Sean McPherson is a busy guy: When he's not working in McNally Smith College of Music's hip-hop department, he's hosting trivia around the Twin Cities with Trivia Mafia or playing with his band Heiruspecs. Yet he's happy to add the title of local food connoisseur to that list, and he enthusiastically offered his take on the best food you don't know about (but should be eating).
1. You're a big proponent of St. Paul. What restaurants in that city can consider you a regular, and what about those places keeps you coming back? I support Fasika, the Ethiopian restaurant at Snelling and University (right next to the Heiruspecs' rehearsal space) as the finest St. Paul restaurant. Get their zilzil tibs for a fajita type deal that is mind blowingly good. I get their vegetarian sampler more often nowadays, but both are complete classics.
Minnesota suffers unfortunately under a lack of amazing sandwich culture compared to even podunk towns in New England. Cecil's in Highland Park bucks that trend and completely kills it with a great selection of reubens."
Mai Village has banging dim sum, and it is fantastic to get when you are hung over before or after a trip to a steam room.
The Mexican buffet at Boca Chica makes me cry with deep fried joy.
2. What was the best meal you ate (out or at home) in the past week? If I hadn't had the corn pancakes at Maria's this week it would be the Would You Like a Steak Wednesday celebration I hosted. We had steaks with way too much pepper.
3.Your nickname is "Twinkie Jiggles." Does this stem from a yellow-colored snack-cake love? Martin Devaney and I gave away Twinkies at baseball games where we DJ'd during high school. Why did we do that? Because I loved Twinkies (wouldn't touch one now). And, the Jiggles is a tribute to the breakdancer Mr. Wiggles.
4. What's your favorite late-night spot to get a meal? I'm still about Little Tijuana's fish nachos. But I have learned to never recommend this to anyone, because everyone else hates them. I miss the surly punk rocker waitresses of yesteryear at Little Tijuana's. Everyone is a bit too nice.
5. As a quizmaster, can you share an interesting piece of food trivia? Graham crackers were designed to quell masturbation. I think that Tipper Gore does a better job quelling masturbation than Graham crackers.
6. What's your favorite song about food? "All You Can Eat" from the movie Krush Groove by the Fat Boys. I have actually gone into the Time Squares Sbarro and I took a photo in homage.
7. If we gave you $20, what would you do: buy the ingredients to cook something yourself or go out for a meal? If you gave me $20 I would go out and get a meal, and I would get the Italian Fries from the Italian Pie Shoppe and a strawberry milk shake from Porky's. Both of those things should have been on my St. Paul food hits list. I avoid driving past Porky's as part of my weight loss plan.