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The 5 Best Things Our Food Writers Ate In The Twin Cities Suburb This Week

Pepperoni Slice at Joey Nova’s

As a New Jersey born and raised who worked in a pizza place in high school, I’m always looking for a good share in Minnesota. This week I may have found The One. Joey Nova’s, which opened in 2006 in Tonka Bay, nailed all the hallmarks of New York-style pizza: pliability (excellent), size (huge), seasoning (heavy on oregano). It reminded me of the Jersey Shore, those sunny days on the boardwalk, picking up enough change to buy a huge slice served on a white paper plate that starts to crumble with grease stains before you can. to end.

So how does Joey Nova do? “I had a guest from the East and he said ‘This is the waw-tuh’,” said Cynthia Baer, ​​Executive Director.

Joey Nova’s uses plain Minnesota water, but they make everything in-house, including shredding their own fancy mozzarella. Baer thinks that’s the key. The dough is stirred by hand until it is paper thin in the middle and slightly crispy at the bottom. “I’ve had guests say that you are supposed to be able to fold it up and the grease drains off. I was told, ‘That’s it! If it does that, that’s right. “So that does it.”

East Coast transplants are known to stray out of their way for a slice, and those who make the trip will be happy to hear that the pizzeria is considering expanding to other suburbs, possibly in 2022.

In Tonka Bay, even the atmosphere was homey, starting with a scent explosion of oregano as you walk into a dark, dimly lit pizzeria. For nostalgic New Yorkers, Baer suggests having a pre-baked pie to have later (an extra-large, at 19 inches, costs $ 18.45). The slices start at $ 5.25 and are larger than any reasonably sized restaurant plate, 11 inches from crust to tip. “I asked someone if we were making a personal pizza,” Baer said. “I said yes, it’s just not right.” (Sharyn Jackson)

5655 Manitou Road, Tonka Bay, 952-405-2700, Open 11 am-8pm Sun-Thu, 11 am-9pm Fri-Sat

Wild Rice Soup with Chicken at Local Roots

The flurries of the week sparked an irresistible urge for this Minnesota classic ($ 4 and $ 6), especially this beautiful rendition.

The aura of comfort food essence begins with large chunks of tender chicken. The kitchen goes all out when it comes to carrots, their sweetness a thin sheet for the soft, slightly nutty (and wonderfully abundant) wild rice.

Expect to encounter a lot of cream as well, which makes it one of those soups so thick that a crown of Tater Tots could credibly rename it as a hot dish. As if it was a bad thing. (Rick nelson)

817 E. 66th St., Richfield, 612-345-5258, Open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sun-Tue, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wed-Sat

Barramundi at Mezcalito Boucher

A spin down 35E earns big rewards for this busy newcomer to Apple Valley, where the wood-fired oven not only provides ambiance, but cooks up pizzas, sandwiches, salad, fish, and other eateries. Spanish influence.

Order homemade crisps and a massive bowl of salsa verde ($ 9) as you browse the eclectic menu. Our server said the fish and seafood were the best so it was just a try. The barramundi (an Asian bar) was topped with butter, sprigs of thyme, lemon, and red onion before slipping into corn husks and cooked over the open fire ($ 28). It was done to perfection, with deliciously charred ends, proving that the fire treatment was well worth the effort. Served with cilantro rice, it was a satisfying meal that wasn’t too heavy.

True to its name, Mezcalito Butcher also offers an impressive number of mezcal options – three pages! – and the Mezcalito cocktail ($ 12) is one of the restaurant’s most popular. Homemade mezcal combines with sherry and hints of agave, cinnamon and burnt orange, with a rim of ancho salt. It’s sweet, a bit spicy and the perfect antidote to a windy week. (Nicole hvidsten)

14889 Florence Trail, Apple Valley, 952-236-8115, Open 10 am-11pm Mon-Thu, 10 am-midnight Fri-Sat, 10 am-10pm Sun.

Holiday Ice Cream Samplers at Honey & Mackie’s

Missing the virus days of free samples at ice cream counters? Amid the pandemic, Honey & Mackie owner Suzanne Varecka has found a way to bring that experience back to customers with a sample pack, available at the Plymouth Ice Cream Shop or shipped nationwide. It came out just in time for last year’s vacation and was such a hit that she brought it back for 2021.

Inside you’ll find 12 containers the size of a single spoon with holiday-themed flavors: hot chocolate, peppermint rind with crushed candy canes, a red and white cookie flavor inspired by a Christmas hat. It’s about 4 1/2 pints for $ 34.75.

But that’s not all. When a customer asked Varecka to make a Hanukkah variety pack as well, she gladly agreed. “This is my favorite thing in the world, making custom flavors, thinking, can I take that pastry or that drink and turn it into ice cream? Said Varecka.

The CelebrEIGHT pint pack includes experimental flavors including rugelach and sufganiyah, two pastries traditionally eaten on the Jewish holiday. But Varecka’s most unusual flavor to date might be apple latke. The tangy sour cream and brown sugar base is sprinkled with apple slices and apple puree. The chopped waffle cone pieces “give it the crunch of fried potatoes,” Varecka said.

The Hanukkah Pack includes eight full pints for $ 48 and is available from today through the Hanukkah term (Sunday, November 28 through December 6). Additionally, the store will be carrying some of the individual take-out pints, as well as some of the special flavors in the spoon case starting next week. But there is something about gifting a sampler that makes Varecka all warm and fuzzy.

“No matter what you celebrate or what you believe in, vacations are all about being with people you love,” Varecka said. “Ice cream brings people together. She makes people happy. She encourages people. And it’s a great way to taste a dollop of different flavors and then talk about it. It’s such an easy topic of conversation for families, friends, and that’s what vacations are for us. ” (SJ)

16725 County Road 24, Plymouth, 763-225-6682, Open from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Wed-Thu, 3 p.m.-10 p.m. Fri, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sat and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sun.

Leek and Parmesan croissant at La Délicieuse Pain

Too often the salty side of croissants begins and ends with the words “ham and cheese”.

Not here. The team of father and son owners of Tieng Vang and Brandon Vang offer a pair of gorgeous and beautifully made vegetarian options.

We associate spinach with feta, and it’s great.

The leek and Parmesan version ($ 5.49) is even more appealing. Both building blocks are used with a fair sense of moderation, and the combination of lightly fragrant vegetables and slightly tangy cheese is a treat. This word also describes all those golden, delicately flaky layers of butter-enriched dough. (AI)

2158 Rice Street, Maplewood, 651-797-4620, Open 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tue-Sat, 6 a.m. to 3.30 p.m. Sun.

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