Just when I was tiring of the repetitiveness of Fox restaurants, I happened upon a spot called Blanco Tacos. Sure, Mexican food might be the only restaurant type more prevalent than Fox, but there is still plenty of room for growth. Blanco Tacos takes the mildly upscale and trendy approach to Mexican food and the menu isn’t strictly limited to tacos.
State Fairs are often an afterthought. A relic of times past when most of us lived in rural areas and guessing the weight of a pumpkin was the best entertainment of the month. They offer variations on the same rides, foods and entertainment that you find at your local Memorial Day Carnival or County Fair and, I mean, how many people even go to those? But the Minnesota State Fair is so far from an afterthought that it seems to be on the minds of Minnesotans for the 50 weeks of the year in which it is not in operation. Plans are made, new foods are devised and longed after; then, just like that, it’s over again. This year, however, the Unvegan paid a visit to see how it would all stack up.
It is easily one of the punniest names out there. Yeah, really creative to combine “eat” and “Italy” to create a restaurant and market name. But there is no doubt that judging the name of a restaurant is like judging a book by its cover. It’s what’s inside that counts and apparently the inside of Eataly has impressed enough people to open up locations in the biggest cities in the US. I paid a quick visit to the Chicago location when I was in need of a snack.
Nearly every restaurant in Holland, Michigan looks amazing. It’s all pretty much made for unvegans like me. Weirdly enough, they all seem to have some sort of Olive Burger and boursin cheese makes appearances all over the place, as well. I can’t explain it, but I can’t complain either. When it came to Beechwood Grill, however, it was another type of beef between bread that called out my name.
The space between fast food burgers and gourmet burgers is a crowded one. Over in Portland a spot called Killer Burger did so well in that space that they decided to set up shop in Scottsdale. Scottsdale is oh so different from Portland, but hell, I’ll take any new burger spot outside of a vegetarian patty specialist.
There are girls. There are goats. Then, there is The Girl and the Goat. It isn’t just some restaurant, but is a restaurant that still requires booking two months in advance even though it’s been around for the better part of a decade. Of course, it also happens to be in Chicago, which has a lot of people who like food. It probably doesn’t hurt that the founder and Executive Chef, Stephanie Izard, won Top Chef, went to the University of Michigan and honed her skills at the Scottsdale Culinary Institute.
Scottsdale is pretty sterile city. This is not inherently a bad thing, but it is a thing that seems to preclude the concept of hidden gems. And, yet, I heard word of not just a hidden gem, but one right around the corner from me. Plus, it could only have had a more apt name if it was right next door. It’s called Convenient Corner Market and it dishes out sandwiches with bread baked in-house every day.
Nothing really says “awesome” quite like “family friendly brewery.” Such places are the best of both worlds, contributing to the cycle of having babies because you drink, then drinking because you have babies. New Holland Brewing on 8th Street in Holland, Michigan is one such place. Renowned for its beer, it has a comfortable back patio for kids to hang out at and one very attractive menu.
The Sicilian Butcher is hardly the first restaurant to make a variety of meatballs its centerpiece. Yet, it most likely is the best-decorated of any such restaurants. It treats meatballs much as a build your own burger treats…well…burgers. You pick a meat, you pick a sauce and you pick what the Sicilian Butcher calls a bottom. You can order the meatballs bottomless, but this is highly misleading as they come without a base as opposed to being unlimited. After much consideration, I opted for a bottom.
Ramen is fantastic, right? I mean, we can all agree on that. But we can also agree that summer in Phoenix is not the time for ramen. So, although I knew Obon in Scottsdale had great ramen from carrying out a couple times, I made a different choice when I decided to stick around long enough to eat in the restaurant.