Sunday, November 14, 2010

Do you think the Twin Cities is a major food city?

I've heard a lot of people talk as if the Mpls / St Paul food scene was almost as successful as some of the coastal cities. I think we are miles behind, but I would value hearing your thoughts!


  1. I think that MN has potential to be one of the 'big' cities in the US. we have a good hub for the arts, music, and sports. I think we could really start to emerge as a leader in the food industry. We are no small ho-dunk town. we are a very vibrant and lively!

  2. My feelings are that the Twin Cities are different in what makes us a major player in the culinary world. Coastal cities have the advantage of fresh seafood where we have to have it flown in but that doesn't mean we don't have some wonderful artists that can take our produce, berries, heirloom recipes, farm stock and much more and turn it into delicious culinary works that, perhaps, coastal and other cities are envious of.

    Hey, a couple of years ago I didn't see anyone else but Marjorie Johnson feeding the stars walking down the red carpet at the Oscars her Ginger Snaps. :)

    But seriously, we have so much talent and we need to work together. The only problem that I see is jealousy and snobbish attitudes that can ruin a good thing. Thanks goodness we have more working together and sharing.


  3. I agree with you that we're miles behind. I think we do have a vibrant scene here, though it can't and shouldn't be compared to the left and right coasts because of the insular nature of Minnesota compared to the more open, cosmopolitan coastal cities. That's not a slam at all, it's just the way it is here.

  4. I'm just saying I think many people think the Twin Cities are progressive culinary wise, but look at all the fine dining hotels that are being launched.
    Why is "Porter Frye" at the Ivy vacant, why did Steve Brown get let go. will David Fhima ever be able to keep a concept open for a year....or better yet make money.
    Do people from the Twin cities ever dine on Tuesday nights...or are they strictly a weekend crowd?
    I remember talking with Alexander Dixon of Zanders right before he closed. I notice that he removed 80% of the bottle from his wine cellar. When I asked why.....he just chucked and said people from the Midwest seldom make it the the second page of a wine list. It wasn't a slight, merely an observation.
    I've heard that one of the biggest concepts launched this Fall has already lost it's accountant and the Executive Chef is looking for work.
    Joan Ida gets it, You won't find anyone smarter in the Twin cities and she is at the Highland Grill!

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  6. I don't want to say that the Twin Cities CAN'T be a mecca of food, but I don't see it becoming a San Francisco, NYC or Chicago. We have great talent; Tim McKee, Alex Roberts, Beard Winners among many other fantastic nominees this year. Both Roberts and McKee run/ran/ fine dining establishments AND weekday eateries. Because of this, I have to believe that Brasa is financing Alma. Fine dining is not Minneapolis/St. Paul's schtick (unless you are Target/3M/insert-corporate-credit-card-here).
    With that said, I do believe that we like food, and that we like good food, but it must fall under varying categories to be worth "going-out" (on a tuesday night) for; approachability, price point, time.
    Even the fancy restaurants here have a $25-30 price point tops for foods that, while very excellent, are not going to push boundaries and set trends like WD-50 in NYC.

    For what it's worth, I go out to eat on Tuesdays - though not Meritage, Sea Change or Alma - those are the weekend digs.

  7. I'm from rural Iowa, so any place is culinary mecca compared to there. I love the ethnic diversity of much of the food here, but having lived and travelled in Europe, not everything has translated well.

    And, maybe I'm not patroning the right places, but I find that my dollar is better spent eating at home as I can cook just as well or better than what I've encountered dining out. Not to mention, I'm cheap - but, welcome to the midwest - isn't that most of us?

  8. Rikki Boo Boo, great point's, but I don't know if most Midwestern people cook these days, but I can only hope.
    Also on the coasts, cities have ethnic pockets like Little Italy or China Town, I wonder if we did that, if the P.C. squad would shut it down.
    I also think much of this is influenced by Sysco and U.S.Foods, we have 1000 restaurants in our city and 900 of them (numbers guesstimated)are all getting their food off the back of the same truck.
    Uf I want ethnic.....I cruise University Avenue.

  9. as far as bread and other baked goodies, we got klecko nuff said, as for other things..... eh we got some good stuff others alot of room for improvement

  10. Agree on cruising University for ethnic!

  11. I find the Twin City food great. Compared to Omaha all we seem to have is steak. Ethnic food is hard to find her in town. When I'm in Saint Paul I always seem to find something thats not the norm. I think Twin Citys could be a big foody city if like Klecko said the P.C. crowd wouldn't suck it down.

  12. We're miles behind coastal cities and Europe... but in comparison within the Midwest, excluding Chicago, we are right up with the best. Especially in bread:) There is a mecca of talented chefs (and wise food savvy patrons) here that serve those with an adventurous or sophisticated palette but the norm here is conservative in various ways. The little ethnic neighborhoods found in NY, Chicago, and SF are my favorite places to eat....but I just don't see that happening here ever. AND that's ok..I'm not slamming's just not what's being asked for. I'm a food brat...but I'm also a chef so I can make what I want:) Thanks for another great post Klecko. Great comments too!

  13. For those of you who don't know the Cheesecake Temptress.....Google Muddy Paws Cheesecakes

  14. If there was a Like Button....I'd click it. THANKS for the shout out K!