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Got a question? If you're wondering if I've ever "been to X", "bought Y", "used Z".....leave a comment and if I've done it I'll give you my opinion. Feel free to ask!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Pittsburgh Blue - Maple Grove, MN - March 28 2011

Pittsburgh Blue - I had lunch there today.  I was there at noon, and given that this is an upscale restaurant I'm not surprised that it wasn't very busy.  We had reservations, and were seated promptly.  The waitress greeted us almost immediately once we were settled in.  Our beverages came immediately, and our order was taken soon after.  She also brought us a bread basket and refilled it at the right time.  I ordered the 1/2 steak meal - it was exactly the right amount of food.  Just steak and mashed potatoes.  It normally comes with fries, but I asked to substitute mashed potatoes - which ended up being to die for.  My steak was done to perfection (medium).  The service was friendly and efficient.  And the prices were less than I expected for such a high-end restaurant.  There were numerous sandwiches for under $8.  My meal was $13.95.  Well worth the visit.  Thumbs up.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Nana's Apple Cake, Tastefully Simple

Nana's Apple Cake - Tastefully Simple:  If you've never ordered Tastefully Simple products - you ought to try this product.  It has a cinnamon flavor (sort of like a spice cake), gets nice and crunchy on the top but stays chewy underneath.  All you add are two eggs, 2 cups of diced apples and the cake mix.  This time I used approximately 1 and 3/4 cups of apples, and 1/2 cup of raisins.  Delicious!  Thumbs up.

Macy's Bridal Shop - Downtown Minneapolis, MN, March 26 2011

Macy's Bridal Shop - Downtown Minneapolis, MN:  I am looking for a mother-of-the-bride dress, and have done a lot of looking on-line and a bit in stores.  Today I made a full-out effort to try on dresses.  I first looked in the store's general dress area and the Oval Room - didn't find anything that caught my eye.  I dropped in at their bridal shop - I didn't have an appointment.  I was allowed to browse the rack, and when I found a few dresses that I liked, a consultant scheduled an appointment for later in the afternoon.  Worked out perfectly because I was with my daughter and we were planning to create a bridal registry first.

I returned to try on the dresses - really liked a couple of them.  My consultant was very professional yet friendly and warm.  She did a great job of making the dresses appear to fit me so I got a good idea of how they might look when altered.  The price tags were a bit staggering - I asked if there were any discounts available.  She checked with the manager who agreed that if I purchased by 6pm on 3/27, I could receive a 10% discount.  I don't plan to buy right away and want to look some more, so I won't be taking advantage of the discount.  But I appreciated that they were willing to give one.

All-in-all, I had fun trying on the dresses, my consultant was great, and I now have 2 dresses that I know I'd be satisfied with in terms of how they looked on me.  Price may be a deterrent.  Thumbs up.

3 Squares Restaurant - Maple Grove, MN; Grand Casino Hinckley; March 26 2011

3  Squares Restaurant - Maple Grove:  My husband and I had lunch here today.  It was around 1:00pm - the place was fairly busy.  However, when we arrived there were two parties waiting in the lobby, they told me it would be approximately a 15-minute wait - yet there were tables open.  It took approximately 10 minutes to be seated, and it took about 10 minutes before anyone came to our table - the bartender.  He was extremely pleasant which made up for the wait.  Our beverages arrived via the guy who I assume was our waiter - since he also took our order.  But it was the bartender who kept checking back with us after we got our meals - so that was a bit confusing.  We ordered the chicken pot pie - delicious (special of the day), and the salmon scramble - also delicious.  The hash browns were nice and crispy without being over-done. The English muffins there are huge.  All in all a great meal, and the service was great - once we got some.  Thumbs up.

Grand Casino Hinckley:  Friday night - it was busier than I've ever seen it.  All of the casino's hotels were sold out for both Friday and Saturday nights, but I couldn't determine why - there wasn't a big show or event taking place.  Can only guess that it was the "luggage" promotion.  This casino has one of the best non-smoking areas - more slot machine variety than some of the other casinos.  The slots seemed pretty loose for me that night, but not for my husband!  I really enjoy going to the casino ("no mind" entertainment) - but it's hard for me to give a thumbs up or down - nothing out of the ordinary.

Macy's Bridal Registry, Downtown Minneapolis, MN March 26 2011

Macy's Bridal Registry Minneapolis:  My daughter is getting married so we went to Macy's to create a bridal registry.  There seemed to be a little confusion about our appointment time - the person we were to meet with wasn't expecting us until 30 minutes later than what my daughter believed our appointment to be.  But the available staff was very accommodating and they got us started on the registry soon after we arrived.

The registry process is simple and because my daughter provided all of her wedding information over the phone, Macy's had a profile set up and ready for us to start registering.  We only needed some instructions on how to use the scanner and to be given a check list as a reminder of things to register for.  Away we went.

Everything is on one floor - makes it pretty efficient to register.  Some things don't scan correctly - but can be fixed later.  Available products is ample, but not what I'd call totally comprehensive.

Once we completed scanning items, we went back to finish up with the consultant.  She was very pleasant and friendly - fun to talk to.  She gave some quick instruction on how to access the registry and revise it from home.  She gave my daughter her gift for registering - a canvass tote with a bridal magazine and bride's guide.  Nice touch.  Thumbs up.

Hyundai Sonata Limited, Walser Hyundai - Brooklyn Park, MN March 25, 2011

Hyundai Sonata Limited:  I test-drove a 2011 Hyundai Sonata Limited today.  It handles very nicely, and has adequate "get up and go" for a 4-cylinder engine.  I'm a small-built woman and this care fit me nicely.  The interior was nice - leather upholstery appears to be durable without looking like cheap or fake like some leather interiors do.  This particular car didn't have the navigation package which was disappointing. I tested the radio and the sound was pretty good once the bass and treble were adjusted.  The proximity of the buttons on the dash was good - don't have to reach, but don't feel crowded either.  Nice big trunk.  I like this car!  Thumbs up.  (P.S.  I'd previously driven the Sonata SE - I did not like this car.  Rides too rough, feels cheap because of it.)

Walser Hyundai Brooklyn Park:  This is where I'd test-driven the Sonata Limited and SE.  The staff there are attentive and very courteous. The showroom wasn't impressive - not as professional and classy as other auto show rooms typically are.  I was not impressed with the fact that they cannot tell me when a hybrid would be in.  And their stock of Sonata Limiteds is lacking.  They had lots of Sonata SEs - my take is that they ordered too many, and because the SE ride is rough they aren't selling.  Just my opinion of why they only had a few Limiteds and many SEs.  I would purchase a car from this dealership based on the attitudes of the staff and convenience for me (distance from my workplace).

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Chili's - Plymouth, MN March 24, 2011

I had lunch today with my friend at Chili's in Plymouth.  It was around 11:45am - place wasn't too busy.  Service was great, and you can't beat their lunch specials in terms of quality and price.  They have 3 lunch combos - you pick soup or house salad, and then another item that ranges from a 1/2 sandwich, to Cobb salad to pasta.  Prices range from $6 - $8.  We were in and out in under an hour.  Thumbs up.