Reporting Jason DeRusha
Filed underBusiness, Consumer, Entertainment, Local, News, Seen On WCCO-TV, Syndicated Local, Watch + Listen
MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Don’t worry about the sound of the airplane noise, it’s the view of Lake Nokomis that makes Sandcastle such a great place to spend time and eat some delicious food.
The shrimp and octopus ceviche is just one of the things you wouldn’t expect inside a Minneapolis park board building. But chef Doug Flicker and his wife Amy Greeley’s newly opened Sandcastle is part of an emerging trend here — the chef-driven concession stand.
“I think at this point in time people are amlost using these as destination restaurants,” Flicker said. “It’s not just people hanging out at the beach. People bike down here, people come here to try the food, sit outside.”
Sea Salt Eatery started the trend in 2005 near Minnehaha Falls. Now chefs run stands on Lake Harriet, Calhoun and Nokomis.
“I think when you get local business owners in there doing fresh, local…that just improves the quality,” Greeley said.
Flicker is known for highly inventive food at his critically-acclaimed Piccolo in south Minneapolis.
“Concession food is so much harder on some level — to do well, to do consistently, to do it fast. It kind of surprised me.”
The food at Sandcastle isn’t Piccolo. That fine-dining style would never work lake-side. But it is inventive.
One wrap combines sweet peas with chickpeas to form falafels. And then there’s the Dog Flicker.
“I realized if I took the ‘u’ out of my name, there you have it,” Flicker said.
It’s a hot dog with some major twists: a softly cooked egg, cilantro, and kimchi, which is a spicy, fermented cabbage.
Amy left her job working with college-students to run Sandcastle. It’s her first time working full-time with her chef-husband.
“He’s here one day a week,” Greeley said.
“She’s the boss,” Flicker added.
“I do say I’m glad,” his wife said, “we did it 13 years into the marriage instead of two years into the marriage.”