A short time ago, I had the opportunity to take my family to a restaurant only I had visited before. My husband was afraid the menu wouldn’t be kid friendly. “Au contrere, mon frere,” I said. “They have a great kids menu.” It’s cleverly designed, affordable, with more options than the usual suspects. I was super excited to introduce my kids to one of my favorite restaurants.
Things did not go as planned. The delivery time was overlong for them, the box of toys too young for their 8 and 10 year-old selves and when the food did arrive, neither dish was to their taste. Their food went uneaten and we had to feed them again when we went home. So that restaurant, while I still love it, will not be part of our family rotation.
Last night my boys couldn’t agree what they wanted to eat at home. Tired and frazzled, I suggested one of the restaurants close to us. They not only agreed, but were enthusiastic. Great, I thought, I’ll be able to write about it for TC Taste, too.
Well, I am writing about it, but not in the way I planned.
Our family has been to this restaurant twice before. The service was good. I didn’t love the food though my kids did. I decided to order something new to avoid disappointment.
Again, things didn’t turn out as planned. I didn’t get what I ordered. The server was not especially regretful or helpful about the mistake. She then avoided our table, leaving my credit card sitting there for about fifteen minutes, finally asking if I wanted her to take it up. Not only did this make us late for what we had planned to do next, but it put me out of a topic for today’s post. Insult to injury!
These misfires were all the more embittering to me because I’d had such high hopes. Both times, I’d anticipated full happy bellies for all. As a friend of mine says, expectations are just pre-planned resentments.
But who has time for resentment? Good food is cheap and plentiful in the Twin Cities, and I’ve decided to let go and move on. You’ll notice I’m not naming names. I always tell people I’m a food writer, not a food critic. I haven’t done the due diligence to publicly shame some place because a server had a bad day, or a dish wasn’t to my taste and might be great for someone else.
Next time we go out, we’ll go somewhere tried and true, where past performance is a good index of future success, because sometimes, I’m just not in the mood for an experiment. Here are some of my favorite Northeast places I wish I’d gone, plus my advice on what to order. I’m going to try to be a little bit smarter next time. Savvier Mom, perhaps?
Maya Cuisine—Get anything with their homemade tortillas.
1840 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
Sen Yai Sen Lek—I love the Laab Gai, and my kids dig the Moo Tod Gratiem.
2422 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
Crescent Moon—Oh, football pizza with green sauce, I love you.
2339 Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
Anchor Fish and Chips—People love the fish and the helicopter burger. But give the Shepherd’s Pie a try, or go on the weekends for their Full Whack breakfast.
302 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Brasa—The pulled pork is always a winner, but have you tried the beef? I always finish with a butterscotch pudding. Which I might share. Or not.
600 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414
Gardens of Salonica—The appetizer platter, then boughatsa, savory, then sweet! Or the pastitsio followed by the galaktoboureko, or…
19 5th St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
Bulldog Northeast—The Rooster burger, baby, with tots and a side of sriracha mayo. They also have Sprecher root beer and good cupcakes.
401 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55414