Archive for June, 2011

Big Bear V. Papa T’s, Lake City, Pizza Pies

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011

We have had the profound pleasure of seeking out the best pizza pie in the Mississippi Valley, MN and WI.
As many of you already know I am a Chicago girl and I have had exposure to some of the best American pizza
in the world. There was a dive in a near northside fringe neighborhood called Chester’s that had the most delicious piled high pizza ever according to me and anyone who ever ate there. Then there is the famous Gino’s which doesn’t turn me on that much, but dh says they have the best pepperoni…not my thing, but I hear it is s America’s favorite
topping. Then Uno and Due’s, two separate locations, but one owner, which I think is very, very good, but I
always had the deep dish and that’s just more like a full nine course meal than a pizza. It’s hard to beat that,
as long as you are using fresh ingredients. But that’s Chicago and that is not my home now.

We have already hit Sammy’s in Winona which I rated very high in my book. And the pizza place in Wabasha.
Also, very good, but less good than Sammy’s. So, yesterday we visited Papa T’s, and we found it disappointing
in atmosphere, more like a to go place than stay, but they did have ten tables or so, several of which were filled
with people waiting for their to go order while watching the fellows behind the counter take turns twirling pizza pie dough. Very entertaining.

Papa Tronnino’s pizza was very, very good. I had the vegetarian and it didn’t have that kind of vegetable taste that some have, it was more like the veggies were sweetened a little by the sweet sauce and the cheese was nice, very smooth,
good texture, at little stringy, but in the good melty way. Dh had the pepperoni which he liked very much. While we were there, we saw the meat delivery guy and meat being delivered. It was not SYSCO, which is a great supplier to many, many restaurants and why many of the main fare dishes taste the same from place to place. No, this was a small white van with an old farmer type looking fellow delivering a product made by hand. Yep, their secret sauce is this guy. We had also been told a head of time that the chicken broasted, was super. Have to check that out. The bad news is that this pizza is a bit more expensive, but we got 2-3 times more pizza, took some home and had another couple of meals with it. So, I guess it depends on your gourmet palate v. get some grub focus at the time.
as to whether you’ll head into Big Bear’s or Papa T’s.

The day before we went to Big Bear’s Pizza and Bait shop, also in Lake City. We went there because we were headed to Papa T’s, but even tho we called the night before to get the hours, the kid told us the wrong hours and we were three hours early as a result. Haha. I don’t like that, but Haha. We made the best of it and had a nice, cheap, quick lunch at Big Bear’s.

For that we have some good news and some bad news. The good news is that it was cheap…salad bar and big slice of pizza for $5. The salad bar had some nice items, fresh, too. Like chicken and red peppers. What! The chicken was decent, all white strips. I ate that without a care. D did too. It was great. The bad news is that the pizza by the slice was pepperoni and the pizza had that orange sort of oily greasy thing with too much cheese and bread on it…it was however edible and we were happy we at least got something to eat.

The waitress at Big Bear also told us about hand made lunches, like pork chops and hamburger steak that they offered every day. Although this was another sit down and go quick sort of place, it held some promise.

Big Bear Pizzeria and Deli
402 S. Lakeshore Drive
Lake City, MN
651-345-2102

Papa Tronnio’s Pizza
124 S Washington St,
Lake City, MN
(651) 345-3540

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What Goes Up Stays Up – The New Restaurant Price Hike

Saturday, June 18th, 2011

We were back in Northfield today getting our teeth cleaned and we also drove through downtown and watched the set up for the big weekend of Taste of and Listen to Northfield 2011. The real name is Taste Of Northfield 2011, the sixth annual such event…and well worth the effort to check it out…but I often feel like the world of sound is taken for granted yet if there were only silence at these festivals and outdoor events, people might have on a slightly different experience. Ahh, but I digress.

We went to George’s, our old standby, for lunch. We got off to a late start so we were not able to order a pizza like we planned, but remembered the delicious hot Pesto Sandwich they have with chicken and bacon on a big lightly flaky bun. It’s one of the best hot or cold sandwiches I have ever had.
We ordered one to split with some fries. The sandwich is huge, as are all their sandwiches. Now, to the point…the price went up about $1.50.

Most places we have gone to have hiked up prices from $1 or $2, or even $3 on dinner so don’t be surprised if you haven’t been out for a couple of months.

Just like so many other restaurants, grocery stores and other retail marts, prices have gone up, I guess it’s the gas prices at the root, and it has certainly changed my way of buying food. I don’t like not being able to get lunch under $25. I don’t like that I now cook all my beans from scratch instead of buying cans of organic garbanzo beans at $1.89 a can…but now I buy a whole big bag for that same amount and actually soak the beans myself..they are better that way, as you can control the salt and the flavor is more pronounced.

Now George’s Vineyard never raised their prices for years and years. And the sandwich w/ fries is big enough for two. We actually got out of there for $15.00 and that included a $4 tip for Meagan and an iced tea.

A lot of working men go into George’s at lunch, but so do women and children, seniors and bikers alike. It’s a nice clean place well run for anyone who is hungry. George (Phil) doesn’t pay me for this promo, and I doubt he even knows about it, but it’s just a great little establishment that keeps on ticking for me and mine…so I share it with you and hope you get a nice meal there and think, gee, Bright sure knows her great little establishments.

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The Olde Triangle Tavern, Wabasha, Mn

Saturday, June 4th, 2011

The Olde Triangle Pub
219 W. Main St.
Wabasha, MN 55981
(651) 565-0256

We finally got around to trying out this cute little Irish style pub, which smelled a lot like Guiness which I suspected from the fact that everyone, meaning ten or so people all had a glass of beer with Guiness glasses along with their meal. While there is only about 6 table tops, a long bar and no outdoor service, the place gets quite a lot of action.

We had Irish Stew and Walleye Diinner. The stew was very authentic Irish Stew and quite good. The walleye was fantastic with it’s specilal light sauce along with a baked potato with a really well seasoned skin and green beans do die for…although I have to admit green beans have been a fav of mine since childhood, these were pretty unique in their edible qualities…no mush, beautiful color and flavor naturale.

I had to get out of there though because I am not a fan of alcohol odor to that degree. It must be an acquired taste, and though I am not opposed to a Coors light on ice once a year or less, I could never get used to the real beer smell that the European’s enjoy so well and I had to get going as soon as our bill was paid. Next time I’ll get the order to go…but am sure my beer drinking readers will do much better there. The food was worth the nasal remorse.

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