Get ready! The field is set for the 2014 Food Falls Restaurant Bracket! First-round voting starts Thursday morning. #FoodFalls
It still might be a week or so off, but the 2014 Food Falls Restaurant Bracket is quickly going to be upon us.
Last year, after more than 40,000 votes were cast, Queen City Bakery wove its way through the field of 64 and took home the inaugural title.
The crack team over here at Food Falls is putting the finishing touches on the selection and seeding of this year’s tourney. We’ve also ditched the software from last year and have made the voting much more user-friendly.
Until then, tell me who you think will or should win this year. Who’s your dark horse?
So this is a thing.
It’s an Oscar Mayer bacon-smell-app for your phone. For reals.
Check it out:
This IS significantly safer than the Michael Scott-approved practice of placing six strips of bacon on a Foreman Grill beside your bed.
Fewer burned feet.
A big part of visiting a new city, whether for a work trip, a quick overnight on your way somewhere (preferably warmer), or a vacation to cheer on your favorite college basketball team, is trying our the local food scene. At least it always is for me.
So with that in mind, I thought I’d throw together a little Food Falls primer for those of you visiting. Here we go:
Welcome, basketball fans. I hope your stay here in Sioux Falls is a fun one. There is a lot of good food in this city, and I’m here to help you find it. First, the area of our city you’ll likely be spending most of your time in (the area around the Arena) is called the Sports and Entertainment District. It’s developing, but as far as food goes, this area has little to offer other than the Buffalo Wild Wings across the parking lot, which will surely be popular.
One other suggestion would be to hit up Jono’s Bar and Grill, 1700 W. Burnside, for some friendly pub fare, daily specials and some of the only Lamb Chislic in town (a local delicacy). Other than that, you’re going to need to drive just a bit.
But fear not! Sioux Falls is easy to get around and not THAT big a city. So you shouldn’t have to travel too much for some of these suggestions. And, you can avoid most of the usual “travel” fast food:
Downtown is just a five minute drive from the Arena, and has a variety of spots you should check out:
- Phillips Avenue Diner: Classic diner feel, great food, shakes and malts. Try the Hot Mashed Potato And Fried Chicken Wrap or the Hot Roast Beef Sandwich. My favorite: the Chicken and Waffles. And be sure to make room for, or at least share, a shake/malt. 121 S. Phillips Avenue
- Queen City Bakery: Just outstanding. Grab a quiche, a scone or any of the offerings here with a cup of coffee for one of the best, “simple” breakfasts in the city. If you happen upon anything brioche or croissant, consider yourself lucky and pick one up. 324 E. 8th Street
- Bros. Brasserie Americano: Looking for something a bit more upscale but still casual? (Though seriously, there isn’t a place in town that will bat an eye at you walking in in jeans.) Check out Bros. for twists on everything from a basic burger, to fish, scallops, steak, pork and duck. The Pork Belly is one of my favorite dishes in the city, and the Hangar Steak is outstanding. Plus, they have a great list of tap beers.
- CH Patisserie: Don’t miss out on a chance to pick up some sweets from Top Chef: Just Desserts winner Chris Hanmer’s place. The Macaroons alone are worth the stop. Any number of goodies here for you, and something unique and fun to help remember your trip by.
If you are in one of the many hotels along the western side of Sioux Falls, here are some places likely within a short drive of your hotel:
- Shahi Palace: Indian food. Great lunch buffet if that’s your thing. And it should be with all the great variety offered. Get some Garlic Naan and any number of spicy lamb, beef or chicken dishes. Also, many vegetarian options. 2527 S Shirley Ave.
- Firehouse Subs: Yep, it’s a chain. And yep, it’s a sandwich shop. But I’m a fan of the grilled sandwiches, tasty meats and Coke Freestyle machine. It’s not Gregg’s Sub Station, but you’d have to venture a bit for that. 3504 W 41st St.
- Carnaval Brazilian Grill: Gaucho-served, all-you-can-eat Brazilian meals of meat, meat and more meat. And a great salad bar. And grilled pineapple. Really pretty great. Just keep it under control or you’re going back to the hotel with the meat sweats. And nobody wants that. 2401 South Carolyn Ave.
Other places to consider:
- Gluten-free options: Many places in town cater to the GF crowd, but two I’d suggest are Taste of the Big Apple pizza (600 N. Main) and Sanaa’s 8th St. Gourmet (401 E 8th Street).
- Mexican: The best Mexican food in town is at Jacky’s Restaurant over at 702 E. 8th St. Get the fish tacos, Chirrasco or a Wet Burrito.
- Coffee: Skip the Starbucks, won’t you? Hit up Coffea, a local joint with two locations and delicious coffee.
- Breakfast: Skip the Perkin’s and hit up Original Pancake House instead. You won’t be disappointed. 2715 W. 41st St.
Really, that’s a brief list highlighting some of my favorites. And with just a little bit of effort, you can improve your stay greatly. You can also browse this blog if you want somewhere different. Or hit me up with a question. I’m usually quick to respond.
Today’s high temp is supposed to top out at 19 degrees. This weekend? -1 degrees for a high.
But sure enough, Sioux Falls, Spring is here!!!
I know this because the unofficial start to the season, the opening of the first B&G Milky Way, is upon us. The B&G on 69th Street is set to open next Wednesday, March 5.
Bruce Bettmeng, owner of B&G Milky Way, says everything is still contingent on the weather, but that all five locations should be open by the first week of April.
"We’ll be ready to open," he said, "it’s just a matter of if Mother Nature is going to be ready."
And while tackling some ice cream when it’s still near zero outside is not entirely appetizing, I can’t wait to grab my first strawberry/vanilla swirl cone of the season.
69th St: March 5
Sycamore Ave: Later next week
41st St: March 15/16
Tea location: Mid-March
12th Street: By the first week of April
(Big thanks to suburban food blogging correspondent Michael Frankman for the tip and the photo above.)
Anonymous asked: Have you tried Lam's Vietnamese restaurant on the north side of Sioux Falls near Morrell's? It is fantastic and very underrated!! My wife and I stumbled upon it a year ago and now we recommend it to everyone and take people there whenever we get a chance. The pho is amazing and the summer bowl is also great. The bun bao is also a must (looks funny but tastes great). Wish people talked about this place more because it is local and extremely tasty!
I have! And you’re right; it’s outstanding. Here’s a link to what I said back in April of last year, and I like the bowls as well. I will say I prefer the pho at Pho Quynh, but Lam’s is a close second for me.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for submitting a question!
This is fun, but the only reason I needed was IT'S MORE PIZZA! -
74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza
We crunched prices from thousands of pizza places around the country. The results convinced us we should never buy a small pizza again.
From our friends at NPR.org
I love pizza!
If you’ve been looking for a job at one of the city’s eleventy yogurt shops, but have yet to break through, here’s your shot!
Yogurt City, Sioux Falls newest yogurt shop next door to PepperJax Grill on 41st Street, is nearing their opening date and is currently hiring.
If you’re just stoked there is going to be a “centrally located” fro-yo place in town, your wait is coming to an end shortly.
And if you fall into neither category, continue about your day, and enjoy the beautiful weather!
When the Sioux Falls Pizza Pantheon is discussed, rarely if ever do you hear Dareo’s Pizza Casino mentioned. Red Rossa? Sure. Tomacelli’s? Natch. Pizza Man? The Darkhorse.
But I don’t think it’s out of bounds to include Dareo’s somewhere near the top of the list. This place slings some seriously good pies.
(Quick point of clarification: I’m talking about the Dareo’s on Minnesota Avenue near Hy-Vee and the Nickle Spot. I know there is one out on east 26th Street too, but have never been. Employees say it should be the same food.)
I’d been to Dareo’s before, with my friend Lori back in 2009, and thought the cheeseburger pizza was good, but other than that, didn’t remember much else.
I wish I had, or I certainly wouldn’t have gone nearly five years without hitting this place up again. Many times!
The hand-tossed crust might be my favorite in town. Great chew, yet crisp and firm enough to hand-hold with ease. Fresh and toasty. We ordered a one-topping, half mushroom and half pepperoni. Those toppings were fine, and it’s worth noting they do not skimp on the cheese, that is for sure.
We also ordered a Baked Potato pizza that was fun, and close to good, but was missing something. The ground beef, onion and two-cheese pizza is topped with hash browns. A bit strong on the onion. Maybe some of the gravy? Maybe some egg and make it a breakfast pizza?
Some other notes: They also serve breakfast all day, and while we were there, some clear regulars came in and were asked if they wanted their normal 20 wings. They did. There was also more than one phone call fielded assuring customers that, yes, they still had soup. If people are calling in to see if they still have it, I think I know what I’m trying next time.
Well, that and the pizza. Because it would be a shame to pass up an opportunity for another slice from Dareo’s. And you can play a little vid lott and support our state’s K-12 education system while you’re at it. Win-win, right?
vincerundus asked: Keep up the great reviews. I will be in Sioux Falls for rock and roll HOF in April and will try some of your recommendations
Thanks, Vincerundus! Hope it’s a bit warmer for you when you get here!