Surly’s chicken sandwich, Photo by Joy Summers
Last night my son asked me a question about football. Up until this moment, we’d led a life fairly sheltered from sports, being a family entirely and uniquely lacking in athletic abilities. Honestly, I hadn’t so much as considered the game’s function ever since, somewhere around the end of 7th grade gym, Bobby Miller taunted me for flinching when the ball was lobbed in my direction. “What are you going to do? Cry?” I totally cried. And then I told every subsequent physical education teacher that I had cramps, just to dodge the game.
And yet, like everyone else in our state, I was swept up into the giddy sliver of hope last week. I totally cheered Stefon Diggs through that miracle touchdown, and I even planned my vacation around that dumb game last Sunday. (Albeit at a gay bar with Lizzo on one screen while the Vikings did their predictable thing on another.)
Anyway, now here we are, staring down the barrel of a tsunami of football fans heading into our town (without a lot of love for either team in it). Still, we’ll take that money.
I hope they see that while we’re a little cold (hey, check out that windchill temp!), we are also warm with hospitality. We will feed you well and send you back home with a bag full of leftovers. I hope our restaurant industry gets the chance to show what we’re made of, from the down-home charm of a breakfast hotdish to an upscale/affordable tasting menu to our massive good-time brewery with a bit of Surly attitude.
Wilde Cafe’s Breakfast Hotdish: We Minnesotans cherish hotdish (one word) baked in a casserole dish and made best when tots are involved. Check out the breakfast version served at this cafe in beautiful St. Anthony Main. Made with bacon, sausage gravy, tots, eggs, and hollandaise, it’s basically everything.
Tenant’s Tasting Menu: There’s no real menu at this little neighborhood spot run by two young chefs, but that’s okay. They ask if there are any dietary restrictions/aversions, and if you call ahead with a serious food allergy, they will do everything within their power to keep you safe and wholly satisfied. The tasting menu is whatever whims they follow at a ridiculously affordable price of $50 (more if you’d like beverage pairings). Reservations are highly recommended.
Surly’s Chicken Sandwich: There is no polite way to shove that sandwich in your mouth. It’s just going to be a five-napkin affair, and it’s best to make peace with that. This monster of a meal is utterly crispy, decadently juicy, and positively dripping with sauce. The best way to take this sucker down is to check out the lunch menu at Surly, order a beer, and nap under your desk later if necessary.