5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities this week

Georgann Dolfay

Table of Contents Trout with sweet corn and peppers at MyrielPulled pork sandwich at Fare GameThe Big Bird at Marty’s DeliChilaquiles at El Taco Riendo Express Celery Collins at P.S. SteakOver 70% off!99u00a2 for first 4 weeks$3.79 99u00a2 a week Trout with sweet corn and peppers at Myriel Chef/owner Karyn […]

Trout with sweet corn and peppers at Myriel

Chef/owner Karyn Tomlinson rattles off a number of reasons why she’s currently featuring trout ($23) as one of three entrees — the others are duck and lamb — on the menu at her enchanting and impressive new restaurant.

“I like to use lake fish because I like working with proteins that we can find near here,” she said. “It’s so lovely to eat fish when it’s hot outside, because it plays so well with the vegetables that are in season. And I also have a huge affinity for fish because it was the first experience I ever had of seeing something alive turn into something you’re eating, and experiencing all the respect that goes into that process.”

She’s clearly finding inspiration in this delicious Lake Huron trout. A few minutes in a hot pan, skin-side down, turned the pink flesh into quietly flavorful succulence, and the dish’s other lovely components mirror the trout’s beautiful subtlety.

Tomlinson uses charred corn cobs to build a delicate stock, then drops in crunchy red bell peppers and joyously juicy kernels of sweet corn. Feathery dill provides colorful finishing touches in the form of splashes of dill-infused oil and snips of lacy, flower-tipped fronds. Truly, August has rarely tasted so good.

“I love corn with dill and fish,” said Tomlinson. “You can’t deprive a Scandinavian of their dill.” (Rick Nelson)

470 S. Cleveland Av., St. Paul, 651-340-3568, myrielmn.com. Dinner served 5-9 p.m. Wed.-Sat.

Pulled pork sandwich at Fare Game

In the sandwich pantheon — OK, my sandwich pantheon — the BLT reigns supreme. But the pulled pork sandwich ranks right up there.

At this food truck setup, where new picnic tables have boosted the comfort factor, there’s a doozy ($11). And it’s no surprise to learn that it’s a top seller.

Chef/owner Jason Sawicki transforms pork shoulder by enlisting his busy smoker (he definitely knows his way around ribs and chicken, too) and then cooking it overnight, low and slow, in its own juices. The result is teasingly smoky, tantalizingly tender meat.

There’s plenty of it — a half-pound — and it’s stacked into a buttered and toasted brioche bun and finished with pickled red cabbage, crunchy mustard-accented pickles and a generous swipe of a rich mayonnaise.

Oh, and the sauce! Robust and tomato-based, it’s sweetened with honey and molasses and fired up with tons of zippy black pepper.

“One day, when I’m not building patio furniture, I’ll try to bottle it,” Sawicki said with a laugh. “I’m not quite there yet.” (R.N.)

2900 NE. Johnson St., Mpls., faregamene.com. Brunch served 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Fri.-Sun., dinner served 4-8 p.m. Tue.-Sat.

The Big Bird at Marty’s Deli

One the innovative pop-up foodmakers to make a mark during the pandemic is Marty’s Deli, a roving sandwich shop that takes up residence in retail stores, breweries and off-hours restaurants. The fixed menu comprises a half-dozen sandwiches, all on housemade focaccia, and available by pre-order only. Check Instagram to find out where the next pop-up is, and when to place your order.

I’ve been lucky enough to catch the info at the right time on more than one occasion, and have gotten to sample a few of the offerings. The Big Bird ($15) is my current favorite: a cold chicken cutlet, pounded thin; the slight earthy bitterness of grilled broccolini; and a schmear of tongue-tingling pimento cheese spread. With a bag of Zapp’s Louisiana-style potato chips or Marty’s house potato salad, you could easily get two lunches out of one of these sandwiches.

P.S.: That ferociously spicy pimento cheese is also sold as an 8-ounce side ($7). Get it. (Sharyn Jackson)

Check Instagram for pop-ups, instagram.com/martysdeli. Order at martysdelimn.com

Chilaquiles at El Taco Riendo Express

Lately my kid has been asking to stop at the “taco store” on the way home from preschool. And I’ve been more than happy to oblige.

Taco Riendo was a northeast Minneapolis staple until it lost its space in a building fire last spring. A food truck and a second location in Crystal, dubbed Express, thankfully tided over fans of their Mexico City-style tacos. The Central Avenue Taco Riendo reopened last December, and now both brick-and-mortars offer the same menu of mains and tacos, with more than a dozen meat options.

By now, we’ve tried pretty much all of them, all delicious (especially the asada, wow). So on the second trip here in a week, I thought we should branch out a bit. I ordered the chilaquiles ($8.50). Tortilla chips soaked in red salsa into an entirely new, cakelike texture, topped with two scrambled eggs and sour cream drizzled on like icing. Plus, rice and the creamiest black beans on the side. Breakfast for dinner for the win. (S.J.)

5101 36th Av. N., Crystal, 763-951-3242 and 2412 Central Av. NE., Mpls., 612-781-3000, eltaco-riendo.com. Open for lunch and dinner daily.

Celery Collins at P.S. Steak

There is a lot to like at P.S. Steak’s new brunch, starting with the storied setting. The former La Belle Vie lounge is an opulent backdrop for pandemic-rattled society’s slow return to the lingering pace of recreational weekend dining. Consuming pools of hollandaise and three cocktails before noon still feels like a pre-2020 activity, and it sure was nice to be back.

Before the pandemic, P.S. Steak did only an occasional daytime barbecue on weekends. With Burch and Lurcat nearby, there was already plenty of brunch competition, bar manager Keith Mrotek said last week. Now, Burch is closed, and Lurcat is open evenings only. So, P.S. Steak is aiming to fill Loring Park’s brunch gap, and launched Sunday service last month.

The menu is full of rich and hearty entrees that you’ll need one of the steakhouse’s monogrammed knives to slice through. A decadent Monte Cristo. A crabcake Benedict that goes the extra mile by piling on the bacon, too. Even a salad teeming with (mouthwatering) smoked lamb sausage, making it a main course in its own right.

Which is why this ingenious cocktail was the perfect foil for it all. Mrotek’s Celery Collins ($11) celebrates that green afterthought of a vegetable in triplicate, with celery gin, celery juice and celery bitters. Vegetal like a Bloody Mary, but light and clear, it leaves room for the rest of brunch’s delights. (S.J.)

510 Groveland Av., Mpls., 612-886-1620, psmpls.com. Brunch is served in the lounge 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sun.

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