Friday, August 14, 2009

TJ’s – Edina, MN

Even though DawgMan and PageantLady and I went to lunch yesterday, it’s been one of those days where you just need to get out of the office for lunch. We threw around a couple of names and finally decided on TJ’s. It’s kind of a diner place with some Greeks running it if that gives you an idea of what the food and menu look like. Like a family restaurant with a wide variety of items and major portion sizes. Perfect!

The first thing I noticed when I walked in was all of the old-timey Americana memorabilia on the walls. The second thing I noticed was this guy in the corner booth was not wearing his own hair.

Yes, I’m THAT guy that will take a photo of a guy with a bad and obvious rug for the sheer enjoyment of hearing friends mock the toupee. I’m not even going to put a black bar over his eyes for anonymity. Maybe this will encourage his true friends to tell him how ridiculous it looks. Or maybe he’s a lawyer and will sue me for the 8 dollars I have.

The menu had a ton of stuff on it, but I finally decided on the special of the day: Gyro and fries. And I also caved because I got burned on the shake deal at yesterday’s outing, so I got a strawberry shake (you know I only eat pink ice cream, right?).

The shake came out right away in a fancy glass, but also the extra portion in a metal cup, like back in the day. I’m huge fan of this and of course always regret eating the whole thing, but that never stops me. I set to work on the metal cup first. The shake was really good and had real strawberries in it, so it was a winner.

The food came out much faster than I thought it would and I got a colorful meal set in front of me.

I know I’ve been spoiled both in Europe and at gyro places in Illinois, but this gyro was pretty small in the meat department (again, if I had a nickel every time I heard that…). Places I’m used to like Hungry Boy or Uncle Pete’s in Moline, IL, stack the meat in a giant mound of tastiness forcing you to eat half of your meal before you can even think about picking up the pita with your hands. This one I could have easily picked up right away, having had years of training shoveling mass quantities of rolled food into my mouth. Don’t get me wrong. The meat was very flavorful and even a tad charred on the edges, which makes it a big crispier and better tasting, but size-wise, it was pretty small.

The fries were basic fries. Nothing to rave about, but they were just fine. I WILL say that PageantLady’s Asian Chicken Salad looked amazing and I wish I had gotten that. Bummer. I finished up the shake in the metal cup towards the end of the meal, apparently right before DawgMan glanced at my still-full sundae glass. The next time he looked, I had sucked down the almost-melty shake in the glass and he was amazed at how fast I finished it. I think the whole idea of the extra portion is to facilitate sort of a milkshake shotgun. I’m only happy to comply with this design theory. Two drinks and it was gone.

I might be back to TJ’s. It was fine, but kind of a letdown after Wally’s (DawgMan warned me it might be). Actually, there were enough other things on the menu that I’ll probably be back to try some of the other stuff when I get in that diner kind of mood, since the food was actually good.

Top 5 things about TJ’s
1. Awesome shake
2. Gyro was good (just small)
3. Really fast service
4. Diverse menu with lots of tasty-looking items
5. The guy’s fake hair when we walked in

Bottom 5 things
1. I meant to buy DawgMan’s meal since he paid for lunch last week, but I forgot
2. Gyro was pretty small (or maybe just standard sized and I’m spoiled)
3. Standard issue fries
4. DawgMan ranted and raved about Randy Moss for much of the meal and I have no idea who it is – I should put this in the top 5 since it was so amusing
5. No Dew. Only coke products.

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