About Me

I love food and I love to cook. I am not a critic or in the “industry”. I have no formal training but a fair amount of experience fine dining. I read a lot, take some classes here and there and get a lot of practice cooking for my friends and family.

I enjoy dining in restaurants that create food that I can’t create or replicate. This is usually due to the fact that there is no way that I will find the ingredients (mostly because I live in Minnesota) or the fact that I do not have the expertise or the time to do it.

This blog is dedicated to taste. The experience that is dining (not just eating) creates for me. Dining for sport is the ultimate expression of this passion. I hope you are entertained by my thoughts and opinions about my dining and food adventures.

Send me a message if you want to. I won’t give your email address to anyone. I promise.


16 responses to “About Me

  1. very nice blog, thanks for sharing your taste.

  2. found your site through a google search on Crave, the new place in galleria. I was disappointed, and agree money is better spent a JPs, or Lucias, or Birchwood, or Byerly’s deli, should I go on?

  3. I was Sous Chef at Goodfellows, that was the best restaurant in Minnesota. Took alot of lumps there, but all worth it.

  4. Great blog – your brother-in-law referred me over to it. Enjoyed your reviews – I’m eating out less now, so info like yours helps me be more selective.

  5. Hi John,

    My name is Amanda M. and I am a staff writer for Saint Paul Illustrated magazine. We are currently working on our Dining Guide featuring food blogs throughout the area, and I was hoping you wouldn’t mind if we included your blog in our article. Please let me know if you’d be interested. Thank you for your time and I look forward to hearing back from you!

    Thanks again,


  6. Hello John,

    I’ve been reading some of your “reviews” and enjoyed them. I’d like to invite you take a stab at the establishment I work at if you’d be interested. I’m trepiditous, but willing to take the chance that you may hate us. It’s too far between that we (as restaurant operators) get honest, constructive, some-what knowledgable feedback. Please contact me personally at we can discuss further details.

    Looking forward to your response ,

  7. Thanks Carrie…I sent a reply to the email address you provided.

  8. Andrea Riberich

    Hi John,

    This is the first time I’ve read your blog and I’m really enjoying it. Just wanted to let you know (or remind you) that The Bayport Cookery’s Morel Fest Menu is starting on May 8th! Also, it’s Jim Kyndberg’s 10th year of owning the restaurant and he’s going to have a 10 year celebration dinner on June 29th that’s sure to be amazing. Check out the site at: http://www.bayportcookery.com.
    Thanks for all of the great info here!

  9. Hi John,

    I’ve read some of your reviews and really enjoy them. I’d like to invite you to visit a local restaurant that I work with. Please send me an e-mail if you’re interested so we can discuss the details.


  10. We live in a pre-packaged world of top 40 no-talent hacks on the radio, Polo shirt chain restaurants run by Sysco trucks championing the cheapest radiated meat available and washing it all down with frat boy macro-beers with no flavor that aren’t even American owned.

    I believe we have the answer.

    Welcome to Gastro Non Grata.

    Gastro Non Grata is a local chef, booze and music show created by Craig Drehmel and Jeff Mitchell. It happens four times a year at the Triple Rock Social Club. Explaining the whole idea can be tricky, but we’ll start with our next show, November 9th from 6-9pm.

    The music of Eclectone Record’s Hojas Rojas kicks things off, then Chris Staples and Aran Madden of Furthermore Beer are going to pour samples and expound upon the virtues of their small Wisconsin Brewery. Chef Mike Phillips of The Craftsman Restaurant will then grind, case and grill sausage to be eaten later by the audience. We raffle off a few hunks of animal and then folk-rock sensation Tuesday’s Robot hits the stage and works the crowd into a well-meaning frenzy.

    By the time Tuesday’s Robot is done, we’re eating sausage and drinking more Furthermore beer. We raffle some more meat and then The Wapsipinicon, a new band featuring members of Cloud Cult and Skirt takes the stage. Post-Wapsipinicon, we’re drinking and eating some more. Then City Pages Picked to Click band Private Dancer takes the stage to classic rock your faces off. To end it, Andrew of Kopplin’s Coffee in St. Paul is going to teach the audience a little bit about coffee and sober us all up for the ride home.

    The best part about all of this is that it is free to anyone over 21 years old. We’re bringing the three great worlds of food, music and booze together and we would love some help getting the word out.

    You can contact Craig at 651-698-2420 or e-mail us at gastronongrata@gmail.com.

    We also have a blog just like the rest of the world, gastronongrata.blogspot.com.

    Your support is very appreciated

    Craig and Jeff

  11. Hi John,

    It looks like you’ve been hit up quite a bit, and I hope you don’t mind another request for your dining expertise.

    I work for a high-profile cooking show and would love to speak to you about the Minneapolis dining scene. You can shoot me an email at the provided address and we can speak further.

    Thanks John,


  12. Hi Liz,

    I sent you an email with my contact info. Please feel free to contact me at your convenience.


  13. Hi,
    We’re offering free Blue Sky Guides (regularly $20) to food bloggers. Here’s the promotion:

    Do you blog about local food and want a free Blue Sky Guide? Talk about us with a link back to a recipe or farmers market how-to post in the next week, AND add us to your blogroll, and we’ll mail you a free book. Limit one per person, ends May 14th or when/if we hit our book limit, at which point we will post a notice on the homepage at ecometro.com. We will use the pingback on recipes at our site to identify you.

    Promoting Farmers Markets with 2 Weeks of Recipes
    To celebrate spring, we’re bringing you two weeks of recipes here at ecometro.com, and we’ve added farmers markets to our green business directory! Map the markets nearest you using your address, and leave comments about your favorite vendors. Then, check back daily for a new recipe with ingredients from the farmers market. New to the farmers market shopping scene? We’re starting a how to go to market series on Fridays, beginning with the explanation of organic certification here. Next up: Market Manners and the Meat Market.

    Farm ingredients in upcoming recipes:

    Dandelion greens
    Green garlic
    …and more!

  14. I am a Manager/Partner at Casablanca Restaurant located at 2630 University Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414, and I would love for you to come dine with us. I hope you can stop by! Looking forward to hearing from you!


  15. John,

    I’m also hoping to invite you to an event. Please shoot me an email.

  16. Hi there, it looks like you’re on hiatus but I’d like you to know that I enjoyed your reviews. If you’re interested you should take a look at my “just starting out” review/photo blog for Twin Cities restaurants. Any feedback is greatly appreciated, Thanks. Minneapolis Meal File

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