Colossal Cafe Does Breakfast Big

SP and AK here to talk about the cinnamon roll Colossal Cafe. The Colossal has been around for a decade now but recently just opened a new location on Grand in St. Paul, where there is room not only to stand but to sit and have a Colossal-level breakfast. Their motto, “Made from scratch,” printed on nearly everything they do is the cornerstone of what makes Colossal so damn good.

This morning we took the opportunity to get in for a weekday breakfast at Colossal on Grand. And the first thing staring you in the face as you walk in is a big pan of these beasts.

Big and Tasty.

Big and Tasty.

They’re gooey and moist. They have that outer crust as though they were just a second away from being overcooked, but they aren’t rubbery on the bottom at all. The best part, as both SP and AK can agree, is what SP calls “The Core.” That part of the cinnamon roll that is far enough inwards that it still retains some soft doughyness, while it also has the most density of buttery cinnamon. That’s the part you have to fight over. THIS IS THE PART THAT MEANS SOMETHING.

But it did not overshadow the rest of what we got. SP ordered the flappers: two giant, dense, and doughy flapjacks. These are not your fluffy pancakes injected with more air than substance. These things are meaty, filling, and tasty as hell. And just for kicks, SP got his short stack with fresh fruit. These cakes are evidence that the best food is made from scratch.

The kind you don't even need syrup for.

The kind you don’t even need syrup for.

AK was feeling eggy so she got a spinach/artichoke/cherry tomato egg white frittata with a side of sourdough toast. As somebody who enjoys over-easy and otherwise underdone eggs, a frittata can sometimes be a bit of a gamble. However, this one was just firm enough. It even still had some gooey goodness leftover toward the middle, which sort of gives the illusion of cheese (or maybe there was cheese? We think there wasn’t). The artichokes were cooked without becoming mush, and the spinach held it all together like spinach does.

And damn, was that sourdough bread good. The slices are the perfect thickness and, according to our server, they are toasted to a lovely golden brown right on the cooktop. Yum.

This would be better if it was another cinnamon roll.

This would be even better if it was another cinnamon roll.

Thanks, Colossal!

SPAK

Happy Canada Day! Let’s talk about poutine.

In honor of Canada Day, I (SP) want to celebrate Canada’s greatest gift to the world: Fries with a bunch of awesome stuff on them.

Being one of Canada’s closest neighbors, Minnesota has more than a few places that offer above-average poutine. My absolute favorite is a foreign twist on the classic fries + gravy and It can be found at The Rabbit Hole/Left-Handed Cook at the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis.

They call it the Harold & Kumar Poutine, infusing the “Harold” (Korean) elements of a bibimbap style bowl of goodies with kimchi as well as the “Kumar” (Indian) elements of curry. I was elated to find out that they are planning to bring it to the Minnesota State Fair this coming year, so I can have a scrumptious poutine snack as I walk around. However, it seems they are dropping the Harold & Kumar name for the fair. If you go, keep an eye out for the kimchi and curry poutine.

It is an absolutely crazy combination of flavors that completely works. You get the perfect amount of curry, almost like a vindaloo, without skimping on the veggies and other Korean elements. The BEST part is a slightly poached egg sitting on top, so you can get delicious egg goo all over the place.

Harold & Kumar Poutine @ The Rabbit Hole

As a runner up, if you still have any room, Forepaugh’s in St. Paul has a truffle foie gras poutine that will remind you why duck fat is so good. With excellent ingredients, it is well worth the price of admission. This isn’t going to be your typical bar food poutine — it’s going to be a whole other dimension of crazy good.

One of the best parts of dining at Forepaugh’s is that it’s an old house remodeled into a restaurant. There aren’t too many places like it in St. Paul, which really gives it the blue ribbon when it comes to atmosphere. Minneapolis usually draws the bulk of top notch restaurateurs wanting to open up an impressive eatery, but Forepaugh’s helps St. Paul close the gap.

Photo credit: Thrillist.com

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention a poutine from a burger place. It might not be the case in Canada, but at least around these parts you’ll find great poutine in a place that has great burgers to match. The one to go to, especially if you want a range of options, is The Red Cow at either of their locations in south Minneapolis or St. Paul. The Red Cow’s fries are a force to be reckoned with. They are pristine, high-level fries. So when they offer poutine, you know it’ll be some of the best you’ve ever had.

The best part is you get to pick whether you want 1) braised beef and Summit beer cheese, or 2) apples, bacon, and bleu cheese. Hell, why not order both? AND your burger will come with extra fries to mop up the good stuff. Why drive six hours north to try and find McDonald’s-level poutine? You might as well stick around and get some of the best poutine the Twin Cities has to offer.

Photo credit: TripAdvisor.com

Can’t get enough of poutine? Another Twin Cities area blogger did a poutine crawl. Check it out.

SP

The time we went to Buca di Beppo for a free dessert and instead ate $16 in bruschetta plus some whipped cream

So, I (AK) get a whole crap ton and a half of promotional e-mails. It all started 3 or 4 years ago when I went on a certifiable spree, adding myself to eClubs and mailing lists left and right. I did this in hopes that, come my birthday month, I’d get a bunch of free stuff. Most of the time it yields a bazillion e-mails I don’t need… but SOMETIMES…

COUPONNNNNNNNNS!

I love me some coupons. Recently I received a (seemingly occasionless? Happy June 30th to me, I guess) coupon from Buca di Beppo for a FREE/NO PURCHASE NECESSARY COLOSSAL BROWNIE SUNDAE. Being of the opinion that “no,” “purchase,” and “necessary” are some of the most beautiful words in the English language, I informed SP right away of this generous electronic gift that had been bestowed upon me, and we made our plans to not-purchase some dessert.

We were joking about how we should demand satisfaction if the sundae wasn't as big as the picture but IT WASN'T FAR OFF

We were joking about how we should demand satisfaction if the sundae wasn’t as big as the picture but IT WASN’T FAR OFF

We felt guilty about not having any cash to tip with (plus we were still kinda hungry after a smallish dinner) so we ordered some bruschetta, and holy crap did we learn that all good things come in giant martini glasses.

Photo care of TripAdvisor.com because we were too busy already eating it to take a picture

Photo care of TripAdvisor.com because we were too busy already eating it to take a picture

It turns out that entire thing is only 14 WW points, so our guilt was somewhat minimized. But then… then came the Colossal Brownie Sundae.

Actual size.

Actual size.

Weighing in at… wait for it…

64 WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS.

So, we could safely eat about a sixth of it each. Which, in my case, turned out to be mostly whipped cream.

Those leftovers though.

All up in our freezer, now.

All up in our freezer, now.

AK