Readers: Win Heavy Table pint glasses
The Tap loves restaurant tips from readers, so we’re awarding a Heavy Table pint glass to the best tipster each month. The Tap is the metro area’s comprehensive restaurant buzz roundup, so if you see a new or newly shuttered restaurant, or anything that’s “coming soon,” email Tap editor Jason Walker at email@example.com.
October’s winner: Kari Anderson of Minneapolis
Which Wich (opens mid-January)
2073 Ford Pkwy, St. Paul | whichwich.com
Just when you thought you’d seen it all in the sandwich business, here comes another: Which Wich, a Texas-based chain, is expanding into the Twin Cities. There’s already a Which Wich in Blaine, and now local entrepreneur Patrick Melody is opening his own in the Highland Park neighborhood of St. Paul.
At Which Wich, the order form is printed on a bag, customers fill it out and hand to the employees, who then make the sandwich. But according to Melody, what really sets Which Wich apart is the scientific approach taken to sandwich-making.
“We make the sandwiches in a process in which every bite of the sandwich has what you ordered incorporated into it, like the pickles that we spread end to end,” he said. “Or any sauce, like a ranch, has a designated format that it reaches every square inch. The bacon, it isn’t strips, it’s diced, so it goes throughout the sandwich. Each bite is that sandwich.”
The ordering is straightforward: Pick a basic concept, like club, tuna, corned beef, or grinder, then customize by picking breads, cheeses, etc. That’s not earth-shattering, but Which Wich does offer cool options like three kinds of onions (caramelized, red, or crispy strings), cole slaw and olive salad, 11 sauces, and four mayos. You can even get Cheez Whiz for your “cheese” option, so slap that on Which Wich’s Spam sandwich and you’ve got … well, you’ve got something you can’t get at Subway, that’s for sure. There are several breakfast and children’s options, too, as well as homemade chips and milkshakes.
“We really offer just a lot of freedom for the customers to enjoy themselves, to make their sandwich the way they’d make it at home if they had a huge commercial kitchen,” Melody said. “They can get chips, get shakes, get house chips, get brownies, and come into an environment that is very accepting of everything and everyone. I almost get tongue-tied just talking about how much I love it.”
Melody said the homemade chips were a good example of the Which Wich philosophy: It’s doing the little things right that make for a top-notch overall experience.
“They’re kind of like a kettle chip that’s got that ruffled texture to it, but it’s not like anything you’ve ever had before,” he said. “They’re very similar to a salt-and-vinegar taste, but with some pepper in there. It’s just another thing that Which Wich hits out of the park.”
The Highland Park Which Wich plans to open in mid-January.
Unnamed Kim Bartmann diner (on drawing board)
1024 E 38th St, Minneapolis
A new diner from local restaurateur Kim Bartmann is being planned for the Powderhorn Park neighborhood of Minneapolis. The current tiny building, a former Mexican spot just east of Chicago Ave S on a lot that’s mostly asphalt, would be transformed into a restaurant / bar that would include a large outdoor garden and patio. According to Bartmann, the early plan is for the menu to be locally sourced and organic, even using food grown in the on-site garden. But first, the property must be re-zoned to commercial space, and neighborhood input must be gathered.
Bartmann said work on the restaurant could begin in spring 2012; a neighborhood meeting to discuss the new eatery is set for 7 p.m. Nov. 29 at Bethel Lutheran Church, 4120 17th Ave S.
La Crepe Nanou, Huey’s 24 / 7 Diner, The Wine Loft (scuttled)
The long-delayed development of these three restaurants at the Shops at West End has been completely abandoned, apparently, as any mention of them has been scrubbed from the Shops’ website.
The three, all owned by the Doyle Restaurant Group, had been in development for at least a year (as evidenced by The Tap circa Nov. 30, 2010) and kept being delayed. It would have made the area exceedingly restaurant-centric, what with Sopranos, Rojo, Cooper et. al., but at least Huey’s could have satiated the post-Toby Keith’s crowd.
- Social House, 2919 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.824.6300 | socialhousempls.com
- Wild Bill’s Sports Saloon, 546 Commons Dr, Woodbury | 651.357.1050 | wildbills-sportssaloon.com
- Fulton Brewing, 414 6th Ave N, Minneapolis. Now open for growler sales. | fultonbeer.com
- Rye Delicatessen & Bar, 1930 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | ryedeli.com
- Jason’s Deli, 7565 France Ave S, Edina | 952.358.9900 | jasonsdeli.com
- Krung Thep Thai Cuisine, 2523 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.874.7716
- Kyoto Sushi, 13751 Grove Dr, Maple Grove | 763.488.1588
- Turkey to Go, Alliance Bank Center, St. Paul | turkeytogo.com
- Lemongrass Bol de la Vie, 8505 Valley Creek Rd, Woodbury (inside Kowalski’s) | lemongrassboldelavi.com
- The Donut Cooperative, 2929 E 25th St, Minneapolis | 612.353.6089 |thedonutcooperative.com
- My Burger, 3100 Excelsior Blvd, Minneapolis | Find it on Facebook
- Ernie’s Pub & Grille, 14351 Nicollet Ct, Burnsville | 952.435.2867 | erniespub.com
- Stout’s Pub, 1611 Larpenteur Ave, Falcon Heights | 651.789.8888 | stoutspub.com
- Mezz Lounge, 14401 Burnhaven Dr, Burnsville | 952.892.3456 | mezzlounge.com
- Pig & Fiddle, 3808 W 50th St, Minneapolis | 952.955.8385
- Menchie’s, 750 Cleveland Ave, St. Paul | 651.797.6428 | Find it on Facebook
- Pittsburgh Blue, 3200 Galleria, Edina | 952.567.2700 |pittsburghbluesteak.com
- Smashburger, 2138 Ford Pkwy, St. Paul | smashburger.com
- Queen’s Cafe, 2700 E Lake St, Minneapolis
- Mesa Pizza, 1440 W Lake St, Minneapolis | mesapizzamn.com
- Rare Steak and Sushi, 755 Prairie Center Dr (inside Lifetime Fitness), Eden Prairie | 952.829.8484 | rarempls.com
- Technique, 1440 Northland Dr, Mendota Heights | 651.286.2400 | Our take
- No-Neck Tony’s, 231 Myrtle St, Stillwater | 651.342.1261 | nonecktonys.com
- The Four Firkins, 5630 36th St, St. Louis Park | 952.938.2847 | thefourfirkins.com
- Mojo Monkey Donuts, 1169 7th St W, St. Paul | 651.224.0142 | Find it on Facebook
- Maeve’s Cafe, 300 13th Ave NE, Minneapolis | 612.379.1033 | Find it on Facebook
- Zen Box Izakaya, 602 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.332.3936 | Find it on Facebook
- Pat’s Tap, 3510 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | 612.822.8216 | Our take
- Rosa Mexicano, 6th St and Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis (in City Center next to Fogo de Chao) | rosamexicano.com
- Sweet Bebe Cakes, 409 15th Ave N, South St. Paul | 651.457.5082 | sweetbebecakes.com
CLOSED / CLOSING:
- Sea Salt, 4801 Minnehaha Ave S, Minneapolis (closed for season) | seasalteatery.wordpress.com
- Joe Senser’s, 3010 Eagandale Pl, Eagan | sensers.com
- Turtle Bread, One Financial Plaza skyway, Minneapolis | turtlebread.com
- La Sirena Gorda, 920 E Lake St (Midtown Global Market)
- Cafe Twenty Eight, 2724 W 43rd St, Minneapolis. Closing Dec. 31. | 612.926.2800 | cafetwentyeight.com
- Shorty & Wags, 3753 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
- Koyi Sushi, 2111 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis
- Venture North Bike Walk & Coffee, 1830 Glenwood Ave N, Minneapolis. Opens this fall. | 612.377.4476 | venturenorthbwc.org
- Kopplins Coffee, 2038 Marshall Ave, St. Paul (moving to new location). Opens Nov. 25. | kopplinscoffee.com
- Valley Tap House, 14889 Florence Tr, Apple Valley. Opens Nov. 28. | 952.431.2337 | Find it on Facebook
- Colossal Cafe, 2315 Como Ave, St. Paul. Opens Dec. 1. | colossalcafe.com
- Zamboni Pizza, 184 7th St W, St. Paul. Opens this month.
- American Joe, 344 Wabasha St N, St. Paul. Opens this fall.
- Turkey to Go, Baker Center, Minneapolis. Opens this fall. | turkeytogo.com
- Butcher and the Boar, 1121 Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis. Opens in December. | Find it on Facebook
- Eat Street Social, 14 W 26th St, Minneapolis. Opens this fall.
- Zest! Bar and Grill, 525 Diffley Rd, Eagan | 651.468.9053 | zesteagan.com
- Blood and Chocolates, 495 Selby Ave, St. Paul | 651.492.4799 | Find it on Facebook
- Eli’s East Food and Cocktails, 815 E Hennepin Ave, Minneapolis | 612.331.0031 | Find it on Facebook
- Rodizio Grill, 12197 Elm Creek Blvd N, Maple Grove. Opens this fall. | rodiziogrill.com
- Which Wich, 2073 Ford Pkwy, St. Paul. Opens in January. | whichwich.com
- Still-unnamed gastropub, 89 S 10th St, Minneapolis (former The Inn, Subo, Hell’s Kitchen space)
- Bar Louie, 1320 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis. Opens spring 2012. | barlouieamerica.com
- Humble Pie, 822 W 36th St., Minneapolis. Kim Bartmann’s revamp of Gigi’s. | 612.825.0818
- Blue Door Pub, 3448 42nd Ave S, Minneapolis | thebdp.com
- Sweet Ducky Cupcakery, 117 W Churchill St #2, Stillwater
- El Loro, 2535 W Highway 10, Mounds View
- Five Guys, 8360 3rd St N, Oakdale | fiveguys.com
- Cupcake, Grand Ave, St. Paul
- Burger Night, Minneapolis
- Fasika, University Ave and Dale St, St. Paul | fasika.com
- Rincon 38, 38th St and Grand Ave, Minneapolis
- Icehouse, 2528 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis. Opens this fall.
- Cranky’s Bicycle Bar, E Lake St, Minneapolis | Find it on Facebook
- Dangerous Man Brewing, Northeast Minneapolis | dangerousmanbrewing.wordpress.com
- Smokehouse Brewpub, 38th St and 28th Ave S, Minneapolis. Opens spring 2012.
- Lucid Brewing, 6020 Culligan Way, Minnetonka | lucidbrewing.wordpress.com
- Selma’s Ice Cream, 3419 Saint Croix Tr S, Afton. Opens in 2012.
The Tap is The Heavy Table’s guide to area restaurant openings, closings, and other major events. The Tap is compiled by Heavy Table writer Jason Walker, and will be published biweekly. If you already subscribe to our newsletter, look for an emailed version of The Tap every other week — otherwise, you can find it on the website on alternating Tuesdays.
If you’ve got tips for The Tap, please email Jason Walker at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Tap’s Twitter feed has moved to@heavytable.