The Flavor of Facebook: Discovering the wide world of home-cooked food on Facebook Marketplace

  Facebook: It’s our daily dose of anxiety, immediately followed by “the 10 cutest dogs that will just make your day” on a loop. But amid the panic (and the distraction from the panic), we ignore the small four-paneled upper-right corner, where a whole world is teeming. It’s called Facebook Marketplace, and for enterprising users, … [ Read more]

Coffee at the Crossroads: Somali-American-owned Nori Cafe in St. Cloud is part coffee shop, part cultural bridge

Few words are more loaded with subtext than “coffee.” The word refers to a caffeinated beverage, sure. But it also means “comfort.” It means “conversation.” And it means “connection.” Person-to-person, sure. But it can be far more than that: business-to-business, culture-to-culture, nation-to-world. At the Somali-owned Nori Cafe in St. Cloud, Minnesota, the word “coffee” comes … [ Read more]

The Taste Test: 23 Raised-Glazed Doughnuts from around the Twin Cities

In the wee baker’s hours of a chilly Thursday morning, the intrepid Growler editorial team fanned out across the metro—from Hans’ Bakery in Anoka to Puffy Cream in Eagan, from YoYo in Minnetonka to the Donut Hut in Little Canada—in search of the perfect raised-glazed doughnut. A classic raised-glazed, you see, is a thing of … [ Read more]

Meat Master: With hundreds of awards (and kudos from Germany), Rick Reams is crafting world-class food in Hudson, Wisconsin, and St. Paul

You often can’t see the world-class food in your own backyard because it’s ubiquitous to the point of being invisible. Think of noodles in Japan, or bread in France, or spiced lentils in India—it’s daily fare that seems simple until you try to make it and realize there’s a world of knowledge that goes into … [ Read more]

In the Loop: The new North Loop Galley is at the forefront of bleeding-edge dining trends—and that’s a good thing

When I first learned of the concept behind the newly opened North Loop Galley food court, I took it for granted that soul and authenticity—however those two slippery terms are defined—weren’t going to be part of the package deal.  The North Loop Galley space was opened by the national Galley Group in late 2019, and … [ Read more]

The sweet and humble team behind Pie & Mighty dish the secret of their delectable crust

For a state whose very culinary DNA is studded with majestically delicious pies (witness the State Fair pie competition, for example, or try one Marjorie Johnson’s legendary pies), Minnesota has generally fallen short when it comes to delicious commercially available pie. But recent years have seen something of a renaissance in the field. We recently … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Gogi Pork Fries at Umami Fries

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. If you’re going to build your business around a food experience that might most easily be described as “Asian-influenced poutine,” the first step is to make sure your fries are up to the task. Umami Fries, a newish … [ Read more]

5 Non-Cliche Valentine’s Day Food Adventures for Two

It happens every February. Like snowflakes accumulating to create a drift, food writers’ inboxes start to accumulate Valentine’s Day menu after Valentine’s Day menu, each seemingly more choked with lobster-stuffed this and dark chocolate-flavored that than the last. Valentine’s Day does not have to be a day for being led down a prix fixe garden … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Big K.R.I.T. fried chicken sandwich at Soul Bowl

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. One of the pleasant surprises hidden within the stylish confines of the new North Loop food courts is that great food can emerge from even manicured, highly focus-grouped surroundings. We loved the Luau Bowl at Ono Hawaiian Plates … [ Read more]

Check the Halls: When it comes to food halls, Minnesota just can’t win. Or can it?

Does Minnesota have what it takes to establish world-class food halls? Meal Magazine editor Pete Sieve and Growler food editor James Norton make their arguments as to why, or why not, our state has the goods to create a thriving food hall culture reminiscent of other major U.S. cities. PETE: Okay, Jim. I’ll just come … [ Read more]

A Slice of the Pie: With premium ingredients and a feminist mission, Rachel Anderson is building a new kind of bakery business

St. Paul-based baker Rachel Anderson does business at the three-way intersection of industry, hustle, and soul.  Industry, as in the 33-year-old New York state native is the very busy pastry chef for Tim McKee’s Market House Collaborative, a job that includes a contract to churn out the rich, beautiful, jotun-sized desserts that Manny’s Steakhouse has … [ Read more]

New Wave, Old School: With Due Focacceria, Eric Carrara leverages tradition to define the future

The crunch of a cannoli at St. Paul’s Due Focacceria really resonates. It’s not just a question of the shell, which is wrapped around a form, fried to a crispy, bubbled tube, and then filled to order. And it’s not just a question of the perfectly textured miniature chocolate chips that stud the lemon-zested cannoli … [ Read more]

Minnesota Taco Atlas Update: Prieto’s tempura, El Kevin’s tripas, and the existential quandary of the Lone Spur Grill

We’ve added 12 new entries to our Minnesota Taco Atlas—bringing the grand total in this compendium of carnitas and barbacoa to 82 spots around the Twin Cities Metro. A few thoughts on our recent additions: Prieto Taqueria Bar, Lyn-Lake Minneapolis We didn’t know that Alejandro Castillon could come up with a better shrimp tempura taco … [ Read more]

2019 Year in Review: Food

Country flavors, quality ‘Q, and numerous reboots define a busy culinary year in Minnesota Some years it can be hard to make much sense of the “food story” in any given place. Restaurants open and close, people come and go, and patterns seem faint or downright illusory. 2019 was not one of those years. 2019 … [ Read more]

Game Changer: Chef Eric Halverson’s use of North Country products is changing food culture in Grand Rapids

Everybody asks for ranch,” says chef Eric Halverson of Rapids Brewing Company in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. “We don’t have it. Never will.” In a business where pleasing people is the name of the game, Halverson is hospitable but defiant. The food will always be great, he says—a marriage of mostly local food with a wood-fired … [ Read more]

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