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Real Bites of the Rubaiyat


Fri, Jan 20th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

Movies often portray really romantic dinners as perfection. Not too crowded, a soft whispered hush coming from the scattered patrons of the establishment as they converse to one another, soft mood lighting giving just the right impression.

Welcome to the Rubaiyat in Decorah, IA.

I can't say I've had countless fine dining experiences, but I've had enough to tell you that the Rubaiyat stands out from its competition. To start the dinner off, I ordered the Red River Lava Cap, a brighter non-dry red wine. Our server was a very polite young woman with a trainee. I would argue that the addition of a trainee actually made my experience more enjoyable due to the simple nature of listening to our server talk to the trainee and explain various techniques, lingo, and pronunciations as set by the restaurant's guidelines. Not only do the owners, Andy and Kim Bonnet, take their business very seriously, but so do their employees as demonstrated by my server and her trainee.

For the soup, I ordered "Great Grandma Vinny's Chicken Noodle Soup." I was told that this is a family recipe from Andy, the restaurant owner and chef. The soup had liberal amounts of very fresh chicken, exactly how chicken noodle soup should be.

The main course of Rum Plum Pheasant, consisted of pheasant basted in dark rum, brown sugar sauce, plums, bourbon brown sugar sweet potatoes, sliced carrots and broccoli, everything sprinkled with poppy seeds. I'm not exactly sure what brown sugar sauce contains other than brown sugar, but wow, what a perfect complement for everything on the plate. The plums were sliced in halves, like the carrots, and contained just the right amount of sweetness absorbed from the brown sugar sauce. Now, I'm not usually a fan of sweet potatoes, but these were not only delicious but very flavorful. The sweetness of the potatoes and the brown sugar sauce combined was my choice for clearing my taste buds so I could fully enjoy anything else at the table as if it were the first bite.

"Pheasants (or Phasianinae) refer to any member of the subfamily of Phasianidae in the order Galliformes." This was how my brain used to process the word pheasant. It has now been replaced with: "Pheasants (or Phasianinae) are delicious. Really delicious. So delicious, in fact, that it should be served with a label that warns the patron of an oncoming acid reflux attack within the hour stemming from the uncontrollable and immediate desire to rapidly consume the .....
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Real Bites of Norsland Lefse

Tue, Jan 17th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

Please raise your hand if you could eat breakfast any time of the day or night!

While I do enjoy an average of nine meals per day -- oh, the gluttony -- breakfast has to be my favorite.

The other day, I had the good fortune of visit ..... 
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Real Bites of JW's Silver Grille

Wed, Jan 11th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites



With our office located Preston, Minn., I feel like we're centrally located for good food in any direction.

Last Thursday, I was hungry from a soup and sandwich, and I immediately thought of a quick trip to Chatfield for some good ea ..... 
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Real Bites at Fillmore Central Elementary School

Wed, Jan 11th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

This week's Real Bites segment takes me back in time about 30 years.

On this trip down "memory lane" I decided to bring my wife along for the ride -- a fine dining experience at the Fillmore Central Elementary School cafeteria.

With ..... 
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Real Bites of Cafe Magpie

Sat, Jan 7th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

For those of you who live in Harmony, Mabel and Canton, a trip to Decorah probably a pretty common thing.

With me living up in Fountain, the big city I will typically run to for things you can't find in Fillmore County is usually Rochester.< ..... 
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Real Bites on Pedal Pushers Cafe

Fri, Jan 6th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

No, I didn't miss a meal last week. For those of you who missed my Real Bites commentary, I'm back with a full belly.

In between meetings on a busy Tuesday, my wife and I scheduled to have a family sit-down dinner with Olivia and Landon at P ..... 
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Real Bites of On The Crunchy Side

Thu, Jan 5th, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

Last Thursday, after a long and busy day at the office, I contemplated getting a quick bite to eat along with co-worker Tyler Grundman, a lead developer with SMG Web Design. We both happened to be working late and apparently hungry.

So, with ..... 
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Real Bites of the Old Barn Resort

Tue, Jan 3rd, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

During the summer of 2009, my wife and I decided to make our way down the Root River Trail on our bicycles hauling our two children in one of those two-seater bike trailers. We set our sights on cycling to Pedal Pushers for lunch, trekking 11.2 mile ..... 
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Real Bites at Riverside on the Root

Mon, Jan 2nd, 2012
Posted in All Real Bites

Last weekend, my dad came down from Rochester to our home in Fountain, staying overnight so we could get up early and cut slab wood we both purchased from Root River Hardwoods in Preston. That wood had been sitting in the backyard since November of ..... 
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