Christina Nguyen

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2014

    Our Predictions for the Oscars of Local Dining: The 4th Annual Charlie Awards

    Sunday is the 4th annual Charlie Awards at the Pantages Theatre, where food industry pros are honored by their peers in formal, ceremonial, celebratory style. Some sneak peeks for this year's festivities include chef Steven Brown of Tilia and a band of mates literally banging on pots and pans, and c ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2014

    Hola Arepa Brunch Has Arrived: Rum-Spiked Horchata, Chilaquiles, and More

    From street eats to Eat Street, Hola Arepa has built up a loyal clientele that fiends for those signature hearty corn cakes stuffed with Latin-influenced pork, beef, chicken, cheeses, and salsas. For the first several months after opening their brick-and-mortar location, owners Birk Stefan Grudem an ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 1, 2014

    What Hola Arepa's Dan Oskey and Birk Stefan Grudem are sipping on this summer

    With summer at the height of its powers and our thirst for refreshing cocktails nearly unquenchable, Hot Dish introduces the first installment of a series in which we ask local bartenders, "What's in your glass?" To kick it off with a bang, we spoke to Dan Oskey and Birk Stefan Grudem of the hugely ... More >>

  • Restaurants

    June 18, 2014

    Hola Arepa blooms in south Minneapolis

    First a food truck, the new brick-and-mortar is thriving

  • Blogs

    May 7, 2014

    First Look: Hola Arepa's new restaurant

    Those slow-braised meats, stuffed into tender/crispy corn cakes have found a permanent home. Birk Stefan Grudem and Christina Nguyen have pulled their turquoise truck into their new address at 36th and Nicollet in Minneapolis. They've pulled together a dream team of area bar talent, a highly skilled ... More >>

  • Blogs

    April 8, 2014

    Barman Dan Oskey leaving the Strip Club Meat & Fish for Hola Arepa

    After an impressive seven-year run behind the bar at the Strip Club Meat & Fish, where he was repeatedly recognized for his intriguing concoctions, divine tonics, and quick boyish smile, Dan Oskey is ready for something new. When Hola Arepa opens its brick and mortar location this summer, Oskey ... More >>

  • Restaurants

    March 26, 2014

    Spring 2014's fresh crop of Twin Cities eateries

    The season's most anticipated restaurant openings

  • Blogs

    February 14, 2014

    Breaking: Hola Arepa food truck to go brick-and-mortar

    Love is in the air and so is the toasty scent of Hola Arepa's delicious corn cakes. In honor of Hola Arepa's birthday and Valentine's Day, Birk Stefan Grudem and Christina Nguyen are sharing the news that they have signed a restaurant lease -- which means very soon, dear eaters, we will be able to e ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2013

    Third time's the charm at the third annual Charlie Awards

    On Sunday, chefs, restaurateurs, and bartenders got dressed up in their finery to attend the Twin Cities' annual Charlie Awards -- a celebration of the best in the restaurant business. See also:Dan Oskey, Best Bartender and now a business man, part 2Corner Table's crispy pork belly, 50 Favorite Dish ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 1, 2013

    Charlie Awards finalists announced

    The Twin Cities' annual award ceremony for the best and brightest in the local restaurant scene is quickly approaching. This week a number of the finalists for the Charlie Awards -- so named for Charlie's Exceptionale, a legendary downtown Minneapolis restaurant --  were announced. We have the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2013

    Long lines hamper Ramen Attack! block party

    As Chef John Ng and Lina Goh were plotting their first Ramen Attack! event, we warned them: If the weather is nice, you'll likely be inundated. There haven't been many ramen events in the Twin Cities, but we've learned from the past two that people will show up in droves for the chance to slurp some ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2013

    Nguyen and Grudem of Hola Arepa talk Twitter rumors and a brick-and-mortar location

    "A lot of people have never even heard of arepas, but people really received them well," says Birk Stefan Grudem, co-owner of Hola Arepa. "We still get people coming up and asking, 'What is that? Is it spicy?' And then they taste them and they like them. I love that!" See Also:  Hola Arepa on ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 30, 2013

    Hola Arepa on Spam fried rice, resume padding, and the best bartender in town

    The kids inside the bright turquoise Hola Arepa truck might look fresh-faced, but these two are natural born entrepreneurs. Destined to own their own businesses, Christina Nguyen spent her childhood counting pretend bills and working for her family business, while Birk Stefan Grudem learned the valu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 12, 2012

    Charlie Awards: Who won big

    The second-annual Charlie Awards, an event honoring the Twin Cities and metro area restaurants and key individuals who contribute to our exceptional, ever-expanding food scene, were held yesterday afternoon at the Pantages Theater. Hearty congratulations to all the finalists and winners, but perhaps ... More >>

  • Restaurants

    April 25, 2012

    So You Want to Start a Food Truck

    Owners share tricks of the mobile-kitchen trade

  • Restaurants

    July 27, 2011

    Gastro Truck, Barrio, Hola Arepa, and more

    Food trucks bring new eats to the street

  • Blogs

    July 19, 2011

    Rhubarb Ginger Lemonade from Hola Arepa [RECIPE]

    Zingy rhubarb lemonade with just a smidge of gin and Aperol​After a long, soggy, cold spring, the weather turned on us. It's like Mother Nature is giving us the ol' "Oh, yeah? You don't like sweatshirts in summer? Well how do you like me know?"  The best way to combat our sweltering environs ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 13, 2011

    Hola Arepa hits the street, another food truck to follow

    Well, hello Arepa​New to the scene and already there is a considerable buzz is following around the Hola Arepa food truck like a swarm of tantalized honey bees. The lively turquoise colored truck can be found downtown Minneapolis on most weekdays and at the Uptown market. on Sunday.Behind the ... More >>