Clean livin’, good eatin’: Going meatless in Minneapolis


In light of the recent lack of red meat and booze in my life, I thought I’d highlight some of the best places to get meatless foods and boozeless drinks around these parts. It helps that I’ve been hanging out with some extra vegetarian folk lately to teach me some things about eating meatless in the Twin Cities.

I was at brunch the other day with a number of people including one of my favorite veggie-eating people, the lovely Sarah of @yesandyes. I mentioned that I was considering doing a less meaty May and had been eating a lot of mock duck with this meat-free fella I’ve been hanging out with. She told me to go directly to Grumpy’s downtown to try the mock duck BBQ sandwich. That is exactly what I did. It was actually the night before May began and I wanted to try it before it was too late for me to eat bread since I was about to embark on the month of gluten-free, red meat-free, and booze-free life. (I really should come up with a quicker name for this month’s special diet, because it’s exhausting for my fingers to type this.) The sandwich was rather delicious. My dining companion (the aforementioned meat-free fella) had a fake chicken sandwich with pineapple on it. Grumpy’s is full of magic and can make any chicken sandwich into a meatless chicken sandwich (amazing!) and the Hawaiian faux-Chicken was reportedly delicious as well.

My other meatless adventures lately have also involved a lot of mock duck (which is now out due to the May diet) and some tofu. I went to Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine on Nicollet (Eat Street) and was introduced to the best mock duck I’ve ever had. It’s just mock duck, but it’s sort of crispy and meaty and wonderful. I also had the spicy golden tofu and popiah spring rolls, both very tasty and both free of red meat, gluten, and alcohol (booyah!). If you’re not in it purely for the vegetarian-friendly fare, also check out the steamed hainanese chicken dish.

Just down the street from Peninsula is Nicollet’s newest addition: Eat Street Social. I’ve mentioned them before especially for their rich and tasty brunches and well-crafted cocktails, but they’re also well-endowed with soda fountain drinks! I had an egg cream (which actually contains neither egg nor cream) the other night and it was fantastically sweet and bubbly but not overly sweet and bubbly, which is just how I like my beverages. I generally don’t drink soft drinks ever but this kind of thing is a perfect replacement for either dessert (if you’re avoiding gluten desserts are tougher) and/or boozy drinks. When my friends are sipping beautiful cocktails with a kick, I can feel far from left out sipping something equally gorgeous but liquor-free! 

I’m hoping to make it over to Haute Dish this Sunday to check out their vegetarian pre-fixe menu and will report back on that one. I was there a couple weeks ago when my parents were visiting and they’ve got a great veggie dish called the Veggie Patch that has the most beautiful assortment of radishes and artichokes and everything a rabbit would love. I can’t wait to report back on how the veggie menu is this week. For now you can check out the sample menu on their website if you’re curious!