Thursday, November 20, 2008

Doolittles Woodfire Grill – Golden Valley, MN

Gerd and I had a hankerin for some quality wood-fired food. We have been to the Eagan Doolittles with some friends but we wanted something a little closer to home. We chose the Golden Valley location. The environment is quite a bit different than the Eagan location. More loud, more cramped, but on the upside, the clientele were much better looking for some reason. Not sure why I noticed, but I did. Probably can’t count on a restaurant for that anyway, but whatever. Duly noted.

Gerd needed an appetizer so she ordered the Seared Ahi Tuna – a special for the evening. Sliced and seared (so I guess not raw, though it was red) pieces of tuna steak on won ton skins with guacamole and apple slivers. I had two of the EIGHT they brought out and they were pretty good. I’m not a seafood guy, but these might change my mind. They were good. And there were a lot of them. They also had Mt. Dew – SCORE!

Gerd got the maple honey crusted salmon (apparently, she was feeling the seafood), and I got the ribs and chicken combo. Her salmon really made her night, she was thrilled. However, the mashed potatoes it came with were really bland. They looked awesome, but tasted kind of sad. There was a big pool of butter in the middle, so I had high hopes, but was let down. Could have been garlicy or salt n peppa’d or soemthing. On the other other hand, the vegetable salad that came with it (squash, carrots, zucchini strips) was incredible. I ate most of it, in fact. Whoops!

Two times I’ve been to Doolittles and never once had I gotten anything wood fired – tonight was the night! The chicken was some of the best roasted chicken I’ve ever had, even despite the aforementioned aversion to high-labor foods. It was really good flavor and texture wise. I still had to work to get all the meat off, but it was worth it. The ribs were deceptive, I started with an end piece and there wasn’t much meat on it and the top was kind of burned. I was bummed. However, the next 6 ribs I got were incredible. Super thick BBQ sauce that wasn’t too smoky, but was perfectly sweet and tangy. Plenty of meat on these babies. While they didn’t fall off the bones, they were worth fighting for the meat. The fries were better than average as well, so no complaints at all. I was a winner all around!

I have never gotten anything bad here (with the exception of the mashed potatoes this night). Their salads are super good (we’d recommend the asian chicken salad and the spinach and bacon and also the Caesar salad), their burgers and sandwiches are good, and anything cooked on the woodfire grill or rotiserrie is good. They have a selection of foods from around the world, but I haven’t even tried those. I know Coach gets mad at me when I order food other than what the restaurant is known for (ie, chicken at Beef-A-Roo, or salad at a steak place).

Just go here. It’s really good.

Top 5 things about Doolittles
1. Ribs
2. Chicken
3. Seared Ahi Tuna appetizers
4. Vegetable salad/medley thingy
5. Hot ladies / Mt. Dew (equally happy whenever a restaurant has these… ha ha ha)

Bottom 5 things
1. Mashed potatoes
2. Waiter seemed disinterested in us (even though I had a hot lady with me)
3. Gerd’s drink kept running out
4. Men’s bathroom – door opened the wrong way so you could watch people, and the sink was broken
5. Really loud and cramped in the Golden Valley location

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