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 […]

Minnesota Spoon: Smoked brisket recipe from Thomas Boemer of Revival and Corner Table






The brisket hit the smoker at 8am. The whiskey was open by 11am. An early start is important. It’s well established that good barbecue should begin around dawn. It needs the better part of a day to drip, blacken, and break down into tender perfection. That’s why Thomas Boemer, chef at Revival and Corner Table, […]

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What’s in a label? Decoding food claims, from natural to non-GMO






Transparency. It’s the new buzzword among consumers demanding to know what’s in their food and brands showing off their ever-shortening lists of ingredients. Packages are dotted with more stamps and badges than ever, but that doesn’t mean the average shopper truly gets a clear idea of how their food was made.  “A stamp on your […]

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Alex Roberts on the history and unexpected virtue of masa






By Alex Roberts, as told to John Garland What we do at Alma is try to honor tradition without saying we’re cooking something traditional. Brasa is the same way—I’m not saying I can make rice and pigeon peas like your Puerto Rican grandmother. But I try to learn from tradition what is the best practice. […]

The Wide World of Beer: 15 of the world’s greatest food & beer destinations






One of the first dedicated temples of beer and food I ever visited, perhaps the first, didn’t even make the cut when I was compiling a list of 100 Great Beer & Food Destinations for my latest book, “The Beer & Food Companion.” It was In ‘t Spinnekopke, which I and a generation of early […]