• twitter_icon
  • facbook_icon
  • social-icon
  • social-icon2

Author: Phatphood

Home/Articles Posted by Phatphood (Page 5)
Giordano's 350

Giordano’s Minneapolis: The Phatphood Experience

Giordano's Pizza Minneapolis

Giordano’s Minneapolis: The Phatphood Experience – The wait is over! Authentic Chicago deep-dish pizza with gooey awesome cheese pulls and double crust has finally arrived in Minneapolis. 2700 Hennepin Avenue in Uptown to be exact.

Giordano's Ribbon CuttingGiordano's Pizza

Giordano’s hosts a beautiful corner structure with windows galore, framed to perfection. It shares a parking lot with a bank, so be prepared for residential parking during normal banking hours. With late night deals after 10pm like a six-inch-deep-dish and a beer for $10, the parking lot may never be empty. Handwritten neon and pizza marquees light the interior in true Uptown fashion.

My City My Pie

Giordano's Uptown

Giordano's Happy Hour

Walking-in, you are greeted by a hostess desk that is forefront to an aquarium style window to where all the magic happens in the back. To the right is a full service bar with high-top stools and premium Uptown viewing. To the left, a wide-open dining room with an entire wall mural of the downtown Minneapolis skyline that includes a propeller plane toting a banner that reads “MY CITY MY PIE.” Just before the back door that leads to the parking lot/patio you will also find two unisex single use restrooms in this 6000-square-foot, 110-seat sleek design by B3 Construction out of Naperville, Illinois.

Giordano'sGiordano's Minneapolis

“We are not a big corporation like Best Buy, but we did create sixty jobs” CEO, Yorgo Koutsogiorgas mentioned after the ceremonial ribbon cutting. Not big, but still operating over 40 restaurants in Chicago, three in Florida and a recently added location in Indiana. Yorgo also mentioned Arizona and Ohio as future locations. But at last, Minnesota gets it’s very own taste of Chicago. With no longer having to drive for six hours to enjoy a deep slice of pie, I can now put my gas money towards more pizza in my belly and more often, well, once the hype wears off. I predict long lines for months to come along with frustrated new comers not aware of the craze we have been yearning for years.

Giordano's Pizza Pie

That craze comes in a perfect circular dough matter with the highest quality of cheese (and lots of it), stuffed with classic flavors and topped with rich, yet delicate sauce.

Giordano's Thin crustGiordano's SaladGiordano's App

During this tasting we were offered a thin crust as well, good, but not as good as what they are known for. Get it big, and get it stuffed! The salad was above average. The bruschetta was excellent with a mound of diced ripe tomatoes and a sweet balsamic drizzle.

Giordano's 1

The tiramisu and chocolate cake were excellent and I highly recommend either, if you save room. I would pass on the cannolis however, just bland and not much to them. I have yet to try the spaghetti and meatballs, which I’ve heard only great things about. I figure, I have plenty of time. This is a good thing for Minneapolis and my cravings, give it time to fit-in and accept it!

Giordano's Togo

Stay tuned for part 2: The Take n Bake Experience…

Coup d’ état Review

Phatphood Coup d’ état Restaurant Review

Coup d’ état

Phatphood Coup d’ état Restaurant Review: I was suppose to come on Wednesday for Chef Tommy Begnaud’s new menu launch here at Coup d’ état. He is back ladies and gentlemen, and his presence is duly noted with his new French/Louisiana inspired menu, and it has some excellent choices on it! I wanted to try every new item on the menu (as they kept a few favorites from the previous menu) but it would require another visit.

Hush Puppies

Starting off with some of the Happy Hour items. Hush Puppies made with crawfish, creole remoulade and fennel. Salty balls of joy! 4/5 and only $6 for HH.

Cheese Curds

Another Happy Hour item, although carried over from previous menu: Cheese Curds…Sriracha battered with herbed buttermilk. What?! As good as it reads and looks. Fair food! 5/5 all day!

Malbec

When Happy Hour ends at 6pm, do the right thing, order a bottle of the finest Malbec on their list. You can never go wrong.

Po Boy

This here is the crawfish Po’boy. Had the choice of andouille, shrimp or this, so of course I went this route to compare it to my other hometown favorite at Sea Salt, this one takes first place, simply for the taste. Quality over Quantity in this case. 5/5 that buttered bread though! $12

Scallops

For an entree I got the Scallops with grits, étouffée, lardon and scallion. A very well balanced dish. Amazing pork belly aka bacon aka lardon. 5/5 The second most expensive item on the menu next to the steak. $22 but worth every bite.

Tommy, thank you for coming back and doing this menu for the remainder of the summer season. Well overdue! Someone just turn down the AC a bit inside. Cheers to the amazing bar tending staff, sit there and enjoy!

phatphood TC donut crawl

Second Annual Twin Cities Donut Crawl Review

phatphood donut crawl

Second Annual Twin Cities Donut Crawl Review: As I write my review this morning on behalf of We’ve Tried It for the Second Annual Twin Cities Donut Crawl 2015, I decided to do so while enjoying a double chocolate and a red velvet donut, both from Cafe Donuts.

TC Donut Crawl 2015

They were one of the eight participants for this years festivities held at a new location, Mears Park in St. Paul. The other seven local bakeries of pastry goodness were Glam Doll Donuts, Mojo Monkey Donuts, Bogarts DoughnutsYoyo Donuts, Angel Food, Denny’s 5th Ave and Mel-o-Glaze. Chef Shack was suppose to be a ninth addition, but rumor has it their truck broke down along the way. Biting into these sweet goodies as my thumb jabs away forming the next word on my iPhone keyboard, it’s hard to be mad at the events that took place yesterday.  When I woke up Saturday morning I had no clue it was going to rain, but grabbed the umbrella and headed to Mears Park for an 8:45am arrival time for this 9am to noon crawl.

Upon arrival, there wasn’t as much parking as stated due to a Farmers Market going on at the same time just blocks away. Although, I was lucky enough to score a meter a block away and it was free, again, due to the Farmers Market. There were check-in tents at all four corners of the park, so I walked up to the first one in sight and waited under five minutes to get my press pass (not sure what the benefits or significance of wearing this was), hoodie, shirt, coffee mug and donut box for the total VIP experience. I heard this check-in went poorly for some, like no shirts available in the size preregistered for, confusion on if you were in a VIP line or not, etc. seemed to go pretty smoothly for me, although I can see the issues. For instance, I switched up one of the shirt sizes I got, which they shouldn’t have allowed, and there was no communication between all check-ins as to whom has checked it off the handwritten list. 

Treat Yo'Self Donut Crawl

Staggered around the park were tents with each of the seven donut shops involved, a tent with a Dj centrally located and also a couple of small tents with gallons of hot coffee provided by Five Watt Coffee for free. Decided to head on over to the caffeine boost before the sugar rush. Now, I don’t know if it was because I got the very last pour out of the dispenser or not, but for me, this was the worst cup of coffee I’ve had. I can’t even describe the taste. Mehyuk! I did not have any more throughout the day to compare, but if I were to compare it to last years donut crawl and the same vendor, it was night and day.

As I waited for my “Get Donuts Crew” to arrive (seven of us total) I found it very challenging to hold a cup of hot coffee, a donut box and an umbrella. I blame Mother Nature for this struggle, along with not having a personal umbrella holder to follow me around during these tough times. Once my crew was fully assembled we decided to brave the intertwined and confused lines that were created by chance. Most likely no matter where you were standing in this park, you were in a line whether you wanted to be or not. You didn’t know which line you were in, where it started, where it ended, but hey…you were in a line to get a donut. Parents with strollers had the toughest time dealing with this situation as some of the lines lead through mud, rocks and even across man made creeks.

TC donut Crawl mug

The lines had merging lanes just like our wonderful traffic system here in the metro, and bumping umbrellas created gaps to allow others to cut in. You could hear the complaints and confusion from all directions of the crowd, most were “I still have yet to get a donut!” Some did the best they could to cover their donut box, most with the shirt they got with their $35 entrance fee. If you weren’t quick to cover your box, which looking around appeared to be the case, you were dealing with a wet piece of paper to enclose your donuts, if you were lucky enough to get some. Notable mention, VIP was $75 a person, got you some TCDC gear (love the jersey style light weight hoodie) but didn’t get you much of anything as far as line perks. 

Phatphood TC Donut Crawl Review

Once the chaos of 3800 attendees arrived, basically all at once (compared to 500 last year), the what was expected to be an organized donut crawl turned into exactly what it was, a wet mess. Announcements were made that each donut tent would open up the back sides to allow attendees to come from different directions and faster delivery as donuts were literally tossed into boxes. They also threw out the idea of stamping each box upon receiving a donut from each participant, mainly due to the rain, but also just to speed up the process. Once these two things happened, my crew agreed that lines were no longer valid. Just walk up to each tent and get your donut in a free-for-all frenzy, or as my crew member David decided was the “boop-boop” method. With that approach, we all got donuts from each location (more than one donut at some) in less than an hour. 

Twin Cities Donut Crawl

Despite the crappy weather, location and few flaws, Twin Cities Donut Crawl was still a success with raising “over 30,000 meals for Second Harvest Heartland” and everyone learns from their mistakes. You could complain all day long or do what we did and just deal with it and laugh at the situation. We were still all smiles as shown in the picture, and that credit goes to the fabulous participants that baked up all of the deliciousness and dealt with the situation like the pros that they are. Not a bad donut in the bunch and still enjoying mine! See you next year! 

Spirooli Spiral Slicer

Spirooli Spiral Slicer Review

Spirooli

Spirooli Spiral Slicer Review: This is the latest As Seen On TV product that We’ve Tried It put to the test. Check out the video. Not only will you get to see the Spirooli in action, you will also learn how to make Avocado Basil Pesto.

I thought the Spirooli was quick and easy as well as the clean up. However, with it being light, if not held down securely with one hand it can jump from the counter while you are rotating the handle with the other. It does have suction cup feet, but we used the cutting board for the visual and they did not suction to the board. It also makes a plastic-on-plastic squeak when rotating handle sometimes. I will continue to use it and try other vegetables. 6/10

Avocado Basil Pesto

Avocado Basil Pesto Ingredients:

1 cup basil
1/2 avocado
1 clove of garlic
Handful of pine nuts
Juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
Sun dried tomatoes

Throw the first 4 ingredients into food processor. Process until everything is well combined. Mix in juice of half a lemon. Season with sea salt and pepper to desired liking.

The sauce was a little too thick for my liking so I added about a tablespoon of olive oil. This is optional. For the zucchini noodles, I just spiraled one med zucchini. I topped off this recipe with sun dried tomatoes.

Enjoy!

Sammy's Speed Dog

Sammy’s Speed Dog Restaurant Review

Sammy's Speed Dog Review

Sammy’s Speed Dog Restaurant Review: Sit back and enjoy the dog show! Because being my first time here, I had to try four of their best and recommended.

It looks like an old small sized DQ from a distance, and as you get closer (from the west) you discover a half sports car embedded in the side of this raceway pit stop structure.

Inside you see a large printed and detailed style menu along with photo monitors of the finished product. Speedometer style ceiling fans spun alive as Johnathon, an upbeat guy with suggestions for newbies, greets you and makes you feel welcomed. Made it a good experience all together.

Chili Cheese Dog

Starting it off with #8 Chili Cheese Dog: Grilled Vienna beef dog topped with chili, homemade cheese sauce and diced onions. The chili is actually really good here and now I want the chili cheese fries, next visit! Their buns are awesome, grilled on each side. 5/5

Kansas City Dog

Next up #10 Kansas City Dog: A grilled Vienna beef dog topped with BBQ pulled pork and creamy coleslaw on a grilled Minnesota flat bun. Coleslaw was cool, but that BBQ pulled pork made this dog a wiener! 5/5

Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Melt

On to the third #5 Bacon Wrapped Cheddar Melt: A deep fried Vienna beef bacon wrapped dog with mustard, homemade cheese sauce, topped with grilled onions. Just a simple delicious dog. Their cheese is addictive. 5/5

LA Street Dog

Last but not least, my favorite #3 LA Street Dog: A Vienna beef bacon wrapped dog with grilled onions, poblano peppers, diced tomatoes and jalapenos on a toasted Minnesota flat bun topped with a zig zag of mayo and ketchup. The perfect combination dog. I need 3 more of these. 5/5

Had their seasoned fries with each dog, different, definitely cinnamon involved, I liked them, it works.

They have a drive thru, but don’t expect fast paced raceway dogs flying out the door, quality takes time and it states this on the wall inside the restaurant. They also serve cheese curds, gyros and fresh mini donuts.

This may be the first review where everything received a 5/5. If you are in Shakopee, MN be sure to stop by Sammy’s Speed Dog!

The Nerium Difference

Nerium Age Defying Night Cream Review

Nerium

Nerium Age Defying Night Cream Review: When a buddy of mine told me he has something for me to try “since you have a lot of social network friends,” I immediately knew it had to be some type of health or beauty product since it seems like the biggest fad these days.

What-do-ya-know, that’s exactly what it was! So I meet up with him and he hands me this box of Nerium Age-defying night cream. I told him I would give it a 5-day trial and give him some feedback upon completion.

I lightly lathered this product on nightly before bed with a splash of water, and I must admit, after my week was up I was quite impressed with the results. Smoother, healthier and more firm skin were my results. I thought my skin was already to that level, but I guess it made it a little better and decreased my fine lines that I had developed over the years.

Nerium Review

The only thing that I did not like about Nerium is the smell. Since you rub it in to your face before bed and leave it on overnight you can smell it while you sleep. I thought it would smell a little better since one of the main ingredients is aloe vera, but maybe I am just sensitive to the smell. Even though it is left on over night, it is not a mask, but has a mask-like delivery system.

If you are interested in this product, check out Brent’s website: www.bshouler.theneriumlook.com

Spam Hash Recipe 350

Spam Hash Recipe

Spam Hash Recipe

Spam Hash Recipe: You can add whatever you want in hash, and that’s what makes it a perfect meal any time of the day.

This evenings choice of ingredients were: bacon, red potatoes, Spam, garlic and red onion.

Hash Ingredients

Directions:

1. Bake the applewood thick cut bacon (not shown).

2. Dice up all your ingredients to be placed in cast iron while bacon is baking.

3. Fry up the Spam half way.

Hash Recipe Weve Tried It

4. Take out Spam and fry up potatoes with butter and thyme. Add onions and continue frying.

5. Add Spam back in along with chopped baked bacon then add garlic last.

6. Crack some eggs on it and place in a 375 oven for 6-7 minutes.

7. Top with parsley.

Spam Hash Dinner

8. Devour.

Be creative when making your hash. If you decided to give it a try post a picture of your hash on our Facebook page.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram: Phatphood

Furious 7

Furious 7 Review

Furious 7

Furious 7…WOW!! I know it’s not Summer yet, and a lot of blockbusters come out during that time but…this is the movie of the year!!

It was comical, intense and furious…so furious in fact that several patrons started fighting one hour and forty minutes in. Yes, some idiots in the VIP 21+ drinking section where I was, ruined a good five minutes of what may have been a remarkable action scene (which was the entire movie – all action).

This seventh installment in this series was seriously non-stop intense, cheer for the family, pure action…with a great story line that ties in the previous six.  They even subliminally tell you why they dropped “Fast” from the title. Love that they kept the original actors for all of the characters unlike some other sequels. Many cameos as well (Levy Tran…heeeey), no spoilers here.  Not to mention unbelievable stunts, literally.  Who cares though, it was BADASS!!

They did Paul Walker right too in a montage tribute focused on his character.  If you don’t tear up at the end, then you’re not a true fan, or just not as emotional as me. Nothing after the credits so don’t bother sticking around to see if there are surprises. I was at Paragon Odyssey Theater in #burnsville for the 7pm showing on April 2nd for anyone wanting to know where it turned into a 4D film. Go see this movie in IMAX. Was worth it! 5/5 easily.

 

Mary Poppins Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Review

Mary Poppins Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Review: This weekend I attended Mary Poppins The Broadway Musical at the Chanhassen Dinner Theatres. Let me not waste your time and start off by informing my readers that this musical was excellent in so many ways! Go reserve your tickets immediately. I literally felt like I was taken back and placed on the set of the original film itself.

Ann Michels as Mary Poppins was chilling as she played her role to perfection. From her beautiful ballads to her spot-on posture, I was convinced that this was the true Mary Poppins. Mark King did just as an amazing performance as Bert, although by the end of the show his perspiration had me to believe he was “Singing in the Rain” rather then sweeping chimneys. The kids were adorable, and all in all every actor had top-notch performances that left a desire for more.

????????????????????????????????????????

The sets were minimal, but the song and dance routines were huge and definitely made up for the few set changes there were. My favorite performance was in Act II as the ensemble did a tap dance number to “Step In Time.” Costume and wardrobe were fantastic and true to the film at the turn of the 20th century with some additional flare in some of the performances. Production used stage trap doors and remote electronic trickery to justify the magic that Mary Poppins is well known for, which added the awe factor we all craved as kids watching the motion picture Disney created.

I was a bit disappointed when Mary Poppins took flight, or lack there of, as well as when the kites were to soar high. With the illusions given to us earlier on, I just expected more. During a few of the performances, the cast gave the kinks in our necks a tweak by appearing out of nowhere in the middle of the audience. If you know Chanhassen Dinner Theatres, you know it can be a bit uncomfortable. Especially for a 6’2” hefty guy like myself.

Dinner was a tad above mediocre. If you follow my Instagram (PhatPhood), you may have already seen that I gave each dish a 3 out of 5 rating. I had two glasses of Seven Daughters red wine throughout the five hour-long evening, I ordered a third, yet never received it. You get to hear the same spiel from the waiter for every couple at your confined table as you nod your head and pretend as if you did not already hear the rehearsed paragraph. Regardless, it still ended up being an overall good dinner, and networking with others that share similar passion is always an added benefit.

Dinner Chanhassen Theatre

Chanhassen Theatre Dinner

This musical runs through August 29th, so you have plenty of time. You can always just get tickets for the show only, but I recommend the entire experience if you have never done so. Keep in mind that if you only want to attend the show and skip dinner that the show only tickets are only available ten days prior to performance date. If you are a fan of Mary Poppins or just love great theatre performances/musicals, put this one on your bucket list and thank me later. You can order your tickets here.

Chanhassen Theatres

If you are interested in Phatphood reviewing any arts and entertainment events in the Twin Cities, email WeveTriedIt@gmail.com.

PHOTO CREDIT: Heidi Bohnenkamp, 2015

Philly Lettuce Wrap 350

Low Carb Ribeye Philly Cheese Steak

Philly Lettuce Wrap

Low Carb Ribeye Philly Cheese Steak: No recipe needed. Just look and drool…because this literally melts in your mouth! Follow the pictures and enjoy!

Philly Ingredients

Ingredients:

Thinly Sliced Ribeye Steak

Diced Onions

Sliced Mushrooms

Sliced Green Pepper

Cheddar Cheese

Mushrooms and peppers

Philly Steak Prep

Philly prep

Philly Steak

Philly sandwich

Philly Lettuce Wrap

Keeping with low-carb, we placed our Ribeye Philly Cheese Steaks on a bed of lettuce. You can always use Italian rolls for those who aren’t going for the healthy choice.