Archive for September, 2008

Peter’s Ribs

Monday, September 29th, 2008

This one is mainly for private pilots around town or anyone travelling northwest about 100 miles or so.

We flew out of Stanton Airfield today with a rented Flight Design CT headed out to Litchfield.  Seems hubby needed his yearly fix of Peter’s Ribs, a legendary rib lovers restaurant on Lake Ripley.   Read all the particulars at

We had the ribs, and the lunch buffet.  The ribs are succulent almost fall off the bone pork, the sauce, sweet and light. Fries were munchalicious.  I had the build your own sandwich and salad with choice of three soups buffet.  I love a good buffet.  I made a turkey, ham, cheese and coleslaw with green olive sandwich on a hamburger bun, and had chicken dumpling soup with lettuce, cottage cheese and peaches,  sweet peas and black olives, oh, a few mushrooms, too.

Afterward, we ordered a piece of carrot cake.  I asked the waitress to bring two forks. Regular readers know I usually just have 1-3 bites of my hubby’s dessert, so the waitress slices the cake in to two slices the hard way, and brings two plates.  Neat.  I still only ate the small non iced half of that, but it was good with powdered sugar sprinkled over it.  Big thumbs up for the service, though.

Peter’s is pretty good size place with party rooms, a fireplace, a view of Lake Ripley and a golf course. We don’t golf, we fly, but if we can figure out how to golf in the sky, we might try it sometime. For now, we will just rate the ribs as so good, they are worth flying out 100 miles.  This was our second time, so we know, it’s a nice little trip.  We saw a lot of colorful trees, and the farmland looks so interesting.  It’s wonderful to see from 2500 feet, the many shapes from and sizes the farmed sections take on as farmers try to maximize irregular shaped landscapes.  I took 200 photos.

It took us about 47 minutes at 115 knots on the way out with a nw headwind up to 12 knots.  We had a nice tailwind coming back, so we got back in 35 minutes.  Don’t forget to get your passport stamped while you are out at LJF.

Farmer’s Market

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Seventh Street, east of Water St. Northfield, MN Open Air no Phone See signs for times on Tues, Friday and Saturday around noonish.

I finally got to the Farmer’s Market this year. We have been so busy and forgetful at times! our Bad!

I bought the best tomatoes I have tasted since, well, I put them in the top three times I have had great tomatoes. Big, red, juicy, meaty, not too many seeds tomatoes for slicing, for salads or for eating like an apple, or making salsa.

I also got a red pepper with so much flavor. The best ever. Congrats to Northfield Farmers!

Then I saw a huge white mum plant. I love white flowers and have white lilacs and white hydrangeas, and white daisies in my garden. This was only $8.00, compare to $18.99 at CUBs. No comparison. Thanks!

The Farmer’s Market runs through October, depending on the frost date, and then there will still be items like potatoes, squashes and maybe eggs, honey, etc. In the winter they have held Saturday mornings over at the Red Barn off Hwy 3, once a month. Watch for that.

Fireside Orchard and Gardens

Friday, September 12th, 2008

Went to Fireside Orchard and Gardens on Hwy 19 today for the first time this season. Oh, what a lovely, lovely place to see an apple orchard, gardens, apple store and more! It is a nice place to escape for a few.

Every year, it just gets better. They have an incredible rose garden with roses of many colors and types. They built a pergola and are now growing grape vines that have just about covered the lovely seating area where you can go with some homemade donuts and coffee or cider and look out over the boulders and the gazing pool and rose gardens that surround the pergola.

The Fireside owners, Todd and family, want you to come out and do art and bring some children and have an afternoon of peace and beauty. They are great people. Get all their info, including when apples are available and what type will be ready on any given date at the website listed below. They also have some great cheeses, apple pie from heaven, fudge, and apple butter and more gourmet items. I have a lovely red hot chocolate cup I bought three years ago and it is still lovely red, after many, many trips thru the dishwasher. They also feature Good prices, too.

Totally handicapped accessible and they have a website, too…

PJ’s Fabrics and Crafts

Friday, September 12th, 2008

PJ’S Fabric and Crafts
660 Professional Dr

Stopped by today for the first time. Was greeted with friendliness and a nice smile. Looked around and found some lovely fabric, design patterns I have never before seen, children’s kits, crochet, knitting and sewing supplies, including clothing patterns, and they also have lessons for all these crafts. Nice.

I would love to see this store do well in Northfield, so I am offering a free blog on it’s behalf with the owner’s blessings. You all call come by and see the Halloween costume patterns she has, Penny Roy I think is the owners name, and have a little fun. Oh, they do quilting, too. And it is a fully handicap accessible store.

I bought a wooden airplane kit, and made notes for things I want in the future, once I decide what I will make with that lovely lavender swirl material I saw at such a nice price.  They are easy to find, right behind McDonald’s, and a few doors down from Brick Oven Bakery.  See ya there!

Thanks for reading my blog. Tell us what you think.

The Tavern of Northfield Restaurant, Est. 1877

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

The Tavern of Northfield Restaurant-Live Music!  Wine! Great Food and Service!

212 Division Street Northfield, Mn 55047Ph. 507-663-0342

We had to wait for a prescription today, so we glided into The Tavern around 3:30 PM. It was quiet an an English church mouse in there, and like everyone else that followed us, we felt like we should ask if it was opened, and it was! Thank goodness because we had worked up an appetite shopping and recycling our yard waste.

We had eaten lunch and dinner there a few times before today. I really like the stained glass windows, the wooden floors and the English pub style quaint separate rooms. I had a couple of minor gripes about the place, but nothing serious. We had had very good filet mignon, chicken salad, and stir fry. I loved their tavern potatoes, but have since given up all fried potatoes in favor of a more girlish figure.

Today, my dh ordered the Parmesan Peppercorn Chicken wrap with bacon, ranch dressing, green leaf lettuce and garlic chips. He said it was good, and I saw that it was quite ample in size, and I tasted the nice ranch dressing, and garlic chips which were very crunchy. He also had iced tea which was rich in color and served with a nice wedge of lemon. I tried the garlic dill pickle spear off his plate, as I am wont to do, and found it delicious. Thank goodness for restaurants that are not cutting back on the things we go to restaurants for…the extras…lemon, pickle, maybe a little tomato, oh, the dark green cloth napkins, I love that, and we don’t use those at home very often, do we?

I ordered a half of Jambalaya on fettucini. I have had jambalaya in New Orleans a couple of times, and then again at a place called Bourbon Street in Tulsa, OK, one of the few truly authentic New Orleans style restaurants outside of the city at that time, circa 2000. So I felt it was a good thing to pick for comparison and blogging.

I started out with the optional Caesar Salad, which I order whenever I can get it. This one was good, plenty of tomato, black olives, parmesan cheese, tons of croutons, and some green spinachy things. Not sure what that was. I don’t think it was romaine, but there was one piece that looked like romaine lettuce. This wasn’t the authentic caesar salad, but it was good and it was tasty, and it didn’t cost your dowry, so I advise for it.

The Jambolaya was unexpectedly delicious and very spicy hot. The andouille sausage is a highly spiced smoked pork sausage and this was no exception. The jambolaya also contains shrimp, chicken, celery, onion and more…all done to perfection. It is served with a medium weight white bread and butter, and some lovely melon slices and leafy green lettuce. I ate it all. Now, I have not seen the dish served with fettucini before, only rice, but I was in the mood for the optional noodles, and it worked out well, as they were very fresh and seemed almost homemade.

The service was great, by Sandy, and we enjoyed our sit there until the window washer came up behind us and started working, so we left, but not unhappy, just full and happy we stopped. As for the prices, I’d say they were fair. We spent $21.00 for two of us and had a really good late lunch or early dinner. So ignore my quirky, silly complaints and realize the Tavern for yourself.

One unfortunate note, I could not locate a website with a menu for them.

The Tavern is handicap accessible if you go in through the Archer House door in the rear, or can manage single stairway steps into the regular entrance.

Thanks for reading. We welcome comments.

Mediterranean Cruise Cafe – Eagan MN

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

This is a place we have been to about five or six times. We go for the food, but we keep coming back for the
service and we because feel like we have taken a mini vacation when we leave, the food is so healthful, fresh and delicious. The restaurant has been around almost forty years, so you know, what more do I need to say?

3945 Sibley Memorial Hwy
Eagan, MN 55122
(Cedar Ave.S. and Hwy.13 across from Cedarvale Shopping Center)

Ph. 651-452-5991

The Mediterranean Cruise Cafe is moving to Nicolette in Burnsville, Spring of 2009.

The menu is big and complicated. Choose before you go to save time for eating…

…and now I’ll go on to describe each yummy ingredient I can recall;

Olive Oil, smooth, buttery a tiny bit of sweetness, not oily or bitter in any way.

Feta Cheese, again smooth, creamy, pure, not very salty, not too crumbly, the real thing.

All vegetables, deep, rich flavor and color, cooked just right, or if raw, very fresh, lightly dressed…a good vegetarian menu section.

Meats of lamb, beef, chicken, tender but with a bite, deliciously flavorful, just want more.
The shrimp is always what shrimp can be when cooked correctly. Very flavorful and good texture.

Rice, fluffy, tasty, rolls on the tongue, so you can actually bite into it a bit.

Tabouli, the parsley is flavorful, but not overwhelming, tomatoes that are red and fresh, parmesan like
cheese, and lemon, just the right amounts to balance the acid and green of the tomatoes and parsley. Refreshing.

Pita bread, it is served fresh, warm, and with hummus, the best tahinni and lemon and olive oil make the tahini as smooth as a ride to heaven, and makes a great snack if there are leftovers to box up. We typically have 2-3 boxes of food for the next day, there is that much food served with the Mediterranean Special dinners.

Lentil soup, it varies from chef to chef, but it is always a nice thing to have while you are waiting for the main courses, and it is so healthful.

Baklava for dessert. Very light, either walnut or pistachio. Delicious way to end the meal.

Turkish coffee, whooa, Nellie, this is the real deal, and so good. I couldn’t drink more than two or three sips, but it’s great if you have the time and the caffeine inclination.

The service here is amongst the best in the world in my opinion. There are 8-10 courses with the special meals, depending on if you count by food or plate, and you never wait for the next course, you never sit with used dishes for long, the server is proud of his service and considers service an honor. The waiters are very friendly and will even teach you a little Arabic for your pleasure. There are belly dancers on Sunday and well, you will have to check the schedule at their site, and a full bar.
There are many dishes to look at, so I advise looking online, and if you are going to dine during normal eating times, make a reservation. It is a wonderful dining experience if you like fresh and great food served by people who are so good at it, you walk out feeling like a new person.

Mandarin Garden Part 2

Saturday, September 6th, 2008

We went to the Garden last night and decided to blog it again, cuz it’s been awhile since we were last there and things change on the restaurant scene, but the only thing that has changed at Mandarin Garden are the servers. One lady named Ting Ting, who might be Pai’s daughter, was new to us, and was so friendly and welcoming, we were very happy we decided to stop there for dinner.

Before I went, I thought, I am going to try something new and different, something I have not had before, be adventurous, be bold. So, I went in and ordered the house appetizer, jasmine tea, and Chicken Chop Suey with egg foo yung, extra mushrooms and hot chili oil. My dh always gets the kung pao chicken, medium hot. The dishes we have most often ordered since we first went there five years ago. But we do like others, such as the Moo-Shi Pork, Triple Crown, and Four Seasons, all have excellent sauces.

Now, these dishes have not changed. They are authentic recipes and Pai tells me she keeps it that way. Also, when everyone else has been raising prices, MG has not, nor have they reduced the amount of food, or cut back on the fortune cookies. So, people, eat at MG if you like Mandarin Chinese food, leave a big tip and have a great night out. Bring your friends and try the family meal dinners. Very, very good.

I always bring home leftovers for breakfast the next morning. Chinese food is loaded with calories, so unless you eat only once a day, or play on the local football team, plan to box up about half the food for later, which makes it an even better deal.  Oh, and remember to ask for chop sticks.  Give it a try at least, if you haven’t before, they are fun and easy and make the experience more authentic-old style!

One unfortunate note is that they have a big stairway and may not be handicap accessible.

Be sure to check out my Hot Tips section for well, Hot Tips on food savings, things to do and places to go.