Once a year The Pickle Barrel serves up a breakfast sub. They call it Bawk Friday, and it’s the Friday after Black Friday.
Well that day is today. And they only serve them up until 10 a.m. and is not available for delivery.
I’m sorry for the late notice. I should have got this to you yesterday. But hopefully you’ll be able to take advantage in the next two hours.
The subs are awesome: egg, ham, your choice of toppings…really pretty basic. But wrap it all up on one of those PB sub breads, all hot and delicious, and it’s a real shame it’s only a novelty.
Order! You’ll be happy and full.
(They say on Facebook they will make this sandwich available twice more in December, once on Christmas Eve. So that’s nice if you miss out today!)
Nearly the first thing I do when I decide to go on vacation or find out I’m traveling for work is to check out all the new, cool places I can eat. And I know I’m not alone. Between dining shows, the Travel Channel, any number of “best of” lists online, mobile apps like Yelp, Urbanspoon, and Foursquare, serious foodie nerdery like Zagat, etc., there are innumerable ways for travelers to easily find great meals while away from home. We are no longer locked into the hotel restaurant or the national chain “conveniently” located next to where we sleep.
Which is why I was pretty disappointed by Elements on 8th in the brand new (and very nice) Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Sioux Falls. Aesthetically, I think they did a wonderful job capitalizing on their premier riverfront location with large windows overlooking the water, and open space that feels very welcoming and separate from the hotel even if you can see the check-in counter, a large bar and sleek, modern design. It’s a nice place, I can definitely see grabbing drinks with friends here all seasons: inside now, on the deck during the warmer months.
But what is up with this menu? Coming from the folks who run Foley’s, Callaway’s and Tre, places you could pull a pretty darn good menu from collectively, I expected more than spinach/artichoke dip, wraps and a Caesar that’s not a Caesar (mushroom, tomato and eggs?). When the most exciting thing on the menu is a turkey sandwich on wheat with onion, jalapeño and honey chipotle dijon, it is a real missed opportunity on my favorite street in the heart of downtown.
I had a perfectly fine buffalo burger and fries (above), but all the while I was thinking “If I wanted buffalo, why not just go to Wild Sage Grille?” Travelers that do even a little bit of trip prep will think the same thing. I have heard decent things about the buffet and breakfast, but, again, with Queen City Bakery, Josiah’s, K Restaurant, Sanaa’s, Jacky’s, etc. all mere blocks away (or right across the street)…..why?
I am NOT saying it’s bad. It’s that this could be more than just a national chain hotel restaurant. There’s a chance for Elements on 8th to be a knockout downtown destination for more than just business travelers looking for a quick bite when they’re beat from the road.
Menus often grow and elevate, and I’m hoping this one does.
Got a question via Twitter* from @kramerbr81 asking who has the best Bloody Mary in town. I’m at a bit of a loss, and looking for your help. Photo above is a Bloody Mary I had while at Howler’s Bar and Grille in Vermillion for the SDSU/USD game. It came with a rib on top, which was an awesome idea. Unfortunately, the rib was tough and cold, the Bloody more vodka than nice mix.
Anyway, so far I’ve heard from one person that says the Top Hat. Any others worth noting? What makes a good Bloody Mary, in your opinion?
Let’s help this person out!
(*you can follow me @sigepcory. Just be prepared for a lot of local news and Italian Greyhound photos mixed in with the food stuff!)
Had another solid trip to Acoustic over the weekend for a friend’s birthday dinner. I ordered the Treehugger Lettuce Wrap, which was pretty great actually. Unfortunately, I’m not going to spend a lot of time talking about it (above) in this post because Acoustic is releasing their new menu this Wednesday, and the Treehugger didn’t make the cut.
That’s the bad news. I really liked the Tabbouleh salad, rice and black bean mixture. It was refreshing, light and more filling than you’d think. If you like that sort of thing, I’d head down today or tomorrow to give it a try before it disappears.
The good news is there are some really fun new items Tony and Josh Keller have added that I’m looking forward to. I’ve included a proof of the menu below, but here are the highlights for me:
• The Homeslice Pizza: fried chicken (which is featured in a couple items and will be made fresh, Tony says), mashed potatoes, corn, peas, chicken gravy and melted cheese. Sounds like it’s a pot pie on a pizza. I’m down with that.
• The el Guapo Burger: 1/3 lb. burger topped with cheddar, a corn tostada, cumin-chili sour cream and salsa fresca. This could be good. If the tostada is fresh as the menu says, it could be very good!
• The Garden Lasagna: A favorite of the restaurant’s specials, the lasagna now finds a permanent spot on the menu. I’ve never had it, but have friends that are excited this will be a regular option. Market-fresh veggies layered with pasta and a house red sauce. Another veggie option out there for those on the hunt.
Beyond the Treehugger, also gone is the Cubano Pizza, which is a bummer, but they kept nearly universal favorites the Harvester Pizza (yum) and the Blackjack Burger (of course).
What do you think of the new offerings? Going to check it out? Have a good Thanksgiving week, all.
My goal is simple: To build a glorious, and entirely effort-free Thanksgiving dinner using only the products made by local restaurants and merchants. And I’m asking your help.
Let me say, right out the gate, my wife would never actually let me do this. She loves to cook Thanksgiving dinner WAY to much to be usurped of the duty for the sake of this blog. So this is a theoretical practice.
But maybe if we assemble a full meal here, people might use it as a guide to supplement their own dinners, and maybe, just maybe, some lucky soul will try the whole thing.
So I’ll start us out with some of the things I know to be available, and you all help me in the comments. I’ll edit this post with the updates as we go.
The Turkey: Couple options here. Bob’s Cafe is still taking orders for deep-fried turkeys, though they are filling up fast. Fried turkey not your thing? How about a smoked turkey from Snortz Barbecue? They’re taking orders for Thanksgiving Day too. (We also got our uncooked turkey from Look’s this year. We’ve also bought from Cleaver’s in the past, and both are good birds.)
Stuffing/Dressing: (via Carrie Englund) A Taste of Country Catering does Take & Bake Made From Scratch Dressing, Green Bean Casserole, Mashed Potatoes & Gravy. Salads, Cranberry Sauce, and Pies. Need to place your order by Friday and they will deliver it to you on Wednesday between 3-6pm. - Sounds like they have a bunch of the sides covered! Anyone ever had their food? Any good?
Bean/Corn Salads: BIG Update here from Megan: Apparently Cleaver’s has a ton of sides, including corn souffle, stuffing, roasted potatoes, etc. Check them out here.
Mashed Potatoes: Friend Sarah and her daughter Avery suggest The Phillips Avenue Diner mashed potatoes. Don’t know if they do large orders to go, but maybe worth a shot?
Cranberry Sauce: ????
Macaroni and Cheese: Look’s Market. It’s creamy and delicious. Plus, while you’re there you can pick up a bottle of whiskey for after dinner. Just saying.
Rolls: The Cookie Jar. Fine, basic rolls. Place your order now.
Pie: This one is a no-brainer, but you’ll need to act fast. Queen City Bakery is the place to pick up your pies. Pumpkin, apple, etc., but I WILL be getting one of those Bourbon Pecan pies for sure. Other options mentioned (thanks Charmel!) include Josiah’s, and CH Patisserie. But I’m suggesting the latter directly below.
Other Sweets: Your guests, in-laws, family will surely be impressed with a plate of the macaroons from CH Patisserie. I brought a plate of these to a party recently and they were a huge hit. So good. So, so good.
Beverages: Other than the above-mentioned whiskey, how about a little holiday cheer in a cup of the weird and delightful Tom and Jerry. You can find the mix around town, but I’ve only had it from Good Spirits Fine Wine & Liquor. Warm your tummy!
I’m really liking this idea, and while Megan won’t let me try it for Thanksgiving, maybe we can do it for Christmas! (nudge, nudge)
As you can see, the main issue with this idea is finding the sides. Also, what traditional dishes am I missing? Does a local shop serve up one of your favorites? Let me know and help fill this menu out!!
I’d not been back to Pizza Inn since my first time there last year. And being they are a participant in the most-recent Falls Taste Tour, I figured it was time to rectify that.
Unfortunately the kitsch I enjoyed so much from my first go-round was absent on this trip. Sure, the neon was still there, and the ’80s music still chugging along, but there was no Floppy the Clown, no salad bar, and really no other customers. The only other two people in the place offered my friend Jen and me the remote to the TV on their way out.
We just left it on Survivor.
The pizza was just fine, as expected. We ordered the Pizza Inn Special, basically a supreme pizza with three meats, onions, mushrooms, green and black olives and green peppers. I like the crust (we got the ‘New York Style’), and the marinara was as I remembered it: slightly spicy and a winner.
Where I’d take a pass next time is on dessert. We ordered on Cinnamon Stromboli and one Strawberry Pizzert, mainly because it made me laugh thinking of how Snoop Dogg (or Snoop Lion now? I don’t know.) might try and fit it into some of his tastier lyrics.
Neither was very good. The Stromboli was of a weird, hardened dusty consistency that screamed ‘I was just frozen,’ and was just not very appetizing, and the strawberry jelly was overly-applied atop the Pizzert, matched only by its crazy-sweetness.
I like dessert pizza from time to time, but this was too much for me.
The #SnapaSlice Falls Taste Tour runs through Dec. 19, and there are still plenty of chances to win prizes and gift cards. Go get eating!
When in Rome (or Vermillion)… Some delicious rabbit. #yotefortheday Don’t hate me Jackrabbit friends!
I’ve tried Taqueria San Francisco (in the old Absolute Subs spot downtown on Phillips Avenue) twice now, once on a Friday night, and once for a work-day lunch, and both times I’ve been unimpressed.
I’ve tried the chicken, steak, tongue, seasoned pork and beef (all in corn tortilla tacos with basic cilantro, onion and lime) and every one of them was bland. The chicken actually came the closest to being seasoned well. The salsa was smokey and okay, the chips stale.
It’s too bad, really. I always try and have high hopes going into any new restaurant, especially when it’s a Mexican place because that’s my favorite food. And while I still consider the East Bank options within walking distance, it would have been nice to have a closer taco.
And I know they just opened, and don’t want to entirely bag on a place, but no matter the toppings available, if the slow-cooked meats at the base of your dish are without flavor, that’s not really a just-opened problem.
The one thing I did really like were the sauces they had available. The green chile sauce was spicy and a bit tart and cool at the same time. And the guac sauce (not the guacamole in a 1.5-oz cup for $1.50, but the free bottle) was really quite good. Clear avocado, lime, salt and just a tiny bit of heat. It really was flavorful and made the tacos brighten up for sure.
Friends also tried the torta, quesadilla and burrito. All reports about the same: fine, but not that flavorful.
All that being said, I’d really love to be proven wrong here. Maybe they were rushing to get open and didn’t spend the normal amount of time on the food. Maybe once they get rolling a bit, the tacos will jump off the plate and the combination of great food and proximity will put them in heavy rotation.
I can only hope. But for now, I’ll be passing.
Shamelessly supporting the restaurants that are participating in our latest version of the Falls Taste Tour, I swung by The 18th Amendment for some pizza this week. I think they serve up a good pie, and was looking to try something different.
I was surprised when I got the menu; it was half the size of the previous offering. Still a good selection, but gone are some favorites like the Stool Pigeon (white sauce with roasted chicken, mushrooms, black olive, green pepper and onion) and the Falls Primo (artichoke hearts, mushroom, pesto, goat cheese and red sauce) are gone, which is a bummer.
We ordered the Flapper, a buffalo sauce, chicken, tomato, banana pepper and jalapeno with mozzarella cheese pizza. It was a better-than-most buffalo chicken pizza, I think because of the peppers added heat. I also like the crunch and chew of the 18th crust.
But back to the missing pizzas: there’s a work around! One of the awesome things 18th does is offer pizza by the slice. And you can order with any combination of toppings you want. So, we were able to more or less recreate the Falls Primo for a slice (they are larger than the slices when you order a whole pie. see below). And it was delicious.
Don’t know where my next stop on the tour will be, but remember you can win prizes and fame (likely just prizes though) by eating and instagramming with the #snapaslice hashtag. Costs you nothing but a full belly! So get on it.
I’m not exactly sure what I was expecting from the Safari Bar and Grill, but something with lots of wood paneling, dim lighting and a definite lodge-feeling was close to the mark. Oh, and LOTS of dead, mounted, animal heads from what I’d heard.
And what I found on my first trip out to the spot near Renner Corner, was a clean, modern-looking bar with wood paneling on only the bottom half of the walls (and the nice kind; a sort of wainscoting) and a wide open seating area. Oh, and LOTS of dead, mounted, animal heads. Those were definitely there.
Beyond the aesthetic, the menu itself is pretty straight-forward. I thought with the Safari theme, I might be getting some different game options, but instead the menu featured burgers, sandwiches, pizzas and your normal bar appetizers.
Friend Abby had been there before and recommended the Rib-Eye Steak Sandwich, so we went with that and an order of the daily special, Beef Stew over Biscuits.
The steak was cooked and seasoned well, and the buttered, toasted bun with caramelized onions and pepper jack cheese made this quite a good sandwich. Throw in the side of crispy hash browns, and this was a lunch I’d order again.
It’s too bad the biscuits with the special were so dry and generally chalky, tasteless, because the stew was actually pretty good. Again, the meat was tender and well-seasoned, the carrots and potatoes soft without being mushy and the gravy pretty tasty. Would have been great to sop up with a nice biscuit, roll or piece of toast.
If this stew came in a bowl with a few rolls, I would recommend giving it a try. But as is, I’d stick with the Rib-Eye Steak Sandwich.