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Following twenty years of farmer's markets selling locally grown vegetables, native fruits, and local honey Linda created Marianne's Kitchen in Shoreview, MN, an oasis of good food, conversation and laughter in a suburban food desert. Operating from 2011-2017 the cafe offered home made soups, fresh bread baked daily, great sandwiches and treats and a complete line of gluten-free soups, pickled products, jams, jellies, salsas and locally sourced soups, honey and grains.

The Marianne's Kitchen of sharing, conversation, and learning continues with ongoing commentary, food reviews and food finds as we grow, cook and eat our food and sample local restaurants.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

"If you can's say anything good..."

We hit a new local establishment last week.  The rage is small batch breweries.  Many attempt to put out food.  Some small places realize their strength is beer and put a circle of food trucks in close proximity.  Others try...and fail.

Service is critical to success.  It includes the greeting you receive upon arrival, the knowledge and attentiveness of the wait staff and the overall appreciation of your patronage.  Behind the scenes it includes food preparation and safety.

The casual display of utensils looks friendly.  Unfortunately it's a food service violation. Everyone reaching for a fork touches the others which end up in your mouth.  It gives pause to consider what's going on in the kitchen.

Known for our super-good, hard-to-beat Banh Mi sandwich, we added one to our order of a couple pale ales.  The high point of this serving were the pickles.  The bun was dry.  We think the meat was chicken.  It had a couple of small carrot slices and was over seasoned with mint, a dash of basil, pate and a tasteless green sauce that might have been cilantro; we're not sure.  The pickles were sweet and flavorful. A plate or bowl would have been better than any other part of this serving.

Our favorite location for grilled romaine is Cafe Biaggio on University Avenue in St. Paul.   We should have driven there instead. 

This serving started with already wilted Romaine.  The bacon lardons were hard as rocks and will max our dental plan's 'restorative' allowance. Served with bleu cheese (OK), a house pico (tasteless) and the house hot sauce (tasted like 'out of a jar'), the whole thing was a disappointment.

We like to give every place a couple of visits before commenting but we've decided to put a big "PASS" on this location.  Sorry.  We'll continue our search and recommendations elsewhere.

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