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]

Bite of the Week: iTorta at iTaco

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. With a name like “iTorta,” you might expect a Mexican sandwich with Bluetooth connectivity, or at least some kind of basic, gluten-based cellular network connection. No such luck—iTaco’s namesake sandwich ($10) is decidedly low-tech, but it is, to … [ 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]

Order Up! Crowdfunding campaign for Yia Vang’s Vinai off and running

Updated February 13, 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: With more than 20 days to … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: The Pho and Ramen Bar at Kowalski’s on Hennepin

If you’re not innovating, you’re dying. God bless all the grocery stores that keep trying to push those margins a little bit by expanding into new products, services, and hot food offerings—it’s that kind of thinking that brought us the surprisingly good sushi at Hy-Vee, among other things. (It’s also brought us surprisingly bad sushi … [ Read more]

Order Up! New London’s farm to table restaurant Model Citizen closing at end of March

Updated January 30, 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: Sometimes closures hit close to home, … [ Read more]

Keep The Growler
Free and Independent

CONTRIBUTE TODAY

Your financial support helps ensure the future of The Growler as a free and independent publication that brings you the stories you care about.