January 11, 2017

No Partying At This Bonfire

When the bonfire is lit, the ice cold adult beverages are flowing, the company around the fire is great, some tunes playing in the back ground, some s'mores being prepared and everyone is happy, you know it's going to be a good night. Unfortunately, the bonfire we were just at wasn't anything like the one in your backyard or up at the cabin.

That bonfire I speak of happens to be the metro's Bonfire Wood Fire Cooking and we happened to be at the Eagan location. Many year's ago when this place first opened its doors, I remember thinking this was the place for a fine dining experience - the prices certainly reflected that! My typical order was the Surf n' Turf, which back then was a steak and walleye fillet. Today, that has changed and so has the menu. It wasn't the best place to eat, but it was good!

My wife and I hadn't been there in well over 6 or 7 years and decided it was a good time to check out that new menu and see if things were better or worse. For us and the dishes we ordered - definitely for the worse! After ordering some cold adult beverages, we settled on the special for Friday nights - Prime Rib as well as their Drunk n' Dirty sirloin. Each came with our selection of 2 sides.

While I would have rather had a plate full of s'mores to enjoy straight off a nice warm bonfire in the backyard, we tried our best to "enjoy" our meal. I went for the prime rib and what came out didn't look anything like the prime ribs I've had throughout the Twin Cities. Basically, it looked like a piece of barely cooked piece of meat with lame attempt at seasoning. I decided to cut everything into manageable pieces and throw in my bowl of au jus which helped a little. My sides were a loaded baked potato and their fiesta corn. My baked potato was a baked potato and the rice was quickly pushed aside. I felt like I was eating feed corn with some kind of poorly created spices added to it. 

As for that Drunk n' Dirty my wife decided to order - Remove. From. The. Menu! That was easily the worst steak I've ever tried to consume and I can make better steaks at home! It was prepared with a whiskey-marinade of some kind, but should never be served. I've played around with dozens upon dozens of marinades at home including whiskey and a 1000% times better than this attempt. As for her sides, my wife went with some garlic mashed (can't mess those up) and green beans (also something that you can't really mess up). She didn't eat much...

Everyone has different taste buds though, but would we go back? probably not! Unless of course they had another complete overhaul of their menu because I can't imagine it gets much better... Ok, maybe if they just added s'mores to the menu??? Yeah, still probably not, they would be overpriced! Just glad there was a Cupcake near by

Several Twin Cities Locations

January 3, 2017

An Italian Chipotle Option?

You're probably trying to answer that question at this very moment and potentially this question as well, "how could that even be possible?" Well, it is indeed possible, just change the ingredients and an establishment does indeed exist. This clever new place that no one should ever overlook is called Piada Italian Street Food and there are three locations in the Twin Cities to check out with more on the way.

Now you're probably trying to figure out how the two even compare and again, I'm here to help. Like Chipotle, Piada is a convenient, quick style establishment with quality, fresh and a healthier option than that of fast food options. Your food is made right in front of you and the options are similar as well. Wraps or Piada's in place of a Burrito and Tacos while Salads and Pasta Bowls replace Burrito and Salad Bowls. Finally, simply stand in line, looking of a piece of glass and telling the person on the other side of the counter what you want included in your selection. Sound familiar?

During my families first visit to this exceptional new delight, we went with the following items; the Fall Steak Avocado Piada off their seasonal menu and the Basel Pesto Pasta. We also went for a street side, a Parmigiano Reggiano Piada Stick. All of which, was absolutely amazing! But of course, I'll break the meals down for you.

Lets begin with the Piada that I decided to order. Prepared with Steak, arugula, pancetta, fresh avocado, spicy balsamic aioli, fresh mozzarella, pepitas & roasted butternut squash. I held off from the avacado and after just one bite, I was definitely happy with my selection. My Piada came with a side of a creamy parmesan dipping sauce that was insane and I was willing to drink it! I know it's on the seasonal menu, but if you see it on the menu, it's a must get!
My wife went for the pasta and typically I'm not a fan of anything pesto. However, Piada's version isn't just any pesto! Prepared with parmesan alfredo, fresh basil pesto, sundried tomatoes, freshly grated parmesan. Best with crispy chicken or grilled chicken which we of course added. WOW! Talk about a pleasurable eating experience! As for that Piada Stick.... Well, if you decide to not get one, you'll be missing out because these bad boys are awesome!
I'm definitely going to be making this place a go-to when I'm out and about and I think my wife will be as well. The food is fresh tasting and amazing! If you see a Piada Italian Street Food, don't go next store to the "grease bucket", you'll just regret it!

Piada Italian Street Food
Several Twin Cities Locations

** Images are from Piada's website, not by anyone associated with Food Gnawledge **