Archive for December, 2011

Silver Star Saloon and Grill, was Los Gringos Cantina

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Silver Star Saloon and Grill
170 Pembroke Ave, Wabasha, MN 55981
Phone 1-651-565-2800

is a nice little restaurant that is where we went the day before Christmas for lunch. And man, was I happy to eat there. Formerly it was Los Gringos Cantina, mostly Mexican, and very good, but we didn’t go there as much as we did take out from there, as the lunches seemed a little too costly. But they had a great take out deal and we went for that often.

Now, Silver Star has maintained most of the old Los Gringos Mexican fare, but has added some pretty good All American Cowboy sandwiches and appetizers. Dh had his usual bacon cheeseburger and fries and I tried their turkey burger which
I added a fried egg on top and a cup of guacamole on the side, plus fries and lemonade.

I had to take a double taste because I almost thought our man at the helm, Kyle, made a mistake and brought me red meat. No, it was a really good turkey burger and the best I have ever had to date. The texture was more like some hamburgers I have eaten in the distant past, and with the egg on top, lettuce, tomato and cheese, you get the complete spectrum of flavor that you want in a restaurant sandwich.

We also got to try the delicious chips and salsa. Compared to others, these were much thicker chips and much chunkier, flavorful salsa that one usually gets when out. More like homemade. I ate it up.

Dh liked his burger so much he actually said he’d put it in his top three, being Grundy’s and Northfield Golf Club in Northfield, but the golf club has changed chefs, so I cannot count that one in for sure, but Grundy’s is prolly still in on the count. SO, good for you Silver Star!

The atmosphere is friendly, very clean, handicap accessible, has 2 tvs, karioke on certain nights and is going to be closed for a month from Jan. 15 to Feb 15 of 2012 for refurbishing. If you come to see the Eagle Center, this is one of the best places to stop and dine. UPdate: Re-opened now and just as good as ever!

Where the Smart Ones Go for Christmas Dinner Winona Garden Chinese and Thai Restaurant

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Haha, I’m just joking around. Everyone knows we want to be home for the holidays around the hearth with friends, neighbors and family every single year. But there are times when that’s just not going to happen. People may not have anyone in the family that can cook, or they travel abroad, or become ill, it could be the weather that stifles travel or sometimes it’s just a little misunderstanding that will blow over in say, ten, twenty years. Sigh.

Well, we couldn’t wait for any of those disappointments so when I was lucky enough to discover this place on the Internet only yesterday. And please remember that these are American business people as I watch charges against China for it’s alleged business espionage. Sigh.

Anyway, I have been dying for Thai food. Back in Chicago, we had three Thai restaurants within three blocks. We ate there almost every day. Mmmm. We got fat, too. We did not realize at that time how many calories were in the food. Now, i almost always bring home half my meals eaten out for the next day. And I neither gain or loose weight from that choice.

SO, I had my favorite vegetable pad thai and dh had his fav beef basil. Both were decidedly delicious. They came with appetizers of soup and crab ragoon. We didn’t have drinks today, so we came out of there spending only $22, and that was with a holiday size tip.

The restaurant was clean, played quiet Chinese music and the waitress was very nice. There are 160 items or so on their menu and they have three sauces on the table. They will give to chop sticks if you ask and they are so much fun, I always get them.

I’ll keep this short today, only to say they are handicap friendly. See all the info below;

Chula Vista

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Not all restaurants are the same, in fact, far from it. There are times when I think, all this food really tastes the same after a few chews. I am jaded, it’s true. But, it is said that we eat with our eyes, and lots of restaurants think to dim the lights so we cannot see what the heck we are eating. Or that the golden glow of a dim light will actually enhance our appetites. That may also be true. (I am rambling and that’s what I do best, but, hold on, I’ll come to a point eventually.)

Oh, what I want to talk about is how Chula Vista is one of those that is nicely lit at least in the daytime…they have been around for 22 years, so they must be doing something right. As for ambiance, the table itself is a tiled in the colorful Mexican style, as were the booths, covered with beautiful parrot images. The music played on and on and there is also a bar in the corner if you are interested in checking out the Vikings game.

But, what really struck me was the lightly cooked, colorful, fresh looking food. MmmmMmmmm. My mouth waters even now. Dh had what he always has, the steak fajita, but it was more colorful and beautiful in it’s presentation. I had a green chili enchilada with rice and beans, and it was very neat and pretty and delicious. I also had the avocado salad and chicken cheese soup that came with it. Both were very good, not too salty, not too hot. and I had plenty leftover for the next day’s lunch.

The service was perfect and the restaurant is handicap friendly. Even their iced tea was good. Lots of places are trying to cut back with the drinks. Don’t do it. It will kill you after all is said and done.

So, if you are in or headed to SE Minnesota, head for Chula Vista in Winona. And have a great meal!

The Good News and the Bad

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

First of all, I would like to thank you all for reading my blog and making me a sortofkindofasubceleb, as even here in my new digs, people have heard of me before I meet them. Kind of nice for a person who has been a wanderer for decades, often far from native home.

The bad news is that both Sarah’s of Red Wing, MN and Slippery’s of Grouchy Old Men fame have closed and UPDATE is now re-opened. I am so sorry to see Sarah’s go down. She was the chef of Norton’s for years til a divorce from her Husker Du husband. Argh. I really enjoyed our time there. I hope someone can make it go forward again. Truly.

Then, Slippery’s on the Mississippi River in Wabasha went into foreclosure. I have heard that the previous owners who retired will purchase and re-open next year. Hope so.

The other bad news is that Coffee Mill Golf Club’s Cherokee Grille is closing for the winter.

The good news is that there is still Nosh, The Railhouse Grille, T-Bones, and a Tex Mex place in Wabasha, as well as the Flour Mill Pizza and Ice Cream Parlor. There are others, but I haven’t been there yet.

December is the worst month for alcohol related accidents, so remember when you think you have it under control…people don’t abuse drugs, drugs abuse people. Drugs have more power than we give them credit for! Be safe, stay sober.

And have a happy holiday!


Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Nosh is a fine dining restaurant in Lake City on the harbor of the Mississippi River. It served some of the best food I have ever written about since I have been writing this blog for six years (or more?). The food was excellent, the atmosphere, dark and mysterious, simple and full of music, which I loved. The prices, not so bad for the quality of food we had and the experience of eating somewhere where a lot of thought is given to each scenario. The service was spot on…thanks to Austin and a wonderful lady. Austin knew everything about the menu and he also snapped a picture for us.

And now, I must set the record straight. The food was not only good, there was a goodly amount of it. Not the French style of dining, with the tiny but mighty morsels. This is a well rounded meal in itself without a lot of add ons, but the add ons should do fine if you have a superlative appetite.

I had the seafood paella with sausage. Dh had the lamb with chick peas, cauliflower and some of my sausage. I cannot tell you how happy I was to eat shrimp that was perfection, scallops, the best, sweetest, browned just enough with a piece of walleye, which is hard to do badly, and mussels, which to my surprise were sweet and delicious. The beef sausage was not like meat I have known in the past. It was delectable, delicious, hard for me to share with dh, but I did.

Dh had the lamb rib eye which he thoroughly enjoyed, along with chick peas and cauliflower in a lovely tomato sauce.
He even ate the chick peas and cauliflower, which he has heretofore be unknown to do. (Haha. Heretofore. Where do I get these words? Americans don’t know the words from the 19th or early 20th century … we have whittled down our vocabulary quite a bit and I’m bringing it back, one word at a time.)

For dessert, the maple nut tart with cranberry compote and vanilla bean ice cream was so perfect. How do they do that?
Not too creamy, not too dry, chopped nuts all the same size, crust, again, perfection. My hat’s off to the chef or chefs at Nosh Restaurant and Bar in Lake City. To close I will say, read all about it at their cool web site, but tasting is believing.

Greeting cards by