Entries Tagged 'Food' ↓

There are great places to eat in Sioux Falls

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Image: David Eggen for The New York Times  

Congrats to Michael Haskett for being featured in this NY Times article;

Just across the street from C. H., the choices switch from sweet to savory at the M. B. Haskett deli (mbhaskett.com), in a former brothel, that’s a mainstay with the lunch crowd. The owner, Michael Haskett, 34, who grew up in Sioux Falls and studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York, uses premium ingredients in his sandwiches and salads from nearby purveyors, eggs from his own farm and bread from a local artisanal company.

The best chef in Sioux Falls, hands down.

The Ugly ‘Broken’ Table

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Please, leave your messy brat at home.

I won’t wait 24 hours to respond to this story;

He didn’t do that Wednesday after a customer posted a one-star review on the Elements at 8th Facebook page. Instead, Derheim typed a hasty defense of his manager and in doing so ignited a summer blizzard of controversy that could take months to thaw out social media users.

It started when Todd Gannon posted his review on Facebook, mere minutes after finishing his meal. But there was more to it than just a night out for four adults and a toddler.

Gannon, who did not respond to a paid Facebook message asking him to contact me, wrote, “Food was lousy, and the manager followed us out in the parking lot to tell us to bring a toy for our son next time so he doesn’t bang on the table. Thanks for ruining my wife’s birthday.”

His son had done a little pounding on the table, Gannon acknowledged, estimating it lasted 60 to 90 seconds.

In an early response to Gannon’s review, Derheim wrote that Gannon’s 2-year-old had caused $300 damage to the table and invited Gannon to come back and see it. Another response asked Gannon to contact the restaurant with “any offer of restitution.”

First off, let’s get the little things out of the way. I wouldn’t say the food is lousy at Elements, I would classify it as ‘unmemorable’ and not worth the trip. Which is disappointing, because I like the atmosphere and enjoy having drinks there, just eat before or after you leave. It also surprises me, because Pinnacle, who manages Elements, also owns TRE Lounge, which is hands down one of my favorite fine dining establishments, always good service and the food is fantastic, every time. I think some of the issues Elements has is that they are being micro-managed by the Hilton franchise, but that is only an assumption.

As for the kid pounding on the table, there is a simple solution; LEAVE YOUR KIDS AT HOME WHEN DINING OUT! It’s okay to take kids to places that have play lands etc, but it is not the duty of a server to babysit your child, or to get on our hands and knees to pick up little pieces of torn up mac and cheese and cheerios off the floor. When are people going to realize that when your kids are old enough to behave in a public setting, that is the time you take them out to eat with you, not before. Oh, and I have heard all the excuses, my favorite BS line, “We can’t find or afford a babysitter.” Then guess what STAY HOME! There is so many expectations of restaurant employees these days, especially from young parents (who typically are crappy tippers on top of it.) How would you like it if you invited me over for a dinner party to your house, I puked on your table and threw my food on the floor, screamed at everyone, then left. You wouldn’t be happy – THINK ABOUT THAT the next time you dine out with your little Angel. I hope Elements makes the man pay for the broken table, double.

Many people complain that JL Beers is a 21 and older establishment, mostly parents of young children. I think it is pure genius.

Review; Prairie Berry on the Eastbank

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My $6.42 beer advertised as $6

I’m not a ‘star’ rater, but if I had to rate the place after my first visit, it would be a 3 out of 5. Which means I will be back to try more beer and food.

The interior is spacious, rustic and beautiful, and the remodel job is fantastic, very well done and high end workmanship, I would however have either hung a rust colored metal mesh or some other kind of wood panel under the PVC piping exposed in the ceiling, I think it takes away from the rustic look of the place and need to be hidden. But I did like the steel umbrella’s on the patio, nice touch.

The staff was very friendly and helpful, but a word of advice; If you are going to be an eatery downtown of that size, you will need to have table service, maybe not at lunch, but definetly at dinner. That may fly at Red Rossa or at the Empire Mall food court, but people dine and drink downtown because they want to be pampered, and your prices are reflective of table service. Going up to the bar to grab a beverage or place an order is inconvenient and I’m sure the tips to the servers reflect that. Also, include taxes in your beer prices. If you right on the chalkboard that a beer is $6, I should be paying $6, not $6.42. Every other bar and restaurant in SF has figured it out, maybe you can to. I think there is a thingy-ma-jigger on your POS that can fix that.

I did not try the wine on this visit, I was looking for beer. I had the Pale Ale and the Brown Ale. The Pale was good, but did not reflect Pale Ale notes that well, but you could tell it was freshly made. The Brown Ale was fantastic and had just the right amount of sweetness, I look forward to trying more beer.

We tried the grilled cheese sandwich and mushroom flatbread. The grilled cheese had too much cheese on it and needed some ruffage on it. It was pretty much a panni and cheese, that’s it. A little too heavy, but was tasty, if you like a big glob of cheese in your mouth.

The flatbread was fantastic, and had just the right amount of ‘things’ on it. Though the crust was thick, it was very light and airy.

I will return, I like the atmosphere, the food and want to try some more beers. I wish them luck, always nice to see more downtown eateries.

My first employer in Sioux Falls closes its doors

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My first job when I moved to Sioux Falls was a cook at KFC on 21st and Minnesota. Over the years I have still stopped by for my chicken and macaroni salad fix. Many of the people I met at the place while working there I still know. My manager at the time owns a successful Subway franchise in the area, one of my co-workers owns a successful bridal/wedding store in Sioux Falls. Several of my other co-workers have managed and worked at other well known bars/restaurants around town.

My roommate at the time used to love that I worked there, because I would bring home leftovers (yes, employees were allowed to take leftovers for FREE). He would get mad if I didn’t bring corn on the cob home. I still can’t believe I worked for around $4 an hour. One of the more memorable shifts was when a co-worked decided to drop acid before his shift, and I couldn’t get him to stop staring at the grease dripping down the window in the big cooker.

JL Beers to expand next to Chucky Cheese?

When I used to work for them, there was always talk of a second location by the Mall Area, looks like they are pulling the trigger.

11. New 2014-15 Retail Malt Beverage License for JLB-SF2 Inc., JL Beers, to be operated at 2530 South Louise Avenue.

M.B. Haskett’s serves up a great dinner

Prix Fixe at M.B. Haskett restaurant is the bomb. While the bottle of French red wine blend and cheese plate was not part of the deal, we started with that. On to the Lyonaisse salad with a poached egg, Bison briskett and short ribs with white beans and asparagus and finishing with my favorite dessert, creme brule. Wonderful.

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Stop the Server Tip-Out in SD!

Someone sent me this the other day. They want to propose legislation next year in SD to end ‘involuntary’ tip-outs to support staff. Many people don’t realize that servers only get paid $2.13 an hour in SD, they depend on their tips. Many restaurants require (especially national franchises) that the servers tip out support staff (so the restaurants can avoid paying them). It can be upwards of 20% of your tips. When I worked full-time as a server a couple of years ago I figured I tipped out (my tips) about $4,500 a year. This is money I earned. The fact of it is, when you tell customers about it, it infuriates them that not only that we are paid a low wage, but we have to give our tips away. Support the movement END tip share in SD!

If a bill comes forward next year in Pierre, I plan to testify.

Zimmern’s thoughts on raising the minimum wage

While, we most famously know Andrew from his ‘Bizarre Foods’ gig (and his short stint on my site in the form of toons) he is also a food columnist and radio host. He writes for Mpls St. Paul magazine. His column in the past issue was about raising the minimum wage for hospitality workers in Minnesota. While the article focuses on that state, it also touches on a National trend to pay workers more;

Today, 52 percent of families of fast-food workers are forced to rely on public assistance programs to make ends meet for food, rent, and health care. That’s DOUBLE the percentage of jobs in all other economic sectors. You see, only 13 percent of these food workers get health insurance through work, compared to 59 percent of other working Americans. That costs us almost $7 billion a year. Jobs in corporate fast-food sectors simply don’t offer living wages, even at full time, which is defined as 40 hours per week. About 67 percent of front-line fast-food workers are older than 20; these aren’t high schoolers. Almost 68 percent are primary earners in their families, and more than 25 percent are raising children. Spending on Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program for fast-food workers’ families is almost $4 billion nationally. Hourly wages average $16.57 nationally but are only $8.69 for fast-food workers. I asked five friends today to fill in this blank: 73 percent of fast-food workers are _______. They all guessed ethnicities. The answer is women. Wanna make a difference for women in America? Raise the minimum wage.

 

What was I telling you about the false hope of low unemployment?

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“This sure beats the heck out of the Ramen noodles and cardboard sandwich I had for dinner last night.”

While Mayor Huether likes to brag about Building Permits and Low Unemployment, our cafeterias in our schools are turning into The Banquet;

Almost half the children in elementary school in Sioux Falls signed up for free or reduced lunch last year, an alarming jump of 5 percentage points and about double the rate of suburban districts.

(In 2012 there was approximately 23,000 students in SF. You are basically looking at about 11,000 students getting free or reduced lunches).

That can’t be right!? We have low unemployment and developers building like crazy. The fact is, that while businesses in our community are enjoying climbing out of this recession, they are not passing that good fortune unto their employees;

“It does seem like we’re seeing more million dollar-plus houses, and seeing more pressure on The Banquet, St. Francis House, rental housing assistance,” Nesiba said. “They’re growing simultaneously. It’s an interesting contradiction.”

Come on Professor Nesiba, don’t you believe in ‘trickle down economics’? If all these peeps in Sioux Falls are making so much money, shouldn’t it be coming our way? And here’s the kicker, stats I have been searching for;

For school board members, the increase in poverty figures shines a light on low wages in the region. South Dakota Division of Labor statistics show that half the workforce in the four-county Sioux Falls Metropolitan Area earns less than $15 an hour — about $31,000 per year.

Now think about that. It is about what I earn in a year. I’m single, have no debt (car paid for) and after refinancing my house, I pay about half for my mortgage compared to what friends of mine pay for rent for a two bedroom apartment. I invest about $200 a month, save about $200 a month and spend about $200 a month on entertainment (vices). Now take that wage and support a family of three on it. It’s ludicrous, and virtually impossible, especially with how high rent is in Sioux Falls;

The availability of affordable housing probably contributes to the poverty gap between the city and the suburbs, Nesiba said. Young people and families just starting out are more likely to live in the city, Nesiba said. “There is still a shortage of affordable housing in Sioux Falls, but there are more lower-income families that end up living here rather than in Tea, Brandon or in Lincoln County, because the jobs are here,” Nesiba added. “We have a very low unemployment rate, but there are so many people that are working lower-wage jobs, and a higher number of people working two or more jobs.”

This is why I have said over and over again, that I only support TIF’s for affordable housing, and smaller apartment owners that want to fix up their units. When we hand out TIF’s to luxury hotels, retail giants and condos, not only are we sending a bad message, we are taking money out of the county and school district’s coffers. You know, the guys who educate and protect our community.

Sioux Falls, and South Dakota is run amuck in corporate welfare, that not only takes away from public services, it offers NO accountability to the ones receiving it (a promise of better paying jobs – NOT more jobs). But when you have a former subprime credit card huckster running the city and Pierre looking more like Watergate every day, what do you expect?

The Pure Deliciousness of M.B. Haskett

Not sure if you have visited this place, but I accidentally started liking the place after having Sunday Breakfast there (The Crispin is always cold :) He features different specials, but he makes fantastic crepes, bread pudding French toast and quiche, and MB’s eggs are always poached (the best way to have an egg).

The owner Michael is a trained chef (I forget what prestigious school he went to) but his meals are truly gourmet, and he is a great addition to Downtown.