As a countdown to the Best of the Twin Cities 2014, coming April 16, the Hot Dish is serving up 100 of our favorite local dishes.
You may not have heard much about Daily Diner
when it opened in Frogtown earlier this year. It's not owned by a big name chef, there's no smoked ice in their drinks, and the menu lists "appetizers" instead of "small plates." But this restaurant had one of the most unique and exciting concepts of any eatery that burst onto the Twin Cities dining scene this year.
Daily Diner's mission is to provide life skills and job training to people who have struggled with addiction, homelessness, and poverty. Simple, globally-inspired comfort food like beef stroganoff, fajitas, and sweet and sour chicken, is all made from scratch by the cooks-in-training who make up their kitchen staff. We got that good-all-over feeling from just about everything we ate here, but it was the chicken and waffles that really got us all warm and fuzzy.
Four simply seasoned, super crispy, pressure-cooker-fried chicken wings perch atop a dense but crispy diner-style waffle. Admittedly, the chicken is the star of this dish, but it's the cinnamon maple syrup that unites all the elements and makes it acceptable to eat for breakfast, even though it's substantial enough to be a very satisfying dinner.
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615 University Avenue W., Saint Paul, MN