September 29, 2012

What's Your Favorite Tree?

"Why am I being asked what my favorite tree is when I'm suppose to be reading about food?" Was that a question running through your head? Don't worry, I'm leading you down a path to some delicious food...... Just through a forest first, that's all!

So what is your favorite tree? Birch, pine, maple? Maybe it's an apple, orange or peach tree... Whatever it might be, I think I may have found my new favorite and quite possibly could be yours, however that's if you're willing to give it a try!

While you're wondering through said forest, a.k.a. 35E in Eagan, you'll come across the Lone Oak Grill. Yep, your new favorite tree just might be a lone oak that sits just off the highway and it's not just there to be watered daily, it's there to serve you some delicious food and indeed it is! Taking over what was formerly the defunct Joe Senser's, the Lone Oak Grill opened a little more than a month ago with a brand new remodel of the entire space and the place looks amazing. In fact they had to overhaul the entire kitchen thanks to the lack of cleaning by Joe Senser's and the patio is enormous with fire pits to keep you warm on those cool seasonal nights. Oh! How bout' some bocce ball while you're there? 2 full size bocce fields for your pleasure!

Time to talk about the food! After ordering up my favorite brew, House of Shandy - Curious Traveler (already a positive experience), my wife and I took to the menu to figure out what we would like to have for dinner. The exceptional service from the wait staff was explaining how they make things in house, fresh daily and explained to us what some of his favorites were, starting with their smoked meats. My mouth started to water and than I saw it... A list of juicy's! :) What to order?

We started with an order of their wings, extra crispy with their homemade tangy sauce which was amazing and if you want to see how it compared to the others we've blogged about, visit Flying Buffalo'? to see how Lone Oak Grill's ranked. Wondering what we ordered yet? I'm sure you can guess it... Yes, I went with a juicy, but I had to and it had everything that I'm looking for in a juicy. You can see it's ranking at the Juicy Lucy Challenge, lets just say it was awesome for now.

My wife went with the special for the night which was the pesto chicken pasta. Most places have no idea how to make something so simple, but the Lone Oak Grill sure did and they should because the owners also own Trattoria Da Vinci in St. Paul which is one of our favorite Italian restaurants and a must try. It was the perfect combo of garlic, basil, spices and the chicken was from their smoker. Pesto chicken pasta with smoked chicken? Oh yes and if you see it as a special and you like pastas, order it!

The Lone Oak Grill is definitely a place to stop by and we'll be back soon to try their smoked treats, custom mac n' cheese and sandwiches. Exceptional service, management, space, food and value! With that combination, their bound to be successful and I have no doubt they will be. They did an amazing job on the renovations, mixing elegance and modern that will make you feel comfortable and if you get a little chilly, take a seat on the couch in front their custom made fire place.

While you're there, say hi to their management team, specifically Paul and ask to be seated in server Brian's section and if you want some guests for the evening, my wife and I would be happy to join you! :)

Lone Oak Grill
3010 Eagandale Place
Eagan, MN 55121

September 12, 2012

No "Redneck Yacht Club" at this lake!

Sure there might be a place on the lake that only a few folks know and if you ask country singer, Craig Morgan, he may actually let you know about said place, but odds are you and Craig aren’t friends. Instead, I’m going to send you to a place that lots of folks know and there are no; "bass-trackers, Bayliners or a party barge" that is serving up some delicious food.

The Lakes Tavern & Grill in Woodbury, MN may not have a place for you to anchor your gem of a boat, but this no-wake zone has plenty of room for your automobile and I recommend you make a trip to this Woodbury oasis for some food that will satisfy everyone’s appetite. It was my wife and I’s first trip to the Lakes Tavern & Grill and after reading over the menu a few things caught our attention and were a must order.

The first thing that caught our attention was a dish that we can thank our friends to the north for called poutine. We’ve always wanted to try it and figure it was a good time to take a stab at it. For those of you who have no clue what this delicacy is, I’m about to let you know! Start off with some French fries, season them and add in some cheese curds and delicious gravy pored all over, forming this fantastic, delicious, yummy, whatever you want to describe it as dish we know as poutine. Dear Canada (Quebec to be exact)… Thank you for providing the world with something so ridiculous and yet so AWESOME!

Lets move on to some of the other items we chose to try, flatbread pizza and their take on a comfort food classic, mac n’ cheese. My wife wanted to try the Lakes flatbread which consists of roasted garlic olive oil, artichoke hearts, prosciutto ham, mozzarella, Roma tomatoes and topped with fresh basil. If that sounds like the worst thing you’ve ever heard of, it’s time for you to broaden your horizons because this stuff is fantastic. My wife and I were comparing it some of the other places we tend to get our flatbreads from like Punch Pizza. While I thought the Lakes flatbread was a better product, she leaned more towards Punch being better. They’re completely different and BOTH excellent options.

We’re on to my favorite comfort food, mac n’ cheese! Made with a white wine sauce and loaded with cheese, tossed with cavatappi noodles and finished off with toasted bread crumbs. WHAT!? It sounds good and even better… it tastes great! You can add shrimp or blackened shrimp for an additional three bucks or a number of other ingredients for just a dollar more and we decided to add in some chicken. Go ahead and add whatever you want and make this classic mac n’ cheese your very own creation.

There may not be "astroturf, lawn chairs and tiki torches", but everyone is welcome, not just the regular Joes and I’m on board for stopping back to try some of their other tasty sounding treats like; the Lakes nachos with their signature wanton chips (are you kidding me? :) ), crab cake sliders, their other flatbreads, braised short ribs in a maple beer sauce (making my mouth water just thinking about it), rotisserie chicken with a cool cilantro mint crème sauce and maybe a burger or two. So…. What are you waiting for? Get off the real lake you’re on and head to Lakes Tavern & Grill…. Your SPF15 can wait for another sunny day!

Lakes Tavern & Grill 
9240 Hudson Road
Woodbury MN 55125