MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Grits may be the last thing on your mind when you think of Minnesota — but think again.
The dish, made from dried corn kernels, is popping up on menus all over the state.
A north Minneapolis restaurant has mastered this southern art, and WCCO viewers say they have the best grits in Minnesota.
Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield, a Georgia native, grew up on her dad Mickey’s beloved grits tasted them — so she took this assignment personally.
Both her and her dad went to Breaking Bread, and they say it is easy to tell why these are the state’s best.
“We got the recipe down to a science now,” said executive chef Lachelle Cunningham.
The Minneapolis native admits she was not raised on grits.
“It’s a classic southern dish. I’ve had it … for my 30th birthday. Quite a few years ago, I went down and did a foodie tour in Atlanta,” she said.
Cunningham came back with inspiration that paired well with her innovation.
“I really just like Caribbean, I love global flavors, I like fusing together different flavors,” she said.
So she tops hers with jerk shrimp. But the grits can also stand strong solo, garnished with cheese and green onions.
“We simmer ours for a really long time with the chicken stock, and then we add lots of milk and … shredded cheese and let that cook down even further and just build the creaminess,” Cunningham said. “And then we end it on seasoning it with salt and pepper until it … reaches the exact flavor we want.”
She has even got the attention of skeptics.
“I think we’ve exposed maybe people that haven’t liked grits to grits that they actually do like,” she said.
Susan-Elizabeth’s dad said the grits are absolutely “great!” He described them as creamy, cheesy, flavorful and light.
Customer Lester Royal’s parents are also from the south.
“When I first tasted these grits, I went back in that kitchen to see if my mom was back there making these grits!” Royal said.
There is another reason you may want to come to Breaking Bread. It is not just about stomachs — it is about heart.
“The whole reason why this restaurant was built here was to address a need in north Minneapolis for access to good, wholesome, made-from-scratch food,” Cunningham said.
She says she wants people from all over to feel the area’s little-known artistic and delicious treasures. She is filling her customers up with grits, while giving her neighborhood glory.
And believe it or not — the shrimp and grits combo is just $7.50.