Salad sampler at Moroccan Flavors
Moroccan Flavors does for the lunchtime salad bar what Fed Ex did for the pony express. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, you won’t want to look ever again at the Whole Foods salad troughs after dining here. Chef Hassan Ziadi, who proves the American dream is still alive, seems to treat every vegetable with the care of a delicacy, enhancing each one as the individual it is. Orange segments and carrots get perfumed with rose water, cauliflower the invigoration of chile, beets are tiny shimmering dice, eggplant smoky as a bonfire with the harmony of preserved lemon. A sampler of all eight goes for a mere $8.95, making meat an afterthought, regardless of your proclivities.
Midtown Global Market
920 E. Lake St., Minneapolis #126
Puerco en salsa verde at Maya
Along with its festive new full-service dining room, Maya -- our Iron Fork taco throwdown champ -- is launching a menu of full-on entrees, offering an elegant alternative to the restaurant's best-ever cafeteria line with every permutation of taco, burrito, and tostada known to taqueria-loving man. The pork and potatoes in green sauce is a mundane name for a culinary rock star. Chiles and nopales (cactus) come together in a bewitching sauce and a prettily plated hill of rice and pot of beans make it a hearty meal for just $12. Go on Sunday, when margaritas are two-for-one and cans of beer are a buck.
1840 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis
“Gorgonzola e mela” pizza from Burch
Consistently offering some of the best steaks and pizza under one roof, Burch continues to stretch its imagination. A new pizza eschews marinara for creme fraiche and gorgonzola, putting down a rich, creamy base for a finisher of bacon and green apples cut into precise matchsticks. It’s a classic flavor combo, yet it comes together like something altogether new.
1933 Colfax Ave. S., Minneapolis
Celeriac from Tullibee
One of those chef’s-darling root vegetables that rarely makes its way into your home crisper, celeriac is not often the thing you crave. But the kitchen at Tullibee, from which comes legit Nordic cuisine, has made it as craveable as a bowl of Cheetos. Feathery wheels of the veg are charred and sit next to an airy sauce suggesting some Frenchy classicalism. In reality, this is a diaphanous pool of, well, cheese sauce. Drag your fork through it and any drab root vegetable is fresh and new. Take a photo tour of Tullibee and the stylish new Hewing Hotel it anchors here.
300 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis
Mi Kho at MT Noodles
What if you went to a Vietnamese restaurant and you couldn’t decide between the pork, the fried chicken, the crispy shrimp wonton, and the noodle soup? At MT Noodles you can have all of them in one dish if you order the Mi Kho. Like all of the cooking at the tiny Brooklyn Park strip-mall wonder, the Mi Kho is a wonderfully elaborate dish of components, each done with integrity enough to be served on its own. The fried chicken is incredible enough to eat by the bucket, the shrimp wonton you’ll fight over so don’t try to share. Do as the server suggests and eat the dish in two phases. Start sans broth, and then finish as a soup. See? You really can have it all at MT Noodles.
8459 W. Broadway, Brooklyn Park