The Unvegan

Recent Posts

Eating a Dinosaur at Naked BBQ
A Little Dip at the Salty Sow
Arizona Taco Fest 2017
Chomping Down on Chompie’s

‘Minnesota’

At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe

A mouthful.
A mouthful.

When life presents the longest restaurant name in history to you for brunch, what do you do? If you’re anything like me, you embrace it and so I headed to At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe in Duluth, Minnesota to see what such a place had to offer. I was mildly disappointed to find that the dish names were only a fraction of the length of restaurant’s name.

Brews, Bacon and a Burger at Freehouse

Bury the bottle.
Bury the bottle.

When in the Twin Cities, I almost always feel the need to get a Jucy Lucy. Or, I just avoid burgers entirely. Yet, on this trip my path led me to Freehouse, a microbrewery that is so incredibly popular that we had to wait longer for a table than the hostess had told us initially. Seriously. Fortunately, we were able to get things started with a couple of beers and some cheese curds before taking our seats.

Brats and More at Butcher and the Boar

Total brats.
Total brats.

In the Twin Cities for a whirlwind couple of days, I found myself at Butcher and the Boar in Minneapolis. As a James Beard Semi-Finalist last year, I was expecting some good things. After seeing they had Take the Back on tap, I knew I was in for something good. Since I was with a couple of other people that supported my unvegan needs and the menu seemed made for sharing, we decided to go in on a few things together.

Devouring the Black Sheep

A salami in every family.
A salami in every family.

Apparently, the Twin Cities are about more than just Jucy Lucys. And while some may question that, Black Sheep in St. Paul gives reason to believe in life beyond cheese-stuffed burgers. A coal-fired pizza place, Black Sheep still relies on cheese, but in quite a different manner. Walking in to the below-ground-level spot, I was immediately inundated with the scent of garlic, a smell that signaled good things ahead, as well as a scent that would remain with me for the rest of the day.

Fulfilled by Matt’s Bar

It's what's on the inside that counts.
It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

There are few regional food items that become so popular that they take on a life of their own outside of said region. And I’m not talking about Mexican food leaving Mexico or pizza making its way into the US from Italy. No, I’m talking Buffalo Wings, New England Clam Chowder and Chicago-Style Deep Dish. Now, there’s a new one that seems poised to join that elite club: the Jucy Lucy. This creation has gone as far to inspire a restaurant dedicated to the Jucy Lucy in LA called Juicy Lucy (note the different spelling) and Jucy Lucy’s can be found on restaurant menus all around the nation. So it may be surprising that the Jucy Lucy, a cheese-stuffed burger, came from a little dive bar called Matt’s in Minneapolis.

Big and Bold at Duluth Grill

Mmm buffalo.
Mmm buffalo.

Duluth Grill is a restaurant that may as well have been created for Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. It’s off the beaten path not just in the fact that it is in Duluth, but because of the part of Duluth it is in. Plus, while it is clearly a diner, it is more than just a diner, serving unique, local and organic fare with an eye for people with food allergies. Guy seems to love that kind of stuff, which is why he paid Duluth Grill a visit and why, despite all of my nostalgic connection to Duluth, I felt good about going there as well.

Eating Verde at Rojo

More like verde. Zing!
More like verde. Zing!

Out in the suburbs of Minneapolis is a place called St. Louis Park. Within that park is the West End, a mall containing, well, you know what malls have. This one, though, had a restaurant called Rojo. Mexican in theme, the place was slightly upscale and was kind of what is expected from Mexican restaurants so far from the border. Nothing was particular creative or exciting-looking, but this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing.

Feeling Blucy at Blue Door

A newer Lucy.
A newer Lucy.

The Twin Cities may have a few claims to their name, but none so big as the Jucy Lucy. This burger stuffed with cheese may have originated at Matt’s Bar, but many other Lucy spots have grown from there and tried to make improvements to an already incredible creation. Despite my desire’s to visit Matt’s Bar, I was convinced by a lawyer (typical) to head to Blue Door instead, as Blue Door is one of those places that supposedly took the Jucy Lucy to the next level.

Apparently, I was Thinking Arby’s

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Is this what I was thinking?

Arby’s has always been kind of a fringe fast food chain. You can find it all over the country, but it isn’t exactly on every corner. Perhaps this is the reason it has taken me so long to review them. Or perhaps the reason is because I once heard their meat begins its life as a liquid. Whatever the case, a golden opportunity to chow down on some potentially formerly liquid meat presented itself at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.