long time no blog.... y'all know im sorry so im gonna skip the apologies and get straight to the food. sorry this will be mostly photo free, ive been lax about that.
Lets go in reverse chronological order, shall we? starting with the leftovers i ate last night.
1. Uptown Diner
ive been here a couple times, first of all a super awkward breakfast with my ex bf mike, and then a year or so ago with my friends and body modifiers jenna and peter, where i had an awesome cajun crab cake benedict. this time, i had gone to see a rocky horror shadow show at the uptown theater in minneapolis with awesome new friend [and costume designer/air guitar champion!] alex, and afterwards we walked the few blocks to the diner, which is thankfully open 24 hours on saturdays.
it was about 2 or 2:30 am and they were PAAAAAAACKED. we had to sit at a table in the middle which was basically the same table as four strange guys, which was a little odd fo me especially being on a first date, but what're you gonna do.
once i sat down i realized i wasnt really hungry, but i ordered a burger cuz you cant really go wrong with that. it was a Cajun Burger, topped with sauteed onions, green peppers, mushrooms with cheese melted over the top, crowned with hot sauce, lettuce and majo. the burger might've been cajun spiced. it sounded really good on the menu but now i cant really remember. date jitters and all.
our waitress was a suuuuuper nice tattooed gal who was totally calm despite being swamped and really kept on top of our drink refills. i asked for my burger medium rare, and she said they arent allowed to do that, but when she brought the burger she said she'd told the cook to go as easy on it as possible and checked to make sure it was good with me. so nice! and thoughtful! i told her the well burger was fine, i dont mind that much. it was maybe medium well but still very juicy.
i only ate about two bites of it at the diner due to not being hungry/being nervous/talking my head off, so i brought it home and ate it last night. it was DELICIOUS. reheated burgers dont usually fare well but it was yuuuummy. the bun was very much a lost cause so i ate the thing with a fork and mmm.... the sauteed veggies and the melted cheese were delicious, the burger still juicy and flavorful. even the lettuce, wilted by mayo and heat, was still good. it may have been spinach.
so thumbs up for the uptown diner! if you go on a busy time like 2am on saturday night, i recommend going with at least four people so you can get a booth.
2548 Hennepin Ave,
Minneapolis, MN 55405
Also recommended are the Rocky Horror performances put on by transvestitesoup.org
on the last saturday of every month at midnight at the Uptown Theater
! super fun, awesome cast that seem like great people. im going again next month, with columbia costume!
st cloud finally has a sushi/hibachi place! we've had tiny sushi restaurant Pok's Sakura forever, and while ive heard good things about it ive never been there [it being located pretty much in the parking lot of cub foods having something to do with it. it used to be in a somewhat swanky-looking locale in the division place shops and was just called Sakura, shouldve gone then]. fuji is located in what used the be the Center for Diagnotic Imaging which as you can see from the photo is a square, ugly little building, so that left me a little dubious... plus, sushi + st cloud? and mixed reviews from my friends? but i had a date [with another lovely friend, the very charming and fantastic justin] coming to town and i figured it was a good opportunity to try something new [and hopefully it wouldnt be terrible and leave me embarassed].
despite the exterior, its super nice inside! very dark and luxurious. there are two cute little waterfall fountains in the lobby as well as some lovely furniture. we were greeted by a very charming older woman who i believed to be the owner. you get your choice between hibachi table or a booth on the sushi side. there's also a drinks bar and a sushi bar. we had a booth on the sushi side, very dark, comfortable and private.
we ordered, to the best of my memory, spider roll, green river roll, rainbow roll, and two peices of unagi nigiri. their menu was extensive and i had a very hard time choosing, especially since they had many specialty rolls i had never seen before at my usual sushi spot, akita in woodbury. definately a go-back to try many different things!
our rolls came very artfully displayed on a large platter, swirled with sauce and arranged in arcs and groups. something about the presentation really got me.... at akita when you order more than one roll theyre just laid out in two rows the way theyre cut, but at fuji there was a symmetrical arrangement of green river along the bottom, spiky spider rolls on the top and middle, two peices of rainbow roll in each corner and one unagi on each side. very thoughtul and adorable. wish id taken a pic!! everything was wonderful.... the unagi was better than at akita, more tender. the rainbow roll, which i usually find rather boring, was very good. green river was my favorite, and i wish i could remember the ingredients [im writing shit down next time i have sushi!]... i think there was crab inside, and the outside had some sort of pale green wrapper or powder on the outside, definately not nori. one of the rolls had regular lettuce inside it, which i thought was unusual! the spider roll had massive peices of fried softshell crab poking out, which were difficult and hilarious to eat. im really going to stop ordering sushi with giant things poking out of it though, its getting ridonkulous and i always seem to enjoy the completely-mouth-poppable kind better.
A+ for fuji! would definately go back. at $8-10 per roll and 3 rolls feeding two people it was pretty reasonable... i wish it was easier to do by yourself though, but with my love of variety its really better to go with someone else. the only downside was the somewhat bland and yucky iced tea i ordered. cmon.... japanese restaurant + bad tea???
Fuji Japanese Steakhouse
148 2nd Street South
Waite Park, MN 56387-1363
3. Granite City and RJ's American Grill
ive written about RJ's before, as its right next to the porn store where i work. their food's really good but reletively expensive for an at-work lunch, so i dont usually get it, but lately ive been feeling very indulgent.
do you ever have food chains of events? i often do. earlier in the week id asked my mom to take me to granite city for lunch, hoping to get both the buffalo chicken salad and the wild rice almondine soup. well, they no longer make the salad, with its awesome cucumber ranch dressing, and the wild rice is only served on tuesdays. so i ordered the ale & cheddar soup and at the last minute i made a snap decision and ordered the lemon pepper basil pasta.
ugh. 1. ive ordered the ale & cheddar soup before and i shouldve remembered that i despise the rye croutons they put on top, as they have carroway seeds in them which i HAAAATE. and once i eat one the soup is done for me. 2. the lemon pepper pasta was a bust. i was expecting a cream sauce, but it was really just spaghetti with a basily marinara sauce. the chicken was juicy and flavorful, but meh. i ate like 1/3 of it and left the rest. bummer.
so this food fail left me feeling salad deficient. on friday night i perused the RJs menu at work and decided to order the [ugh] asian chicken salad. theres a margaret cho bit about that and whenever i read it i always hear her voice imitating a flight attendant: "aaaaaaasiiiian chicken salad? aaaaaaasiiiian chicken salad? [to margaret] .... chicken salad?" asian is such a fucking retarded generic term that always means "gingery" in applebeesish restaurants when it could mean things as bizarre as the philippene duck eggs that have the entire full grown duck fetus in them. thats asian.
mmm! from this disgusting & awesome cracked article
whatever. so "asian" salad: lettuce, an entire, deliciously juicy grilled chicken breast, red peppers, mandarin oranges, green onions, a shitload of fried wonton strips [lol, so cringingly asian], and a creamy ginger-citrus dressing. the dressing was a little odd, but oh lords, that chicken was so fucking good. im rarely so excited about just a chicken breast. maybe i was just really hungry. the dressing and the green onions made a really interesting combination. ill never understand restaurants fascinatin with wonton strips [or the chip strips they put on southwest salads and that kind of stuff]... you cant stab them with their fork, especially not these which were as fat as egg noodles, and theyre just odd on a salad. i love salad toppers like croutons, baco-s and various nuts but for some reason putting chips on a salad seems fucked up to me. although the steak salad i made with shoestring potatoes and french fried onions was amazing.. maybe im just biased against wonton strips. MAYBE IM RACIST.
saturday i ordered a chicken ranch wrap, which ive had maybe five times and has always been amazing for just a wrap sandwich. again, its that awesome juicy chicken, plus the magic of an herb tortilla and this awesome cilantro ranch dressing. my boss eats this at least once a week, only she orders it minus chicken because she has this phobia about finding a stringy peice in her chicken, which is SO WEIRD because RJs chicken is so good, its not like its subway or something. so she pays $10 for a tortilla full of lettuce and ranch dressing. weird, but whatever. they do have pretty fantastic skinny seasoned fries too.
i ordered my wrap when the store was empty and had 15-20 minutes to wait before i could pick it up. of course, during that period of time about 5 people come in the store and take FOREEEVER to pick out toys and dvds. like, over an hour. the guy at RJs calls me to see if i am in fact coming to get my sandwich or what.... i told him i cant quite get out of the store, could he possibly send someone over with it? i would pay a tip. nope, he cannot do that. he cannot send a waitress literally NEXT DOOR in a strip mall for a tip. but he does stash the sandwich in the fridge for me. after an hour, hour and 15 or so everyone has finally gotten their porn and i can go get it... turns out he's put the fries in the fridge as well. i REALLY wouldve appriciated getting fresh fries when i came in, i dont think it would be too hard especially at dinner time when im guessing they make fresh batches pretty much constantly. for a $10 wrap and fries id expect fresh fries, even if it takes me a while to come get them, especially since he cant accomidate me and deliver NEXT DOOR. but im not much of a huge fry fan anyway so thats not that big of a deal...
the big deal is the sandwich. and the sandwich was not good. of the 5+ chicken ranch wraps ive had there, including ones ive eaten half of as leftovers, this was the worst. chicken was good, but there was tons of lettuce, which was rusting in some spots [should lettuce rust after being put in the fridge for a hour? its never happened to me before] and the lettuce tasted a little... suspect? you know? when a veggie tastes not quite right. and like NO FRIGGING DRESSING. like a drizzle which seemed to have absorbed mostly into the tortilla. BLEH. WORST TEN DOLLAR SANDWICH EVER. i was so angry. and after an hour wait i was sooooo disappointed.
i took a fifteen minute break to eat the disappointing sandwich, and when i came out of the backroom and went to unlock the front door of the store, there were some women waiting. i went to crack the door open for them and invite them in, and i was about to say "sorry for the wait, come on in," when they all yelled "WOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!" at the top of their lungs. scared the everliving shit out of me. fucking bachelorette parties. the bride was wearing crotchless panties over her pants. Granite City Food & Brewery
3945 2nd St. South
St. Cloud, MN 56301
320.203.9000 RJ's American Grill
4221 Clearwater Rd.,
St. Cloud, MN 56301
there will be MOAR!!