It's food truck season.
The Chef Shack debuts at Mill City this weekend - that's the truck of Lisa Carlson, world traveller, veteran of bonafide Michelin-starred European restaurants, and originator of the local street-food revolution.
Chef Shack remains in my opinion in the first rank of local street food options: It's inventive, surprising, awesome. Some of my favorite past meals there included pulled pork nachos, hand-cut sea salt french-fries, goat's milk ice-cream, and cardamom-scented mini-donuts. Yum!
But that's not all. My other Twin Cities favorites:
Lobster rolls, the best shrimp poor boy I've ever had, and a great grilled-talleggio and asparagus grilled-cheese.
WORLD STREET KITCHEN
Sameh Wadi, chef of Saffron, a James Beard semi-finalist, and the only Minnesotan to ever compete in Iron Chef runs a food truck called the World Street Kitchen, it's parked by the light rail stop at Nicollet and 5th Street, great fusion dishes like a Middle Eastern pressed lamb torta, made by pressing big chunks of Iowa lamb, pickled peppers, herbs, and cheese together inside a roll until the roll gets as flat as a tortilla and everything inside it fuses into one delicious whole.
BARRIO TACO TRUCK
Snagged the former Smack Shack space! And it's in Minneapolis' Warehouse district every day from around 11 a.m. on. Soft shell crab torta! Bacon wrapped hot dog! Burritos!
That little bit of Paris in the state capital opened it's patio this week, and it's street-stand for crepes (the best in Minnesota!) is open now, and for every sunny day until October. Yesterday it had a sweet crepe for fresh strawberries and nutella, and a savory crepe filled with spinach, mushrooms, and fontina cheese. What's the special today?
128 CAFE'S & THE CHEF-TRUCK FOOD COURT
St. Paul's famous and beloved 128 Cafe got into the food truck business last year, and today's the first day of its food-truck season. It's supposed to be parked at Kellogg between St. Peter and Wabasha, right near the St. Paul City Hall, along with four other food trucks every Wednesday afternoon for the foreseeable future. Last year some of the highlights included a good sized portion of its famous pork ribs, pesto-shrimp skewers, and fancy asparagus salads with chevre sourced straight from the Farmer's Market.
Food and dining authority Dara Moskowitz-Grumdahl checks in with Steve Seel and Jill Riley each Wednesday at 8:30 am on The Current's Morning show. She's a Senior Editor at Minnesota Monthly and keeps the the Dara & Co. blog at MinnesotaMonthly.com