Three Things to Eat This Week: April 25-May 1

Mojo Monkey
Mojo Monkey Donuts. Photo by Todd Buchanan.

Last Thursday was a gut punch. For people outside of Minnesota, it might be difficult to understand why I’m still compulsively listening to Prince’s music and soothing my baby with soft refrains of “Purple Rain.” I had no inkling that his music meant so much to me, but it was the backdrop to a growing up experience. The “Purple Rain” soundtrack playing in the lunch room in my elementary school (Maple Grove was way cool.) My high school boyfriend the DJ playing “Cream” at school dances. My best friend buying me tickets for my 21st birthday (after a dinner that included good wine at Linguini and Bob’s.) Accidentally stumbling into a Morris Day and the Time show at Glam Slam in my early twenties—Prince left an indelible mark on the world that radiates outward from Minneapolis. So, this week, several restaurants and bars are doing what they can to honor him with food and drink. I’m not sure that’s going to make me feel better, but I’m getting back to my normal after a weekend of mourning. And, my version of normal is eating and drinking and celebrating this thing called life.

Purple Rain Old Fashioned Doughnut at Mojo Monkey
Back in the ’90s, Mojo’s owner Lisa Clark worked for Prince and shared her memory on the Mojo Monkey Facebook page. She’s making a purple sprinkled doughnut in his honor and after a really disappointing doughnut experience elsewhere last weekend—I need the good stuff. For my money, these are still the best in the city of St. Paul.

Small Plates at Strip Club Meat & Fish
I adore heading into the Strip Club Meat & Fish for a decadent date night with my sweet husband. We always just order a pile of small plates and share. Chef and co-owner J.D. Fratzke has given the menu a major refresh with a shifted focus to more on the modest-sized shareables. It’s just how I like to eat and oh, boy—the pork and foie stuffed steamed buns are right up my alley.

Rotisserie Chicken at the Dirty Bird
Sometime, very soon, I swear I’ll stop talking about Erick Harcey projects and food. I can’t help it! This has been my year of continually heading back to Linden Hills to dine at his new restaurant. Roast chicken is my comfort food and the ones available to take away at the newly opened shop at the back of Upton 43 look amazing. I love a bird (this one is brined for 12 hours) and an easy dinner filled with sides like mashed potatoes, wild rice, and sauces like chimichurri. This one seems like a no brainer.