October 14, 2012

Casper is a friendly ghost, but...

Casper might be the "friendliest ghost you know", but I think he may have an evil twin lurking around the Lone Oak Grill that isn't as friendly, unless of course you enjoy setting your insides on fire for fun. We'll get to that in a moment, but first as you may have figured out, the Lone Oak Grill is quickly becoming my go-to place for great food, beer choices and some of the best service you'll ever experience.

After my wife and I stopped by the first time and loving every last bite and enjoying the awesome service, we knew we wanted to go back to try some more items on the menu and of course, we did! In fact we stopped back twice since our last experience so there's plenty to share with you and explain why Casper has anything to do with eating delicious food.

As I mentioned we made a couple of visits, so lets start with trip number two. My wife and I ordered their Custom Mac N' Cheese and added in their house smoked chicken and onions along with the Slider Flight that included their smoked chicken, pulled pork and brisket. We also had some adult beverages to accompany our dinner and tried a new brew blend of New Belgium Tart Lychee and Angry Orchard Cider... D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S!

So how was the mac and sliders? Amazing! The mac was cheesy and loaded with flavor from the smoked chicken and the onions were a nice and mild sweet flavor. Add a little salt and pepper and it was an awesome dish and worth trying. You also have other options for your mac creation like; crab, bacon, pulled pork, brisket, lobster, house made chili, wild mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, asparagus, roasted red peppers and jalapenos. If you're willing to go for it ask your server for the money mac (not on the menu), but is their Custom Mac N' Cheese with EVERYTHING added... Yes please!

On to the sliders... Although not marketed as a BBQ pit, their smoked meats could easily take down some of those BBQ establishments around town with ease. The meat has some great flavor and very moist and tender, something even some BBQ pits have a hard time mastering and that's just wrong. Best part of visit number two, our food was delivered by one of the head chefs and he was very thankful for the kind words my wife and I had for their staff our first visit, What's your favorite tree?.

Visit number three came just a day later when my wife and I met up with some friends and their family after finishing a cancer walk for the National Kidney Foundation. Quick background for you, our friend we were meeting received a kidney from his amazing brother so he could continue living his life to the fullest. Yep, truly amazing! Everyone in our group was asking what to order and we of course shared our favorites. Not one person was unhappy and a couple of them were hooked themselves and looking forward to making another trip back to try something else on the menu.

Here's where Casper decided to show his unfriendly side. One of our guests decided he was going to attempt to take down the Ghost Pepper Juicy and knew nothing about one of the worlds hottest peppers that can hit 1 million units on the Scoville scale. As the waitress drops it off, she says, "who's the brave one attempting this thing?" You had to be there to see his face and response, "Is there something I need to know before eating this thing?", while he's already starting to take bites and the sweat starts to bead on his forehead. After explaining to him what he has just ordered, he continued with caution and only taking down half his juicy. "Well, now you know!" I said as everyone continues to laugh... :)

I thought lunch was over... NOPE! "Hey Nick, you should try it so you can blog about it." A smart person would have said no, server, please take this thing away... Not this guy! "Yeah, sure, why not!" So I was an idiot and took a nice big bite and I gotta say, a ghost peppers raw flavor is actually really good like a lot of other peppers that don't cause harm to your insides. However, the enjoyment of flavor only lasts a couple of seconds before Casper rears his ugly face, stops playing with kids and sets your lips, mouth and internal organs on fire. MILK PLEASE! Then, out of no where, my wife takes a stab at it which surprised me and like me, went for the milk immediately.

Thanks Casper for being so nice to kids all these years, but did you really have to possess a pepper? If you're brave enough, take a stab at it, the flavor before the heat like I mention earlier is actual really good and I think a glass of milk should come with every order, just in case... Think that's the hottest thing out there? You're wrong and hopefully the talented chefs at Lone Oak don't get their hands on the Trinidad Scorpion chili pepper which can reach 2 million units on the Scoville scale. There are actually people who enjoy the heat and if that's not hot enough for you, the new police issued defense spray hits the Scoville scale at a whopping 5.3 million units...I dare you to put something so close to pure capsaicin on your food, but I think I'll pass!

To wrap things up, the Lone Oak Grill is doing things right even with it's resident ghost. Keep an eye out for their new menu set to be released next month with a couple of new items on it and a couple taken off. One that caught my attention, a ground-pulled pork juicy... I mean really, doesn't that just sound delicious? I think so too! :)

Lone Oak Grill
3010 Eagandale Place
Eagan, MN 55121

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