Taking a bite out of my 50 list

Leslie Silverman

My 50 firsts list is officially being ticked!

I am kind of a foodie. There was a time when I only ate four things — hot dogs, chicken fingers, pizza and french fries.

But now… I eat almost anything and food is one of my passions.

That being said, I have a few 50 first food dreams that I have not yet fulfilled. Like the rest of my list when it comes to food I have done a lot of things so far.

I have already had caviar in Russia, a mojito in Cuba, fresh octopus in Greece. I ate at the top of the Space Needle in the revolving restaurant. I gnawed my way through Kangaroo when I was in Oz.

In Japan I went to a conveyor belt sushi establishment; I left hungry after that one (I don’t get sushi at all!). I had heard that In and Out burger is the best burger ever so I ticked that off my list a few years ago (very overrated).

But when I lived in Minnesota I would frequently pass a very expensive steakhouse and dream of the day I could afford to eat there. And on a recent trip back I made that dream a reality and splurged on the Brazilian cuisine.

I took the light rail downtown from my hotel, giddy with excitement. I walked up to the large heavy wooden doors and pulled them open.

Inside was a cavernous, well-lit space with soft piano music playing in the background.

I got a table for one and was presented a menu and wine list, the latter of which I put off to the side. Water was free and my choice beverage. 

This steakhouse is an all you can eat place, where you get unlimited salads and waiters bring you unlimited cuts of steak. It’s like an upscale Outback meeting Old Country Buffet!

It’s super pricey but I knew there was a special deal that would save me $16 and would limit my choices of cuts from about 25 to 20. I could afford both the price reduction and selection so I opted for this.

I went to the salad bar three times. First trip I had spinach salad, some eggplant yumminess, a quinoa thingmagigee and a zucchini treat.

As I was working on plate one I got my first cut of steak — a bottom cut of sirloin.

It was pretty darn good.

In total I got five of those slices, four of the house cut top sirloin and a piece of chicken, for variety.

I got two more rounds at the salad bar — jumbo asparagus, rice, bean salad, some mushroom dish and a pear and endive salad. I don’t know what endives are but I liked them a lot!

I also liked the unlimited mashed potatoes and palenta bread puffs. (I kept calling them placenta!) Grilled pineapple, while interesting to try, was not my favorite, which is strange since I love pineapple.

Anyhow what I really liked about this experience was the pampering and feeling upper class for a brief moment. I am normally just a peasant girl so this type of treatment is like a Cinderella day for me!

The manager came over to my table to ask how my meal was.

I was not rushed and was allowed to linger as long I wanted. The piano music was loud enough to be soothing but not too loud to be obtrusive.

And while the food wasn’t necessarily the greatest it was good and I would definitely go back just for the experience alone, although now I don’t have to.

So what Hills restaurant has been on your list that you haven’t tried? Have you visited that small intimate steakhouse in the Heart of the Hills everyone raves about? Have you tried the best restaurant in the Hills, located as you enter my monumental hometown?  Have you made your way to the best pie place in the Southern Hills? Have you ventured to the Northern Hills to get delicious homemade ice cream? And if not, what are you waiting for? You’re not getting any younger and life is too short!

They say good food feeds the soul and a good restaurant experience can be just what the doctor ordered. It can be a chance to dress up, to pretend you’re rich or well to do, to try new flavors, spices or meats. And a good restaurant experience is a great “staycation” treat that doesn’t have to break the bank!

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