Archive | March, 2010

Salsa a la Salsa

16 Mar

Lauren and I recently (and by recently I mean pre-Christmas 2009) went to Salsa a la Salsa, which is located on the heart of Eat Street in Minneapolis near the Convention Center.  It was a fierce blizzard that night, and we were surprised the place was even open, let alone serving several other patrons.

Unlike traditional Mexican restaurants, Salsa a la Salsa serves up some wild concoctions—dishes I wouldn’t have thought to be Mexican, and others I didn’t know existed.

We started with margaritas and the complimentary chips and salsa, then tried an appetizer that tickled our funny bones—Tostones con Camarones, which are fried plantains topped with large shrimp, sauteed in Chipotle tomatillo sauce with papaya chutney.  Now believe me when I say I’ve had my share of fried plantains topped with large shrimp, sauteed in Chipotle tomatillo sauce with chutney over the years, but papaya chutney?  This was the best I’ve had yet!  It was exotic and was the perfect taste-grabber for what was to come next.

Drinks and sauces from Salsa a la Salsa, Minneapolis

Margaritas on a snowy Christmassy night

For my main entree, I chose the Chicken Devil Mary Style, which was advertised as “VERY HOT!”, and added a chicken tamale on the side.  I can’t recall what Lauren ordered off hand.  My meal was pretty delicious.  It came with a platter of tortillas and I used the chicken strips, rice, and vegetables to create my own little wraps.  I remember the meal being hot, but not uber-hot.  The sauces that were given to us with our chips really unlocked the flavor of this dish, leaving me mildly perspiring and plenty satisfied, not even about to check the dessert menu.

Our entrees from Salsa a la Salsa, Minneapolis

Our entrees from Salsa a la Salsa

Lauren and I liked this place so much that we bought a gift certificate there for Lauren’s step-brother and his wife for their Christmas present.  Thanks to the great taste, authentic Mexican memorabilia, friendly hosts, and all-weather hours, and very reasonable prices, I give Salsa a la Salsa a strong 4.3/5 Noms.

Advertisements

Northeast Social

15 Mar

Here’s another restaurant I should have reviewed right away but didn’t, and now I have to try to remember it.

Northeast Social Club

I rarely use texting lingo but OMG!

Oh, yeah, now I remember!  This place was amazing.  Located in northeast Minneapolis, the Northeast Social was an impromptu mid-week dinner selection for a double date with the Walshichettis.  One interesting thing about this restaurant is its ever-changing menu.  When we were there, it was the girls that both opted for the Black Angus sirloin, cooked rare, while Walsh and I tried some “lighter” options.  I can’t recall what Walsh tried, but I opted for the braised pork shank (above).  It was one of the single most delicious meals I’ve eaten in a restaurant… ever.  The meat just fell off the bone and was served with sweet potato fries and asparagus.  I ate every last bit of meat, leaving only a clean bone behind.  Really, my meal was that good.

The downfall was the price (about $20 per entree), but I can honestly say it was worth the money.  If I went back there and that pork was still on the menu, I would definitely have it again before trying something new.  I think Walsh and I had beers while the girls split a bottle of wine.  I can’t recall if we had dessert or not.

The atmosphere was nice too.  It was pretty dark with candles lighting the tables.  The tables are kinda squeezed in pretty tight to each other though.  The wait staff was courteous and attentive, and earned themselves a fine tip.

So the next time you’re feeling like splurging a little, call ahead and make reservations for Northeast Social.  It gets Ryan Glanzer’s seal of approval, 5/5 Noms, and the top overall spot in the rankings.

Sushi Tango

12 Mar

On Valentine’s Eve, Lauren and I went to Sushi Tango in Calhoun Square for dinner, using a gift card we received for a wedding present from the Berglund-Husebys.  I apologize right now—that was almost a month ago and I don’t remember any of the things we ordered except for the gyoza appetizer and one of the sushi entrees called the Kuma.

All I can tell you is that it was another awesome sushi place in Minneapolis, yet I still can’t easily differentiate between this sushi restaurant and any of the others.  They’re all relatively pricey but really good and I’d have to start narrowing it down to the ambiance of the restaurant itself if I were to rank the local places we’ve been, which I may do soon.

For what it’s worth, Sushi Tango put us at a high-top table for dinner right next to the crowd of people waiting for seats which took away from the mood a little.  The food also took over a half hour to arrive.  But in the end, once that food arrived, it was worth the wait.  And we didn’t really think ahead that a Saturday night the day before Valentine’s Day might be busy, so really we were lucky to get a table at all!

Sushi Tango, Uptown Minneapolis

Lauren and I split these different entrees.

I think Sushi Tango deserves high marks despite the crowd and the long wait for the food to arrive.  3.8/5 Noms.

Lauren:

I agree with most of what Ryan wrote – Sushi Tango has a very nice new space, but they more or less ruined the atmosphere by putting the two of us at a high-top table with four seats. Our food took a very long time to arrive, and while it was delicious, we were sitting in the bar area getting glared at by all the other couples. I am sure they were all wondering why a table of two was seated at a four-top when the staff could have split up the tables and seated another couple. But as best I could, I tried to shrug off the daggers being glared my way and enjoy a lovely little Valentine’s Day.

4 Noms for food, 2.5 for the staff/seating = 3.25/5!