I’m more than willing to admit that Valentine’s Day is one of my favorite holidays. As an adult, it’s gotten to be less about exchanging cards and conversation hearts and more about where we’re going for dinner. This year we tried a new place in Minneapolis, Parka. I’d heard a bit about it as a coffee shop/home store but not much on what their sit down dinner was like. Still I was very curious. I tried calling to make reservations thinking, it’s Valentine’s Day, it’ll be dicey, only to find out they don’t take them. So the Hubs and I decided to chance it and booked it over there as quick as we could after work hoping to beat a rush. Not a problem, there was no wait and we were seated right away. I think it was due to the fact that they’re better known for their coffee right now. However, once word starts to spread about their food, I think things will start changing.
First things first, we ordered a couple of beers, both from Indeed Brewing Company here in Minneapolis. I had their Stir Crazy (a dark, winter seasonal, right) and the Hubs ordered the Day Tripper (Pale Ale, nice and hoppy, left), both were really good. I’m going to keep an eye out for them at the liquor store. Bonus points for the cute glasses, yup, I’m a sucker.
We ordered a couple of apps before the meal; roasted brussels sprouts and the ham and pickle tots. The brussels were alright; roasted with bacon, candied walnuts and smoked quail eggs. I’m not a huge fan of hardboiled eggs so I picked around those and The Hubs thought they were a little, over done. Not sure if I’d order them again. I would however, order the Ham and Pickle Tots again, over and over, and not share. They were served with an onion foam, dill pickle gel and a smear of truffle on the plate. The inside of these jumbo tots was full of cheesy, ham and pickle goodness. Perfect comfort food, highly recommend!
For entrees, The Hubs got the meatloaf sandwich and I ordered the pot roast. The meatloaf sandwich came with a side of fries sprinkled with duck fat (yum) and the sandwich looked like a cheeseburger made with a slab of meatloaf with a fluffy bun. I had a split second of order envy but The Hubs shared a couple fries with me so it worked out. When asked for his opinion on the sandwich, The Hubs said “Good”. He cleaned his plate with no problem though, if that’s any indication.
My pot roast came with carrots, both roasted whole and sliced, and potato puree. It also had candied horseradish listed out on the menu, which I was a little nervous about. I’m not a big fan of lots of horseradish and I was expecting it to be in larger pieces mixed in with the veggies. Instead it came in a gel form that was dotted around the plate. I was pleasantly surprised. It had just enough of the horseradish kick for me and was easy for me to control how much I wanted per bite. The pot roast itself was tender and juicy. This dish as a whole reminded me of something you would find in your Mom or Grandma’s kitchen, but better. Sorry Mom.
At this point, we had both cleaned our plates and were talking about how full we were, but I had seen the dessert menu online earlier that day and didn’t want to leave without trying the apple cobbler. It came with cheddar ice cream….what? It was amazing! Not only didn’t come with a scoop of white cheddar ice cream. It also came with a piece of apple fruit leather, mini apple dumplings, apple butter and a crispy cheddar wafer. It was apple, cinnamon overload served in a warm crock and I loved it! It pained me that I wasn’t able to eat more than half of it before I felt like I was going to explode. I brought what I couldn’t eat home and plan on finishing that up once I’m done with this post.
The Hubs ordered the Cookies and Bars for his dessert. It came with a flight of local milks but I couldn’t tell you what they are because both of our jaws dropped when we saw the plate. The menu says ‘share if you want’ and they’re being nice, its a dessert for two, no question about it. The Hubs had about a bite of each cookie and bar before we asked them to pack that up too. He liked the brownie and chocolate chip cookies the best of the group but there wasn’t anything in the mix that he didn’t like. We’re almost done with those leftovers too…
If you’re in the area you should definitely make the trip over to Parka to try the dinner menu. I’m going back for the tots for sure and maybe another stab at finishing a dessert. Or maybe I’ll try the Beer Can Chicken or Spare Ribs….hmmm