Tuesday, July 31, 2012

YoYo Donuts, GoodGood Stuff

In the middle of an office garden shaped like the Olympic rings, is a strip mall with the usual vendors like a gym and a hair salon. But, nestled within this mundane strip is a tiny place called YoYo Donuts & Coffee Cafe. You won't be bombarded with log cabin decor or have to corral around 3 kiosks of merchandise. There is no confusing menu with a hundred choices of low fat options. No, YoYo, you do things the right way.

If I am going to eat a doughnut it's going to be fatty and delicious. And if I want a latte I shouldn't have to fill out a questionnaire to get what is good. There is no mocha-frappe-nitelight-doublewhip-cake-in-a-cup. Yoyo keeps it simple and makes it right. The vanilla in your latte is made of pure vanilla paste. You can actually see the tiny flecks in your cup. The coffee is not fair trade, but direct trade, where the buyers actually make a face to face relationship with the growers.

 Maple Bacon Long Johns, need I say more? This place has got doughnuts I have only dreamed of as a child. Fruit loop topped frosting? Yes, please! I have never tasted a cake doughnut so fluffy and light. And even better, all their doughnuts are totally peanut and tree nut free! That's a rarity in the pastry world. And YoYo Donuts is a rare treat for anyone.

Upside: Love & care in what they do.
Downside: There's only one of them!


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chatterbox Pub

If you're addicted to repetitive Nintendo games but have grown up to drink a fine microbrew, then the Chatterbox Pub is your sanctuary. Take a trip into a real retro basement, where vintage hanging lights dimly illuminate faded sofas. Throw in hand crafted sauces like the pesto mayo or the Hellcat Inferno hot sauce on top of your burger and  you might never leave.

While the Chatterbox does not have hard liquor, they make up for it with a combination of sake mixed drinks . Let me mention the fabulously smooth micro-brews one more time before falling off the bar. The wide selection of american pub style food will sure to please anyone. And they make one of the best vegetarian hamburgers in town! While you're waiting, play a retro board game & point out your favorite Don King vynl on the wall. Take a date or the whole family to a Chatterbox Pub near you.

 There are 3 locations around the Twin Ctities to find a Chatterbox:
            800 Cleveland Ave S Highland St. Paul
            4501 France Ave S Linden Hills, Minneapolis
            2229 E 35th Street Midtown, Minneapolis
Upside: Games, Beer, and Greasy Food! Who could ask for more?
Downside: No hard liquor. Can get busy & increase wait times.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Boiler Room Coffee

Not too far from the famous Electric Fetus is the tiny garden level cafe called The Boiler Room Coffee. The recent owner, Micheal Graca, has done marvelous work cleaning up the place. It was once a scary hole in the ground and is now a quaint dip in the sidewalk. From the regular crowd that sits outside, I would say that Steven's Park is happy to have a quiet independent business under their apartments.

Coexisting with the community, the cafe is filled with changing art, most likely from local artists apart of the Stevens Square Center For The Arts. New seating has been installed and the old ice cream bar is filled with popular flavors such as the' Nicollet Pot Hole.' Although, sitting at the actual bar is more of a challenge with the lack of overhang and the tight Ikea bar stools.

Some of the food is home-made, like muffins and waffles, while others have been prepackaged or repackaged, like the orange juice. The coffee, tea and lattes are standard, but no sign if they are organic or fair trade. Visit on the weekends where Micheal himself will make your soy mocha with love.
Upside: Quick service, friendly staff & regulars. Checkout the bathroom sink.
Downside: Fair Trade Coffee? Bar is useless.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Bad Waitress, Pretty Tasteless

If you're heading down eat street you're bound to find The Bad Waitress, 2 E 26th St. The gimmick here is that after you are seated no one ever comes to take your order. You are left with a pad to fill out your own order and bring it up to the front where you pay then return to your table where your food is delivered. So, service is not an option to be reviewed here.

Let's review the atmosphere. Retro and shabby chic. The walls are covered in vintage memorabilia including sci-fi posters and movie reels. A beautiful jukebox plays your favorite tunes, and tables are marked by well known super hero cards. The place screams Uptown. With chrome edged tables and checkerboard tiles, you would think you had fallen into a hipster time warp.

Contrasting the retro setting, the menu is up to date with a full menu of organic items as well as old memories. Banana splits, and beer, sounds good, right? When the food came, it looked great! Whole wheat buns and hand made guacamole. Saddly, most of the food was bland as plain mashed potatoes. I guess 'organic' and 'vegetarian' means that you don't like herbs or spices in your food. Even the 'Volcano Burger' had been extinguished. At least the waitress still got a tip.

Upside: Kick-ass atmosphere & guacamole
Downside: Everything else.

Uptown Diner Dykes

Welcome to the Diner Dykes' Blog.

Here we will be reviewing restaurants and cafes all around the Twin Cities, Minnesota. If you would like us to come to your dining establishment, please contact us at dinerdykes@gmail.com. Thank you, and Happy Dining!