A Dusty’s Dago
Dusty’s bar, the mural announcing their infamously named sandwich, and the sandwich itself are Minneapolitan touchstones.
But when was the last time you actually bellied up for a Dago? However you feel about its inauspicious moniker, the Dago is inarguably tasty.
The round sausage patty arrives almost masquerading as a burger, then smothered in caramelized onions, mozzarella cheese, and roasted red peppers on a squishy bun. It’s as perfect a drinking snack as they come, and probably deserves a more upstanding name. That said, so does the bar itself, which is neat as a pin, clean as your grandma’s kitchen, and deserves to shed its “divey” rep.
Time for another look at both, and a good excuse is the impending new ownership by Carrie McCabe Johnston and Jasha Johnston also of Nightingale, Tilt, and Mortimer's. Any changes, and there are expected to be few, will occur “gradually.”
1319 Marshall St. NE
Busketti from Safari
"Busketti" isn't just what toddlers mistakenly call spaghetti, it's a veritable delicacy from Somali eatery Safari. The biryani-esque dish comes with oily long-grain basmati, a sundry mix of carrot, potato, and okra, and a thin blanket of tender flank steak that bleeds its fattiness down into the base. The menu lists the beef as being "lightly breaded," but there's no hint of heaviness in the dish. As with all Safari's offerings, the busketti is served with a carafe of mango juice and a banana. -Jerard Fagerberg
3010 4th Ave. S., Minneapolis
Taco Taxi Tacos
There’s a stretch of Lake Street where tacos are everywhere. You've likely already got your favorites.
But before you swing in to your familiar spot, consider the big yellow truck at Lake and Bloomington. There, $1.50 assorted tacos stretch your lunch dollar far, with only a strip of counter space at the back of truck as your table. It’s a highly coveted piece of real estate, so eat fast, which is of course is no difficulty here. Extra thoughtful touches include grilled onion and handmade salsa.
Two truck locations plus a storefront, also located on Lake Street.
Photo courtesy of Aki's Breadhaus Facebook Page
Pretzel from Aki’s Breadhaus
The small but highly lauded Central Avenue bakery case at Aki’s offers a tightly focused repertoire of traditional German breads and sweet treats. But if you time your visit just so, or hang out long enough, a pan of their highly superior soft pretzels will be coming out of the oven. It’s advisable to get these while they’re hot, the exterior crackling with freshness, and the snow-white interior chewy and steaming. To finish it off, accept both versions of the excellent housemade mustard, one nose-tingling as horseradish and the other sweet and pink from cranberry.
2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Photo courtesy of Tilt Facebook Page
Hot Dogs from Tilt
The once-stately burger and dog have been subjected to all manner of humiliation and disgrace, from grape jelly to nuts. Nuts!
While the dog menu at Tilt is not exactly a purist’s one, they’ve managed to toe an elegant line. That line allows for sauerkraut, caraway beer mustard, and raw onions, but also kimchi, Kewpie mayo, and sesame seeds. More importantly, the dogs themselves are all-beef, snap-when-you-bite-’em links from local Peterson Meats. Or if you please, vegan Sriracha Brats from Herbivorous Butcher.
Either choice is ideal with a cold beer and a fistful of quarters at this new pinball bar that feels instantly classic.
113 E. 26th St., Minneapolis