Minneapolis trip report

Not too much to report from my first Minneapolis trip (White Castle isn’t exactly FTC material, but I was happy to finally try their burgers from a brick and mortar rather than from a grocery freezer case), but my vegetarian hosts did take me to some interesting spots.

The Herbivorous Butcher is a vegan butchery, a seeming contradiction in terms. But their “meats” and “cheeses” are inventive and tasty. They have a traditional deli and meat case, with cold cuts and items to take and grill, as well as a short list of sandwiches to grab-and-go. I tried their Italian cold cut to get a wide sampling of their deli offerings. The sandwich, on a very tasty hoagie, included vegan versions of pastrami, capicola ham, pepperoni, and mozzarella with a tangy vinaigrette. Pickled cherry peppers were also tucked inside. Very tasty, and even more so when I ate the second half later in the day (the flavors had a chance to marinate). I tried a bite of my friend’s daily special, a hot panini with vegan pastrami, gouda, kale, sautéed mushrooms, and mushroom mayo on a whole grain roll, and it was a delicious umami bomb. For the fake-meat phobic, it might be best to skip Herbivorous Butcher, but as an equal opportunity eater, I really enjoyed their alternative deli offerings.

They also took me to Hard Times Cafe which, as music subculture kinda person who is money conscious, I really appreciated. The cafe has a punk-rock, DIY feel and offers affordable vegetarian fare. Semi-self serve. You write down your order, pay the cashier, pick it up at the counter, and bus and scrape off your dishes once finished. I had the vegetarian biscuits and gravy. No subtle, nuanced flavors, but stick-to-your-ribs diner food. The gravy had a good consistency, with plenty of mushrooms, and it wasn’t too salty. The biscuits were giant, both fluffy and hefty. The dish was topped with fresh tomatoes and green onions, a nice counterpoint to the richness of the meal. There was also a vegan option. A huge plate of food for around $5.

During my lunch breaks I tried Zelino Deli in downtown, twice. The freshly baked bread they use for their sandwiches and as a soup & salad side had a nice chew. Standard offerings done well, with high quality ingredients. Cold sandwiches are grab-and-go. Salads made to order. Daily lasagna. Depending on the weekday, there are some additional hot dishes.


Herbivorous Butcher

Hard Times Cafe

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hmmm. next time have your vegan friends take you to the midtown global market. they’ll be able to find plenty to eat there and you won’t be as constrained. plus everything there is easy on the wallet. i particularly recommend moroccan flavours. and i also recommend that you stay away from the rabbit hole.

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Thanks for the suggestions! I hope to make it back to Minneapolis…after winter!

… Thanks for informative report…I am living in Roseville…and tend to move to Minneapolis next month. I will take all these thing into my account.

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