Dago “The Works” style from Dusty’s in Northeast Minneapolis
Although I do not condone the fact that this sandwich is named after an ethnic slur, I have to admit that it is one damn tasty sandwich. Think of it as your standard American bar hamburger gone Italian-American. The homemade Italian sausage patty takes the place of beef and has a good chew that only ground pork + fat can accomplish. On top of that is a small mass of melted mozzarella, roasted red peppers, and onions that meld together, oozing out of the sandwich with each bite with a lava-like flow of greasy bliss. If the bun were toasted and the Italian sausage a little spicier (insert inappropriate joke here), that would make me not even think about the whole bigoted-sandwich/bar name thing. Okay, probably not, but at least it would reduce my cognitive dissonance just a little bit more.
Bonus: Caught some awesome live country music at the bar, too!
Tabbouleh / Tab(b)ouli Salad
Among the many treasures of my new neighborhood in Northeast Minneapolis is the tabbouleh from Emily’s Lebanese Deli (not to be confused with a lesbian deli). A traditional Lebanese dish, tabbouleh is a salad made with bulgur wheat (warning: not gluten free), a LOT of parsley, mint, tomato, lemon, green onions, olive oil, and salt. Emily’s version plays up the lemon quite a bit and is a light but punchy accompaniment to any of the other meatier main dishes. Or it could stand as the star with some pita or rice.
I have made tabbouleh a few times at home, and it is a great recipe in the summer time. Light, easy to transport to picnics, and makes use of a lot of items that are in-season at the farmer’s market. Like many other salads, the beauty lies in its abundant returns with respect to flavor and satisfaction, especially given the ease of execution. If you are trying to watch your gluten intake, you can substitute quinoa or brown rice, prepared according to the proper water:grain ratio.
Tabbouleh, from the Barefoot Contessa Parties! cookbook
- 1 c. bulgar wheat (or quinoa)
- 1-1/2 c. boiling water (2:1 ratio of water:quinoa, if you’re subbing)
- 1/4 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
- 1/4 c. olive oil
- 3-1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 c. minced green onions/scallions, white and green parts
- 1 c. chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 hothouse cucumber, unpeeled, seeded, and medium diced
- 2 c. cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
Place the bulgar in a large bowl, pour in boiling water, add lemon juice, olive oil, and 1-1/2 tsp. salt. Stir, then allow to stand at room temperature for about an hour.
Add the green onions, mint, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, 2 tsp. salt and the pepper. Mix well. Season to taste and serve, or cover and refrigerate. It really tastes best after a few hours in the fridge.
Happy National Doughnut Day!
From the Wikipedia entry:
National Donut Day is on the first Friday of June each year and follows on the Donut Day event created by the Salvation Army in 1938 to honor the women who served donuts to soldiers during World War I.The holiday celebrates the doughnut (a.k.a “donut”) — an edible, ring-shaped piece of dough which is deep-fried and sweetened.
The fluffy, glazed donut pictured is from Sarah Jane’s Bakery on Johnson Street in Northeast Minneapolis, which was named this year’s #1 place for donuts by City Pages. Some folks opined that A Baker’s Wife in South Minneapolis has better donuts, but, hey, sometimes a good donut is a good donut. I like them both.
Sarah Jane’s was the first stop on the third annual Donut-BBQ-Bike Ride that my advisor organized (more on the other stop at the Hmongtown Market later). The group bike ride covered more than 25 miles and was a great way to hang out with some great people, eat some good food, and explore the Twin Cities by bike.
[More photos from the ride on flickr]