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Gourmet Comfort Foods


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smack shack, minneapolis, lobster, mac and cheese
Smack Shack's lobster mac and cheese. Photo by Tj Turner.

Minnesota Monthly editor Rachel Hutton and MPR Classical’s John Birge talk all things comfort food—a gourmet pot roast, mac n’ cheese, and more.

The New York Times praises Spoon and Stable’s pot roast—a dish closely associated with the smells and comforts of home cooking. Hutton and Birge agree the pot roast is delicious, both familiar but also interesting enough to be worth ordering in a restaurant rather than making at home. The two mull over this ongoing trend with chefs who revisit and upgrade classic comfort dishes.

And what is a more classic comfort food than mac & cheese? Smack Shack adds lobster to their recipe, while Haute Dish uses king crab. Haute Dish also deconstructed another childhood favorite: tater tot hotdish. It includes braised short ribs, porcini mushroom béchamel, homemade “tots” that are like croquettes.

After eating all this warm and fuzzy comfort food, it might feel nice to cool down with an old classic. Pizzeria Lola offers an artisan soft serve, scoops of vanilla drizzled with olive oil and sea salt, and it tastes infinitely better than the Mister Softee trucks. 

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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.

Have a food-related question? Email rfischer@mnmo.com

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