Decisions, decisions; where to dine on delectable dishes, chock-full of the best that a garden can produce? Either as a main course or colorful side dish, seasonal vegetable-inspired platters can be found right here in our own backyard at a number of neighborhood establishments—and our picks are only the tip of the iceberg. Now get up and spend those last blissfully relaxing days of summer dining out with family and friends.
This local watering hole has a flair for fare, and guests will be clamoring to try this veggie wrap. First, portobella mushrooms are tossed in a balsamic vinaigrette, olive oil, and salt and pepper seasoning, then they’re finished on the grill to add a special smoky flavor. A mound of mixed greens, crunchy cucumbers, bleu cheese crumbles and red onion are rolled into a sun-dried tomato tortilla. Add grilled chicken for $3, and grilled steak or Atlantic salmon for $5. If you’re looking to round off your meal with something on the sweet side, try the new adult root beer float featuring soft serve ice cream in Dr. McGillicuddy’s Intense Rootbeer. $8.
4120 Berkshire Lane N.; 763.559.0257
ASPARAGUS STIR FRY
If Thai food and summer veggies each strike your fancy, the asparagus stir fry at Thai Table will make stir-fried summer vegetables your taste buds’ best friends. Crisp asparagus, carrots and onions tossed together and stir-fried in wok sauce with a side of rice doesn’t have to be vegetarian. Choose from pork, shrimp, chicken, scallops or beef, and add as much protein as you desire. If asparagus isn’t in your veggie repertoire, try a different combination: Pad Puk is a seven-vegetable medley, piled high with cabbage, celery, broccoli, pea pods, carrots, bell peppers and onions, all fried together with a side of rice. Again, add protein to your liking. Each entrée is $8.99; add protein for $1, shrimp for $2 or scallops for $3.
10100 Sixth Ave. N.; 763.591.6085
MIXED VEGETABLE CURRY
For authentic Indian cuisine, the mixed vegetable curry is a customer favorite, paired perfectly with naan and just the right amount of sauce on top of basmati rice. Now come the fresh vegetables, which include cauliflower, carrots, peas, green beans, and potatoes all cooked in a savory garlic and ginger seasoning—and don’t forget the Garam Masala. This dish is gluten free and vegan, and has no MSG and can be enjoyed as a main feature or a side dish. Entrée, $10.
4190 Vinewood Lane N. Ste. 120; 763.383.1880
Peg’s Countryside Café
For those whose dining fantasies don’t include a big plate of veggies as a main dish, Peg’s Countryside Café is serving delectable sides with almost every meal on the menu. “Everything we use here is locally sourced from our vendors,” café owner Peg Rasmussen says. “Our main vendor always buys locally when it’s available.” Tomatoes, summer squash, corn on the cob, radishes, celery, carrots, broccoli and more are regulars on the menu. Because we are likely to eat what is available to us, Rasmussen says the restaurant is simply changing what’s available—fresh fruit and veggies, instead of potato chips, are a choice with every meal. If veggies at breakfast get your day going right, try the veggie skillet or veggie omelet (both $8.75). If you like fruits and vegetables together, try the chicken salad—this creamy summer classic is served on a bed of romaine and surrounded by fruits including grapes, melons and berries. Small salad, $8.25; full, $9.50.
842 Hwy. 55; 763.478.6869
CEDAR PLANK ATLANTIC SALMON with root veggie Medley
Jake’s City Grille
This 8 oz. salmon fillet is slow-cooked in a pizza oven on a cedar plank and glazed with Jake’s signature sauce, which has a smoky Caribbean barbecue flavor. But the accoutrements are equally enticing: The dish is complemented with a flavor-filled root vegetable medley of roasted parsnips, carrots, butternut squash and red onions that are covered in rosemary, garlic and Jake’s spice. Try the baby red-skinned potatoes that are mashed, garlicy, creamy and heavenly, or choose a side of freshly sautéed Brussels sprouts. A perfect addition to any summertime meal is Jake’s made-from-scratch sangria. Entrée $21.95.
3005 Harbor Lane N.; 763.559.1595
BABY BACK RIBS ’n’ Veg
Grizzly’s Grill and Saloon
Calling all rib lovers to smoked meat nirvana. This guest favorite comes covered in a choice of sweet and smoky barbecue or maple bourbon homemade sauces. The hearty entrée is rotisserie-grilled for 2 hours over an open flame of red and white oak, followed-up with an additional 6 hours, slow-cooked to perfection. Fresh veggies are the perfect complement, steamed in a seasoned butter, and featuring carrots, snap peas, green beans, broccoli and zucchini squash. Half-rack, $16.99, full-rack, $23.99; both come with two sides.
220 Carlson Pkwy. N.; 763.476.1011