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Blue Ribbon Pie!
First Bite: District Fresh Kitchen + Bar
By: Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl | Posted: 10/28/2013
Hold on to your hats (so that you may throw them in the air), Minneapolis: Chef Shack is opening a brick and mortar, year round, real live restaurant in scant weeks!
Chef Shack, of course, is the nationally lauded food truck that all but single-handedly—or is that all but four-wheeledly?—launched the Minneapolis food truck revolution, when chef Lisa Carlson, who came from the world of European Michelin-starred restaurants, and pastry chef Carrie Summer, started slinging bison burgers and cardamon-flecked mini-donuts from their signature red vehicle. Later Chef Shack begat Chef Shack 2, which begat a Chef Shack brick and mortar spot in Bay City, Wisconsin. And now begins the next chapter.
Introducing Chef Shack Ranch! It will be on the corner of 31st and Franklin, in the Seward neighborhood, right across the bridge from the Prospect Park neighborhood, in the old Lucy’s Ethiopian Space. The chefs have actually been in there since late summer.
“We’ve been plugging away, cleaning, and painting since August,” said Carrie Summer, when I reached her on the phone in Bay City. “It’s a roadhouse, of sorts. An urban truck-stop. A meat hut!”
In this meat hut: Hash and eggs, brisket, pulled pork, fried chicken, a new piled-high pulled-pork sandwich, the famous bison burger, and the once famous hand-cut fries, which haven’t been on the menu lately, for lack of space. The plan is to run all of the trucks out of the restaurant, as well as a whole separate restaurant kitchen line to feed the 40-odd seats inside dinner on Thursday and Friday, plus all day brunch and dinner from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
“We’ll do everything you think of when you think truck stop food,” Summer explained. “The biscuits, the mashed potatoes, biscuits and gravy, pies and cakes, ice cream—but all of it a little more urban and healthier.”
And, needless to say, unlike what I think of when I think modern truck stops, it will all be home made. There will also be family sized take-out, meat loaf and mashed potatoes, roast chicken, and the like.
Projected opening? December, possibly before or possibly concurrent with a forthcoming beer and wine license. And in 2014, Summer tells me, this Chef Shack Ranch may have a window open to the street for mini donuts and soft serve to grab and go on your biking on the Mississippi adventures—so save another hat for throwing in the air next summer too!
Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl is a senior editor at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine.See bio
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