restaurant: victors 1959 cafe

We are actually making a dent in our Diners, Drive-In’s & Dives restaurant list here in Minneapolis. Let me tell you, it hasn’t been exactly easy, the list is rather lengthy, but slowly but surely we’ve been making our way around town. I have to admit it has been rather fun! :) The latest crossed off the DDD list: Victor’s 1959 Cafe.

Victor’s 1959 Cafe has been inching its way towards the top rather quickly however as I love small, kitchy, restaurants that serve delicious food without being overly fancy and stuffy. Located in South Minneapolis, Victor’s itself is tiny. The walls are bright, the patio upbeat with cuban music and the vibe is what I would consider to be eccentric. And absolutely perfect on a summer day.

I was surprisingly in the mood for a mojito (I’m normally just a wine girl) but Victor’s doesn’t have a liqour license so it is beer and wine only. I was a little disappointed until I saw a champagne mojito on the menu….

It was amazing/life-changing/completely delicious and I’m actually glad they didn’t have a regular mojito – this was bubbly, refreshing and we will be making them at home soon. Seriously.

In terms of food though, which was the whole reason we were there, we started with the Cubano Mix – a plate of fried tostones, croquetas and empanadas. Much of the food reminded me of the food I ate in Haiti- fried plantains, rice, beans, etc. and brought back many good memories.  The appetizers were pretty average – they were good, but nothing amazing.

We weren’t really there for the appetizers though, we were there to try the “as seen on the food network” specialties: the Sandwich Cubano and Ropa Vieja. The Cubano was the classic sandwich – ham, pork, pickles, swiss and mustard between pressed bread. It was simply delicious. And everything I had hoped for.

The Ropa Veija (literally “old clothes”) was outstanding. Served with your choice of rice and beans (we went with rice + black beans) and some plaintains, this was amazing. You can tell that the meat simmers for hours, it is so flavorful.

I love living in a city with so many cultural food dishes to experience – it is one of my favorite things to do! Victor’s was great and definitely a trip if you are in the twin cities!

Victor’s 1959 Cafe

3756 Grand Avenue South

Minneapolis, MN

612-827-8948

 

4th of july food

I’ll be working in Florida this weekend at the Gluten Intolerance Group Conference, but hopefully most of you will be celebrating the 4th with a long weekend, delicious eats and maybe a fun summer cocktail or two!

4th of July food is a must, right?

Which is why I’ve compiled this list of some of my favorite foods and drinks this 4th of July! Some are healthy, some are not. Either path you choose, enjoy your meal, enjoy your family and/or friends and enjoy our freedom!

Mains:

Italian Chicken Burgers

Tijuana Dogs

Mexican Black Bean Burgers (The Healthy Everythingtarian)

Parmesan Pesto Veggie Sandwich (Pinch of Yum)

Chipotle Steak Sliders (In Good Taste)

Shrimp Po’ Boys (baked not fried from The Avid Appetite)

Starters and Sides:

Guacamole Bar (so fun!)

Greek Potato Salad

Orange Ale Viniagrette & Arugula Salad

Grilled Cauliflower, Sage & Brown Butter

Grilled Green Beans with Dill Feta (Fake Food Free)

Peach, Proscuitto & Chevre Crostini (Eating for England)

Bean & Feta Salad (A Fit & Spicy Life)

Quinoa with Zucchini, Blueberries & Feta (Bran Appetit)

Drinks and Sweets:

Heirloom Tomato Bloody Marys

Cucumber, Mint & Basil Vodka Spritzer

S’mores Bars (Satisfy My Sweet Tooth)

Firecracker Whoopie Pies (Annie’s Eats)

Summer Desserts (Foodily)

Have something to share? Add a link below!

daily eats: 5.28.11

I have to admit, I kind of love doing the daily eats posts from time to time – I hope you do too!

Weekends are often quite different in terms of eating for me…no 6am yoga (thankfully!), breakfasts at home, hopefully made by the Taster and perhaps one my favorite things? Coffee out of a real mug! It’s the little things. Sometimes it is mainly snacking, sometimes it is a few larger meals throughout the day.

Saturday May 28th:

Morning workout: 45 minute spin class – 1st time I’ve done spin in a while – love spin!

Followed by lots of water and some coffee + coconut creamer. :)

Breakfast #1: overnight smoothie ala Michelle from A Lively Kitchen

Ingredients: 1 small banana, 2 Tbsp oats, 1 Tbsp PB Flour, 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds, 1 cup Almond Milk  – soaked overnight and blended the next day with a little extra almond milk + cocoa nibs. *I probably drank about 1/3 of this – bananas don’t always sit well with me!

A trip to the Mill City Farmers Market was definitely in order this weekend (first time of the season) and food was definitely at the top of our minds.

Breakfast #2: Meat Momo (Tibetan dumpling) – shared with the Taster and so delicious. I can’t wait to order from Gorkha Palace – it is an Indian/Tibetan Restaurant in our neighborhood and have always wanted to try it!

After some wandering we made an amazing purchase – an herb planter containing cilantro, basil, parsley, sage, rosemary and marjoram – let’s just hope this stays alive longer than my previous gardening experiences.

 

Instead of waiting in the crazy Chef Shack line, we decided to grab a bite at Spoonriver which ended up being rather average and pretty disappointing. Our last trip to Spoonriver was great, but I think we could have done a better job ordering this trip.

Lunch: I had the Greens Salad: Sunflower Sprouts, Pumpkin Seeds, Fig Vinaigrette. Which I actually enjoyed, the fig vinaigrette was very different.

The Taster ordered the Spoon Burger: Minnesota Farm Lamb, House Ketchup, Corn Chips. He was a little disappointed – there was also quinoa in it (hehe) which he didn’t really think was that great.  I thought it could have used a little something but the house ketchup was delicious. It was just a little blah and I think we both expected a little more since it was almost $15. Lesson learned.

After an afternoon of website work (like the new look?), camp work and a pedicure, I came home just in time for cocktail hour. Which in our house means a drink and a snack, most likely involving cheese and crackers. :)

Cocktail Hour: wine + crackers + smoked gouda spread (from whole foods)

Dinner: Tijuana Dogs and coleslaw (1 +1/2 dogs) – more to come on those. :)

Weekends can mean more snacking and less vegetables but in my mind, it’s all about balance. And that’s one thing I’m pretty good at. :)

cucumber, basil and mint vodka spritzer

Today I have a fabulous cocktail recipe for you all –  because I’m thinking its about time for summer cocktails on the patio. This weekend is the official beginning to summer, right?

I am honestly not a huge “cocktail” drinker, but if it involves cucumbers, my interest is piqued.

My interest was more than piqued when I  found a recipe for a Cucumber, Basil & Mint Soda. I added the vodka on my own – sometimes it makes life a little more interesting. ;)

Simple syrup was surprisingly easy to make – and I love that I have the control over how sweet I make it. Because I don’t like overly sweet food/drinks, I used about half the sugar that is typically used in simple syrups. The Taster has also requested that we have home-made simple syrup in the house at all times.

Cucumber, Basil & Mint Vodka Spritzer -  1 serving – inspired by Bon Appetit

  • 1 oz vodka
  • 1 oz cucumber, basil and mint simple syrup (see below)
  • soda water
  • garnish of cucumber slices, basil and mint leaves

Fill glass with ice, pour vodka and simple syrup over ice. Top with soda water and garnish.

Cucumber, Basil & Mint Simple Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 english cucumber, sliced
  • 1 oz mint leaves
  • 1 oz basil leaves

Heat sugar and water over medium heat, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved.

Bring to a boil, add cucumber and herbs to sugar mixture.

Cover and let steep for at least 1/2 hour.

Strain out syrup mixture, reserving all liquid.

 

Enjoy!