Monday, August 27, 2007

Venison stroganoff (now in color instead of black & white!)

Last night I made some venison stroganoff, and I did it a little different than my recipe in the archive. It consisted of sliced venison steak, crimini mushrooms, garlic, caramelized onions, fresh thyme, and herbes de Provence in a sauce of beef stock, soure cream, and sweet vermouth.

To give the dish some color (and if there ever was a dish in need of color, this might be it!), I added some peas and served it over a multi-colored whole-wheat vegetable rotini pasta. I thought it really brightened up the meal, and the stroganoff was extremely tasty.

The leftovers were even better today for my lunch at work! :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Road Food Pursuits - Wagner’s Drive In

I am thoroughly embarrassed.

I’ve lived near this place for most of the years I have lived in the Twin Cities, yet I just learned about it recently. How could this one have slipped under my radar for all this time?

Wagner’s Drive In
3712 Quebec Ave S
St. Louis Park, MN

Admittedly, Wagner’s Drive In is not all that easy to get to. It has been here for decades tucked away on a frontage road on the south side of Highway 7 in St. Louis Park. Wagner’s is a tiny little 50’s style joint, complete with carhops, that serves up your typical drive in fare. And it is great.

I stopped in for lunch today and feasted on a California cheeseburger basket, which comes with fries and your choice of cole slaw or baked beans.

The California cheeseburger and fries at Wagner’s Drive In

The burger was awesome. First of all, it looked almost too pretty to eat! It is not often you see such an attractive burger, particularly at a place that serves fast food. And what a tasty burger it was, too. A fresh and wonderfully griddled patty, still juicy and slightly pink in the middle, topped with lettuce, tomato, and American cheese on a fluffy, soft bun. Just fantastic.

And the fries were crispy and hot. Love those crinkle-cut fries, and they were cooked to a delicious golden brown, with a creamy interior. A small cup of baked beans and a diet soda on the side, and I had a memorable meal at one of the picnic tables along side the restaurant.

The entire meal was a bargain as well. With a large soda, the total cost was $7 and some change. An excellent deal.

If you are anywhere near St. Louis Park during the milder months (this is a seasonal business), you really owe it to yourself to check out Wagner’s Drive In. Just turn off at either Louisiana Ave. or Texas Ave. and take the south frontage road and you will drive right by it. Trust me, I know my way there now, and I need to make up for lost time!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Peppermint Twist revisited

This past Friday, I traveled through the city of Delano, and I couldn’t resist stopping at the Peppermint Twist Drive In for some lunch.

I had the “California Supreme Burger” with a basket of fries and cole slaw. It was awesome. The burger, consisting of two thin patties (1/3 lb total), was topped with lettuce, a thick tomato slice, mayonaisse, and American cheese. Juicy and flavorful, the way a fast food burger should be.

The "California Supreme Burger" at the Peppermint Twist Drive In

I also loved the fries, which were thick potato wedges. They had a nice crispness on the outside, and were delightfully creamy on the interior. The cole slaw was also very good, with a sweet, creamy dressing that had a slight vinegary bite.

I ate my meal in the shade of the picnic area on a beautiful, 80 degree Minnesota day. Does fast food get any better than this?