And so it’s November. Before looking ahead to the month to come, let’s take a look back at the month just past. October was once again a busy month on the blog, traffic-wise. Which were the top 10 most viewed posts? From #1 to #10 they were: On’s Kitchen VIII; Favourite Dishes Eaten in the Twin Cities Metro: July 1-September 30, 2022; Bolé; Demi II; Mushoor Dal (No Tadka); Eating at Mercado Central; Baingan “Bharta”; A Highly Subjective Ranking of Indian Restaurants in the Twin Cities Metro Area; A Guide to Ordering at Grand Szechuan; The Red Death. That’s 10/10 food posts, with four restaurant reviews, three more posts about restaurants, and three recipes. The first spirits review came in just outside the top 10 with the Kilkerran 8, Batch 6 sitting at #11. All told there were only 14 spirits-related posts (13 reviews and one post on some shenanigans at Loch Lomond) in the top 50. But I didn’t get where I am today [nowhere] by following trends and so I will continue to post three booze reviews a week. You can, as always, help me select them by nominating what you’re most interested in to the shortlist via the comments below.
On the restaurant front the only one that’s all but certain is a visit to Hyacinth—we’re scheduled to eat there this weekend. As for the rest, I am open to suggestions. And if you want to weigh in on the recipe selection as well, that poll wlll be open till the evening today.
Here’s the potential booze reviews long list:
- 1792, Single Barrel for Total Wine, 2020
- Ardmore 12, 2006 (SMWS 66.139)
- Ben Nevis 18, 1991 (Mackillop’s Choice)
- Bunnahabhain 6, 2013 (SMWS 10.202)
- Caol Ila 10, 2009 (Single Malts of Scotland)
- Dailuaine 10, 2008 (SMWS 41.116)
- Del Maguey, Tobala, Mezcal
- Del Maguey, Wild Tepextate, Mezcal
- Elijah Craig Small Batch, for Spec’s, 2019
- George Dickel 13, 2008, Bottled in Bond, 2021 Release
- Glen Garioch 12, 2008 (Old Particular for K&L)
- Glenallachie 12, 2021 Release
- Glenburgie 21, 1993 (Cadenhead)
- Glendronach 17, 1995 for The Whisky Exchange
- Hazelburn Hand-Filled, August 2022
- Inchgower 11, 2007 (Signatory UCF)
- Lagavulin 11, Offerman Edition, Charred Oak Cask
- Laphroaig Cairdeas 2022, Warehouse 1
- Linkwood 19, 1997 (Alexander Murray)
- Longrow Hand-Filled, August 2022
- QQRQ Cacao Pechuga, Mezcal
- Springbank Hand-Filled, August 2022
- Strathmill 12, 2009 (Signatory UCF)
- Teaninich 12, 2009 (Thompson Bros.)
Lots of choices… A week of bourbon would be welcome. The Cairdeas 2022 would be an interesting review, too.
As for restaurants, a visit to Spice & Tonic in North Loop might be in order (if you feel like taking one for the team). Otherwise, I don’t see that you’ve lately (or ever) been to Everest on Grand or Gorkha Palace for another India-adjacent cuisine (though apparently it was being contemplated at one point). Or maybe visits to patisseries like Trung Nam or Marc Heu here in St. Paul (or elsewhere if you know of them; not places I frequent).
Spice & Tonic is the Indian place with a very high Google Reviews ranking? I looked at their menu online and it seems like just another cookie cutter North Indian place. Given that no one I know has ever suggested I eat there, I might wait till some more reliable intel emerges.
I have been thinking of Everest on Grand of late…
Yes, that’s the place. *You* could be the reliable intel. I mean, if you don’t want to be in the vanguard of informed opinion, by all means wait… :)
In my opinion Everest on Grand is at its absolute best when it’s *really* cold outside and you step into that warm room and enjoy the warms-you-from-the-inside food. But a visit doesn’t have to wait until then.
I would never recommend Spice and Tonic (although we only visited once. Sorry Steve). Everything was great – except the food; which was bland and indistinctive for Indian food. We’ve always liked Ghorka, but haven’t been in years, and it seemed quite pricey for what you got. Still it was good.
We have found Sanjusan and Snack Bar to be quite good over repeat visits.
Oh, I have absolutely nothing vested in Spice & Tonic! I’ve never been there. As a regular reader of this blog, though, I thought it was odd that it has such a high Google Review score without having been so much as mentioned here or, to my recollection, even in the mainstream local food press. I’m curious as to whether it’s all smoke (and mirrors) or there’s some actual fire there. But time will tell.
If you look at Yelp ratings, my guess is you’ll probably see a similar random story for any category of restaurants.
mezcal and Campbelltown hand fill weeks get my vote.