Greeting Text

Following twenty years of farmer's markets selling locally grown vegetables, native fruits, and local honey Linda created Marianne's Kitchen in Shoreview, MN, an oasis of good food, conversation and laughter in a suburban food desert. Operating from 2011-2017 the cafe offered home made soups, fresh bread baked daily, great sandwiches and treats and a complete line of gluten-free soups, pickled products, jams, jellies, salsas and locally sourced soups, honey and grains.

The Marianne's Kitchen of sharing, conversation, and learning continues with ongoing commentary, food reviews and food finds as we grow, cook and eat our food and sample local restaurants.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

In Search of a Taco

Saturday evening we had to deliver a couple of people to a party on St. Paul's East Side.  Following the drop off we began the regular "where to eat" debate" which is comprise of  "You pick,"  "No, you pick" 

Options included the Little Oven on East Minnehaha which is good for pizza, pasta, salads and burgers.  Given that the "where to eat" debate started about 7:30 PM we were far past the 2:00 PM cutoff for breakfast, which is reliably good.

 We settled on Los Ocampo on Suburban AV just west of White Bear Avenue and I94.  John had the alambre el gusto comprised of bell peppers, onion, bacon, mozzarella cheese and marinated roast pork served over ten small corn tortillas.  The sliced radishes and lime were a nice compliment.

Typically we head to Central AV in Minneapolis for authentic Mexican food but Los Ocampo was close and offers a good selection of options far from the much too Americanized fare of many restaurants featuring tacos, enchiladas and tostadas and a never-ending list of Marguarita's.  We'd give Los Ocamp 3.5 stars of five overall and 5 stars on service and selection. 

John is always in search of a good taco.  Typically that ends up being at least ten miles from Shoreview.  Over the course of last summer that search led us to a taco & quesadilla mobile operation in a truck parked on the north side of St. Paul's 7th Street just east of the Lafayette Bridge.   It's directly across the street from the Holiday Station.  On the drive home we saw that they are still there, braving the Minnesota winter operating out of a small trailer.

We do periodically have tacos as a daily lunch special at Marianne's Kitchen.  On those days we can assure you that the best tacos in the Twin Cities are at the intersection of CR E & Lexington!!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

It's as much about community and friends as it is about food...

We post many images of food we make and food we like, both from Marianne's Kitchen and other
places we eat.  For those who've not heard the story, Marianne's Kitchen came about in part because we could not find a place to eat in Shoreview but we also wanted to pay homage to Linda's aunt.  It's not just about the food.  We're here because we enjoy putting good, healthy food in front of people but it's the customers who make the difference.  Now in our fourth year we have met a lot of really nice people.  We talk among ourselves frequently about who stopped in and who we've not seen for a while.  When we ask your name, where you work or how your day is going it's because we care.  Often we are asked if we have WIFI.  The answer you will hear is "we have conversation."   Hopefully everyone stopping in enjoys their food but also leaves knowing that this is a friendly place where the 'thank you's' are heartfelt and legitimate.

Saturday was Small Business Saturday courtesy of promotion by American Express.  In this time of Black Friday, big box retailers and national brand shopping and dining it is a challenge to stand out, or even to be seen.  One of the big box stores up the street was selling 1600 big screen TV's a minute (nationally) on Friday.  At the end of our day we remember how many Cubano's or Avocado BLT's we sold and most of the time we remember your name.  When we say "hello," "thank you" or "goodbye" we're not working from a script, simply being sincere.

It's not as much fun being here without our customers.  We miss you but hope you've enjoyed the weekend, resting up or working hard, chilling with friends or family or wrapping up a good book.

Black Friday Six Hour Road Trip

Friday we bailed a bit early from Marianne's Kitchen  to make a quick visit to visit John's Aunt Vi in Albert Lea.  Vi is 98 and doing quite well.  Once in a while we do feature "Aunt Vi's Lemon Bars" as a treat.  You should watch for them.

Vi wanted to know what John was doing when he took this "selfie" in the elevator. As usual he was unable to provide a short answer when explaining it would end up on a blog post which led to a question of what that was.

We shared some banana cream pie and lemon meringue pie from Trumble's from Albert Lea.    The longstanding family joke is never agree to share pie with Vi; she does not share well.  It turns into more of a competition.

On the trip back we pulled into Ellendale (at bit south of Owatonna and about 1/2 mile west off 35W) a bit late and missed the opportunity to sample and buy at Steve's Meat Market.  

The goal was to be back in St. Paul by 6:30 PM.  We adjusted that goal and stopped at the Longfellow Market on Lake Street.  They carry our pickled products and our gluten-free soups.  It's always fun to stop and see your product on the shelf.  Of course John did hit the deli counter and left with a delightful quinoa and edamame salad which did not last long.