MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a flavor enhancer used in many of the foods we eat today. I always thought added MSG was no big deal. It wasn’t until a close family member was diagnosed with an allergy derived from the food additive, which some neurologists label a neurotoxin.
The next time you’re out, ask your server if the chefs are able to prepare meals “MSG free.” I’ve learned many restaurants carry a powder form and can be eliminated all together. If you are on a quest to eat healthier and you’ve done your research on how MSG affects you, check out these restaurants (in no particular order).
WOK In The Park
3005 Utah Avenue
St. Louis Park, MN 55432
This Asian and French inspired menu is 100 percent “pure love.” In other words, the meals include zero MSG. If you are a fan of garlic, ginger, lemon and locally-grown produce, prepare to make WOK in the Park your new default for a favorite restaurant. You’ll be tweeting about it later, I promise.
Everywhere we go, the word “organic” is used synonymously with hip, forward-thinking and a healthy way of life. Citizen Café, located in south Minneapolis, uses no MSG in its meals. On its breakfast menu, I recommend the Buttermilk stack — for you big eaters — paired with the Sake Bacon Mary. This café will have you saying OMG and definitely not MSG.
1607 County Road C
Roseville, MN 55113
Holy Napoli! This is the name of one of its great fresh pizzas, which includes: garlic, mozzarella, tomatoes and basil — one of my personal favorites. Zpizza also offers pasta, salad and sandwich options (the Z-Tuna sandwich is awesome). I am a big eater and with that said, you won’t leave hungry, in fact, you may need a to-go box.
Classic Saigon Restaurant
Lately, I have become a huge fan of Vietnamese food. Many authentic dishes include mint, basil and lemongrass combined with fruit, veggies and soy sauce. I’ve finally found a restaurant that serves my new-found-love without MSG. I tried the steamed shrimp with ginger and loved it.
Am I the only one who has a hard time finding a cost-effective and health-conscious deli? Seriously. If you are like me, health is a large factor when choosing a place to eat out. MSG- and vegetarian-friendly is the name of the game at Jason’s Deli. If you are on-the-go or need a delivery, add this restaurant to your places to try. Your mom will be proud of you.
Naviya’s Thai Brasserie
2812 43rd Street West
Minneapolis, MN 55410
If you are looking to find a new place to meet up with friends and want them to realize how creative and classy you are, check this place out. Naviya’s trendy atmosphere combined with its classic menu will allow you to relax and enjoy uninterrupted conversation. I recommend the Pad Thai with chicken — amazing.
-Justin Reis is a WCCO intern studying broadcast journalism at the University of Minnesota. His passion for finding the “best” in the Twin Cities is inspired by his role as a group fitness instructor and interests ranging from “anything artistic” to “anything social.” Please leave a comment on what you think of his recommendations.