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Nov 21, 2007 08:51 AM

MSP - Minnesota and Western Wisconsin Originals

Since the top 10 list thread started to run into a little trouble why don't we leave that one for restaurants and start another for Minnesota and surrounding area originals. The dishes or ingredients that started here, are best here, or simply can't be found elsewhere. Maybe it's a particular dish at a restaurant or may be it's something that can only be found at Lund's. Let's limit the discussion to things we truly love and why. I know we've probably mentioned all of them on other threads but let's collected them here.

For me the only Minnesota original that I love is probably the Jucy Lucy. Sure it's just and inside out cheeseburger but I love how the cheese is dangerously hot and the creamy texture it give the burger. But more than that I don't think they could be made anywhere other than South Minneapolis or St. Paul. Something about a fairly blue-collar urban scene that kind of fascinated me when I first moved here from a small town when I was 18. I guess it's like an Urban Legend that everyone around here knows what a Jucy Lucy is and it's some kind of shared memory.

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  1. I love, love, LOVE square cut thin crust pizza. Like Dulono's. Oh so good. I'm not sure it is just MN and WI, but it is upper midwest.

    I love cheese curds from the state fair. Greasy, salty, and filling, they have everything.

    I love Mock Duck. I know you can get it other places, but we have it everywhere and use it in creative ways. The Mock Duck BBQ sandwich at Grumpy's is spectatular.

    Grumpy's Bar & Grill
    1111 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55415

    Dulono's Pizza
    607 W Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55408

    1. Kind of you to start this thread. I think I shall list herein the restaurants I would miss most if I moved somewhere else. ;-).

      Seriously, I too love the jucy lucy--particularly the Nook's-(in St. Paul) - and pizza cut into squares (though, my pizza of choice is Carbone's on Raldolph in St. Paul, haven't yet had the pleasure of trying Dulono's...).


      2 Replies
      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I've given Carbone's a chance, but their pizza is always drenched in grease. Square cut pizza is definitely a Midwest original, but I'd go to Savoy's if you want square cut pizza in St. Paul.

        1. re: BellaMN

          Ah, but the grease is the essense of MN style square cut pizza, and Savoy's certainly meets the standard. Personally, I think it's a toss-up as to which is greasier, Carbones (and I'm referring specifically to the Carbone's on Randolph--there are several Carbones around town that aren't associated with the one on Randolph) or Savoy's. I've actually always found Savoy's to be greasier, but I suppose it's a matter of personal preference. Nevertheless, If it's not greasy, it's not right.


      2. Lutefisk supper.

        Put on once a year (in late October) at a tiny church at a rural crossroads in Wisconsin where I own a piece of land. As you wait (and you DO wait) in the pews, the Pastor shares hours worth of Ole and Lena jokes. For me, it has become the tangible signal of the start of the long fall/winter and couldn't possibly be recreated anywhere else.

        1. Deep Fried Cheese Curds.
          Wild Rice Soup or Wild Rice Hot Dish.
          Hot Dish....well, at least calling it Hot Dish.
          Fresh Walleye...breaded and fried within minutes of being killed. For 18 years, I avoided this, then I went fishing with some friends. It's amazing how good it is when it's fresh. Forget frozen or grocery Walleye, it's just a mnemonic aid.

          Head to Northern Minnesota, Northern Wisconsin or the UP for Pasties or Shore Lunch.

          2 Replies
          1. re: JimGrinsfelder

            If you really want wild rice pay extra and get the native variety that is grown truly wild in Northern Minnesota and not the packaged kind grown on farms most likely now in California. There is a major taste difference and generally you cannot get the native kind outside Minnesota.

            1. re: JimGrinsfelder

              My vote for best cheese curds in the Cities is at Town Talk Diner. My god they are delicious - better than the state fair.

            2. Not to compare, but Toast, in the warehouse district, has square-cut thin-crust pizza, with truly amazing toppings. And a fab wine selection to go with it.