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Category : Eats

Home/Archive by Category "Eats" (Page 19)
Missy Germain

Restaurant Review: Crave at Mall of America

Missy Germain and girls

Restaurant Review: Crave at Mall of America: If you have been to MOA then you know that there are many different restaurants to pick from. Thinking sushi? Crave is a good choice! Or is it?

Last night I took my daughter and niece shopping. The girls wanted sushi from Crave. I can’t count how many times I have been to this restaurant. In fact, this was my go to place for a while for all my business lunches and group gatherings.

I will start out by telling you that all of us were in t-shirts and shorts – summer attire. At the hostess stand, a female employee gave us the once over and instructed another employee to seat us in the Americana Room. No bigger than a large walk-in closet, this separate space is likely intended for private parties, meetings, or when the place is packed.

While being led to this space, we noticed that there were lots of booths and tables open. Once seated I asked the host if we were seriously being seated here. She ignored me and walked away. We sat for a few minutes before deciding that this segregated seating arrangement was unacceptable.

My daughter told me it was because of all my tattoos and I assured her, in an attempt at humor, that it was the messy buns in their hair.

The waiter finally arrived as we were getting to our feet. I told him we were leaving and he asks if it is because of where we were seated. We confirmed that it was. He immediately offered to seat us in the open dining area but It was too late for that and we declined.

As we were walking out we again noticed all the open booths and tables. Once out of the restaurant, the manager stepped outside and invited us to come back in. We declined and told him they may want to refrain from seating guests in the Americana Room when the main dining space has ample seating available. It sends a very bad message.

I’m happy to report that this story had a positive ending. We opted to dine at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., where we were welcomed with smiles and great service.

Here is what Crave Restaurant website says: “CRAVE Restaurant was built out of a passion to create a dining experience unlike any other. A dining experience where quality, local and regionally sourced food, chic atmosphere, and diverse choices offer guests the opportunity to create their own unforgettable dining experience. The energy of the restaurant is all encompassing–the buzz of guests and staff, the warm and open design, the modern sushi bar, the fresh spin on American cuisine with seasonality, and the sense of discovery around every corner. A CRAVE guest will leave knowing they experienced just the right mix of sophistication, entertainment and service in what can only be defined as The CRAVE Experience.”

It is said that satisfied customers tell 3 friends about their experience, while angry customers tell everyone they know. Looks like Crave might want to do an immediate tune-up with a few of their employees before they offend yet another group…

Burgers

Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers Review

Freddys PhatPhood Review WTI

Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steakburgers PhatPhood Review: Finally there is a Freddy’s Custard & Steakburger in Minnesota! Conveniently located within walking distance of my home in Savage.

As I walked in today (Tuesday August 5th) to their soft opening I was surprised how much smaller it looked inside than it did on the outside. The kitchen and dining room look to be a 50/50 split of the building located in the Cub parking lot off of Highway 13.

Freddys Custard and Steakburgers WTI

The decor was mainly red, white and black with an old school diner meets Dairy Queen vibe to it. Even their slogan on the side of the soft drink cup reads “The taste that brings you back” as modern day pop hits blare throughout the entire establishment making it a little difficult to hear the order callers voice. I don’t mind any type of music playing, I actually enjoy it. I just wish the selection brought me back as they imply with their food.

Aaaaah food, yes, that is what I’m here for…let’s get to it!

Freddys Steakburger PhatPhood Review

Number 6. Double Steak Burger California Style with fries and a side of Freddy’s Fry Sauce. 4/5. Not bad for a cooked-to-order fast food joint. Beats Culver’s. Comparable to Smashburger. Seasoning is great! The onion on top was really fresh which made it very potent, almost overpowered everything else. Oh, the cheese on the double steakburger is melted to perfection.

The shoestring fries are meh. With a signature sauce I need a big fry to dip in it. Had to fist 4-6 fries to do some major dipping. Not a big fan of the sauce. Which I was disappointed in because I was hoping for a sauce to come back for again and again. Will definitely be back for another steak burger, probably hold the onion. $7.49.

Freddys Review

Number 3. Chicago Dog Freddy’s Style. 3/5. This was a pretty decent dog for a fast food joint. Definitely beats out Sonic. Finally a place to grab a dog on the run that has some flavor and not a soggy bun. Substituted the regular fries with the chili cheese fries, $7.89 total.

Freddys Frozen Custard and Steakburgers

Chili cheese fries. Not a fan. 1/5. They weren’t horrible, but they weren’t that good either. Others will probably disagree. The chili tastes exactly like Hormel canned chili. The cheese was decent. Yea.

photo 2 (2)

The fry sauce was a typical mixture of mayo, ketchup and some zesty spices. Nothing too brilliant that will have you Googling the recipe. They have a self-serve fry sauce station at the order pick up counter. Their signature seasoning is readily available near the soft drink station, it added a good flavoring to their scrawny shoestring fries. Ask for unsalted fries or try them before adding the seasoning.

I will try their custard on my next visit. After all, it is mentioned first in their title so I assume it’s the star of the show. The burger clearly is the best thing thus far, coming back to try a patty melt for sure! Culver’s fries are better, but the hot dogs stomp out the only competition I can think of, Sonic. (Please don’t even bring Dairy Queens hot dog into this). Welcome to Minnesota Freddy’s…can’t wait to hear/see what others think.

Follow me on Instagram @PhatPhood to see what I eat next!

CHips Review

Lay’s Potato Chips 4 Flavor Finalists Review

Lays 4 flavor finalists

Lay’s Potato Chips 4 Flavor Finalists Review by PhatPhood: Lay’s done did it again. Fans submitted flavor ideas and they were bagged in crispy potato chip form.

From left to right of the screen that is facing you:

Lays Chips

Wasabi & Ginger ~ Best out of the four! The flavor is spot on and it’s not overbearing. I could snack on these anytime I don’t have sushi and I want to get rid of that craving. 4/5 (I gave the Wasabi & Ginger a 4/5 because it comes in a 8.5oz while the others come in 9.5oz. It is the only one kettle fried while the mango is “wavy” or rippled.)

Second was the Cappuccino ~ Surprisingly this is my second favorite flavor. You want to dislike it because you’re like “Coffee!? Potato chip?!” Yes, it works. As an excellent dessert chip…that’s right, I’ll be crushing this over some vanilla bean ice cream later this evening. It has a great mocha/coffee flavor to it. If it actually had caffeine, I would have it for breakfast! 4/5

Next up, Mango Salsa ~ Too much fruity mango tasting crystals added. First time trying, it hit me harder than I had expected. A little kick with the salsa flavor as well. I tasted this one again after I had tried all four and I swear I got a hint of Fruity Pebbles. So it’s either inconsistent or my pallet is out of whack tonight. 3/5

Lastly, Bacon Mac n Cheese ~ I really wanted this to be my favorite. It just tastes like cheesy Lay’s but salter with all the flavor taken out. This is the last one I would get. Darn you, this was my pick before the tasting! 2/5

Oh well, Wasabi & Ginger it is! If you have tried the finalists be sure to vote for your favorite.

What should PhatPhood review next? Leave us a comment below. Don’t forget to follow @PhatPhood on Instagram (unless you don’t like food then don’t bother.)

PhatPhood

Girls DIY

Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe Video

How to Make Homemade Peanut Butter

Homemade Peanut Butter Recipe Video: We recently had the opportunity to try some homemade peanut butter made by a friend. Amazed by the fresh, creamy deliciousness, we knew we had to make our own.

There are many recipes on the internet for peanut butter, some call for oil, butter and salt. We decided to use store bought roasted salted peanuts. There was no need to add anything except the peanuts. The oil and salt used in the roasting process is enough to give the peanut butter a creamy texture and great flavor.

Using our Kitchenaid food processor we simply poured in the desired amount of peanuts and turned the machine on. Starting with the chop setting and moving up to the puree setting.

The peanuts will go through a couple of stages. First they will turn into a powder, then they will get firm and be almost a peanut ball. Continuing to process the oils, it begins to release and you get the creamy peanut butter. It took us about 3 minutes of processing to achieve the desired consistency.

In just a few minutes time you get delicious peanut butter and the satisfaction of making it yourself! You can purchase the Kitchenaid Food Chopper here for $39.99.

Do you have a favorite recipe you make in your food processor? Comment below, we love trying new things.

Donuts

Pillsbury Grands Biscuit Doughnut Recipe Review

Best 10 minute doughnuts

Pillsbury Grands Biscuit Doughnut Recipe Review: We hit a home run with this recipe from Pillsbury for Grands Spring Doughnuts. You can make these tasty doughnuts at home in just minutes.

We can’t go on enough about how quick and easy it was to make these delicious doughnuts. If you like mini doughnuts that you can buy at the carnival, then you will love these. The total process didn’t take more than 10 minutes.

Doughnut making

Step 1
In deep fryer or 2-quart heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium heat to 350°F. One package of Pillsbury Grands Biscuits. Separate dough into 8 biscuits. Using small round cookie cutter or in our case a metal shot glass, cut hole in center of each biscuit.

Step 2
Gently place up to 4 biscuits in hot oil. Fry on one side until golden brown (less than a minute.) Gently turn with tongs or chop stick; fry until other side is golden brown. Be sure to fry up the biscuit holes too.  Place on cooling rack; cool 3 to 5 minutes.

Glaze Recipe (prepare before frying doughnuts)

1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
In small bowl, mix powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until thick glaze forms.

Transfer glaze into flat bowl for dipping

Cinnamon Sugar Recipe (prepare before frying donuts)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Mix sugar and cinnamon together in flat bowl for dipping. Dip the warm doughnuts into either mixture or both and serve. Our favorites were the ones that we dipped in both the glaze and cinnamon and sugar mix.

Easy Doughnuts

We suggest doubling this recipe because they are that good. Our batch was gone in about 2 minutes and everyone was raving at how good they were.

Do you have a great tasting easy recipe you absolutely love? Comment below and we can give it a try!

homemade ice cream

2 Ingredient Ice Cream Bread Video

Ice Cream Bread Weve Tried It

2 Ingredient Ice Cream Bread Video: Over the weekend I was searching the web while craving something sweet. I should add that I was limited on what I could make because I also needed to go grocery shopping.  In my mind anything with ice cream is good, so when I came across 2 Ingredient Ice Cream Bread I had to try it.

Ingredients: Self rising flower and the ice cream of your choice, what could be easier? I used Blue Bunny Double Strawberry Ice Cream for my bread.

Directions:

2 cups of Ice Cream- softened (any flavor)
1 1/2 cups of self rising flour.

I put the 2 cups of ice cream in the microwave for around 30 seconds to soften. Then added the flour and ice cream together in a medium mixing bowl. Stir until they are fully mixed together.

Put into a greased bread pan. Flatten with spoon
Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

After 45 minutes I was quite surprised to see a nice loaf of bread fully cooked in the oven. The recipe worked!

I had expected the bread to be a bit sweeter having used the ice cream, and it was a little heavy but other than that it was pretty good.

Bread

To keep with the ice cream theme, I served it up warm with a scoop of Blue Bunny Vanilla Ice Cream and that added the sweetness I was looking for.

Do you have any amazingly easy dessert recipes you could share with us? Comment below we would love to try them.

Black bean salsa

Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe

Black Bean Corn Salsa

Black Bean and Corn Salsa Recipe: As long as we had some fresh sweet corn laying around we thought we would make some salsa. This is our first time making black bean and corn salsa and it won’t be our last. This recipe is quick, easy and delicious.

Ingredients:

2 Ears of Corn
1 Large Jalapeno Diced (seeded)
1/2 Bunch of Cilantro Chopped
1 Large Lime
2 Large Tomatoes (seeded)
4 Green Onions Sliced
1 – 15oz Can Black Beans (rinsed and drained)
Sea Salt and Ground Pepper

Directions: Cook your corn on the cob in the microwave with husk on (you can see the video for microwave corn on the cob here.) Once cooked rinse with cold water and cut the corn off the cob.

In a medium size bowl add chopped jalapeno, cilantro, tomatoes, green onions, corn, can of black beans, squeeze lime juice over mixture and then season with sea salt and black pepper.

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

Serve with tortilla chips or put over a chicken breast, it’s delicious!

Raspberry Jam

Raspberry Freezer Jam Recipe and Video

Raspberry Freezer Jam

Raspberry Freezer Jam Recipe and Video: It’s raspberry season and we are fortunate to have friends with raspberry bushes. Our Facebook followers suggested that we make jam and since we have never done that before we thought we would give it a whirl.

Deciding on raspberry freezer jam, we searched the web for the perfect recipe and they were all pretty much the same and all seemed simple. From start to finish it took about 30 minutes.

Ingredients:

3 cups prepared fruit (about 6 cups red raspberries)
5 cups sugar, measured into separate bowl
3/4 cup water
1 box SURE-JELL Fruit Pectin

Directions:

Crush raspberries thoroughly, one layer at a time (we used a potato masher.) Measure exactly 3 cups crushed raspberries into large bowl. Stir in sugar. Let stand 10 min., stirring occasionally.

Mix water and pectin in large saucepan. Bring to boil on high heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling and stirring 1 min. Then add the fruit mixture; stir 3 min.or until sugar is almost dissolved and no longer grainy.

Fill your containers immediately to within 1/2 inch of top. Clean the top edges of the containers and then immediately cover with lids. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Jam is now ready to use. You can store in refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freeze extra containers for up to 1 year. Thaw in refrigerator before using.

We will be making this again with blueberries! If you have a different way of making freezer jam be sure to comment below.

Phatphood

DJ Phat All-Star Game Menu Review

DJ Phat Target Center All Star Game

DJ Phat All-Star Game Menu Review: If you pay attention at all to Minnesota sports then you have heard about the four new meaty food items that are being added specially just for the All-Star Game menu.

Our food expert DJ Phat tried out each of these new menu items last night. If you are on Instagram be sure to follow DJ Phat @phatphood – you won’t believe what this guys eats!

DJ Phat Target Center

• The Double Header: A brat and a Polish sausage with all the fixings, served on a foot-long bun and branded with the All-Star Game logo. (At all Kramarczuk locations)

Price: $16.50

juicing

Juicing For Beginners Tips and Recipes

Juicing Weve Tried It

We decided to jump on the juicing bandwagon or at least give it a try. We tested out two different Breville Juice Fountains and made a vegetable and a fruit drink recipe.

Disclaimer before you watch the video: The first juicer used was borrowed from a friend of ours who uses it religiously and loves it. The blades were dull and it took longer than we wanted so we sped up the video a little to move the process along.

We checked out Dr. Oz’s website and he had some important things everyone should know about before juicing: Only make as much juice as you intend to consume at one time, juice that isn’t consumed right away can harbor bacteria and cause food poisoning and threaten the nutritional value of the juice.

Be sure to wash your fruits and vegetables before juicing. If your fruits have pits be sure to remove before you juice.

If you are juicing as a way to diet and lose weight, make sure you consume at least 2000 calories or more per day depending on your metabolic needs. Don’t starve yourself! It’s important that your body gets a sufficient amount of calories, vitamins, nutrients, protein, fat and carbohydrates.

Remember that you need fiber, to keep your digestive system working smoothly. You can add dissolvable fiber powder to your juices or supplement with prunes or pears.

The health benefits of drinking freshly juiced fruit and vegetables are that they retain most of of the vitamins, minerals and plant chemicals. They help protect against cardiovascular disease, cancer and various inflammatory diseases, like rheumatoid arthritis.

Fruit Recipe: 1 green apple, 2 grapefruit and 2 peaches. Half the peaches and remove the pits, peel the grapefruit and if the apple is too big, cut in half.

Vegetable Recipe: 3 tomatoes, 3 carrots, 1 bunch of parsley and one large cucumber. All these can be put in whole with the peels.

Let us know in the comments below what your favorite juicing recipe is.