Tag Archives: Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving at the M Street Cafe

I didn’t get a chance to post this last year because, holidays.  But since I just posted a restaurant review of the St. Paul Grill I remembered that I had intended to do the same for the Thanksgiving brunch that the M Street Cafe had this past year. The M Street Cafe is another restaurant at the St. Paul Hotel. It’s only open for lunch and I had never been there before. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to handle making my usual Thanksgiving feast that we do every year because I was still recovering from my shoulder injuries, so I made reservations at the M Street Cafe.  They have an amazing spread with various stations all lined up. I didn’t get good photos of the meal courses because it was so crowded and I didn’t want to butt in line to get photos. The meal was good but I think my favorite part was the dessert room.  Yes, there were so many desserts, it needed its own room!

You can’t really compare a Thanksgiving meal out to a home cooked meal. There were lots of choices and I wish I had kept the menu of all those choices, alas, I did not nor can I find it online. But, there was something for everyone. If you didn’t like turkey, you could have ham, for example. Unfortunately I don’t remember all the food that was offered. But it was worth it not to have to worry about re-injuring my shoulders by preparing the feast, however, there were no leftovers and they didn’t allow us to take home our desserts.  Oh well. It was a nice meal nonetheless.  Following are galleries of the photos that I took. I’ve created a separate gallery just for the desserts. I think you’ll see why.

And now for the desserts:


Filed under Holidays, Minnesota

not our usual Thanksgiving

But it was a fine one nonetheless!!  Since we decided we weren’t going to turn on our new oven just yet due to our mice infestation issue, we opted to spend Thankgiving at a restaurant almost at the last minute.  I say at the last minute because when I started looking for restaurants that were open on Thanksgiving less than two weeks ago, some had already filled up!  And in the 2-4 hours that I started looking then booked our reservation, more reservation spots had filled up at Fire Lake Grill House.  A few days later a co-worker suggested Windows on Minnesota, which is atop the Marquette Hotel, also in downtown Minneapolis.  He said it was an excellent buffet and the views are fabulous.   I never could get in touch with anyone there.  Each time I tried I got a voicemail box and I didn’t leave a message.  It was probably about $5 more than the meal we had and from the sounds of it, it may have been a better meal choice?  I might consider Windows on Minnesota next year, we’ll see.

For nearly our entire married life, I have planned and cooked (and cleaned up after) our Thanksgiving meal.  It’s my favorite holiday, so much so that I created a post about it last year.  Feel free to read about it at the link.  Since we decided to spend the meal out this year, we opted to make just some appetizers to get us through the day until we left for dinner just after 5 p.m.  We had our usual deviled eggs, mixed nuts, cheese and crackers, longhorn caviar and cheddar stuffed mushrooms.  All were excellent and we staggered them throughout the day.  We all agreed that it was odd to not have much to do and that not much cooking was going on.

What’s interesting about this trip downtown is that there are plenty of places to park within walking distance of the restaurant.  We chose the lot adjacent to the restaurant.  It was an underground lot and when we drove down the ramp, we were greeted with a huge panel of doors with a sign that read something like “pull forward, the doors will open automatically”.  Like out of a sci-fi movie, cool!!  What’s also interesting is that we didn’t know this would be a nice, warm parking lot, meaning we really didn’t need to bring our coats.  However, being the weather saavy Minnsesotans that we are, we always bring our coats, boots, gloves and hats with us in the unlikely event of going in the ditch.  And considering that yesterday was the coldest day of the week (a high of 10, whee!!), it was nice to not have to face the elements.  Score!!

We were seated immediately with our friend joining us from the bar.  I noticed that our table was on the edge of two rooms so I wondered how that was going to work.  Luckily, my happy-go-lucky hubby had the “right” seat.  He was the one that everyone kept bumping into and he didn’t mind a bit.  One thing that I liked about this restaurant was that they had more than their Thanksgiving meal on the menu.  So, if my vegetarian daughter didn’t want their Thanksgiving meal, she could choose something else.  Instead, three of us had their Thanksgiving meal and hubby had their prime rib.  Miss M just ate everything but the turkey, which we brought home with us. Here is the write-up from their website of their holiday menu:

Join us for Thanksgiving and what has been a tradition for many over the last decade at FireLake Grill House and Cocktail Bar in downtown Minneapolis.  Our Executive Chef Jim Kyndberg and his team will provide the perfect meal to celebrate.  Enjoy our cider cured, applewood smoked, Wild Acres Turkey prepared over the wood-burning rotisserie.  The trimmings include wild rice stuffing, cheddar herb mashed potatoes, cider gravy, maple glazed yam and apples, green beans with crimini mushrooms and crispy shallots and cranberry-orange relish.

There were plenty of other choices on their menu but I’m glad that I chose the traditional meal.  The turkey was delicious and moist, the potatoes, yams and green beans were equally yummy.  It seemed that the stuffing was not a big hit as all three of us had some leftover at the end.  There was also pumpkin pie for dessert but I was too stuffed to finish mine and I didn’t like that it was cold. I guess they had to refrigerate the pie but we’ve always had room temperature pie.

Some photos of the meal and environs:


They also sent everyone home with “leftovers”: a bag with a turkey sandwich inside!  I thought that was a nice touch.  Here is Miss M with her bag:

Here’s hubby in his holiday garb.  He matches so well with the decor doesn’t he?

All in all a good experience.  And we really enjoyed the restaurant.  We will probably go back again!


Filed under Food, Minnesota, Restaurant reviews

my favorite holiday

Thanksgiving.  I love to cook and I love to plan so, for me, Thanksgiving provides the best of all worlds.  I decided to share my holiday menu and some photos too.  I always try at least one new item each year and this year I tried two new things, the stuffing and the salad.  I usually buy Bon Appetit’s Thanksgiving issue and have kept many of them from years past.  They are in a pile in my closet upstairs and they’re getting a bit too heavy to carry down each year so that I can sit in my lazy boy and peruse to my heart’s content all the recipes contained therein (I love using that word!).

Here is the menu for this year
Chestnut, mushroom, green onion stuffing(Bon Appetit 11/99, p244)
Green beans with shiitake mushrooms(Bon Appetit 11/01, p213)
Escarole salad (Food & Wine 11/13, p187)
Cranberry cherry relish (the one I always make, came from Parade newspaper insert I believe)
Mashed yukon gold potatoes and gravy
Sweet potato casserole(BH&G 10/97)
Pie ala johnnyo(hubby always makes the pie): Decadent Chocolate Pecan Pie

The first photo is of one of my shopping trips for food:

Since this is a once in a lifetime occurrence, I couldn’t help but share a photo of the first night of Hanukah, the night before Thanksgiving.  Because of the Jewish calendar the next time Hanukah and Thanksgiving will coincide will be 2070. Happy Thansgivukah!

Happy Thanksgivukah!

We usually get started early in our meal preparation and this year was no different.  Because hubby insisted on a chestnut stuffing we “had to” roast fresh chestnuts.  Always a chore but it is oh, so worth it!  Here are the various stages of our chestnut adventure the Sunday before Thanksgiving. Click on any photo to see them larger.

Hubby making pie dough:

The finished product and I must say it was delicious!!

The cranberry cherry relish was made Tuesday:

A gallery of what went on in prep for the meal on Thanksgiving:

A special treat for you is a photo by my hubby.  He saw me taking photos so he joined in and I really like this shot of the shiitake mushrooms that went into the green beans:

As a testament to the chaos that ensues when the turkey comes out of the oven (ie, getting the potatoes cooked and mashed, making green beans,  bread and gravy), I have no photos of the cooked turkey!  I do have a photo of my plate and of our table after we started eating:

And just look at these boys with eyes wide(“please, can I have some turkey?”):

The cats did get some bites and everyone ate well.  Tomorrow we make turkey tetrazzini! Yum.


Filed under Food, Holidays