Minneapolis-St. Paul Street Food Roundup: August Edition
As the Minneapolis-St. Paul street food scene booms onward, we’re doing our level best to visit every truck that reliably hits the bricks. Got a tip for us? Drop us an email or leave it in the comments, and consult our ever-expanding Street Food Directory for our full listings.
The Anchor food truck offers a mobile version of the delicious Irish offerings found at the Anchor restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis. Luke Kyle [last name corrected 8/3/12], one of Anchor’s three owners, told us that co-owner Kathryn Hayes originally wanted a truck, while he was more excited for a brick-and-mortar shop. Now they have both, a win for both the owners and Minneapolis’ fried food aficionados.
Though the truck also offers pasties and sausages, we opted for the namesake fish and chips. $9 gets you a hefty, hot basket full of freshly fried fish and chips, nearly identical to the brick-and-mortar shop’s version. The fish itself is not particularly flavorful — good and greasy, but not too distinctive — so make sure to spring for some tangy, house-made tartar sauce ($.50) or curry gravy ($3). You’ll find no hint of crispiness in the thick, potato-y, Irish-style fries, so adjust your expectations accordingly. The mushy peas ($3) make for a nice, sweet counterpart to the salty fish, and actually have a fair amount of texture.
If you can, catch the crew when they aren’t too busy. Friendly and jovial across the board, they ask for your name with your order, and remember it until you wander away to begin your food coma.
Wisely, the folks behind Anchor decided against becoming a downtown lunch option, as your delicious grease-laden haul would almost certainly spell doom for afternoon productivity. Instead, you’ll find the truck at breweries and tap rooms, where the fried food pairs superbly with beer. My advice: Visit them at the NE Farmers Market after you’ve gathered your veggies and prepare for a satisfied afternoon nap.
— Jeanne Foels
Little G’s Mobile Pizzeria – @Gsmobilepizza
Little G’s Mobile Pizzeria cuts a different silhouette than most food trucks — it’s actually a food trailer, towed by a bright red pickup truck. A domed pizza oven provides a 700-degree environment for owner Johnny Goral to fire his 10-inch pizzas, which range from traditional sausage and pepperoni options to more exotic combos like sauerkraut, cheddar, and Polish sausage from Kramarczuk’s.
On our visit, the prosciutto pizza ($8), their most popular pie, had a nice touch of char flavor and a chewy, doughy crust. The toppings (caramelized onion, prosciutto, mozzarella) were good quality, though the pizza was lacking in sauce.
Little G’s offerings can’t compete with the pizzas at brick-and-mortar wood-fired spots like Punch, Mozza Mia, or Pizzeria Lola, but their pies are certainly better than the majority of pizza in this town, counting all dives and Domino’s.
Downtown sightings of the mobile pizza oven can be sporadic. Goral notes, “It’s been hard for us to get downtown this year, so we’re mostly doing things like corporate events and grad parties right now.” When they do make a lunchtime appearance, Little G’s is a good alternative to skyway offerings if you’re in the mood for pizza. Just make sure to bring cash or your checkbook, since they don’t take plastic.
— Jeanne Foels
Stanley’s Northeast brings downtown workers the most beloved (and most portable) sandwiches from their long bar menu. Get the barbecue brisket or the pulled pork on a smushy-soft buttered roll, a Reuben with plenty of sauerkraut mixed into the corned beef (all $8), or a pair of American-style pork or brisket tacos. It’s hefty fare, heavy on the sauce and the salt, true to this food truck’s bar roots.
— Tricia Cornell
Decent tacos from a chain? Yes, believe it or not. And the people standing in the long lines at the Rusty Taco truck think so, too. (Rusty Taco has storefronts in Northeast and St. Paul.) These are generous, flavorful tacos with fresh toppings, any two for $7. The eponymous taco is a chile-rubbed pork with (canned) spiced pineapple and the fish tacos have a nice, kicky bite. Our one complaint: Stack the tortillas! Corn tortillas always need to be two-deep, so the inner one soaks up flavor and the outer one holds the thing together. These tacos fall apart more often than not.
— Tricia Cornell
Ruhland’s menu features three savory strudels and three sweet strudels ($7), most of which include locally sourced ingredients. The puff pastry Tom Ruhland uses is free of trans fats and makes a sturdy (if not quite so flaky) frame for the generous strudel fillings.
The apple strudel is what started it all, and its old-fashioned, autumnal flavor is lovely paired with a homemade caramel sauce. All of the sweet strudels might be heavy in the summer heat, but are lightened nicely by a scoop of ice cream. The strawberry rhubarb strudel is pleasantly tart, but we thought the flavors in the chocolate banana walnut strudel were less than profound.
On the savory side, the truck offers a chicken marinara mozzarella strudel and a brat ‘n kraut variety served with whole grain mustard and a local salsa. But the spinach artichoke feta is a best seller, and we know why. The flavors are surprisingly rich and are well complemented by the red pepper hummus served alongside. Ruhland’s operates at eight different markets nearly year round.
— Lauren Huisinga
A simple, streamlined menu and fast service make this mobile outpost of the Lake Street taqueria a great option on-the-go — and at $1.50 per taco, it’s a bargain! (Vegetarians are out of luck — the bare-bones menu is meat-centric, with raw onions, cilantro, lime, and salsa playing supporting roles.) Skip the chicken (a tad dry and one-dimensional) in favor of the lightly spiced, juicy asada (steak) — or try a variety plate with equally flavorful pastor (pork) and cabeza (cow head).
— Maja Ingeman