It's Monday and you've got a whole week of dining ahead of you. Plan your feasts with our list of the top five bites you should be eating right now:
5. The wee soft serve ice cream cones that get served gratis after every meal at Lyn 65
The restaurant that is perhaps most devoted to treats (pizza, fried chicken, burgers), also sends each and every guest off with yet another sweet treat.
The iconic little vanilla cones are coconut-milk based, so your vegan friends won’t feel left out at the table. And you probably won’t even notice the difference, except that they’re even better than the DQ cones they resemble.
6439 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
4. Buffalo wings at Rudolph’s Bar-B-Que
Possibly the longest-standing BBQ spot in our cities is Rudolph’s. While BBQ is their focus, we prefer to go in for their Buffalo Wings -- expertly fried, satisfyingly sloppy, with an abundance of blue cheese and celery on the side to make it a balanced meal.
1933 Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis
3. Pulled chicken at Brasa
Brasa is one of the few restaurants we can always count on. Along with sister restaurant Alma, Brasa's consistency is top notch -- neither kitchen ever disappoints. The pulled chicken (with collards and grits) is a case in point: responsibly sourced chicken is smothered in a light cream and pepper gravy. It's beautifully balanced, where lush meets kick in a comfort food symphony.
Brasa Premium Rotisserie
600 E. Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis
777 Grand Ave., St. Paul
2. Loaded fries at Victory 44
Poutine can be a tricky dish -- why make a French fry stand up crisp at attention just to drown it in gravy?
Order the loaded fries at Victory 44 and the concept will make all kinds of sense.
These taters arrive in a bowl, a small yet significant gesture that says: Eat these with a spoon if you like. And you might do just that, scoop-able as these fries are, inundated with cheese sauce, bacon, peppadew peppers, and yet more cheese. If only every attempt at poutine were this victorious.
2203 N. 44th Ave., Minneapolis
1. Pad Cashew Nut at Thai Garden
How often do you try something altogether and utterly new? The Pad Cashew Nut at buzzy Thai Garden looks like a stir-fry, but tastes like nothing we’ve had before. We gleaned from the chef that it is indeed “special” -- about a dozen ingredients hide within the silky brown sauce, including at least a couple imported from Thailand. What are they? You’ll have to go and find out yourself.
432 University Ave. W., St. Paul