Monday, January 18, 2010

Neighborhood Round Up

Since moving in with PiC and OSO in August, my old beloved Eat Street haunts are a little far for me to be eating at on anything regarding a frequent basis. This would be the main reason for radio silence for some time. Out to eat is frequently only on date nights, and otherwise we’re eating at home. And I got out of the habit of writing when we did.

However, we do have an entire new neighborhood of restaurants that are relatively nearby that we have been able to check out. In almost 6 months, we’ve hit almost all of them multiple times; it leaves me a little bit wanting to branch out and experience a new neighborhood, but really we have a good enough variety that we don’t have to go far to get most types of food that we want if we’re feeling lazy.

Here we have our local sushi restaurant. OSO and I decided this last Friday that we just didn’t want to bother with the last minute grocery run, so when PiC walked in the door post we swooped him up and walked over to Ba-gu, a fairly small sushi and Thai restaurant nearby. Now granted, I haven’t had a chance to try any of the thai offerings at this restaurant. But we have had the sushi. And let me say, having sushi within walking distance is a delight.

They don’t have the flair of a place like Fuji-ya. But they do have really good quality fresh sushi, and some of the best unagi I’ve had in town. The service is quick and efficient, and on a Friday night in January, it was actually rather quiet in there at 5:30. I hope this place stays open, but apparently they’re used to business being slow in January.

We split the Pirate Platter, which would be one of the illustrious sushi boats. Plenty of sushi for three that left us just a little hungry for one of the specialty rolls: the Three Wise Guys maki, made of salmon, tuna and yellowtail and topped with tempura flakes. And an unagi dessert sushi.

Bottles of wine are $15 on Friday and Saturday, happy hour till 5:30 on Sunday through Wednesday.

Pumphouse Creamery
This is a small ice cream shop dedicated to making ice cream using local and organic ingredients, preferably both. Their offerings vary a bit through the course of a year. We highly enjoyed their pumpkin ice cream this fall, as well as a brandy soaked cherry and chocolate ice cream. They aren’t Izzy’s, which will always be my favorite, but it’s walking distance from my house, really really good, and did I mention tasty?

Turtle Bread
I know that some people like this place, but I don’t get it. Their food has been sub-par in my opinion, with the breads and pastries tasting extra yeasty and the cakes being extra cold/frozen. I was sadly disappointed with their red velvet cupcake. The one thing that I’ve enjoyed that I got here was the slice of quiche I got when running late for dinner for myself, but even then I prefer my own quiches.

That would be the French word for Scotland. It’s Scottish food. With a French twist. It really is as odd as it sounds. It’s not bad for a brunch place if you have nothing else to do that day. I have not liked anything there that was meat based, from the little sausages to the patties. But it may be that I’m not a fan of Scottish food. However, their French toast is fantastic, and a reason that I will continue to go there on occasion. I hear they also serve beignets, but you have to get there while they still have them because they sometimes run out and there’s only so many platters of them they make in a day. The d├ęcor is sparse; and they use the Papyrus font for their wording which honestly I don’t want to forgive (being a font geek as well; it makes me a little sad). I will say that while I’ll still go there though, it is not one I would return to once I leave this neighborhood.

Adrian’s Tavern
This is exactly the little hole in a wall sort of tavern that it looks like from the outside. However, their food is *cheap* and it’s relatively tasty. I had a perfect grilled cheese sandwich here the day that PiC and OSO went with me to it. They have Delerium beers on tap sometimes and according to PiC this is a good thing. Burgers, fries, your standard pub fare. But a great little deal when you’re running through.

Sovereign Grounds
Standard independent coffee house, but with an apparently right-leaning bent from what I could tell when I went in the one time. I got my chai, and it was a standard Oregon chai, and my blueberry muffin tasted stale. It was a big disappointment, and I have not been back, for all that the chair was comfy. It’s a shame, I like going to indie coffee houses.

Perhaps this is the place that I have frequented most since moving to this neighborhood. I remember when the three of us first went here together, OSO was enquiring about what kind of glass the 64 oz margarita they had on the menu. The waitress said “Usually people share those, as it’s a pitcher.” OSO quipped back, “I just see it as a challenge.” Very clearly not serious, but amusing nonetheless.

Really good queso dip and for a little more you can have it served with fried wheat tortillas that are a little less crunchy than your standard corn chips. Highly recommend that. Also you are offered a choice on salsa – mild or hot. That is a nice change from the Minnesota mild that often gets served around here.

Good standard Tex-Mex, the reason to come here has more to do with the variety (and relative cheapness) of their varieties of tequila and happy hour. Really good house margaritas, for instance. And I can get a really good grilled vegetable burrito at a good price too with huge portions. And sometimes I prefer the Americanized version of Mexican food anyway.

It’s a very comfortable restaurant. And as far as I can tell, it has a great deal with the second run movie theatre right next to it, with discounts on dinner or drinks if you go to the movie. And you can bring your margarita with you if you want. That does not suck.

Bonus post: Fat Lorenzo’s
This would be the pizza/pasta shop that delivers to us that is not one of the major chains. Not really within walking distance, though we may start biking there when the weather gets better. And OMG is this food good. Mind you, it is called Fat Lorenzo’s for a reason. The portions are huge, and I think OSO and I will take to splitting one of their entrees in order to cut down on leftovers in the house. I love it, I don’t eat it too often because loving it that much might be bad for my waistline. At least until I get to biking there for dinner.

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