The Right Roast: Getting the most flavor out of a coffee bean






The coffee we drink comes from the seed of the coffee cherry, commonly called a bean despite its not actually being a legume. That’s just one of many facts often overlooked while clumsily sipping that cup of light roast in the morning rush to get to work on time. Though coffee is firmly a part […]

Augustine’s Bar & Bakery coming to the Saintly City this fall






After hitting the 10-year mark earlier this year, the team behind The Happy Gnome—the nationally recognized craft beer bar in St. Paul—is looking beyond the walls of their 498 Selby Avenue location. It’s not a second Happy Gnome, but an altogether new project from owner Tony Andersen, Gnome pastry chef Hollis Roads, and another silent […]

Six Months at Mucci’s






A journal on the patient progress of St. Paul’s freshest Italian restaurant January 25 Meatballs are paraded through the dining room. The crowd deploys their cell phones above the dishes like a squad of bayonets, all at the same angle, in perfect lock-step. Flashes and clicks. Diners swoon. Hashtags fly. The Strip Club Meat & […]

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Minnesota Spoon: Tacos and timing with chef Jorge Guzman






At some point early on Sunday afternoon, I looked up from my work as enthusiastic-but-mostly-unskilled sous chef, and felt a pang of concern. This was not coming together. We were all over the map. Jon Wipfli, The Growler’s resident chef, was downstairs fussing with his new smoker on the sidewalk. Somebody was out on the […]

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PHOTOS: First taste of food options at U.S. Bank Stadium






When a billion-dollar stadium is built, expectations are high. For some fans, that means winning the Super Bowl; for others it just means noshing on a world-class bratwurst, steak sandwich, or bucket of cheese curds to get through the three-and-outs. While U.S. Bank Stadium won’t officially open doors until August, when it will host concerts […]

All the pretty plates






“So, I’ve actually never had gravlax before?” It spills out like a question, a test. I thought I’d tip-toe into revealing my ignorance of Nordic cuisine, but chef John Krattenmaker, of the American Swedish Institute’s Fika, meets me with such warmth and enthusiasm that I spill it right away. A few minutes after my confession, […]

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Minnesota Spoon: Pork chops and plating with chef Paul Berglund






Chef Paul Berglund picks through the selection of knives available in Jon Wipfli’s kitchen, hefts a couple of them, and settles on his weapon of choice. Holding it in his left hand, he trues up the root ends of a row of scallions, rocks the knife up toward its tip, and with a single smooth […]

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Competitive ‘cue: Blue ribbons and contradictions on the barbecue circuit






Twelve chicken thighs are removed from the pit. They are all identical—bones manicured, skin trimmed, dusted with seasoning. They’re dipped in a bowl of barbecue sauce, salted, and placed on a sheet of tinfoil. They look less like chicken than the polished knobs of a mahogany armoire. This chicken is perfect, but also, it’s not […]

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Minnesota Spoon: Halibut with Mike DeCamp of Monello






The beard is magnificent. Untended and unfashionable. The anti-hipster beard. It streams down from his jaw in uneven rust-colored rivulets, and spreads high up his cheeks and toward his ears in a way that is tempting to compare to a blush, if we weren’t talking about maybe the least blushful person in this zip code. […]

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House of X Tia: Career building on YouTube






We live in a world obsessed with sharing. Nothing is off-limits—from photos of what you’re eating to videos of your cat acting like, well, a cat. Every week there’s a new YouTube, Vine, Snapchat or Instagram “star” hoping to cash in. And though most of these “stars” are just trying to make you laugh or […]

Travail chef takes the reins of a restaurant and brewery






Spotlight IPA. If you haven’t heard of it, it’s because you haven’t been to F-Town Brewing Company or one of Travail’s restaurants lately—or maybe ever. The refreshing session ale is a collaboration effort between Andy Goettsch, chef at Travail Kitchen and Amusements, and F-Town Brewing Company of Faribault, Minnesota. These two establishments have combined for […]

Saints debut new food options at CHS Field






It’s hard to convince anyone going to a St. Paul Saints game to wait to eat until they get to CHS Field when it’s in the hottest dining neighborhood in the Twin Cities. Lowertown St. Paul is overflowing with good sit-down dining (Heartland, Saint Dinette, Handsome Hog), more casual eateries (Ox Cart Ale House, Dark Horse, Big River […]

Resurrecting the Country Bar






The Country Bar is dead. Long live the Country Bar. Some have bemoaned the conversion of the grody dive into a more polished hangout—yet another victim of the suburb-ification of Uptown Minneapolis. But the redux of the infamous Country Bar isn’t trying to put on airs, despite the temerity of serving—gasp—barrel-aged cocktails. The space received a desperately needed […]

When the moon meets the pie: How an Afghan restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis created one of the best pizzas around






As of this writing, Donald Trump’s baby-carrot fingers are inching ever closer to the country’s nuclear codes, the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is melting at an apocalyptic rate, and the Panama Papers are exposing the ridiculous shell game the rich and powerful are playing with the world’s wealth. To quote Kendrick Lamar, “Boys and girls, I […]

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Interesting vegetables: 8 takes on meatless meals in the Twin Cities






Michael Pollan’s maxim on eating is easy enough to follow. Eat food. We’re on board. Not too much. Not a problem. Mostly plants. Well yeah, but, wait—mostly? We give it an honest try, planning a week of lunch salads and shopping for brunch at the farmers’ market. Then Friday night rolls around, we go out […]