I think of Minnesota as the land of progressives (and Lutherans) and visited for a while recently. It is a place filled with local foods, and tasty bits. (On progressives in Minnesota, try here. for more on politics, check this out. Wanna check out the state's heritage? Try here. Could care less about Minnesota but want to procrastinate on line? Try this dandy silly site. And, meanwhile, thanks to maps4.com for the map of -- yes - Minnesota.)
Here are a few tidbits on eating in Minneapolis -- which do not include finding Jane Lawless's fictional restaurant. (Don't know who Jane Lawless is? Shame on you. Click here to learn.)
Birchwood Cafe: This is a stand in line and order place, with a blackboard menu, which had the single best turkey burger I have ever had. It was thick, juicy, and came on a roll with just the right texture. And, it had loads of bacon on it and some hot something or other. It came with tortilla chips and salsa -- nothing to write home about in terms of tortilla chips, but the salsa was dandy. Dark, a bit hot, and complex. And, now looking at the menu on line, the burger had "toasted cashew butter" and grilled pineapple on it too. Odd but it was, as I said, the best turkey burger ever and in the running for best burger ever. The lemonade I had was a good choice -- though they apparently serve very good beers.
Location: 3311 east 25th Street, MInneapolis MN 55406.
Purple Onion Cafe: Yes, I took a walk and had a frozen caramel espresso thingie and a brownie. Not wise, but I was in need of something comforting. Plus, there were actually people sitting outside as though it were spring -- and it was very spring like. Sunny, warmish, and . . . . not quite as warm as I think necessary to sit outside, but still tempting. I enjoyed what I ordered and took back to my hotel room. Not perfect, but still . . . . spring like. Plus, it is in a part of Minneapolis near the University of Minnesota called Dinkytown. Who doesn't want to eat in a place called Dinkytown? Especially if you are truly from a dinky town and yearn for better local food.
Restaurant Alma: Recommended because it was both near where I was staying and "good," this was a very good meal. There was a $45 dollar tasting menu (which consisted of smaller version of the starter, middle and entree listed on the menu, and I added a dessert I did not need to it. I had a corn crepe with chard in it to start, some beet farro risotto, and trout for the entree. I ordered the trout because I was wanting the spaetzle -- but am not sure I got it? Or, they were very crispy, and not the version I am used to. Whatever -- the meal was good. Very good. And, for dessert, because I was lonely for home, I added lemon tart, which was very good -- to the comfort home-y food I chose. The lemon curd was a bit runny, but very lemon-y. Definitely a good decision. Ambiance was good for a business like dinner -- and yet also friendly and upscale. I wish they had not been out of the special that involved braised rabbit.
All in all, Minneapolis continues to come up to its reputation -- and my past exp[erience -- of being a great food place.