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Black Forest Inn

6 Jan

Ryan
We are anything but newcomers to the Black Forest Inn fare. Lauren and I on many occasions have frequented the BFI in the summer to sit on their cozy fenced-in patio, complete with plants, fountain, and fun lighting. Of course the selection of great German beers on tap are the real draw for our summer nights out. I’ll take a Hackerr-Pschorr or Paulaner over a Budweiser or Coors any day! We once or twice have sampled the food menu, but it is a little on the spendy side and definitely is for special occasions only.

But lucky for us, it was a special occasion on a recent Saturday when brother-in-law Tim chose the Black Forest Inn to celebrate his 32nd birthday. We arrived for beers at 11am and an hour later ordered from the lunch menu. I had recently won $100 in gift cards for designing the Oktoberfest menu cover, and was prepared to go all out!

After 1.5 liters of Hacken-Pschorr Oktoberfest beer, Lauren and I received our Bratwurst Dinner, which for $18 included a bratwurst, a Polish sausage, and the special sausage of the day, the chicken curry sausage, along with hot potato salad, seasoned sauerkraut, and fresh rye bread. Those sausages were all amazing, especially the special chicken curry one. Lauren gobbled up almost all of the potatoes, but what I had were excellent. And it seems weird to eat hot sauerkraut with a spoon, but there was so much of it that’s just what I did. Could I have eaten the whole thing by myself? Uh, yes, no problem. But we were sharing and that was fine.

Black Forest Inn, Minneapolis, Bratwurst Dinner

Bratwurst Dinner (for lunch, for 2) at Black Forest Inn

Again, since I was more or less eating on the Black Forest’s dime, I opted for dessert and chose a piece of chocolate cake with butter cream frosting. It was very dense and heavy, and the waitress assumed I’d be sharing it with others, though I ate 90% of it myself.

Chocolate cake for dessert at Black Forest Inn

Chocolate cake for dessert at Black Forest Inn

Black Forest Inn does a great job of making patrons feel like they’re really in Germany! Much like Gasthof zur Gemutlicheit in Northeast Minneapolis, Black Forest has a great beer selection, authentic German delicacies, and going there is more of an all-around experience than just a meal. As usual, high marks on all accounts from me.

Lauren

I don’t know quite what to say that Ryan already hasn’t, since we shared one meal. BFI’s patio is my absolute  favorite of all in Minneapolis. It has the most divine quality of making you forget that you’re sitting feet away from a very busy intersection of Minneapolis (26th & Nicollet) but you feel like you’re in a garden, with the sparkling fountain and the pretty little lights at night.

On to the food, I liked both the bratwurst and the sausage but I thought that the chicken curry sausage was lacking, it was rather pathetic in appearance and flavor, even with the curry, compared to the other sausages.

But I’m not here to talk about that. What I’m here to talk about is the potato salad. It was hot. And sour. I’ve never had anything like it. And oh, oh, I loved it so.

And that’s all.

The Necessities

1 East 26th Street
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404
612.872.0812

Jasmine 26

30 May

Lauren and I recently went out on a romantic late-night dinner for two at Jasmine 26 on 26th & Nicollet.  We used to live just a block or two away, and it was a favorite spot to go for happy hour and good Asian food.

Jasmine 26's Chicken Pad Thai

Jasmine 26's Chicken Pad Thai and Pomegranate Lychee Martini

Ryan

We opted to sit outside at one of their tables on the sidewalk since it was a nice, cool night, despite the fact that no one else was out there.  The waitress was very attentive to us and was outside numerous times to check on us, so she gets an A!  We started off with some specialty drinks.  I had the Pomegranate Lychee Martini, as I’ve often been known to down the “girly” drinks.  Lauren had the Midori Mojito, and the two of us shared hot sake.

My Pomegranate concoction was excellent!  It was made of pomegranate juice and pomegranate vodka, I think, and garnished with a lime.  My bright pink drink sure went down smooth.  Although it was very sweet, I could taste the alcohol.  That’s one drink that could get me in trouble!

We ordered a variety of food that night as well.  I got the Pad Thai with chicken, Lauren got the Pho with beef, and we split orders of spring rolls and wontons.

Chicken Pad Thai may very well be my very favorite food.  Jasmine 26 provided us with a variety of sauces, and I loaded the chili garlic sauce onto my Pad Thai.  It’s a very simple, standard meal, and I would imagine fairly difficult to screw up.  Jasmine passed the test, providing me with a healthy portion of chicken and bean sprouts, and that chili sauce made all the difference.  I thoroughly enjoyed eating my food.

The spring rolls with the peanut sauce were outstanding, and the wontons were hot, crispy, and delicious when dipped in the sweet & sour sauce.

Lauren

Jasmine 26 is the second restaurant by the siblings Le and Vinh Truong, proprietors of the fantastic Jasmine Deli just around the corner from Jasmine 26. My hand to God, the chicken pho at Jasmine Deli cures hangovers.

So it is only natural that Jasmine 26, the grown-up version of the deli, hits the spot. And then it chases the spot with a Midori mojito.

Mmmm… midori mojito. And beef pho. And spring rolls! I love spring rolls. And I love the little tray of sauces that Jasmine 26 brings out – hoisin and chili garlic, and something else that I can’t quite place.

While dinner itself at Jasmine is great, the real can’t-miss is the late night happy hour – most of the entrees are around $5, a large hot sake is $5, and all of the items you would expect to find on an Asian fusion menu in the upper Midwest are there (I’m looking at you, cream cheese wontons!)

Rating

Ryan: I give Jasmine 26 the maximum “Noms”: 5 out of 5!  One of my favorite places to go in Minneapolis!

Lauren: Jasmine 26 is delicious! 5 Noms!