Edit ModuleShow Tags

World Street Kitchen: Love! Bukhara? Not so much…


Published:

Been putting the next issue of Real Food to bed this week, so I’ve been chained to my desk. You should grab a copy of the magazine when it comes out in the next few weeks, available locally at Lunds and Byerly’s stores, and check out the article about Nigella Lawson. She has some remarkable things to say about the local and organic movement: “In the Victorian age, the poor had to make do with what was seasonal and local, and the aristocracy built glass houses in which to grow pineapples and other exotica,” she told our writer, the estimable Tara Q. Thomas. “I sense that, now that the masses, so to speak, have access to imported rarities, the moneyed classes wish to distance themselves from the mob, and so an inverted snobbery grows.” I think she’s got a point. I also think that Anthony Bourdain has been trying to say the same thing, just not as eloquently. Leave it to the British to put their finger on class issues.

Speaking of class: I’m in love with the super classy World Street Kitchen, the street-food truck opened in September by Sameh Wadi. Wadi, of course, is the chef and owner of Saffron, Minnesota’s leading (well, and only) haute Middle Eastern fusion restaurant, and the only Minnesotan ever to compete on Iron Chef. He’s been working in the truck himself, with his brother Saed Wadi standing out in front of the truck expediting. (That is, organizing the orders for the cooks.) Why do I love WSK so? First, the flavors: So fresh. So unusual, at least on the streets of Minneapolis. Some highlights: An heirloom tomato salad with sweet ripe green and red tomatoes, handfuls of chopped mint, handfuls of cilantro, crispy little pita chip triangles, and a lively sauce; it was summertime on a paper tray. Another joy: The pressed lamb sandwich, made by pressing big chunks of lamb, pickled peppers, herbs, and cheese together inside a fluffy banh-mi type roll ‘til the roll gets as flat as a tortilla and everything inside it fuses into one delicious whole. My last love: A rice bowl, a sort of Middle Eastern take on the Korean classic dish bibimbop. The bowl consisted of a fried egg, a version of the above heirloom tomato salad, and well-seasoned grilled chicken all piled high on a bowl of short-grain rice, and squirted liberally with a spicy chili mayonnaise. That’s craveable street food! My only regret is that I don’t have a giant stack of them to get me through this winter. Saed Wadi tells me that they plan to be at their parking lot location across from the Nicollet Mall light rail station (Fifth Street, across from Nieman Marcus) through mid October or perhaps a bit later, and then shut down for the year. Noooooo! Wait, I don’t think that expressed it. Nooooooooo! Nope, that’s not it. This keyboard doesn’t contain enough o’s to express my dismay. Sameh Wadi, the chef, told me that World Street Kitchen has been a back-burner plan for many years, originally conceived as its own restaurant. Please, someone buy that truck a heated garage for the winter!

Barring that, go before it snows. You won’t regret it.

And you certainly won’t regret it as much as I did my first, and likely only, meal at the western suburbs newest Indian restaurant, Bukhara. I went this week and discovered some great lentil dal. Subtly spiced, a compelling blend of differently textured lentils that was so fragrant you could just hover over it like an aromatherapy spa session. Excellent veggie samosas, again subtly spiced and complex. And everything else was atrocious: The garlic naan was raw, the lamb biryani as mushy as baby food, the chicken vindaloo was actually some sort of mild white curry as rubbery as pencil erasers, and the sampler of various kabobs as rubbery as the trunk of a rubber tree. The restaurant reminded me of a place I went to once years ago when the chef explained to me that he was a vegetarian and had never tasted any of his dishes that contained meat. Not that I’m saying this place does that, but if I ever went again I’d stick to the vegetarian offerings. I’d stick to them like a sequin applied with marine epoxy.

Bukhara Indian Bistro
15718 Wayzata Blvd E., Wayzata
952-476-7997  

Edit ModuleShow Tags

About This Blog

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 rhutton@mnmo.com

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Taste Blog

Grilled Walleye Tacos with Mango Salsa Recipe

Combine fresh Minnesota fish with a taste of the tropics in a quick-and-easy meal you can make at home or the cabin

Pizza Lovers' Camp for Grown-Ups

Overnight pizza-centric camp on July 7 combines pizza amore with classic outdoor camp activities

3 Things to Eat This Week: Pride Edition

Pride weekend is also one of your last chances to eat at wonderful restaurants before they close

Ask Jason: Best Ramen, Shrimp, Dinner Date, and More

Your food questions answered

Stout-Marinated Grilled Tri-Tip Recipe

Treat dad or any lucky guest to flavorful, juicy beef with a splash of beer in the mix with this recipe from meat expert Bruce Aidells

6 Foods to Pack for the Cabin

Don't head north to the cabin without these delicious necessities

The Driscoll’s Difference

Driscoll’s goes to great lengths to ensure every clamshell on the shelves is packed with only the most flavorful, deliciously ripe berries.

Meet the Joy Makers

Meet the Joy Makers

Back to School Prep! Bento boxes are Easy Breakfasts that can be Prepped Ahead

The strategy for conquering the crazy weekday mornings is the all important prep.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags