Tasty Tuesday–Frankenmuth’s Bavarian Inn Restaurant

Are you ready for an epic Tasty Tuesday?

When we decided to go to Frankenmuth, we knew we’d have to try one of their famous fried chicken dinners. There are two places in town that offer such a meal, and they’re right across the street from each other! After checking out the full menus, we chose to dine at the Bavarian Inn:

It’s a beautiful (and extremely large!) building:

There are many dining rooms, each one as charming as the last:

They had both their own beer and root beer on the menu:

And they start you off with bread, both plain white bread and stollen. They also offered us fresh rhubarb jam to go with it!

We decided to try their ultimate family style Bavarian dinner (the perfect fit for our European-themed summer school this year!), which we had a coupon for, and which would allow us to sample many of their offerings, including the famous fried chicken.

We started with noodle soup and a variety of salads:

The fried chicken was just as good as promised:

We also tried the sauerbraten, bratwurst, kasseler rippchen (smoked pork loin), and schnitzel:

There were also plenty of side dishes, including buttered noodles (my favorite!), vegetables, dressing, sauerkraut, mashed potatoes, and potato cheese puffs. It was seriously delicious, and we definitely did not leave hungry!

The meal included housemade ice cream for dessert, and I tried the cranberry, which was amazing…I can’t believe I’ve never had cranberry ice cream before!

We also split a piece of apple strudel:

This was a pretty expensive meal for our family, even with the coupon, but it was definitely worth it…and we even had enough leftovers for a second dinner once we got home!

Tasty Tuesday–Chicago’s Best Foods

Of course, one of the best things about visiting any city is finding out what foods that location is famous for and trying them for yourself. Chicago is no exception, and foods that I grew up with as just food are now special treats when we travel. I’m sure people could argue all day about constitutes a Chicago food, but here are my favorites…Chicago-style pizza, Chicago-style hot dogs, Rainbow cones, gyros, Eli’s cheesecake, and Italian beef:

Ryan thinks I should have added the Italian combo to my list, but I really don’t like Italian sausage that much, so the best I can do is mention it. Also, not pictured, but extremely delicious and addictive…Chicago-style popcorn. I could eat that stuff by the (cheesy Christmas) tinful!

Tasty Tuesday–Valle Taco Express

If you have traveled on IL 159 in Swansea recently, you may have noticed that there’s a new taco place in town. Specifically a taco truck and a taco stand…Valle Taco Express. The stand is only open when the truck doesn’t have an engagement, so you want to check their Facebook weekly page for their hours and locations.

Now, on to the food. I tried the taco plate, which included three tacos…steak, chicken, and fish, plus sides (I had a double order of the street corn), while Ryan had the steak and chicken Fuego burritos.

We both thought the steak options were a little dry, but still tasty. The sauce on my other two tacos was great…it had a nice kick to it. The meat was also cooked just right. The real star of the meal, though, was the corn. It had a nice char, and the addition of the cheese was the perfect topping.

I definitely enjoyed my meal, and I’d like to eat there again…it would also be fun to catch their truck at an event!

Tasty Tuesday–Gyros Night

One of my favorite things about making lamb for Easter is that we often have enough leftovers to freeze so we can enjoy gyros in the weeks following. I’m not claiming they’re authentic (I’m certainly not shaving the meat off of a vertical rotisserie!), but I do make homemade tzatziki sauce to go with them, so the flavor is pretty much what I remember from growing up in the Chicago area!

Tasty Tuesday–German Night

I don’t cook German food very often, certainly not as much as I should, but when I do, it’s always a popular meal! I fried some pork schnitzels I found at Aldi (my new favorite store!), and made a jaeger sauce to go with them. I also made homemade spaetzle and served it with sauerkraut, also purchased at Aldi.

I do have to admit, it’s not a very interesting plate to look at…Turkey commented on how everything is pretty much the same color…but it certainly was delicious!

Tasty Tuesday–Lime-Chicken Soup

I tried a new soup recipe last week, but being me, I had to tinker with it the first time I made it. The end result was delicious, and it was a pretty popular dinner, so I know I’ll be making it again!

  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (can also use boneless, skinless chicken thighs, or a combination of the two)
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped, plus extra for garnish
  • 4 jalapeños, chopped
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup lime juice
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 4 avocados, cut in cubes
  • Queso fresco, crumbled

Place chicken in stock pot and cover with water. Heat to boiling; reduce heat and simmer, about 20 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Cool enough to chop.

Heat olive oil over medium heat. Add cumin and stir well, heating for about a minute. Add onion, 1 cup cilantro, jalapeños, garlic, and lime juice; sprinkle with salt. Sauté until tender, about five minutes.

Stir in chicken broth and chicken; heat through.

Serve with remaining cilantro, avocado, and queso fresco.

Tasty Tuesday–Stromboli

This is one of our family’s favorite recipes, and Turkey’s go-to when he picks his birthday dinner.

  • 3 loaves Rhodes bread dough, thawed
  • Dried basil
  • 20 slices deli ham
  • 24 slices deli Genoa salami
  • 4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Split bread dough in two equal portions. Roll each out in a rectangle, about 15×10 inches. Sprinkle each with basil, then top each with half of the ham, salami, and mozzarella. Roll each from the long side; pinch closed. Place each seam side down on a baking sheet; rub with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until bread is golden-brown. Let stand five minutes before slicing.

Tasty Tuesday–Beast Craft BBQ: Pork Belly Pastrami

Belleville’s Beast Craft BBQ has daily specials, as you might expect from a restaurant, and I’ve reviewed many of them in the years they’ve been open. But every now and again, they have something extra special, something so unique that it’s only around for a day or two, and you have to jump at the chance to get it before they sell out. Over the weekend, they offered such an item, a pork belly pastrami sandwich topped with dill cucumber salad, on sourdough, plus fries:

So, here’s the thing. When the owner of Beast messages you to let you know about the special, and tells you to get there early to try it, you really have to listen to him. So even though Ryan was out all day on Saturday (with our only vehicle), he found some time to swing by and pick one up for me.

That was a good call.

It’s obvious that I’ve liked everything I’ve tried at Beast, and have many favorites. This sandwich was extra special, though. The meat just melted in my mouth. It was so tender and so flavorful, and then when you add in the crunch of the cucumber salad…it’s definitely now one of my Beast favorites! I don’t know if they’ll ever bring it back, but if they do, I’m certainly going to have to get it again, and this time I know that I need to be there when they open, because I’m pretty sure Ryan got some of the last of it they had on Saturday, and that was at lunchtime!

Tasty Tuesday–Texas de Brazil

Ladybug and I have been planning to go to dinner at Texas de Brazil in the St. Louis Galleria for almost a year…Saturday was finally the day!

As soon as we walked in, we were impressed…there were color-changing lights behind the bar, which looked really cool through the various bottles!

The table was super fancy, and Ladybug was shocked by the napkin service, which is something she had never encountered. Not only did they place our napkins in our laps when we sat down, they refolded them every time we got up from the table!

If you’ve never been to Texas de Brazil, here’s how it works. After you’re seated, you can visit the salad bar. There were so many delicious options! (But watch out for that plant…it attacked me several times!)

In addition to the cold offerings, there are also some heated options, including their famous lobster bisque, Brazilian black beans, rice, and moqueca (fish stew):

At your table, you’re given a “coin.” One side indicates that you would like the waiters to stop by with whatever carved meat they’re carrying, and the other that you are content with what you have (at least for the time being!):

There are so many meat options, from all of the main meat groups…beef, chicken, pork, and lamb (plus the fish family at the salad bar…I tried all five kinds of meats!). Some are wrapped in bacon, some are seasoned with parmesan cheese, and all are delicious. In general, the meats are prepared medium-rare, but you can request more or less done options. And watching the waiters carve the meat table side is quite a treat!

In addition to the salad bar offerings (both cold and hot), a few side dishes are brought to your table, including garlic mashed potatoes, sweet fried bananas, and Brazilian cheese bread (Pao de Queijo), which I’ve actually made before!

We enjoyed everything we tried, from the drinks (Ladybug had a Brazilian soda, and I had their signature drink, the Caipirinha), to the salad bar (the pineapple carpaccio, couscous salad, and giant capers were some of our favorites!), to the meat (I was so happy to see so many rare options, including filet mignon and plain old steak):

And then the desserts. There was a tray with some of their offerings, including Brazilian cheesecake, carrot cake, and key lime pie), but they also have other choices including Brazilian flan, Crème Brûlée, and Brazilian Papaya Cream.

Ladybug and I both chose the chocolate mousse cake, and we were definitely not disappointed…it was AMAZING!

This was a very fun and special evening. I wish it was a place we could all visit someday, but it’s not practical for a large family. I do hope that I’ll get the chance to go back with somebody someday, though, because I had a great time, and really enjoyed my meal!

Tasty Tuesday–Seamus Day

I’ve shared the details of one of our family’s favorite holidays, Seamus Day, here in the past. Every year on February 26th, starting in 2014, we’ve grabbed a meal (either lunch or dinner), at our favorite local pub, Seamus McDaniel’s, in the Dogtown neighborhood of St. Louis. Well, this year, the 26th just didn’t work out, so we had our lunch out on Sunday, instead. But I still wanted to recognize Seamus Day, so here’s a look at what is still the best burger I’ve ever had!

I have to confess, I am a little worried about Seamus. They’ve made a lot of changes (including to the decor and the menu), and the prices took a big jump. For now, anyway, the food tastes as good, which is the most important thing. We’ll be keeping an eye on the situation, though…I want to be warned if the changes extend to the food itself!