Archive | October, 2010

Sea Salt Eatery

23 Oct


Sea Salt Eatery

visited Friday, September 24th, 2010

Sea Salt exterior

Sea Salt Eatery in Minnehaha Park

Ryan
On a recent Friday night, Lauren and our friend Sarah decided we best take in the Sea Salt Eatery before it closes for the season. Walsh and I were more or less along for the ride, but once I saw the menu I was very excited to try a few of the seafood offerings. The menu seemed very reasonably priced, but then again that only made me feel like I could order more things. Aside from Lauren and I splitting a bottle of white wine ($22) and the peel-and-eat shrimp appetizer ($8.95), I chose the scallop tacos and marlin tacos ($6.95 each). For a Friday night dinner on payday, it seemed like a good opportunity to splurge just a little!

The shrimp app was really good! I don’t know how one can make plain cold shrimp taste any different than the next guy, but these big shrimp were a pretty solid deal for the price. Paired with a spicy cocktail sauce, it was the perfect way to get my taste buds juiced up for the main course.

A few minutes later my two kinds of tacos arrived. The marlin tacos came two to an order and were served in doubled-up tortillas with salsa, pico de gallo, and greens. I had never tried marlin and must admit I ordered it only because I was thinking of the Florida Marlins, but it was a delicious, savory piece of fish and the tacos were excellent. The scallop tacos featured lots of breaded, fried scallops and were topped with a tangy chipotle sauce instead of salsa. These were much more flavorful and filling than the marlin. A little difficult to hold and eat, but worth the mess.

Sea Salt Eatery, Minneapolis, scallop taco

My scallop tacos were the highlight of the night.

Sea Salt Eatery, Minneapolis, marlin taco

The marlin taco was good too, just not as good as the scallop.

The Sea Salt Eatery had more of a cafeteria feel to it than a sit-down restaurant. Plastic chairs were slid up to small, circle tables barely large enough for all our food. The first thing we did when we entered the building was went through the order line, then found a place to sit. They call out the names and deliver the food, but the service was hardly tip-worthy. That said, I enjoyed my unusual experience there. It was a lot less formal than I had expected, and I’d like to try some other items from the menu next summer.

Lauren

I had been wanting to visit Sea Salt for ages and ages. It felt like I was the last person in the greater metro area to eat there. So suffice it to say, my expectations were perhaps a bit high. After talking all summer about how I desperately wanted, nay, needed to get to Sea Salt before their season ended, I made it happen at the end of September.

While the boys were figuring out the park’s parking system, Sarah and I ran ahead in case we had to fight for a table. The restaurant was just picking up at about 6:30 pm, so we had our choice of tables. We might have sat outside except that I don’t think Sarah or Chris (or Ryan) were expecting the kind of atmosphere that we encountered and hadn’t dressed for the great outdoors. Once the boys joined us we started to scour the menu. I was a little overwhelmed by the number of choices, and the ordering system gave me a little bit of stress as I was not ready to order when we got to the front of the line. I was bound and determined to order something a little unusual. We went with a relatively safe choice, cold shrimp cocktail, for our appetizer and after panicking and asking the cashier what sandwich was the best, I ordered the crawfish po’ boy.

Once we located a table and set our drinks down, the appetizers were out – guess it doesn’t take too much time to put cold shrimp on a plate! Like Ryan said, the shrimp were mighty tasty and the horseradish-y cocktail sauce was perfect. Sarah and Chris ordered both the shrimp cocktail and the calamari, which I stole a piece of. It was probably the best calamari I’ve ever tasted, and I would have stolen another piece if Sarah hadn’t threatened me.

Crawfish Po' Boy

Before we had a chance to finish our first course, our main dishes came out. I was shocked at how big the po’ boy was! I made a venture over to the famous, impressive display of hot sauces and took a few back to the table. My favorite, which nearly burned a hole in my throat?

Hot hot hot sauce

Really, the sandwich was huge and oh, so tasty. I’m not typically a fan of mayonnaise, but I had put so much of that hot sauce on there that it was necessary. My only complaint about the whole experience is that the tiny little fried crawdaddies would not stay put in the sandwich! I ended up eating a lot of them straight from the basket.

Dinner for 4 at Sea Salt Eatery, Minneapolis

Dinner for 4 at Sea Salt Eatery, Minneapolis

By the time we had all either finished our food or given up hope on it, it was nearing 8pm, the restaurant’s closing time. I was surprised to see many people still waiting in line, but I guess this must be more of a place where closing time means the kitchen is closed, but not yet time to kick everyone out. Good to know for the future!

lots of trays

The carnage

Ambience – 3.5/5. The cafeteria style ordering and paper/plastic utensils are a bit surprising, but you have to remember that you’re in a city park. It would have been nicer if we could have sat outside, but we had a good view of the action in the kitchen and lots of people-watching around us. Everyone was really mellow and just enjoying their food.
Service – 3/5. I almost feel like it should be “n/a”, since the only time you are in contact with a server is when your food is brought out. The cashier was great, giving us samples of wines that we were considering buying and advising me to order the crawfish po’ boy.
Food – 4.5/5. Everything was outstanding – I don’t think anyone at our table had any complaints with the food, other than perhaps having too much of it. It’s a little spendy when you order alcohol, though $22 for a bottle of wine in a restaurant is not outrageous – it just all adds up fast. We LOVED the huge selection of hot sauces.
Overall experience – 4.5/5. I loved it! Sea Salt closes for the season in just over a week and I am trying to convince Ryan to go back there before it closes.

The Necessities
Sea Salt Eatery
4801 Minnehaha Avenue S, Minneapolis, MN
(612) 721-8990
Hours: Varying, seasonal

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Red Lobster Gift Card winners!

2 Oct

Thanks to all who commented on our Red Lobster post!

The lucky winners are:
#37 Judy: “Red lobster is one of my favorite places for lunch or dinner.”

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Again, thank you all so much and congrats to the winners! We hope you enjoy!