Restaurant Reviews Tagged "Star Tribune South"

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House of Wu (Burnsville, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune South
  • December 3, 2003

The most familiar Chinese food across America is actually Cantonese cuisine, from the Canton province in southern China. These dishes are characterized by their mild flavors and fresh ingredients cooked with very little oil. Common Cantonese seasonings are ginger, onion, sugar, salt, soy sauce, rice wine, and corn starch. Sometimes you’ll see garlic and the peppery mixture called ‘five spice powder.’ Cantonese dishes include meat, fowl, or seafood, and most dishes are either steamed or stir-fried—cooking techniques designed to bring out the flavors inherent in the ingredients…

Mediterranean Cruise Cafe (Eagan, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune South
  • November 26, 2003

Middle Eastern cuisine is at its best when you try a little bit of everything. And there’s no better introduction to the foods and flavors of Middle Eastern hospitality than the mazza table, a sort of Arab smorgasbord of lots of little dishes, where everyone helps themselves.

The Mediterranean Cruise Cafe makes this easy. The menu is a one-stop shop for all sorts of eastern Mediterranean cuisines, from Greek gyros to Lebanese kibbe to Moroccan couscous. It’s easy to devise your own mazza table with the dishes that sound tastiest.

All the staples of Middle Eastern cooking are competently done. The tabouli salad is bright with lemon juice and mint, and the tomatoes and cucumbers are fresh. The hummus is so good we spoon it onto everything except the foods we dip into it. The falafel tastes great, though we don’t usually cook it in such hot oil; it was browner than we prefer. The baba ghanouj (eggplant dip with garlic) has a wonderful roasted flavor…

Wampach's (Shakopee, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune South
  • November 19, 2003

Diners used to be the most important restaurants in America.

For infrequent celebrations you went to a supper club, but for a basic hamburger, chicken dinner, or two eggs sunny side up, the diner was where you ate. Diners were once everywhere, offering homemade meals because there was no other option.

Nowadays, family diners are being exterminated by chain restaurants. The corporate dining experience is predictable and acceptable, and lots of people appreciate that. It is admittedly handy to know that the same meal you can get in your town is available in Montpelier or Kalispell. But we want to support those remaining eclectic independent diners. We accept the risk of a lousy meal for a chance at a real homemade one…

Grand India (Eagan, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune South
  • November 12, 2003

There’s truth to the oft-repeated stories about timid Minnesotans disliking spicy food. Perhaps it stems from the collective Scandinavian consciousness, but many of us lacking a drop of Nordic blood in our veins recoil from hot and spicy foods. Trying the food from some remote land whose national dish is made with handfuls of spices might, therefore, seem like a dangerous idea.

We’re not alone. Many Web sites explain Indian food to the British, a people whose traditional diet is no more exotic than roast beef. If the conservative Brits can wholeheartedly pursue lamb rogan josh, Minnesotans should fear not…

Sabroso (Shakopee, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune South
  • November 5, 2003

The name means tasty, and take their word for it; Sabroso in Shakopee might very well be the best Mexican restaurant in the Twin Cities.

Sabroso serves both standard Mexican favorites and less common authentic dishes. Most of the food is not hot and spicy, although home- made hot sauces are available.

Tacos and burritos come with chicken, pork or beef. The enchiladas are even more interesting—you have your choice of sauces. They come smothered in the traditional red-chili ranchera sauce, the lighter green-chili sauce or the savory—not sweet—chocolate-based mole sauce. A fun order for a first-timer is the Tres Amigos Enchiladas: one with each sauce…

Cam Ranh Bay (Burnsville, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune South
  • October 29, 2003

Vietnamese food is lighter than Chinese. The cuisine stresses fresh ingredients and lots of herbs such as cilantro, mint and basil. And because the French occupied the country, interesting French influences crept into the cooking. While flavorsome and delicious, Vietnamese is not inherently spicy. We like hot sauce—we call it “rooster sauce” because of the label—to heat things up.

The Twin Cities are home to many, many good Vietnamese restaurants. And Cam Ranh Bay in Burnsville ranks with the best of them. There is also a location in Eden Prairie. The decor and service are above average for a family-run Asian restaurant. And the food is definitely worth the trip…

Jensen's Supper Club (Eagan, MN)

  • Karen Cooper and Bruce Schneier
  • Star Tribune South
  • October 22, 2003

The idea of a supper club feels dated in this era of ethnic restaurants, celebrity chefs, and neighborhood bistros.

Back in the day, guys wearing skinny ties visited supper clubs to drink manhattans and order the “surf and turf.”

Fast forward 40 years and head to Hwy. 13 in Eagan, and you’ll find Jensen’s Supper Club, a modern-day homage to this classic American dining experience.

In 1996, brothers and restaurant veterans Doron and Derek Jensen opened their dream restaurant. Their idea is that a supper club is a community institution, and here you’ll find that idea works…

Sidebar photo of Bruce Schneier by Joe MacInnis.