Food Falls, Scarf Dakota

Apr 14

Last post here: Check out Food Falls’ new digs

Hi all - 

As I mentioned a few weeks back, the Food Falls blog is moving off Tumblr and into the guts of the ArgusLeader.com site. I kept posting here through the 2014 Food Falls Tournament because we were having some issues with Polls embedding. 

But now that is over (thanks to all of you for making it a smashing success), it’s time to say goodbye to Tumblr and hello to the new Food Falls (pictured above).

Some added benefits: You can now get Food Falls posts on the Argus Leader mobile site, mobile and tablet apps as well. It will come in under the Food and Drink section (see below). 

I know some of you took advantage of Tumblr’s following function, and unfortunately that is going away. But we do have an RSS feed set up that you can plug in if you’re inclined to follow that way. Here it is:

http://rssfeeds.argusleader.com/siouxfalls/foodfalls

Be assured we’re continuing the blog and dining coverage. And a last thanks to Tumblr (like they’ll ever see this!) for being the home for these last nearly four years! That’s crazy to me. 

See you over there!

Apr 04

Championship match is set: JL Beers v. M.B. Haskett

More than 100,000 votes have been cast these past few weeks, and you’ve narrowed the field of 64 Sioux Falls restaurants down to two. Our championship match will be between JL Beers, the #8 seed out of the Pizza, Burgers and Sandwiches Region who dispatched with last year’s champ Queen City Bakery, and M.B. Haskett, the #3 seed out of the Fine/Casual Region, who just narrowly defeated Jacky’s.

Across the street from each other on Phillips Avenue, these two are about as different as you can get. JL with its 40+ beers on tap, burgers and a loud, vibrant atmosphere, and M.B. with its focused, refined dishes and dinners, high-end sandwiches and laid back deli vibe. Voting should be very interesting, as both have shown they have a rabid following en route to the Championship game.

Polls will close Monday at midnight.

Good luck to both and happy voting.


VOTING SCHEDULE:
Championship: April 4 - 7 (Friday - Monday)
Winner announced Tuesday, April 8

Apr 01

Voting now open in 2014 Final Fork

It’s now a two-game tournament, folks. With 60 restaurants no longer with us, only four remain: The Final Fork. We have a 1-seed, two 3-seeds and an 8-seed that have made it through. And while it’s been an unpredictable path to this point, I am happy with the variety shown in our final contestants. Not sure if I’d do the regions the same way again, but for this year, it has worked out. We have some fine representatives. Thanks again to everyone for voting, sharing and commenting. We still have a week to go, but it has already been a great tournament. Thanks.

Let’s take a closer look at the remaining teams:

M.B. Haskett
The deli on Phillips Ave that serves up a mean Corned Beef on Rye and Muffaletta, morphs into something much more grand on the weekends, when their Prix Fixe meals are some of the more ambitious in the city, and the breakfast specials rule the morning. Here’s an example of last week’s dinner special:  First course: caramelized onion, fig and blue cheese puff pastry. Second: buttermilk roasted chicken with polenta, mushrooms and snap peas. Third: lemon tart. Crazy-good stuff here. Their path to the Final Fork went through T.C.’s Referee, Bros. Brasserie, Parker’s and Grille 26. Basically a gauntlet. They’re certainly well-tested.

Jacky’s
This is many people’s favorite Mexican food in town (mine included). Which is only a little weird since the namesake is actually from Guatemala, and many of the dishes have a Central American flare not normally seen in your typical Mexican fare. The point on Jacky’s, though, is no matter what you’re ordering, it’s going to be made fresh, served hot, and be packed full with flavor. From the fish tacos (some of the best I’ve ever had) to the Wet Burrito, Churrasco, Flautas, or my favorite the Pollo en Crema, this place rocks. Throw in some great salsa and one of the best guacamoles in town, and it’s no surprise we see Jacky’s in the Final Fork. Their path: Golden Bowl, Lalibela, Mama’s Ladas and Sanaa’s.

One of these two is moving on to the Championship to face the winner of Queen City Bakery v. JL Beers. Vote below




Queen City Bakery
They seem unstoppable. Going back to last year’s inaugural tourney, QCB is undefeated and currently 10-0 in this competition. They are the defending champs (obviously, if you understand what undefeated means), and despite a couple close battles with Bob’s and B&G, have shown no signs of slowing down. Their mix of wonderful, hand-crafted cakes, quiches, muffins, and brioche has won them fans since they first opened. Add in some good, strong coffee and a heavy dose of the characters you run into there, and it’s easy to see why the bakery has worked its way into so many people’s regular rotation. Their path: Leonardo’s, Josiah’s, Bob’s and B&G Milky Way.

JL Beers
The youngest team (they are just now approaching their second anniversary downtown) to make it this far in the tournament, JL Beers is still a force to be reackoned with. If you’ve ever been, I’ll bet it was packed. And if you’ve ever waited for a table, or grabbed the last seat at the bar, then you know how good the burgers are. Fresh, seasoned meat, a basic bun, and a handful of options for toppings is really all this place is serving up. Which is not a slight! If you’re going to do one thing, do it well. And JL definitely does that. The Humpty Dumpty Burger (egg) is great, and the BLT Blue is my second favorite. Fresh cut fries or chips with some beer cheese sauce and you’re rolling. Their path to the Final Fork: Dareo’s, Puerto Vallarta, McNally’s and Red Rossa.

One of these two is moving on to the Championship to face the winner of M.B. Haskett and Jacky’s. Vote below.




VOTING SCHEDULE:
Final Fork: April 1 - 3 (Tuesday - Friday)
Championship: April 4 - 7 (Friday - Monday)
Winner announced Tuesday, April 8

Mar 28

Flurry of voting as field is culled to Elite Ate

Good morning, all!

Was up last night watching a flurry of late votes come in for the Sweet 16 matchups, and it was actually quite fascinating, bordering on crazy!

Three battles in particular saw fans rushing to the polls: Mama’s Ladas v. Jacky’s, M.B. Haskett v. Parker’s and Grille 26 v. Kaladi’s. The Grille 26/Kaladi’s game had the most attention, with more than double the votes cast of most the other matches, the lead going back and forth most of Thursday, and Grille 26 eventually pulling off the 31-vote win.

Not to be outdone, 50 votes were cast in the final hour of the Mama’s Ladas/Jacky’s match, with Jacky’s taking a 30-20 split, and ended up winning by only 7 votes. Seven! With 1,963 votes cast.

That’s crazy to me.

And I expect we’ll continue to be surprised as we move in to the Elite Ate bouts and beyond until we crown the second champion on April 8. We’re now half-way through this 2014 Food Falls Bracket, and your remaining restaurants are great representatives of the quality, variety and depth of the Sioux Falls food scene.

Voting for this round will run from today through midnight Monday.

(EDITORS NOTE: We’ve been having some issues with the embedded polls on the new blog pages. I’m working on it, but it’s perplexing. If you don’t see polls below, please just refresh the page. They will all but likely show up. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to continue to post to the Tumblr version of this blog until the competition is over. Thanks for your patience. Interwebs!)

Here they are, and as always, vote/share with your friends/give your thoughts on the matchups below:

Fine/Casual Region: #3 M.B. Haskett v. #9 Grille 26


Ethnic Foods Region: #3 Jacky’s v. #5 Sanaa’s


Breakfast, Chicken and Stuff Region: #1 Queen City Bakery v. #6 B&G Milky Way


Pizza, Burgers and Sandwiches Region: #7 Red Rossa v. #8 JL Beers





VOTING SCHEDULE:
First Round: COMPLETE
Second Round: COMPLETE
Sweet 16: March COMPLETE
Elite Ate: March 28 - 31 (Friday - Monday)
Final Fork: April 1 - 3 (Tuesday - Friday)
Championship: April 4 - 7 (Friday - Monday)
Winner announced Tuesday, April 8

Mar 23

Sweet 16 voting now open!

image

Some very spirited contests this week in the 2014 Food Falls Restaurant Bracket. And really, would you expect any less?!

Four matchups ended with fewer than 100 votes separating them, highlighted by Red Rossa’s narrow, 54-point victory over Pickle Barrel. The others: Queen City Bakery over Josiah’s, M.B. Haskett beating its neighbor, Bros, and a late surge from Parker’s to take down Minervas. Many of the other pairings were close as well.

We lost another 1-seed as well, with Grille 26 blowing out last year’s runner up, Wild Sage Grill. With Sushi Masa and Tomacelli’s going out in the first round, only the above mentioned Queen City Bakery remains from that group.

And now we find ourselves with a field of 16 that is stout, varied, representative of the great food in our city, and maybe even a little bit surprising. And it’s worth noting, now that we’ve culled the field from 64 (which itself wasn’t large enough to acknowledge all the great local restaurants), that while many of our favorites didn’t make it this far, it doesn’t mean they’re not great!

Let’s look at our Sweet 16 matchups in the links below. Vote, share, comment, repeat (daily):

1. Fine/Casual Dining Region

2. Ethnic Foods Region

3. Breakfast, Chicken and Stuff Region

4. Pizza, Burgers, Sandwiches Region

VOTING SCHEDULE:
First Round: COMPLETE
Second Round: COMPLETE
Sweet 16: March 24 - 27 (Monday - Thursday)
Elite Ate: March 28 - 31 (Friday - Monday)
Final Fork: April 1 - 3 (Tuesday - Friday)
Championship: April 4 - 7 (Friday - Monday)
Winner announced Tuesday, April 8

Fine/Casual Region: Sweet 16

image#9 Grille 26 v. #13 Kaladi’s
The matchup with the highest combined seeds sees two restaurants located on 26th Street squaring off. Kaladi’s followed up its first-round surprise with another solid showing, taking down Tre Lounge 53-47%. Grille 26 looking to keep the momentum going after taking out Wild Sage Grill.



#2 Parker’s v. #3 M.B. Haskett
This should be a good one. Both downtown hot spots used social media to get their fans out to vote last round, and it clearly helped. Easily could have been Minervas v. Bros here. But Parker’s and Haskett are two of my personal favorites, I’ll be interested to see what you all think.


NOW VOTE in the other Sweet 16 matchups in the links below. Vote, share, comment, repeat (daily):

2. Ethnic Foods Region

3. Breakfast, Chicken and Stuff Region

4. Pizza, Burgers, Sandwiches Region


VOTING SCHEDULE:
First Round: COMPLETE
Second Round: COMPLETE
Sweet 16: March 24 - 27 (Monday - Thursday)
Elite Ate: March 28 - 31 (Friday - Monday)
Final Fork: April 1 - 3 (Tuesday - Friday)
Championship: April 4 - 7 (Friday - Monday)
Winner announced Tuesday, April 8

Pizza, Burgers and Sandwiches Region: Sweet 16

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#4 McNally’s Irish Pub v. #8 JL Beers
A burbs staple, McNally’s took out newbie Tap House 41 to earn a spot in the Sweet 16. They’ll meet up with JL Beers, fresh off their win over Puerto Vallarta. Both of these places are always busy, and serve up good food/drink. Will be a good contest.



#3 The Attic v. #7 Red Rossa
Quietly, but soundly, The Attic is showing their Final Fork appearance last year was no joke. Red Rossa eeked out a win over the popular Pickle Barrel, one of the most dangerous teams in the tourney. After a win like that, Red Rossa should be seen as a serious contender for the title.


NOW VOTE in the other Sweet 16 matchups in the links below. Vote, share, comment, repeat (daily):

1. Fine/Casual Dining Region

2. Ethnic Foods Region

3. Breakfast, Chicken and Stuff Region


VOTING SCHEDULE:
First Round: COMPLETE
Second Round: COMPLETE
Sweet 16: March 24 - 27 (Monday - Thursday)
Elite Ate: March 28 - 31 (Friday - Monday)
Final Fork: April 1 - 3 (Tuesday - Friday)
Championship: April 4 - 7 (Friday - Monday)
Winner announced Tuesday, April 8

Breakfast, Chicken and Stuff Region: Sweet 16

image

#1 Queen City Bakery v. #12 Bob’s Cafe
The most interesting duo in the Sweet 16. Defending Champion against 12-seed, every-man darling Bob’s. There is something awesome about sitting at the counter in Bob’s and getting some freshly broasted chicken or BBQ. Good burgers too. On the flip side, the quiche at QCB is out of this world, and while it’s not my personal favorite, they have a drink called “The Best Drink Ever” that everyone else I know loves to death.



#6 B&G Milky Way v. #10 Rosie’s
Two Sioux Falls mainstays. Two loyal fan bases. B&G might have the sentimental vote right now since all of us are REALLY wishing spring would just hurry up and get here.


NOW VOTE in the other Sweet 16 matchups in the links below. Vote, share, comment, repeat (daily):

1. Fine/Casual Dining Region

2. Ethnic Foods Region

4. Pizza, Burgers, Sandwiches Region


VOTING SCHEDULE:
First Round: COMPLETE
Second Round: COMPLETE
Sweet 16: March 24 - 27 (Monday - Thursday)
Elite Ate: March 28 - 31 (Friday - Monday)
Final Fork: April 1 - 3 (Tuesday - Friday)
Championship: April 4 - 7 (Friday - Monday)
Winner announced Tuesday, April 8

Ethnic Foods Region: Sweet 16

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#5 Sanaa’s v. #16 Inca
Inca has to be the biggest surprise of the tourney thus far. I like it just fine, but I did not see them taking out the uber-popular Sushi Masa AND Carnaval. It has already been a great run, but if they keep this going against another early favorite like Sanaa’s, it might be all-time.



#2 Mama’s Ladas v. #3 Jacky’s
I’m dubbing this one “Battle: Guacamole” because these two Mexican food joints have the best in town. Again, two of my favorites. Both of these places are in my regular, non-blogging-just-eating rotation. Happy to see them both in the Sweet 16. Sad one will have to go.

NOW VOTE in the other Sweet 16 matchups in the links below. Vote, share, comment, repeat (daily):

1. Fine/Casual Dining Region

3. Breakfast, Chicken and Stuff Region

4. Pizza, Burgers, Sandwiches Region


VOTING SCHEDULE:
First Round: COMPLETE
Second Round: COMPLETE
Sweet 16: March 24 - 27 (Monday - Thursday)
Elite Ate: March 28 - 31 (Friday - Monday)
Final Fork: April 1 - 3 (Tuesday - Friday)
Championship: April 4 - 7 (Friday - Monday)
Winner announced Tuesday, April 8

Mar 20

Breakfast: It’s what’s for Dinner. But where?

There are myriad names for the word ‘meal.’ Depending on the time of day, location, size of the meal, and even what sorts of food will be served. 

You have your basics: breakfast, lunch, dinner. 
Your typical bookends and intermissions: appetizer, dessert, snack.
If it’s a large gathering, you might be going to a: barbecue, potluck, cookout or picnic. You can certainly have a feast.
Then there are your oddities and jumbles: Brunch, Apps, Aftertizers.
And don’t even get me started on the blatant marketing ploy of “Fourth Meal!”

But there is another meal synonym not mentioned above, and it is one of my favorites: Brinner.

Breakfast foods eaten at dinner time. What could be better?! I love pancakes and eggs for dinner. Bacon? Bonus. 

Sure, you can get more elaborate, and many people do as you’ll read in this Sunday’s Life section (plus we’ve got some great recipes). But for me, I like just the basics. 

And I LOVE when places serve breakfast all day. And it got me thinking, “Where is the best Brinner spot in Sioux Falls?”

So I ask you, smart readers: Where should we all go for the best Brinner in town?