Thursday, January 29, 2009

Be'Wiched Deli: Food Review 2 of 52

As part of my New Year's Resolution to try 52 new restaurants, diners, coffee shops and bakeries during 2009, I present the following review:

Be'Wiched Deli.

800 Washington Ave. North
Minneapolis, MN 55401

The Be'Wiched Deli website says it best: "We have spent our culinary careers in the kitchens of fine dining restaurants. Our polished technique and passion for quality ingredients have inspired us to open a gourmet sandwich shop serving artisinal sandwiches, salads, and soups."

Vibrant colors decorate this very trendy setting. The space felt hip and fun. You want to stay and enjoy your food. You order at a counter, pick your place to sit and the wait staff delivers your food.

Who I Went With:
Best friend, Scott.

What I Ate:
White bean garlic cream soup.
Roast beef sandwich made with ciabatta bread, horseradish, Havarti & onion jam.
Diet Coke.

Would I Go Back:
In a second!

Worth the Price:

After reading a glowing review on Be'Wiched Deli, I told Scott that this place needs to be part of my New Years Resolution. I love sandwiches and I was curious to see if Be'Wiched Deli lived up to the hype of the review.

"We use the freshest ingredients to create healthy food from scratch using local, natural and sustainable food whenever possible." This is a quote from the Be'Wiched Deli website. After tasting the food, I know just how truthful this statement is.

The food definitely lived up to the review. I'm not a huge fan of a heavy garlic flavor. I almost didn't order the soup because of that. But, this year is about trying new things so I thought, "Why not?" The soup was not overwhelming in garlic flavor. It was very creamy and good.

The roast beef sandwich was one of the best I've ever tasted. It quickly made me forget all about the other sandwich shops out there. I can't even remember their names. The sandwich flavors were so full and so fresh. The onion jam was such a unique touch. I tried to eat slower so I could enjoy it as long as possible.

I for sure am heading back to Be'Wiched Deli. The roast beef sandwich was so tasty that I hope I have enough strength to try a different one!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Oscar Party in Minneapolis

If you are a fan of the Oscars and if you want to attend a fun event where all proceeds go to charity, I've got the perfect offer for you.

Aegis Foundation’s “Help Elevate Youth” Event is a fundraiser for One Heartland and Smile Network. Join the Aegis Foundation in walking the Red Carpet and watching the live broadcast of the 81st Academy Awards. ALL proceeds benefit HIV-impacted children of One Heartland (formerly Camp Heartland) and the Smile Network (providing life-altering, reconstructive surgeries to impoverished children).

This event is open to the public and welcomes all ages. An ideal night out for movie goers, fashion fanatics and people wanting an exciting Hollywood-themed evening. All this AND you help support two great organizations.

Sunday, February 22, 2009, 5 p.m. – 11 p.m.

5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Red Carpet and Cocktails.
7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Academy Awards and Hors D’oeuvres.
9 p.m. – 11 p.m. Award Night Contest Results and Dessert.

The Hotel Minneapolis.
215 Fourth Street South
Minneapolis, MN 55401

Special room rate of $99.00 will be offered when you give them this code: AEGIS.

1. Doors open at 5:00 p.m. and swag bags will be given to the first 150 people.

2. Come dressed casual or dressed to the nines. Prizes will be awarded for Best Dressed Male and Female.

3. Complimentary appetizers and desserts will be provided.

4. Prizes will be awarded for selecting the most wins from nominee categories.

5. Music provided by Minneapolis’ own DJ Naughty Boyy.

General Admission (in advance) $25.00. Purchase on-line at Aegis Foundation or via mail.

General Admission (at the door) $40.00.

Students (ID required): $10 at the door.

VIP Package: $150.00. Includes a special 4 course dinner exclusively for this event at the amazing
restaurant Max, prepared by Chef Matt Holmes.

Corporate Package: $500.00. Up to 6 people for a VIP booth, bottle of Champagne, name recognition in all advertising, and signage throughout the event. [Must have registered no later than January 12 to be included in advertising].

The Hotel Minneapolis is located in the heart of the city at 215 4th Street South at the corner of 4th Street South and 2nd Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis.

Valet parking is available for free if you have a room reservation or $5.00 without a room. There is limited street meter parking.

Light Rail Stop: Government Plaza located on 5th Street South, between 3rd and 4th Avenues South. Just 1 block West & 1/2 block South of the Hotel.

Academy Award photograph attributed to MisterMad (March 2006).

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Joan Rivers is Coming

I just received some great news. Joan Rivers is coming to Minneapolis! Anyone who knows me, knows that Joan is one of my favorite people. This latest Joan Event will be the 10Th time that I've seen her.

Each time is an exciting and rewarding experience. Each time leaves me with great memories.

I've traveled to three different states to see her and I've been lucky enough to be backstage nine times. I have so many great Joan stories. Each one deserves its own blog entry.

Topics to cover:

1) Traveling to Las Vegas to see Joan the first time she performed there after a 10 year absence.

2) Being backstage in Wayne Newton's Las Vegas dressing room.

3) Grabbing her ankle when she was on stage and reached down to take flowers I was handing up to her.

4) Holding Spike the Yorkie.

5) Walking Spike down an alley so he could "do his business" before getting into a limo with Joan.

6) Telling Joan how much she inspired me to go after my dreams and write a book. (One of my favorite possessions is the handwritten card Joan sent me when my book was published).

7) Being stopped by a nasty security guard when I attempted to steal the cue cards Joan had taped to a stage. My defense: the show was over, I didn't think she'd want them back!

And many many more!

Okay, now for the details of my 10Th Joan Rivers Event!

Joan and QVC are teaming up for an unforgettable weekend at the Mall of America (February 27 thru March 1). Please check out the posted information on Joan's site as well as QVC at The Mall's!

This will be a great event and I'm counting the days. Watch for more news on my blog and if you can, be sure to attend this weekend!

I will see you there!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Great Dragon: Food Review 1 of 52

As part of my New Year's Resolution to try 52 new restaurants, diners, coffee shops and bakeries during 2009, I present the following review:

Great Dragon.

1916 Chicago South
Minneapolis, MN 55404

Chinese Food.

If you are looking for a great interior, this place won't be it. Get the take out.

What I Ate:
Beef lo mein, cream cheese wantons and egg drop soup.

Would I Go Back:
I would for take out.

Worth the Price:

The Golden Dragon is a small restaurant located in a strip mall. I went there with Anthony. We were picking up food before watching The Golden Globes. The interior isn't much. Very narrow space. Three hard plastic booths on each side of the restaurant with a small walkway between them to get to the order counter. Formica counter top, cold white tiles on the floor. The place needs a make over. The interior went out of style long ago.

When we walked in I turned to Anthony and asked, "Are you sure about this?"

"Trust me, Michael. Trust me," he answered.

We placed our order and waited for our food to be stacked into a brown paper bag and a few fortune cookies to be thrown on top.

After driving back to Anthony's, we set up our food on his coffee table and prepared to watch The Golden Globes.

The food was amazing. Their beef lo mein was incredible. This dish is one of my favorites and I've had it at many places. The Golden Dragon did not disappoint. And what's not to be loved about cream cheese wrapped in dough and then deep fried.

I learned that I have to trust Anthony.

At least in this case.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Golden Globe Winners

In previous posts, Anthony and I wrote our predictions for this year's winners. I just tallied the results for the 21 categories. We didn't do too bad. We didn't do too good.

The Results:
Michael: 10 correct.
Anthony: 9 correct.

So, Anthony, you owe me dinner! I won! And I'd like to thank the foreign press!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Golden Globes Commentary

The Golden Globes are over and the winners have their awards displayed proudly at home. Below are the parts of the evening that stuck out the most to me.

1. The most genuine winner #1.
Kate Winslet for her first win of the evening for The Reader.

2. The most genuine winner #2.
Kate Winslet for her second win of the evening for Revolutionary Road. In both of these wins, Kate was so real in her speeches. She truly was emotionally moved by winning these awards. You could see it.

3. The weirdest facial hair of the evening.
Sting. If that really was Sting? I loved Colin Farrell’s reaction. His face in total shock at Sting’s appearance.

4. The way too skinny actress.
Sally Hawkins looked borderline anorexic. If you look too skinny on screen, you REALLY are too skinny in person.

5. The actresses it was great to see at the ceremony.
Jessica Lange, Shirley MacLaine and Sigourney Weaver.

6. The biggest surprise win by an actor.
Colin Farrell.

7. The least surprise win by an actor.
Heath Ledger.

8. The best mom to daughter moment.
Demi Moore telling her daughter Rumer Willis to stand up straight and not slouch when she was onstage.

9. The best acceptance speech.
Laura Linney. She was so articulate and clear and very well prepared.

10. The funniest acceptance speech.
Tracy Morgan accepting for 30 Rock.

11. The most humble winner.
Tina Fey. She's had such a great year and she made a good point that not everyone likes her. "If you ever start to feel too good about yourself, they have this thing called the Internet."

12. The best duo presenters.
Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.

13. The best female hairstyle.
Sigourney Weaver.

14. The worst female hairstyle.
Drew Barrymore.

15. The person most robbed of an award.
Penelope Cruz (sorry Kate Winslet).

16. The strangest big green ring #1.
Amy Adams.

17. The strangest big green ring #2.
Mickey Rourke.

18. The most unfortunate trend in female fashions.
All the excess fabric bunched up in various places on the gowns. It looked sloppy and was not flattering on the figures these ladies work so hard to maintain.

19. The most unfortunate trend in male fashions.
All the facial hair. Why did so many male celebrities feel the need to grow facial hair for the awards show? Especially when SO few male celebrities actually LOOK good in facial hair. You're at a fashionable event and you're wearing a tux. Come on guys, don't let your scruffy beard growth ruin the image. Shave!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

No Restaurant Chains Michael

It's already January 8, 2009, and I still haven't officially written down my goals for the new year. I've thought about the goals, I've scribbled a few things on scratch paper, but I haven't made anything official.

One goal is to try 52 new restaurants, diners, bakeries or coffee shops. A new place each week. I've lived in Minneapolis for almost eight years and I haven't come anywhere near close to visiting the variety of places here.

One of my closest friends is a chef. An amazing chef. He gives me a hard time when I go to restaurant chains. How many times have I heard him say, "No restaurant chains Michael!" And if he knows I've gone out to eat, he always asks where. Sometimes I blame it on friends if we go to a chain. Can I help it if I love a BBQ pork sandwich from TGIFridays?

I do see his point. I live in a great city that offers an endless supply of places to eat. I should be trying them out. I've promised Mr. Chef that I'll try a new place each week. To make sure I do, I'm making it a blog requirement. I'll track my adventures online and report what I find.

Since making this pledge to him, I'm seeing restaurants that I never noticed before. They are all over and my curiosity is peaked. I've started a list of the places I want to try. I'll have no trouble getting to 52 places in this new year. Maybe I'll even visit more. That would make Mr. Chef very happy.

Friday, January 2, 2009

9 to 5 Trilogy Completed in 2008

9 to 5 is one of my all time favorite movies. I could probably recite every line of dialogue if asked. Growing up, I watched it every time it was on HBO. Thankfully, HBO ran it a lot. I even tape recorded my favorite lines of dialogue so I could listen to it whenever I wanted. And I still feel that Dolly Parton was robbed of an Oscar for writing the theme song (The song Fame won instead).

When a VCR entered my parents' home, I knew I had to record The Wizard of Oz and 9 to 5. And I did. I even made special covers for the VCR tapes. These were more valuable than gold. Eventually I purchased VHS copies. Then DVD copies. Now I have a few DVDs of each. My logic, if I have one version of the DVD, should this stop me from getting the special edition DVD or the anniversary edition DVD? Of course not.

About seven years ago I was lucky enough to finally see Dolly Parton in concert. Since then, I've seen her two more times. Each time I love her more. During that first concert, I had an idea. I should make it a goal to see all three of the 9 to 5 ladies. Dolly Parton was checked off the list. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin were next. The 9 to 5 Trilogy was born.

Probably three years ago, Lily Tomlin performed her one woman show in Minneapolis. Of course I had to be there. I had made it a goal, I couldn't back down now. Lily's show was wonderful and she handled a front row heckler with such a direct-in-your-face-slam that the audience cheered.

Then I was down to one. Jane Fonda. How was I going to see Jane Fonda? She wasn't going to tour with a singing concert or with a one woman comedy show. How would I ever get into the same room as this elusive and missing piece to the 9 to 5 Trilogy?

Then in July 2008, by total chance, I found out she was giving a lecture in Minneapolis. I panicked. The lecture was 7 days away. What if it had sold out? I felt Jane Fonda slipping through my fingers and running away from me. Would I ever catch her?

I frantically pulled up Ticketmaster and my trembling fingers typed in the name Jane Fonda. In my mind was Jane's famous dialogue from 9 to 5, "Don't panic, don't panic!" A scattering of tickets was left for this almost sold-out event (which it later did). I decided to be bold and put in a ticket search for the highest dollar amount.

This is how I sat in the front row to see Jane Fonda give an amazing talk on her life. She is one of the best speakers I have ever heard. She discussed her career, her marriages, her charity work and her expanding outlook on life.

She also wasn't afraid to give backstage Hollywood Gossip. Which I happily ate up and asked Ms. Fonda for seconds! A favorite story was Katherine Hepburn being unhappy with Jane when Jane wasn't present during an initial meeting for On Golden Pond. Jane was on a road trip with Dolly Parton. They were driving through the Smokey Mountains. Jane asked the audience, "Which would you choose?"

That night my 7 year goal was achieved. The 9 to 5 Trilogy was completed, in the front row, just several feet from the Oscar winning movie star.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

Auld Lang Syne
by Robert Burns (1700s)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll take a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne.
Happy New Year!!
Time to reflect on the past year and to write those New Year's Resolutions!
I hope 2009 is a year filled with much happiness, good health and great success!