Bite of the Week: Fried Chicken Sammich at Nashville Coop

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.  We’d like to thank Hop & Barrel Brewing for their underwriting support. It has been a hot minute since food trucks caught much buzz in the metro area—even before COVID-19 put a cold hard hammerlock on dining and dishing … [ Read more]

Lean Times: Pandemic stories from Minnesota restaurants that survived the crisis—or didn’t

The hospitality industry exists somewhere at the intersection between magic and mathematics. On the “magic” side of things: the cheerful ambiance of a full dining room. Servers and bartenders who can intuit the guests’ needs before the guests can speak them aloud. Ingredients with connections to the land, to growers, and to traditions that make … [ Read more]

Order Up! Rustica is expanding and Steve Horton is back at the helm

Updated July 2, 2020 Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing weekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Due to the impact of COVID-19, much of this column documents restaurants altering, ceasing, or resuming service based on current pandemic conditions. Please send any tips to [email protected] All dates are approximate based on … [ Read more]

Order Up! State of the Minnesota Dining Room – The Latest Restaurant Openings and Closings

Updated June 25, 2020 Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing weekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Due to the impact of COVID-19, much of this column documents restaurants altering, ceasing, or resuming service based on current pandemic conditions. Please send any tips to [email protected] All dates are approximate based on … [ Read more]

Dinner and the Plague: Even as the state okays dining out, patrons need to do the right thing

James Norton is The Growler’s Food Editor. The views and opinions expressed in this essay are his own.  My mask is in my left hand. My glass is in my right hand. As the first sip of junmai ginjo sake hits my mouth, I can feel my eyes watering in response. I live with my … [ Read more]

Review: Yumi’s Big Gamble – The silliness of massive ‘stunt sushi’ is self-evident, but the dish has many layers

Nearly a decade ago, I walked into a suburban restaurant and was greeted by a hostess eager to talk about the mussels special of the day. “The mussels today,” she said, her voice tingling with enthusiasm, “are huge!” I’d eaten moules-frites up and down the Eastern Seaboard in previous years, and I’d never before heard … [ Read more]

Avenue to Success: The founder of Masu and OneTwoThree Sushi went from washing dishes to owning a Midwest sushi empire

Talking to Nay Hla, owner of the ever-growing Sushi Avenue empire, you get the sense he has one constant eye on what’s next. The growth and expansion of his company is one sign—since opening in 2004, Sushi Avenue has established a pair of dining concepts (Masu and OneTwoThree Sushi) with nine restaurants, and a wholesale … [ Read more]

The Growler’s Tourism Guide 2020: Supper clubs that reigns supreme

Find more great travel ideas in The Growler’s Tourism Guide 2020 It’s the great, once-unsung Upper Midwestern place to eat: a civilized outpost of prime rib, steak, fried fish, and strong cocktails set against a backdrop of sprawling wilderness—the country supper club. Recent years have started to change the “unsung” part of the story: “The … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Fried Chicken to Go at Magnolias Restaurant

Editor’s Note: Magnolias Restaurant is currently take-out only in compliance with Governor Walz’s executive order on restaurants. Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. It’s difficult to overstate the comfort factor of simple, well-made, fried chicken. It’s the complete package: protein and carbs, crunch and … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Horchata at Bravis

Over the course of compiling our nearly 100-location Minnesota Taco Atlas, we’ve had a lot of horchata. It’s our go-to taco beverage, and every place does this rice milk, cinnamon, and vanilla drink a little bit differently—some are thick, some are watery, some are sugar-sweet, some are austere, some are cinnamon-challenge spicy, and others are … [ Read more]

Avocado Toast and the End of the World: The RH Rooftop Restaurant at Restoration Hardware

Editor’s note: This is a restaurant review. It is also post-apocalyptic science fiction. Bon appétit!  Over there,” said Ophelia Chen. She gestured with a weather-beaten hand toward the horizon to the east, where the sun’s rays were just starting to scatter their hazy light over the vine-choked rubble and fields of dandelions. It was February, … [ Read more]

Order Up! New Minneapolis bistro serving up ‘North Dakotan cuisine’

Updated March 5, 2020 Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to [email protected] All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot.  THIS WEEK’S GIST: The opening of Mary Ellen’s Bistro … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Butter Croissant at Black Walnut Bakery

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. There exists a spectrum of quality croissants that stretches from, for lack of better words, “substantial” to “ephemeral.” On the substantial end of things: think Costco croissants, which lack anything resembling delicacy or style, but make for satisfying … [ Read more]

Minnesota Taco Atlas Update: Big-time fusion at Umami Fries, an ambitious upgrade at Colonial Market, and new family favorite Cuco’s

We’ve added 17 new entries to our Minnesota Taco Atlas, bringing the grand total of spots on the map to 98 restaurants, markets, and trucks around the Twin Cities metro and beyond. A few thoughts on some of our recent additions: Umami Fries is about as far out of the box as it gets for … [ Read more]

Order Up! Minnesota chefs and restaurants fill James Beard Semi-Finalist list

Updated February 27, 2020 Order Up! is the Growler’s ongoing biweekly account of noteworthy Minnesota restaurant openings, closings, and future openings. Please send any tips to [email protected] All dates are approximate based on best information available; opening dates, in particular, tend to shift around a lot.  THIS WEEK’S GIST: The Minneapolis–St. Paul scene is resonating … [ Read more]

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