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]

Catering the Perfect Picnic: Recipes for 3 workhorse classics reimagined

Once upon a time, Americans picnicked in cemeteries. And while the practice of graveside picnicking largely died out about a century ago, picnics seem due for a comeback—the food’s affordable, the opportunity for connection and camaraderie is strong, and no matter what’s happening on the streets, we ultimately have to eat. A good picnic meal … [ Read more]

Fridge Pickles Are The Taste of Summer

The last jar of pickles I bought at the grocery store was from a well-known national brand. The label had the words “artisan recipe” and maybe even “farmers market” as well. I brought them home to top a cheeseburger or Cubano or something, but I vividly recall the first bite of those pickles: a squishy, … [ 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]

2019 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Award Winners

Who better than the readers of The Growler to nominate and vote for the finest of the finest in Minnesota beer, spirits, food, arts, and culture? We had a tidal wave of votes to determine the winners of the 2019 Kind-of-a-Big-Deal Readers’ Choice Awards, and we’re proud to share the results with you. These are … [ Read more]

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The Chilito is Dead, Long Live the Chilito

There are some favorite childhood foods that stay with you all your life—the way they smelled and tasted, their texture, and all the times and places you ate them become indelible memories. These are the foods we chase down as adults and enthusiastically foist on our family and friends. To eat them again is joyful … [ Read more]

The Great American Chestnut Revival: How science is bringing chestnuts back to American soil

Anyone who has ever come across a raw, wild chestnut—burr intact—will likely remember the experience. My first encounter came while hiking the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route in northern Spain. I entered a stretch of the path where elder chestnut trees—some nearing a thousand years of age—act as anchors for the rigorous journey. … [ Read more]

The Funkiest Man In The Room: Topos Ferments’ Jim Bovino on how to stay ahead of the mountain of produce overwhelming your kitchen

You didn’t mean for this to happen. Like that time you got sunburned during a long beach read, this incident snuck up on you—in this case, a couple of pounds of beautiful green bunches at a time. Now your kitchen counter is covered with more produce than you’ll ever be able to eat in the … [ Read more]

Bold New Farmer: A renewed Bachelor Farmer is positively vibrant

Since its 2011 debut, The Bachelor Farmer has been among Minnesota’s most ambitious restaurants, combining a loose Scandinavian aesthetic with a farm-to-table mandate. In the years since opening, the restaurant has settled into a comfortable niche: a polished, reliable, Scandi-cute fixture of the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. Even with the presence of the co-located … [ Read more]

Our Odds On the New 2019 Minnesota State Fair Foods

A decade of experience in Minnesota State Fair food spelunking has given us a perspective—not jaded, we hope, but optimistically skeptical—that is handy for predicting how the next year’s fare will fare. What follows is your advance, purely speculative guide to the new foods of the 2019 Minnesota State Fair. We’ll share the as-tasted-in-the-field results, … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Sopes at Hodges Bend

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. Hodges Bend, the smoothly sophisticated bar that has quietly slipped into and begun to elevate the University Avenue food and drink scene, doesn’t immediately strike a diner as a spot to eat traditional Mexican fare. The menu is … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Chicken and Waffle at Heritage Tea House & Café

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. Few things trigger a wider range of emotions than the phrase “chicken and waffles.” Those who have had it (done correctly) tend to swear by it; those who haven’t tend to look baffled or otherwise nonplussed. We’ve … [ Read more]

New City, Great Grub: Tracking down the best eats in a strange place

Having good “restaurant radar” is a wonderful thing for anyone who loves to travel and eat—it means that you can parachute into just about any new city and dine well. As a professional food writer, I’ve spent years honing my ability to guess my way into a great meal. You can leverage the same sort … [ Read more]

Whirlwind Tour: Minneapolis Skyway Dining

To an infrequent visitor, the streets of downtown Minneapolis can seem cold and sterile. Where any other city’s core would be filled with the bustle of crowds on the sidewalks and in the crosswalks, Minneapolis’ downtown looks suspiciously like the set of “I Am Legend.” This, we contend, is simply because the casual visitor does … [ Read more]

To Discover the Future of Food, Ask the Chefs

Three leading Minnesota chefs break bread, drink wine, and talk about the way food will be eaten—and cooked—in the decades to come W When we start talking about the future of food, we immediately consider questions of waste and sustainability, or whatever the cake-pop-like-object of the moment might be. It’s easy to get immersed in protein … [ Read more]

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