Girls on Food

Minneapolis

#girlsonfood Insta-Interview With @bethaneclair

Our hashtag #girlsonfood has nearly 13K uses on Instagram!

Thank you so much to our readers for using this tag!

I have been looking through all the images and saw that there were so many bloggers/photographers/influencers that I wanted to get to know a little better. So, I created a column where I interview the folks behind some of most the interesting pages. Many of the people that I will interview have exceptional instagram followings that are making me a tad jealous! I may need to use an insta bot to replicate their figures.

Through the uses of our hashtag, I found Bethany Richardson Webb of @bethaneclair, a St. Paul-based food scientist, world traveler and dog-mom to a beautiful golden retriever named Herby. I get to know Bethany a little bit better in the interview below.

GOF: Please tell me about being a food scientist! What is you day-by-day like?

BRW: Since finishing school I’ve had a few different positions- previously I worked at a food ingredient company developing custom color solutions for consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies. I now work in food safety & quality at a large CPG company. My main role is in labeling regulatory compliance- using my regulatory expertise to create ingredient declarations, nutrition facts panels, and claims that end up on packages. Additionally, I’m doing a stretch role into a food safety & quality product manager position where I influence to ensure that food safety requirements are taken into account, that quality is designed into a product, and that our manufacturing plants can meet that quality on a consistent basis. I love what I do- it allows me to use my technical expertise and problem-solving skills and what I am doing helps bring products into our consumers homes to feed their families

GOF: What kind of degrees/certifications do you have?

BRW: I received my BS in Food Science from Clemson University and my MS in Food Science from University of Illinois where my research focused on flavor chemistry of beets

GOF: What drew you to the science of food?

BRW: I’ve always loved food. When I was younger, I actually considered going to culinary school. However, I found food science through watching Unwrapped on the Food Network. I loved seeing all the science and processing that went into getting food onto our grocery store shelves. Even after having been to many food production facilities, I still find manufacturing so fascinating. It’s an incredible feeling seeing products you were part of on grocery store shelves. Eating is a very intimate experience, but most people likely don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the risks of what they might be eating and how to mitigate them.

GOF: Is there one food fact that you’re shocked more people don’t take into consideration before they bite into it?

BRW: Probably food safety? Eating is a very intimate experience, but most people likely don’t spend a lot of time thinking about the risks of what they might be eating and how to mitigate them. In full disclosure, I will on occasion eat raw cookie dough but will never touch raw milk.

GOF: I noticed you have a hashtag of your own going, #bethanys30by30. What does this hashtag mean to you?

BRW: Last December I turned 29- in the months before, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I really wanted to accomplish prior to turning 30 and this list of 30 was the output of that. Some of the goals are relatively minor, like learning how to do crow pose in yoga, while others are pretty big, like buying a house. Obviously there were some food-related items like cooking with a new ingredient monthly and learning to make bagels. I was a little nervous to post on social media about it, but I’ve actually found there’s been a lot of positivity that’s come from sharing. Several people have joined me on my goals and it’s even inspired some of my mentors at work to create 40 by 40 or 50 by 50 lists! The real purpose behind it was to be intentional with my goals and really to push myself to grow and progress, even if that didn’t necessarily mean accomplishing every last one of them.

Chèvre agnolotti with sweet corn, bacon, and peas.

GOF: When it comes to Instagram, would you say you post food for your following or for yourself?

BRW: I would say mostly for myself- I love sharing what I eat and took photos of food in the years prior to Instagram; however, I do love partnering with local businesses (we’re blessed with a wonderful food scene & community in the Twin Cities) so the intention behind some of what I post is to let others in the Twin Cities know about certain restaurants or products. At the end of the day, I want my Instagram account to be a reflection of me personally. I have intentionally chosen to only have one Instagram account, and while you’ll see a lot of food (because I love eating and am passionate about it!) there’s also more personal content like outdoor adventures and dog photos.

GOF: Let’s talk dog food – do you make your own or do you have a preferred brand?

BRW: Sometimes I do make homemade dog treats or cupcakes on birthdays! Herby also really likes fresh fruit and veggies so sometimes I’ll give him a bite when I’m in the kitchen. I recently switched to Hill’s Science Diet Senior per our vet’s recommendation.

GOF: Any food items you want to see less of on Instagram?

BRW: Foods that only look good but that only taste mediocre. There’s nothing more disappointing than visiting a place that’s been highly Instagrammed about and the food itself doesn’t live up to the pictures. I’d rather eat something that’s plain-looking but delicious. Also, “yolk porn”. I really don’t like eggs already, and these videos just gross me out.

GOF: Favorite St. Paul restaurants?

BRW: Mucci’s Italian- their food is delicious and the atmosphere feels like being at home. Plus they have excellent donuts on the weekends. I’m also happy to see that some of my favorite Minneapolis spots like Parlour and Revival have opened St. Paul locations. Stewart’s and the original Punch Pizza are both excellent and walkable from our place. In my opinion, the best Juicy Lucy in the Twin Cities is at The Nook in St. Paul- I take everyone who comes in to visit from out of town here.

Be sure to follow @bethandeclair, @girlsonfoodblog and use that hashtag #girlsonfood to be featured someday!

#girlsonfood Interviews Kat Peterson of @kmlpeterson

Our hashtag #girlsonfood has over 12K uses on Instagram! 

Thank you so much to our readers for using this tag!

I have been looking through all the images and saw that there were so many bloggers/photographers/influencers that I wanted to get to know a little better. So, I created a column where I interview the folks behind some of most the interesting pages.

Through the uses of our hashtag, I found Kat Peterson of @kmlpeterson. With her incredible photography skills and impeccable taste in food, I had to pick her brain on food photography! I have a feeling we’re going to see more of her images on more professional sites soon. 

GOF: When did you start your Instagram page?

KP: I first started Instagram back in June of 2015 when I got my first smartphone. I was really late to the technology game!

GOF: Why food + craft beer?

KP: Around the same time (2015), I went to my first taproom and feel in love with the craft beer culture. While I don’t post as many photos of beer as I once did, it’s still something I really enjoy. As far as food goes, it became a way for me to connect with other people when I was going through a difficult time in my life and in a sense, reinventing myself. Having group dinners with friends and exploring new restaurants was my way of practicing connection, relationship, and friendships.

GOF: What camera do you usually shoot on?

KP: I use a Canon 6D. I started with a borrowed Nikon about two years ago and then switched to a borrowed Canon Rebel before finally purchasing my own camera back in December. It’s been a big learning curve with the new camera and sometimes I feel like I haven’t even tapped into half of what it’s capable of. So LOTS of practice!

Fried Potato Hash from Hai Hai

GOF: What do you think separates the Minneapolis food scene from others?

KP: I don’t have any personal knowledge on other cities around the US but as far as the Twin Cities go, I see a lot of connection and collaboration between restaurants and people. The chefs are approachable and responsive to curiosity about the industry and although we have chefs that are probably considered local celebrities, they are still down to earth and seem to love interacting with guests in their restaurants.

GOF: Are there any St Paul/Minneapolis feuds?

KP: Ha, definitely! Until a few years ago, Minneapolis was the hot spot for dining and there weren’t a ton of great places in St Paul. The St Paul dining scene has since exploded and there are now so many restaurants worth crossing the river for.

GOF: Was being a “foodie” always a part of your life or did it come later?

KP: I’ve always had a love for food and remember trying to cook my way through my Mom’s Betty Crocker cookbook one summer. But I didn’t realize how crucial food had become or how pivotal Instagram has been in changing my life until this past summer.

GOF: Is there one item of food you’d like to see less of on Instagram?

KP: Not really. Even though “food porn” isn’t my style of photography…the drippy, gooey, 5,000 calorie meals… I still like to look at it! A photography trend that I’d love to see end is the over saturation and sharpening of images. If it doesn’t look like food anymore, I don’t want to eat it.

GOF: Do you prefer cocktails, craft beer or wine with a meal?

KP: That depends on the meal! In general I’d say that I prefer beer but I’ve had a lot of fun trying new wines. I’ve discovered that I’m definitely a fan of Cabernet . I’ve also been practicing cocktail photography, which is probably the most challenging thing for me to photograph.

GOF: Do you give restaurants a heads up you’re coming in or do you prefer anonymity?

KP: I get this question a lot and it bothers me to think that there are actually people that inform a restaurant that they are coming in. I’m not a celebrity or a food critic and I don’t want a dish that isn’t available to the general public so there’s no reason for me to contact them. With the exception of events, all the food on my feed is available at the restaurant for anyone to enjoy and I want to showcase the same dish that they would be served.

GOF: What’s one of the coolest experiences that’s come from your food photography?

KP: Last Fall the Arizona office of tourism invited me out and took me around the state to various restaurants, farms, and breweries. It was so awesome! I learned so much about agritourism, met some amazing people, and of course, ate a lot of food! This has led to other opportunities and I just recently shared this experience on Ready & Roam.

Be sure to follow @kmlpeterson and @girlsonfoodblog and use that hashtag #girlsonfood to be featured someday! 

#girlsonfood Interviews Jeanne of @jeanne.eatsworld

Our hashtag #girlsonfood has over 11.7K uses on Instagram! 

Thank you so much to our readers for using this tag!

I have been looking through all the images and saw that there were so many bloggers/photographers/influencers that I wanted to get to know a little better. So, I created a new column where I interview the folks behind some of most the interesting pages.

Through the uses of our hashtag, I found Jeanne of @jeanne.eatsworld. Jeanne was born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia and moved to Minneapolis at the age of 15 years ago. She works a 9-5 desk job at American Express Global Business Travel and based off her Instagram feed, she savors every minute of her travels. Whether it’s a shot of cup of coffee to go or a shot of her traveling, the world through her eyes looks pretty incredible!

GOF: When did you start your Instagram page?
JH: I started my IG page about 4 years ago mixing between my love for food, for travel and just life in general in Minneapolis. I started to focus on food around 2016. I still post about travel but mostly food.

Jeanne

GOF: Favorite food city, outside of Minneapolis?
JH: My fave food cities are New York and Seoul. I travel to NYC about 1 or 2 times a year to eat. They have so many options that I am not able to find in Minneapolis.

GOF: What’s tougher to get in Minneapolis?
JH: I love Oysters but they are pretty expensive here. Between $3-4.50 each so whenever I can find $1 oysters I am there! At The Mermaid Inn in NYC they offer $1 oysters for Happy Hour.

Happy Hour oysters from The Mermaid Inn photo by @Jeanne.eatsworld

GOF: Was being a “foodie” always a part of your life or did it come later?
JH: I always love to eat and even before IG I was already taking pictures of my food- especially when on vacation. Being raised in Indonesia, I was exposed to many different varieties of food. I’d eat anything from street food, like frog legs, all the way to finer Michelin Star restaurants. So I guess it is always been a part of me and now thanks to Instagram I am able to showcase that.

GOF: I notice a lot of espresso and teas on your feed, what’s your all time favorite caffeinated beverage?
JH: My fave caffeinated beverage will be any kind of latte but I do love a good Matcha latte.

GOF: Do you give restaurants a heads up you’re coming in or do you prefer anonymity?
JH: No. I don’t give them a heads up. I usually just come and eat anonymously and review it based on my personal experience.

GOF: What’s one of the coolest experiences that’s come from your food photography?
JH: I love meeting other foodies who have had the same passion for food and photography but most importantly become real life friends with them. I also do get invited to some restaurant openings and events.

GOF: What’s the furthest you’ve traveled for food?
JH: I did travel to Singapore earlier this year because I want to try the best durian and my friends called me crazy!

Be sure to follow @jeanne.eatsworld and @girlsonfoodblog and use that hashtag #girlsonfood to be featured someday! 

Involved and Oh So Good: Firehouse Subs in Woodbury, Minnesota

Firehouse Subs
8390 Tamarack Village, Woodbury, MN 55123
http://www.firehousesubs.com/

I attended a media dinner at Firehouse Subs in Woodbury, Minnesota. However, this was no typical media dinner. Nope, this was a warm, get to know you, learn about the organization, and it’s commitment to the community, and of course, eat great food media dinner! I am not one to turn down an opportunity to eat a great sub sandwich. I also have a background in non-profit, so great food and a commitment to giving back speaks to my heart as well as my stomach.

(more…)

Bloody Good Brunch: Tullibee at the Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis

Tullibee at the Hewing Hotel
300 Washington Avenue N., Minneapolis, MN 55410

With subzero temperatures and ice laden streets, I find it hard to leave the warmth of my bed during the weekends in Minneapolis. If I am going to leave the house and put on four layers of clothing it better be for a freaking good brunch! The ambiance, the food and the cocktails have to be on point and worth braving the temps.

Well, last weekend I layered up and found myself at Tullibee, the restaurant at the Hewing Hotel, a new “low key luxury” hotel in the North Loop. The independent hotel is designed for travelers who seek an “up north experience” within Minneapolis. It has become quite the night out hot spot. Tullibee at the Hewing is inspired by Minnesota’s lakes and woods. Not only are they the place to be for evening cocktails, I had also heard rumors of a delicious brunch.

Since a good brunch will get me out of house in the winter I just had to check it out. From the minute you step inside the lobby you get the up north vibe. The woodsy, urban chic feel is comforting and welcoming during the throes of winter.

(more…)

Corner Table in Minneapolis

Corner Table
4537 Nicollet Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55409
https://www.cornertablerestaurant.com/

If you know me well, you know my running restaurant list. My must tries of the week and those options that have been on there for far too long. One of those options just had to come off my list last weekend. It was finally time I got myself into Corner Table.

Corner Table is one of those restaurants in Minneapolis with a cult following, a celebrity following even. They have taken that following and opened other spots, like one with three hour long lines for a table. Three hours well worth it. You won’t even remember the wait after eating there. So as you can tell, the anticipation for my trip to Corner Table had been building and building. I was so ready.

Upon arrival, the space made me feel like I was walking into an elegant but cozy home. The funky wallpaper, the trays lining the tops of the walls, the deep wood of the tables, and the lively chatter of patrons enjoying the view from the bar into the kitchen; all made me feel like magic was about to happen. My anticipation was totally at its peak.

As we looked over the menu, our server clued us into the off menu cheddar drop biscuits. Apparently, the biscuits were previously a menu stable, then removed and still so popular, that they are still made every day. I mean who would I be if I did NOT order them!

bisquists-corner-table

Holy cheesy, flaky, doughy goodness. I considered ordering more to go… We ordered these with our main course, and I may have finished mine before even trying my entrée!

Our first starter had to be the heirloom BLT salad with crispy ham, goat cheese fonduta, and sherry.  Summer does not last long in Minnesota, and I just have to get my heirloom tomato fix. The tomatoes were like candy; there was a crunch from the crouton and saltiness from the goat cheese. I think our server caught me scraping the plate.

blt-salad-corner-table

Next up was the barbeque duck leg with corn cake and green garlic slaw. The plate itself was beautiful; the sauce had just the right amount of tang and the meat was juicy and tender. I could shed little happy tears over this duck leg. Do not overlook this when ordering your meal.

duck-leg-corner-table

For my entrée, I went with the green garlic crusted halibut with baby leeks and black truffle fondue. My tears of joy could just continue throughout this meal. I mean the crust on this halibut was just heavenly. Just look at that golden color. The best piece of halibut I have ever eaten.

halibut-corner-table

My dining partner ordered the pappardelle with duck heart ragu and wild mushrooms. The pappardelle was a bowl of earthy, meaty, rich pasta perfection. If you are looking for that perfect “savoriness,” you’ll find it in this dish.

ragu-corner-table

I had the highest anticipation and expectations when walking in. I left with those just blown out of the water. It was a total sin for me to wait so long before trying Corner Table. It will not be so long before my second trip.

If you are in Minneapolis, you must try Corner Table. I’ll join you 🙂

PinKU Japanese Street Food in Minneapolis

PinKU Japanese Street Food
20 University Avenue NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
https://pinkujapanese.com/

PinKU Disco BallAfter moving to Tokyo in the second grade, I became obsessed with all things Japanese food: big bowls of noodle heaven (slurping encouraged), gyoza after gyoza, and – of course – sushi. Once we moved back to the states, my love of Japanese food never dwindled. I am always on the lookout for authentic spots. When I heard that a new Japanese street food concept had opened around the block from my old northeast apartment, I was there as fast as I could be.

 

PinKU came to be out of the culmination of a lifelong foodie’s dreams and a sushi chef’s passion for authentic Japanese. Both owners aspire for PinKU to be a national brand, and after my experience, I have no doubt they will succeed.

The space is small but welcoming, with an open kitchen on display. Their concept is based on providing high-quality sushi at an accessible price, and ties in culture, art, and education. I can get all the way behind that concept and I’ll eat dinner under a disco ball any day.

Sapporo begins many a meal for me and I mean here, it is necessary.

PinKU Beer

As soon as we entered we were warmly greeted and walked through the menu. The menu only has eleven items, but according to our warm greeter, PinKU makes each one better than anyone else they know.

As mentioned above I can eat a ton of gyoza, so we had to try out the crispy pot stickers. They were absolutely as good as they looked. The ginger garlic sauce, the green onion and crispy exterior all sang a beautiful harmony in my mouth. I will be getting a bigger order next time!

PinKU Potstickers

The jumbo crispy shrimp over radish noodles was recommended to us as THE item to order. I cannot describe how delicate these were. A beautiful, simple yet melt in your mouth perfect bite of shrimp. I immediately ordered another round!

PinKU Shrimp

The seared salmon on rice is another melt in your mouth dish. You can taste the quality and attention to detail here. The salmon is a bite into PinKU’s claim that they make these items better than anyone they know. I am a believer!

PinKU Salmon

Finally we had the spicy tuna fat roll with avocado, carrot, radish and leaf lettuce. How does it differ from other sushi you ask? The fat roll is just that – fat! More deliciousness to struggle to fit in my mouth. But the bite is worth the struggle. I’d order the fat rolls all day long. Just keep em coming.

PinKU Fat Roll

PinKU definitely brought back memories of my time in Japan. They are living true to their concept and serving up their beliefs. Check them out them out if you are in or visiting Minneapolis.  I’ll be encouraging them on their journey by ordering so much more of that crispy shrimp.

You Had Me At Hello: Hi-Lo Diner in Minneapolis

Hi-Lo Diner

4020 East Lake Street
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Diners make me think of classic, hearty, stick to your ribs, enjoy the grease and eat with gusto meals. I think of worn-in but loved counter stools, servers who have seen years come and go and know all the regulars by name.

And when I heard that an original 1957 Fodero Diner had traveled from Gibsonia, PA to Minneapolis, MN, I had to check it out! The hype around Hi-Lo Diner had Minneapolites lining up around the block.

Hi-Lo Exterior

Lucky for us, we ventured in a little after the regular dinner hour and found seats right away. I loved the crisp, clean feel of the interior with the turquoise blue booths. It may lack that worn in feel, but it’s a diner alright! A diner whose weekly specials are heavily influenced by classic movies.

Hi-Lo Specials

Name that movie anyone?!

They also have a fun cocktail, beer, and wine list; and by fun I mean ICE CREAM Cocktails! What could be better on a summer night? We ordered the Periscope Down, which is Fernet Branca, 1919 Root Beer, and cold press.

Hi Lo Ice Cream Cocktail

The mint wasn’t overpowering, and all the flavors blended nicely.

To start, we went with the “Also” portion of the menu, the only item there being the Hi-Lo Wings.

Hi Lo Wings

I could smell these babies coming. They were some of the most fragrant wings I’ve ever had. They brought back memories of eating Jamaican jerk chicken. They are a must try.

Next, I went with one of their Hi-Tops. What is a Hi-Top you ask? Well, apparently it’s like a donut, but, not a donut. Fresh, made to order, fried dough topped with sweet and savory items. I ordered the Gary Coop’er, which had me falling in love at first sight. It’s a beaut!

Gary Coop'er

This Hi-Top with buttermilk fried chicken, bourbon maple syrup, country gravy and micro arugula was a sweet and savory match made in heaven.

Finally, the country style meatloaf is exactly what comes to mind when I think of diner food. With notes of thyme, onion, garlic and dried cherries; the meatloaf comes with mashed potatoes, beef gravy, and asparagus. This is a hearty, stick to your ribs, eat with gusto type of a dish! I almost wished my dining partner and I had switched plates; this was delicious!

Hi Lo Meatloaf

There are a number of other items I’d like to try, and we did not even get to the pie menu! Next time, the peanut butter chocolate pie will be all mine 🙂 Check out Hi-Lo for a Minneapolis diner experience!

 

Getting Surly in Minneapolis: Surly Brewing Co.

Surly Brewing Co.
520 Malcolm Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN, 55414
http://www.surlybrewing.com

Flashback to a couple of weeks ago; Mother’s Day was fast approaching, and we wanted a “destination” so to say for the occasion.  With my mother’s love of beer in my back pocket, planning a day for her was not a difficult task. It was the perfect excuse to check out a popular beer hall in the Minneapolis scene.

Minnesota has a long brewing history; however beer was not allowed to be sold on site (in breweries)  until 2011. Since the legalization, there has been a brewery boom in the Twin Cities, and it seems like every weekend there is a new opening to attend. Trust me; I’ve made it to many 🙂

Our celebration took us to Surly Brewing. Not only does this place have 20 rotating beers on tap, but the food has reached legendary heights in this town. The space is huge; you can eat, drink, take a tour and enjoy the beer garden.

Surly has a beer hall, restaurant, and the Brewer’s Table; a chef-driven craft-beer inspired restaurant that brings the range of the pint to the plate. For Mother’s Day, we chose the Beer Hall.

The food surpassed the legendary tales I’ve been told. Hello, Hog Frites.

pork fries

The frites are a must! They are piled high with smoked pork, giardiniera, and pepper jack fondue. The meat was juicy, the fries salty and the fondue and heat from the pickled veggies a perfect combination.  I admit to scraping the fondue off the basket with the last remaining fry. No regrets.

My mom would never have guessed five years ago how strong my love of brussels sprouts would be, but these days I’m ordering them everywhere. Surly’s are served with toasted sesame seeds, Thai vinaigrette, and cilantro, yum!

brussels

The fish tacos are the Surly special. Fish tacos in Minnesota you ask? Have no fear; I’d put these up against just about any other fish taco. Flaky fish, crunchy batter, pickled onions and light lime aioli; they are exactly what you want in a fish taco. A sip of the paired beer and you’ll thank me.

Fish tacos

I could not get enough of the faro salad with smoked salmon, avocado, a soft boiled egg, pepitas and a lime vinaigrette. Not only was this plate beautiful, but it is also truly the perfect summer dish.

Salmon Faro Salad

By far the smoked cauliflower dish was my favorite. It was beyond worthy of scraping the plate. The dish was composed of labna, pickled chiles, Marcona almonds and olive oil. I had to google labna during dinner! For those like me who were in the dark: labna is a creamy like cheese made by removing excess whey from salted yogurt.   It may now be my favorite thing ever!

Cauliflower

If you are in the mood for a burger, I hands down recommend this one. Just don’t try to modify it, substitutions are not allowed 🙂 The Surly burger is served with American cheese, lettuce, pickles and fancy sauce… an homage to a certain fast food classic if you ask me. Get ready for those double patties.

Surly Burger

If you are looking for a destination brewery, Surly is your Minneapolis spot for beer and great food!

Surly Brewing Company Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato