Food snobs often wave their whisks in the direction of the big cities on the coasts when pointing to the best areas to indulge in the latest, greatest gourmet fare.
But now Thrillist, a website that tags itself "Digital Lifestyle for Men," has named Minneapolis (and by extension, presumably, St. Paul) as one of the seven cities on a list of the country's most underrated food towns, along with the non-coastal Cleveland, Houston and Louisville, Kentucky.
Thrillist enlisted Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, the James Beard award-winning food writer for Mpls.StPaul magazine to "give us the deets" on what makes the Twin cities underrated. She opined that the biggest reason the local scene is under the radar is "...because everywhere in the Midwest is underrated! Oklahoma City, Omaha, Madison... We're underrated because the coasts have all the people and all the media outlets, but we have all the farms. Duh."
She goes on to rhapsodize about bakeries, including Patisserie 46 in Minneapolis, and notes that the locally sourced ingredients in charcuterie and craft beer create freshness that is unparallelled. "We have the good stuff, we enjoy and support it so much we don't let our artisans export it, so you don't even know about it... and we have the time to kick back and relish it," she said.
On her "don't miss" list: Heartland Restaurant and the Hmongtown Marketplace in Minneapolis, moto-i Ramen and Sake House in Minneapolis, and Auroch's Horn ale from Olvalde Brewing in Rollingstone, Minnesota.
Previously, celebrity chef and best-selling food writer Anthony Bourdain named Minneapolis as a underrated food city in a Q and A the food website Delish.com. He specifically named Piccolo as a spot worth searching out, calling the South Minneapolis restaurant "hyper-skilled and highly refined but humbled by local, seasonal ideals."
Meanwhile, regular patrons got into the act as well. Last year, the MinneapolisEater website asked locals which spots around the metro they considered to be underrated. Some of the restaurants nominated included the Sample Room and It's Greek To Me in Minneapolis, and the Happy Gnome and Luci Ancora in St. Paul.