Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sushi Tango; Calhoun Square

Last night I was really impressed with the service and food at Sushi Tango. In the Twin Cities, most sushi restaurants offer the same staple rolls, what really impresses me in a sushi restaurant is the creativity of the sushi chefs in creating specialty rolls. We started off with the Yum Yum roll, one that I hadn’t had yet. It combined spicy tuna, eel, spicy mayo rolled in crunchy tempura flakes. The flavor was good and the proportion of the tempura was good, not overwhelming like some dishes which dulls the overall effect of the roll. To be a little adventurous we had the Sushi Tango, a chef’s choice of 10 pieces of Nigiri, 3 cucumber rolls and 3 spicy tuna rolls. The fish eggs were my least favorite. The portion was unnecessarily large, making it hard to eat gracefully with chopsticks. There was little flavoring and cleaning up the escaped orange eggs was annoying. The Nigiri was fresh and tasty, as were the tuna and cucumber rolls. Our waiter was nice and accommodating. Tango Sushi isn’t the best sushi restaurant in Minneapolis but its reliability and consistency makes it an easy go to.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Café Brenda, 300 1st Ave., Minneapolis

If you want to go for fish or flora, Café Brenda Minneapolis’ Warehouse District has all the staples covered. Whether it be walleye, a Greek salad with Bermuda onion or the vegetarian Brenda Burger, good options abound. Founder Brenda Langton originally started working in a 70s vegetarian restaurant in St. Paul called Commonplace. She was the youngest employee there and was determined to learn how to run a vegetarian restaurant.

She began Café Kardamena in St. Paul at the age of 21 in 1976, and due to increasing demand she opened Café Brenda in 1986 in its current space downtown Minneapolis. Although Café Brenda is not completely vegetarian, it manages to please both healthy-eating omnivores and vegetarians. Café Brenda is a great place to try some Minnesota favorites from a venerable figure of the Minnesota restaurant scene.