I can’t believe that I haven’t done one of these since August! What?!
Here’s a long overdue update on some restaurants that I’ve enjoyed over the past SEVEN months.
K-Bop (Minneapolis | MN)
Kimchi jjigae 김치 찌개
There aren’t a lot of Korean restaurants in the Twin Cities area, but there are enough around to have an opinion about which ones are good and bad. K-Bop is fairly new compared to some of the others. It debuted on the outskirts of the University of Minnesota campus since I graduated. I wish it was around while I still attending, but it gives me a reason to go back to that area every so often.
The restaurant has a youthful and modern aesthetic that challenges the competition. Due to its trendiness, this tends to be one of the more appealing places to grab some Korean food. It follows the fast casual model, where you order at the counter and there is a limited server/customer relationship. I tend to like this more than the traditional style of restaurants because it feels less bothersome on my end. (And less awkward if you’re eating alone. Not everyone has a thriving social life, nor necessarily wants to live that life!) Not only is the decor clean cut and satisfying, but the food is some of the best that you’ll find in the area.
The kimchi jjigae here is very flavorful with a well seasoned broth. There are a lot of ingredients included inside of the bowl and a good amount of banchan (side dishes) to accompany. With the ridiculously cold weather in Minnesota, this makes for a wonderful selection to enjoy. (Although it’s equally delicious in the summer as well.) It’s one of the meals that makes you feel really healthy and happy afterwards no matter when you eat it.
Our Kitchen (Minneapolis| MN)
I am an avid lover of American breakfast food and going out to brunch. I’m not that fancy though and prefer my breakfast cuisine to be classically greasy and delicious. I can’t remember when it was that I discovered Our Kitchen, but it was a life changing day for sure. The restaurant looks like a small house. There’s something very charming about that alone. The inside is quite small, with just counter space seating and some window spots as well. The cooking is done right in the open. Separation is not a thing here.
While there are several brunch restaurants in South Minneapolis, (who knows why) this one is my favorite. It’s basic, but has its own appeal, and proudly presents itself without any of the kale elitist pretentiousness that seems to be part of brunch culture.
I always get the Kitchen Special, which includes all of my favorites! The hashbrowns here are the best. You can actually taste the earthiness of the potatoes. They’re also cut and fried to perfection. One of the issues with hashbrowns can be getting the right amount of crisp to them, and they do a fantastic job of that here. Everything else that comes with it is delicious too. What tops of the greatness of this meal is that it comes with a cup of coffee and they’re very good at keeping it full.
Loulou Sweet & Savory (Minneapolis | MN)
Thai rolled ice cream is one of those hip food trends that has been floating around excessively on Instagram. I was excited when shops started opening up in the Twin Cities that were offering these dairy masterpieces.
Loulou Sweet & Savory started out as a food truck and found themselves a permanent home. I was able to try it out when it was still fairly new. The shop itself is very bright and well lit with many windows on the storefront. It’s relaxing place to have a treat and hang out.
I tried the Café Rollé because coffee flavored ice cream is always good. If you’ve never seen the process of the ice cream being rolled, you should Google that now. (I feel bad for anyone who has to make these beautiful creations because their arms must ache shortly after starting work each day. Regardless, they look amazing and are very fun to eat.) Thai rolled ice cream is a nice spin on the traditional scoop. I thought that this particular concoction requires some chocolate or caramel drizzle on top, but otherwise, it was good! The Pirouette cookie was a nice touch to the dish.
Book Club (Edina | MN)
Allium Grilled Cheese
The idea of a restaurant that is based around literature is beautiful. I was very excited to try out Book Club when I first heard about it because this restaurant is based on the concept of books! In a world where people have a strange aversion to picking up a book after graduating, it’s refreshing to see that there are some who actually enjoy the act of reading.
The decor of the restaurant is a bit quirky, but tasteful and refined. It’s what I imagine the home to be of an older millennial cat mom to look like. (I have nothing against cat moms. I plan on being a dog mom lady once I can afford to give that currently unknown little fluff ball the semi-luxurious life he or she deserves!)
I decided to be adventurous and order the grilled cheese. (I’m joking. Grilled cheeses are ALWAYS a solid choice though.) I don’t care how fancy you are, this sandwich will swoon you with it’s cheesy, oniony contents. I could not stop eating this thing. (I’m not even a serious grilled cheese lover, despite what you may think from my previous statement.) The cheese pull was a thing of beauty. (That’s very important to foodies when it comes to cheese based food items.) Also important to note, the fries were very satisfying. I’ve become increasingly more critical of fries lately. Places seem to not season them well or cut them poorly so they have minimal potato guts. Book Club did an all around solid job on this meal.
Wesley Andrews (Minneapolis | MN)
Americano, Slow Bar (Ethiopian blend), Macchiato
I’ve been searching for work lately and one of those places that make people who are unemployed feel more productive are coffee shops. I’ve found myself visiting them a bit more frequently as a way of making my brain think I’m working despite not actually working. In order to make the experience more fulfilling, I’ve been seeking out “Instagram-worthy” locations. That’s how I ended up finding the most spectacular coffee shop of all coffee shops. (Just go home Starbucks. You’ll never be half this good.)
Wesley Andrews is gorgeous in every way possible. Even just saying the name gives me chills. I never thought that I would fall in love with a coffee place, but it happened, and I’m so glad it did. The shop is unique in that THEY ACTUALLY CARE ABOUT COFFEE. (They REALLY do!) This isn’t a place to go in and walk out with a cup of burnt dark liquid in a few seconds. Here, coffee is a celebrated work of art, and they know that it takes time to brew. But let me tell you, patience pays off here.
I’ve had a couple of offerings here and have been blown away each time. It’s ruined me forever, to the extent that I will always complain about every other cup of coffee not living up to the ridiculously high bar set by Wesley Andrews. This is the only place you need to go to whenever you need to impress someone. I wish I could go here everyday. (Ugh, I feel like a teenage girl with a crush. That’s how much I love Wesley Andrews.)