Honestly, I haven’t felt like eating out. Partly because I’ve been a little under the weather the last week or so, but I tell you, there’s very little out there that inspires me enough to slide over the green backs in exchange for chow. I have been to Pho 79 as well as Q.Cumbers in the last week, but really, neither of them are much to write home about.
Pho 79 is one of Jeff’s favorite cheap eats. It’s on Nicollet Avenue, and it is a hole-in-the-wall Vietnamese place. They serve this gigantic bowl of romaine and mint topped with rice noodles, sprouts and mock duck. It’s crazy-huge and very satisfying. I especially like it when the fresh salad on the bottom has extra mint. Like most Asian restaurants, they have lots of vegetable dishes that can be made with tofu or mock duck. Max ordered stir-fried pineapple. The menu said it was pineapple and “vegetables” in a tangy sauce. He got about six cups of pineapple on a huge plate – nothing else. He didn’t like it, but it sure tasted good on the Mock Duck salads Jeff and I ordered.Pho 79 2529 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55404 (612) 871-4602
Last night I took Max and some of his buddies to Q.Cumbers before their Seward rollerskating party. Q.Cumbers is an American buffet style restaurant with a quasi California contemporary meets cafeteria-from-the-eighties style. It has a huge salad bar, hot foods section, soups and breads, and a giant dessert spread. It’s the kind of place kids love because nothing is mixed together, and they can see what they are getting. It’s also a nice place for kids to learn about “Food Waste.” When there is so much abundance, it can be difficult, but a good lesson to teach early in life.
Q.Cumber’s hot foods are sometimes freshly made. In fact, last night I had the most wonderful cinnamon glazed roasted sweet potatoes I have ever had. They were cooked in some kind of syrup, however, and I’m uncomfortable not knowing what it was. It may have been high fructose corn syrup – you know, Karo. YUCK, but I’m not sure. I could probably really enjoy the place if they were organic and totally made from scratch, but many of the hot foods seem pretty processed. The salad bar is lovely and a nice fresh option.
The important thing is that Max loves the place. He feels very welcome there, and always eats tons of vegetables before anything else. The rule in our family is salad first.