Review: Local Fruit Dishes at Plymouth Area Restaurants

Tempting fruit dishes in many guises.

The word fruit comes from the Latin fructus meaning enjoyment. Fruit has long been associated with pleasure, all the way back to the irresistible apple in the Garden of Eden. A fruit is technically an ovary—the thing that produces new life—so it makes sense that fruit is packed with good stuff: entrancing colors, seductive sweetness and delectable flesh. Then there are the rogues, the unexpected contenders in the fruit scene like avocadoes, tomatoes, zucchini and pumpkins. The range of varieties and ways to consume fruit is a mind-boggling proposition; we’ve singled out a few of the most delicious, from classic to creative. So go ahead and take a bite.

Lunds and Byerly’s

The beloved pie just might be fruit’s happiest home. The usual mate with rhubarb is strawberry, but the addition of raspberries in Lund’s rhubarb pie make for a delightful surprise. The berries sort of melt into the filling, adding more flavor than texture, while nice chunks of rhubarb retain a bit of crunch and a mouth-puckering tartness that begs for a huge scoop of ice cream. $7.49, half pie. $10.99, whole pie. 3455 Vicksburg Ln. N.; 763.253.3125;
Pizza Luce
The Hawaiian pizza, made from an unlikely application of pineapple and ham, was reputedly invented in 1962 in Canada. The combination has since gone viral to become one of the most popular pies. Pizza Luce has a knack for saucing up the classic and they’ve taken the basic alchemy of the Hawaiian to create The Rustler. It’s one of their vegetarian selections, but you won’t miss the meat with the abundance of chewy mock duck, a high-protein meat substitute made from wheat gluten. It’s got two kinds of cheese, both cheddar and mozzarella, with lots of sliced red onion, hot banana peppers, sweet barbecue sauce and of course chunks of sweet pineapple. It’s excitingly busy with contrasting textures and flavors and still manages to pay respectful tribute to the original invention. $15.79 (medium pizza). 210 N. Blake Rd., Hopkins; 952.767.0854;


Thai Table

Sweet and sour is another old favorite right out of a 1950s red-lanterned Chinese restaurant. Thai Table’s sweet and sour pork is a little more sophisticated than the classic bright-orange version we remember from childhood as it includes lots of fresh vegetables including tomatoes, bell peppers, onion, cucumber (another fruit!) and carrots. The pineapple makes up the sweet part; vinegar makes the sour. There’s another choice of chicken, but we have indelibly linked sweet and sour with pork in our nostalgic mind’s eye, and the pork here is both tender and flavorful. $9.65. 10100 6th Ave. N.; 763.591.6085;

Truffles and Tortes

The fresh fruit tart at Truffles and Tortes belongs in an old master’s still life painting. It’s almost too pretty to eat but not quite; after a minute of admiration, we had no problem gobbling it down. The array of fruit depends on what’s available on any given day; our five-incher was overflowing with green grapes, sliced strawberries, raspberries and blackberries. The fruit’s high-shine shellacking comes from a tasty glaze and a gentle cream cheese custard filling allows the fruit to sing. We especially appreciated that the hand-rolled crust was just sweet enough. Yum. Tarts are also available in 10-inch size. $4.95. 72 Nathan Ln.; 763.512.0944;


Our Tea House

The orange does double duty in this vibrant dish, as both the juice and the zest conspire to imbue the sautéed flank steak with extra-intense oranginess. This is not for the timid of tongue, for red chili flakes share the stage with the fruit (but you can choose your heat). Sliced orange halves hide beneath the meat; go ahead and eat them since they’ve taken on a bit of the beef’s earthy charm while adding a bright shot of juice that cuts the salty fire. Choice of white or brown rice. $13.95. 88 Nathan Ln.; 763.544.3422;


Mort’s Deli

Bright green spinach and ruby red strawberries practically vibrate next to one another in this gorgeous and appealing dish. Grilled chicken, cashews and just a little bit of bacon are salty and bold; the strawberries play the exactly right note of sweetness. The raspberry vinaigrette is the best we’ve sampled as it’s a bit creamy, a little sweet and wonderfully tart. $11.99. 525 Winnetka Ave., Golden Valley; 763.544.2900;

Lonespur Grill and Bar

We love this cozy cantina for many reasons, one of them being the vast and varied menu featuring classics with interesting twists inspired by the Pakistani owner’s home cuisine. Technically avocadoes and tomatoes are fruit, so Lonespur’s chunky-delish guacamole belongs on the list of fruitful delights. But we chose to skip all other distractions and dive into the well-named Texas Saucy Banana, guaranteed to knock you sideways with vanilla ice cream topped with a mess of hot sliced bananas sautéed in Kahlua. This delirium-inducing combination comes in a flour tortilla shell, dusted with cinnamon and wearing an impressive mound of whipped cream. It’s crunchy, slippery, sweet and cold: a behemoth in both size and concept. Do not undertake this monster alone. $4.99. 11032 Cedar Lake Rd., Minnetonka; 952.540.0181;

Doolittle’s Woodfire Grill

This bountiful salad offers a triple hit of fruit: fresh raspberries, roasted pear and raspberry vinaigrette. Out of the three, the roasted pear steals the show. Doolittle’s eponymous wood-burning oven does a fine job of caramelizing the fruit, creating slightly smoky, extra sweet hunks of pear. The cast of this inspired dish includes spiced walnuts, crumbled blue cheese and thick, hot pink raspberry vinaigrette. Tender fire-grilled chicken breast contributes even more addictive smokiness and a good hit of protein. $11.95. 550 Winnetka Ave. N., Golden Valley; 763.542.1931;

Sunshine Factory

Fruit loves booze; we love us a fruity drink. Fun martini menus abound in our local watering holes and Sunshine Factory has a sweet little list of tantalizing fruity quaffs. We went with the classic apple martini which is made from Absolut citron vodka, apple schnapps and a splash of sour mix (lemon juice and sugar). This martini is refreshingly saturated with apple flavor and with the perfect note of tartness. The amazing—and alarming—thing is that it doesn’t taste like alcohol in the least. This potion is extremely easy to slug back so exercise caution. $7.99. 7600 42nd Ave. N., New Hope; 763.535.7000;