Bite of the Week: Rock-n-Roll Bowl at Fish Bowl Poké

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler and supported by our underwriter, Bite Squad. There’s an argument to be made that we shouldn’t be eating poke here in Minnesota at all: we’re a long way from hanging out beachside on a Hawaiian island, eating … [ Read more]

Review: 3rd Street Tavern in St. Peter is helping to relight the torch of real barbecue

Step by painful step, Americans are reclaiming the proud culinary heritage of barbecue. Barbecue’s roots are deep, intertwining the foodways of the Caribbean’s indigenous people, traditions arising from the institution of Southern slavery, and regional variants that have become synonymous with hospitality in places as far flung as the Carolinas, Alabama, Texas, and Missouri. To … [ Read more]

All Roads Lead to Bergen: Deciphering the magnetism of a small town supper club

Deep in southwestern Minnesota, the unincorporated township of Bergen begins and ends at the intersection of 540th Avenue and 900th Street. All you can see for miles is flat, monoculture farmland, liberally punctuated with towering wind turbines that work lazily in the late afternoon summer haze. At the southwest corner, a shuttered old general store … [ Read more]

Review: Holman’s Table

There’s a lot to be said for liminal spaces. When you’re transitioning from one place to another, you’re in both spots at once—and you’re nowhere, too. In that regard, Holman’s Table—the restaurant housed within the St. Paul Downtown Airport’s adorable moderne-style administration building—is a real doozy. You’re at an airport, yes—halfway between Minnesota and nearly … [ Read more]

Review: Meyvn brings an expert’s precision to bagels (and deli food)

Deli food looks remarkably easy to pull off. In theory: You make (or buy) some cured meats, you put ’em on bread with some cheeses and dressings and pickles, and presto! You’re charging $12‒15 for a sandwich. In reality, without a seriously dedicated in-house program for meat and someone with taste patrolling the food, things … [ Read more]

Review: Care and precision mark the food of Tori 44

Minnesota isn’t widely known as a home of great Japanese noodle dishes, but in recent years some talented locals have been chipping away at the multifaceted problem. You’ve got to have great broth, of course, and that can take months of cooking (and years of learning). You’ve got to source your vegetables carefully and make … [ Read more]

Taste of the Twin Ports: A six-stop restaurant blitz through Duluth and Superior

Here’s our Twin Ports tour by the numbers: six restaurants, 14 hours, a five-year-old, and a baby riding shotgun. We had a blast checking in on the insanely active dining scene in Duluth and Superior, although we caution readers that this schedule and/or this choice of traveling companions may create a noticeable strain on your … [ Read more]

News from the Travail Universe: New building, PAMP Brewpub, BBQ details

The ever-expanding Travail Gastronomic Universe (TGU) has announced plans for the their next spate of blockbusters. Here are the broad strokes: Minnesota BBQ Company opening this August Kale Thome has been with the TGU since 2010, and the Wichita, Kansas, native will soon open the long-awaited Minnesota BBQ Company at 816 Lowry Avenue in Northeast … [ Read more]

Review: Grand Catch is a Mixed Bag

There’s no law against plucking a food from its roots and serving it to people who didn’t grow up eating it. Yes, that’s how you get gas station sushi, but it’s also how you get taco trucks, and if you deny the worth of those, you don’t have any business pretending to enjoy food. And … [ Read more]

Restaurateur Tom Forti on the Iron Range’s deep food cultures

The Iron Ranger is a small, independent restaurant located on the corner of Grand and Lexington avenues in St. Paul, and it has only been open for a couple of months. But its footprint is much larger than it seems. Its story ties into the four-generations deep heritage of Hibbing’s Sunrise Bakery, and is therefore … [ Read more]

Review: Sushi Train’s gimmick delivers real flavor

Have no doubt: The sushi-laden conveyor belt at the heart of Sushi Train is a gimmick. It’s a prop that sets the newly opened downtown Minneapolis restaurant apart from the dozens of other places slinging sushi in the Metro area and beyond—a visual symbol of excess, an eye-catching curio that makes you go, “What? Is … [ Read more]

First Look: Pearl & the Thief brings Southern comfort to Stillwater

Executive chef Justin Sutherland and general manager Joseph Pirri of St. Paul’s Handsome Hog are opening their new Southern-inspired restaurant, Pearl & the Thief, in downtown Stillwater on Tuesday, May 29. Between the comfort food dishes and its striking design, Pearl & the Thief progresses the food and drink scene in the historic river town. … [ Read more]

Gavin Kaysen named Best Chef Midwest at 2018 James Beard Awards

Gavin Kaysen, chef and owner of Bellecour in Wayzata and Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, won big at the James Beard Awards ceremony on Monday night when he became the fifth Minnesota chef in history to be named Best Chef Midwest. In his acceptance speech, he credited his family with his decision to move back … [ Read more]

Rose Street Patisserie to open St. Paul location

Linden Hills’ Rose Street Patisserie, the sister business to Patisserie 46, will extend across the river with a new St. Paul location this summer. The new location at the corner of Selby and Snelling will offer savory tartines, ham-and-cheese baguettes and croissants, and quiche, as well as sweet viennoiserie (breakfast pastries) including pain au chocolat, … [ Read more]

The Mill: Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace soon to open in the Duluth Folk School

The Duluth Folk School, which found itself a permanent home in the Lincoln Park Craft District on West Superior Street last spring, is soon opening its very own cafe and teaching kitchen, to be called the Dovetail Cafe & Marketplace. According to Russell Crawford, beverage director for the cafe, the menu will feature in-house roasted … [ Read more]