MN Week Day 1: Dinner at Firelake

After shopping or window viewing all day because honestly not much shit you want to buy at the largest mall in America (who needs another Journey’s). We decided to find a nice ass restaurant to grub at, enter Fire Lake. This place was connected to the MoA through the Radisson hotel which is at the Mall of America itself. So you can stay and shop and eat without leaving the mall ever muahahah!

Fire Lake had gluten free items noted.

While in MN for the week to do tourist things I kept looking up on Yelp for the most gluten-free classy place. Kept coming across Fire Lake so decided to give it a try. The day we went it was almost dead so it ended up for a perfect evening. The interior is beautiful, clean, organized and has a beautiful motif to it. Our waitress was a total cougar and took care of us, even gave us tips on what to do and sight see during our visit. The cocktails we had were also tasty (nothing super cocktail lab worthy, but tasty!).

Cocktails & Appetizers at Fire Lake (Poutine Fries, nom!)

For appetizers the other friends in my party got the Battered cheese curds and loved them. I got the Poutine fries were simply so darn tasty and amazing, very well seasoned with nom taste. For main course the Wild Acres Rotisserie Duck simply stood out as much as it could. Sweet potato spaetzles, carm brussels, apple sweet cerry chutney and yes it was delicious.

Excellent sweet chicken.

If in the area Fire Lake is not to be missed, great management, service, and quality. Prices are on par with everything.

Minnesota Week Day 1: Mall of America

So we decided to hit up Minnesota for a few days and see what all the hype was about. So stay tuned will be updating posts of each thing we did and it’s review or my thoughts of it! Also main reason was Mall of America which is located in Bloomington, Minnesota. Known for being the largest mall in the United States of America. My full review of the MoA will be at the end of blog post. But first let’s review the Nordstrom Cafe located inside the department store.

Flight in was chill (STL airport sucks), +1 for Starbucks

Nordstrom Cafe

nordstrom

Nordstrom Cafe

Gluten Free review of Nordstrom’s Cafe. Which is wishy washy with there location on YELP. Is it Nordstrom Cafe or Marketplace cafe I’m confused?

Anyways had a meal here and was asking about gluten free items. Both the chef and cashier were very knowledgeable of gluten free items and knew what to say and went over a few things in a certain dish to make sure it was gluten free.

 

nordstrom

Excellent service, great chicken, even better side salad.

Had beautiful views of Minnesota looking out the window. Decent service and overall a great lunch and way to start the day, I’d go back! Tasty chicken dish and the side salad it comes with DARN that’s some good stuff. Read More Below

Read more

Chillin at Kemuri in Hillcrest, Decent Sushi Option

Gluten Free Review
+server had to check with chef on any item if it was gluten free
+eh no dedicated gluten free menu

I’ve wanted to back here to give this place another chance maybe a better waiter so I will do that soon to try and get it 5 stars. We were seated at the bar and then the bar had a light that was like a strobe light so had to move chairs next to another table next the back bar.

Kemuri Chillin, a decent Sushi option in LR

The service was good however he had no any of any gluten free options nor what contained soy sauce, etc so probably the reason wasn’t as pleasant. We got a bottle of Sake which was excellent (he did know his Sake) and we got some Robota appetizer I think? Was like filet beef sticks and also some roasted pork belly appetizer which was excellent, the apps were great. The sushi however was 3/5, it didn’t taste fully fresh and the rice as soon as you picked it up with the chopsticks fell apart, the sushi chef that night was terrible. I’ll be back soon though because it’s def a hot spot and got real busy bar side before we left.

http://kemurirestaurant.com

 

Ciao Baci in Little Rock, Arkansas

Cool hidden gem in Hillcrest area of Little Rock, it’s an old house across from the Krogers there and has cool lit candles on the way up like your in someones backyard.

Ciao, an adventurous hybrid of a restaurant. American/Mexican/French?

They have have multiple gluten-free options, great service, and somewhat friendly bartenders. We also got a bucket mixed drink for 2 which was like malibu/sprite seemed like but was tasty and got us a good buzz none the less. Had a filet strip with mash potatoes and greens and did the job, I’d check out other places in the area before coming back but a solid choice none the less.

Ciao Baci
605 Beechwood St
Little Rock, AR 72205
http://ciaobaci.org

Starbucks Gluten Free Sous Vide Egg Bites

So Starbucks recently dropped these Gluten Free Sous Vide Egg Bites which are LIT. I can’t tell you how many times I went to Star Bucks saying if any drive through had gluten free stuff it would be Star Bucks, so finally they introduced these little nomnoms of joy.

starbucks

Starbucks new Sous Vide bites! (Gruyere & Bacon) Also Black Iced Tea

They have two varieties: Bacon & Gruyere which are my favorite are cage-free eggs with aged Gruyere and Monterey Jack cheese, and topped with applewood smoked bacon. 310 Calories. The other ones are Egg White & Roasted Red Pepper (170 Calories) which I dislike because I hate red peppers. The Gruyere ones have this creamy texture to them that just melts in your mouth. Go try em!

Pho Thanh My in Little Rock

Hit up some Pho on this 54 degree weather day to soothe the soul and it was decent pho, Id give it a 2/5, the greens were wilted, the service was 5 star however. The Taro bubble tea was almost to thick, could still taste the powder while you slurped. The pho itself was decent, good broth, good meat, excellent noodles, however the smell lacked what I look for in a Pho, I’d be back if I ran out of other Pho options.

pho

Pho Thanh My spread, Taro Tea, Spring Rolls, and Thai Iced Tea

Best Tasting Menu In America? Artisans Houston, TX

Artisans Entrance — Houston, Texas

Gluten Free Review
+gluten free tasting menu
+gluten free accommodations
+no gluten free bread however

So I’ve done around 11 tasting menus all over the country now and most of them are all about being trendy and hip, and trying to use foam and all this crap to get you to enjoy their food. While that’s an awesome experience it’s always leaving quality lacking.

 

Enter Artisans, a modern downtown Houston restaurant that is by far one of the best restaurants I’ve been to in awhile. The tasting menu is not only eye candy, it’s actually good food and great quality. Not to mention you get to sit at basically the “prep” area chefs table which is quite enjoyable.

artisans

Started off with some decent libations and that lobster bisque tho, also beats + feta.

chefs table

Not much “Chefs Table”

The Chef’s table isn’t actually a chefs table since no one is actually cooking anything out there, mostly final touches to dishes at least on the Tuesday night we went. The service was excellent, the price was reasonable, and the food quality was amazing and for them to accommodate gluten free status was beyond there duty and explained each dish perfectly. I’ll post pictures of my dishes instead of explaining each dish.

The only downside? Artisans cocktails were lacking, even though your suppose to enjoy wine pairing, I’d figure a place of this caliber would have a lot more choices of custom craft cocktails to be enjoyed, however it doesn’t change the quality of restaurant Artisans is. If your looking for an enjoyable foodie night out with great food, this is the place.

artisans

My dessert was gluten free (top) and brother had a cool candy crack rock (bottom).

If your in Texas, or Houston please check out Artisans, that was amazing.
http://artisansrestaurant.com/

Arthur’s Steakhouse in Little Rock, AR

Huzzah! Knights of the Round Table, wanted to find a new joint in Little Rock that was royal as King Arthur himself, so hopefully this restaurant would suit him, review below.

http://www.arthursprimesteakhouse.com

arthurs

tasty Moscow Mule

Gluten Free Review
+ask your server
+no separate menu

Went here for the lady’s birthday and a royal occasion. Walking in there was a lawn crew blowing leaves with their truck at the front door so we had to wait till they stopped to walk in, they must have been running late that day. The inside is very dark, ornate, almost dated, but has a good feel and smell’s pleasant. The chairs, menus could use an update, the chairs were worn with chipped wood, paint, etc. The menus we both got were dirty with stains, markings, and wrinkles, however we had to give it a shot!

 

Our waitress was cool, almost to cool, and the service was mostly awesome, even with the I think owner coming out discussing issues with his staff and asking how our food was. He was there which makes me feel comfortable.

arthurs

Pork Belly + Feta + Watermelon = Excellent.

We started with some libations and an appetizer and both were excellent, changed my views immediately on the minor indifference’s of Arthur’s. It was pork belly with watermelon? I mean who would have thought they pair so nicely. The steaks were cooked perfectly, the sweet potato sides were awesome. The food was excellent.

arthurs

Feast at Arthur’s of Steak + Sweet Potatoes + Brussels

The only reason for not 1 star besides the small issues, was the desert “prepared table side” bananas fosters. What we got? a chic with her lighter that barely lit light up a 2 second flame on this ice cream and bananas dish. Then she laughed and walked off, It was like taking a shot of rum each bite. Dessert was crap, however everything else was excellent will def be back!

arthurs

Looks good, but that liquid is pure rum. Tasted like shit, well the rum lover in me loves rum don’t get me wrong but I wanted it to be so damn good.

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