Yum, Yum, Dim Sum!

With the end of the school year and spring finally showing its face in the Twin Cities, there seems to be fewer hours in each days and less free time on weekends…but not so much that I have been neglecting my foodie cravings!  So here are our recent ventures, presented in a very particular order 🙂

Borough May be my new favorite spot in the North Loop.  Pricey, but lick-the-plate amazing.   Every dish is daringly and beautifully crafted… we started with a peanutty-cilantro octopus served with daikon and a butternut squash puree.  Both our entrees achieved a similar level of excellence.  My chicken was prepared three different ways and the poached egg nestled in my mashed potatoes was a surprising compliment.  Charlie had a flaky halibut served with giant white Peruvian beans.  Next time: the skate!

Ward 6 So good we went there two weekends in a row!  An excellent non-pho addition to the East Side.  Excellent drinks and a somewhat diverse-but-well-executed menu really make this a do not miss.  It’s tiny and they don’t take reservations, but it’s well worth the wait (which I guarantee you there will be).  Make sure you save room for the made-to-order beignets and a side of ice cream!

Yangtze This was my first dim sum experience (besides the book I read to my students) and it definitely touched my heart.  I can’t tell you what exactly we ordered (Charlie was in charge of that), but every dumpling, bun, and rice paper roll was a happy little explosion in my mouth.  It was a much-needed departure from a typical American brunch.

The Anchor Fish & Chips Tip number 1: Do NOT ask for malt vinegar (this place is Irish).  Tip number 2: Order fish and chips.  #nuffsaid

Mosaic Cafe Great for a casual brunch, lunch, or dinner.  I loved the twists on old favorites like “Banh Mi’tloaf” and tempeh sloppy joes.  Their garlic rosemary fries are baked, not cooked, they use grass-fed beef, and they bring in local brews from Harriet Brewing right across the street 🙂

Szechuan (pronounced sē′chwän′) Charlie was excited to see actual authentic dished on the menu.  Being the expert, he chose ma po tofu, a spicy, salty comfort food of tofu and ground pork.  He was not disappointed, and I, not being the biggest pork fan in the world, couldn’t get enough.  The duck was flavorful, but a bit dry.  We were confused about the less-than-stellar reviews floating around in cyberspace.  Must be people expecting the Americanized chow mein and such!

Erte Had the best black bean burger of my life here.  Charlie dug his jambalaya…I thought it was too tomatoey.  Par for the course for this Northeast hangout.

Masu Sushi & Robata Charlie had heard they had excellent ramen.  While it was more than a few giant steps up from what I ate in college, and the noodles were perfectly cooked (I heard they’re flown in fresh from LA), the stock left me wanting.  I did, however, enjoy the floating poached egg.  And their sushi?  Nowhere as good as Origami’s (We also returned there shortly after just to double check :).

Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub  Their fish dips app and brews were both pleasant starts to our dining experience.  Everything else was merely palatable–nothing to get excited about.  And at $10 a place for a sandwich and no side, I would much rather go to Buster’s on 28th.

Nacho Mama’s Overpriced, Americanized “Mexican” food.  Portions are way out of control and the server didn’t know how to pronounce “relleno.”  Plus, they charge you $2 if you ask for extra salsa…

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