? We’ve got you covered. A little trip over the river to Hudson, WI is where you can find this four-month-old Double Duece inspired Roadhouse that sits on seven acres of land for endless possibilities.  A top notch sound system is in place for events and concerts to come with ample room to get your groove on, while coin operated pool tables, foosball and a handful of video games occupy an area off to the side. They serve amazingly strong drinks along with meat that is slow-smoked for 16 hours on (using virgin cherry wood), 4 hours off, then is freshly delivered to your face. Oh, and I hope you like bacon!

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As usual, we always start out with some mouth-watering alcoholic beverages before we jump into our #FOODPORN. Here we have a Southern Suiter (Jesse James Bourbon, Triple Sec, Sour, splash of Sprite, Muddle Orange, lime, lemon, simple syrup) – a nice southern cooler with a sour twist. 
Also had a Kentucky Bourbon Ale from Lexington Brewing and Distillery – easy to drink, light, rare hop. Supporting local, it always a good thing.

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Basket O’ Bacon – Thick cut, slow smoked & rubbed with Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse signature house rub. 
Its not crispy like you would think upon delivery, but tender and oh-so flavorful, almost jerky-like but easy to chew. It is also referred to as candied bacon and I’m like a kid in a candy store. Good stuff.   I need the Bucket O’ Bacon please!

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Bacon Wrapped Satay – Chicken breasts wrapped with bacon, seasoned with Big Guys BBQ House rub and basted with their house BBQ sauce. served on a bed of their signature smokey slaw. Moooooore bacon? Yes! Tender, juicy chunks of chicken with that awesome smoked bacon and the perfect glaze of BBQ sauce. The slaw is yogurt based with some jalapeño and bacon as well. Good appetizer on a stick right here.

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Chicken & Waffle Sliders – Buttermilk breaded chicken breast, candied bacon, provolone cheese, sandwiched between two waffles and served with a side of pure maple syrup. Okay, these are something for your foodie bucket list. I have to admit, it didn’t look like much at first until I got it in my hand up close and personal. Love at first bite. Provolone is my favorite cheese. Have I mentioned bacon yet? It’s here again. The chicken is a perfect mix of herbs and spices (14 I believe?). Definitely used all of that syrup by pouring and dipping. This is a breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner…anytime sandwich. Food truck these to my neighborhood please.

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Time to cleanse the palate with some more alcoholic beverages. Left to Right: Big Guys Ginger – Fresh orange slice, bitters, Jesse James Bourbon, Ginger beer, Grand Marnier Float. I could use a cigar with this one; strong, manly, dig it. Texas Tea – Muddle Orange and mint, simple syrup, peach whiskey, sweet tea vodka, lemonade and a splash of Sprite. Brisk and refreshing. Great to pair with their dry rubbed meats. You’ll order a second because they go down so easily.

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Cubano – Slow-smoked pit ham, house pulled pork, Swiss cheese, pickles and creamy mustard sauce served Panini style on ciabatta bread. What a great tasting cubano. Didn’t want to stop eating it, and I have been looking for one of this caliber and to my liking for a while now. Found it. Pack me one in my lunch box daily please.

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Roadhouse Platter – Half Rack of Big Guys house rubbed ribs, half-pound of smoked slow cooked brisket, half of signature sauce glazed chicken, half-pound of pulled pork, candied bacon, and boneless loin chops.

 The meat God plate. Something for everyone, or everything for one. Either way, it’s a feast! Now, they do have a few sauces at the table, but suggest that you just enjoy eating their ribs as is. Ribs are smokey, not your boiled fall-off-the-bone type, you will have to earn to see these bones. Everything here is well cooked with bar-none flavors.

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Sides!! Top to bottom: Secret House Recipe Potato Salad. I only like a couple of potato salads, add this to that list. Creamy, smooth, light, perfect. Mac N’ Cheese – Fusilli pasta in a creamy blend of three cheeses (sharp cheddar, Gouda and fontina) topped with crispy cheddar crust. Yes! Yes! Yes! Gooey yuminess! Smokey Slaw – Smoked red & green cabbage, mixed with jalapeños, bacon and blue cheese…unforgettable! And lastly, Roadhouse Beans – Baked beans blended with house seasoning and Big Guys signature pulled pork. Meaty, tasty, hearty goodness. No complaints with these sides. Keep’em coming.

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No, seriously, that mac n cheese though. Can we have a moment?

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Big Guys Signature BBQ Glazed Salmon with fries. I love a good char lately on my fish. Damn that’s a good char with a nice sweet BBQ glaze. There’s that awesome slaw underneath again, which means more bacon!

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Finally, #dessertporn. Whiskey Apple Bread Pudding – Granny Smith apples baked into the bread pudding and topped with whipped cream and house made praline sauce. Their praline sauce, yea I’m an instant fan. If you love bread pudding, you’ll love this. C’mon, trust me already.

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Ooooh, and yet, another Key Lime Pie – It upholds to all the rest we’ve had on @tonyflizzle and I #foodporn journey. Effortless, petite and hits the spot with a buttery crust. Minor tartness I might add.

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Brandied Caramel Pear Trifle – Layers of Bartlett pears, caramel sauce, ginger snap cookies and cheese cake topped with whipped cream. 
This is a cup o’ love with my name written all over it. I’m in Phatboy heaven, and I don’t even like pears! You’re coming to get this, I already know. Still licking my spoon and fingers.

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Yee-Haw, that about wraps that up. Make the simple drive. Remember, Hudson is basically a part of the Twin Cities. They will start having a DJ on Friday nights and I plan on going there in February for a couple of shows myself. They just got some new equipment out back that, once installed, will increase productivity of their slow-cooked meats, also making room for some whole pigs when needed. There will always be fresh and ready beef and pork here, come and get it, because dinner is ready!

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Tinto Cocina + Cantina Weve Tried It

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Tinto Cocino + Cantina

Tinto Cocina + Cantina Weve Tried It

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Tinto Cocino + Cantina: We were in search of a food fiesta, and we certainly found that off of Lake Street in Minneapolis at Tinto Cocino + Cantina, which is a corner restaurant with a spacious floor plan and gnarly wall murals on the inside and street-side patio or more private seating on the outside.  If you haven’t been here, what is taking you so long to do so? If you have, you’re making great life decisions. Time to get wow’d by some hand crafted cocktails and of course, some Latin American-inspired fare from Executive Chef Carlos Garza.

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Alright, @tonyflizzle and I always like to start out with a couple of specialty cocktails.  First up is Tinto’s famous Primiero Impacto Margarita ~ Don Julio Reposada, Cointreau, Gran Marnier, agave nectar, fresh lime and grapefruit juice.  What can I say, that’s a damn good margarita! Kudos!

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Now this was more my style, Mexican Coffee Martini ~ Patron XO, Kahula, Bailey’s, fresh brewed coffee.  Slightly thick (but just right), and creamy with two different buzzes. Me likey!  It’s a sexy drink that will have people asking “what is that?”

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Feeling good, time to grub.  Now, I may come off a little biased, but I absolutely love every single item on Tinto’s Starters Menu, but these, these right here, these are my favorite. Try not to eat this without saying WOW! Ropa Vieja ~ Braised beef, spicy aioli, queso fresco, sweet plantains and pickled onions. WOW! These flavors together are amazing. Four to a plate. Get them.  I did not get their flautas on this visit, but typically that is my favorite go-to item here.

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We visited on Taco Tuesday, so let’s get on to that.  Shrimp Tacos ~ Green peppers, red peppers, yellow onion, habanero aioli, queso fresco and cilantro. They make their own corn tortillas with rice flour, so it’s even gluten free and you can really taste the freshness.  Served three to a plate.  I recommend ordering four different versions at minimum, so make it a 12-pack.  These shrimp tacos are just simply refreshing.  Drooling yet?

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Keeping the #TacoTuesday tradition going with some Fish Tacos ~ White fish (Tilapia), habanero aioli, pickled cabbage, avocado.  Light and crisp batter with a good fourth of an avocado, yea, these are some tasty two-bite tacos –  enjoyable any day of the week.  I’m seriously a fan of their habanero aioli; it’s sweet, yet hot with a faint mustard taste.

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Tinto Cocina + Cantina only serves four entrees, so they put a lot of love into each of them and highlight each in their own unique way. Pollo Con Mole ~ Chicken breast, white rice, sesame seeds, pickled onion with traditional mole sauce from Oaxaca. Let me tell ya, that mole sauce is like a sweet bean gravy that I’ve never tasted before.  Nice juicy bone-in chicken breast evenly flattened for a perfect cook.  Definitely unique and delicious.

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Here is another spectacular entree out of the four they have.  Atlantic Salmon ~ Grilled salmon, squash purée and seasonal veggies.  The salmon had a perfect char on it, so much that I really want to duplicate it at home.  I typically just foil-bake salmon or use my Himalayan salt block, but I am really diggin’ this crisp char.  Going to also start introducing this squash purée to my house.  Very health conscious option right here, and another unique plate I might add.

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I should’ve had this first.  My all time favorite dessert, Tres Leches.  Tinto’s changes it up a bit with their Pinneapple Coconut Tres Leches ~ Pineapple sponge cake, coconut whipped cream and vanilla pineapple compote.  I’m not really even into pineapples, but damn I love me some of this.  Tres Leches will always be devoured no matter what fruits are involved that I’m not fond of.  Perfecto!

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Okay, so you’re not going to believe this.  All that hype I just told you about the Tres Leches, well, this trumps that.  Coconut Lemongrass Flan ~ With cinnamon crunch and whipped cream.  Soooooo amazing.  At Tinto, this is my new favorite dessert.  It literally is perfect in every aspect.  The cinnamon crunch is just like a toffee.  Don’t share this with anyone.  Have them order the Tres Leches and make them share with you, but make sure you get all of this.

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Tony Fly and I sat at the half moon bar that seats directly in front of the kitchen, definitely recommend this on one of your visits.  Every single day of the week they have happy hour from 3-6pm and those flautas are on it!  They also have a hot dog called the Spicy Latino; I had it once, it was great with a Dos Equis (also on HH).   Get both for 10 bucks!   Rumor has it that a special person was flown in to show the bartenders how to craft some top notch drinks here.  Filled with flavors and spice, definitely above average.  Watch for seasonal menu changes, which is a good thing in my opinion.  Waiting on that new Tres Leches I keep seeing pictures of on their FaceBook page.

Davanni's Pizza

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Davanni’s

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Davanni’s – What a coincidence, DAVANNI’S and myself both turned 40 this year, so why not celebrate this born day anniversary together?

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DAVANNI’S is a family-owned company based in Minnesota with 22 locations in the Twin Cities. The first of which opened on Cleveland and Grand as Pontillo’s on October 1, 1975.

Ever since my mom introduced it to me, I have always frequented the Brooklyn Center location and even had my 14th birthday party there since it is such a favorite of mine.

They were the first restaurants to offer hot hoagies, and I fell in love with the ham hoagie at first bite.  It is actually the only place that I eat ham from.  On the exact day of their Anniversary, DAVANNI’S opened their Chanhassen location as well as their newly remodeled Edina location.  Now living in Savage, I figured I’d go check out the new Chanhassen location to celebrate with them.

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I started off with a Southwestern Salad with chicken – lettuce mix, black bean and sweet corn salsa, chicken, cheddar cheese, red onions, fajita seasoning, crunch tortilla strips and topped with chipotle salsa ranch dressing.  I typically don’t order salads much when I go out, but this is one of those salads that makes you crave it on each visit, just a good mix of flavors and zest!

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Now, I’ve never had the Boneless Wings from DAVANNI’S because that is simply not what they are known for, but they offer them as a sharable side and it is never too late to try something new.  Had the BBQ sauce option.  That is some tasty BBQ sauce!  Something you may want to order for a group or if there are kids in your party.

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DAVANNI’S garlic cheese bread – different, in the best way. They use their hoagie buns and smother it with a garlic butter spread, add some mozzarella cheese and BAM!  Simple and Instant gratification.  Available on white, whole grain, or ciabatta and served with a red dipping sauce.  Legendary!

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Hot hoagies…yum!  These little bad boys can be order as halves or whole.  I recommend going for the whole or getting two different halves such as I did this evening.  On one half, I had Turkey Bacon Chipotle or if you like using short text, TBC – Turkey and bacon topped with garlic butter and cheddar cheese, then broiled.  Dressed with tomatoes, lettuce, chipotle mayo, onions and their very own secret dressing.  I recommend getting extra secret dressing, but I’m a sauce freak, and this sauce is awesome sauce!  Great hoagie; you can never go wrong with anything that has bacon.  I had the Club for my second half, which has Turkey, Canadian bacon and pepperoni.  It also has the same fixings as the TBC and tastes just as good.  Again, get extra dressing and high five me when you see me.

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Pizza, can’t forget about pizza, especially at DAVANNI’S since they have some delicious crusts no matter the thickness.  First up was Ironically their first and most popular pizza, the Works – pepperoni, sausage, hamburger, mushrooms and red onions.  When I was a kid, I hated deep-dish pizza.  I always discarded the crust; thought it was a waste of belly room.  I love the deep-dish crust here.  It has just the right amount of crunch and consistency.  In fact, when I order pizza from DAVANNI’S, I always order it deep-dish style.  That, however, didn’t stop me from trying a good ‘ol Traditional Pepperoni Pizza.  A chewier crust, a little bit of bite followed by a little bit of pull and tear.  Another good consistent ‘za if I do say so myself. They now have a gluten-free crust (also wheat free) available at all locations but one (25th & Riverside in Minneapolis).

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They offer three simple desserts – Fabulous Brownies, Rice Crispy Treats and Chocolate Chunk Cookies.  The brownies really are fabulous; addictingly good.  Oh, and they sell them by the tray if needed.  Needed!

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I am enjoying a lot of food as you can see, but after all, it is a celebration.  Being at this new location, I also got to experience something new that they have added – local craft beer options (at all locations except Riverside) with tap beer available at Edina and Chanhassen, as well as wine to six locations (Edina, Eden Prairie, Arden Hills, Minnetonka, Eagan, and Chanhassen).  I am a wine drinker, so naturally I had wine.  They have a few options for both red and white, but the Charles & Charles Cabernet Blend is a perfect choice.

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I love what they’ve done with the place.  A vibrant new modern look with a spacious layout and now, a bar.  I was also amazed to see that they sell frozen lasagna and pizza in a display case by the ordering counter. I never even knew they had this option of easy take n’ bake.  Video menus at the counter, flat screens viewable from all tables, and a Coca-Cola Freestyle machine is what to expect when dining at DAVANNI’S.  Can we do this again when we both turn 50?

Phat and Fly Sakana Plymouth MN

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Sakana

Phat and Fly Sakana Plymouth

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Sakana – Sakana Sushi and Asian bistro has three locations in the Twin Cities, we decided to visit the Plymouth restaurant because of the newly renovated feature they have, Japanese BBQ. They took out all of the Hibachi grills and replaced them with fourteen do-it-yourself centerpiece style grills, the first Japanese restaurant to do so in Minnesota. Sakana is a Japanese term referring to food eaten as an accompaniment to alcohol. That is exactly what we are here to do, eat and drink, so lets get on with it already!

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Rock Shrimp Tempura ~ Battered and flash fried, then tossed in a spicy aioli.

Light, crisp, simple, just how I like it. I’m a sauce guy, so you know I’m dippin! Refreshing appetizers start now!

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Rainbow Trio ~ Yellow Tail, Salmon and tuna. All wrapped around kani, cucumber, kaiwari, jalapeño and a side of chili oil ponzu.

Mini-plants of sashimi is what went through my mind as this was placed in front of me. Awesome presentation and fresh food is what I’m here for, and Sakana has it. There’s a plant that glows on my plate! Yeah yeah yeah, they say if it isn’t edible then it has no business being on the plate…well I appreciate the decor on my plate this evening so to hell with that theory. That sauce was tasty, so for the first time I didn’t douse my sashimi with spicy mayo and then dip in soy sauce.

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Sweet Shrimp Martini + Yellowtail Sashimi + Naruto (tuna, salmon, yellowtail, avocado, asparagus and snow crab wrapped in a cucumber) + The ‘On The Fly’ Roll (spicy scallop tartar and asparagus wrapped with big eye tuna).

Tell me this isn’t beautiful? Flowers and all! I actually like the healthy option of no rice on this entire plate. The yellowtail was so fresh and smooth like butter on the tongue. The ‘On The Fly’ Roll was just that, made-up last minute just for us. Who doesn’t like a sushi chef that improvises? Every element in the dish was exhilarating, and the freshness level was on 10. Amazing plating. Amazing dish.

This full dish was on a lengthy plate, so for my #foodporn picture sake, I broke it down into two parts.

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Part 1: Land and Sca ~ Beef tenderloin stir fried with veggies in a black pepper soy ginger reduction.

 Great little bowl of stir fry right here. Broccoli is my favorite in any stir fry dish because it holds the sauce the best. This dish had the broccoli along with an awesome sauce, winner.

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Part 2: Land and Sca ~ Marinated then pan seared scallops on lemon slices. Not exactly a crisp sear on either side, yet a perfect cook all the way through with a flavorful marinade is what made these taste excellent. Great flavors throughout that will leave you craving for more. This dish also lights up in a disco ball of noodles. Blinkity blink.

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Japanese BBQ ~ Truffle oil rib eye, marinated short ribs, garlic shrimp, miso pork belly, garlic buttered lobster, basil pesto chicken and spicy marinated tenderloin. With multiple vegetables, sides and sauces to make lettuce wraps. I see you kimchi!

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Sakana 1

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This is fun. Perfect for a first date or just gathering amongst wanna-be-chefs. Plan for a couple hours of entertainment all within your own company. You can either make lettuce wraps or just mix-and-match any combination you like, you’re doing the cooking and eating. If by chance you need help or are not sure how to cook something to its safe temperature, any server is available to assist you. You also can have any of the meats and seafood marinated to your liking or not at all.

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Once you’re done, you have the option of having them remove the grill and you can grill/roast some marshmallows and make your own s’mores. I’m going to stop right here…This may or may not have ended well. You will have to tune-in to ‘On The Fly‘ 11/4/2015 at 11pm (or it replays the following day at 8am) on MY29.  Video will also be posted here sometime after it airs.

Now there may be some debate as to this being Korean BBQ, even though there are some striking similarities, this is a Japanese restaurant, and for that purpose, it is Japanese BBQ. I don’t care what it is called, it is fun and is great accompanied with sushi and other Japanese fare. Plenty of options for anyone in your party, so there is something for everyone. There is a beautiful bar right as you walk in pass the hostess stand. We had some really refreshing drinks on this visit, try the cucumber martini and thank me later. There is a sushi bar, a regular dining area, and then in the back is where you will find the BBQ tables. Grab a date or a group, you really can’t go wrong here.

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: The Pointe

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: The Pointe – Oh oh…we went and did it again. This time bar food at its finest. The Pointe in Prior Lake, MN is where we are taking this next episode of Eating Twin Cities or aka a little segment we like to call #FOODPORN that will air next week 10/28/15 on MY29 on ‘On The Fly’ with my co-eater Tony Fly. When you pull up to The Pointe you think to yourself, “this place is huge!” When you walk inside you get the same vibe, with multiple dining areas and a 200-inch screen showing life-sized sport players taking action. Let’s see if the food holds up to all of this bigness.

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The staff has a “we get up at the same time you do on the weekends” mentality, so we decided to try a few hangover items here first. Ultimate Bloody Mary ~ House infused pepper vodka and Bloody Mary mix, bacon swizzle stick with brown sugar and bourbon, a skewer with summer sausage, cheddar, pepper jack, pepperoni, green olive, pepperoncini, shrimp and a pickle.

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Great flavored Bloody, with a medium spice and good skewer choices. The bacon swizzle stick, now that’s the ‘twist’ on this Bloody to make it stand out from others. Brilliant! 10am-2pm is when they serve breakfast, and it’s definitely not an after church function. It is more like, come pick up your car from the night before cure. So you will mostly see everyone from the night before.

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Breakfast Chimi ~ House prepared cheesy hash browns, scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, mushrooms, onions and cheddar jack cheese, all wrapped in a tortilla, deep-fried and covered with queso. Served with tots, sour cream, tomatoes, red onions, their house made guacamole and salsa. 
Okay, if I had a hangover, it would easily be cured by their Ultimate Bloody Mary and this smothered goodness. Grease is the remedy and they have it here. Their guac is pretty impressive as well!

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Chicken & Beef Giant Nachos ~ House made tortilla chips, Colby jack, queso, chicken, beef, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, black olives, jalapeños, cilantro, sour cream and house made salsa and guacamole (fresh everyday).

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When you order nachos at any restaurant, this is what you envision. Not a flat plate of chips and cheese, but a mound of gloriousness that challenges your appetite ego. Tony Fly branded this “The Nacho Eclipse.” Pretty righteous. I will get this often and I will finish it.

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Jalapeño Cheese Burger ~ Hand-patted ground beef, pepper jack cheese, jalapeños, bacon, Thai chili sauce a jalapeño and cream cheese roll, served on a brioche bun. With house made potato chips.

I found yet another local favorite. Thank you for only being 10-minutes down the road. When this was presented to us, we both were shocked to see what we assumed was an egg roll on a burger, and with Thai chili sauce!? Pretty insane, and different…and I love it! It works! It amazingly works!

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Burkey Turger ~ House ground turkey burger (bacon, carrots, onions and special seasonings) topped with Bacon Sriracha aioli, Swiss cheese, bacon, avocado and a fried egg. Served on a brioche bun with waffle fries.

This is the unhealthiest, healthiest meal I’ve encountered here thus far, but I dig it. They’ve managed to make the turkey not only taste wonderful, but to keep it extremely juicy. No dry tuger here. Plus they had me at bacon and eggs. Doesn’t that avocado look vibrant? I guess you could get it with out all of the good stuff on it and make it a more healthier option, but nah!

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Brat Burger ~ House ground sausage patty, Swiss cheese, bacon and Thai chili kraut served on a pretzel brat. Of course, with some tots.

It’s different that’s for sure. That’s what I’m into. It won’t be my go to burger, not with that jalapeño cream cheese one I just devoured here, that’s for sure. This is unique with the kraut and I love the brat patty. A super-fresh soft pretzel bun makes this a favorite for locals I’m told.

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Dagwood ~ Four slices of sourdough, warm ham, bacon, salami, pepperoni, turkey, roast beef, Swiss, white American, pepper jack, lettuce, tomato, onion and Dijon mayo.

 Gluten free? Not here. That’s damn near a loaf of bread right there.

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Just your typical Dagwood here, kind of…Only a bigger, and more impressive version. Was served with their “famous, yet not famous” cheese curds. Light, crisp and delightful they were.

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Needed a break. I am getting stretch marks as I type. Time for a refreshing Caramel Appletini, you know, to soothe this gluttony. Yup, they do these here too. This was actually really good. I feel fancy.

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Mixed Grill ~ Skewers of scallops, bacon wrapped shrimp, Szechwan chicken, garlic herb steak, pork belly and vegetables served on cilantro rice.

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Truly the healthiest dish of the night. The Pointe, on-a-stick. That pork belly was scrumptious. Generous portions once again. Scallops had a perfect sear. The two different aioli’s were terrific and paired nicely with the battered mahi mahi and the pork belly. This is a great mixed dish perfect for sharing. But just that you know the pork belly and scallops are mine.

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The Pork Skyscraper ~ two beef patties, one house made brat patty, house smoked pulled pork with Carolina BBQ sauce, bacon, Canadian bacon, bacon Sriracha aioli, Swiss, coleslaw, fried onion strings and a fried pickle. 
 This little piggy was a beast!! I’m in my zone.

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The waffle fries are literally the foundation to hold this leaning tower of meats. Ridiculous, yet proper at the same damn time. The mothership has landed right here at The Pointe in Prior Lake. I triple dog dare ya!

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Mocha Cheesecake ~ House made cheesecake with coffee grounds, coffee liqueur, chocolate sauce and whipped cream. They make a new house made cheesecake every week here. This one is pretty badass. This week is nearly half over, do the right thing. A great little slice of heaven, with a slight caffeine buzz. Yum.

So after all, the portions of the dishes served here do in fact hold up to the size of this grill/bar/venue. You can come watch your favorite sports team (this place is known as Wild central) or you can come one of the few nights a week that they have a band playing on stage. Oh, they also have pretty decent Deejays a couple times out of the month as well. All while indulging on some mighty tasty, and let’s be honest, picture worthy dishes, that are sure to impress your friends once they get a glimpse of them online. Bar food with generous portions and restaurant quality, this is a place I will frequent often. By the way, it’s family friendly, so bring the kids (free kids meal with purchase of adult entrée Sunday – Wednesday). Just get them out of there by 9pm so we can party. See you Saturday morning, after I see you Friday night.

The Pointe: 16691 South Hwy 13 West, Prior Lake, MN.

Pedro Night 2

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: San Pedro Cafe

Pedro Night

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: San Pedro Cafe – We are back at it again. Still considered a distant part of the Twin Cities, San Pedro Cafe in Hudson Wisconsin is your local destination eats to the Caribbean.

Pedro Sign

Pedro Seats

As soon as I walked in, I was captured by the vibrant colors and the sounds of Bob Marley in this modernized building that once held The First National Bank in the 1870’s. Now, a restaurant with an incredible ambiance, this historic structure offers an amazing menu with a can’t-go-wrong ordering selection.  I felt like I was on an exotic trip with the tropical aromas in the air.  I could not wait to eat the creations that Executive Chef Quinton Hammond and Sous Chef Luis Lopez were preparing. But first, let’s start off with some drinks, shall we?

Drinks San Pedro

Sugar Island Rum Punch – Fresh Orange, pineapple and mango juices shaken with Sugar Island Spiced Coconut Rums; served over ice and garnished with an orange wedge.


Caribbean at its finest. Ya mon! 
Just getting started here while waiting for the rest of the crew to arrive to film for a little segment we like to call #FOODPORN that airs weekly on “On The Fly” at 11pm on MY29.

Crews here, let’s get some more drinks flowing!

San Pedro Drinks 3

[Left] Blackberry-Habanero Michelada ~ Sweet and Spicy? Habanero-infused vodka, fresh blackberry purée and a full bottle of Dos XX Lager, served over ice in a Tajin and salt-rimmed glass.


Move over Bloody Mary, there’s a new drink in town. Loving the infused (get use to that word here) vodka. This is a great drink to get here at San Pedro Cafe to start your day or even end your night.

[Right] Golden Margarita ~ Their famous house-made fresh-squeezed lime margarita mix with Sauza Gold Tequila, topped with Royale Montaine Orange Liqueur, served on the rocks in a salt-rimmed glass. What can I say, if you love a good margarita, then you’ll love this one.

San Pedro Shrimp

This vacation on the other side of the river is going well so far, now it’s time to try a few appetizers. I’m hungry and salivating just looking at this dish.  Jamaican Hot Pepper & Garlic Shrimp ~ Jumbo tiger Shrimp sautéed with scotch bonnet peppers, garlic, tomato, onion, allspice and lime. Served with ciabatta bread and a pina colada dipping sauce.



Pedro Shrimp

The Jamaican bath these shrimp marinade in smelled and tasted like a mild curry. Dipping the bread in the chilled coconut sauce and then adding the sautéed shrimp on the bread made for a burst of wonderful flavors in my mouth. You can eat each item individually and it’s still two excellent dishes. Perfect appetizer to share, or just pig out, who am I to judge?

san pedro scallops

Next up, and still eating off the appetizer menu…Sea Scallops & Coconut Creamed Corn ~ Fresh jumbo sea scallops, pan seared and served over tropical creamed corn, crispy bacon, hints of lime and coconut, finished with cilantro vinaigrette.


I’ve had a lot of awesome scallops in my day, and these rank up there in my top five. Perfect sear, and the creamed corn which was a dish all on it’s own. Scallops are petite, and I could’ve used more bacon (but who couldn’t?).  It’s a nice-sized dish as a whole for under $13. I think you may be impressed.

San Pedro Duck Nachos

Smoked Duck Nachos ~ Tender slices of smoked Muscovy duck breast layered with white corn chips, mozzarella cheese and Pico de Gallo, finished with tropical mango salsa and lemon habanero aioli.

Pedro Nachos


When I looked up their menu a while back, these are what caught my eye.  I have been wanting to try these for quite some time now. Wow! I would get this appetizer nightly if I could. That mango salsa works amazingly on the top of those molten cheesy chips. The smoked duck is savory, and the aioli adds the perfect amount of heat. These will be your favorite.

San Pedro Stew

On to some San Pedro Cafe Specialties. First up, 

Yucatan Pork Stew ~ Wood-smoked, hand-pulled pork shoulder simmered with potatoes, onions, peppers and tomatoes in a rich and spicy broth – served with Caribbean rice and red beans.

 Okay, this is some damn good comfort food right here. A new craving of mine on a cool day or any given Sunday. I seriously asked for a five-gallon bucket to take home. It was that good! 
Eat separate, or pour, mix, eat and smile.

San Pedro Chicken

Have you ever been to Jamaica and tried authentic jerk chicken and then came back to the states chasing that true flavor?

 Traditional Jamaican Jerk Chicken ~ Hot pepper and garlic marinated airline chicken breast rubbed with jerk spices, oven roasted and served with wood-roasted vegetables and Caribbean rice and red beans. 

It does major justice. All the true flavors are there on a cleaner piece of chicken than you would expect from a five-gallon drum grill off the streets of Negril. Very tasty. I could use another piece of chicken though.

Time for a couple more drinks to cleanse the palate.

San Pedro Cafe 1

[Left] Gin Frambuesa ~ This “unexpected” gin cocktail features Hendrick’s Gin with our fresh-squeezed lime margarita mix, raspberry syrup, and is topped with Gosling’s Ginger Beer. 
 I still feel like I’m on the islands. Refreshing.

[Right] Jalapeño Blood Orange Margarita ~ House-made, jalapeño-infused Sauza Gold Tequila with their famous margarita mix, blood orange juice, and topped with triple sec; served over ice in a salt-rimmed glass. 
Spicy good times right here.

Dessert San Pedro 3

Time to try some desserts at this Caribbean hideaway.

  Chocolate Habanero Torte ~ A dense chocolate cake infused with just enough habanero pepper to warm the mouth, served slightly warm with chocolate sauce and fresh whipped cream.



To die for!  Slightly warm is correct, and with every bite it tasted like a fresh-out-of-the-oven delicate devilish delight. The habanero heat hits you at the end, but not enough to scare away the ones with a fear of spice. I asked if they serve these as whole cakes, and was happy to find out that they do!  Birthday hint.

Dessert San Peddro 2

Key Lime Pie ~ A tart key lime filling in a graham cracker and candied macadamia nut crust, served with fresh whipped cream.



Okay, I’ve heard rumors about how amazing this is. It truly holds up to those rumors. To me, you had me at that crust Pedro, and it’s pretty thick. Bonus.

Dessert San Pedro Cafe 1

Anyone that knows me, knows that I will try Tres Leches cake anywhere that it is served, well, because it is my favorite. So last but not least…Tres Leches ~ Pedro’s family heirloom recipe for this traditional vanilla-scented sponge cake soaked in our signature three milk blend and topped with mounds of fresh whipped cream and seasonal berries.



We have a winner here folks. Dive-in and take a bath.  I mean, look at this beauty. Sopping wet full of milk. This is how I imagine all great things should end. They also sell these in sheets, what?!  Thank you Pedro.  Thank you.

I have a proper buzz, I am full and I do not want to leave.  If you are looking for an escape from normal restaurant fare, this is it. A destination of flavors from the Island of Ambergris Caye, San Pedro Cafe is a fabulous restaurant with an open view of the bar and kitchen (with a wood-fired oven) from anywhere in the house.  They have weekly featured dishes if for some reason you want to stray away from the signature favorites.  I still have many dishes to try here so I will definitely be back soon.  Plus I didn’t get to see the wine cellar that once was a tunnel to transfer the banks moolah!

You can catch our San Pedro Cafe review on ‘On the Fly’ MY29 on October 21st at 11pm or October 22nd at 8am.

Wingstop MN

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Wingstop

Wingstop Minnesota

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Wingstop – I Finally came to check out Wingstop. It’s another franchise that has migrated from the south and finally has landed two locations here in Minnesota. The first was over a year ago in Roseville at the Har Mar Mall. The second location opened up earlier this summer in Brooklyn Center. I’ll tell you a little more about the place below, but for now lets get to the important stuff first, them wangs!

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Korean Q – A trial run sauce here at Wingstop until the end of November. I have a feeling this will become a permanent menu sauce. Trying it out on the boneless. Very tasty with a little heat. It stands up to the name quite well. Definitely will do well.

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Cajun – Hot with a southern twist. That they are. A great dry rub here at Wingstop with a perfect amount of heat I recommend getting them on the bone-in wings only. Their dry rubs are butter based wish doesn’t sit well on the breaded boneless wings. Which is why they will never be able to sell their dry rubs alone. This is my least favorite out of their dry rubs, probably would never get again since there are two amazing ones I’d always go with.

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Lemon Pepper – A hit of citrus and black pepper. A perfect combo. These are wonderful. If you haven’t heard from Rick Ross already, these are a must get on every visit. Again, a dry rub, so only get on the bone-in wangs. My second favorite dry rub.

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Mango Habanero – Sweet and spicy collide. Another perfect combo. This use to be a test sauce that made its way onto the menu permanently. It’s a given, the heat lingers after the sweetness fades. Packs a good punch. I could use them a tad bit hotter. Tried it on Wingstop’s boneless.

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Hickory Smoked BBQ – Sweet. Smokey. Rich. Not to name drop, but this sauce reminds me of a sauce I grew up on, Ken Davis. Sorry, not sorry. This is a really good sauce that they nailed with their description. Nothing more I can write. Tried it on Wingstop’s boneless.

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Louisiana Rub – A southern mix with hints of garlic. Some may disagree, but for me, this is my favorite. It even beats out lemon pepper. It’s just a really decent dry rub with the perfect kick. I will be adding these to every future order.

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Fries – They are not basic by any means. It was recommend that I get the cheese sauce either over the fries or at least as a dipping sauce. I believe these fries stand strong just with their own secret seasoning (I asked, they wouldn’t tell me). The cheese is good, but I would recommend either their bleu cheese or ranch that are both scratch made here. I’m a huge honey mustard fan, so I was dipping away in that since they have a really good one here as well. Did I mention these are hand cut? Oh, you can also get them seasoned with their dry rub seasonings. I’ll give that a try on the next visit.

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Wingstop’s Baked Rolls – Oh my damn, these are being ordered for my Thanksgiving dinner. They are doused in butter and are amazing. Give me some pulled pork and it’s over.

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I also tried their coleslaw and potato salad. Both great sides. I did not try their veggie sticks, but I wanted fried food and I wanted it all. Plus I’m not really here to tell you what a carrot tastes like. I would go with the traditional bone-in wing on all orders. I wanted to give everything a try with every option available for review sake. Bone-in is the way to go here.

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At this Roseville location, you can enter from the parking lot or through the Har Mar Mall. It is open until Midnight every day and even though 70% of their business is call ahead carryout, they do have a 42-seat dining area with 2 TV’s with fountain soda and bottled beer. Ordering is pretty simple and self-explanatory, but the staff is knowledgeable and can break it down for you if needed. You can watch your wings being cooked and tossed with a view of the kitchen from either the ordering area or if you dine-in. They also do catering and are looking to do delivery in the future.

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If you go, tell ’em Phatphood sent ya! When you do go, or if you already have been, I’d love to hear/read what is your favorite dry rub or sauce.

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Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: D-Spot

D-Spot Review

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: D-Spot – Sure there are quite-a-few wing joints around town. But D-Spot has more sauces, unique flavors, wing dishes that are meals in themselves, and heat levels that go to the point of requiring a 24-hour notice and a waiver. Here is just a sample of some of the goodness they serve up:

D-Spot Fries

D-Spot Fries – Jerk rub, salt, pepper, sugar and cracked fennel. Served with Harissa aioli. I seriously thought it was cinnamon and sugar on a battered fry with some sort of spice on it. Either way, these are some damn good fries that leave you guessing what is on it and wanting more. Very addicting.

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Lost In Translation – A French Mediterranean hybrid, crossing aioli’s with Spanish style chorizos and Smokey jalapeños. You pick up different aspects of mixed flavors with every bite, or you get lost in translation. To me it tasted like a pepped up honey BBQ with cream cheese and French Fries. Guess I’m very lost.

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Godzilla – Taken from the ‘Puff the Magic Dragon’ wing that is on the menu, but a little scarier and hotter. Green curry, jalapeño dry rub, grilled with lemon, coriander, cumin, chipotle aioli, salt, pepper, fried garlic, sugar and salsa pesto. Definitely can taste the curry and a good amount of heat without a long burn. Just the right touch of fire on these bad boys.

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The Spaniards Breakfast – Smoked pancetta, dehydrated pork, fried eggs, Harissa, and mixed greens. Served in a basket, but treated and eaten like a meal. This may be a breakfast dish although it is perfect for anytime of the day. Great flavors that look as good as it tastes!

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Peanut Butter & Jelly – House made peanut butter, crushed peanuts, coconut, honey, salt, pepper, sugar, grape marmalades with a hint of blueberry and Maldon sea salt. Does this work? Yes! No more sandwiches for lunch, this is a go to snack, lunch or even a great dessert wing. I’m a fan of these right here!

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At their bigger location in an Oakdale strip mall, D-Spot also serves up items such as burgers, soups, chili, and the return of a Fall favorite of mine, The Witch’s Brew! They now have a bar with local beers on tap, mainly from Big Wood Brewery. After trying several different brews, Udder Stout was an instant favorite with a milky smooth texture, hints of oats, roasted barely and chocolate. I need this in my refrigerator!

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Do keep in mind that all of these creations are made fresh-to-order and do take some time to make. Expect up to an hour wait for your order (or come after 8pm), and remember, this is not your typical wing joint…this is D-Spot. I’m told some crazy desserts are coming soon too, keep an eye out for those!

You can watch Phatphood and Tony Fly review D-Spot on ‘On the Fly’ tomorrow, October 7th on MY29 at 11pm.

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