A Foodie on the Fly

by Kimberley Thompson, Tastemaker in Residence

As an intelligent person...I wince when I hear myself yak on about the miserable weather this winter and the "Is it spring? Doesn't feel like spring" speculation. But as a card carrying Minnesota native; weather grousing is a perfected pastime of Olympian proportions. 

The weather conversations grew a mite cranky this past season; even seasoned gripers ran out of adjectives. 

So, after 5 straight late April days of rain, clouds, sleet and howling winds; I went searching for a bit of cheer and forgetfulness. Which for me meant a foodie trip.

Destination Checklist:

1. Big enough so I am not constantly being reminded of the dismal weather outside by rain streaked windows.

2. Colorful.

3. Both take out and eat in food available;  since I don't know the mood I will be in by the time I run through pouring rain.

4. Diverse choices of food: comfort, spicy,  savory, unfamilar and snack worthy.

5. Generous sitting areas for dining and people watching.

First place that comes to mind is Midtown Global Market 

A marvelous reuse of the old Sears buildings on Lake Street in Minneapolis;  it is the brick and mortar of numerous little food stalls, entrepreneurial start ups, and well sought out chefs!

Luck is with me as I grab a coveted parking slot not far from the west doors. Walking in, my eyes are overwhelmed by colorful gifts from around the world. African textiles, Mexican straw bags, Finnish linens and sweaters and Korean bags of intriguing candies.

And then there is the beguiling smell of delicious food:  warm, sweet, sharp and satisfying.

Deciding quickly, I head to La Lomas Tamales to order sustenance. Huevos a la Mexicana! My taste buds begin to quiver as I place my order with the SPICY tomatillo sauce, black Frijoles and the spicy red rice. Served up with a glass bottled Mexican Coke, I located a table in the center of the Market. First bite, second bite, third bite, and a wipe the lips. The verdant tomatillo sauce is sharp and fresh, as if directly from a garden, and the corn tortillas well crisped under my over easy eggs.

Sitting back, I plot my course.

Grass Roots Gourmet for fresh smoked trout. I love their dedication to the "100 mile radius" of food and food gifts.

Cafe Finspang always for 2 almond kringles and 1/2 dozen melt in your mouth cardamon cookies.

The Salty Tart for Michelle's macaroons; I call them "crackeroons" because they are addicting! A dozen to go. And a savory pastry of the day: today's was creamy Gruyere and roasted asparagus. 

And to finish my weather therapy, a decision at the counter of Grand Italian Ice. What should it be? Tart lemon, sweet blackberry or fresh strawberry ice. I pick my favorite lemon; which is wonderfully sharp like a summertime lemonade.

What weather? I feel cured of my doldrums. 

Now I need to go back and apologize to the little barrista who chirped "April showers bring May flowers" as she handed me my coffee this morning. My reply was a bit on the cranky side.