[FHCx290] World Food Day/National Liqueur Day

Around the world!

TODAY IS WORLD FOOD DAY AND NATIONAL LIQUEUR DAY!

Liqueur is what you have when you want alcohol but you want it to taste like something completely unrelated. Coffee liqueur, orange liqueur, etc. In the true American spirit, they are frequently sweetened to all hell. If we had to pick one liqueur for today, we would pick Grand Marnier. It’s boss.

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World Food Day you ask? Celebrate the world’s food? The day was established in 1979 as the anniversary of the creation of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. Basically, it’s all about becoming aware of the world’s food and agriculture in both its pride and challenges. Every year has a theme, and 2016’s is climate change. “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”

But to celebrate, we took a trip to Minneapolis’s World Street Kitchen, to have some worldly food.

Pita with Hummus, Olive Tapenade, and Smoky Feta

These brussels sprouts are some of the best on the planet.

The Korean Yum Yum Bowl. Korean bbq beef short rib with peanuts, kimchi, onions, and secret sauce, served over rice.

 

We also stopped by next door to Milk Jam to get some ice cream. Look at the kinds of flavors they have here.

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Whew. Thanks for the food, world!

Tomorrow is National Pasta Day.

-SPAK

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Pizza! L-O-L-A, Lola!

It may be cliche to go to restaurants on shows like Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives, but there is a reason many of these places get featured on those shows. The food is great, the atmosphere rules, or it just has an aura of hype surrounding it. Pizzeria Lola is one of the Triple D Hall-of-Famers in Minneapolis that creates funky fusion worth checking out. Not only that, but one of SP‘s friends works there.

Alright, so a Korean woman moves to Minnesota and decides that she loves pizza so much she’ll make a restaurant and name it after her dog. Works for us.

We started off by ordering some of Lola’s delicious roasted cauliflower. It’s slightly sour, kissed by the citrus of lemon juice, but with a kick of chili pepper rings. Eat your vegetables!

The other starter we picked was the meatballs to share around the table. Any place that has a kind of Italian red sauce should have meatballs to show you they mean business. And boy does Lola mean business. These meatballs come out in a baked dish overflowing with sauce and parmesan cheese, and served alongside some crostini to balance the chew with some crunch. The meatballs are so tender that they crumple when they reach your tongue. So you take a crostino, a chunk of a meatball (or the whole thing at once, we won’t judge) and scoop some extra sauce and cheese before placing it carefully in your mouth. It’ll get on your shirt, but instead of using your napkin, you’ll unconsciously lean over, pick up your shirt, and lick it off. Awesome meatballs.

There will be plenty of extra sauce to scoop on. Don't let it go to waste!

There will be plenty of extra sauce to scoop on. Don’t let it go to waste!

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Let’s get to the pies, shall we? The first feature here is a favorite on the menu called The Xerxes, named after the street on which the restaurant stands, and has a flavor that takes after the namesake’s downfall (Greek, that is). Spinach, feta, mozzarella, kalamata olives, and almonds top this Mediterranean style flatbread. No red sauce here? Blasphemy! Tasty, tasty blasphemy.

Tonight we dine in Minneapolis!

Tonight we dine in Minneapolis!

One with more fusion style is the Lady Zaza, one of chef Ann Kim’s Korean-inspired pizzas. Who puts kimchi on a pizza?! Lola does. Red sauce, Korean sausage, spicy serrano peppers (one of SP‘s favorite for use in cooking), scallions, sesame seeds, and this crazy glaze that reminds you of bulgogi with elements of soy and chili paste. In each bite, you get some of the soft chew of baked kimchi (which normally is a strong pickly crunch) and spicy sausage with the scallions on top. It’s a remarkable foray into mixing styles of two very different cuisines.

This pizza will kim-cheer you up!

This pizza will kim-cheer you up!

Lack of red sauce is hardly blasphemy compared to one of SP‘s favorite pizzas on the menu and AK now agrees: The Marinara, which has no cheese. Instead, you get the robust red sauce with olive oil, oregano, and garlic confit. The best trick is to order this pie with extra garlic. For us, olive oil will never be overrated. It brings out so much in Italian cooking that it’s hard to imagine a world without it. And even without cheese, the soft, mushy garlic makes up for that missing flavor. Garlic is king on this amazing pizza.

All hail King Garlic!

All hail King Garlic!

Now for a little bit of dessert. How about some ice cream with olive oil?

Sweet and Salty.

Sweet and Salty.

SP