In no particular order, I present a list of the ten best things I ate in 2019.
Now keep in mind, my list of the best things and my favorite things are not necessarily the same. More on this in the next post. But for now, enjoy!
Everything We Ate at Everest Tikka House, Fargo-Moorhead
The food here (and at their sister restaurant Himalayan Yak) is ridiculously delicious and significantly spicier than our favorite Nepalese restaurants in the cities. The momos are some of the best I’ve tried so far. Even the vegetarian momos came recommended over the meat-filled.
Breakfast from Reverie Mobile Kitchen, Minneapolis
I use to poke fun at vegans and vegetarians until I ate really good vegan food. Years later, I decided to go more plant-based. Now when I find myself at restaurant where the only vegetarian options are bread and cheese ravioli, I consider it payback.
Reverie opened a restaurant this month and I can’t wait to visit.
The farmers market breakfast hash that I enjoyed at the Northeast Farmers Market this summer was packed with flavors and textures. Crispy fried potatoes, kale and asparagus, all perfectly seasoned. I don’t know how you make a creamy, garlicky green sauce like this other than witchcraft.
Read more: Breakfast At Two Minneapolis Farmers Markets
Scallop Pasta from Trattoria di Monica, Boston, North End
A friend’s friend recommended her favorite Boston restaurants to us, including Trattoria di Monica’s which was just down the road from our Airbnb in the North End.
After a long afternoon of exploring the city by foot, we tucked into bowls of pasta. The Tagliolini Nero con Caposante is a umami-packed bowl of al dente ribbons of squid ink pasta, julienned carrots and leeks, and plump seared scallops. Everything I’ve always wanted + more in a bowl of pasta.
Mentioned in the post Boston: We Missed The Sam Adams Tour But Ate The Best Pasta
Dinner at Angry Trout Cafe, Grand Marais, MN
In my personal opinion, Angry Trout Cafe is not overrated. Located almost as far north as you can go in Minnesota, you’ll find the restaurant on the shores of Lake Superior in Grand Marais.
Meals come with bread and butter upon request. Entrees arrive in beautiful pottery, loaded with the freshest salad, fresh fruit, and thoughtful sides like wild rice or homemade fettuccine tossed with butter, parmesan and hazelnuts. Mix and match bottles of homemade salad dressings and dill sauce to your liking. Fried white fish is crisp and greaseless, grilled trout is moist and flavorful. I can see why people look forward to returning year after year.
Soup and Cream Cheese Wontons from Trieu Chau, St Paul, MN
Quang is still our go-to Vietnamese restaurant and Jake’s favorite pho. I really really like Trieu Chau located along University Ave in St. Paul. Unfussy, very affordable, made with care. If you go during a prime meal time, prepare for a bit of a wait – the restaurant’s on the smaller size and beloved.
Brunch at Kado no Mise, Downtown Minneapolis
Kado no Mise isn’t currently offering brunch, but will hopefully resume again. Their vegetarian okonomiyaki topped with a fried egg is one of my favorite meals from the year. My friend ordered a rice bowl with pillowy pieces of fried tofu and I still think about it.
This summer, Heather Jansz (The Curry Diva) offered specials at Sea Salt.
I stand by the claim that you will find the best, most affordable seafood in the Twin Cities at Sea Salt – they are open seasonally from spring through the fall. We only made it to Sea Salt once this year. In addition to regular menu items, the chefs always offer a number of daily specials. I was thrilled to see The Curry Diva’s Sri Lankan curry on the menu.
Besides looking visually stunning, the dish packed so many flavor and textures. I ordered it with fish, but you could also order it with shrimp or no seafood. The chutneys added heat and sweetness. I’d be totally content enjoying the vegetable-only version if I’m lucky to see it again.
Hmong Pepper Burger from Blueprint Burgers in the Maplewood Mall
I don’t eat many burgers now, but if I did I would order another Hmong Pepper Burger from Blueprint in the Maplewood Mall food court. Jake’s favorite is still the patty melt from Stewart’s. Each component is prepared with care, the burger remained juicy, and the Hmong pepper sauce added the heat we crave. Underrated.
Read more about our Maplewood Mall Food Court Chowdown
Marc Heu’s Patisserie, St. Paul
This passion fruit raspberry tart is the best dessert I can remember eating, maybe ever. The croissants will make you re-examine your life. Get a chocolate-filled one, too, just to make sure.
Read more in If A Croissant Could Melt In Your Mouth
Smoked Cauliflower from Colita, Minneapolis
You all weren’t kidding about Colita. It’s magic from top to bottom. I would do questionable things for Colita, but thankfully I don’t have to.
The best place to sit is at the bar where you can watch bartenders whip together whimsical drinks served in coconut bowls and spiky glass objects that look like puffer fish.
I’m probably one fo the last people in the Twin Cities to know how great Colita is – even fifteen minutes prior to opening, a line had formed at the door. Employees handed out little cups filled with hot chocolate and whipped cream sprinkled with sea salt. In no time at all, the bar seats were filled with people waiting behind us.
The tempura shrimp tacos were lovely and satisfying. If you offer them on your menu, I have to order them (I don’t make up the rules). What lands this on my top 10 list is the smoked cauliflower. It’s deeply smokey like good BBQ and spicy from the red sauce.
A lot of hyped-up restaurants strike me as overrated but not Colita. It’s definitely not overrated.