Well, it isn’t March 31 yet, but I’m not going to be eating out in the Twin Cities metro between now and then and so I may as well put this list up now. I got back from Delhi on Friday: 24 hours of travel, counting airport time, 16.5 hours of that one flight from Delhi to Chicago; all of it with a mask on. It was not fun. But it’s good to be back home (and it was very good to be at my other home as well). I ate out a fair bit in Delhi and will be posting all of those reports in the next few weeks (the first one already went up last week and the next will go up this Tuesday). In April I’ll get back to the usual weekly reports from the Twin Cities. Until then here are my favourite restaurant dishes eaten in the Twin Cities metro in the first quarter of 2022. As always, every restaurant I ate at is represented. I didn’t like every one of those meals equally—and there was one I did not care for much at all (saying so made me lots of new friends online)—but there were things I liked at every meal and so everyone gets a look in. That’s the kind of guy I am: generous of spirit.
In chronological order (you can see what else we ate at each meal by clicking on the restaurant names in the list):
- El Triunfo (Northfield): I enjoyed their freshly-made tamales, their tinga (as always) and especially their menudo.
- India Palace (Burnsville): We did not care for this takeout meal, on the whole. (This was also not a universally popular review among members of the Burnville community Facebook page.) In fact, the thing I liked enough to mention here wasn’t even something we ordered but something that was included with another dish: the mixed veg curry which came with over-hard seekh kababs.
- On’s Kitchen (St. Paul): We went back to one of our old favourites early in the year and it was a very good meal. The particular favourite: the khao soi, the mango salad and the nam thok kor moo yang (nam thok with grilled pork neck).
- Grand Szechuan (Bloomington): Our first eat-in restaurant meal of 2022 and our first meal inside Grand Szechuan since the pandemic began. It did not disappoint. So many excellent dishes but I’ll single out the stir-fried sliced noodles, the Chengdu grilled lamb, and the whole walleye in spicy bean sauce.
- Indian Masala (Maplewood/Woodbury): This was our first meal eaten in at Indian Masala as well since we first encountered them in takeout form in 2020. You may recall that, along with Godavari, they sit atop my Twin Cities Indian restaurant rankings for both 2020 and 2021. This meal featured their weekend buffet and so did not show them at their best. Still a good meal though, on the whole. The dishes I particularly liked were the chicken biryani, a chicken curry and an Indo-Chinese chilli chicken.
- Godavari (Eden Prairie): Speaking of Godavari, this was our first meal in at Godavari as well since first encountering them as takeout in 2020. A very good meal. From what we ate I’d particularly recommend the Konaseema Fish Veppudu, the ghee idlis and the Mysore masala dosa.
- Owamni (Minneapolis): You can yell at me again if you want for not liking this meal or for my presumption in critiquing some of the restaurant’s rhetoric but I don’t think you can get mad at me for saying that there were a few dishes I liked. These included the thaniga (stewed bison tripe and tail), the thacincala (mutton in a green chili with teppary beans and blue corn tortillas on the side), and the siyosa (pheasant with sweet potato dumplings).
- Grand Szechuan again: I got back on Friday and yesterday we celebrated a friend’s birthday with lunch at our favourite restaurant. I haven’t written this meal up yet obviously, and won’t do so probably till we’ve eaten our next meal there, but want to particularly praise three dishes we hadn’t gotten in a while till yesterday: the country-style chicken, the stir-fried pea tips and the Chengdu-style grilled fish fillet.
The slideshow features all the dishes mentioned above. Again, you can click on the restaurant names in the list to see everything else we ate at those meals and my views on the meals on the whole (guaranteed to appeal).
No plans have been made yet for April eating. I’m hoping to score a table at Khaluna (we gave up a mid-Jan reservation when omicron spiked); we might also go back to Alma; and there’ll almost certainly be some Thai and maybe some Cambodian (Cheng Heng or Kolap?). Let’s see.