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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.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Up Coffee Roasters

High expectations for Up Coffee Roasters...after all, they roast coffee there...lots and lots of coffee, so the coffee should be the best part.  Really nice ambiance.  Food menu looked great.  We chose a breakfast biscuit and a lunch sandwich.  Execution was lacking.

Coffee served in a great temperature.

Enough said.

This hard flat brown thing is their signature biscuit. The contents were good after we chiseled our way in.

Chick-Fil-A Redux


You may have noticed...I'm pretty interested in food.  Being in Marian's kitchen as a kid was completely fascinating.....brewing root beer (or dandelion wine), frying onion rings, making, food, excellent local (from the garden in the backyard) food.
Container 3"x1" Deep
So, I check out every food place I can.

It seemed like this month had a lot of disappointments.  But, in reality, the insights have been much better than the food.

Tonight we ventured to the Chick Fil A.  We haven't been in one since I was working in Tennessee..we hit one in Charlotte NC on the way from the airport to TN along a scenic route.  
I've been greatly impressed with the physical structures of several chains this month.  I really like the interior at the new Starbucks on 96 and Centerville Rd.  The Tavern Grill was REALLY an expensive building (and that doesn't even count the months of land remediation we watched as the lot was constantly under water) and it's beautiful in that old boys club leathery kind of way (although kind of large and echo-y).  The Chick Fil A in West St. Paul is a palace......almost a cathedral....not to God, but to pretty marginal corporate food offerings.

Maybe that's the trend.  Who cares about what you're serving, as long as the place is a show-stopper?

Chick Fil A had high-end finishes, tile, general 'we spent a lot of money on this place' appearance.  Ditto Tavern Grill.

They have a lot in common.

But the real common denominator for me was.......waffle fries.   Now I'm not a big indulger in the fried cancer sticks or fried cancer waffles.  I'm kinda enjoying my life on earth not being riddled with cancer.  Why would I eat carcinogenic potatoes at either of these overpriced places?

Both of these places could build palaces....literal palaces with expensive everything in the interiors and exteriors.....based on the sales of 38 cents worth of potatoes in the form of waffle fries and something 'meh' to accompany them.  At one place, for $14 you can get a giant, heaping plate of 'waffles' with a 'meh' sandwich.  At the other you can get a scrap of chicken...plain so you can see how tiny it is or covered with breading to make it look like you're getting something for your money.....with a heap of 'waffles' for about $7 or $8 with a drink that they parcel out to you (another corporate cost-misering method).  One place uses a plate.  The other uses the biggest pile of disposable waste I've seen at a fast food meal in a long time (you know, when you finish the meal, what's on the table in plastic is just as big as when you started).  But both places make their profit off 38 cents worth of potatoes fried into 'waffles' (that's the large portion) to fill your plate or tray and make you feel like you're getting a 'value' for your dollar.

Kale 2" x 1.5"
Obviously, from the flow of cash that enables these places to build such luxury palaces, selling people 38 cents worth of potatoes in the shape of cute little waffles is, indeed, a highly profitable endeavor.

Okay, I'm gonna go look for some food now....I'm really hungry....and I spent all my money enjoying the 'palaces', but I didn't really get any food (I guess I should call that 'superfood' portion of kale at Chick Fil A food).  I think I'll go to that dumpy little soup and sandwich shop on the corner and have some pineapple slaw or mango chipotle salad, turkey on a sun dried tomato roll with some real cheese and fresh lettuce not from a bag....and see if anyone left a cookie crumb in the case at the end of the day : )