Like this little guy? He’s a cheese curd from the folks over at Eat Curds.com. Curds are just one thing I ate in 2009 that I liked. I like to eat and I like to make lists so here’s my look back on the year in food that was as I gear up for the Year That Will Be. I’ve compiled this list of amazing things consumed in the past year (uh, amazing to me. I’m not one of those Adventure Eaters scouring the globe for jam made from the thoraxes of sweet beetles), all of them worth the calories. While making this list I realized that I’m incredibly Minneapolis-centric when it comes to eating… unless I’m on vacation. Here’s to branching out to eat in other cities and suburbs in 2010. But first, here’s to some of the best things I ate in 2009.
The pancakes at Maria’s Cafe (Minneapolis). I had ripe plantain with cotija cheese on top and chocolate chip. Shared with my friend Ellen. Ah, good times.
Several breakfasts at Victor’s Cafe (Minneapolis). You can hardly go wrong here. The best times at Victor are on the little patio out front, cup of black tea, plate of beans, rice, eggs, tortillas, etc.
Glazed doughnuts from World’s Best Donuts in Grand Marais, Minnesota. It’s a late summer morning, still cool out but about to get hot – head over to World’s Best and have 2 or 3 of the glazed or cherry-filled before setting off on a hike to the Devil Track River.
Huevos Rancheros from Hell’s Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis.
Grilled Cheese at Moose & Sadie’s (Mpls). Many has been the day when a bad morning at work has turned around at Moose & Sadie’s with a grilled cheese and a chai latte. It’s my pretend office-away-from-the-office.
Pizza from Mesa Pizza (Mpls). Most. Awesome. Slices. Mac and cheese (um, I kinda like cheese) is my favorite but I also love pesto/tomato and, uh, pretty much any vegetarian slice they have.
Thai omelette with rice from True Thai (Mpls) with sweet sticky rice for dessert. I don’t know – I had this meal for lunch once at True Thai and it just made me… happy. Total rice overkill. Who cares? Comfort food!
Veggie burger and fries from Cuzzy’s (Mpls). Had this on a bitter cold winter day; might have been the last day of 2008, actually, and it was what I needed. Just kind of basic and greasy but not so greasy you experience distress.
Tuna salad with spring greens, avocado and sesame dressing at Obento Ya (Mpls).
Appetizer: fried cheese curds at Town Talk Diner (Mpls). More cheese!! I’m seeing where I could maybe cut some corners in ’10.
Pad Thai at True Thai
Anything and everything at Namaste Cafe (Mpls) – I’ve eaten here twice and both times had a great meal. I don’t think you can have a bad meal here. Great vegetarian options and very relaxing patio even though it’s on Hennepin (the patio is above street level and slighly set back).
Pasta at Broder’s Pasta Bar (Mpls). Mmmm…. pasta!
Amazing sushi dinner at Tiger Sushi on Lyndale in Mpls.
Coconut cake at Crave at Mall of America. I didn’t even have dinner here – just a glass of champagne and a slice of coconut cake. Done and done.
Chicago Mix Popcorn from Candyland (St. Paul!!). This stuff is the crack of the food world. The last time this was brought into work I didn’t have a single kernel because I knew if I started I’d be off on a bender for days until the entire enormous bag was consumed.
Raspberry chocolate chip ice cream cones at Sebastian Joe’s (Mpls)
Chocolate cake at Zeno Cafe. A piece of cake so tall that when they bring it out to you, all the heads in the dining room turn to see who’s getting it. A birthday standard for me but best to share!
Dark chocolate cookies from Rustica Bakery. They used to be within Java Jack’s Cafe in Minneapolis but I believe they are moving or have moved to a new location somewhere else in Minneapolis…
*Really, I could go on and on in this category. I’ve hardly ever met a dessert I didn’t like.
Guacamole and chips with pico de gallo on the beach in Isla Mujeres; Margaritas prepared by Steve at Casa Sirena; lobster!!
Gelato, fresh ravioli and pasta sauce in Italy. Plus green beans with shredded cheese. Something I would never be able to duplicate.
And those doughnuts in Grand Marais!
I know I’m forgettting some pleasurable eating experiences. I know I had outstanding onion rings this year but can’t remember where. None of my memorable eating experiences were at the State Fair. I think I’m one Minnesotan who’s kind of… maybe… over fair food?
I’m looking forward to eating in 2010. Suggestions welcome. In the meantime, I’ll be reading up on the FAQ’s about cheese curds.