Greetings, blog readers! My name is Mary Burns, and as of April, I have joined the ACET Inc. team as their Editor Assistant. I’m a Macalester College graduate with a background in research and editing and a personal interest in Japanese culture, and I look forward to coming up with creative ways to bring ACET’s message to you. This week on the blog, I’ve been given the opportunity to share something about myself with you, so I’d like to present five (in no order) of my favorite Twin Cities culinary experiences.
5. Tii Cup: Twin Cities bubble tea aficionados probably think of TeaGarden first for the satisfaction of their tapioca pearl fix, but this little Richfield café (about 32 blocks away from ACET!) offers some items that you can’t get at the better-known chain. Try the popping boba, the slightly smaller and flavored version of the tapioca pearl that bursts with flavor in your mouth, or consider a carefully brewed coffee beverage, for those friends of yours who can’t get over the weirdness of your salted plum slushy (hi Mom). Follow them on Facebook or at tii-cup.com.
4. Zen Box Izakaya: There are a lot of Japanese places all over the Twin Cities, and as the cuisine is a personal favorite of mine, I make a point of trying out as many as I can. Fans of the Zen Box lunch location in the downtown Minneapolis skyway will be happy to learn that the gastropub version has the same reliably good, authentic food, and the price point isn’t that much higher! Come in for the friendly service, then walk a couple of blocks up to the light rail station and head off into the sunset. Read more at zenboxizakaya.com.
3. Farmer’s Markets: If you live in the Twin Cities and have never been to a farmer’s market, you are missing out. Farmer’s markets are not only places to acquire fresh, organic ingredients, but also to eat some of those ingredients cooked in unique ways by cooks who have no other cart, truck or storefront. A few of my favorite neighborhood restaurants sell their food at farmer’s markets, sometimes with special market-only additions. Interfacing with cooks and farmers like this makes for a great learning, shopping and eating experience for the whole family. Find your local farmer’s market at www.mda.state.mn.us.
2. Lu’s Sandwiches: The newest discovery on this list, Lu’s has a simple menu of Vietnamese banh mi sandwiches, French baguettes filled with great flavors including grilled pork, fried tofu and pickled vegetables. There are a lot of places to get banh mi in the Twin Cities, but Lu’s makes this list because of its good value and the fact that they deliver (by bicycle!) within 2.5 miles of their location. Brilliant! Check them out at lusandwiches.com.
1. Sebastian Joe’s: Summer is coming – in the Twin Cities, we’ve already had a taste of it – and on a warm afternoon or evening, there’s nothing quite like enjoying an ice cream cone outside. Sebastian Joe’s has dozens and dozens of rotating flavors to choose from at its two locations, in addition to sorbets, shakes, and baked goods. The people-watching is just as choice as the ice cream, and both locations are just blocks away from two of our famous lakes. Visit sebastianjoesicecream.com for more information.