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Good morning! Let's talk restaurants.
Hi everyone. I'm starving, and I'm trying really hard not to eat the chocolate chip cookies that I baked this morning for my colleagues. Instead, I'll type like a madman. Fire away.
Korean is a sadly underrepresented cuisine in the Twin Cities. One place that I have always liked is Dong Yang Oriental Foods in Columbia Heights. It's basically the lunch counter of an Asian supermarket, and it's very simple, very inexpensive. Green Spoon, on University Av. just east of the U of M campus, has some interesting and well-prepared Korean dishes. What you might want to hold out for is the Rabbit Hole, opening soon in the Midtown Global Market. It's owned by the very gifted team behind the market's Left Handed Cook.
By the way, you can find all of my burger selections at startribune.com/burgerfriday.
Oops. A glitch caused me to lose the last question, which was something like this: What's a good date-night restaurant?
I saw that earlier, they were a couple looking for a Wednesday night date-night option (what a great way to keep a marriage going!).
If they're here on a weekend, and the weather is cooperating, I like to take people to the Mill City Farmers Market. It's fun to stroll the market, but it's also a wonderful, only-in-Minneapolis setting, with the river, the Stone Arch Bridge, the former flour mills and the Guthrie Theater (where I always drag people out on the Endless Bridge for the spectacular view). If we don't graze our way through the market, I'll take them to brunch at Spoonriver, a favorite brunch destination of mine.
Good question. One suggestion is Gather at the Walker Art Center, which is a lovely place for lunch. The menu is varied, there isn't a brunch item in sight, and I think the top price is around $15. I like to go for the excellent tomato soup-grilled cheese combo, and speaking of burgers, there's a terrific bison burger.
I have, and there's a version of it at the Town Hall Brewery (townhallbrewery.com) in the Seven Corners neighborhood of Mpls, near the U of M. They have a pretty great streetside patio, and they're one of the city's original brewpubs, with many impressive house-brewed beers.
That depends on the style of pizza. I had a fantastic Margherita yesterday at Punch in Stadium Village yesterday, and not only was it wonderfully delicious, it's also one of the Twin Cities' great dining deals, just $5, an extraordinary value, and one that's available at that location only.
I hate to say it, but Perkins has it on its menu. It's not a southwestern specialty dish that has ever had much of a success in the Twin Cities, I'm sorry to say. One place you could check out is the 50th Street Cafe, near 50th and France in Minneapolis.
Definitely the lobster roll and the lobster guacamole. But I also love the fried chicken, and the fried green tomatoes, and the shrimp and grits. And for dessert, the Key lime pie.
I thought Pete's article made a lot of sense. One element of tipping that I've never understood is the economic divide it creates between the front of the house and the back of the house. Wouldn't it make more sense to pay everyone a living wage, based on their skill level, and incorporate those costs that into the price of the meal?
My first thought is Burch, the exciting (and, it must be said, tremendously LOUD) new venture by Isaac Becker and Nancy St. Pierre, which is both a high-performing steakhouse but also veers off into other, delicious directions. But if that doesn't suit you, here are two other ideas: The lovely New American-style fare at Cafe Lurcat on Loring Park, and Vincent at 11th and Nicollet in downtown Minneapolis. Both restaurants put a marvelous gloss on the meat-and-potatoes thing, but they also cater to wider tastes. Right now, for example, is there anything more satisfying than the sweet corn soup at Vincent? Doubtful.
Not really, and didn't we all eat that with relish in the 1980s? It's a vastly different kind of dish, but have you thought of going the shrimp po boy route? There's an excellent fried shrimp version at the previously mentioned Smack Shack.
One that always brightens my mood is a bottle of toasty Scharffenberger Brut. I used to pick it up at Zipp's on E. Franklin in Minneapolis, but I haven't seen it there on my last two visits. Hmm.
Right now I have to go with Burch, which treats beef with tremendous finesse.
There is so much mediocre-to-bad Chinese that it's hard to say, particularly if you want to stick close to Highland Park. If I could get you over to, say, Vietnamese, I would send you in a heartbeat to Ngon Vietnamese Bistro on University. Or if you in the mood for Thai, I would recommend Mango Thai at Selby/Dale or On's Kitchen at Snelling/University.
One that I'm particularly looking forward to is Heyday, at 27th and Lyndale in south Minneapolis, the work of chef Jim Christiansen and restaurateur Lorin Zinter, although from what I've recently heard, it may not be opening before the end of the year. I'm also interested in seeing what the Union folks are going to be doing with their first-floor dining room, which is changing to Union Fish Market later this month. Oh, and in the next few weeks, the team at Travail is opening a short-lived (they don't like the phrase "pop-up") Asian restaurant on W. Broadway and Dupont in restaurant-starved north Minneapolis. Then there's Travail itself; its new home is currently under construction, and that's going to be an exciting venture.
There you go. I was drawing a blank, and that was what I should have said. Thanks Pete.
Another smart suggestion.
Meritage, in downtown St. Paul, no question.
That's a great idea, thanks.
Well, the one that's getting a lot of face time on social media is the Target Field truck, but I'd steer you towards one that opened earlier this summer, Hot Indian Foods, it's creative and delicious. Another relative newcomer that does a great job is the Moral Omnivore.
The previously mentioned Tea House (ourteahouse.com) is always a good option. I have also been a longtime fan of Shuang Cheng in Dinkytown.
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