This week, Mpls.St.Paul Magazine's Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl gives Chef Shack Ranch—the Chef Shack brick n' mortar in Seward—a glowing review. "It's fantastic!" she writes. She brings up how "truck-like" the restaurant is a number of times, though that's not necessarily a bad thing:
· "Basically, it's the truck—with a roof! I mean it. It's exactly like going to the truck, only there's a roof over your head and you have the option to sit at a table that's little better than a picnic table, but the prices stayed truck prices, so that seems fair. There is a little more than the truck had: There's also the option to buy good, inexpensive beer or wine, for instance. But the rest is very truck-like."
· "After you order, you get a number and someone runs the food to you at one of the 20-odd tables (different from the truck!)."
· "But even with that it can still feel like you're dealing with the chaos of the truck..."
· "Chef Shack's grub remains, as far as a truck by the side of the road with a roof goes, spectacular."
· "Which is to say that the most surprising thing about the new Chef Shack Ranch is not how good this truck-food spot with a roof is, but how good it has always been, and how it got to be that way."
Also at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Stephanie March heads over to The Mill NE the Northeast reworking of the old Mill City Cafe. "Dinner is where the risks are taken," she writes, with some of those risks paying off and others not so much. Order: "playful, complex dishes such as the delicate and nutty octopus confit touched with Indian spices over taro root mash" or the "irreverent jumble of seafood that includes scallops and crisp squid with blistered shishito peppers and squid ink crème fraîche." Skip: "plates that just reach too far, such as the duck and lobster potstickers."
Finally, City Pages' Emily Weiss pays a visit to the new Day Block Brewing Company. The review mostly covers the quirky history behind the brewpub (web development team on top floor of building decides to follow brewpub dream), Weiss also looks at the pizza side of the menu. The Hungry Hungarian is a favorite: "made with crumbles of sausage and smoky Hungarian bacon, a sour cream spread with loads of dill in place of the usual tomato sauce, dots of mild ricotta, and thick semi-circles of pickled onion to set the whole thing off." The vegetarian pizza is only "so-so." And while Weiss samples the pickle flight, she only mentions the corresponding bacon flight in passing ("there's also a flight of bacon if you dare"), leaving it an ongoing mystery.
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