New and nice offerings on the winter enforced habitrail
We all tend toward staying indoors during the winter months. But let's face it, the whole skyway routine can get a little boring. Here are a few ways to keep it fresh until the grassy knolls are once again plush and green for your enjoyment.
Get a late lunch deal. You got booked with a lunch meeting, again. It's already 2 p.m. and what are you going to do for lunch now? How about a half-price wrap from Good To Go, U.S.Bank Plaza, 200 S. 6th St. or Towle Building, 330 2nd Ave. S.? In this case, late really is better than never. It's your choice of a kebab-style filling of ground lamb, pork, chicken or sirloin, complemented by an herbed mayonnaise, fresh lettuce, tomato, cucumber and jalapenos, wrapped up in a tortilla shell. The best part is, after 1:30, it'll cost you a mere $3.
This sandwich and salad shop with a Mediterranean twist is owned and operated by Anoush Ansari, proprietor of Atlas on U.S.Bank Plaza's street level. Beyond the late lunch deal, you'll find a selection of made-to-order salads such as Greek or Caesar, daily soups and sandwiches. Delivery and pick-up is available for group-sized platters and boxed lunches. Download a menu from www.urgoodtogo.com and fax it in for a no-fuss lunch meeting solution.
If you're going to cheat, make it worthwhile. It's still January and you may be on whatever fad diet is in vogue this year. Or maybe you resolved not to start another diet this time. In either case, if and when you fall off the wagon, don't be goaded by the nearest McDonald's. My Burger, in the SixQuebec building, 607 Marquette Ave., is a no-frills burger shack that offers quarter-pound burgers three ways: as is, with cheese (a.k.a. "cheese please") or doubled up ($5, $5.50 and $6.50, respectively, fries included). If you like, each burger comes with a browned butter bun, pickles, grilled onions, ketchup and mustard. Hand-dipped malts come in strawberry, chocolate and vanilla. The burgers taste like real burgers, emulating no hockey puck. Also, read the Skyway News, hands-free, as the latest issue is posted on the bulletin board each week.
Eat more ethnic. We've always had King and I and Sawatdee, but it's hard to find strictly Thai in the skyway to fit a rushed schedule. Royal Orchid, Northstar Building, 608 2nd Ave. S., comes to the rescue. This is the same Royal Orchid that we used to know at 18th & Nicollet before it moved to Roseville. Entrees such as Lime Chicken, Pad Thai and a selection of curries fall in the $5-$7 range. You'll welcome a break from the adulterated Chinese food peppered throughout the skyway system.
Have it your way. No, this isn't just a Burger King jingle. It's also the latest concept in fresh salads. At Marketplace, 700 Nicollet Mall (two levels below skyway), you make a couple of choices on the spot and a fresh salad is yours, tossed right while you wait. First choose your greens, Mediterranean Mix with mixed field greens, Pacific Rim with cabbage, spinach or hearts of romaine. Then, delectable toppings such as hot smoked salmon with fennel, hoisin-grilled chicken, marinated Portobello mushrooms or roasted asparagus. Lastly, the usual dressings, such as flavored vinaigrettes, blue cheese and toasted sesame. The cost is $3.49 per pound.
Get your daily five (servings of vegetables, that is). Fast, nutritious food is somewhat of an oxymoron. But when you are in a pinch for time, Fusion Grill, Gaviidae Common, 651 Nicollet Mall (4th level), has alternatives to your healthy diet's deep-fried nightmares. Rotisserie chicken (1/4 chicken or 1/2 chicken, priced at $5.41 and $6.86, respectively) comes with a side of vegetables such as spicy green beans, a customer favorite, or steamed broccoli and carrots. Teriyaki salmon and chicken and vegetables with noodles are other fairly nutritious menu items.
Melting Pot adds lunch
Early last year, it was reported in this column that many full-service restaurants were turning their backs on lunch service, not having much success with midday crowds. That trend appears to be reversing, at least for a few centrally located restaurants in the Downtown area. Last month it was Rossi's, and now the Melting Pot, 824 Marquette Ave., has added weekday lunchtime hours, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m.
Proprietor Kelly Bailey offers a simple enough explanation, "We had a tremendous amount of requests to do lunch."
The lunch menu is the same menu offered in the evening, but the restaurant will pair certain courses together for those on a tighter schedule. Lunch is popular enough that a reservation is a good idea.
D. Brian's adds grilling
D. Brian's, 120 S. 6th St., is currently closed for remodeling but will reopen later this month. The new and improved store will now be able to do hot breakfast items and grilled sandwiches. According to owner Doug Sims, these kinds of food items are an important part of the D. Brian's concept. D. Brian's has three other Downtown locations in the Radisson Plaza, U.S.Bancorp Center and the Campbell Mithun Tower.