Dancing Ganesha – Minneapolis

A little background

Dancing Ganesha is located near the downtown of Minneapolis, close to St. Thomas.  It’s an eclectic restaurant that serves up authentic Indian cuisine.  The atmosphere is contemporary with modern music and lighting.   On top of a great atmosphere  – and beautiful pieces of art throughout the restaurant –  the exotic smells of their menu immediately grab your attention.  Want to sit outside?  The Dancing Ganesha has a wonderful patio for days when it’s a shame to be indoors.  They offer a lunch buffet that includes vegetarian and meat entres, happy hours (or as they would like to call them “Karma” hours), and a great place to take that special person for dinner.  Lastly, this is an excellent choice for lunch with a large group of your friends.  Not only are the prices reasonable, but you get a great selection of entres and the booths are big enough to accommodate six adults comfortably.

Sample plate of Dancing Genesha's lunch buffet 

My thoughts

I’ll offer a little more background information on my fiance and me.  We both are adventurous in our search for great restaurants.  We’ll try anything at least once.  Because we’re so adventurous, it would make sense that we like some pretty ethnic dishes; ergo, Tony was lucky when his coworkers took him here to lunch one day.  We both adore Indian cuisine.  It could be the curry, interesting ingredients, or simply the heat of the dishes that keeps us coming back for more!  I will admit, I’m a little biased when it comes to writing about Indian food, but no matter, I’ll still give a fair review.

This dish includes: (beginning with the bread and going clockwise)

  1. Naan Bread – Some of the most amazing bread you will ever try.  Soft, fluffy, and warm goodness when bitten into.
  2. Vegetable Biriyani – Basmati rice, aromatic spices, herbs & garden fresh vegetables
  3. Saag Paneer – Indian Farmers cheese, spinach, creamy sauce reduction
  4. Tandoori Chicken – Tender chicken, yogurt & spices, tandoor baked
  5. Chicken Tikka Masala – Tandoori chicken marinated, spices, tomatoes, creamy sauce

Okay, here it goes.  BEST INDIAN FOOD EVER!!!

Alright.  I know many of you are probably thinking,” how do you know which Indian food is the best?”  I’d have to agree with you.  I don’ t know which is the best because I’ve never been to India, but honestly, this has become our favorite place to grab amazing Indian food in Minneapolis.  Why?  The service is great.  The atmosphere was welcoming.  You’re given large plates so you can take as much as you want and still come back for seconds.  The food was always warm and, honestly, tasted great.  All of the vegetarian options were hardy, rich, and filling.  As for the meat dishes, the chicken was so tender and, thankfully, was not dried out!  I was impressed by the quality of the entres they served for lunch.  It looked like they made jumbo batches of their dinner plates.  I would say all of the dishes were pretty savory and I would compare it to the comfort food Americans seek only in an Indian version.  It felt like this was something my parents would make, had I been born in India.  The dishes weren’t too spicy either.

For those of you who are willing to give Indian food a try, I would definitely recommend Dancing Ganesha.  Go for lunch and you can sample a variety of dishes and determine if this style is right for you.  Lastly, feel free to get comfortable.  The staff do not want their visitors to feel rushed.  Enjoy!

Burger Jones – Uptown

A little background

Burger Jones is a classic, but trendy burger joint located close to Lake Calhoun in Uptown.  They specialize in creating a unique menu of Angus beef burgers finished with a unique blend of toppings.  For those who are not big fans of meat (myself included) they can whip up a mean veggie burger as well.  Along with amazing burgers, Burger Jones has killer waffle fries that are a must.  To wash it all down, order up a drink.  They have everything from a wide selection of craft beers to specialty cocktails.

Social Media
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 My thoughts

My fiance is a meat kind of guy so he instantly loved it.  His burger of choice was the “White Trash”.  Yep, that’s the actual name and you’ll have a chuckle when you see the names of other burgers.  The “White Trash” was just about one of the most artery-clogging, heart-attack-waiting-to-happen burgers that I have ever seen…I had to have a bite!  (see image below)  Not only were the cheese curds, literally, prepared to perfection in all their cheesy goodness, but the chicken-fried bacon just made the burger.  It was that good and after talking with a college friend of mine, who also happens to live around Lake Calhoun, she agreed that the “White Trash” is what you must order on your first trip to Burger Jones.  Got a real appetite?  It comes in a double wide size.

The White Trash Burger via Burger Jones.

Now for those of your who would rather not eat meat or if you just want to be adventurous, let’s get to the veggie burger (seen below).  Personally, there’s nothing better than a good veggie burger.  They have so much flavor due to the ingredients used to make them and they can be paired with nearly any topping.  The Southwest Salsa veggie burger was topped with, wait for it, chunky garden salsa, pepperjack cheese, avocado mayo, and fresh alfalfa sprouts.  Could it get any better?  Not only did they have all of my favorite toppings, but they put it on a veggie burger!  I just about died and it tastes as good as it sounds.

Southwest Salsa Veggie Burger via Burger Jones.

For a full view of their menu, check out the link below:
online menu

Yum! Kitchen and Bakery – St. Louis Park

A little background

Yum! Kitchen and Bakery is a bustling upscale casual cafe located in St. Louis Park, close to Lake Calhoun.  In keeping to their tradition of fresh and exciting options, the menu changes twice a month and offers ingredients that are seasonal.  Along with a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Yum! has an incredible bakery that compliments their specialty coffee drinks.  This is one gem you do not want to pass up.  Thanks to the folks at LoriFinkProductions, you can watch their video that will show you a little bit more about Yum!’s owner and see many of their delightful dishes.

YouTube: Click here to watch it now!

My thoughts

When my fiance and I were looking for apartments in the twin cities metro area, I couldn’t help loving the idea of living close to this cafe!  Yum! has quickly become one of my favorite places.  It’s my go-to for a well-crafted coffee to start my morning…or any other time of the day.  Also, given to ever changing menu, it keeps me coming back for more!

On top of the menu, their service is top-notch as well.  They are always friendly and offer great suggestions for when you cannot decide what to order.  Plus, the wait for your order isn’t long.  Now, enough gushing about how much I love this place, lets get to the main dish!

Caramel mocha latte with a rhubarb upside down cake

For starters, I had to try their specialty coffee.  Above is a caramel mocha latte brewed to perfection.  While it was too sweet for my taste (I always like my coffee a little more on the bitter side), I was still in caramel mocha heaven.  I recommended it  to one of my best friends living in the area as well, and she absolutely adored it — she prefers her coffee on the sweeter side.  If you’re like me however and prefer something a little bitter, talk to the baristas.  They recommended that I try a simple caramel latte.  That did the trick!  I’ve been hooked ever since.

As for the rhubarb upside down cake, it was a pastry dream.  Super moist and not incredibly sweet.  The white fluff on top is a generous serving of whipped cream that complements the tart of the rhubarb wonderfully.

Sausage Burrito – slow scambled eggs, yum! sausage, pepperjack cheese,
potatoes, peppers & onions served w/ pico de gallo
& totilla chips

On another endeaver to Yum! for breakfast, I skipped the pastries and coffee this time and went for the sausage burrito shown above.  The portions where more than enough and it was a perfect ratio of potatoes to sausage.  All I can say is that it was one of the best breakfast burritos I’ve ever had.  If you are in the mood for great breakfast options (most of them involving eggs) check out Yum! Kitchen and Bakery.

More images and reviews from Yum! to come.

For a full view of their menu, check out the links below:
Online menu

Victor’s 1959 Cafe – South Minneapolis Neighborhood

A little background

Located in the south Minneapolis neighborhood, Victor’s 1959 Cafe opened in April of 1999 bringing their neighbors a whole lot of Cuban flavor.  Back then, they started as a breakfast and lunch only kind of place.  Now, after the reconstruction of their kitchen, they are able to serve their customers a dinner menu in addition to breakfast and lunch.  Victor’s 1959 Cafe was visited by the Food Network not once, but twice and was featured on their popular show Diner’s, Drive-ins and Dives.

YouTube: Click here to watch it now!

What we thought

Before my fiancé and I moved to the cities, we took a weekend trip to the Twin Cities metro area and, like all vacationers; we wanted to find unique places to grab a bite…or two.  That’s when we stumbled on Victor’s 1959 Cafe.  Seeing that both of us adore ethnic cuisine, we were sold on trying a Cuban breakfast.

Walking up to Victor’s we were a little surprised to see how compact the restaurant was.  Despite its small size, the staff can comfortably fit a sizable crowd.

Since there were only two of us, we were seated immediately.  For a larger crowd, I would suggest getting there early because Victor’s tends to get a little busy once 10 am rolls around.  The staff was great and upbeat!  Now, on to the breakfasts we had!

My fiancé had a sweet tooth that morning and decided to with the mango waffles.  Wanting to try as many things as I could, he was more than willing to let me have a bite of his waffles.  Was I ever blown away.  The waffles were cooked to perfection, not too crunchy and not soggy either.  Surprisingly, the mangoes and the waffles went together well and topped with whipped cream made them delightful!  Both of us would highly recommend this to anyone dining for breakfast.

Now when I go for breakfast, nothing can satisfy my appetite better than a plate of something with eggs.  I decided to have the Cuban Sampler, which included eggs with creole sauce, black beans and sweet plantains.  All I can say is that this was exactly what I was looking for in a breakfast.  Plenty of food with a whole lotta flavor!  The dish was served with two corn tortillas, which came in handy for making my own mini breakfast burritos.  My meal was filling, but I managed to save room for the plantains.  They were a sweet ending to a wonderful morning starter.

I encourage anyone looking for a unique experience to check out Victor’s 1959 Cafe.  Its friendly atmosphere, great staff and incredible dishes makes this a must stop in Minneapolis.

P.S. Bring along some sharpies.  The owners actually encourage customers to draw on the walls and leave their mark!

For a full view of their menu, check out the links below:
Breakfast and Lunch Menu
Dinner Menu
Desserts