Best Of Secrets of the City Awards

Secrets of the City Award: Mesa Pizza’s Day Without Immigrants New Breadsticks Campaign

Mesa Pizza

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to, because that’s what we’re like.

To show their support for staff and the general cause, several MPLS + STPL restaurants will be closing for the nation-wide “A Day Without Immigrants” protest. Along with World Street Kitchen, Victor’s 1959, and other restaurants that we follow who’ve posted (Eater has an updating list, btw), Mesa Pizza will be closing its locations. The indie pizza joint’s announcement on their Facebook page was received with some positive vibes and, on the other hand, virulent consternation from a lot of “keep your politics off our pizza” followers who we can only describe as “butthurt”. Whoever runs the Mesa Pizza account used the opportunity to try and unify their fan base around their new bread sticks, making for one of the absolute best political threads we’ve read in a very long time. Replying to every “Why would you Bring politics into your business?!? Very stupid move…” with “Priced at 2 for $1 you could easily afford to build a wall with our #deliciousnewbreadsticks however we doubt it would last since they all come with FREE MARINARA SAUCE” and “So youre inviting criminals to your establishment? The immigration policy is directed to those who entered our country illegally…educate yourselves….and i will never eat here!” with “You can ask anyone who works or eats there and they will all tell you the same thing we have breadsticks” is fantastic. We almost started crying, too, when they said “Well we have the whole day off tomorrow to troll u too #didimentiomwehavebreafsticks“. That comment alone deserves an award.

 


Secrets of the City Award: Urban Bean Coffee’s Anti-Trump Facebook Post

Urban Bean

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to, because that’s what we’re like.

It’s tense times here in the ol’ U.S. of A. In addition to the ongoing crisis of mass shootings—of which we sadly, heart breakingly experienced yet again—political divisiveness years in the making and further accelerated this election season is at an all-time high. All mixed together it’s a pressure cooker and lots of us turn to social media to let off some steam. That includes Urban Bean Coffee in s’Uptown, who posted a message to their Facebook page yesterday that Trump supporters are should get their coffee elsewhere, linking to the New Yorker piece on Trump’s disgusting self-congratulatory and xenophobic response to the Orlando shooting. You can imagine how that went over with Facebook commentors who support Trump. (Rage flames the size of prairie fires is a good image to put in your mind.) The real great part of the post, and something definitely deserving of a Secrets of the City Award, was all the back and forth, including some very hilarious trolling of the trolls, both by Urban Bean and the other shop supporters. We particularly liked the laugh out loud haikus by Anago Aalmutter, who should honestly be a local celeb. Ultimately talk is cheap—at times hilarious, but cheap—so if vote with your dollars and visit Urban Bean (or don’t) to thank them for their post.


Secrets of the City Award: 2016 All Hockey Hair

2016 hockey hair

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to, because that’s what we’re like.

We’re giving an award to an award, and everyone else should, too. It’s the single greatest piece of art produced in the North all year long: It’s this year’s incredible, enjoyable, emblematic Minnesota All Hockey Hair Team video. We should just post a transcript because every line is golden, but here’s just a taste: “You’ve heard of a rain dance? This is mane-dance.” “That A on his jersey is for arugula because that’s some spicy salad.” “Remember I was going to carve that butter sculpture? Well it cost $15,000, so instead I had my buddy do it.”


Secrets of the City Award: The Lowry’s Bar Nuts

FullSizeRender

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to, because that’s what we’re like.

Here’s how we determine if we should give out an award: If we’re eating so much of something that we have to look up “how much will make someone sick”, then that something is award worthy. And that something was recently the Bar Nuts at The Lowry. The little glass of “spiced & candied walnuts, peanuts and pecans, with mint & sea salt” has it all—they’re sweet, they’re salty, they’re crunchy, there’s probably some umami in there somewhere, they’re ridiculously addictive. Also ridiculous: Trying not to build up a $40 tab off of just one beer and several of these little cups of bar nuts. The accumulating expense is the only thing that slowed us down before we found out our limit before getting sick.


Secrets of the City Award: Best Tap Room Snack

Aki's Breadhaus

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to.

Maybe you’re just sampling one tap room’s beer selection. Maybe you’re bouncing from tap room to tap room and sampling several different selections of beer. Either way, you should get some food in you. If you’re already at Fair State Brewing or on your way there, you’re in luck, because they’re located next door to Aki’s Breadhaus and their pretzels. And they have a door between them! Sometimes Aki’s will even set up a little table with pretzels and dip inside the tap room to draw in your eye (and beer filled belly). Our pro tip for these salty, crunchy, bready, fantastic snacks is to get the cheese dip and also know and accept that you’re going to get another one and maybe another one. (Be sure to see our pick for best food truck snack, too.)

Acki’s Breadhaus, 2605 Central Ave NE, MPLS; akisbreadhaus.com


Secrets of the City Award: Best Tap Room Snack—Food Truck

Bark and the Bite

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to.

Maybe you’re just sampling one tap room’s beer selection. Maybe you’re bouncing from tap room to tap room and sampling several different selections of beer. Either way, you should get some food in you. And if you happen to be at a tap room where the new Bark and the Bite BBQ food truck is parked (likely Fair State Brewing or Bauhaus Brewing), you have to get some of their Honey Spiced Hush Puppies. They little pieces of deep fried deliciousness go perfectly with a variety of beer and they’re sticky fried corn meal, which will help soak up some of the alcohol. The only thing that would make them better would be spicy BBQ sauce, which B&B has plenty of. And to make things even better, the half dozen times we’ve ordered from this truck, the two dudes running the truck—Chef Noah and Chris—have been enthusiastic, good natured, and patient when we maybe had too much to drink. (Be sure to see our pick for best non-truck tap room snack, too.)


Secrets of the City Award: Best Surprise Bar Tater Tot Hotdish

Bulldog NE

Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to.

We’re a big fan of limited food menus, thanks to our inability to make decisions, especially when we’re hangry. So menus like at The Bulldog NE—that has brunch and different hot dogs and burgers and sandwiches and entrees and a bunch of other stuff—stops us cold in our tracks (or high top table seat, as it were). Thankfully someone recommended the Tater Tot Hot Dish, and it was outstanding. Beer-braised brisket, caramelized brussel sprouts, roasted mushroom béchamel, truffled tots—the dish is hearty and filling, but not greasy or gluttonous, which is great for lunch. We even threw a little Cholula on there! MPLS + STPL are tot towns, to be sure, but we haven’t had a totdish this good in a long time, we’ll definitely be making it a regular staple of our lunch fare.

The Bulldog NE, 401 East Hennepin, MPLS; thebulldognortheast.com