Blog: Bucket List #18 - Try Three Different Foods at the Midtown Global Market

The Midtown Global Market is one of the largest indoor public markets in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area.  It is a collection of unique shops, foods and cultures from all over the world.  Lindsay and Danielle traveled to the Midtown Global Market to check #18 off the Minneapolis Northwest Bucket List - try three foods from three different countries.  

The Midtown Global Market is one of the largest indoor public markets in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metro area.  It is a collection of unique shops, foods and cultures from all over the world.  Lindsay and Danielle traveled to the Midtown Global Market to check #18 off the Minneapolis Northwest Bucket List - try three foods from three different countries.  

Grape Leaves

Location: Holy Land Grocery & Butcher Shop & Deli | Stalls 145 & 146
Cuisine: Middle Eastern

What is this?: A middle eastern cuisine usually served as an appetizer. Rice, meat and spices are wrapped tightly in a grape leaf and cooked either by being boiled or steamed.

At Holy Land they serve their grape leaves vegetarian style by stuffing grape leaves with rice, parsley, tomatoes, onions, mint and herbs. The grape leaves are served with a tzatziki sauce (a cool and creamy cucumber dip).

middle eastern cuisine

Hit or miss?

Lindsay: Being that my last name is Spiros (of Greek origin), I have eaten grape leaves, or dolmades, before.  My mom makes them at home, which are extremely delicious, but the grape leaves at Holy Land were still tasty. I like dipping them in the tzatziki sauce but like them without as well; the sauce brings another element to them. I would recommend trying them with meat; it’s more of a substantial appetizer.

Danielle: The look, texture and smell of grape leaves used to turn me away from trying them.  I dipped the first one I tried in their tzatziki sauce; it was okay.  The grape leaves tasted more like a pickle to me so I opted to try it without the sauce - what a difference!  I was able to taste the stuffing without thinking about pickles the entire time.  Out of the 3 new foods we tried, this was my favorite.

Like Middle Eastern cuisine? Try this!
Even though there aren't any specific Middle Eastern restaurants in Minneapolis Northwest, you can still purchase this type of cuisine (grape leaves, pitas, hummas) at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. Eat in the deli or go on a picnic.
 

Pupusas

Location: El Burrito Mercado | Stalls 118-119
Cuisine: Mexican/Salvadoran

What is this? A pupusa is a traditional Salvadoran dish made of handmade corn tortilla that is usually filled with cheese, pork meat or refried beans.

At El Burrito Mercado they follow the tradition of the Salvadoran dish. You can order your pupusa with either cheese or refried beans. They serve them with a side of salsa and what we think was some type of slaw.

Salvadoran food

Hit or Miss?

Lindsay: My first bite of the pupusa was a little bland; I was expecting more flavor from the dish, especially being a Mexican dish. I piled on more of the slaw and salsa that accompanied the dish to give it more flavor and texture which made it a little flavorsome. We ordered a cheese filled pupusa and a refried bean filled pupusa; I favored the cheese pupusa over the other but I wouldn’t order this again.

Danielle: At first, I was confused as to how to eat this dish.  They gave us 2 freshly warm pupusas, green salsa and some type of slaw (all separated from each other).  So we put the ingredients on top of each other and had at it.  One thing I didn’t like was a hot pupusa and cold slaw (weird hot-cold mix for me).   I also thought the flavor was lacking a little bit. I like spicy so I would have spiced it up a little more.  This dish wasn’t bad but I don’t think I’ll be ordering it again anytime soon.

Like Mexican cuisine? Try this!
If you're into Mexican food, we have a handful of chocies like El Rodeo Mexican Restaurant, Teresa's Mexican Restaurant and Fiesta Cancun Mexican Grill & Bar. They all serve up their own authentic Mexican cuisine with a side of Minnesota-nice.
 

Yeo’s Chrysanthemum TeaAsian tea

Location: Pham’s Deli | Stall 153
Cuisine: Asian

What is this?: This tea is a flower-based tea made from chrysanthemum flowers, it is popular in East Asia. The flowers are steeped in hot water and cane sugar is added for sweetness. 

Hit or Miss?

Lindsay: My first sip of the drink reminded me of a watered down Arizona Tea. There was an overwhelming sugary taste to the tea that made me not want to drink any more. When I drink a cold tea I expect it to be refreshing, but Yeo’s Chrysanthemum Tea wasn’t. If there was nothing else to drink then I wouldn’t mind popping open a can of this tea drink but it’s not something I would order over something else.

Danielle: I had two sips of this tea and yeah… it wasn’t good.  The drink was a little bit too sweet which managed to take over the tea flavor all together.  It basically tasted like sugar water with a slight taste and smell of chrysanthemum flowers.  Yeo’s Chrysanthemum Tea is now on my list of odd drinks I've tried and never drinking again.

Like Asian cuisine? Try this!
We have an abundance of Asian restaurants in Minneapolis Northwest. Some popular choices include Hong Kong, Lemon Grass Thai, Mongo's Grill and Sawatdee & Zushiya.

Find out what we've checked off so far! View our full Bucket List.

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