It's these days on the back side of winter with the ever graying snow drifts and sloppy side streets that can really start to wear a weather-beaten Minnesotan down. The long days of sun drenched summer seem lost in distant, foggy memories. Spring can't get here soon enough.
Close your eyes and conjure up the shushing roar of Minnehaha Falls, the peals and shrieks of children racing by, the lush embrace of a soft afternoon sun as it slowly dips towards the horizon...and the salty, fried, savory scents wafting from the open Sea Salt Eatery kitchen. Now, all you need is some po'boy perfection.
Crawdads are not nearly as popular as they should be. Related to lobsters, plentiful and sustainable, they would seem a likely candidate for being listed on many a lofty menu, but no. Sea Salt Eatery is one of the few spots in the metro that serves 'em.
The Sea Salt staff takes fresh bread, butters it up and char grills it so the crispy interior picks up plenty of smokey flavor. The roll is then piled with shredded lettuce, ruby toned tomatoes and a slathering of mayo in preparation for the main event. The little bugs are battered up and fried, seasoned with salt and pepper, and then smacked up and down with some pungent, cayenne and vinegar hot sauce that hits 'ya like a drop kick.
The flavor of a crawdad is similar to that of a lobster, but with a little more oomph. If lobster was the boneless, skinless, grilled chicken breast, these babies are the Southern fried thigh meat. Served alongside a Surly, this sandwich is paper napkin summer dining at its finest.
Sea Salt Eatery 4801 Minnehaha Avenue, Minneapolis 612.721.8990 website Reopens April 1st, 2011
Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:
No. 95: Fuji Ya's Tofu Don No. 96: Ike's Food and Cocktails The Weekender Bloody Mary
No. 97: Punch's Toto pizza
No. 98: Stockholm Pie Company's peanut butter fudge cream pie
No. 99: Dogwood Coffee Co.'s macchiato
No. 100: Al's Breakfast buttermilk pancakes