The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food

The writers and foodies at the HeavyTable.com don’t go for the easy or the obvious. James Norton and his intrepid band of writers have been making a name for themselves on the Twin Cities, and increasingly national, food scene for the last few years. HeavyTable.com celebrates foods of the Upper Midwest. The writers do their research, they try foods of all kinds, and they write reviews so witty that you find yourself reading them aloud to anyone who is nearby, whether they really want to listen or not.

This spring, the HT folks launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for a new book: The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food. The project promised the following:

The book will tell the stories of Upper Midwestern food and drink from all manner of perspectives; we’ll chart out some of the late, great “ghost restaurants” of the Twin Cities that have vanished but linger on as influences; we’ll explore meat markets up and down the Mississippi; we’ll track down pop culture and literature connections to local eateries, and far, far more.

Well, they made good on their promise and now the book is printed, bound, and ready for you to purchase. Any food explorer worth her pith helmet will want to take the book in hand and march down streets, through forests, across rivers, and into kitchens across Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa to some of the best places to eat, accompanied by some of the best essays on food.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As I mentioned above, the writers don’t go for the obvious. Ingebretsen’s is included in Susan Pagani’s explorations of East Lake Street. The Swedish meatballs are mentioned, but Susan recommends the lamb loaf. She’s right of course, it’s exceptional and it makes great sandwiches the next day. But how many other writers who have been here have taken the time to try something besides the classics?

–Carstens Smith