Thursday, December 11, 2008

Staycation Lunch at Kafe 421

I have all this extra vacation time to burn as we get to the end of the year, so I've been taking advantage of short "staycations." J the BF tells me one of his favorite gurus suggests taking a mid-week day-off once a quarter as a great way to break your frame and open you up to new perspectives. I found this is at least true with places to eat.

This month I've been able to try some spots that have been highly rated but are so off my regular path, I'd never be able to enjoy them in the middle of the day. My first "staycation" was on J the BF's 35th birthday. I took him to Kafe 421 in Dinkytown to give us both a new experience. It was rated #1 best lunch spot by Twin Cities's readers so we went through the trouble of making reservations - it seemed silly for such a casual spot popular for sandwich take-out, but we didn't want to risk wasting the day waiting for a table.

I enjoyed a delicious sandwich called the Lechon - blackened pork tenderloin, grilled onion, roasted peppers, brie, spinach and tarragon aioli on what had to be fresh baked focaccia bread. All I needed was a simple green salad and I was happy. The place had a steady stream of folks coming in for take-out for good reason. The lunch fare is reasonably priced and crosses a broad spectrum of Greek-leaning Mediterranean influences and American comfort food standards so it breaks the frame of your average lunch spot while giving some safety for the ethno-gastronomically challenged (i.e. the meatloaf eaters).

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