Best places for post-holiday eating: A round-up, part 2

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Tony Nelson
Fish tacos with radishes at Common Roots Cafe

In a day or so, perhaps even sooner, you'll be sick of trying to "get creative" with whatever odd scraps of holiday leftovers are still lingering in your fridge and definitely not in the mood for more carbs, cream cheese, or cookies. 

It's that post-holiday battle with lethargy and we want to help you win it. Maybe you're inspired to get a jump start on your 2013 resolutions to eat more whole grains, raw foods, less meat, or to make a more concerted effort to eat local. Or maybe your body is just trying to tell you it needs a vegetable that is not accompanied by bacon or smothered in cream-of-something soup. Today we continue our list of local restaurants where you can re-energize, eat light, and still be merry. 

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Best places for post-holiday eating: A round-up, part 1

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Tony Nelson
Tofu scramble from Seward Cafe: Heavy on the broccoli, light on the cheese

In a day or so, perhaps even sooner, you'll be sick of trying to get creative with whatever odd scraps of holiday leftovers are still lingering in your fridge and definitely not in the mood for more carbs, cream cheese, or cookies. 

It's that post-holiday, getting back in the swing of the regular work week, battle with lethargy and we want to help you win it. Maybe you're inspired to get a jump start on your 2013 resolutions to eat more whole grains, raw foods, less meat, or to make a more concerted effort to eat local. Or maybe your body is just trying to tell you it needs a vegetable that is not accompanied by bacon or smothered in cream-of-something soup. Either way, we have a round-up of local restaurants where you can re-energize, eat light, and still be merry. 

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Best pumpkin dishes in the Twin Cities, part 2


Pumpkins.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
So many pumpkins, just one season

Ah, mid-autumn. The time of year best marked by your level of annoyance with people who are still talking about how great it is that pumpkin lattes are back. But savvy foodies know there are so many more interesting uses for this in-season squash than as a syrupy synthetic shot in your morning coffee.

Yesterday we started our list with favorites from Bars Bakery, Mojo Monkey Donuts, and pumpkin curry from Amazing Thailand. Today we're continuing the roundup of some of our favorite seasonal dishes where pumpkin is the star.

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Best pumpkin dishes in the Twin Cities, part 1

Pumpkins.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
So many pumpkins, just one season

Ah, mid-autumn. The time of year best marked by your level of annoyance with people who are still talking about how great it is that pumpkin lattes are back. But savvy foodies know there are so many more interesting uses for this in-season squash than as a syrupy synthetic shot in your morning coffee.

Here's a roundup of some of our favorite seasonal dishes where pumpkin is the star.

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Poutine roundup: from classic to 'obscene'

Categories: Eat This
Poutine_Wikimedia.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
You know what it is, but do you know where to get it?

Admittedly, we're not exactly on par with Canada when it comes to the availability of poutine. In fact in Quebec, where the dish is said to have originated, you can order a side of the cheese-curd and gravy-covered fries at any McDonald's. We'll probably never get to that point (do we really want to?), but quite a few Twin Cities restaurants have poutine on the menu, and among those are some really fantastic standouts.

We've listed some of the local eateries you can count on to get your poutine fix -- in no particular order, by the way. Think of this as more of a public service announcement.   

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'Amaize' white sweet corn is dessert on a cob

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Crookshank Company
Amaize Sweet Corn actually looks like the promotional pictures.
Maybe we're too cynical.

We rolled our eyes when the Idaho-based, sweet corn breeder and producer Crookham Company sent our office a few ears of "Amaize" sweet corn with a note claiming it's caused a taste-tester to propose marriage to farmers. We grimaced while reading a statement from the company's president, George Crookham, claiming the corn "takes us beyond what we thought a sweet corn could be." And we crumpled up the sheet when we read the words "sweet corn nirvana."

Then we took a bite and discovered, to our chagrin, that it truly is dessert on a cob.

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Origami, Nami, and Wakame join forces to help Japan's Tsunami survivors

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Wakame
Eat sushi, help earthquake victims
‚ÄčCNN and BBC switched their 24-hour coverage from Japan earthquake to Libya last week, but the hardship for survivors is far from over. Behind the news coverage of the nuclear crisis in Fukushima are hundreds of families in evacuation shelters, as well as farmers and business owners who will never be able to run their lives like they used to. Even if we don't see it on TV, thousands are still living in shelters and lack access to basic needs like food, heat and running water.

To help the survivors of Japan earthquake and tsunami, Origami, Origami West, Wakame, and Nami have joined forces to raise money for the relief effort.



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Korean food 101: Intro to banchan

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Kei Terauchi
Korean meal is never complete without banchan
Recently, the Hot Dish received a letter from a reader suggesting an article on banchan, the little dishes that automatically appear on tables at Korean restaurants.

I find that whole process alienating, since I have no idea what I am getting, or what to do with it. Do I use the kimchi as a condiment? What did they do to those sprouts? What do I do with this food?

To answer these questions, we went on a chili- and garlic-laced mission to find out what banchan is all about.


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Hoban, Korean

Pregaming Thanksgiving with Wisconsin's best cheeses

Categories: Eat This

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We're thankful for cheese
Want to impress your Thanksgiving guests with some of the best--and, at times, hardest to get--cheeses in the country? The two cheeses produced by Uplands Cheese in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, fit the bill: the extra-aged Pleasant Ridge Reserve was recently named Best in Show at the American Cheese Society's annual competition (that means they whupped 1,400 other cheeses), and the creamy Rush Creek Reserve, a smooth, mild cheese wrapped in spruce bark, is perfect for scooping.


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Nonna Rosa's brings red sauce to Robbinsdale

Categories: Eat This

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Travail too busy? Try Nonna Rosa's next door.
If you drove all the way up to Robbinsdale and found the lines too long for a table at the new gastropub, Travail, your next best bet is to head down the block to the cozy Nonna Rosa's.

It's not the kind of restaurant that's necessarily worth the drive, as it doesn't so much distinguish itself from other metro area Italian joints, but the new-this-summer restaurant is good enough to be a boon for those in the the neighborhood.

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