Brunch at Patrick’s Bakery & Cafe- Edina, MN

We were driving home from an appointment this past week and needed a quick spot to grab a meal.  I quickly read some reviews on Trip Advisor and we settled on Patrick’s French Bakery & Cafe  because it had great reviews and we were within 2 miles of here! Luckily, it was a great decision. Patrick’s French Bakery & Cafe is located in Southdale Square and upon some further research at home, discovered that they have a total of 3 locations!

This location was quite unexpected, Located in a strip mall, Patrick’s is tucked into the middle of one side. We weren’t sure what to expect. It was quaint and comfortable when we got inside.

Patrick’s Bakery & Cafe is the perfect spot if you want to sit and chat with a friend or loved one or grab a quick bite and leave. You can also do take out.

Look at the pastry counter that greeted us!

Sweet Treats

The menu is quite extensive and much larger than I expected. We were there mid-morning and we opted for breakfast. Patrick’s is the perfect spot for a delicious breakfast or brunch.

My dad ordered Eggs Benedict. He really enjoyed it, especially the presentation of the hash browns.

Eggs Benedict

I ordered the Chicken with Feta & Tomato Quiche and it was very good. It was very large. I could only eat about 2/3 of it so it was a nice treat for Dusty when I brought him my leftovers. I loved the little side salad that it was served with. The vinaigrette dressing was full of flavor.

Delicious chicken, feta and tomato quiche at Patricks's Bakery & Cafe

Service was great. They were very organized with the counter where you place your orders and then the food is delivered to you after it is cooked. They also have a lunch & dinner menu and serve alcohol as well.

They have some great weeknight specials- one that caught my eye was if a $10 bottle of wine with 2 entrees.

Look at these beautiful and colorful macaroons!

Macaroons at Patrick's Bakery & Cafe

We look forward to trying out another of their locations.

Lola Food Truck Visits Downtown Mankato

You guys!!!

We’ve mentioned before about how much we love Lola- read about that here. Imagine our delight when we discovered their food truck is in town every Wednesday until the snow flies, or October- whichever comes first. Could be either here in Minnesota!

You can find them on Riverfront Drive in Mankato, MN. I talked to one of the gals working and she said in a few weeks they’ll be directly in the Bent River Outfitters parking lot that is being paved. The parking lot will include a stage and picnic tables. For now, it’s about 25 yards away from its future parking lot and it’s a great spot with easy access and shaded seating.


Check out this menu- some of the same items from their restaurant in New Ulm!

I told Dusty I would bring lunch home for us while I was out running errands. It would have been fun to eat right at the food truck but that wasn’t in the cards for this visit. We live just down the road from where the Food Truck is located and the food held up great on the drive home.

For some reason, I had it in my mind that it would be just little half servings of food. I was wrong and ordered way too much, not that we didn’t eat it all just the same! Dusty loves sandwiches so I ordered the Muffaletta which is ham, salami, olive salad and lettuce on a baguette. Oh my word!!! This was so good.

Lola Food Truck

I also took home some Rosemary Fries- WOW. These were good and that lemon aioli was so good.

Lola Food Truck Rosemary Fries with Lemon Aioli

The menu had me at Nachos so I took some of those home as well. Pulled chicken, black bean salsa, cheese sauce, guacamole, cilantro and sour cream. Divine!
LolaFoodTruck Nachos

Dining Duster advice- go hungry and the only problem you’re going to have at the Lola Food Truck is deciding what to order. You can’t go wrong with anything on the menu. Bring a friend and order a few different things so you can share!

When: Wednesdays 11am-2pm now through October

Where: Riverfront Drive in Mankato near Bent River Outfitter

P.S. We recommend that you take a long lunch and go across the street to Salvage Sisters Mercantile. Salvages Sisters was recently featured on HGTV- you can read about it here and they have the cutest re-purposed furniture and locally made goods. Worth a stop!

Great Sandwiches, Lola- An American Bistro

Lola- An American Bistro in New Ulm, MN is lucky to have a few great restaurants and Lola- An American Bistro is one of them.

It’s becoming our favorite lunch spot when we go to New Ulm. We have not yet tried dinner but imagine it to be great!

It’s a small but powerful menu. We like to eat here because you order at the counter,  grab a seat and a fresh meal is delivered to you very quickly. Enjoy a beer or a pop as well as ice cold water with cucumber while you wait!

When Dusty and I eat out we typically order something that both will like so that we can share it- halfsies!!! Sometimes it works, sometimes we just stick to our own plate but this time we both thought these sandwiches looked good so we were happy to share.

This Chicken Torta sandwich goes down as one of the best sandwiches I have enjoyed in a long time. Adobo roast chicken, guacamole, roast tomato, pickled jalapeños, black bean corn salsa & chili-lime crema on ciabatta. YUM!!!

Sandwich at Lola in New Ulm, MN

I had the Roasted Veggie Dagwood which consisted of zucchini, yellow squash, red peppers, roasted tomatoes, sweet tomato confit, black olives & whipped goat cheese. So good!!!!! It was such a delicious combination of vegetables and the goat cheese just made it creamy and delicious.
Sandwich at Lola in New Ulm, MN

All of their sandwiches are served with their homemade pickles,  sliced paper thin. They are so good and unlike other restaurant pickles. I can’t put my finger on the flavorings but they are not ordinary pickles.

We love this place- the phrase ” So many restaurants, so little time” really resonates with us but some places are worth repeating- Lola is definitely one of them! We highly recommend eating here and plan to do so again!

Good Day Cafe lunch – Golden Valley, MN

We took a chance to stop for lunch at Good Day Cafe in Golden Valley and we took it!  We heard that there is usually a wait and were pleasantly surprised to be seated right away! Timing is everything since we arrived on a weekday at 11:30am. By the time we left there was certainly a wait for the lunch crowd.

This place has such a cute, homey diner feel. Different kinds of tables and seating makes you kind of feel like you are at home when you’re there. Everything is made from scratch here and they use local ingredients. A plus in our book!

One look at the menu told us we’d be happy with one of everything. LOL. We decided to share a bowl of Homemade Cowboy Soup. Our waitress said we’d not be disappointed and we were not! She said it had different kinds of meats and has a real depth of flavor. She was right! Glad we shared this because we didn’t even really need to order it based on the amounts of food that were delivered to neighboring tables. This bowl of soup was huge and could have been a lunch all on it’s own if not shared. The smokiness and depth of flavor was incredible and left us really excited to get our meals because we knew they’d be good!

Good Day Cafe Cowboy Soup

I ordered the Crab Cake Louie: Spicy deviled eggs, tomato, carrot, cucumber, romaine and butter lettuce with Good Day Cafe Russian dressing and two homemade crab cakes with cole slaw and fresh cut fries. So, so good- I don’t recall having ordered crab cakes before and this stuck out on the menu to me. They were very good and  surprisingly, filling. The cole slaw was unlike anything I’ve tried before- it had a delicious twist to it.
Good Day Cafe- Golden Valley, MN

Good Day Cafe- Golden Valley, MN

Dusty is on a quest to find the best reuben in Minnesota and this one ranked up there! Kobe corned beef, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, and Swiss cheese on our caraway rye pretzel roll. He loved it.
Good Day Cafe- Golden Valley, MN

Check out their entire menu here. Coincidentally, The Food Network featured Good Day Cafe as one of the Best. Breakfast. Ever ! We agreed this is the kind of restaurant that you want to repeat because everything you pick will be a winner.

We highly recommend stopping in for lunch (or any meal).

A Lovely Birthday Dinner at Number 4

We celebrated a birthday dinner at Number 4 for our niece, Morgan, who turned eleven this week. Morgan chose to celebrate at Number 4.  Morgan chose Number 4 because she thinks they serve the best chicken strips around. LOL.  I somehow doubt that chicken strips are what Number 4 wants to be known for.

Number 4 is such a great restaurant to have in Mankato and we love eating here. Because the menu changes out every now and again (seasonally?) it can be a bummer to see your favorite meal. The good news is you can bet money that it will be replaced with something you’ll love just as much!  What we love the most about eating here is that the meals are unique in some way. As a result, the meals are always more delectable than you’d imagined them to be. French fries aren’t just french fries, they’re thinly cut and topped with truffle oil and a side of aioli. Bang Bang Shrimp isn’t just shrimp, it’s perfectly cooked & crispy shrimp on a delicious bed of crispy, Asian Slaw. So, my point is, no matter what you order, you know it’s going to be a special meal.

As I said, the menu items change frequently and I said how good the Bang Bang shrimp is. I just gasped when I checked the online menu because I didn’t see them listed. My girlfriends and I would meet on occasional Wednesday nights for the Wednesday special Bang Bang Shrimp and Table Side Guacamole.

Dusty ordered the Chorizo Burger with Avocado and Pickled Chili. He thought it was really good- it had a nice kick to it and the smoothness of the avocado was unexpected. Birthday dinner at Number 4- Mankato, MN

I (Kelly) had the Coconut Chicken Salad. Coconut crusted chicken breast tossed with mixed greens, mandarin oranges, strawberries, Julienne red onion and a honey Dijon mustard dressing. It was so good sweet and savory with the tender chicken. I would absolutely order it again.
Coconut Chicken Salad at Number 4- Mankato, MN

Although I did not get a picture of Morgan’s chicken strips, I did snap a photo of the impressive dessert. Morgan chose the triple chocolate truffle cake – this is a girl after my own heart!! It was delightful and shared by all 8 of us.
2016-07-09 18.16.34

Here is a closeup of the dessert.
Dessert at Number 4- Mankato, MN

We had another suburb experience, including service, and I speak for both of us when I say we’ll be back soon!

As an aside, the owners of Number 4 also own Dino’s Pizzeria, The Tav, The Neighbors and they recently acquired a BBQ restaurant in St. Peter that has been renamed 3rd Street Tavern. Lone Star is a great restaurant the way it is, we can only imagine how the Mankato Independent Originals group will put their twist on it and make it even better!

Here is a post we wrote about Dino’s Pizzeria

Fantastic Father’s Day Lunch @ Dino’s Pizzeria- N. Mankato, MN

If there’s one thing you can always count on at Dino’s Pizzeria, it’s that’ you’re going to have a great experience! The ingredients are always fresh, it always tastes a little better than you imagined and the service is always attentive and good. Perfect reasons to celebrate Father’s Day at Dino’s.

One kind of cool thing about Dino’s is that they switch out menu items. The reason it’s not always cool is when you fall in love with an item that gets switched out for something new and wonderful. You can check out the full menu for yourself

From past experience, we know how incredible the Greek Dip is so we ordered that appetizer to start with. It’s a huge serving, more than it looks so it’s the perfect sharable item. It’s warm and delicious with the fresh, cool toppings and it’s just divine. So much flavor- that’s what you get when the ingredients are fresh!

Since it is so warm today a salad sounded really good to me. I ordered the Mediterranean Salad and it was incredibly good. The dressing is intensely flavorful which is just a wonderful addition to all of the vegetables on the salad. A bonus for me- my sister ordered the same salad and added chicken to hers and gave me her leftovers so I will be eating salad all day today!

Dusty couldn’t join our family for this meal as he is in the middle of his week of working overnights so I did surprise him with a Buffalo Chicken Sandwich- my dad ordered the same thing and he said it was very good. I have no doubt Dusty will enjoy that.

Greek Dip @ Dino's Pizzeria, North Mankato, MN

Greek Dip Toppings: Roma tomatoes, feta cheese, kalamata olives and cucumbers @ Dino’s Pizzeria- North Mankato, MN

Mediterranean Salad @ Dino's Pizzeria- North Mankato, MN

Mediterranean Salad- red onion, roasted red peppers, pine nuts, feta cheese, artichoke hearts

Baked Buffalo Ranch Salad @ Dino's Pizzeria- North Mankato, MN

Baked Buffalo Ranch Sandwich @ Dino’s Pizzeria- North Mankato, MN

Unfortunately, we left no room for dessert. It was a great meal, great atmosphere and the company was great, too! It’s so nice to have great, local restaurants like Dino’s Pizzeria in town.

Lunch at Five West Kitchen + Bar- Rochester, MN

We spent the day shopping and decided to have lunch at Five West Kitchen + Bar in Rochester, MN. We knew immediately that it was the kind of place that we know we’d like to try again so we can sample other menu items. Choosing this restaurant was an easy choice because like always, we refer to Trip Advisor for recommendations and it was located conveniently outside of the Costco we just finished shopping at.

Check out the Five West Kitchen + Bar website

We liked the vibe the minute we pulled up in the parking lot. Great atmosphere with a huge patio with a bar for outdoor eating and also the booths seating along the West wall have a wall that opens to the patio with a giant screen to sort of separate them from the patrons of the patio. It also overlooks a nice big fountain and pond feature.

As I mentioned, our purpose for eating here was to grab a quick lunch and keep on shopping. It was a beautiful day so we asked for patio dining overlooking the fountain. Our waitress was covering the entire patio and she was on the ball- great service.

Kelly settled on the Thai Chicken Wrap which consisted of fried cashew-breaded chicken, guacamole, cilantro, napa slaw, diced tomatoes and a sweet chili sauce with a side of sweet potato fries. It was very good- nice kick to the chili sauce. It was just the right amount of wrap- filling but not overly full, which is the ideal condition when you’re about to shop for the next 10 hours! Thai Chicken Wrap for lunch at Five West Kitchen + Bar in Rochester, MN


Dusty loves sandwiches so this sandwich was right up his alley. He opted for the Five West Stack which consisted of turkey, ham, pepperoni, mozzarella, pepperoncini, lettuce and garlic aioli. It was perfect! Not too greasy, not too heavy. for lunch at Five West Kitchen + Bar in Rochester

Lunch was great- just the right amount of food to keep on shopping the day away. Great service. Would love to go back and explore the menu a little further and perhaps take advantage of happy hour!



I had a fun lunch with friends in Chaska, MN- such a cute and charming little community.

The Crooked Pint is huge and seats a lot of people and happens to be attached to a Curling Club, so you can sit and watch people curling while you sit at the bar.
We started with some bloody mary’s and sampled a few of the beers. The beer menu is quite extensive and they are happy to bring samples of anything so you can make up your mind. We tried Goose Island (really good), Surly Furious (good) and Cowbell (a little on the bitter side).

beer samples- Crooked Pint, Chaska Bloody Mary- Crooked Pint, Chaska
It was happy hour so we ordered some sweet potato fries and poutine- both were delicious. The poutine was especially good.
Poutine- Crooked Pint, Chaska
Sweet Potato Fries- Crooked Pint, Chaska

We ordered flatbread pizza and Asian Pork Tacos (also a burger that is not pictured) and everything was delicious- the Asian Pork Tacos were a bit spicy- had never ordered those before so that was a bit unexpected. Dusty brought the leftovers of those to work and he really enjoyed them. The Flatbread pizza was super flavorful.
Flatbread Pizza- Crooked Pint, Chaska
Asian Pork Tacos- Crooked Pint, Chaska

I would totally go back to take in the beautiful park and it would be really fun to sit on the patio to enjoy some appetizers.

As an aside, as we drove to the restaurant, we passed a little town square and there was a wedding taking place as we drove by. As I’m typing this, I had a total flashback to the town square in Stars Hollow on Gilmore Girls. Can you picture it? See, I told you it was charming…..

We ended up parking on the wrong street and walked a few blocks down the charming little area on our way to Crooked Pint. We passed an adorable little antique shop on the walk so we stopped

As we were leaving the antique shop the wedding party whom I mentioned in the start was now making their way across the street with a 2 or 3 piece band- honestly, the only instrument I recognized was the tuba. It was cute and fun to watch/ The wedding party and their guests all walked a few blocks to the music and we all ended up crossing the street together because the Crooked Pint is part of a huge community center- it was a really neat area and I’d love to go back in the summertime. Here’s a bit about what there is to see. I’d love to visit again with Dusty later this summer.

Park Amenities A newly developed park to serve generations to come! Check out the many stunning views of the Chaska clayhole. Spend a peaceful moment sitting and enjoying the beautiful colors in the flower gardens throughout the park. Enjoy watching your children play and run through the interactive water fountains. We have something for everyone! • Clayhole Swimming beach • Canoe, paddleboard and bicycle rentals • Boardwalk • Multiple picnic areas to enjoy • Concession area with various refreshments • Amazing new playgrounds • Archery range and horseshoe pits

Firemans Park- Chaska, MN

Apple Pancake- House Speciality

Breakfast at The Original Pancake House- Eden Prairie, MN

I (Kelly) headed to the metro area today to meet up with a friend and since all things social revolve around food and….well you gotta eat…. we decided to go grab a bite to eat! We were in the Eden Prairie area and the #1 restaurant according to Trip Advisor is The Original Pancake House so the choice was obvious.

We were immediately seated at a cozy booth for 2 and started with coffee and started talking, not even looking at the menu. The waitress knew to stop back in a little bit, that we were going to have some coffee and chit chat for a bit first and we’d order later. Suddenly, the same waitress delivered something to a neighboring table and my friend, Amy, literally stared with her mouth open because whatever was on that plate looked THAT good! We laughed and said we should order it. Amy thought I was joking and I wasn’t joking so we ordered it.

What our neighboring table ordered was the Apple Pancake. The waitress warned that it takes about 35 minutes to prepare and we told her that was not a problem for us. It’s a pancake that is oven baked and filled with Granny Smith Apples and pure Sinkiang cinnamon glaze. I’ve personally never heard of Sinkiang and when I googled it, I was brought back to Trip Advisor with reviews on the exact Apple Pancake that we ordered. It’s basically a special kind of cinnamon.

In a word, this was DIVINE!  It was huge- as big as the platter! Now do you understand why Amy stared at the next table with her mouth open in shock?!

Apple Pancake- House Speciality

For reference, here it is with Amy in the background- notice her plate and hands and how much bigger the Apple Pancake is?

Apple Pancake- House Speciality

We sat and talked some more and picked away at the Apple Pancake and let me tell you, the center part where all the Sinkiang is was so good.
Apple Pancake

We sat there for several hours talking picking away at this Apple Pancake but somehow still managed to take a healthy portion home. I have this to look forward to in the morning while I enjoy a cup of coffee.

It was a great couple of hours spent at the Original Pancake House- our waitress didn’t mind that we took up a booth in her section for nearly 3 hours and when Amy mentioned a peanut allergy, the manager personally came over to explain that it’s not cooked in peanut oil but that peanut oil powder is an ingredient but that it is so minuscule that it would likely not affect her unless she had a very severe allergy, which she does not. He even stopped back to see how it was and to make sure Amy was OK.

It was a hasty decision (on my part) to order the Apple Pancake without looking at the rest of the menu but the waitress assured us it was a good decision and she wasn’t wrong. The menu looked very good so it looks like we’ll just have to go back for another visit to try more menu options.

Lunch at Lou Nanne’s- Edina, Minnesota

Lou Nanne's Exterior We tried a new restaurant in Edina called Lou Nanne’s and a day later, we’re still raving about our experience. For local readers, the location of Lou Nanne’s is in the old location of Macaroni Grill along France Ave. The backside of the restaurant overlooks the very charming Centennial Lakes Park which is beyond charming. I suggest taking the virtual tour at the very least.

The dinner menu prices range from $23-$60 so we were pleasantly surprised to find some average priced lunch options and were not disappointed in either the price or the lunch options! We fully admit that we likely would not eat at Lou Nanne’s for dinner unless we had something really special to celebrate. Check out their dinner menu  and lunch menu. We also learned from Heavy Table that the executive chef, Josh Hill, is from Manny’s. Here’s a cool article on the team that makes up Lou Nanne’s.

Let us start by saying that the vibe is very classy yet comfortable. It’s quite sleek yet simple. It’s a great atmosphere. There are a few large hockey-related pictures from Lou’s career with the Minnesota Northstars scattered around the restaurant, yet it certainly doesn’t feel like a sports bar. Here are a few pictures so you can get a vibe.

Lou Nanne's Bar

Lou Nanne's Signature Wall


Lou Nanne's Kitchen

When seated at our table, water was immediately served in tall, skinny glasses and bread is brought to the table with whipped butter. The bread tastes like it was just baked, and although you can’t see the salt, it’s as if salt is just under the crusty flake. It’s really good! We opted not to get an appetizer because we had shopping to do afterward and didn’t want to be too full. Our waitress, Stacy, was so nice and personable and gave us some good menu recommendations.
Lou Nanne's Bread Basket

Dusty has really been on a reuben kick so that is what he ordered, a reuben sandwich with fries and I ordered the crispy chicken sandwich. Both were huge servings! Dusty has a pretty healthy appetite and he brought half his sandwich home, so that’s saying something!! I also ate half my sandwich- the crispy chicken sandwich was topped with cole slaw and the bun was so soft, again, it’s like they made it right before they served it to me.

Lou Nanne Crispy Chicken Sandwich

Lou Nanne's Reuben Sandwich

We mentioned Chef Josh Hill earlier, when we arrived at our table he was seated a few tables away with a large group helping them plan an event and as we were leaving he was helping plate up food. Kind of fun to watch.

Everyone was so attentive and friendly. We never wanted for water refills and when we finished eating someone immediately came out to box up our leftovers. It was such a good meal, we know we’d like to go back for lunch and try some other options.