Diversifying Restaurants

A review of four restaurants in Minneapolis

Emily’s Lebanese Deli

Mood: If I ever miss my family’s food on the shores of Cyprus, this is the closest I have come to finding a bit of home, far-away from home. The atmosphere is quiet mostly, but the food develops the personality within this locality. Great for date-night, family-night, solo-night, party takeout, this small deli delivers to the heart’s calling for real food.

Location: 641 University Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413

      A haven, more so a craven, where the most rich, authentic, and heart-warming food resides. Emily’s Lebanese Deli is nestled near the University of Minnesota. In a small diner-like atmosphere, great spanakopitas are served (spinach pies with a sweet dough), and lamb stew with green beans is another favorite. If you are in need of some catering, they offer a great variety of take-home meals if you would like to have dinner party with some flair. Likewise, as for dessert selections, there is a nice display of baklava (pastries with sweet honey and chopped nuts). Also, if you are a salad devotee, this Deli has a flavorful, refreshing, utterly satisfying Tabouli Salad which can also be served in quarts, in case you would like to save some for future indulgences.

Maria’s Franklin Avenue

Mood: Much like your dream mother’s kitchen, food unravels to its purest, unaltered form. A perfect locale to spend a morning  writing a paper while snacking on wild rice or plantain pancakes. Bring your friends! The restaurant is robustly big, and the more people, the easier it is to try out an abundance of food.

1113 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55404

Ahh… if you ever have an urge for some quesadillas, this is the place. Maria’s is a Colombian infused cafe, adorned with landscapes from Colombia among other North and South American localities. The waiters are punchy–serving up more than food, but a personality that is found in the warmth of the cafe. A comfort to visit, Maria’s special Quesadilla is a must-have, a chance encounter with the most monstrous, ravenous tortilla that swells to envelop you. Always order the salsa–it is spunky, a cold addition to a hot platter, that makes it all the more delicious experience.

Tatanka Truck

2495 18th Ave S. Minneapolis, MN 55408.

Mood:  Great lunch locality, just enough of a portion to have you hooked for more. Hearty, savory, a rare find, this will be a great addition to any party (they cater too, or you may order the truck itself!)

    Serving modern and indigenous Native American Cuisine, this truck is a testimony to the changing culture of food. Resurfacing generations of lost recipes, Sean Sherman is arranging a new generation of Native cuisine. Sherman, who grew up on Pine Ridge Reservation in North Dakota, witnessed the devastating health effects (such as diabetes) that results from the absence of nutrient-rich foods, as packaged food was cheaper, more widespread, and easier to get a hold of. Sustainable and an innovative approach, Tatanka holds entrees such as a Bison Wild Rice Bowl-the delectable stew includes dried squash and Maple roasted veggies. A personal favorite, Cedar and Maple Tea, this combination is fitting for the season- spicy, rare, and a real treat. If food “truck” visits are not your cup of tea, The Sioux Chef restaurant, run by Sean Sherman, is also the founder of Tatanka. Due to the long absence and forgotten recipes unique to Indigenous cuisine, The Sioux Chef is an incentive to bring Native American Cuisine onto a widespread multi-faceted platform. Supporting local Native farmers and fisheries, the new restaurant is not only building a sort of culinary fellowship, but is initiating a new-found demand for indigenous cuisine. The Sioux Chef will open Late 2016/Early 2017.

Victors’ Cafe

Mood: Just a little bit spicy, funky cabana-esque, crowded, caters to (but not limited to) the individual who likes a bit of exotic flavor and history

3756 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55409

One of my most beloved locations, this small, intimate space caters both to the stomachs greed for satisfying food and nurtures a well-cultivated center for Cuban Immersion. From the Mango Pancakes, to the Cubáno Sandwich, this local café is a hidden treasure in South Minneapolis. The interior design is shockingly fitted- the walls are adorned with all past customers’ doodles, from love notes, to drawings, the wall tells a story of Victor’s’ presence just in itself.