Sliders at The Moral Omnivore

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

It’s a weekday lunch hour. The stone bleachers at 2nd Avenue and 5th Street in downtown Minneapolis are lined with office workers in ones and twos, quietly competing for precious shade and balancing paper dishes on their knees. Food trucks are parked along 2nd Ave., and the line for Melch’s Meat Wagon is at least 30 deep.

But, next door, at The Moral Omnivore, I waltz right up to the window and place my order. Baffling. Even more so after I pick up my lunch: I would totally have waited in the usual food truck line for this.

Is it the name? Does the down-home decadence of “meat wagon” beat out the slightly ascetic, slightly high-falutin’ “moral”? Were the ladies of the Moral Omnivore just moving their line along a little faster than the average truck? Or had I just lucked into an unusual lull?

The mystery remains. The lunch was lovely.

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

The Moral Omnivore serves up a rotating menu of sliders and salads. The sliders are served in pairs, and mixing and matching is not mentioned on the menu, but I asked nicely and got a Fried Tomato BLT and a Beet Slider ($8). The two sweet little sandwiches have lots of little surprises going on, from the lightly spiced crunchy breading on the tomatoes to the generous scoop of sweet slaw playing up the smoky bacon; from the beet itself to the positively inspired accompaniment of smoked gouda. Look out, goat cheese, there’s a new beet pairing in town!

And another surprise on the side: a pile of thickly sliced portobellos, breaded and mildly spiced. Still firm enough to pick up, but miraculously creamy in the middle when they could have been rubbery and tough. The garlicky bits of the breading had fallen off into a soft pile in the paper dish, so they were missing a little bite, but the mustard-mayo sauce made up for that.

Here’s what was not awesome: the bread. The soft rolls were bland and gluey and totally unworthy of the filling. That’s an important part of a sandwich, yes, but a simple fix — and one that will make these sliders totally worthy of a line.

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

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About the Author

Tricia Cornell

Tricia has been called the mother of “world-class veggie eaters” in the Star Tribune (that is patently untrue) and an “industrious home cook” in the New York Times (true, but was it a compliment?). She loves Brussels sprouts, hates squash, and would choose salty and sour flavors over sweet just about any day. She is the author of Eat More Vegetables, published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2012, and The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook, published by Voyageur Press in 2014.

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2 Comments

  1. Nicole 06/17/2013 Reply

    I’m surprised to read the negative review of the buns (while not surprised to read the overall positive review). When I visited the Moral Omnivore truck with a friend just weeks ago, the buns were incredibly delicious! We both commented on how perfectly they matched the sandwich, not competing with the delicious fillings but perfectly complementing the content of sandwiches so good that we had to order one more combo (after already enjoying food from another nearby truck) because we simply wouldn’t share.

    Perhaps it was a fluke? I hope so … because I’ve been dreaming of my next trip to the cities to partake in another combo – or two. :)

    (I should also note the buns were so good that I was tempted to write the chefs of M.O. to see if they would share the recipe.)

  2. Lindsay 06/19/2013 Reply

    I thought the fried tomato BLT was awesome. I can’t remember what the bun was liked, but was disappointed that when I went back for seconds, they had just run out of mushroom fries (late night after a lunch and dinner service – I should have ordered it the first time!).

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