6.25.2013

MN Storm Damage, 06/21/2013

I think I would ask the arborist for a refund on these plantings.


Not only did this tree get uprooted, but it popped the sidewalk right out of the path too. The felled tree was two feet from the car.

Farfegnowineedanewcar!!!

6.14.2013

Mill Valley Kitchen, Minneapolis, MN

 I had a chance to check out this somewhat new spot in Minneapolis recently. Overall, I would recommend it as a family and small-group friendly space, with interesting drinks, and mid-to upper level dinner offerings ($15-$30+ per entree). They even snuck a cool "Pope Room" in the corner of the place... it looked to be a great spot if you want to host a small group or have a small family event.
 
Reservations were easy on OpenTable and the front desk staff was on the ball.
 
Decent tap beer selection, but lots of wines and even smoothies for the healthy or tasty. I was surprised by how casual the bartenders (two women) were dressed. They appeared to have just come from a kick-boxing workout and were both, head-to-toe, in black spandex. I understand wearing black in the restaurant, but how about a button down from The Limited or something.... maybe some slacks.
 
Great pseudo-bonsai and real bonsai trees all around. 
 
Sea Bass with Red Quinoa... very good 
 
Really nice seating, generous size of the whole place, no feelings of crowding. 
Open and impressive kitchen... and magic comes from that oven. 
 
Try a few mini-desserts: great for sharing, makes you feel like less of a pig, and potentially cheaper.
 
They have much more nutritional info on their menu than I've ever seen - thanks! I think it's a proven fact or something that this kind of information helps people make healthier choices. 
 
Roasted Chicken Breast with Farro Mushroom Risotto, also very good.

(from top left around) Lemon Curd, Maple Panna Cotta w/ Smoked Salt (stir it in!), and Tiramisu - all very good and not at all too much at the end of the meal... just about perfect.

6.11.2013

Burch Pizza, Minneapolis, MN

If you haven't already visited this relatively new restaurant in Minneapolis' Lowry Hill neighborhood, it would be well-worth your time to check it out.
 
In the space once occupied for decades by Burch Pharmacy, is now a first floor (street level) steak house and a basement pizza place. The outside was given a fresh look and the inside has been transformed into a welcoming, modern restaurant.
 
The pizza side is smaller space than the first floor, but prices are more reasonable, food is less fussy than the steak side (but still fussy enough), and you can get both menus served downstairs. This is not the case on the 1st floor...it's steak house menu only.
 
 
As I alluded to, the food is original, approachable, and quite good. We had an endive salad, brocollini side, and two of their house-designed pizzas...standard Margherita and a heartier option with roasted pork, red pepper and hazelnuts (a first on a pizza for me), known as the "Coppa Cotta". The salad items were very well presented and tasty too. Fresh and unique for both. The pizzas were also well done (as a artful pizza goes), but actually under done for my taste. With such a concentration on pizza and perhaps a dedicated oven, I was surprised how "blond" my outer crust was served and how doughy the center was presented on the plate. That withstanding, the pizzas were delicious and a bit adventurous, which makes dinner fun.
 

 
 
Wine was good, service was great (though a Monday night) and I'll easily recommend and look forward to going back...for more pizza or for a special occasion at the steak level.

6.10.2013

Update2: Admitting the problem is the first step...

... back in Feb2013 I updated this old post as I thought I was trading the cellphone I had at the time for an iPhone5. It didn't work out (lesson learned).
 
But, my Samsung Galaxy S3 pooped out on me again last week (battery issue) and I called AT&T again, having replaced the phone twice before (AT&T has this interesting rule that they won't send you a different make/model of phone until you've gone through the warranty process twice with the orginal model). Fine, I'll play along...  
 
I was able to warranty the S3 for a 2013 HTC One. As some tech-nerds and bloggers claim, this is HTC's last-ditch, all-out effort to get marketshare back from Apple and Samsung. To do this, they have made an all aluminum case and packed it with fast running on Android JellyBean. This version is also the only one really available this year from HTC and through all carriers. This helps avoid diluting this flagship product they put all their efforts into.
 
So far, it's an interesting phone, very handsome outside with a solid alloy body and only two "press-able" buttons (Power & Volume Up/Down). It has worked super fast inside. One of the more novel features is a TV Remote app preinstalled from HTC. You go through a simple set-up menu and soon enough your phone knows all your show favorites and can change the channel on your tv/cable box. Yes, the HTC One's Power button doubles as an IR port and can send out the requisite commands to tune your TV. Kinda cool, but I have found after a short test that my cable remote still seems easier.
 
Well, this one makes 22 now... er, like 21.5 if you could the iPhone5 fiasco.

6.05.2013

transplanted.chicagoan

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