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One of the Best Meals of the Year: Surly Brewer’s Table

Originally I thought Spoon & Stable was going to be the biggest thing of 2014-2015, launching a new era of food tourism to the Twin Cities. No doubt among a certain set of food tourists, S&S is the thing. People will fly here to try Chef Gavin Kaysen’s food. And they’ll leave happy and they’ll brag about the great food in Minneapolis and St. Paul. But I now believe that far more people will come here to visit Surly’s Destination Brewery, and the impact will be even wider.

The brewery is gorgeous. The beer is top notch. And the food: perhaps shockingly fantastic. The food in the Beer Hall is full of flavor and pairs nicely with the variety of beer Surly makes. But the new restaurant on the second floor of the brewery, Brewer’s Table at Surly, is incredible.

I blogged about it at Mpls St. Paul Magazine:

My wife and I shared five courses—we selected a lamb taco snack ($5), vegetables with an abalone mushroom that looked like a giant hunk of foie gras ($16), the gorgeous and irresistibly Instagrammable tea egg ($14), an octopus dish shaped like Stonehenge ($17), and the rich, fatty, decadent pork jowl ($23).

Read more of my First Bite at


MSP Mag Blog: A Hot Dog Joint Transforms Itself Into Fancy Dinner

Growing up in Chicago, I have a soft spot in my heart for the places doing Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian Beef sandwiches. I love Chris and Rob’s, and I love Uncle Franky’s. So when the owner emailed me and told me that he was transforming the place on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights into a nice restaurant with great live music and a chef who has cooked in the White House, I had to check it out.


I was in a hot dog joint eating a nice dinner. It was a little weird.

Click here to read more in my Minneapolis St. Paul Magazine food blog.