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Author: Phatphood

Home/Articles Posted by Phatphood (Page 5)
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!

Wingstop 1

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.

wingstop 2

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.

D Spot 6 sm

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.

D Spot 1

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.

D Spot 3

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.

D Spot 2

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!

D Spot 4

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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D SPot 9

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!

D SPot 6

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.

D Spot 8

Tater Tot Hot Dish Weve Tried It 350

Phat’s Cast Iron Tater Tot Hot Dish

Tater Tot Hot Dish Weve Tried It

Phat’s Cast Iron Tater Tot Hot Dish: I always see the same old tater tot hot dishes so I wanted to switch things up a bit. Why not do it all in one pan? So I turned to my cast iron skillet and came up with this really simple idea. More meat than veggies, more cheese! The way I like it.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb ground beef
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 12 oz frozen vegetables(mixed veggies with corn/peas/carrots)
  • 16 oz frozen tater tots(or whatever fits in cast iron)
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 10.5 oz can cream of mushroom garlic soup
  • Milk
  • Shredded cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Crunchy cheddar cheese French fried onions
  • Teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce

Instructions:

  • In a cast iron pan, brown the onion (chopped). Then add beef and brown. Salt and pepper accordingly. Drain the fat.

TT Garlic

tt hamburger

  • Combine the two cans of soup, the frozen veggies (don’t need to be thawed), add a couple splashes of milk (probably about 1/4 to 1/2 cup) and the Worcestershire sauce to the cast iron pan of beef/onion mix.

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  • Salt and pepper to taste and mix it all together
  • Cover it all with a layer of frozen tater tots in a neat organized display.

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tt loaded

  • Bake it in the oven at 375 F for 25-28 minutes

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  • Take it out of the oven and add a layer of shredded cheese over it all (I used mild cheddar and sharp cheddar) along with the cheddar French fried onions.

tt onions

  • Put it back in the oven for another 10-13 minutes until the cheese is melted and the onions on top are golden brown.

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Enjoy with a smile!

LOLO

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: LOLO

LOLO 10

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: LOLO – Visiting the second restaurant for our weekly ‘Eating Twin Cities’ segment on ‘On The Fly’ on MY29. LOLO in Stillwater, MN is another gem to come and eat everything on the menu because you cannot go wrong with any choice you make, trust me. Just glancing at the menu I wanted everything listed, so order away!   Sexy small plates, glorious entrees and petite desserts to follow.

LOLO drinks

First up on this adventure, some tasty handcrafted cocktails. They have great ones here…with some unique names. Tony Fly went with the Perfect Stranger (fresh basil and lemon with Huckleberry vodka and a red wine float). Didn’t seem like a stranger with how fast he bellied this concoction. I went with Brad’s Anger Management Class (aged rum tiki cocktail with lime, pineapple, cinnamon and or heat), yea, I have issues. But I’m cured!

LOLO 2

My favorite one-bite. I could eat these like a bag of family sized chips. Duck Bacon (seared duck bacon topped w/ Gorgonzola, dried cherry, orange supreme, prosciutto and candied pecan) $2 it’s considered a micro plate, so just order a dozen and thank me later.

LOLO 3

If you were to fry up a pound of bacon and maybe a burger or two in the same pan, then rendered the fat and juices leftover and drizzled it onto a fresh slice of crostini, this is what you would get. Rich and flavorful. Bacon Jam Crostini (bacon jam over Brie with roasted heirloom, tomatoes and arugula). $6

LOLO 5

I’m not into berries, yea so, sue me. But I love food, and I’ll try just about anything once. Guess what? Fricken loved these! Was like a pre-dinner dessert, or a warm-up before the entree. Sweet and just the right amount of berry to not turn me off. I also expected the bread to be hard (you know where it will destroy the roof of your mouth?)  But it wasn’t, very soft and fresh, so shove the whole thing in your mouth and chomp away. Berry Crostini (blackberry, strawberry and raspberry with Brie and a ginger honey). $6

LOLO 6

Perfect sear with a delicate sauce with just the right amount of heat. Paired with another Perfect Stranger. Getting to know one another a little better by now. Seared Ahi (togarashi seared tuna with a red chili-lime emulsion, served with avocado and fresh chips). $10

LOLO 7

Think lobster roll meets juicy burger. Wow! A burger on my local top 5 list just fell off. Chalk this one up as a must try. Oh, the fries…yup! Surf & Turf Burger (certified angus beef, hand pattied and cooked awesome, then topped with candied bacon, aioli and a hearty portion of lobster salad). With Rosemary and Alderwood smoked salt fries. $22

LOLO 8

LOLO really knows how to take the quack out of a duck and serve it amazingly on a plate. Cooked to perfection.  Tender, juicy, with a slight crisp skin.  Want to get your kids to eat their vegetables? Prepare it like this here! I want seconds. Seared Duck Breast (with a duck bacon-mushroom steamed dumpling, truffle broccolini stir fry and a sherry glaze). $22

LOLO 9

Both great desserts, without the over indulgence because of how petite they are, so go ahead and order a couple. Can’t go wrong with either here. Butterscotch Budino (with maple syrup and red clay sea salt). I seriously thought I was eating a chocolate liquor. Avocado Key Lime Pie (with toasted coconut). An easy favorite.

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LOLO is an acronym for Locally Owned, Locally Operated. Says enough right there. A small yet inviting spot somewhat hidden in the midst of other shops and restaurants on Main Street.  They have a newly  opened patio out back and are in talks of expanding upward. Even though it is a petite restaurant, it is very open with a view of the kitchen and bar from every seat in the house.  So if the person you are with is not interesting, there is always a show to watch.  LOLO could easily be placed in either downtown St. Paul or Minneapolis to compete with veteran favorites, but it is not, which makes it more attractive to me.  With the colder season upon us, there will be less traffic in Stillwater, take advantage.

Follow @phatphood and @tonyflizzle on Instagram. If you have a restaurant that you would like to see featured please leave us a comment below.

Crazy Cajun Review

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Crazy Cajun

Crazy Cajun Dj Phat and Tony Fly

Phatphood Eating Twin Cities: Crazy Cajun – Walking through the front doors of this restaurant I was already impressed.  Not that I had low expectations, just didn’t expect it to be so clean cut and welcoming with open space and vibrance. Yes it is in a strip mall, but this has southern flare written all over it.  There is a family style high rise table cut out into the shape of Texas for frickin sake!  There are picnic tables that have flush mounted buckets in them for your seafood scraps with bench seating, tap beer with great brands such as Surly and Heineken and even two styles of frozen Sangria. Slushies gone wild!

Okay, we’ll get back to the dynamics of the place soon, I’m here to talk about the foooood!!  Hot damn!!  I didn’t have a single item that I disliked.  Everything was “hittin” in the words of Tony Fly whom I met up with to film a segment featuring myself for his show ‘On The Fly‘ which airs nightly on MY29 local cable channel 10 here in Minnesota called #FoodPorn.  Seriously, this Louisiana inspired seafood is unbelievable.  To have this gem here, serving this food, year round…is truly a blessing to us Minnesotans.  Here is what I had on my visit, no need to rate since everything was a 5/5:

Crazy Cajun 1

Catfish Filets + Sweet Potato Fries + Hush Puppies ~ Generous portions of fresh catfish with a light, delicate Cajun breading. I haven’t had catfish this good since my stay in Arkansas two years ago. The sweet potato fries were thick and crispy, and the hush puppies were decent little quarter size poppers. I’m a sauce man, so I was happy with the options given. The stand out sauce is there secret house sauce. Good heat that leaves you craving for more. Amazing basket of love right here. $8.49 – $21.49 depending on portion.

Crazy Cajun 2

Turkey Neck ~ served in a bag with all of the juices in marinated in as it slow cooked for a a couple of hours. So flavorful, with just the right touch of Cajun heat. Think of a slow cooked roast with all of the flavors packed into this odd shapes poultry. I started picking and jabbing on it before I even snapped a picture. This is comfort food done differently. Love it. $5.99

Crazy Cajun 3

Shrimp and a Crawfish Pie ~ Think seafood pot pie, think a savory hot pocket, think bouchée!
 A perfect grab-n-go snack or something to give the kids. The crust was light and crispy which made these little bad boys something I could see at the State Fair. Perfectly deep fried goodness! $3.99 each

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Seafood Gumbo ~ oyster, catfish, shrimp, crab, okra and green onion in a hearty broth over rice. The perfect size and the perfect amount of everything you want in a seafood gumbo. A southern bowl of happiness right here in Minnesota. $5.99 cup $9.99 bowl

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Red Beans and Rice with Bacon, Sausage and Ham Hocks ~ I’ll stick by my words, this was thee best red beans and rice I’ve ever had. This hot sauce is exclusive here at @crazycajun, quit stealing it people!! $4.99 cup $6.99 bowl.  Hot sauce is not for sale, but seriously, they are watching!

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Blue Point Oysters with Caviar, house made sake ponzu sauce and wasabi horseradish ~ huge, fresh, tasty, beautiful. I bet you can’t eat just one. Order these. $ Market Price

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Crazy Cajun Wings ~ Another spiced up, deep fried to perfection, light and crisp must have here at @crazycajunmn. These are going down as 1 of my top 3 sauceless wants. $7.49 (6) $12.99 (12)

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Boudin Egg Roll ~ sausage and rice tightly sealed in an egg roll wrap. Just missing some creole mustard, but still a great appetizer! $3.99 each

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Frog Legs ~ Marinated in the chefs special seasonings, battered with cornmeal and then deep-fried to perfection. As you know or may have heard, yes it tastes like chicken. The seasoning and cooking time is spot on. Dip these in the chefs house special sauce and just enjoy and get over the fact that you ate Kermit. By the way, these croakers were huge! $4.99 (2) $6.99 (6)

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Soft Shell Crab ~ again, marinated in the chefs secret seasoning, battered in cornmeal and deep-fried. New menu item that is sure to be a hit here at @crazycajunmn. It’s the seasoning and perfect temp that make these a crispy joy to eat. Use the house sauce and up the ante. $6.59 each

Crazy Cajun 13

Dun’s Special Po’Boy (The Works) ~ this mammoth of a sandwich is stuffed with deep fried oyster, catfish, shrimp, lettuce, pickles, tomatoes, mayo, mustard and the chef’s special house sauce. Oh, it is all jammed in local fresh bread that is supplied every other day. For $12 you are literally ripping them off. This is huge and can be easily shared, but it’s so damn good, I’m screaming “get your own!!” This will be a favorite for many and spread like wildfires. $11.99 WOW!

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Clams & Jumbo Shrimp ~ boiled and tossed in Chefs special coco sauce prepared at medium spice level. I could take that bread from the Po’Boy and dip it in this here sauce all day long. Fresh, yummy, fresh, yummy! $ Market Price

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Crawfish ~ with smoked sausage, jumbo shrimp, corn and potatoes. This is why I come to @crazycajunmn (instagram)…well, until I just had everything else. Garlic buttered to a perfect medium spice. You can still taste the smokiness in the sausage and these mud bugs are always fresh and never frozen…making it the number 1 crawfish restaurant year round in Minnesota. Get on that. Feast on these bad boys everyday and tell them Phat sent ya, they might thrown in some extra sauce for ya!  $ Market Price

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Taking off the bib and letting you know a little bit more about this place, that’s if you’re still reading and not already on your way there.  Passionate would be an understatement to call the owner/chef.  You can see it in his eyes, hear it in his voice and DEFINITELY taste it in his food.  Interior wise, he built this place from the ground up.  From the tables to the kitchen to the last pinch of seasoning, this is all him.  Come experience this rarity of fresh southern Cajun seafood in the Northern Midwest, it really is a fabulous place.

Crazy Cajun is located at 8578 Edinburgh Center Drive in Brooklyn Park. (763) 568-7085. They are closed Tuesdays.  We’ve Tried It…now it’s your turn.

Phatphood State Fair Cover

Phatphood Minnesota State Fair Food Review

Phatphood State Fair

Phatphood Minnesota State Fair Food Review: Well, I went and did it again. It is opening day at the 2015 Minnesota State Fair and I am trying most of the new food items offered this year. I type most because some of them I am just not interested in, I did not know about, or, they simply ran out. A few of the new items added this year happen to be breakfast items, which are only served during certain hours, so I had to arrive early to take full advantage. At 7am it is still quiet and hardly any traffic to deal with. I spent twelve hours walking around, eating, drinking and doing a few interviews in between. I purchased sixteen food items with thirteen of them being new this year. I had three classic food items that are always worth getting on return visits. I also had a few alcoholic beverages in the form of bubbly beer, one of which was a MN State Fair first. I spent a total of $150 on all of the items mentioned below, and that price included my beverages, but not the two ghost pepper beef jerky sticks I brought home. So, you do the math. Opening day, what a great day to go, nice and cool and hardly any people…yea right!! It must have been a record breaking opening day, right? It was packed out there by noon. Definitely felt like a weekend. Are they ever going to do a No Wheels Allowed day? I’m down with going on that day. With my second year of doing this, I planned a little better ahead of time with mapping where I need to go with what foods I wanted to get. I ended up getting to each location too fast and had to make a few laps around the fair grounds to let some of the food settle.

The biggest question that I get asked is: Do you eat all of everything you get? I eat 75-100% of each item. If I don’t like it, only about 50% then I toss it. But if I like it, it’s hard to stop and think about room for the next item. I’m not biased when it comes to my reviews, I post with raw emotions as I am eating each item live on Instagram (@phatphood) and forward to my Facebook in most cases. Sorry for flooding! I hope you enjoy reading the short reviews and it helps aid you on what to get along with your favorites this year at the State Fair! Hopefully the pictures help with that decision as well.

Here is what I had in order of me eating them…Enjoy!

State Fair Meatloaf Hash 1

Meatloaf Hash – with peppers, onion, scrambled eggs and Bearnaise. Located at Blue Barn $8.25

Meh, the meatloaf itself was fairly bland, the eggs had the consistency of school breakfast or maybe even McDonald’s. The onion and pepper mix just wasn’t working. Looks alright, but not a good taste for me. Oh, the fried potato medallions were great! Best part of dish. Rating: 1/5

State Fair Dave's Cluck & Moo 2

Cowboy Dave’s Cluck & Moo – with beef, chicken, potatoes and mustard BBQ. Located at Blue Barn $9.50

Now this was a winner! Nice smooth, yet fresh mashed potatoes with texture, ample amount of both meats, gravy with a cheese drizzle and the mustard BBQ sauce was excellent. Not a breakfast item here but they serve full menu all day. Rating: 5/5

State Fair MN Wild Rice Benedict Muffin 4

MN Wild Rice Benedict Muffin – wild rice muffin with a ham, poached egg and cheese/hollandaise sauce. Located at LuLu’s Public House $6

The muffin is dense and hard to manage with a fork alone so grab a knife. Pretty bland as well. A thin slice of deli ham is hidden under the egg, with the egg being the only star of the dish, I’d pass. Rating: 1/5

State Fair Breakfast Juicy Lucy 6

Breakfast Juicy Lucy (Breakfast LuLu) – Sausage patty stuffed with American cheese between toast. Located at LuLu’s Public house $6

I didn’t get the opportunity to try this last year so I’m making up for lost time. This is big and delicious! Add an egg and you have a perfect dish. Toast was a little crunchy making it hard to bite with how big the sausage patty is, but still worth getting. The description reads “English Muffin” and I would disagree that it is. Sausage was great, the cheese doesn’t ooze like local favorite Matt’s Bar, but still, a decent ooze. Rating 4/5

State Fair Caramel Apple π

Caramel Apple π (Pie) – a Crispin style Cider rimmed with graham cracker and cinnamon, a caramel drizzle in the cup before the apple beer on tap is flowed in. Located at Blue Barn $4.75

It’s 9am and that means beer is now flowing!! Woo!! Mmmmmmm damn tasty, but sweet with just the beer alone, so beware. Rating: 4/5

State Fair Scotch Egg

Scotch Egg – hard-boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, rolled in breadcrumbs, and deep-fried, and then speared on a stick. Located West side of Liggett street between Carnes & Judson Aves. $7

Nothing new to see here, just your every year Scotch Egg on a stick fix. Rating: 5/5

State Fair Maple Bacon Funnel Cake

Maple Bacon Funnel Cake – bacon infused funnel cake, topped with maple glaze drizzle, bacon, whipped cream, a cherry and then more maple glaze. Located inside the Food Building $7

What can I type? It is pretty much what it is and tastes just that! Amazing! Great anytime of the day. Can’t go wrong here. Get this. Now. Rating: 5/5

State Fair Butter Chicken Samosas 2

Butter Chicken Samosas – pastry filled with butter chicken minced with a tomato curry sauce. Served with a side of green chutney. Located in International Bazaar at Hot Indian $6

Packed full of meat, no skimping here! Good with or without the chutney. Pastry was light and crispy. Worth it! Rating: 4.5/5

State Fair Mac & Cheese Cupcake

Mac & Cheese Cupcake – Mac & Cheese nestled in a breadcrumb crust, sprinkled with breadcrumb and frosted with a dollop of cheese whiz. Located at LuLu’s Public House $6

Welcome to the MN State Fair! Thank you and please stay for the next decade. Great portion, I love the cheese whiz. I only wish for a little more breadcrumb because it is awesome and tames the richness. Rating: 5/5

State Fair BBQ Pickle Ice Cream made by a John Deere

BBQ Pickle Ice Cream made by a John Deere – Located at R&R located on the southeast corner of Randall Ave and Underwood Street $5

The ice cream without the flavors alone is a beautiful thing. So creamy and smooth. Must really like pickles to enjoy this as it has small chunks. I don’t get much of the BBQ flavor, was a slight swirl of it in there, but I was expecting more. Pickles and ice cream churned by a John Deere is pretty impressive. Plus I can smell the gas while I enjoy each scoop. Rating: 3/5

State Fair Caramel Chocolate dipped bacon ice cream

Caramel Chocolate Dipped Bacon Ice Cream Bar on-a-Stick – Located in the Midway near the laundry center $7

Come to the midway and play with this instead of games. This seriously was bacon overload. I think the kids call it bacon on fleek. There is also bacon and caramel on the inside. Surprise! Eat it fast, because even though it’s a cool day, the weight of everything on the chocolate shell helps it shed fast. Watch your shoes for drippage. A bit steep on the pricing for this treat, bacon is spendy these days. Rating: 4.2/5

State Fair Stuffed Italian Meatloaf

Stuffed Italian Meatloaf (on-a-stick) – Italian meatloaf stuffed with mozzarella and pepperoni, topped with marinara sauce, a parmesan herb blend and served on-a-stick. Located at Green Mill, on the east side of Cooper Street between Randall and Wright Ave $5

I was reluctant about getting this today, but now very pleased I did. Gooey, stringy mozzarella cheese inside, pepperoni and parmesan on the outside. Very salty, but I’d definitely get this again! Marinara was not topped on it like the description, just a cold side of it. Make sure you have water on deck. Rating: 3.9/5

State Fair Alton's Sriracha Balls

Alton’s Sriracha Balls – two choices of filling, breaded in panko, deep-fried and drizzled with Sriracha sauce: blend of shredded chicken, corn, tomatoes, egg and Sriracha; or Sriracha cream cheese with corn, tomatoes and egg. Located in the Warner Coliseum, Northeast corner $4

They come in pairs and luckily you can split them up. The cream cheese Sriracha ball dominates. By a landslide. The chicken was cold and has a lot of corn in it. So go straight for the cream cheese. Would get that version again. Great heat as expected. I paired them with a Grainbelt Nordeast, duh! Rating: 3.5/5

State Fair Prime Rib To Go Cone

Prime Rib To Go Cone – thinly sliced choice prime rib, sautéed peppers, onions and mushrooms (optional) in a soft bread cone with a side of au jus, horseradish or Parmesan garlic sauce. Located on the Southeast corner of Carnes Ave and Liggett Street $9

I think this may be my last item…maybe. Okay, the bread is soft, but not pliable. Too hard to tear with hands, fork or mouth. It’s a challenge cone. The prime rib was good, but with everything else it involved it tasted like a Philly Cheesesteak minus the cheese. It wasn’t filled to the depth of the cone, kind of like those bags of chips with 80% air. It says on their site description at Coasters that it comes with horseradish, au jus or parmesan garlic sauce. But what they don’t tell you is that they “can give you them” if you ask. Neat. Don’t get this, thank me later. Rating: 0.5/5

State Fair Deep fried ribs

Deep Fried Ribs – smoked baby back ribs, breaded, fried and served with BBQ sauce. Located at Ball Park Café. In The Garden $9

Another item I wasn’t going to try but sure damn glad I did! They fall right of the bone with each bite. The breading is light and crispy. The BBQ sauce isn’t anything special, a little spice, store bought I’m guessing. Anyhow, these ribs are way better than I imagined being cooked this way. I’m a fan. Rating: 4.4/5

State Fair Garlic Fries

Garlic Fries – Located at Ball Park Café $8

Just another MN State Fair classic to pair with the deep fried ribs. You already know these are good! Only issue is you have to go to two different windows to purchase both, lame. Rating: 5/5

State fair Deep Fried Cookie Dough

Deep Fried Cookie Dough – Located in the Food Building. $6.50

Last but not least, my all-time favorite deep fried on-a-stick item here at the Minnesota State Fair. The first time I tried these on the debut a few years back, it was destiny, true love. Glad to be reunited with my boo boo. Rating: 5/5

I’m outta here! *drops napkin*

As far as a couple of the items I did not get but really wanted to. Berry and Pop Rocks! French Toast at Blue Barn. Why? I DIDN’T KNOW!!! I am pretty upset I wasn’t aware of this item. Bummer. Another was the Cowboy Bites at Frontier Saloon. Why? They ran out when I went there about 6pm. Rabbit Hole is not there until September 1st, since Hot Indian shares its space, so I didn’t get to try a few of their items that I wanted to like the hot tail. So if you happen to try these items, get a good picture and let me know your thoughts, just as well as any other items that I tried or did not, love to look/read about them!

-PhatPhood

SOC

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

straight-outta-compton-MOVIE

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review: “Straight Outta Compton” was the most anticipated movie of the Summer, and it lived up to the hype. Fans of their music and upcoming hip hop artists alike should flock to the theaters and learn this story of rags-to-riches. If you are as big of a fan of N.W.A. (or even just each solo artist of the group) as I am, then you will find yourself bobbin your head, applauding with joy and getting chills with each song played. Even more so when Eazy takes the stage for the first time in the film with “A miracle of modern creation…”

The story was filmed perfectly, although for two and a half hours I felt that they could have shared more of the story of N.W.A. before they branched out into Dre’s and Cube’s solo projects, and Eazy’s crumbling Ruthless empire before his death. They barely even touched on the creation of “EFIL4ZAGGIN” which was just as incredible as “Straight Outta Compton” if not better with nearly double the tracks.

Straight Outta Compton Actors

They shared a few of the lyrics spit by Ren to disclose on the Ice Cube beef after he left the group, but that was about it. As fans, we all know that Cube crushed his former band mates with “No Vaseline” and that was portrayed very well in the film. Cube’s son, O’Shea Jackson Jr. portrayed his father so well in this film that he will easily be your favorite character.

There was also no mention of the Dre and Eazy beef records nor the solo project Eazy did, which I was waiting anxiously for that beat to drop from “Real Muthaphukkin G’s.” MC Ren and Dj Yella were left behind as the story mainly followed the other three members of the group. That was perhaps made up with the cameo’s of Snoop, Suge Knight, The D.O.C. and even Tupac with actors obviously portraying them as well. The only one that didn’t do it for me was R. Marcos Taylor who played Suge, who, in the end made his character laughable.

You get the tale of how dirty the music business is with contracts and deceit, the corruption of the police, the rise and fall of friendship and some damn good music to go along with it all. Add this to your favorites collection now. Bye Felicia.

Lay's Do Us a Flavor

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Finalists Review

Lay's

Lay’s Do Us a Flavor Finalists Review: Hey Lay’s, I’m about to do you a flavor! On behalf of We’ve Tried It, I’m trying the four finalist for Do Us A Flavor.

Pictured from left to right in order from best to worst.

1) Wavy West Coast Truffle Fries submitted by Angie Fu – a no brainer, these are addictingly delicious. The truffle oil doesn’t over power the parsley and having them wavy was the right way to go for the size and the crunch.

2) New York Reuben submitted by Jeff Solensky – not much to these, simply faint cheddar and pickles mixed together, closer to a cheeseburger with a hint of ketchup, just slightly beating out the next flavor, yet still a good combo for road trips.

3) Southern Biscuits and Gravy submitted by Hailey Green – yes there is a slight taste of the peppery gravy, but that’s about it. The lightest flavor out of the four. Could easily be mistaken for just a pepper chip. Not good enough to crave for more.

4) Kettle Cooked Greektown Gyro submitted by James Wagner – what I thought would be my favorite ended up being a disaster in my mouth. The sniff upon opening isn’t even appealing. At first bite you get the impact of a gyro, but that goes away fast with every chip there after. What’s left is the taste of a baby puking garlic and onions into your mouth. After 5-minutes past of eating these, the film on my tongue began to linger and hard to get rid of with just water. These will haunt you.

Which is your favorite? Don’t forget to cast your vote on their website to have your favorite year round.

Giordano's Frozen Pizza 350

Giordano’s Part 2: Frozen Deep Dish Pizza Review

Giordano's Frozen Pizza

Giordano’s Part 2: Frozen Deep Dish Pizza Review – Now after feasting on a five course meal, I am not one to turn down gifts to be sent home with, especially in the form of food. Giordano’s has always been readily available online to ship frozen deep-dish pizzas to your door to get that authentic taste of Chicago without having to make the trip.

Giordano's Togo

During these busy first few months of opening at the Minneapolis location, and a 45-minute minimum call ahead time to get a fresh one out of the oven to go (as I’m hearing), you always have the option to walk-in and grab one from their freezer that is located right next to the main entrance. However, it still takes a good 45-minutes to cook it. So, you take the frozen pie home, throw it in the microwave for 6-minutes for ultimate cheese gooeyness, spread warmed extra sauce pouch across pie, then place it on the center rack of your oven at 325 degrees for 40-minutes. Viola!

Giordano's Pizza Frozen

Does it uphold to the fresh ones hot out-of-the-oven from their restaurant? Not quite. The cheese and sauce are still terrific tasting as in-store, but the double crust tends to break away from each other and the taste just is not as satisfying. Would I still purchase a frozen one with the restaurant readily available? Of course, and a why not? I still have late night cravings combined with laziness. So having a few in my freezer for emergency situations is a must. Plus you can always let them thaw in your refrigerator and reduce the cooking time by 10-minutes. The dining experience will always be my first choice, but stuffing my face as I sit on the couch with a true Chicago deep-dish comes in at a close second. By the way, I love my new coffee mug.

Ship a Giordano’s Pizza to your home today.

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…