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]

Meat Master: With hundreds of awards (and kudos from Germany), Rick Reams is crafting world-class food in Hudson, Wisconsin, and St. Paul

You often can’t see the world-class food in your own backyard because it’s ubiquitous to the point of being invisible. Think of noodles in Japan, or bread in France, or spiced lentils in India—it’s daily fare that seems simple until you try to make it and realize there’s a world of knowledge that goes into … [ 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]

“Heikki Lunta Sinks a Ship” – A Short Story

In Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, not far from Marquette, there lives a Finnish snow god named Heikki Lunta (Hank Snow.) Beloved and feared, he is responsible for delivering snow (by the flake, the inch, and the foot) to the doughty folk of the North Country. Late one autumn night, the snow god Heikki Lunta and his … [ Read more]

The sweet and humble team behind Pie & Mighty dish the secret of their delectable crust

For a state whose very culinary DNA is studded with majestically delicious pies (witness the State Fair pie competition, for example, or try one Marjorie Johnson’s legendary pies), Minnesota has generally fallen short when it comes to delicious commercially available pie. But recent years have seen something of a renaissance in the field. We recently … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Gogi Pork Fries at Umami Fries

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. If you’re going to build your business around a food experience that might most easily be described as “Asian-influenced poutine,” the first step is to make sure your fries are up to the task. Umami Fries, a newish … [ 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]

5 Non-Cliche Valentine’s Day Food Adventures for Two

It happens every February. Like snowflakes accumulating to create a drift, food writers’ inboxes start to accumulate Valentine’s Day menu after Valentine’s Day menu, each seemingly more choked with lobster-stuffed this and dark chocolate-flavored that than the last. Valentine’s Day does not have to be a day for being led down a prix fixe garden … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: Big K.R.I.T. fried chicken sandwich at Soul Bowl

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. One of the pleasant surprises hidden within the stylish confines of the new North Loop food courts is that great food can emerge from even manicured, highly focus-grouped surroundings. We loved the Luau Bowl at Ono Hawaiian Plates … [ 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]

7 recipes to cover the (food and drink) spread on Super Bowl Sunday

  A quality Super Bowl viewing experience demands a delicious food (and drink) experience as well. Any serious spread covers a lot of ground, but without too much fuss—you’ve got your substantial food, your lighter touch, your mandatory wings, your beverages, and maybe something a little sweet to finish things off. This deep dive into … [ Read more]

Bite of the Week: The Luau Bowl at Ono Hawaiian Plates

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler. The newly opened sleek and chic North Loop Galley may offer only four different dining concepts for its guests, but they are so varied—and so creative—that most diners will find something to enjoy amongst the offerings. Case in … [ Read more]

A Slice of the Pie: With premium ingredients and a feminist mission, Rachel Anderson is building a new kind of bakery business

St. Paul-based baker Rachel Anderson does business at the three-way intersection of industry, hustle, and soul.  Industry, as in the 33-year-old New York state native is the very busy pastry chef for Tim McKee’s Market House Collaborative, a job that includes a contract to churn out the rich, beautiful, jotun-sized desserts that Manny’s Steakhouse has … [ Read more]

Review: Fresh Meat – Despite a familiar format, Baldamar is sizzling with new life

Baldamar is a steakhouse at a mall. This must be distinctly understood, or nothing wonderful can come of this review. Despite its aggressive Instagram influencer-courting and its 9th Level Gnome Illusionist-sounding name, Baldamar is both fully contemporary and as square as can be, down to its Restoration Hardware-meets-Delta Sky Club interior. And yet: There’s a … [ Read more]