Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Reetsy Reviews: The Citizen Cafe

Gerg and I decided we wanted to upload some of our wedding photos while dining on a patio during our week off.

Fortunately for us, Michael McKay recently opened Citizen Cafe in our neck of the non-woods, so we had an opportunity to sample (pardon the pun) some new eats AND sit at a patio.

Citizen Cafe is located in the former Sweet Loraine's spot in South Minneapolis. A lot of elbow grease and some new decor have brought the place to life. Nothing too charming or over the top, just a nice little cafe (with neato light fixtures). The patio features a view of the gas station across the street through some pretty potted plants.

They are committed to slow food at Citizen Cafe, and so you'll find items such as house made sausages, braised short ribs, roasted pork, house-cured gravlax, meat loaf, roasted chicken, and house made mustards. According to Molly Priesmeyer, "Chef-owner Michael McKay, who also owns the Sample Room in northeast and worked at Chez Paul and the Loring Café, even makes the ketchup from scratch, ensuring you won't get any high-fructose corn syrup mixing with your plate of organic fried eggs and hash browns in this cozy 38th Street spot."

For an appetizer, we cheerfully ordered their daily fresh sausage: chicken and apple sausage with spicy apple brandy mustard.

I love the daily fresh sausage concept, as I'm a lover of the link. Their sausage was tender, and nicely cooked, but it could have used a bit more seasoning. The mustard was fantastic. We both liked it a lot. I recommend ordering anything made with their house made mustards. Very very.

I ordered the pulled pork sammich for my meal. The pork was a bit dry, IMO. The pork was seasoned lightly and mixed with tons of bell peppers. The flavor was nice, but I wanted the pork to be a tad more tender. It was served with their house made crispy potato chips, which may be the best potato chips served to me at any restaurant ever. We both agree that those are some darn fine chips!!

gerg took the plunge and ordered something wacky - the "Citizen Joe" sammich.

The Citizen Joe is the cafe's version of a sloppy joe. Similar to a pasty in construction, the savory ground beef is wrapped in delicate pastry dough. It is then baked until gooey, wrapped in wax paper, and served with their house made chips or fresh fruit. The photo above was taken on my cell, and doesn't do the Citizen Joe justice. If you're the kind of person who likes messy, saucy sammiches, the Citizen Joe is a home run. It isn't dainty. It isn't easy to eat. It's saucy meat wrapped in pastry dough, dude. The flavor was new and different and familiar at the same time, and we both were delighted to try it.

Citizen Cafe doesn't have a url, so I can't link it yet.

We went there for a weekday lunch, and there was plenty of seating, but apparently it gets pretty busy on the weekends.

I wish I knew more about their producers. They don't mention any of them on the menu.

Citizen Cafe
2403 E 38th St
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Phone: (612) 729-1122

PS - We're getting iPhones this weekend, which should mean better photos for this blog!

[where: Local Food, Minneapolis, Twin Cities, Minnesota]


jenn said...

Another great neighborhood place. My mother-in-law was addicted to Sweet Lorraine's Coconut Cake. Any chance it's still around?

Matt said...

Had dinner here last night. FANTASTIC white bean and ham soup. I also had a half Rueben which was equally delicious, and is made with Cole Slaw instead of Kraut, which is right up my alley.

My girlfriend had the BLT, and we were both impressed with it as well. We asked to look at the breakfast menu and I can say without a doubt that we'll be there at least one morning this weekend for the biscuits and gravy.


Reetsyburger said...

jenn - No idea about Sweet Lorraine's coconut cake. Sorry! I did stop in for their toast and eggs. They did overhard perfectly...just like my dad used to make them.

Matt - I can't fathom eating a Rueben without kraut, so I'm not sure that sandwich would work out for me. See, I adore kraut. Let me know about the the biscuits and gravy...I love me some good sausage gravy.