Twin Cities’ Eats

There are a million food blogs, restaurant review sites and comment boards out there.  So what’s my point?  I’m not sure.

OK, actually, my thought here was we don’t do anything on the WCCO Radio website like this, so why not try.  I get a chance to get out quite a bit through what I do here at the radio station or just on my own.  I come from a family that loved going out.  I’ve grown into someone who actually enjoys the process of cooking for people almost more than the eating part.  On top of that, we want you, the listeners and visitors of WCCO to share your thoughts.  We want to hear what you think of some of these places, pass along your own, share experiences (good and bad) and make this a community.

So who am I and why am I writing this?  My name is Lindsey.  I’m the Assistant Program Director for WCCO.  I was convinced by my charming boss that I would be a good person to write a blog on restaurants/cooking/food in the Twin Cities.  Why?  Because I don’t have kids.

No, that’s not true (I don’t think).  I wrote a blog a couple years ago when I was a Captain with the Minneapolis Aquatennial cleverly titled “Captain’s Blog”.  Looks like I ran out of inspiration when naming this one.

I also enjoy the occasional meal.  Either expertly prepared by a downtown chef or yanked out of my fridge in a desperate attempt to feed the beast.

Anne, my girlfriend, and I have our favorite restaurants and we love checking out new ones.  Speaking of which, she’s Filipino and has turned me on to their food which is kind of an amalgamation of Asian and Spanish cooking.  WCCO Radio has a great Half Off deal right now for Subo, a Filipino restaurant in downtown Minneapolis worth checking out.  The oddly named and addictive Pork Candy has to be tried!  Save some cash here.

I have a couple of friends in the business.  One at Chino Latino, the other was the Executive Chef at Cosmos.  I love to pick their brains.  Stephen, who was the Chef at Cosmos, recently had Anne and me over for dinner.  After whipping up dinner (herb marinated Sea Bass, a spicy and peppery flat-iron steak and the perfect sides to go with it….yes, it’s very good to know a chef!), he showed me his new toy.  A commercial smoker he stuck in the garage.  It holds 75 pounds of meat.  I don’t know where you find a pork shoulder that is 75 pounds, but I was jealous nonetheless.  This thing was so big I expected to see Boeing on the side of it.  You ever see those BBQ competition shows on Food Network?  This is serious business.

I recently picked up the latest Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine and they spotlighted some of what they said were the best BBQ places in Minnesota.  They neglected to mention my backyard.  The disappointment will pass.  I have a roommate and we both will take to the kitchen from time to time.  We own two grills, two smokers and a rotisserie (yes, we have issues).  Summer’s in St. Louis Park usually means smoke coming from our backyard.  Actually, it’s pretty much year round.  If it can be dug out of the snow bank, we’ll cook on it.  Did I mention we’re both part Norwegian?  Did I need to mention that?  Guess not.

This past Tuesday, I took my Dad out for Father’s Day (I know, I was a couple of days late…we had a scheduling issue).  We went to what is one of my Dad’s favorite places and a little gem in south Minneapolis, Broders Pasta Bar.

Broders is on 50th and Penn and is a little family owned place.  They have an Italian deli/restaurant on one corner and the Pasta Bar on the other corner.  They don’t take reservations; it’s small and always packed.  And it’s delicious.  They mostly make their own pasta (look for housemade on the menu) and have seasonal dishes that change depending on what’s fresh.  I had pasta with lobster, tomatoes, lemon, herbs and a little cream.  Dad doesn’t venture far from spaghetti and Italian Sausage.  They can cover that too.

The other good thing is price.  You are looking at $15 on the high end for some of the freshest pasta in the Twin Cities.  Check it out.

So let’s end this first post with a little summer on the grill tip.  I recently shared my new love for the lesser known cuts of steak with Denny Long.  He has since joined me in abandoning the usual T-Bone/NY Strip/Ribeye/Filet crowd.  I’ve grown bored with the same old same old.  So I’m now playing around with flank steak and skirt steak.  Cheaper, requires a little more work but heavier on taste.

Try this next time you are throwing something down on the fire:  Pick up a skirt steak.  Marinade it for 4 hours (lime juice, lots of garlic, onion, salt, pepper and cumin to taste…I like a lot).  Get your grill as hot as you can.  We’re talking over 600 degrees.  Put the steak on the hottest part of the grill; cook it for about 1 ½ minutes per side, depending on thickness.  Just don’t overcook it.  You can always put it back on.

When you take it off the grill, tent it in aluminum foil and let it rest for about 10 minutes.  Then, slice it across the grain.  With skirt, that means crosswise, not lengthwise (if you don’t do it this way, it could be tough).

The black lines indicate the grain….slice across those, not with them.

Put that in a taco with roasted peppers and onions and its heaven.  Great with salad or just served sliced as well.  Trust me….it’s not the “lesser cut” that it’s made out to be.  Just needs a little extra TLC.  Rick Bayless, a Chicago chef and one of the country’s finest when it comes to Mexican cooking has an awesome recipe here.

That’s it for now.  Check back often and I’ll try to fill you in on places I’ve been and maybe a few more ideas we’ve come up with in the backyard!  And by all means, share your comments below.  We really want everyone to be a part of this.  And if you have any suggestions, I’ll try to check them out!

  1. breezyguy says:

    Nice job Lindsey. I heading out to get skirt steak, peppers and onions. Exactly what is a “skirt steak”, anyway? Good luck on your blog. I’m interested in charcoal grilling this time of year. I’d love to get more ideas!