Breakfast pizza at Giulia
Giulia opened just before the pandemic and went under the radar, but managed to build a solid reputation for pizza. Her dough she ferments for three days, combined with a ‘slow slow’ flame lick in a hot oven, gives the crust its unique slightly sourdough tangy flavor.
Now, with the debut of the brunch at Julia, housed in the former Midland Bank Building inside the Emery Hotel in downtown Minneapolis, we have a new pizza to add to our already-completed list. Breakfast ($20) is served on top of his six-slice pie with pancetta, mozzarella, chives, and his three fried eggs, tableside pizza smashed on her wheel.
It’s decadent cuisine from chef Stephen Brown’s decadent new menu with an emphasis on sharing. There is a long list of appetizers “per la tavola”, many of which are sweet, confirming that this is his go-to weekend leisure dining. Mascarpone-stuffed fried dough, aka Tiramisu Zeppole ($14), and delicately breaded and fried baby artichokes ($13) were other favorites sampled at Soft He’s opening last weekend. Add an Aperol Spritz or a very spicy Bloody Mary (or a nice selection of spirit-free drinks) and get ready for the weekend.
Starting January 14th, brunch is Saturday through Sunday from 10am to 2pm. Lunch service will begin on January 18th and will be served weekdays from 11am to 2pm. (Sharin Jackson)
215 S. 4th St., Mpls., 612-215-5450, dinegiulia.com
Mario’s Alabama White BBQ Sauce Wings
Mario’s is made for the regions we serve. Not far from the University of St. Thomas, this tiny restaurant serves chunky bread-like pizzas and sesame-crusted Volkswagen bus-sized hoagies. But hearty carbs weren’t what drew me to this vintage-style pizzeria – it was the chicken wings.
Alabama White Barbecue Sauce is a tangy, mayo-based sauce that’s just the right amount of heat. And when that vinegar kick hits just in time, it’s pure flavor alchemy. It’s a saliva-inducing acid jungle with a gentle cooldown of .
This tangy sauce-encrusted basket of chicken wings ($13) is a nice carry-on while waiting for a pizza or sable, but the wings are greedy on their own, with stacks of thick napkins nearby. It’s as good as eating in. (Joy Summers)
232 N. Cleveland Avenue, St. Paul, 651-207-5252, mariosstp.com
Pushkin Torte in Moscow on the Hill
It has become an annual tradition to celebrate Ukrainian Christmas in Moscow-on-the-Hill on January 7 with Ukrainian spouses and good friends. We always order the usual dishes to share: Siberian pelmeni, dumplings stuffed with tender little spheres of beef and pork and topped with cumulus clouds of sour cream. with tomato sauce. Beef stroganoff and mashed potatoes. Pickled vegetables and herring, which is always a must. We are usually too full to order dessert. But this year we saved a room.
Honey cake is a traditional Ukrainian Christmas dessert. I usually make the same recipes that Jewish High prepares for his holiday. The result is a rich and delicious bundt cake rich in honey, strong coffee, orange juice and spices. However, Moscow on the Hill’s honey cake was so radically different that I had to try it.
The Pushkin Torte ($9) is eight layers of fluffy chocolate cake and whipped honey cream. This cake was invented for visiting Russian dignitaries in New Orleans in the 19th century, and is akin to (if you believe the internet) the multi-layered Russian medovik that became popular in Soviet kitchens in the 1960s. Either way, the addition of chocolate was a bold and wonderful move for diners longing for the homemade version. (SJ)
371 Selby Avenue, St. Paul, 651-291-1236, moscowonthehill.com
Pork Tacos with Salsa Collaborative Kambo Chimi Sauce
The first time I had Nikki Podgorski’s Cambodian Steak Sauce was right after I nearly choked on the food at a very fancy chef collaboration dinner. Thanks to a sandwiched and ill-prepared bite, the possibility of a viral meme reduced to obituary headlines and urban legends.
Luckily, we had a few minutes and a lot of moisture to recover before the next course was served: Podgorski’s buttered steak was drenched in a very tasty sauce. It tasted like a triumph for the human spirit, but I also wondered if it was an overly dramatic food reporter who simply thanked her life for not being summed up in a really good punch line.
That is, until you taste it again and realize that this is the seasoning I want to put on all my food from now on. 4-8pm, Saturdays 11am-5pm, while supplies last).
The pop-up is a simple setup by Podgorski and her husband and co-chef Brian, with two meat options (pork and chicken) braised and served in taco form ($15). Pork shoulder is topped with this unique bright green condiment that combines Cambodian steak sauce with chimichurri. Herbal flavors are blended with plenty of garlic and mixed with a jazzy hit of Chile. It is divine without being dramatic. (JS)
Barrel Theory Beer Co., 248 E. 7th St., St. Paul, thesalsacollaborative.com.
Cheesy dill popcorn at Berry Own in Chicago
A family with roots in Chicago was tired of traveling to and from Windy City just to get their favorite food. Instead, they uncovered their favorite dishes by learning recipes from Chicago cooks and now serve their own versions of the classics around Minneapolis’s Lake Lynn neighborhood. Aside from the deep-dish pizza, the menu appears to be a record of Chicago’s best culinary hits. Hot dog and Polish sausage, cold cut hoagie (spelled hoagy here), Italian beef sandwich, specialty sweet steak hoagie, poutine, a popular “mild sauce” that’s a bit like barbecue sauce and served with French fries. “there is. everything else.
But what got me excited as a kid at the candy store was the 40 different flavors of popcorn. Deben Spencer, one of the founders of Chicago’s Very Own and his general manager, says that only a few are on the menu at a time, and the flavors cycle.
Of course, there’s also caramel and cheddar, a Chicago mix we all know and love. I chose the cheese dill which was tangy like a pickle and very easy to eat with a coating of cheese powder that turned my fingers orange. (A medium bag he was $8.50.) Now you can try more classic flavors like Lemon Pound He Cake, Buffalo, and Toffee He Apple. I can’t wait to see peanut butter caramel and grapes on the menu. Imagine PB&J popcorn! “We’ll definitely get back out there and experiment,” Spencer said. (SJ)
700 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-208-0354 (Hoagie Shop), 612-208-0054 (Popcorn and Cookie Shop), chicagosveryown.com