January 29, 2013

Apple A Day Keeps The Dr. Away????

Sure, we've all heard the ol' adage, an apple a day will keep the doctor away and it better be a Honey Crisp, Fuji or some other delicious apple because there's an apple out there that is not enjoyable at all! Is there really an apple out there that isn't delicious? There sure is and I prefer to refer to it as Crapplebee's!

Okay, so maybe it's actually called Applebee's, but I'm sorry, the food that is served there isn't worth eating unless it was the last place to eat at because there was a mass genocide of all the other restaurants... You won't find me eating at this place, but each year, my wife and I are given a gift card to Crapplebee's and we look at each other as if we were just given a plastic card with the plague all over it! So why do we still end up eating here? We're hoping maybe, just maybe they've made their food better.

Okay fine, there is one thing there worth eating and it's their new Wanton Chicken Tacos which are an appetizer and they're actually pretty darn good! The best part about our trips to Crapplebee's is when my wife and I look at each other and start rambling off menu items and ask the question... "You think it's worth eating?" I like this question too - "They can't screw up shrimp can they?" I usually respond with telling my wife, "remember, it's Crapplebee's!" To sum it up, the answer is usually a very quick no or I wouldn't eat that.

Is it really that difficult to prepare delicious food? I don't think it is, but the one-time yearly visit, I see people scarfing down their meals like it was the greatest meal they've ever had and I just don't get it. Also, for the price that you pay at Crapplebee's, you could be getting an even better meal at a local, non-chain restaurant like Lone Oak Grill, Casper's Cherokee Sirloin Room in Eagan, The Tavern, Lakes Tavern & Grill, Manitou Station, Lucky's 13 plus plenty of others and if it's a burger you're after, check out all the places I recommend for Juicy's in my Juicy Challenge where the establishments burgers are just as tasty!

Stop wasting your money on crap and start enjoying food! There are some chains out there that serve great tasting food, but Crapplebee's is not one of them. Another place you'll never catch me dining at, unless someone buys it for me and forces me to go is a place called the Outback Steakhouse! You want a good steak? My wife and I will make you one that is 10 times better with our very own secret marinade...

It's true... I'm not a doctor, nor do I even know if eating an apple a day WILL keep the doctor away, but I thnk you should still eat your fruits and veggies just to be safe.

January 14, 2013

If You're HAPPY and You GNOME it...

Did you clap your hands or stomp your feet twice? With some 76 different craft style beers and some of the most unique foods to enjoy, I would have to agree that the Happy Gnome is definitely "one of a 100 places you must have a beer at before you die", a rather amazing and worthy list to be added to.

My wife and I (who by the way come up with the title of this blog) have been to the Happy Gnome a few times to enjoy their craft beer options because trying something new and unique is so much better than always drinking water beer, a.k.a Mich. Golden Light, Coors Light, etc. the Happy Gnome is also the place that introduced me to my favorite beer of all-time, Curious Traveler Shandy by The Traveler Brewing Co. (formally, The House of Shandy Brewing Co.). So we've enjoyed the wide selection of craft beers, which by the way is ever changing and evolving, but never had the food and we've heard a lot of great things about the food.

Unique, different, mysterious and unusual are all adjectives that can describe food and it's exactly what my wife and I love the most about the culinary world. For this reason, you'll be hard pressed to find us dining at a national chain store and instead finding a local, family owned restaurant serving up some of the best, freshest and locally made food you can find, but the key is..... something different! At the Happy Gnome, that's exactly what you're getting and man was it good. This trip was with the in-laws before a Gopher's hockey game and I'm sure glad they chose this place.

We started the evening with of course some adult beverages and we also ordered a Canadian favorite, Poutine. What is Poutine, well my friends, it's something delicious and different! Start with the Gnomes hand cut on a daily basis fries and add some cheese curds and sausage gravy... Some damn good food! Those hand cut fries by the way... Some of the best in the Twin Cities hands down! On to the meals and it was burgers for the entire table.

My wife and her sister went with a traditional Angus Cheeseburger which was pretty good with Braised Short Ribs and Garlic Aioli to top it off. Our brother in-law went with one of the burgers I was trying to decided and I'm excited to go back to try it - the Game Burger. Doesn't the name just make it sound delicious? The Game Burger was a blend of bison, elk, blue cheese-onions and lingonberry aioli... And that my food loving friends sounds mouth water and why I'm excited to head back to try it!

My burger is where my adjectives listed early come into play and why I love food so much. At the Happy Gnome you will find the Duck Burger! A blend of duck, goat cheese, bacon, wild rice and cherry aioli. Absolutely insane flavors and one of the best if not the best burgers I've ever had. Who makes a burger out of duck anyways???? The Happy Gnome sure wasn't scared to try it and I'm glad they had the guts to try it! Again, remember those hand cut fries, that are cut fresh daily? Are you catching on to my madness yet? What I'm saying is more places need to do this because it's the best way to enjoy french fries!

So if you're HAPPY and you GNOME it and your face will surely show it (not sure how it won't after this deliciousness I just described), than head down to the Happy Gnome in the historic Cathedral Hill area of St. Paul and try some unique and awesome food as well as some of  the nations and Minnesota's very own top craft beers.

The Happy Gnome
498 Selby Ave.
St. Paul MN 55102