Bascali’s Brick Oven

My favorite dish at Bascali’s Brick Oven is the Wood Roasted Chicken & Garlic over linguini with a roasted garlic sauce. I definitely recommend Bascali’s; I go to this mom and pop shop often and I’ve never been disappointed…except once I ordered the vegetarian chili by mistake, which I don’t recommend. But just because that’s not my thing. You might like it. Bascali’s Brick Oven from davideerickson at YouTube.

Bascali’s Brick Oven
1552 Como Avenue
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55108 [MAP]
(651) 645-6617

Crave At The Galleria In Edina

Crave Menu

I finally got around to trying out Crave. I know I’m late to the game but now I can see what I was missing.

I visited the Crave at The Galleria in Edina on Friday night about 6 p.m., so I got in just before the dinner rush began. We were seated quickly and courteously and escorted to the back dining area, a well-lit room due to the floor-to-ceiling windows. There was a fire crackling in the fireplace at one end of the room. The fire, the lighting, and the uncluttered solid wood tables contributed to an ambiance of comfort and elegance.

We had yam and beet chips for an appetizer and I was surprised to learn that they are delicious…just something about the word “yam” that has always struck me as inedible-sounding.

I had a gin and tonic for a cocktail because most places don’t know how to make a good gin and tonic. The waitress asked what kind of gin I wanted. Sapphire. The trick to a good gin and tonic is 1) using good gin, 2) going easy but not too easy on the gin, and 3) a tall glass. Crave got everything right but the tall glass. It was wonderful.

For my entree I chose the Roasted Chicken & Penne, made with roasted red pepper, kalamata olives, Donnay Farms goat cheese, and organic basil. I wasn’t too hungry so I chose the small size. The meal arrived served in a tilted bowl and proved delicious, as they mixed the aforementioned ingredients with shaved garlic and topped it off with a sprinkle of pine nuts.

I was full by the end of the meal; the small portion proved more than enough. The prices are a little on the steep side but the food is well worth the extra dinero. The chocolate-covered raspberries from nearby Bissinger’s were the perfect desert.

I’ll  be back.

Crave at The Galleria
3520 W. 70th Street, Edina, MN 55435
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Bissinger’s – Chocolate-Covered Raspberries

As Summer approaches every year, I always anticipate July because it is in that month that Bissinger’s in the Galleria in Edina starts selling their seasonal chocolate-covered Raspberries, an absolutely delicious treat. I went again yesterday and here’s the evidence.

Here’s a photo slideshow of the chocolates:

Q Fanatic BBQ

Q Fanatic is my new go-to restaurant whenever I’m in the area. Located in Champlin, Minnesota, the place is tucked away in a little strip mall just off Highway 169.

Words, photos nor video can do justice to the most charming thing about the place: The moment you walk through the door of Q Fanatic, you’re hit with a wall of smokey, St. Louis barbecue aroma. The ribs are wonderful, of course, but try the sandwiches, too. My favorite thus far is the rib tip sandwich with Espresso BBQ sauce.

Though I love this place, some of the sides have kept it from being a 100% positive experience. My mashed potatoes for one meal tasted just…weird. They only tasted normal after I brought the leftovers home, threw some garlic and sour cream on them and reheated. Also, I’ve tasted bland, uninspired coleslaw before, but I’ve never had slaw that was too vinegary. Until now, that is.

Nevertheless, Q Fanatic is well worth a visit…and return visits.

Hop Henge At Muddy Pig

Photo courtesy of

I had some Hop Henge Friday night at The Muddy Pig in Saint Paul. They served it in these very glasses. The beer is made by Deschuetes Brewery out of Portland, Oregon, and, according to Deschuetes: “Hop Henge started its life as an India Pale Ale, but this year it was bumped up to ‘Imperial IPA’ status, with a hefty dose of additional hops.”

If you like Surly’s Furious, you’ll like Hop Henge.

Hit Or Miss

It’s amazing what a good camera will do to your ability to take interesting photos! It makes all the difference in the world. While I don’t pretend to know what I’m doing, I am having a lot of fun with my new camera as I try to figure it out.

On Friday I met up with some friends at the Leaning Tower of Pizza on University by Dinkytown and aside from the abysmal service (I have never ever in my life not left a tip, so this was a first), I had fun and part of that fun was taking pictures.

It’s funny. The one photo I thought would turn out to be pretty interesting wasn’t that at all but one that I just snapped, not thinking much at all about it, turned out pretty nicely. I just like the way the people are framed, engaged in conversation. I especially like the contrasts in light: The dark interior with the lighted exterior  and how the blue light from the Cocktails sign highlights the booth, table and plant:

Leaning Tower Of Pizza