Category: Restaurant Reviews



If you’ve ever driven through Downtown Hudson, Wisconsin, you will know that if you blink, you will definitely miss at least half the town, lol!  Second street is the main drag with a combination of antique stores, bars, and a very good variety of restaurants.  One of the places I have recently discovered is the Agave Kitchen.  It is located right on the corner of Second and Walnut Streets; you notice it right away because of the tall windows, and the humorous message boards outside.

A friend of mine and I decided to go on a Wednesday night, and it was fairly busy.  The layout of the restaurant is very unusual, it has at least two levels that I saw, the upper level is almost like a loft of sorts and the kitchen is on the upper level kind of in the heart of everything.  You can see them making your food depending upon where you sit.  We chose a really cool seat with both a view out the tall window of the town and a view of the restaurant below, including the bar, which is something to see in itself!  LOVE the copper covering the bar surface!  You get a feeling of a very hip, fun place to unwind…not something overly stuffy or overdone.

Service… well, I have to say, I’m mixed on the service.  It’s kind of strange because several times I have immediately gotten the feeling that I was inconveniencing the waitress… she was short, she took forever just to bring us water…. it really kind of threw us off…. BUT then, it was like she warmed up, because by the end of the night, we were extremely happy with the service.  It’s strange, cause we have had a different waitress every time, lolol!

The food…. ah… the food.  If you like Southwestern food, even burgers with a more creative flair, you will like this place A LOT!!!!!   They have a WONDERFULLY extensive menu that ranges from Chips and Salsa to burgers, to seafood and steaks, and they have some kicked up traditional Southwestern faire as well, such as tacos and enchiladas.

My friend and I split a 1/2 size nachos with the pulled pork as our choice of meat.  I wish I had a picture of the nachos.  They were HUGE and we were relieved we only ordered the 1/2!  The salsa that comes with the nachos is very fresh tasting, the jerk seasoning on the pork was divine!  We quickly devoured the nachos and there was not a speck left on the plate!

Next came our main meal.  I ordered the Southwest Burger (shown above at the top of the page), keeping in the spirit of the theme, and my friend ordered the Memphis Style Pulled Pork.  (Shown below)

My burger had a perfect char grilled taste to it, and the guacamole mixed with the bacon and pepper jack cheese hit all the right spots for me.  It was exactly what I was in the mood for, and I am happy to say, it completely fit the bill.  The fries that came with it were really good too, hot, fresh, crisp, not mushy, salted just right.  I asked for the burger to be done Medium Well, and that’s exactly what I got, which is a big deal in my book.  It seems lots of restaurants can’t usually get it right when it comes to Medium Well.

My friend’s pulled pork was AMAZING.  He let me try it and was so good, I almost asked him to trade half and half with me, LOL!  The coleslaw was creamy and crisp and the added zip of the BBQ sauce on the pork made for a perfect combination!

We did order drinks as well, and those were kind of the basic, run of the mill, nothing more notable than any other bar, but I will say that they have a HUGE drink menu, so there is something for everyone.

If you ever find yourself in Hudson, Wisconsin, I would recommend checking them out.  For more information about Agave Kitchen, you can find them here:  http://www.agavekitchen.com/


 

 

 

In the heart of Downtown, Stillwater, Minnesota, you can find yourself a touch of the Carribean, even on the coldest days of Winter.  Nestled inside the Brick Alley building on Main Street, which also houses a few quaint shops, the smell of the food at Smalley’s Carribean Barbeque and Pirate Bar pulls you in.  The atmosphere is casual, with reggae music playing at just the right volume in the background.

A good friend brought me to this restaurant for the first time when I moved to Stillwater in December, and I have been dragging all of my friends to it ever since!!!!  The pirate theme happens to be something I really love, but the food….. ah…. the food is AMAZING!!!!!!!

The first time I ever ate at Smalley’s, I had their famous Tator Tot Nachos.  I ordered a half portion, and I couldn’t believe how ENORMOUS that was!  I ended up having to take some of it home, cause I just couldn’t eat it all!  The pork on the nachos was not too spicy, and had great jerk flavor.  It was extremely difficult to stop eating it, lol!

The next time I went down, I brought a friend who had never been there.  We had the jerk tacos for the first time.  It was hands down the BEST taco I have ever put in my mouth, and I am half Mexican, so that is saying A LOT!!!!!  We both could not stop all the “ooohhing and ahhhing” as we were eating them!

Other things I have tried….. the Fried Green Tomatoes with a Horseradish Aioli, Jamaican Jerk Wings, BBQ Beef Brisket, Grilled Curried Vegetables, Rice and Peas with Cilantro and Red Onion, Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Sausage and Carmelized Pork (OMFG, there should be a LAW against this dish, cause it’s so GOOD!), and the Coconut Rum Flan.

ALL of these items were outstanding in taste, presentation, preparation and smell.  The jerk seasoning they use is very fresh tasting and you can get it as mild or as hot as you want, which I really love!!!  Most places that have jerk seasoned foods only have it made very hot and I like to enjoy the variety of spices as well as the heat.  They also serve the BBQ with a variety of really delectable sauces!

The waitstaff is very knowledgeable, helpful and prompt.  If something is made a certain way, they let you know ahead of time, to ensure you are going to have the best dining experience.  They have a great sense of humor and everyone seems to really play up the whole pirate theme, lol!

On top of the fabulous food and service, they have a really great happy hour and fantastic drink specials!

All in all, I would say if you ever find yourself in Stillwater, and enjoy Carribean food, you CAN NOT pass it by!  If you would like to know more about Smalley’s, such as location, menu, etc, you can find them here:

http://smalleyscaribbeanbbq.com/

and here:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Stillwater-MN/Smalleys-Caribbean-Barbeque-and-Pirate-Bar/97334556680?v=wall&ref=ts

***Image found via random Google Image Search