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Author: Phatphood

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McDonald’s New Crispy Chicken Sandwich Review

The chicken sandwich war continues…

McDonald’s is saying goodbye to their buttermilk chicken and launching a sandwich that features a brand new crispy, juicy, tender fillet made with all-white meat chicken.  They are serving it up three ways – Crispy, Spicy and Deluxe:

  • Crispy Chicken Sandwich: For those who want to keep things simple – topped with crinkle cut pickles and served on a new toasted, buttered potato roll.

  • Spicy Crispy Chicken Sandwich: For those craving some heat – served with a Spicy Pepper Sauce and crinkle cut pickles on a toasted potato roll.

  • Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich: For those looking for a little extra somethin’ in the toppings department– served with shredded lettuce, Roma tomatoes and mayo.

At first bite, that bun is pillow soft and delicious.  The chicken is perfectly crisp and very juicy.  It definitely goes head-to-head with Chic-Fil-A.  With this new bun though, McD’s reigns supreme.  I do appreciate the slightly bigger crinkle cut pickles compared to the ones they’ve been using across the menu since birth.  As a whole, I’m really diggin’ the new line up.  I firmly believe that McFans everywhere will be equally impressed.  Okay, everyone is probably mostly interested in the sauce on the Spicy Crispy Sandwich.  It’s cool.  It’s has some heat but nothing too extreme.  Mighty Sauce is much hotter.  To me, It tastes like a creamy Buffalo sauce with a little less tang.  I’d ask for extra right away if I were you. Out of the new three, I would probably only get the plain Crispy Chicken Sandwich again just to pour on one of my favorite sauces that they offer for the McNuggets.  The Bawse move though is to order the Deluxe Crispy Chicken Sandwich and add the crinkle cut pickles and the new spicy sauce in addition to what already comes on the sandwich.  Yeaaaaah!  Thank me later.

Starting February 24th, 2021 the new Crispy Chicken Sandwich will be available at participating restaurants nationwide via carry-out, Drive Thru, the McDonald’s app or McDelivery.

Speaking of nugget sauce.  I’ve been told that the customers demanded the return of hot mustard.  So, McD’s brought it back like 6-8 months ago, but apparently no one seems to be aware of this.

Disclaimer:  I have a relationship with McDonald’s and I was invited to try these new products early.  All product was comped and I was not paid.  Opinions expressed are solely my own.

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.


  • 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


  • 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.

tt 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.

tt wheel

tt loaded

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

tt oven

  • 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.

TT baked

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Enjoy with a smile!

Braised Short Ribs We've Tried It

The Pioneer Woman’s Braised Short Ribs

First, shout out to Unparalleled Farms for some beautiful and huge cuts of short rib!  You should definitely check out what they have to offer and probably put in an order ASAP.  Second, thanks to Amazon for getting this Lodge Cast Iron Dutch Oven to me in 16 hours when they said I wouldn’t get it for a week!  Maybe that warehouse down the street is paying off.

First time making short ribs in this fashion – had to go with an experts advice, so went and followed The Pioneer Woman’s recipe nearly to a T, with the only exception being that bacon was  substituted for the pancetta, which she gave as an option.  All I know is within three hours, the house smelled of wine and beef and I was drooling!  The verdict?  Well, we’ve tried it, and we loved it!  What a perfect recipe!  So tender and flavorful 🤤

This for me is going down as the best home cooked meal of the year! Definitely try Ree Drummond’s recipe below, I swear by it.  Oh, and of course the green beans you see were sautéed in some Fat Cheeks Food butta.  Whole lot of local going on here.  Go and support this fresh goodness!


  • 8 whole beef short ribs
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 pieces bacon, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 whole medium onion, diced
  • 3 whole carrots, diced
  • 2 whole shallots, peeled and finely minced
  • 2 cups red or white wine
  • 2 cups beef or chicken broth (enough To almost cover ribs)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 2 sprigs rosemary


Let’s get started! Salt and pepper ribs, then dredge in flour. Set aside.

In a large dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat until complete crispy and all fat is rendered. Remove bacon and set aside. Do not discard grease.

Add olive oil to pan with the bacon grease, and raise heat to high. Brown ribs on all sides, about 45 seconds per side. Remove ribs and set aside. Turn heat to medium.

Add onions, carrots, and shallots to pan and cook for 2 minutes. Pour in wine and scrape bottom of pan to release all the flavorful bits of glory. Bring to a boil and cook 2 minutes.

Add broth, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add more salt if needed. Add ribs to the liquid; they should be almost completely submerged. Add thyme and rosemary sprigs (whole) to the liquid.

Put on the lid and place into the oven. Cook at 350 for 2 hours, then reduce heat to 325 and cook for an additional 30 to 45 minutes. Ribs should be fork-tender and falling off the bone. Remove pan from oven and allow to sit for at least 20 minutes, lid on, before serving. At the last minute, skim fat off the top of the liquid.

If you decide to try out this recipe be sure to leave a comment below, to let us know if you enjoyed it as much as we did!

Photo Credit: @Phatphood

Recipe Credit: The Pioneer Woman

Bonchon Uptown Open

Bonchon in Uptown is Open and We’ve Tried It

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Bonchon in Uptown is Open! What’s in the box?! From Busan, South Korea to New York to Minnesota…we are finally the latest addition for Bonchon Chicken. Woo to the Hoo! Also, we are not only blessed with one location in Uptown, Minneapolis, but a second coming very soon to Dinkytown.

Bonchon aka “My Hometown” does chicken, and damn do they do something special to the chicken. KFC – no, not the colonel, Korean Fried Chicken to be exact – think, much crunchier and less greasy, because it is double fried and still is tender and juicy…I love it!

Bonchon Uptown 2

Thanks to my good friend Marshall N. Nguyen, Vice President of Caspian Group for securing both locations for Bonchon.  Caspian is a full service Commercial Real Estate company that represents many business owners and assists them in finding the perfect location and negotiates on their behalf.  Marshall is the man if you are looking to open a restaurant or any business for that matter.

The uptown location where I’m crunching away right now is at 1414 Lake Street (Old Davanni’s). Come one, come all when they swing these doors open to the public today at 4PM Wednesday October 3rd!!

Ok, pay attention because I’m about to break down the deets:

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SIGNATURE FRIED CHICKEN SOY GARLIC / SPICY / HALF & HALF – Their chicken is made-to-order, please allow up to 30 minutes for cooking time. In order to maintain the taste and quality of their product…also, their sauces that they lightly brush on the double fried chicken are not available on the side.

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CHICKEN KATSU – Breaded chicken cutlet served over a bed of steamed rice and vegetables on the side, drizzled with katsu sauce and spicy mayo. Little thicker than I’ve seen (I like that) and a good portion. Don’t care for their white rice much.

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TTEOKBOKKI – Rice cakes and fish cakes simmered with scallions and onion in Bonchon Hot Sauce topped with mozzarella cheese and kimari. 🔥 Spicy

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KOREAN TACOS – Spicy Chicken or Marinated Ribeye (Bulgogi) over three warm flour tortillas filled with crisp lettuce and coleslaw, topped with buttermilk ranch, spicy mayo and red onions. 3 per order. Went with the spicy chicken. I’m pretty much in love with their coleslaw.

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BULL DAK – Spicy chicken stir-fried with rice cakes and Bonchon Signature Hot Sauce, sautéed onions, topped with thinly sliced scallions and mozzarella cheese. Served with white rice and steamed vegetables. Spiciest thing on their menu, know this.

Bonchon Uptown 7

HOUSE FRIED RICE – Fried rice, eggs, red bell pepper, onions and Bonchon Soy Garlic Sauce. Choice of: Chicken (+$1), Bulgogi (+$2), Seafood (+$2), or Kimchi Bacon (+$2). Kimchi was the choice…and a very smart choice. I’m a fan of their fried rice.

Bonchon Uptown 11

PORK BUNS – Slice of savory pork belly dressed with Bonchon Soy Garlic Sauce, topped with cucumbers, coleslaw, spicy mayo, and katsu sauce. 3 per order. It’s a nice chunk of pork, flavored nicely, I think the bun needs a little tweaking, was a bit wet, but that might be the coleslaw’s doing.

Bonchon Uptown 6

SALMON AVOCADO BALL – A mix of avocado, crab meat, cucumber, fish roe wrapped in seared fresh salmon, topped with spicy mayo, unagi sauce and crunchy tempura bits. The salmon was nicely torched I believe, rather than seared, either way, it worked. It’s a light refreshing starter dish.

Bonchon Uptown 4

TAKOYAKI – Fried octopus dumplings drizzled with Japanese mayonnaise, katsu sauce and sprinkled with bonito flakes. Can’t go wrong with these!

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SLIDERS – Crispy chicken strips (soy garlic or spicy ) or marinated ribeye (bulgogi), fresh cucumber, spicy mayo, red onions and coleslaw, served on a mini potato bun. 3 per order. Since I had the spicy chicken on the tacos, went with the bulgogi on the sliders. They are marinated well, probably great for kids or late night snack, but $4 a slider, I’m just not sure they will be a big hit when you can just order a big dish of bulgogi.

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POTSTICKERS – Lightly fried pork and vegetable dumplings brushed with Bonchon Signature Sauce. Choice of: spicy , soy garlic or half & half – crispy and full of meat. Table favorite, next to the chicken.

Bonchon Uptown 1

They’ll only be serving dinner this week, they will implement lunch next week. Be ready for 2am-3am closing times on the weekends. Yay to late night drunken KFC!!

Bonchon Uptown 3

Phatphood Minnesota State Fair Review We've Tried It

2018 Minnesota State Fair New Food Review

Phatphood Minnesota State Fair Review

Well, as you already know, the 2018 Minnesota State Fair season is upon us.  That end of summer glutinous traverse to a full on human stampede that we somehow still find a yearning for.  Whether it’s to hang out with friends or loved ones, people watch, collect freebies, or like for me, to simply indulge.  Forty-five new items in the first day in ten hours, yea…that kind of indulging.  I live instagrammed my entire journey, as I do every year.  So, here’s the good, the bad and the not-so-ugly.  Check the visuals, but make sure you not only read the breakdown, but also the 0 to 10 ratings and price, to maybe help guide your hunger through the next twelve days.

2018 Minnesota State Fair New Food Review

Swedish Meatball Smorgas

Swedish Meatball Smörgås – Meatball sandwich with three traditional Swedish pork and beef meatballs topped with white gravy, lingonberry sauce and dill pickles. LOCATION:  The Blue Barn – REVIEW:  7/10 $8.95

Bacon-Stuffed Tots – Scratch-made tots stuffed with bacon and cheddar cheese, topped with a dollop of bacon-infused sour cream. LOCATION: The Blue Barn – REVIEW: 7/10 $8.95

Freehouse Limelight & Strawberry Mint Fro-lé – LOCATION: The Blue Barn – REVIEW: 7.5/10 $8.95

Pepperoni Chipes and Roasted Red Pepper Queso

Pepperoni Chips with Roasted Red Pepper Queso – Thinly sliced fried pepperoni chips served with a warm roasted red pepper cheese sauce. LOCATION:  LuLu’s Public House – REVIEW:  7/10 $7 – Can’t go wrong, crispy with a good dip.

Croissant Breakfast Taco – scrambled eggs, chorizo sausage, onions, peppers, cheese. LOCATION: LuLu’s Public House – REVIEW: 5.5/10 $6.00 – good flavor…lot of bread that I don’t consider a croissant.

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Nordic Waffles

Nordic Waffles – Fresh-made waffle wraps in seven varieties: 1.) All-Day Breakfast (egg, bacon & cheddar); 3.) Slammin’ Salmon On-A-Stick (Norwegian smoked salmon with cream cheese & green onions);  2.) Vegetarian Viking (black bean veggie burger, cheddar cheese, mixed greens & chipotle sauce). 3.) Slammin’ Salmon On-A-Stick (Norwegian smoked salmon with cream cheese & green onions); 4.) S’More (marshmallow crème, crumbled graham crackers & Nutella). LOCATION:  Nordic Waffles – REVIEW:  1.) 8/10 $8 2.) 6/10 $9 3.) 4/10 $10  4.) 8/10 $8 – All day breakfast and s’mores was on point…vegan was great…salmon was skimpy for the price, not much there to judge. Oh, and it had bones.

Jalapeno Spam Curds

Jalapeño Spam Curds – LOCATION: Spam – REVIEW: 7/10 $8 – it’s Spam, I love Spam! New this year is the jalapeno version curds, so I had to get…for y’all! Although, I really wish they’d change the breading. It’s like grocer frozen chicken nugget style.

Banana Foaster French Toast

Bananas Foster French Toast – Cinnamon swirl French toast topped with slices of fresh bananas in an orange-rum-flavored caramel sauce and finished with a dollop of whipped cream. – LOCATION:  Hamline Church Dining Hall – REVIEW:  6.5/10 $9.25 – it’s good french toast with an ample amount of orange zest atop the banana slices. Trying it without they syrup, banana or whipped cream…it’s really dry.

Blueberry Rhubarb Cobbler

Blueberry Rhubarb Cobbler – A blend of organic blueberries and rhubarb topped with a cornmeal biscuit and whipped cream. LOCATION:  Farmers Union Coffee Shop – REVIEW:  5.5/10 $8.00 – there is a LOT of blueberries/rhubarb blend here. It’s good, just too much of one thing so the ratio is off.

Tomato and Sweet Corn BLT

Tomato and Sweet Corn BLT – LOCATION: Farmers Union Coffee Shop – REVIEW: 7.5/10 $12.00 – flavors are wonderful. The bread, I’m on the fence. So, yea.

Strawberry Basil Lemonade – LOCATION: Farmers Union Coffee Shop – REVIEW: 5.5/10 $7.00 (20oz) – fresh and pulpy, not as sweet as you’d expect. So that’s lacking for a lemonade.

Turducken Sausage Sandwich

Turducken Sausage Sandwich – A blend of turkey, duck and chicken served on a fennel bun and accompanied by a side of Giggles’ sweet and saucy relish. Gluten-friendly bun available upon request; sausage is gluten-free, no nitrates added. LOCATION:  Giggles’ Campfire Grill – REVIEW:  5/10 $7.00 – good brat goin on here. The after taste is what brought the rating down. Your call on this one, people.

New *Uffda (Beaver Island) – s’more (Excelsior) – Dill Pickle Ale (Tin Whiskers) – LOCATION: Giggles’ Campfire Grill – REVIEW 8/10 on all beers including the new UFDA (they revamped the other two to improve the taste, I dig!!

MN State Fair Daily Schedule

Slider Flights

Slider Flights – Flights of three slider sandwiches, each with a variety of toppings, available in three varieties: Brisket Flight (one slider topped with coleslaw, one with pickles and onions, and one with crispy fried onions); Burger Flight (one slider topped with thick-cut candied bacon and cheddar cheese, one with smoked gouda, and one with BBQ sauce, pepper jack cheese and crispy fried onions); Pulled Pork Flight (one slider topped with coleslaw, one with pickles and onions, and one with crispy fried onions). LOCATION:  The Hangar – REVIEW:  7/10 $10 – I pleaded and begged to get one of each, but just that you know, you CAN’T. It’s all three different burgers, or three different brisket…and so on, you CAN’T mix-n-match Beef, Pork, etc. Anyhow, luscious tasting sliders served up in this huge awesome Hanger with live music and plenty of outdoor games. It’s a party in here with plenty of beer and room! The Burger was my least fave out of trio.

Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla

Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadilla – LOCATION: Quesadilla Junction – REVIEW: 9/10 $10 – it’s a dope ass CBR Quesadilla!

Za-Waffle Sticks

Za-Waffle Sticks – Waffles blended with pepperoni and mozzarella, topped with a parmesan herb blend and served with pepperoni-infused maple syrup or marinara sauce. LOCATION:  Green Mill – REVIEW:  3/10 $5 – Dry. Choke Hazard. Syrup was good, for an extra bump in the rating. Loved them last year. This time they dropped the ball.

Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp Ceviche – Fresh shrimp, cucumbers, jalapeños, onions, tomatoes and cilantro tossed with a citrus lime juice and served cold with tortilla chips. LOCATION:  Shrimp Shack – REVIEW:  4.5/10 $7 – lacking on sour, over powering on black pepper.

Bratwurst Burger

Bratwurst Burger (Double) – LOCATION: Mac’s Grille – REVIEW: 6/10 $6.75 – decent brat burger. I’ve tasted much better. Not enough brat flavor, missing that punch.

Messy Giuseppe

Messy Giuseppe – A blend of seasoned ground beef and Italian pork sausage smothered in marinara, sprinkled with parmesan cheese and served on crusty Italian bread. LOCATION:  Mancini’s al Fresco – REVIEW:  7.5/10 $7.75 – That’s one huge slice of bread, could use a little more smothered meat, but still…spicy Italian goodness. Fan.

General Tso Chicken Taco

General Tso Chicken Taco – Battered and deep-fried chicken tossed in a sauce of ginger, garlic, soy sauce and Asian spices, with seasoned cream cheese and topped with wonton crisps and green onion, served on a flour tortilla. (Available Aug. 23-28 only). LOCATION:  Midtown Global Market’s Taco Cat – REVIEW:  5/10 $12 – boneless wings in Tso sauce. Too big of chunks to work in a taco. Not much going on here. Good luck with handling these.

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl

Ahi Tuna Poke Bowl – Ahi tuna, avocado, mango and pico de gallo tossed in a Hawaiian ginger-soy sauce served cold over rice with a fried wonton. LOCATION:  Cafe Caribe – REVIEW:  8.5/10 $9.50 – it’s not too bad here. Some good cuts, some not so good cuts. But overall, it’s a good price with a nice portion. Just shy of loving it.

Moroccan Sausage Bowl

Moroccan Sausage Bowl – Coarse ground beef and lamb sausage seasoned with herbs, sweet spices and a hint of red pepper, cooked with carrots, turnips and chick peas, and topped with sautéed onions and a green olive. LOCATION:  Sausage by Cynthia – REVIEW:  5/10 $9 – decent with all the fixings, but still missing flavor. Even got it with sauerkraut and peppers. Idk, another your call.

Earth Wings

Earth Wings® – Fresh cauliflower pieces dipped in a seasoned batter, deep-fried and smothered in organic sesame BBQ sauce. Vegan and gluten-free. LOCATION:  French Meadow Bakery & Café – REVIEW:  8/10 $7 – great texture and flavor, very desirable and I’d get again. BUT…20min line wait plus an hour (exactly) to get this boat full made it not worth it. It really was a shit show.

Smoked Soft Serve Ice Cream

Smoked Soft Serve Ice Cream – Cold-smoked cream available in two flavors, all made on-site: Cold Brew Coffee infused with cold-smoked Arabica beans and topped with chocolate espresso dust, a toasted marshmallow and a chocolate cookie on the side; Muscovado Sugar Vanilla combines vanilla bean and cold-smoked molasses-rich cane sugar served with a toasted marshmallow and bacon candy round on the side. Optional sauces available: bourbon-soaked cherries or hot chocolate. LOCATION:  Blue Moon Dine-In Theater – REVIEW:  6.5/10 $8 – got the coffee flavor with the bourbon cherries. Didn’t get much smoke flavoring all. Coffee? Yes. Cherries were good, almost too many, but was a good bonus for the buck up-charge. I really like their soft serve texture here.

Sweet Greek Cheese Puffs

Sweet Greek Cheese Puffs – Flaky phyllo dough filled with feta and ricotta cheese, deep-fried, drizzled with honey and topped with powdered sugar. LOCATION:  Dino’s Gyros – REVIEW:  8/10 $5 – a cream cheese puff/baklava hybrid? I’m down with this!

Irish Tater Kegs

Irish Tater Kegs – Jumbo deep-fried tater tots made with a blend of corned beef, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, sour cream and potatoes drizzled with house-made Thousand Island dressing and nestled on a bed of sauerkraut. LOCATION:  O’Gara’s at the Fair – REVIEW:  7.5/10 $8 – these are delish and work! Give me 6 instead of 5 and I’d be even more ecstatic!

Wood Grilled Elote

Wood-Grilled Elote – Corn on-the-cob grilled over an oak wood fire, brushed with chile-spiced mayo and sprinkled with queso Cotija & fresh lime juice. LOCATION:  Tejas Express – REVIEW:  9/10 $5 – Boooooommmmmbb!!

Yucatán Shrimp Cocktail – REVIEW: 3/10 $10 – ridiculous price for this ridiculous dish. Meh.

Chicken Enchiladas with salsa verde and goat cheese – REVIEW: 3/10 $11 – flavorless chicken, all the smothering can’t save it.

Upnorth Puff Pastry

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UpNorth Puff Pasty – Porketta sausage, cheese curds, coarse grain mustard and chopped dill pickle baked in a puffy crust sprinkled with pepper and sea salt. LOCATION:  Sausage Sister & Me – REVIEW:  7.5/10 $8 – light and flaky with some really great flavors on the inside. Only gripe, fill it more.

Honey Cream Soda Float

Honey Cream Soda Float – Honey cream soda (made without sugar) poured over Minnesota Grown honey ice cream. LOCATION:  Minnesota Honey Producers – REVIEW:  7.5/10 $9 – that’s a good float that comes with a hefty price tag. It’s the beesnazz!

Zesty PB & J Sausage

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Zesty PB&J Sausage – Peanut butter, cherry jelly and a hint of cayenne pepper and cilantro blended into a quarter-pound sausage. LOCATION:  Gass Station Grill- REVIEW:  7.5/10 $6.00 – unique and different is a good thing. Wasn’t expecting much, but as soon as you lift it to your face, you smell pb&j right away. Zest and jelly stand out whilst eating, pb gets lost. Still embracing this cool dog.

Sweetie Cakes

Sweetie Cakes – Choice of black forest cake, birthday cake or chocolate peanut butter cake, baked in a cup packed with Sassy Pecan toffee bits and served warm, topped with real whipping cream and more toffee bits. LOCATION:  Sweetie Cakes – REVIEW:  8.5/10 $7.00 – just tried one, chocolate pb. It’s a nice hot cake cup! It was really good! I’d imagine that the others being just the same.

Firecracker Shrimp Stuffed Avocado

Firecracker Shrimp Stuffed Avocado – Gulf white shrimp tossed with lime, onion, black beans, tomato and fire-roasted corn in a garlic aioli, drizzled with cilantro-infused olive oil, stuffed in avocado halves and served open-face with flatbread. LOCATION:  The Hideaway Speakeasy – REVIEW:  8/10 $14.00 – really good and fairly priced. It would be a $12 app outside of fair. Fresh to def!

Rainbow Cloud Roll

Rainbow Cloud Roll – Three scoops of ice cream sprinkled with fruity cereal and wrapped in a pillow of cotton candy. Hand-rolled on-site. Ice cream choices include Superman, vanilla, strawberry and chocolate. LOCATION:  Rainbow Ice Cream – REVIEW:  9/10 $8.00 – I got Superman ice cream, many colors involved, but the cut just showed pink. I’m not mad, this is simple and an awesome dessert! Definitely on cloud 9. Love it!

Triple Chocolate Strawberry

Triple Chocolate Strawberry Shortcake – Dense chocolate cake with chocolate chips and fudge icing smothered with strawberries and whipped cream. LOCATION:  The Strawberry Patch – REVIEW:  8.5/10 $6 – I’m not even big on strawberries, that chocolate cake/fudge/chocolate chip combo elevated this dessert to a whole new level. Yum.

Mangonada Shaved Ice

Mangonada Shave Ice – Mango-flavored shave ice drizzled with Mexican chamoy sauce, dusted with tajin chili powder, topped with popping mango boba pearls and served with a tamarind candy straw. LOCATION:  Minnesnowii Shave Ice – REVIEW:  8/10 $6 – nice play on this, popping boba? Damn.

Mangonada Shave Ice

Pumpkin Spiced Shave Ice – pumpkin-flavored shave ice, whipped cream core, cinnamon brown sugar dusting. REVIEW: 8/10 $6 – just like a slice of pumpkin pie. Whoa!

If you tried any of the items listed, we love reading your comments below.  Which was your favorite and least favorite item at the 2018 MN Stare Fair?  Did you agree with Phat’s reviews?


Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill Jungle Theater


Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill Jungle Theater – First, I’m a bit embarrassed that this is the first time I’ve been to the Jungle Theater.  What a delightful intimate setting without a single bad seat in the house.  The staff and crew definitely matched the vibe.  I simply adore it, and truly have been missing out.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill

Thomasina Petrus performance as Billie Holiday was unquestioned and unparalleled.  Her swagger and approach felt so effortless, that it was nothing short of amazing.  From the singing to the immaculate storytelling, Petrus took you on a journey back to that night at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.

As the title, this takes place at a club in Philadelphia in 1959 with Holiday (Petrus) performing one of her very last shows, starting with some shade thrown at actually being back in Philly.  Booze filled tales are told between songs like the sultry “When a Woman Loves a Man” and the ebullient “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” – Petrus nails the dialog and crushes the vocals.

Jazz with a blues appeal to it, this four-person ensemble was all that was needed, and they delivered.  Piano, bass and drums, along with a voice, it was a night out filled with a bittersweet feeling of nostalgia.  Through joy and pain, racism and poverty, addiction and abuse, this was a head bobbin’ history lesson everyone should witness.

It is just shy of a 2-hour performance with a 15-minute intermission, which really wasn’t needed with the show wrapping up just a half hour after it.  Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill runs through June 24th.

Be sure to follow Jungle Theater on Facebook. You can purchase your tickets to Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill here.

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Clustertruck 12

Curbside Food? Get Clustertruck Minneapolis.

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Curbside food? Get Clustertruck Minneapolis. There’s a new Juicy Lucy in town, and the only way to get it is…curbside! That’s right y’all, Clustertruck.com just planted their seventh location in the beautiful downtown Minneapolis, MN. It is basically a new non-restaurant concept that makes all their food under one roof, and they source top-quality and local ingredients, that is online and app based, only. No calling anyone, unless you need direct assistance from their hotline.  Just click what you want, pay, and be ready for some deliciousness to come to your curb. You can get so many different meals from breakfast to Mexican to Pan-Asian to a burger like this:


Clustertruck 2

8oz patty filled with cheddar, topped with bacon, onion, piquante peppers, harissa mayo, butter lettuce and tomato on a French bun.

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Hungry customers can choose from more than 50 mouthwatering menu items inspired from fresh, visible ingredients and sustainable sourcing for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and there’s ALWAYS FREE DELIVERY. ClusterTruck’s tech-savvy food delivery system times each step perfectly, taking an average of just 21 minutes from order to curbside pickup. The food never sits under a heat lamp and always spends less than six minutes on the road for delivery. I loved everything I tasted, including pizza, wings, buffalo chicken mac n’ cheese, and the hot chicken sandwich that kitchen manager Anton Winter served me.

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The dope thing that I noticed about using their site while beta testing this week was; once an item is no longer available for the day, it gets taken off the menu, that way there is no tease and only available items are show to the customer.

Clustertruck Details

Want in? Click this clustertruck.com , and starting Monday May 7th when they officially open for business, enter promo code: 612FEEDME at checkout for $10 off an order of $15 or more. This is valid through May 31, 2018, no exceptions. For new customers only. Easy. Yum.

Clustertruck hours of operation are 10am-10pm Sunday through Thursday and 10am-11pm Friday and Saturday.


Jersey Boys Orpheum Theatre Review


Jersey Boys Orpheum Theatre Review – Don’t know much about Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons? Well, don’t fret; you will after witnessing this live production of musical history. It is cleverly narrated in detail by the stars of the cast as they tell the story in true finger-snapping fashion. If you have seen the movie, take note that this touring show gets a little more gritty and vulgar with the back story of these rag-to-riches, blue-collar boys as they swoon the ladies, tap the liquor bottles, and drop major f-bombs. It’s fantastic!

Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons

Jersey Boys

I promise you will recognize at least one of the hits, if not more, that include; “Walk Like a Man,” “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” “Oh What A Night” and “Working My Way Back to You.” Jonny Wexler (Frankie Valli) hit the falsetto notes so well, that I was convinced it was a recording of Frankie Valli himself. I kept watching for lip-syncing, but to my amaze, he was just that good, and basically nailed it.

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Did you know that the actor Joe Pesci, a Jersey boy himself, was the one that introduced Tommy DeVito (played by Corey Greenan) and the rest of the band to Bob Guadio, who in-turn ended up writing most of the hits for The Four Seasons? Yea, this musical taught me all of that. They all pretty much had more ties to the Italian mob than I was aware of as well.  It really makes for an interesting story with some really catching tunes. This is a must see, and you only have until the end of the weekend to go see it. Expectations will be far met.

Jersey Boys

You still have two more days to catch Jersey Boys at the Orpheum Theatre in Minneapolis. You can purchase tickets here.

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Grand Catch Claws Its Way to St. Paul

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Grand Catch Claws Its Way to St. Paul – It just opened yesterday (4/16) and I’m already hooked!! Grand Catch is the newest creation of the masterminds behind Cajun Deli & Milkjam Creamery and they stepped the seafood boil game up a few levels for the Twin Cities food scene.

Grand Catch St. Paul, MN

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Starting out with Grand Catch Cheesy Fries – battered fries, garlic butter, cheese sauce. With lobster claw added. C’mon, you know you want this!  I just finished, and I already want it again.

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Testing the waters with two pounds of crawfish and one pound of head-on shrimp boiled to perfection and then tossed in their Awesome Sauce (it’s their Garlic Butter & Louisiana, combined) and I got it hot. Next time I’ll try extra hot or the highest level; insane ghost. 🔥 It was spicy, garlicky, buttery, fresh and pure deliciousness. I’m in my happy place aka my zone.

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Obviously, I can’t leave without trying some type of Milkjam Creamery creation for dessert.  Raspberry Lychee Twist -Thanks to Elizabeth, this was the perfect cool down. She was awesome, along with the rest of the staff here at Grand Catch.  Hospitality and a happy full belly, I don’t ask for much. They nailed it.

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I tried a few tap beers and this mocktail; Crazy Legs, which was refreshingly tart.  Can’t wait until the boozy slushees are available. Soon!

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It’s new with 75-80 seats that fill fast at prime time. Lunch and dinner menu are the same and they close at 10pm, plan accordingly. Bibs and gloves make for dope attire, rock them… don’t be shy.

1672 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55105 – Take a look at Grand Catch website here.

Disney Newsies Broadway Musical

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Disney’s Newsies Review


Chanhassen Dinner Theatres Disney’s Newsies Review – EXTRA! EXTRA!  The CDT production of Disney’s Newsies – The Broadway Musical is a triumphant hit!

Disney’s Newsies:

Chanhassen Dinner Theatres turns 50 this year, and what a way to celebrate their anniversary with a historic victory!  Newsies is actually a true story loosely based on events of the 1899 newsboys strike.   The strike lasted thirteen days during that summer in New York. It resulted in a compromise from both the World and Journal to buy back all unsold papers from the newsboys.  In 1992, Walt Disney Pictures made it a movie, and in 2011 Disney Theatrical Productions brought it to the stage.  It’s a fun, fast-paced, well-choreographed musical with some of the most addictive songs a production has to offer.


Aleks Knezevich Owned This Role!

One of the best attributes when attending CDT are the familiar faces.  Aleks Knezevich is back, in what I believe is his best performance to date.  Playing the lead role of Jack Kelly felt so natural and fitting.  He’s done a few great performances here at CDT, Gaston in Beauty and the Beast, is now his second best performance.  He was also pretty cool as Danny Zuko, in Grease last year.  On opening night, however, it was relevant…he owned this role.


In this male dominant cast, there were two unfamiliar faces that really stood out, for their talent.  Lucas Wells (Crutchie) was captivating every time he took stage, but more so during his solo performance of “Letter From The Refuge.”  Hoping to chalk him up as a familiar face in the years to come.  Every 0.0002 seconds a star is born, there is proof to that while watching Tanner Zahn Hagen (Les). The adorable goldmine to the newsies because of his young age and instant charm.  This kid was made for the stage and will have you sold, just like the stack of papers on a daily.


It’s a very minimal set with only a back screen for visuals, and pretty much needs to be with most of the cast being on stage flipping and dancing most of the time.  This production is running all the way through the end of September, so you will have ample time to catch it at least a couple times, and you’ll want to.  So, seize the day and check out this uplifting musical that will have you humming the tunes for days, maybe even weeks after.


Purchase Your Tickets Here:

You have plenty of time to see Disney’s Newsies at Chanhassen Dinner Theatres! Performing on the main stage from March 2 – September 29, 2018. You can purchase your tickets here.