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Mall Of America, Minnesota

Venturing out this weekend and landed at the Mall of America. It wasn’t nice weather so what better place to get some walking in! There are always changes being made to the restaurants and shops and this time we found Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville had opened up. Not that busy for a Saturday so we were seated right away. After that the service was slow.

margaritavillemargaritavillemenu

The menu was not that big: 4 burger choices, 4 sandwich choices, 4 salad choices . . you see the trend? Sometimes not having that many choices makes it harder to decide what to order! I went with the fish sandwich described as that Catch of The Day (whatever that was). For $15.99 it had no flavor, no zip, nothing special. BORING!

fidh-sandwich

My husband ordered the fish tacos, again with the Catch of the Day, which was a surprise since he is a burger guy. The plate looked really good, but he, too, said it was tasteless and boring. For $16.99 you would think it would have something to say for it! He also got a strawberry lemonade that was actually pretty good, had some bits of fresh strawberries in it.

fish-tacos

The overall impression was BORING! There you go . . . another celebrity who has no business being in the restaurant industry.

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Bloomington, MN

Bloomington, MN

Stayed home again this past weekend and did have to have a lunch date at some point! We were out and about and decided to stop at Red Robin for burgers. It had nothing to do with me having a coupon!

I still like to find something healthy even if it is a burger. Red Robin now offers  Wedgie Burger, that makes you laugh just saying it! “Stacked with bacon, guac, tomato and red onion inside of a lettuce bun, then wrapped for easy handling—this 450-calorie protein powerhouse of a burger is full of flavor.” Of course I had to have the endless fries that came with it for $9.49

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My husband went all out and had the Whiskey River BBQ Burger. “Our smoky, tangy tribute to the Wild West. We roped together our signature bourbon-infused Whiskey River® BBQ sauce, crispy onion straws, Cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes and mayo. See if you can hang on to it for eight seconds.” for 10.69. It may have taken him all of eight seconds to eat it! Had a couple of baskets of the endless fries. 

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I would say that we had a good date. Being part of the Red Robin Rewards Club does have it benefits. I have already picked out what I want to try the next time we go.

Burnsville, MN

Decided to stay local this weekend and try a newer restaurant called JL Beer. Billed as a “Relaxed hangout featuring burgers with creative topping combos & an assortment of craft beers.“. It was so relaxed we only each got a glass of water in the 20 minutes we waited for service! So, we bagged it and left saying to our supposed waiter” Thanks for waiting on our table”. He just looked at us with a blank stare!

jl-beerjl-menu

What to do now since we were in the mood for a burger? Drove through the Burnsville Center parking lot, which was across the street and decided to try Lucky’s 13 Pub, just inside the mall. Great choice!luckys

The menu options were so much better than at JL Beer and the prices were comparable (even getting to choose between fries or onion rings . . . no extra charge!). The service was nonstop, bringing us water and taking our order within 10 minutes of being seated. I chose the Hawaiian Chicken with onion rings for $13.49 and my husband had the Mushroom Swiss burger with onion rings for $12.99 and a tall lemonade for $2.95 (free refills). Both were so filling I had to bring home a couple of the onion rings!

The Hawaiian chicken had a nice slice of fresh pineapple, ham, onion, teriyaki sauce and provolone served with 4 giant onion rings. I mean giant because each ring was about 1/3 of the onion. The Mushroom Swiss was a basic burger with sauteed mushrooms and Swiss cheese also served with 4 giant onion rings.

It was worth walking out of JL Beer and walking into Lucky’s 13 Pub. I’m kind of curious to try the Mac & Cheese Burger!

hawaiian-chicken Hawaiian Chicken

mushroom-burger Mushroom Burger

I would go back to Lucky’s just for the onion rings as a meal! Iffy on trying JL Beer anytime soon.

 

Eagan, MN Food Truck Festival

Eagan, MN Food Truck Festival

Food Truck Festival? With the choice of over 20 food trucks in a festival atmosphere we decided to give it a try. Not disappointed! This is the first year for the festival in Eagan, MN and I can not wait until next year when it will most assuredly be bigger!

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The first stop was at Porky’s Roadster for . . what else . .. a Porky’s Roadster. What a delight. This is a burger with pulled BBQ pork, cheese, pickles, tomato, shredded lettuce, and an onion ring in a giant bun. Well worth the $9.00

porkys-roadster

Our second stop was at the Tot Boss Truck. The line was a bit long so should we wait? The line was moving along at a decent pace so we waited, about 20 minutes. I got the bacon wrapped tater tots with a bacon cheese sauce for $5. My husband got the loaded taters, similar to loaded nachos except using taters for $6. The tots were just the right crispness and dipped in a cheese sauce I could have had another! The loaded tots were gone in an instant.

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As I said I cannot wait for next year! Listened to wonderful music by Boogie Wonderland while enjoying the last days of summer.

South Beach, Miami, FL

South Beach, Miami, FL

Flying into Miami you wonder where you should go next. We decided to venture to South Beach and it was totally worth it. The kitchy hotel we stayed at did not have airport shuttle, which was fine, since there is a public bus that takes you to South Beach for $10 round trip (open ended!).

Where to eat? So many choices along Ocean Drive. We landed at Park Central Cafe, which is the hotel  restaurant that goes out onto the sidewalk for “people watching”. Now what to eat? Traditional? Seafood? Oh, the choices abound!

I picked the Fish & Chips basket made with traditional white fish and shoestring fries. Nothing much more to say about it. Not memorable as far as dining out is concerned. My husband ordered the Maui Club Sandwich with Yuca Fries. Now that was a more memorable meal.

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The experience was a bit more expensive for lunch than I would have liked but you are in South Beach so it was expected. I’m not sure I would recommend this restaurant, though they have since undergone some extensive renovations so maybe it is better.

For dessert who can resist gelato? With so many options it was hard to pick one. We settled on Milani Gelateria (www.milanigelateria.com). What drew us in was their outside seating:milanigelatosouthbeachgelatosouthbeach3 Who can resist sitting in an ice cream cone? Their gelato was amazing and reasonably priced. A must go to when visiting South Beach.

Visit South Beach. No need for a rental car just some good walking shoes!

 

 

 

 

Salt Lake City, Utah

Salt Lake City, Utah

Planned a day trip to Salt Lake City, Utah to do some research at the Mormon Genealogy Library. My sister started me on this ancestry journey and I wanted to fill in some more pieces. Yes, it is possible to take in Salt Lake City in a day! It is a beautiful city surrounded by Oquirrh and Wasatch Mountain Ranges. Host to the 2002 Olympics there is great transportation throughout the city by train that will take you to the many shopping and restaurant venues.

One of our plans is to visit some of the eateries from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. We ventured out to fine Moochie’s Meatball’s & More. We seemed to keep walking and walking and not finding it and ended up at Squatters Pub and Beer. Squatters describes its menu as ” eclectic daily specials and traditional pub favorites such as bacon topped meatloaf, pizzas and a delicious array of burgers, all paired with our world-class beer and welcoming atmosphere.”

With so many choices I went with the Tatonka Chicken Sandwich for$10.99: grilled chicken breast with spicy buffalo sauce, cheddar and daily’s bacon. The buffalo sauce is what makes the sandwich. Added onion rings on the side and a Brigham’s Brew Root Beer.

buffalo chicken         Root beer

The food was delicious and the root beer was a good choice. Squatters offers a Frequent Diner rewards program. I may just have to join!

Dallas, Texas

Dallas, Texas

Flew off to Dallas, Texas to visit family over the weekend. Yes, it was hot but it was hot at home and I don’t have a pool! Fabulous visit and fabulous food!

Lunch time! The choice for lunch was a kitchy place in Little Elm called the Hula Hut. Offering a mix of Mexican and Polynesian cuisine in a restaurant on the banks Lewisville Lake. Who would have imagined a fusion cuisine of tacos, fajitas & luau platters plus tropical cocktails under a thatched-roof pier with lake views, and erupting volcano and a waterboard park?

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Not having any idea what to order the menu can be overwhelming. With the guidance of family I chose the Veggie Tubular Taco, with chicken of course. The platter was more than enough for one person but I managed to eat it all. For $10.99 it was well worth it!Hula menu

Veggie platter

There is endless homemade chips and salsa. The chips were nice and thin and crunchy. The salsa was okay since I do like a hot salsa rather than a mild. Finished off with a really tall glass of lemonade for that 90 degree day. The Hut is extremely family friendly with garage doors that open up to let the breeze filter through.

If you are ever in the Dallas area do take a drive to the Hula Hut. I highly recommend it.