Celebrity Eats: Lindsay Whalen
For many Gopher women's hoops fans, Connecticut is a dirty word. UCONN knocked the team out during the Final Four in 2004, then promptly stole Minnesota's all-time leading scorer, Lindsay Whalen, for it's WNBA team the Connecticut Sun. Fast forward to last month, when Whalen was traded to the Minnesota Lynx for a homecoming fans have been dreaming about for nearly six years.
What has Whalen been dreaming about since she left? When it comes to food, she's firmly in the carnivore camp, citing her love for the kind of beef and burgers that can only be found in the Twin Cities.
1. Being away from the Twin Cities, what specific foods and restaurants did you miss? One food in particular that I've missed is steak from some of the great steakhouses that Minneapolis has to offer. Murrays and Manny's come to mind there. One of my favorite spots in the Twin Cities is Ike's. I love the prime rib sandwiches and homemade wild rice soup; and of course the chocolate chip cookies for dessert. I would always try and make it to Ike's when we (Connecticut Sun) were in Minneapolis to play the Lynx, and Ben (my husband) and I always stop at Ike's at the airport. Another thing that Connecticut doesn't offer as much as Minneapolis is sports bars. We love going to a place like Champps or Joe Sensor's for a burger and to watch sports. I was reminded last night of the Lions Tap and I miss their burgers!
2. What is the first place you will to eat when you return to the Twin Cities? One of the first places I will go for dinner in Minneapolis will be Chino Latino: great atmosphere and such interesting food to share with the whole table. Last time we were home for the holidays, the first place we went to eat was Manny's steakhouse -- for breakfast! Coming from Europe we were up early due to jetlag, so we had to find a place in the Twin Cities that was open early. It opened at 6:30 am and we were the first people there (we had to get them to open the door for us). Ben had the best omelet he has ever had: a prime rib omelet. I had poached eggs, chicken sausage and pancakes -- pretty standard breakfast that I get when I go out for breakfast.
3. Food-wise, what will you miss from your time in Connecticut? We will miss the great seafood from Connecticut for sure! The shrimp cocktail at almost every restaurant is something I almost always ordered. Also the New England clam chowder was great at pretty much every place and the lobster bisque as well. Hot buttered lobster rolls at a place called Abbots are great! In the summer it can take over an hour to get your food on the weekends at Abbots because it is so popular.
4. Do you have a go-to spot in the Twin Cities for cheap eats? Chipotle and Potbelly are my go-to for lunch or dinner. Connecticut doesn't have either so anytime I was home I always tried to make it to one of those places for lunch at least once. My sister Katie took my brother Casey and I to a place called the St. Clair Broiler for breakfast a while ago. That was great! It didn't seem very expensive and the food was delicious. I also like Maxwell's for appetizers and the atmosphere.
5. What homemade dish are you known for when you cook yourself? I do not cook a whole lot, so I love going out to eat! But I do make good spaghetti; nothing special, but I like it. I also have gotten good at making breakfast, especially when playing in Europe because we practice at night so we have a lot of time during the morning to eat a big breakfast. I have gotten good at making eggs; Scrambled, fried, poached. Also French toast and pancakes. So nothing too special there, but I can manage!
6. When you mentioned "hot dish" in Connecticut, did anyone know what you were talking about? Not really! Casserole is a little more recognizable for people out there. The first few times we tried to explain to people what "tater tot hot dish" was, everyone looked at us like we were crazy!
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Minneapolis & St. Paul dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.