Saturday, March 28, 2009

St Petersburg Restaurant and Vodka Bar

So, PiC is out of town for the weekend, and I had been looking for something to do. XG emails me out of the blue and says, hey, I know you're always super busy, but I feel like chatting, you feel like some sort of food thing some time? Amazingly, I have a free weekend, and lo, she suggests that she has an Entertainment book, and have I heard of a place called St Petersburg?

HAVE I? Last time I ate here was with PiC and OSO when OSO got her job last June. So I get a chance to go again and write the review that was sorely lacking.

I had forgotten the fact that the people who show up here really dress up. Because, you see, this seems to be the central gathering place of the entire Twin Cities Russian community. The wait staff barely speaks English. The food is amazing. And after a while, while we're in the midst of our meal, the band gets up on stage, speaking only in Russian, and there's entertainment and scads of people dancing. I think my favorite part was XG thinking there must be some sort of function going on, and I had to tell her, No, that's just what this place is LIKE on a Saturday night. :)

As for the food.... We started with a vodka flight each. Her the Polish flight, me the Russian flight. Out of the six vodkas I tried, I have to say that Belvedere really was my favorite, though the Stoli Gold was not bad. The others just didn't have the smoothness that those two did. :)

We completely forgot to trade tastes of dishes. At least I had had enough vodka that I wasn't thinking of that when it came time. My classic stroganoff was delightful however, and blended very nicely with the mashed potatoes that came with it. A cosmo for me and two more shots of Belvedere for XG later, and we enjoyed ourselves a tasty tasty cheesecake. Even though we'd ordered the blintzes. It was still fine; I think the waiter had a hard enough time understanding us. :)

Love that place. And I also know that I like Polish vodkas over Russian. At least tonight I did. :)

Uptown Diner

This place is one of my favorite places to go to when I'm up stupid early on a Saturday morning. I bring myself and a book and sit in a back corner.

There is a lovely 50's kitsch feel to the place. The food is good old fashioned diner food and the portions are in general HUGE. Even the half portions of their breakfast home specialties are good for two meals. In particular I like their treatment of the hashbrowns, though they do need additions of salt and pepper.

I've also enjoyed their wraps when I've been there on the rare lunch occasion. But I will admit my favorite thing to order when I get there is their biscuits and gravy. It's a very homestyle breakfast for me. And the eggs that come with it are always perfect for me.

It gets super crowded when it's time for regular brunch time. A tip, there WILL be a wait if the parking lot is full. The parking lot holds just about the number of people that can fit there.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


So lately, I've been stressed, and my food choices have reflected that. Lots of comfort foods, eating at home instead of going out, multitasking while I eat. Today PiC and I decided that what needed to happen was some good healthy eating.

So we headed down the street to Ecopolitan. Now, I had never managed to eat there, even when I was a vegetarian. But the idea of a raw foods vegetarian restaurant intrigued me to no end. And I always was thinking, you know, I should try that place as I drove past it, over and over. Let me say up front that it will definitely be a place I return to, and any skepticism about it has been assuaged now that I've actually been in for a meal. And I will refrain from quotes around the food descriptions, as they were fine on their own.

It's very much a house inside, looking like many an apartment in Uptown. And the decor is definitely of the rustic/reuse style, but it suits a place that charges a modest fee for take away containers.

First juice. Because if you're going to this place, you need to try at least one of their juices. This is no jamba juice. I ordered the Ginger Lemonade; it was uplifting and refreshing, a citrus drink with a definite tasty kick.

PiC went with a Coconut Supreme from the smoothie section, coconut mixed with dates and mint and cinnamon. I am not a coconut fan, but his report was that he loved it, and it was rather filling if one wanted something for on the go.

Dinner for me was the pasta with macadamia alfredo sauce. There were marinated mushrooms, pine nuts, and a few herbs mixed in the an alfredo sauce made from not only macadamia nuts but cashews as well, and all of this was topped a zucchini pasta and a bed of greens. I will admit the alfredo sauce was lacking in a little bit of salt to really make the flavor pop, but the texture was amazing, and the flavor was not bad, just not wow.

PiC's meal consisted of a spinach soup and a lasagna made from vegetables and nuts. There was many yummy noises coming from his side of the table, though I did not manage to try any of it. I did try the flax seed cracker that FoodieK had recommended. The balsamic reduction on top of that was incredible.

Afterwards, I feel full, but amazingly... lighter. And more awake. I think that their restaurant succeeded in what they aimed to do. I will be back.