May 19, 2013

Dirty "Mediterranean" Water

I'm going to tell you a story... I'm going to tell you a big bad story and I'm going get some help from The Standells to help tell that story and unfortunately, I didn't love the "dirty water" at the last place my wife and stopped by. This "story" starts at a place called Ansari's Mediterranean Restaurant located in Eagan and it didn't start off the best and we didn't even step foot inside.

As we arrived to Ansari's and made our way to the front door, we had to walk by the patio and this is where things quickly went south. It looked as though the ENTIRE patio was an ash tray as did the sidewalk outside of the fenced in patio area. The last time I checked, brooms were a very inexpensive tool for cleaning and it's a bout time the owners invested in some. It was disgusting! Why does this matter? what if I wanted to sit on the patio and enjoy the weather???? A restaurants patio has become a smokers retreat, making it so you can't enjoy the weather when it's nice out. I'm even starting to see them become smoke free all together which is more enjoyable for ALL patrons and hopefully it catches on statewide!

We've made it inside and made our way to the bar. Trying to have a nicer dining area mixed with what can only be described as a dive bar is not what my wife and I were expecting to find even after the ash tray patio we had to walk by on our way in. Fail! So far, so good, right? We had other plans scheduled for the evening so it was going to be a quick dinner so we decided to pony up to the bar. With two bartenders behind the bar and about eight people at the bar, you'd think it would be easy to get a drink pretty easily. At Ansari's, that's not the case! Not once did a bartender make eye contact with us in the ten minutes we were sitting there so we decided to leave the bar and sit at a high top instead. Is it really that difficult to provide customer service to patrons? It was for this staff!

We were finally able to order some drinks and food, but it really doesn't get much better, besides the food actually tasting pretty good. Once we placed our order for food, which by the way was a Gyro and and the Twin Gyros Wrap (Lamb and Chicken). The food did taste pretty good, but I was hoping to be blown away seeing that it's a Mediterranean restaurant specializing in this cuisine, but it wasn't any better than the Gyro's you can find at Dino's Gyros, the local fast food option. During the whole time we were there, our server came by our table once to check on us and we were done with our meals and ready to leave. Sounds like some great customer service, right?

Eagan, "you're not my home", but I think I would actually go back to try some of the other items on the menu after reading some of the dishes and my wife said the same thing. We also both agreed that the restaurant it self had some major changes to take care of. I would say they're pretty simple things too - cleaning your restaurant and training your staff.

Ansari's Mediterranean Restaurant 
1960 Rahncliff Court
Eagan, MN 55122 

May 12, 2013

The Search Is Over... (Best Pulled Pork)

You're probably wondering what I was searching for to begin with??? Well, I would actually call it more like, I won't have to search at all because I'm pretty sure I found it. What is it? The best pulled pork sandwich I've ever had in the Twin Cities thus far! If you would like to try it for yourself, head on down to Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque and Pirate Bar in downtown Stillwater and give it a try!

Make's it sound like I was living for a dream which by the way I really wasn't, but I was loving for a moment, a food moment and I found it! Not sure when Survivor became my inspiration for a food blog, but it sounded good to me. So how can I can I convince you that this is the best pulled pork sandwich? I guess I'm just going to describe the best I can and tell you to go try it for yourself. 

It's a pretty simple explanation actually... pimento wood smoked pork that is amazingly moist that is combined with the inspiration of the Jamaican culture and I really love that island and the food coming from that culture after visiting Jamaica a couple of times myself. Smalley's definitely knows what they're doing in providing folks with the cuisine from paradise and after my second time now visiting Smalley's, They have me as a patron for life. 

Lets face it... I can't travel to Jamaica as much as I would like to, so I'll head to Smalley's! Don't worry Smalley's, I won't take you for granted with the new friend I have in you and please keep producing some of the most amazing food in the Twin Cities.

Smalley's Caribbean Barbeque and Pirate Bar
423 Main St S., Suite A
Stillwater, MN 55082