Jason DeRusha wants to wine and dine you

Categories: Celebrity Eats

Got a good question? WCCO reporter Jason DeRusha specializes in answering them each night on the 10 p.m. newscast. But how does he handle the hot seat when we're in charge?

1. The city of Minneapolis declared September 21 Jason DeRusha Day. What is the official food and beverage of Jason DeRusha day?
There was an official drink on DeRusha Day, the cleverly named "Good Question." It was 8-year-old Bacardi rum mixed with pineapple juice. My official drink at home would probably be a Hendrick's gin and tonic. Or the Cobra Kai at the Strip Club in St. Paul. Oh how I love the Cobra Kai.

The official food: any kind of belly or cheek. Pork, fish, whatever. People: When you see a belly or a cheek on a menu, do yourself a favor and order it.

2. Your WCCO bio says you're "an aspiring wine and dining expert." Do you specialize in a certain wining and/or dining area?
I specialize in all wining and dining, frankly! The world does not need another person writing about the bouquet of their Beaujolais or the zip in their zinfandel. I prefer to focus on the drinking and leave the writing to others. However, for the past several months I've been a contributing writer to Minnesota Monthly, specializing in suburban restaurants. Most food writing is very city-centric (for good reason--almost all of the best restaurants are in the cities), but a lot of diners prefer to eat closer to home. I'm trying to highlight the good things that are happening in the suburbs.

3. Your favorite food is an Italian beef sandwich. Who is your favorite local dealer for such sandwiches?
Ah, the Italian beef, my favorite Chicago sandwich. I think Chris and Rob's makes a really nice beef, as does Uncle Frankie's.

4. What's the weirdest food-related "good question" you've ever received?
I deleted this one, but recently I got a question about the specific particles in throw up. Here's a good one: "Why is it, when my food intake diet is constant, does some gas seem more odiferous than other times?" --Tony from Minneapolis

Seriously. So I'm supposed to put a fart question on the news? (Actually, I've pitched that several times, and while my boss reluctantly allowed a story on what happens after we flush, he's not going for gas.)

5. The "Best of" issue of City Pages will be hitting stands in a few weeks. As the father of two young boys, where would you say is the best place to eat out with kids?
My kids really like Dickey's Barbecue in Maple Grove. They have delicious barbecue pulled pork sandwiches and a soft-serve ice cream machine in the dining room, so if the kids eat their lunch, they get to make an ice cream cone.

We love Pop! in Northeast Minneapolis, because we can eat quality adult food and they can eat quality kid food.

6. Ditch the kids: If you get a night out with your wife, where do you like to take her and why?
La Belle Vie for urban, romantic, adventurous (the lounge is one of the best dining bargains in town). The Strip Club to eat like royalty and be treated like family.

7. How many of these were good questions?
Four of the seven. That's about even with my average on WCCO News, every weeknight at 10 (was that a not-so-subtle plug?).


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