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Midtown Global Market - Must Try Items

  • t

Looking for some chow favorable recommendations.

Thank you,

Tim

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Midtown Global Market
920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

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  1. Anything at La Sirena Gorda, but especially their octopus tacos. Original flavors, perfectly cooked octopus, very reasonably priced. The owner/chef is fantastic - last time I was there, I saw they had their ceviche as a special, and I love ceviche. I had just ordered tacos, and said to my girlfriend that the next time I came there, I'd have to get their ceviche. I took a seat at a nearby table, and a couple minutes later, the owner calls me over and gives me a big bowl of ceviche - on the house. he had obviously overheard me.

    There are tons of great choices at Midtown Global Market, but to me, La Sirena Gorda is in the top echelon there.

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    Midtown Global Market
    920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    La Sirena Gorda
    920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

    18 Replies
    1. re: foreverhungry

      I have a spot for Jamaican Patties, and they have them at West Indies Soul. I Think they get them shipped from a bakery in Chicago which was pretty spot on when I lived there. The spicy beef is the way to go there. I've tried some of the other dishes, and only really enjoyed the Oxtail and the goat. The Jerk was pretty laughable, and for sides I would keep it simple, plantains and maybe some beans and rice, the greens I had weren't very seasoned.

      1. re: mitch cumstein

        I like those patties, too, even though they aren't scratch-made at the restaurant. They have some kind lemonade-like beverage I recall liking.

        But, you don't like the jerk chicken wings? I think they are pretty good, actually.

        I also heartily endorse La Sirena Gorda. Los Ocampo is good, but I prefer the stand-alone location across the street.

        I'm not a lover of Salty Tart, sorry to say, which puts me in an incredible minority. Sour attitiude from the Ms Geller herself that permeates her whole team and I've had some cupcakes there that were so dry I literally could not bring myself to eat them. I've had some things there that are great, too, but honestly, I'd rather get sweets from Cafe Finspang. They are good and they are happy to serve you, rather than put out by having to.

        ~TDQ

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        La Sirena Gorda
        920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

        Salty Tart
        920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

        Cafe Finspang
        920 E Lake St Ste 148, Minneapolis, MN 55407

        1. re: The Dairy Queen

          It's funny you mention that. Man she is sour, right? She was staffing the MGM booth at the State Fair one day when we ordered a couple peach parfaits...I don't think she looked at us or said a word...just looked like we were imposing asking her for something. Yikes!

          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            TDQ,
            I haven't tried the wings, so I can't say there, but I just thought they didn't really have a full flavor profile and the heat I like, as opposed to a Marla's style jerk which is sweet, smokey and spicy all at the same time. I have only had the chicken that was in the steam table, so it could have been there for a bit too long, as it seemed braised. I will say that the chicken I used to get at the original store on University had a great citrusy note to it. Even though Chicago had a significant Jamaican population on its far north side, most patties were shipped from 1 bakery that made them there, or from NY or Jamaica. I used to get the specials all the time, but recently haven't really felt like dropping $20 on a hit or miss...You can definitely do worse though.
            As far as Michelle is concerned, I have only briefly encountered her on a professional level, and she was always fun to talk with. Her slider buns are out of this world, and that was as far as I got on that level. Anyway, the state fair can be about as miserable a 12 days as an owner operator can endure, so you can easily loose sight of the love of what you are doing.

            1. re: mitch cumstein

              I'd buy that premise if the teenagers running the Mouthtrap from within the hot, fat-thickened air food building with no financial stake in the enterprise weren't 1000% nicer and friendlier than the business owner whose tent was outdoors and across from a music venue on day 3 and still managed to give us a sourpuss.

              1. re: mitch cumstein

                I haven't tried the jerk at Marla's: I shall add that to my list!

                My only experience with Michelle is at Salty Tart at MidGloMo. She acts as if she's miserable there, too. Plus, they are always too busy doing whatever they are doing back there to care that they have a customer, based on my experience from multiple visits. If I see her there, I usually just move along.

                ~TDQ

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                Salty Tart
                920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                  I've never experienced the attitude problem at Salty Tart. Bakers have to be extremely exact about what they do, and that befits a certain personality type, which does not match that of the teenagers at the Mouth Trap. I give all credit to the kids who deliver cheese curds with a smile.

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                  Salty Tart
                  920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                  1. re: kevin47

                    Again, my numerous negative experiences at Salty Tart were at MidGloMo, not the fair. I'm sorry she has "a certain personality type" but it's offputting. And sometimes her cupcakes are really bad. Maybe she should put up a curtain to shield herself from the public, and us from the fact that there are several people standing around back there scowling and often looking idle.

                    ~TDQ

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                    Salty Tart
                    920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                  2. re: The Dairy Queen

                    That's what happened to me there, too. Twice. The first time I just walked away, the second time I bought something. But the baked goods weren't good enough for me to put up with that kind of service, so I've never gone back.

                2. re: The Dairy Queen

                  As a rule, I like cake, but the custard place connected to Finnspang is super endearing. The only thing I have had from Salty Tart was a macroon, once. They were good, but notice only once. For the custard lady, been there a bunch. She uses ingredients from the market - like the cookies from Finnspang and fruit of the season from Produce Exchange. That's just cool. Plus now that it's getting cold hear you can go warm up inside MGMkt before/after the cool treat. Love it.

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                  Salty Tart
                  920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                3. re: mitch cumstein

                  Hopefully this does not change your mind, but the patties are frozen mass produced off the shelf. All they do is warm them up.

                  1. re: doctor k

                    I know this, but they do get produced somewhere... It's comparable to frozen pizza but the origin counts for me, as mentioned above.

                    Everyone's opinion is totally valid, and I'm not trying to make excuses. There is a lot more to the total experience than the food, so I wasn't in defense mode, just saying that my perspective has been that of wholesale account, not retail, and it is too bad she is offending a lot of valuable opinions(you all) because that can(obviously) return negative value business wise as well as reputation wise.

                    1. re: doctor k

                      Seriously? I didn't know that! My husband freaking LOVES those patties. Not that he'd care about the frozen/reheated thing anyway, but it's disappointing to me. Totally thought they were a bit more authentically/freshly made.

                    2. re: mitch cumstein

                      What are these Jamaican patties? They come from a bakery? But they're a meat thing?

                      1. re: karykat

                        It's basically a flaky empanada filled with beef, spicy beef, jerk chicken, curry beef or curry chicken. Street food in chicago, nyc, and I assume Jamaica(can't say, never been)

                        I really like them, but they are expensive and few and far between here. Usually around $1.75- $2.50 in bigger markets.

                        1. re: karykat

                          Yeah, savory patties, either beef or chicken. Or, you can ask for a sandwich of them, apparently!

                          ~TDQ

                      2. re: foreverhungry

                        Octopus tacos are FANTASTIC. They ran out of them today, I was so sad. I had the shrimp ones instead. Good, but not the same. The clam chowder is super good at Sirena Gorda too.

                        1. re: churchka

                          Had some tonight. La Loma was out of the Oaxaca tamales, though, so I had to "settle" for pork.

                          The octopus tacos are as good as advertised.

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                          La Loma Restaurant
                          1510 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                      3. 1) Tamales from La Loma
                        2) Various Mexican delights at La Sirena Gorda and Taqeria Los Ocampo
                        3) Salty Tart is a must to indulge your sweet tooth
                        4) Manny's Tortas does a pretty nice job
                        5) Holy Land is a good stop for any middle eastern ingredients you might need

                        Some combination of those 5 is my normal routine.

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                        La Sirena Gorda
                        920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                        Salty Tart
                        920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                        Manny's Tortas
                        920 E Lake St Ste 125, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                        La Loma Restaurant
                        1510 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                        1. La Sirena Gorda if you like seafood. Los Ocampo if you don't. Salty Tart regardless.

                          There is also a nice cheese shop and, of course, Holy Land, if you're looking for take-homes.

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                          La Sirena Gorda
                          920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                          Salty Tart
                          920 E Lake St Ste 158, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: kevin47

                            Mahi Mahi tacos and hibiscus punch at Sirena Gorda. Veg. tamales at La Loma. By they way, the guy at La Loma told me their veg. tamale is actually vegetarian, ie no lard.........as opposed to the Rajas 'veg' tamale at Mercado Central..........which does have lard. Both are La Loma, so it's interesting to note the different offerings at different locations.

                            I haven't noticed attitude at Salty TArt, (well, truth in advertising , it's not called Sweet TArt, as far as personality style)...but most of their stuff just looks so overloaded with heavy sugar and icing, doesn't appeal to me, I prefer more European style baked goods. Actually, thinking about it, they do look kind of stressed in that place, I have to wonder about a person like Michelle who baked at the Ritz or something in NY, right, why is she at Lake and Chicago now,
                            in a market that has some good stuff but has a wide range of quality compared to places like it elsewhere. Not excusing attitude, but I kind of wonder about the happiness level....

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                            La Loma Restaurant
                            1510 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                            1. re: faith

                              Another vote for La Sirena Gorda here. But the Holy Land has disappointed on many occasions. I love baklava and theirs is absolutely awful.

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                              La Sirena Gorda
                              920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407

                          2. Los Ocampo for sure! El pastor as part of anything, but in particular the huarachazo. I want one right now!

                            1. Tamales at La Loma - that's where I head when at MGM.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: Maggie19

                                I'm preferential to A La Salsa - Chicken Koo Koo Roo or they're Chiltepin is tasty. Lorenzo the owner has been very friendly in our visits. A good happy hour keeps me coming back when not working too late.

                                1. re: eastlakovore

                                  I had a tamale at A La Salsa once. I think it was a special that night, not on the printed menu. It was very good!

                                  ~TDQ

                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                    My only problem with A La Salsa is the price point, about which I seldom complain. Portions are small, while entrees crack double digits, and the drinks are expensive. That said, the pozole is excellent, and dirt cheap.

                                    1. re: kevin47

                                      All true, but it does have the distinction of being the only restaurant with table service and drinks at Midtown Global Market, and really, pretty much any place in that area. Tons of restaurants at Lake and Chicago and several blocks in any direction, but A La Salsa is the only one is the only one of its kind that hasn't gone out of business.

                                      ~TDQ

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                                      Midtown Global Market
                                      920 E Lake St, Minneapolis, MN 55407