By Crystal Grobe
Was that it? Was that summer? Dang. Let’s take a look back at August and pretend fall isn’t around the corner. This week I’ve highlighted a new food truck find, a new item at a favorite restaurant, and a delicious coffee treat to keep you going all day long.
Buffalo Chicken Empanada at MidNord Empanadas
Various locations: downtown Minneapolis, festivals, and events
Working downtown this summer had its perks, like having food trucks right outside my door. I’ve tried quite a few and the buffalo chicken empanada from MidNord Empanada truck was worth telling you about. They offer several varieties of empanadas to mix and match and you can pick 2 for $8 or 3 for $11. Each order comes with a side of tortilla chips and a choice of sauces, making for a decent sized lunch. If you’re a buffalo chicken fan, I suggest you go all in and get the buffalo chicken. It was good enough to justify ignoring the other options and it was stuffed full of shredded buffalo chicken and blue cheese crumbles. However, if you really want variety, pick from a traditional chicken and potato option, a pork shoulder and plantain empanada or get yours stuffed with three-cheese macaroni.
Bar La Grassa is one of my favorite restaurants in the Twin Cities. It has a lively (and very loud) atmosphere, amazing food, and one of my favorite drinks in town, the passion fruit habanero margarita. It’s really spicy and even comes with a warning, but it’s something I’m hopelessly addicted to and often crave.
On our last visit, we noticed quite a few new menu items and had to try them. One of our favorites was the Gnocco Fritto, a dish from Italy, similar to gnocchi, but made with flour and not potatoes. The little squares of dough are fried, served over a mustard aioli, and topped with a mound of prosciutto. For only $7, it’s a great starter. While you’re there, don’t forget to try a bruschetta (the soft eggs and lobster are a hit), or the gnocchi with orange and cauliflower.
Black Thunder Nitro Cold Brew at Blackeye Roasting Co.
330 2nd Ave South #210
Minneapolis, MN 55401
3740 Chicago Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Another perk of working downtown is the coffee. While I typically bring coffee from home, I leave a few mornings open to explore new places like Blackeye Roasting Co. They are known for their nitrogen infused cold brew and have expanded beyond their two coffee shops into bars and restaurants and even retail stores with their canned cold brew. At the downtown location, I tried the Black Thunder, a mix of nitro cold brew, chocolate milk, and vanilla. It was incredibly creamy with hints of cherry from the coffee. It reminded me of a cherry chocolate shake, one of my favorite orders from Dairy Queen (besides a Heath Blizzard, of course). So good.