Nami Sushi

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Nami Sushi on Urbanspoon

Nami Sushi is a sushi joint that is conveniently located near our hotel so we ended up having dinner there on Thursday night. The decor is modern and the atmosphere is subdued.

Then again, we were there on a week night and we just missed happy hour. I’m sure the place is more crowded and lively on the weekends.

The sushi at Nami is pretty good, though not as good as my favorite sushi place here in Wichita. The restaurant itself is fancier, though. But everything is fancier in Minneapolis it seems. I’d probably bring Brian here if we ever find ourselves in the hip Warehouse District area.

Cadillac Ranch

Shelita, Emmie, and I worked up an appetite walking around Mall of America so, rather than going somewhere else for dinner, we decided to try one of the restaurants inside the mall. We picked Cadillac Ranch because it seemed to have the best variety.

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We got there during their Rock & Roll Happy Hour so we took advantage of the opportunity to try a couple of appetizers. I picked the spinach and artichoke dip.

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Shelita got the chili nachos. We thought the chili was on the burnt side. Other than that it wasn’t too spicy.

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Cadillac Ranch offers several different types of burgers. This is one of them.

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I felt like having seafood so I ordered the crab-crusted tilapia. It was good but nowhere near as good as the pork chops that Shelita ordered.

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Cadillac Ranch on Urbanspoon

Emmie and I got a bite of the pork chops and both agreed that we should have ordered it too. LOL. I think that was the best thing we had out of everything that we tried at dinner.

There are several restaurant options inside Mall of America. We just happened to try this one. It wasn’t as bad as all the negative reviews I read online as we were already sitting there waiting for our starters. LOL. The service was decent and the food wasn’t bad. Other than the burnt chili, everything else was prepared well. The potato thing that they serve as a side dish (Shelita and I both got a bowl of it with our meals) had good flavor.

Although, I’d probably try a different restaurant if I ever find my way back to MOA I really can’t complain. No offense to Cadillac Ranch but there are just way too many other restaurants to choose from.

Uncle Julio’s Mexican Restaurant

Uncle Julio's on Urbanspoon

On my first day in Chicago I asked the front desk clerk about the restaurants here. He advised me of the ones he liked and didn’t. I asked him about Uncle Julio’s across the street and he said it was just OK.

This morning I decided to get a second opinion and I asked the Shuttle Driver. She raved about it all the way to my training class. So I decided to check it out for dinner tonight.

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I should have listened to the clerk from the first day. I was not impressed with their food. I got a two enchilada dish that came with rice and beans. The beans were super spicy, the rice was very dry and the salsa that was supposed to go with the chips kept its form after I took the lid off, I actually touched it to see if it was frozen and it wasn’t, nor did it move.

The enchilada was very tough and tasted like it had been microwaved too long.

I can definitely say I will not be trying this place again before I leave.

Labriola Baking Co.

Since I was in Chicago I figured I needed to try out an Italian place. There just so happened to be one right down the street from the Hotel. I walked in and was greeted by a wall of pastries.

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I turned the corner and was greeted by breads that smelled delicious.

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As well as ice creams and everything else you could imagine.

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I decided that i wanted to try one of their Brick Oven pizzas, I could smell them cooking and they looked delicious.

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The pizza was actually really good. I am not used to the ultra thin style pizza but it had really good flavor.

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I just wish they wouldn’t have taken a slice before they gave it to me, just kidding.

I think I may try them again before I leave also. While I was there I watched what was coming out of the kitchen and it looked like their sandwiches were a hit. I think i will pick one of those up next time.

Labriola Baking Co on Urbanspoon

DMK Burger Bar

So I had to make a trip to Chicago for some training for work. I did a little research and found that there were a lot of restaurants within walking distance.

One was a little joint called DMK Burger Bar. This is actually a really cool place. You get a selection of Burgers with different preselected flavors and then you can add-on other things like my favorite, a fried egg. Also, the truffle fries were really good, they had a lot of flavor.

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DMK Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

Their gimmick is that they only server craft beers; no domestic or imported beers are offered. I had one that was supposed to mimic a German Lager, full bodied and flavorful. The beer was actually the best part.

All in all, I will definitely go back before I leave.

Chocolate Cobbler

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I’m thinking of making chocolate cobbler for Brian next weekend. I love peach cobbler but he doesn’t like it. Chocolate cobbler sounds like a good compromise. He loves chocolate-y desserts. And, I got to try it earlier this week while I was in Minneapolis and liked it. There’s a pretty good chance that he will have a chocolate cobbler surprise when he comes home on Saturday. Mmmmm….

MaMac’s Peach Cobbler Recipe

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We had a full day of Brubakers today. First, we had grandma over for brunch. I had a waxing appointment at Beau Monde so I just picked her up from her place on my way home. Brian had our wonderful breakfast spread ready by the time we arrived.

Later that day Brian’s parents stopped by to borrow the pickup truck. We figured they would come back to return the truck so Brian made dinner for us. Donna brought the ingredients for MaMac’s peach cobbler so she could show me how to make it.

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It’s actually really easy to make. I’m posting the recipe here for you guys and also so that I won’t ever forget it.

1 stick butter

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup self-rising flour
3/4 cup milk

28 oz can of peaches in heavy syrup (drain and reserve the syrup because you’ll need it later)

1 tablespoon cinnamon
4 tablespoons sugar

  • Place butter in 9 X 13 pan. Place pan in oven approximately 5-7 minutes so that the butter melts. Remove from oven.
  • Mix sugar, flour, and milk. The batter will be lumpy but that’s okay. Pour batter into the buttered pan.
  • Spoon peaches over the batter. Pour peach syrup over the peaches and batter. Do not mix or stir.
  • Mix sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle mixture on top.
  • Bake in 350 degree oven for 45 minutes to an hour (or until done). Ovens will vary so remember to check periodically.

Taste & See

Some coworkers and I had lunch at Taste & See today to vet them for a work function next week. It was really Amy and Faith’s thing but I ended up inviting myself because I had the connection. I was joining them so I could make the introduction. That, and who would pass up Taste & See? Seriously.

Anyway, Mel ended up joining us and then the four of us peer pressured Isaac into going. LOL. It’s been a while since I’d had a fun work lunch like that. I’m really grateful that they let me crash their lunch.

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Amy seemed to really enjoy her gaucho churrasco steak. She thought it had great flavor. Mel had a bite of it and thought it was a little chewy. I figured it was the cut of the meat, but she had other theories. She said that it was a strip-lion (instead of strip-loin). I’m pretty sure it’s beef. We’d have had to pay extra for that exotic stuff. LOL.

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Faith had the ceviche tacos, which she loved. Her meal came with a side of Chef Jason’s delicious hummus.

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I had the ultimate paella, which lived up to its name. It was the ultimate blend of mussels, shrimp, scallops, sausage, and chicken. Yum!

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Isaac got the real Cubano, which is the only thing he ever gets at Taste & See. I can’t blame him. It’s really good. It’s actually Brian’s favorite there as well.

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Mel had the oceanic mac and cheese, which is my other favorite at Taste & See. Except she found the sauce too rich and was disappointed that it was made with linguini instead of macaroni. Though I think they’re just using the term “mac” to loosely represent the pasta portion of the dish.

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We had to sample the dessert, of course. Amy loved the nutellini. I think that’s what it’s called. They’re like banana lollipops.

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My favorite, the cuatro leches cake, didn’t fare as well. It’s delicious but it was outshined by the s’mores pie thing. Isaac liked it so much that he actually asked about ordering a pan for his family of four. LOL.

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I think the best part of the s’mores thing, besides actually eating it, is watching them torch it. LOL. Though, I think Isaac would have preferred to do it himself probably.

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Taste & See on Urbanspoon

Everyone seemed to enjoy their meal overall. I think Faith is sold. The fact that the chef is “easy on the eyes” (not my words, but I wouldn’t disagree) is just a bonus.

The biggest downside is the location which is kind of far and not really in the best part of town, but I think it will be worth the drive for the group. At least it’s something different. I’m sure many of the people who will be attending the meeting next week have never been.

The only thing that could’ve made this a better fit would have been if the Old Town location was already open because then it would be walking distance from the meeting. The new location is still under construction, though. Chef Jason keeps posting progress pics to get everyone amped. I know I am. I can’t wait for the new location to open.

Wahoo in Aggieville

Some of my coworkers and I were in Manhattan, Kansas for a leadership conference earlier this week. While there we had an opportunity to try a new restaurant — Wahoo Fire and Ice Grill. None of us had dined there before.

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We ordered a couple of starters to share. Sally picked the Mojave Desert shrimp, which is basically just bacon-wrapped shrimp drenched in barbecue sauce, but it was yummy. You can’t really go wrong with bacon-wrapped shrimp. Actually, you can’t go wrong with bacon. Bacon makes everything better. LOL.

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We also had the crab rangoon dip with a generous helping of fried wonton chips. These were delicious and filling. I seriously could have made a meal out of the appetizers.

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Teresa and I both got the Wahoo stir fry. You have to order the dish that’s named after the restaurant, right? I mean, it’s got to be something special if they’re going to put their name on it. The dish was really flavorful. It probably had almost too much flavor. The rice was drenched in the teriyaki ginger peanut sauce, which is a delicious, sweet sauce with just a hint of spice to it. Again, very good but somewhat overwhelming halfway through the dish. It made me wish that I had some steamed rice to tone down some of the flavor.

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Sally had the salmon BLT. I think she had the healthiest meal of the group. The picture of Gwen’s mixed grill (sirloin, fish, and chicken) didn’t come out very well so I’m not posting it. The dish looked fantastic, though. If Brian and I eat here, that’s probably one that the two of us could share.

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Wahoo Fire and Ice Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunni had the Bimini Island pasta. I think we were all happy with our entree choices. Everything looked really good.

Wahoo is a restaurant that I’d love to take Brian next time we are in the area. I’m not sure what was in this space on the corner of 11th and Moro before Wahoo, but I think Wahoo fits. I’d totally bring Brian here next time we find ourselves in Aggieville. Maybe we’ll have to attend a Wildcats game or something.

Post Labor Run Feast

Misty, Brian, and I were hungry after the Labor Run so we decided to have lunch at Pei Wei. Doc Greens next door was a contender, but Misty doesn’t like “rabbit food” as she calls it. She’s missing out. Doc Greens has some really good food.

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Anyways, here are some pictures of our lunch…

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Eggrolls were good but greasy. I think we are getting spoiled because we’d been making lumpia here at home and we are always really careful to drain all the oil off.

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I had the spicy Korean with chicken. It wasn’t as spicy as I was afraid it would be so that was good. The crazy thing about Pei Wei is that the actual dishes look exactly like they do in pictures. At least this one looked like it went from the poster to the table.

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Brian had the chicken fried rice. It was just okay. Not as much flavor as the other fried rice we’ve had. I think as far as fried rice goes there are several great options locally. This doesn’t really rank.

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Pei Wei Asian Diner on Urbanspoon

Misty had the Thai coconut curry with shrimp. It looked and smelled good. Perhaps I will try that one next time.

The food at Pei Wei won’t blow you away, but it’s not bad. I wouldn’t mind eating there again. If you are looking for authentic Asian, this isn’t the place to go. There’s lots of other options in town. Definitely try some of the local mom and pop joints because they’re usually better than the chains.

Now, if you are looking for fast Asian food that’s not a hole in the wall then you’re probably at the right place. The concept is a lot like Noodles & Company where you have signature dishes and then you pick what kind of meat (or none at all) you want added to it. Then they also have small plates and combos — lots of options. I’d say it’s worth checking out if you’ve never been.

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