By Cortney Mohnk
Corn is a reliable comfort food, especially for Midwesterners. But as local restaurants are demonstrating, this mealtime staple can be dressed up to satisfy sweet or savory food-lovers for any meal of the day. Where are the top spots for tried-and-true, tasty corn dishes? Lend me your ears and I’ll tell you the best places to go around the Twin Cities.
1113 E. Franklin Ave.
Minneapolis, MN 55404
If you’ve ever met someone who’s had a corn pancake at Maria’s, they’ve likely raved about how amazing it was. The Cachapas Venezolanas, as it is called, is a delicious Columbian pancake with corn so sweet that it doesn’t require syrup. In fact, a side of Cotija cheese perfectly complements it. One pancake will fill you up but if you are still hungry for more corn dishes from Maria’s, try the white corn biscuits, corn tortillas with their to-die-for salsa, or the so-sweet-it’s-on-the-dessert-menu corn bread.
528 University Ave. S.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55414
A restaurant, café and a small boutique hotel make up Alma, the cozy yet chic revamped space west of the University of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus. Alma has a few great corn dishes to sink you teeth into. The restaurant’s sweet corn flan and masa corn cake are delicious starters to any meal. The hominy corn cake served in the café is topped with smoked brisket, fried egg, black beans and a savory pasilla sauce. Occasionally, corn grits and a cold corn soup grace the menu as well.
2940 Lyndale Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55408
This Lyn-Lake ramen house gives a Japanese twist to corn that is worth checking out. The corn soup is a flavorful combo of scallions, nori seaweed, shichimi spices, cilantro, chili oil and roasted corn in corn broth. Another must-try is the miso popcorn with pork fat, which is especially good on the rooftop bar at happy hour with a side of fresh-brewed sake. Corn ramen and corn fritters have also made appearances on the Moto-i menu.
Minnesota State Fair
Dan Patch Avenue and Nelson Street
St. Paul, MN 55108
Many a fair-goer boasts the Corn Roast as their favorite food stand. There are quite a few reasons for this. The corn is farm fresh – harvested nearby the day before it is served. It’s also roasted on a bed of hot coals, leaving the kernels caramelized and bursting with just the right amount of sweetness. Or it could be the price – only $3 an ear, just as it has been for the last 13-years.
Red Stag Supperclub
509 1st Ave. N.E.
Minneapolis, MN 55413
Corn makes its way on to the Red Stag Supperclub menu as a main course dish that is a refreshing pairing of corn risotto with Parmesan cheese, zucchini, peas, tomato, lemon and, if you wish, shrimp. Truffled kettle corn is they way to go if you are stopping by Red Stag for happy hour or want a pre-meal appetizer. Brunch-goers can enjoy the roasted vegetable hash, which combines eggs, corned beef and potatoes with a variety of veggies, including loads of sweet corn.
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