From Michelin Stars to Meat on a Stick: Minneapolis

The 3M company – Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company – became a midwest Michelin & meat on a stick during a recent trip to Minneapolis.

No meat for us – but midwesterners sure love their meat. Happily, they also love good food, which is in abundance in Minneapolis.

Minnesota State Fair

Typical fried food at the Minnesota State Fair

Foodies who follow chef Andrew Zimmern know his obsession with the Minnesota State Fair and its fried food offerings.

But the fair also offers plenty of fresh produce – there is an entire agriculture hall, with bags of heirloom tomatoes for sale, and bees making honey – and if you are vegan, vegetarian, or gluten free you will find plenty to fill your maw.

The food truck Baba’s had an entire menu of interesting hummus bowls. I wanted all of them! But you have to pace yourself. Remember, this is the midwest. Portion size is large and you want to try a few things.

Falafelicious from Baba’s

We had the falafelicious bowl, with falafel, fried pita, pickles, sumac and warm chickpeas. It was fantastic.

Michelin Star: Young Joni

Transformative turnips at Young Joni

When we planned the trip to Minneapolis, I immediately tried to get a reservation at this hot spot. Two months in advance, all I could snag was 8:15 on a Monday. And even as we left, after 10pm, diners were still surging through the door.

Young Joni specializes in pizza, with interesting toppings like preserved lemon, corn, and onion jam. Meat eaters go gag for the Korean BBQ with short ribs and chili vinaigrette. There were several vegetarian options, but I only had eyes for the Umami Mama. The delicious thin crust pizza had crimini, shiitake and portobello mushrooms, soy, sesame, and three cheeses: taleggio, fontina and parmigiano-reggiano.

There are also vegetable focused small plates. We wanted them all, but our server wisely advised just getting two. The cauliflower, Young Joni’s most popular dish, had shishito peppers, saffron chermoula, pickled fresno, golden raisins, almond picada, cauliflower yogurt. Incredibly yummy.

We had to try the intriguing Hakurei turnips and they did not disappoint. Roasted turnips with turnip greens, smoked onion, haloumi, muhammara, walnut zaatar, ajì verde were a party in my mouth.

James Beard award: Spoon and Stable

Spoon and Stable, in the hip Warehouse District, is also difficult to get into. But I called on Sunday and got a last minute outdoor table.

We had grilled baby beets with nasturtium and sumac, cavatelli with corn, wild mushrooms and basil (hold the pancetta) and roasted broccoli with chili vinaigrette and marcona almonds. This is also a late night spot, with a lively bar scene.

Market at Malcolm Yards: Food Hall

The brand new Market at Malcolm Yards, in the historic Harris Machinery Co. building is in a neighborhood I hadn’t heard of: Prospect Park. This made us feel right at home, since our Park Slope, Brooklyn neighborhood borders Prospect Park.

The food hall, walking distance to Surly Brewery and a new distillery, O’Shaughnessy Distilling Co., has a self-serve wall of beer taps, (you pay by the ounce) a craft bar, and nine food options.

We headed right to Abang Yoli, a Pan Asian place that has lots of gluten free and dairy free options. The Korean style grilled cauliflower with crunchy chili oil and spicy mayo was fantastic.

We also made a beeline to Advellum Vegetable Eatery, which offers a veggie focused menu with some meat. The mouthwatering Wild Boomer Burger was a miso, wild rice and mushroom burger with arugula, pickled red onions and chiles, vegan garlic aioli and carrot-cucumber slaw. We also got an unnecessary but yummy side of Herbivorous Butcher’s ribs.

Our 3M – mmm good.

Note: I was a guest of Meet Minneapolis, which covered my hotel and some food. Opinions and full belly are all my own.

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