DeRushaEats: Something Other Than Fair Food


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Warning: I'm asking you to do as I blog, not as I do. It's time for the Minnesota State Fair. And as Kevin Sawyer correctly points out, it's the time food snobs thumb their nose at fair food.

Not me! I think fair food is great (in moderation). It's the ultimate in function over form (on a stick is gross—but I need to keep walking—so thank you!). The food brings back a place, a memory, an emotion—it's precisely what food is supposed to do. So take your complaints and shove them up your fried cheese curds.

I don't even know what that means.

Anyway, I want to urge you to take advantage of these next 12 days to get a reservation wherever you've been meaning to eat. Restaurants are often very slow over this period, which is bad for them, but great for you.

So here are a few of my suggestions:

Nectar

Nectar in Osseo. I know—Osseo sounds far! But it's not. Just scoot up 169, near Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove, and there it is. Nectar is a great little wine bar and restaurant: small, focused, ever-changing menu. I was there two weeks ago—my wife had a really nice shrimp creole dish (left) with dirty rice, and I had cornish game hen (pictured above) with moroccan spices. If they have anything Jamaican, get it.

Saffron in Minneapolis: Saffron just changed its menu, and I personally can't wait to get back to try it out. Sameh Wadi is one of the best chefs in town. His restaurant is often overshadowed by 112 Eatery across the street, but I (gulp!) think Saffron has better food. Go there.

Go 4 stars: How about the yin to the State Fair yang? Hit one of our top dining destinations: La Belle Vie, Meritage in St. Paul, Heidi's in Minneapolis.

What would you add to the list? Where should we go when we're not at the fair?

(Of course, I'll be at the fair 10 out of the 12 days, so stop by the WCCO booth to say hello. Or say hi as I'm walking around. I'll be there most days after 3 p.m., and next weekend all afternoon! Follow me on Twitter @DeRushaJ  and @DeRushaEats for fair tips and food suggestions!)
 

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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