Sunday, February 15, 2009

Linden Hills Co-op Deli Heats It Up

I frequent the Linden Hills Co-op once or twice a week in search of fresh, organic produce and sustainably raised meats. I love walking into the place without a list in hand and purchase whatever looks good or inspiring. Their produce is incredibly fresh and amazingly flavorful. They have some really nice purveyors in their dairy case, and I love picking up Thousand Hills grass-fed ground beef for burgers and chili or grabbing a few steaks from time to time.

I typically stay away from the deli case to help ease the cost of buying locally and sustainably, but couldn't help but notice that they now offer hot sandwiches in the same area as their killer juice bar. Needless to say, I was intrigued and decided that I'd reward myslef and buy a little something to eat quickly since I would be making scratch soup all afternnon (I had to use up the rest of the heavenly smoked ham hock I grabbed at Clancey's).

The deli has a lot of tasty sounding sandwiches on the menu, but I was interested in creating a little ditty of my own. I was pleased to find that they'll make you a half sandwich (Co-op folks are the best) and I quickly decided on wheat bread with oven roasted chicken, mozzarella (I soon found it was not the fresh, but the grated kind - bummer), peppers, tomatoes, Dijon and arugula. Arugula is my favorite green, hands down, and it's too expensive to buy on it's own right now, so I was pleased to get it through another outlet. There's something about arugula and a spicy Dijon or fragrant aioli that really does it for me.

The sandwich was really quite large - probably bigger as a half then the sandwiches I typically make for my lunch at work. It was piled high razor thin, and incredibly tender chicken breast, snappy peppers and bold arugula. The mozz was a bit lost among the bolder flavors. The sandwich fillings were hearty and fresh despite the fact that the whole wheat sort of dried out in the toasting device - I'll go Challah or baguette next time. The Dijon alleviated the dryness a bit, but I longed for just a little dash of fresh ground pepper to round out its big flavor.

Sandwich Rating: Tasty. It will be the perfect meal or snack for me to kick off my many long wintry Saturday afternoons of cooking ,but won't replace any of my favorite local sandwich haunts. I'm ecstatic they put the hot sandwich bar together and will eat there again for sure. I'm eyeing "Brenda's Baguette" for next time - toasted baguette with Brie, tomato and arugula - simplicity at it's boldest.

Happy Eating,


Friday, February 13, 2009

Wilde Roast Cafe

Stopped by the Wilde Roast Cafe to see what they had going on. You can find the full review here.

I'm cutting back to one post a week at City Pages so I can keep some focus on my other blogs, so expect more to come!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I just did a new post on City Pages for my favorite in-town lunch joint. Check it out here.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Epic Sandwich: Bulldog Lowertown

I finally made it to the Lowertown Bulldog. Get he scoop here!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Blue Door Pub: Shroom and Swiss

I wanted to follow up on the Blue Door Pub as promised earlier. I really dug this place and it's neighborhood feeling. I used to live a few blocks away, so it's good to see such a friendly neighborhood establishment there now, although I am a bit jealous that there wasn't something like that when I was around.

The staff was super friendly, and the menu small, but inventive. The Spam bites - think Spam and cream cheese breaded and fried - looked enormous, and all the burgers and sandwiches I saw looked great. The menu is fun and has a bit of something for everyone from a classic Juicy Lucy all the way to the darn-near absurd Jiffy Burger that features bacon, pepper jack cheese and a smear of peanut butter! Now that's seriously nuts. All there sandwiches can be served up with fries, deep-fried green beans or tots for a bit extra as well, so make sure you are in for a serious blast of comfort before stepping in this cozy and crowded spot.

While there I also enjoyed a few bites of the Mushroom and Swiss Blucy. Simply take the classic version of this burger, but mix the mushrooms in the beef and add a nice molten center of swiss. The mushrooms helped to further flavor the juicy meat, and the smooth swiss was perfectly gooey! Oh, and then there's the pickles. They offered a nice tangy and crunch to round the whole burger out. They may only do a few things at the BDP, but everything they do is done well.

Even if you aren't ready for dinner you can swing by to sample from their great craft beer selection and catch up with a friend or two. I plan on bellying up very soon with a good friend and a nice bubbly burger.

Happy Eating,