Archive for March, 2010

Should One Count Calories When Eating Out?

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Last weekend, dh and I headed to Winona to meet with a friend and have a day with the bluffs, the eagles, the winding roads and the river, the big river.  You may remember, it was a perfect day.

The sun was shining, the wind was slight, the buds are blooming, the birds are singing, the insects have not yet shown up to bite sweet me.  Hooray, and many thanks for such a lovely day.  But, alas and alack, we began to become hungry after leaving our friend.

We decided to go to Perkins in Winona.  I had a marvelous breakfast scrambler with potatoes, bacon,eggs, cheese in one dish and a cup of melons, and a blueberry mammoth muffin, with extra mammoth, as dh always tells the waitress and always gets a laugh. Dh had the usual bacon double cheeseburger and fries…pushing 1300 calories.

I was smart though, I had the waiter put the muffin in a bag even before I started eating.   This muffin was destined to be Monday morning’s breakfast.   While I didn’t know how many calories this meal was going to put on my frame, I knew it was pretty hefty.

Now, I had heard recently that we shouldn’t count calories, but should pay attention to our activity levels much more.  I agree, but then I start eating like a football player and am getting old enough to where it sticks more and more.

Well,  now I am home and thought, I am gonna blog the Perkins in Winona, so I look up the nutrition and calorie info at  and find out that my choice was not too bad at 790 for the scrambler and fruit cup, minus the mammoth blueberry muffin at 510 calories.  Together they would have topped 1300 calories with my iced tea, unsweetened and with lemon.  That’s almost a whole day’s intake for me when I am not toodling around.  But because I didn’t eat too much for breakfast, and brought along a cheese sandwich on Italian light wheat bread, which came in under 200 calories, I actually lost a half pound for the day, even if it was only water weight, I still count it for psychological reasons. :)

Stick with the Turkey Dinner, forget about the roll, and stay under 800 calories, if you are counting.   If you are serious, get a 100 calorie cup of chicken noodle soup and hope you don’t pass out from low blood sugar on the way home.

So, it was a great meal, all in all, and a very nice Perkins it was, except for one little thing.    I went to wash my hands but you have to go to the Quality Inn which is attached to Perkins.  So, that I did, and there was this woman in the rest room, completely naked.  Now I can hear a few of the male readers saying, “why doesn’t this stuff happen to me?” already, but I wish it didn’t happen to me because this woman was obviously disturbed (by the way she was acting toward me)and might have been a danger to herself or young children.  My point here is please don’t send your children alone to any rest rooms and go inside with them and check them out thoroughly before you leave them in there alone.  Nuff said.

I let the manager know about the situation.  The rest rooms there are just around the corner from an entrance and anyone can mosey in there, where there are no cameras.   Now, I think the situation will be different.  Even in Winona, weird things happen.  Oh, and I didn’t get to wash my hands as I did a pretty fast about face and hightailed it out of there, wiki wiki.

Cannon Falls Country Kitchen

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Country Kitchen

31303 64th Path

Cannon Falls, MN

We  gave up on the Country Kitchen last year.  Too much of the same ol’  same ol.  Nice friendly service, and fast, too, always, but nothing interesting and everything starts to taste the same to me.  Part of that is getting older, but part is just that industrialized food.

Well, last week, we were out and about and got the hungry tummy, so we stopped there and had a wonderful meal.  We were pressed for time after receiving a call, and the staff was sure to step it up for us a bit, and it was greatly appreciated.

I had a turkey burger with bacon and cheese.  It seems like you can substitute turkey for any burger except the mini burgers.  I wanted the mini turkey burgers, naturally, but was very happy with what I got.  I also ordered the bacon baked potato soup, asking first what the salt situation was, and it was good. Not too salty,  and very, very flavorful.  I have to go back and more strongly state what I said about  the turkey burger…it was simply delicious.  I have never had one quite  so good.

Usually they are rubbery or just rudely crude.  This was not.  Okay, lets move on.  Dh had the half chicken half bbq, and it was quite decent. The bbq sauce was almost as good as some of the fancier places we have been lately.  All in all a good experience.  If you are over that way, stop by and have some refreshment.

And if you are in the mood for some Mother’s Day cards, or Easter Cards or any funny cards at all, head over to my 2,000 card store at

Thanks  and have a super day!

Copper Bleu? No, Molly Cool’s Seafood Tavern

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

17516 Dodd Blvd.
Lakeville, MN 55044

Many of you know about the old and now defunct Copper BleuRestaurant… well, it’s been replaced by Molly Cool’s since about two months ago.  Molly Cool, no, not molecule, is the first American female sea captain around 1939, and btw,  March is National Women’s History Month, so it fits in, doesn’t it?

Molly Cool’s tavern was a nice experience overall, but I am going to be like  a real journalist and tell the whole story, just because I have some time and it was a fun experience.

To begin, I emailed in a reservation and added a request for a table near an electrical outlet to power my medical equipment.  When we got there, the hostess hadn’t a clue.  She went looking for outlets and didn’t find the three we could see from the hostess stand.  Fortunately, the owner or manager came to the rescue within short order.  This was a harbinger of what was to come.   Every time they messed up something, a back up plan was put into the works pronto.  It was actually kind of neat.

We were seated and our waitress was nice, friendly and helpful.  She brought us iced tea that she had earlier apologized, saying that it was not finished brewing.  Okay, I can wait.  She brings out the tea, so strong the straw stood straight up.  So she brings along a big glass of ice.  Well, I didn’t really come there to make my own tea mix, but okay, I can do that.

The dinners come, and I try a couple of dh’s ribs, for which I had earlier negotiated, saying, order the full slab, I am going to have some, just in case you all  think all I do is graze off my dh’s plate and that’s why he’s so thin…so anyway the small ribs were very tasty indeed, but had quite a bit of fat.  So, I am thinking to myself, it’s winter and it’s probably impossible to get lean meat this time of year.  But then, I thought, hey this beef is prolly from California, or South America or Mexico.  Just then the owner or manager came over and asked how the food was tasting and I told him it was good, but fatty.   He looks at me and walks away, heads into the kitchen.   I hear some loud talking, don’t know why, I’m just sayin’.

So, we eat all the dinner food (see below), all tasting quite good, a little salty, but not too bad, and I forgot to ask for no last minute salt, so my bad. Then, we needed more napkins beside the cloth dish drying towel they give you for a napkin, what with the ribs and all.  So, we had to flag down another wait person for that because our waitress disappeared with only a very few guests on board…we went in just after the 4PM opening time.  So, once again the back up system worked out well.

Then we were going to ask what they had for dessert, even though we were pretty full of food, we were curious more than anything.  Out comes the waitress with a bowl of vanilla ice cream and a bag full of warm state fair donuts, talking about how I complained over the ribs so we got a $6.95 dessert free.   OMG!  I  never had those donuts before, and wow, they are fun to eat!

Below you will find my draft notes, which I rarely ever write down,  so I thought you might like to see them.  They are actually interesting, so stay with me here.

BBQ Ribs,
Two Crab Cakes with lemon garlic dressing on beautifully wilted shiny green spinach
Mashed Potatoes with chives and garlic and bacon
Iced Tea, too strong, but easily remedied
State Fair donuts, warmed up to perfection
Vanilla Ice Cream
Cole Slaw-fisr time ever seen without too much liquid
French Fries

had to ask for extra napkins
had to ask for straws
the ends of the ribs were very fatty
the service was friendly though loose
the hostess had no glimmer of my request
by email for an outlet, nor did she have
a clue where the outlets were, in plain
Another ongoing crab I have with waitstaff
is how they ask if everything is alright while
I am chewing and don’t stick around for the
answer.  Why ask if you don’t have the time
to wait for the answer? Or wait to approach
the table until a person is done chewing.

Molly’s is darker than Copper, which I approve of
only because I know people would rather be
seen in the dark where you can’t see them
and I believe Copper Bleu went down partly
because it was bright enough to see stuff
in there and some people don’t like that.

See Ya!

Jumping On Hogan Brothers Bandwagon

Sunday, March 14th, 2010

It’s been a while since I have written about Hogan Brothers in downtown Northfield.  It’s about time now.  We strolled in on Saturday around 3PM.   My regular readers know that I get snack attacks at off hours which makes it good for avoiding the rush, and getting in on more thoughtfully served food, temperature wise,coordination of timing of different courses, and sometimes even visual presentation.    But at Hogan’s the biggest deal for me is avoiding the wait in line.  I love to walk, but never have liked standing in one place.   For some, there is a delight in socializing while in the que,  and I like that, too, but not so much while standing for more than a very few minutes.

Anyway, I ordered a full tuna and Swiss cheese hoagie, warmed up, and dh ordered the ham and Swiss and iced tea.  I ordered a small fancy coffee with whipped cream, forget which one now, and a chocolate chip oatmeal cookie, the big kind.  Later I went back for a double scoop of French Silk ice cream to take home.  To be brief, cuz I gotto go, the food was delicious, the three meals,two drinks, and two delicious snacks we got, plus change thrown into the tip jar all came down to less than $17.00 and came out to the table as fast as any fast food place around.

Thanks, Hogan’s, for doing such a good job!  AND FOR THE MUSIC AND ART, TOO!

Get Out Of Town! The Gran Plaza is awaiting your presence.

Friday, March 12th, 2010

Gran Plaza Mexican Grill (and Bar)
520 Central Ave
Faribault, MN 55021


If you feel the need to head south for an out of town lunch or dinner, The Gran Plaza, a brand new Mexican restaurant may be just the ticket.

Dh and I were over at Penney’s returning some curtains yesterday when suddenly I got hungry for a snack.  We had passed the Gran Plaza last week after chowing down at Monte’s and noticed that it looked pretty good, so we vowed to try it next time we were in town.  We did and we are not sorry.

The place is SOOOOO clean, top to bottom.  The servers were So nice, although their English has  little way to go, they did just fine with finding me a plug in and putting a light amount of cheese on my burrito.

The free chips and salsa were good.  The chips warm and the salsa tasty but not too hot or salty, although not homemade in a way I am familiar with.  The tea was good, and the prices are just right.  We both had burritos and rice and beans.  Pretty standard.  But because they are new, the place is so new, the people so nice, and the food just right, I’ll go back next time I am in Farbo, hungry for a snack.

Handicap accessible, and I recommend it.

Fast Food Restaurant Row aka State Hwy 3, Northfield, MN

Thursday, March 4th, 2010

Fast Food Restaurant Row aka State Hwy 3, Northfield, MN

We went ahead and tried the new KFC,  across from Cub’s Food Store,  We had the 6 piece all white meat family pack
with a small side of cole slaw and a little thing of mashed potatoes and three soda biscuits.
It came to around $17, and will last us for three meals.  Not bad there.

The grilled chicken was new to me, but I am an old KFC fan from Chicago and I used to eat
the fried chicken once a month for a few years, I guess.  Never more than one or two small
pieces.  The sides, cole slaw, potatoes and biscuits are very much the same now as they were then.

I love the slaw and will eat all of it, but I leave the liquid at the bottom of the container
as it’s too sweet for me. The potatoes with gravy are as bad as ever and I don’t touch them except to taste them today so I could report on it.  The biscuits have lots of baking soda, which I like, but these biscuits seemed to get heavier as I chewed and I had to get rid of it.  Baaack.

Over all the chicken was about as good as the other chicken providers on FFRR, save CUBs. I love
Cubs minus the skin, then George’s broasted chicken and then Culver’s.  Quarterback is okay I think but I really don’t remember, as it’s been awhile.

My dh saw man in the drive in eating chicken while he was waiting for a chicken order, so I guess
either he was comparing or KFC has a ready made audience.