That Carrot Drink at Can Can Wonderland
The important thing to remember about CanCan Wonderland is that here, things are not always what they seem. And that’s why you’re gonna love it. That empty warehouse space is not that at all; it’s a psychedelic party taking grown folks back to their youth. Those snow cones and malts aren’t kids' stuff, they’re booze. And that potted plant? Booze, too. “That Carrot Drink” is a rummy, fruity, lemony, and yes, a little bit carroty take on Bittercube’s “Nordic Tiki” genre, where barkeeps were instructed to take whatever was lying around their back yard and riff on a Polynesian classic. So drink your carrots and eat your dirt, like a good Minnesotan, drunk on Tiki.
755 Prior Ave. N., St. Paul
Drop biscuits from Revival St. Paul
Have you been trying and failing to make a truly tender drop biscuit? It’s your flour, says Thomas Boemer of Revival St. Paul, who hails from North Carolina and couldn’t figure out why the tender biscuits of that geography didn’t translate to the north. He was using the wrong flour, and so probably are you. His secret (he shares them, well some of them, 'cuz he’s cool like that) is White Lily. It's a Southern, super-fine soft white winter wheat that’s almost like cake flour in its powdery softness, which he barely mixes with buttermilk. Try it if you want, or just skip that mess and head over to Revival St. Paul, where a trio arrives golden as a dream and almost fleecy within. Clearly, there's much more to love than fried chicken at Revival's new Selby Avenue joint.
525 Selby Ave., St. Paul
Basket of French fries at St. Genevieve
You really need a reason to order a basket of fries? Fine. These hot and fresh little wonders are crispy, but not overly fried, served overflowing from the paper wrapper nestled in a wire cone. They'll run you $7.50, but there's more than enough to share and the Bearnaise mayonnaise gussies up the affair-- so this snack feels right at home next to one of St. Genevieve's many sparkling wines and Champagnes. --Hannah Sayle
5003 Bryant Ave. S., Minneapolis
Sicilian pizza from Black Sheep Coal Fired Pizza
Sometimes you want the gist of a deep dish pizza -- the more substantial, buttery crust, the layer of cheese under the ripe red sauce -- but you'd like it in more modest proportions. The Sicilian at Black Sheep is your pie. It offers a reasonable indulgence: rich enough to satisfy your craving for a hearty pizza, but not so thick that you have to stop yourself after a single slice. The square-cut slices will take you back to rec room days of pizza parties and two-liters of coke, but with Black Sheep's respectable bar offerings, perhaps a more adult beverage is in order. --Hannah Sayle
Egg rolls at Pho Tau Bay
We love egg rolls enough to eat the crappy frozen ones that come in a bag. But that doesn't mean we don't recognize when one is made with care and craftsmanship. The egg rolls at Pho Tau Bay are some of the best in the Cities: crispy and crackly on the outside, slightly chewy on the inside, and amply stuffed with well-seasoned pork and veggies. These taste as though they have been labored over and perfected, not dumped into the fryer pre-made. Go and savor how delicate and balanced this ubiquitous amuse bouche can be. --Hannah Sayle
2837 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis