Friday, December 23, 2011

Wildfire – Eden Prairie, MN

My boss was in town and wanted to take our work team out for a nice dinner. We thought we’d do something close to the office and people voted on Wildfire – it’s a nice restaurant at the corner of the Eden Prairie Mall. I’d been here before, but haven’t reviewed it, so I was pretty excited for it. I remember the food being quite good the last time I ate here, but that was a few years back. Wildfire is a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant (the same folks that own Maggiano’s, Big Bowl, and a few other nice chain restaurants). Wildfire is sort of a Chicago-based place, and is known for its steaks and chops.

The first thing I did was order a Jack and Coke – hey, if the company’s paying for it, I’m not going to skip out on the aperitif, right? After spending what seemed like hours deciding what I was going to eat, I finally settled on the lamb chops – the Lamb Porterhouse Chops, to be exact. I wasn’t sure how these were going to be put on a plate, but I do love lamb. I also had to pick a side with my entrée, so I went with the mac and cheese. Fancy restaurants usually do this up nicely when you see it on the menu, so I felt good about ordering it.

The servers bring out delicious onion bread before the meal so everyone is sure to get full on it. We decided we didn’t need appetizer, but we apparently made up for it by going through like 12 loaves of bread. Really good stuff.

The food came out quickly, especially for as busy as the dining room was. It looked delicious. I started with the mac and cheese. It had some bread crumbs on the top and was baked, so I had high hopes for it. Sadly, it was just alright. The cheese wasn’t like cafeteria cheese or anything, but it wasn’t anything I’d rave about. It was just good. Maybe if they had used a different cheese or had a thicker cheese crust on it, it would have knocked my socks off. But as it was, I was hind of meh about it.

Why not have another Jack and Coke? Don’t mind if I do, boss!

The lamb chops, on the other hand, redeemed the mac and cheese ten-fold. The chops were like little porterhouse steaks and looked really cute. They were sitting in some lamb juice and smelled fantastic. I cut into one and it was perfectly cooked (medium). Very tender meat on this tiny porterhouse and the flavor was top-notch. Some of the best lamb chops I’ve eaten. I probably should have stopped after two chops, but I went on to finish the third one – it was worth it. A very nice char on the top of the chops, without having a burnt taste, and it was full of juice, despite there being a nice pool of juice on the plate. I’d get these again, over and over. Really fantastic work on the Lamb Porterhouse Chops.

I love hanging out with my work team, and we even have a few new team members who I’m happy to hang out with and get to know further. My boss divulged I have a food blog, so they are probably going to be looking for it. I tried not to smack-talk them too much in this post. I can reserve that for when they forget all about the blog… then it is ON.

Top 5 things about Wildfire
1. Lamb Porterhouse Chops
2. Onion Bread
3. Really appetizing menu
4. Very helpful staff (there are tons of people working the floor)
5. Everyone raved about their food

Bottom 5 things
1. Mac and cheese was almost a let down
2. Very loud walkie-talkie speaker near our table next to the kitchen – very loud
3. Not cheap
4. The tables are really close together so it is difficult for staff to get around the dining room
5. Too stuffed to eat anything from the delicious dessert cart our server brought around

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