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Sunday, May 31, 2009

Toscana, an upscale Italian restaurant in the VFW building, on the corner of second and Broadway Fargo.

As downtown Fargo continues to grow, not necessarily in size but in quality and sophistication,
many of us have noted the addition of Toscana, an upscale Italian restaurant in the VFW building, on the corner of second and Broadway. I would like to submit what I consider an ealy review of this fine dining establishment.

Toscana has ben there for a few months, but I haven't tried it since most of their ads feature pasta, which doesn't agree with me. However, the other day a friend of mine and I were walking past(on the way to another restaurant) and noticed their menu in the window. They have more, much more, than pasta dishes. So we decided to give it a try.

The interior is softly lit and elegant, as is the dress of the staff. It had a distinctly Italian flair, although I'm not sure why I felt that except that perhaps I was expecting it.

The menu is huge, with many types of dishes, all I'm sure of an Italian flavor. There is a full page of different pasta dische, another of appetizers and salads, another two of various steaks and other entrees, many of which are unusual. For example, I had a sort of rabbit dish, barbequed in an Italian sauce and shredded. My companion had a steak in some sort of sauce. Everything is in some sort of sauce, the very definition of a gourmet restaurant. The service could have been a little better, but I did appreciate being left alone and not continually bothered by being asked if everything is "OK."

Both of our entrees were splendid. I certainly intend to try Toscana a number of more times, after or during which I can write a more complete review.

Expect to pay about $50 for dinner for two without drinks(a full bar is available, of course), which I think very reasonable for what we got.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fargo Restaurant ReviewFargo Appleby's

Fargo Appleby's: There are three Appleby's in the F-M are of which I'm aware; quite probably more. This review will be motivated by the establishment of 19th avenue north across from the Fargodome.

In my opinion the fargo Appleby's has improved dramatically since the chain was purchased by IHOP. There are still the usual brace of steaks and burgers and a couple of chicken dishes and the usual sports bar list of appetizers. Oh yes, there is a sit down restaurant part and a sports bar. Personally, I prefer to eat in the bar in such establishments now that they're smoke free, since the service is so much quicker. I'm not trying to express an opinion on local political issues: I have breathing problems and couldn't eat there otherwise.

Anyway, the greeters and servers are friendly and helpful and the food very tasty and well prepared. The novelty is two fold. On the entrée side of the menu is a meal of talapia with a pico de gayo type sauce which is one of my favorite meals in the whole area. They also have a burger served on foccacia which is my favorite burger in town as well.

There is, of course, a full bar. Expect to pay about $25 for dinner for two without drinks.

The Downtown Duster.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Fargo Restaurant Review: The Old Broadway Downtown Fargo.

The Old Broadway: The Old Broadway, which has been at the intersection of Broadway and NP Avenue since the mid 70's, is now two restaurants: one a sports bar and the other a restaurant that caters to the downtown business crowd. This review will be about the latter.

The original bar is still there and the floor the old fashioned small white tile, not doubt the floor of the previous establishment, which I think was DeLendrices department store. Or maybe Herbst's, but I don't think it matters.
They serve free popcorn and salted in the shell peanuts, which, just like Lone Star, you must dispose of the shells properly. I.e. not on the floor. Amazingly, this requirement is observed religiously by the clientele.

Make no mistake about it: this is a young businessman's hangout. The TV's show sports and the Bloomberg channel. The food consists of steaks, burgers, sandwiches and some specialty items. The novelty is that they have daily "blue plate specials" that are pushed out at lunch time and are available until they are gone. Blue plate specials go back to the 40's, at least and probably before that and were available at the diners that used to dot our urban areas. Some typical specials might be walleye of Friday's, hot roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and gravy another day, with a different offering each day of the week.

There is also a healthy menu which actually contains my favorite meal: a somewhat thin(I don't like the thin part) rib-eye steak with blue cheese crumbled on top and green beans, very good green beans.

The food is tasty, the help exactly what you would expect in such an establishment, young, helpful, positive if somewhat aloof. Of course, you can have those exquisite Broadway browns with anything..

A full bar is available. It is a bit pricey. Expect to pay $20 for dinner, excluding drinks.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Fargo Restaurant Review: Duane's House of Pizza Fargo-Moorhead

Duane's House of Pizza in Fargo is legendary for its great tasting thin crust pizza. The service on the other hand has much to be desired. I have been eating at Duane's Pizza for a long time, so I have the inside scoop on this place. When ordering a Pizza at Duanes make sure that you ask them to cook it well done! That's how the employees eat it and for good reason it tastes way better.

There sauce is excellent and the cheese they use is top shelf taste. It appears a bit greasy but I think thats what gives it a unique flavor. The toppings are great with the best of them being Sausage. Im not sure if they make the Sausage there or if they get it somewhere else, but it actually tastes Awesome. Its a must at duanes house of pizza.

Duane's also has excellent fried chicken that comes with JoJo Potatoes. Its all priced a little high and the service is sorta frumpy but the food is worth it. They deliver an have the dine in option.

Expect to pay $15-$20 per pizza
Duane's House of Pizza Online Here

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fargo Restaurant Review: There are a couple of things I like about Jimmy John's

The other sandwich shop is, I believe, also a chain, and is located across 12th Ave N from the NDSU Library, and is called Jimmy Johns. Finally, something in the NDSU area other than the Turf, which is, to me, nearly uninhabitable.

Jimmy Johns offers the same type of sandwiches as Erbert's and Gerbert's except its all on white bread. It evidently exists to serve a different clientele: the sandwiches aren't nearly as good but they are served with lightening speed, just right for a between class lunch or snack for a college student. They do have chips, but not the selection of drinks as Erbert's & Gerbert's.

There are a couple of things I like about Jimmy John's: the servers are clearly more articulate that in most such shops, and their hours: 10AM-Midnight S-R, closing at 3AM F, Sat.

A solid meal for two can be had at either establishment for well under $20.

Fargo Restaurant Review: There are a couple of sandwich shops in Fargo-Moorhead worthy of mention

There are a couple of sandwich shops in Fargo-Moorhead worthy of mention if you are in the mood for a quick but decent meal at not too bad a price.

One is the old standby Erbert's & Gerbert's, which is a definitely a chain. The Fargo outlet is located on 13th Ave South in the strip mall across 13th Ave from Hooters, just east of I29.

They have a nice selection of subs oh white and whole wheat bread, with the usual offerings of meats, cheeses and veggies. They also offer a nice selection of chips and soups(I'm particularly partial to the chili), and fruit juices as well as fountain soft drinks. The establishment is well lit and clean. The food is delivered rapidly, but I find it pleasant to just sit and relax while munching on my sandwich, which is always excellent and made with fresh ingredients.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fargo Phantom Restaurant Reviews: The Fortune House

Fargo Restaurant: The Fortune House. Now I must confess I seldom review Chinese restaurants. The reason for that is that my system does not tolerate sugar, and I have it on good Chinese authority that one cannot make Chinese food without sugar unless that's what one sets out to do. At the Fortune House, in the strip mall on 19th Ave N between 10th and University, I'm in luck, as that's what they set out to do.

The restaurant is owned and run by two sisters who I believe are Vietnamese. The Chinese in this (and probably others) area have figured how to appeal to our tastes: have a smorgasbord. That seems to satisfy most people, but doesn't help my sugar intolerance, so I have to order off the menu. So much the better.

In the days before Chinese buffets, a party of several diners would order different entrees and share. Naturally, rice comes with everything. Most Chinese restaurants, including the Fortune House, also have pre-set meals that are served that way. This buffet thing is somewhat new, at least to me, a 50-year veteran of Chinese restaurants.

So even if all you want is the buffet, the food there has to be very tasty as well. I tend to shy away from giving grades or anything, but you can probably tell this is one of my favorite restaurants. I do wish they'd get a double front door to keep the draft out in the winter.

The Norwegian Explorer

Fargo Restaurant Review

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