Tag Archives: twin cities

Where to eat?

1 Feb

I am taking suggestions of where I should go to eat that are;

  1. Good, actually I hope better than good, but for argument sake, I’ll stick with good.
  2. Cheap, let’s say approx. $20 for dinner, $10 for lunch a little more is fine.
  3. May not be widely known, but that’s not a prerequisite
  4. Please, no chain restaurants or franchises.

I’ll be taking suggestions through the month of February and will begin posting my experiences in March.

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Town Talk

16 Jan

I just found out that Town Talk Diner closed today. I wish I could say I am surprised, but my impression was that the food was a bit out-of-place in that neighborhood. I’ve had some spotty meals, and it more money then I (and others, clearly) thought it was worth. That particular neighborhood also doesn’t strike me as the right fit.  Denny’s across the street thrives while Manny’s Torta’s  and Town Talk didn’t, so you do the math. I understand that in this case, like in most others, there were also other contributing factors to the closing, however I’m still saddened to hear it.

It is interesting to watch, from an outsider’s perspective, the real business of running a restaurant. It fascinates me to see which places survive and which don’t. My first rather naïve impression was if you run a good business you’ll keep your doors open and if you don’t, you won’t. However, it seems that it is much more complicated than that. I’ve seen some really great places close and some that range from mediocre to terrible manage to keep their doors open.

I don’t pretend to know the restaurant business, but the owners I know pour their heart and soul in to their businesses. I would imagine it’s very difficult to have to close and I don’t wish it on anyone.

PS. I hope the mastermind behind the adult malts finds another place to serve them, they were fantastic!

Update: Adam Platt has the best musings on Town Talk Closing in March 2011’s issue of Mpls/St Paul Magazine.

Oysters

15 Jan

There is really no rational explanation for why I love oysters as much as I do. I mean if you really look at them, slimy and grey, usually cold, it doesn’t really appeal to most people’s palate. In fact if you were describing a food I’d never tasted that way, I doubt I’d want to try it after that description.

Rational or not, I am convinced I could probably eat half my weight in oysters if you let me. Yes, I admit it. I would commit a kumamoto genocide, because those little guys are tasty. I’ve had some really great oysters at Oceanaire, Sea Change and a handful of other places. Although, I’m pretty picky about where I’ll go, since oysters should be super fresh, obviously.

I now have even more reason to eat them as I recently read Oysters are an excellent source of vitamins A, B1(thiamin), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), C (ascorbic acid) and D (calciferol). (Read more)

Additionally, I’m learning more about what kinds of oysters I like. I tend to enjoy west coast oysters, although I like to throw in a few east coast varieties for the briny flavor. As mentioned above my favorite kind is Kumamoto oysters, they have a sweet, almost watermelon flavor to them. Delicious!

Why I love True Thai

10 Jan

The first most obvious answer to this statement is of course that I love Thai food as I’ve previously mentioned. (However, since I’ve never been to Thailand I don’t pretend to be an expert on authenticity.) There is however, a second more subtle reason that I choose True Thai as one of my top 10 restaurants of all time. Good ol’ business savvy and emphasis on quality. Through going there frequently I’ve gotten to know one of the owners Anna, pretty well and she not only remembers us, but remembers details of our preferences, spoils us with treats when we go there and routinely ask us to try new things she’s adding to the menu. All these small gestures demonstrate that she appreciates our business and hopes we continue to come.

She pays attention to details, which is evidenced by the fresh flowers on the table every day and the fanciful way all the dishes are garnished, not to mention the beautiful dishes themselves. She is usually the first face you see when you enter for dinner, welcoming everyone who walks in and thanking everyone who leaves. She remembers names and/or specific details about her regulars orders and often offers recommendations based on what you’ve ordered in the past. In addition to knowing her customers, she has a very high standard of freshness and quality that I’ve rarely seen in restaurants sustained over a long time. In the summer she grows many of her own peppers and basil in the back of the restaurant and has a local grower who grows the rest of her produce, which only adds to the flavor and quality.

Photo Credit: Sonaly Xiong

Anna has her own blog which I read pretty regularly. She does a great job of educating people about Thailand with a witty mix of personal life and the restaurant business. I admire her business savvy and appreciate that her customers are an extension of her family. If you haven’t been to True Thai, I would highly recommend it.

PS: Call for a reservation on weekends or other busy times or it might be a little bit of a wait to get seated.