Sometimes the best foods are a little messy. Eating lobster usually means sporting a fashionable plastic bib to avoid dirtying your shirt, and when it comes to ribs—well, you might as well keep a roll of paper towels nearby. But the mess is usually worth the reward. So this month, we say toss the silverware, and celebrate those Plymouth finger foods that are often passed up for fear of getting your hands a little dirty.
WISCONSIN CHEESE CURDS
There’s not much more to say about cheese curds than, well, they are made to be delicious. And thanks to Grizzly’s Wood-Fired Grill, we don’t have to wait until the Minnesota State Fair to get a dose of these little nuggets of goodness. “We hand cut all of our cheese curds in-house into approximately 1-inch cubes,” manager Garrick Fults says. Each curd is hand-dipped into a vat of Grizzly’s homemade batter before being fried to a perfect shade of golden brown and served with a side of ranch ($7.99). Trust us; you won’t regret this. 220 Carlson Pkwy. N.; 763.476.1011.
The rest of the world may do chicken fingers, but here in the land of 10,000 lakes, we do walleye fingers. You can’t get much more Minnesotan than that. Cowboy Jack’s Saloon cooks up a mean version of this tasty Midwest favorite with its wild-caught Canadian walleye, each piece is lightly breaded to crispy perfection and served with Cowboy Jack’s homemade chipotle mayo for a little bit of extra flavor ($10). 4120 Berkshire Lane N.; 763.559.0257.
At The Eat Shop, executive chef Jeff Anderson focuses on fresh flavors and local ingredients in all of his menu items—and remember his culinary team makes everything from scratch. For a little sampling of what The Eat Shop does best, we love the Eat Plate. Featuring an array of house-made and house-smoked meats like bologna, summer sausage and smoked ham, as well as cured swordfish, homemade crackers and aged cheddar, it’s the perfect way to wake up your taste buds before dinner ($14.95). Or, pair the Eat Plate with one of the selections from the restaurant’s extensive wine list for a lighter dinner option. 16605 County Road 24; 763.270.5929.
Ketsana Subanphim always looks to fresh ingredients when cooking up items from her authentic Thai menu. To kick off your meal, we recommend any one of Ketsana’s egg rolls. A popular choice among customers, the beef or chicken egg roll is stuffed with silver-thread noodles, cabbage, carrots, onion, and your choice of chicken or beef ($4.25 for three). For the vegetarians out there, the veggie egg roll is equally as delicious, just omit the meat ($3.95 for three). Or for something a little different, try Ketsana’s special egg roll, stuffed with pork, silver-thread noodles, jicama, onion, carrots and egg ($4.95 for three). 16605 County Road 24; 763.559.0695.
Ribs might just be the ultimate finger food, so if you’re going to embark on a rack of juicy ribs slathered in delicious barbecue sauce, Famous Dave’s is the place to go—not to mention the local rib joint snagged a bunch of awards in summer rib competitions across the country. The award-winning St. Louis-style ribs are no joke, being hand-rubbed with Dave’s secret blend of special spices and pit-smoked for three to four hours over a smoldering hickory fire ($13.29 –$23.99). They’re finished off with a slathering of sauce over an open flame to help seal in the flavor and give them that crispy, caramelized coating. Want to serve a crowd? Ribs are a No. 1 catered order at Famous Dave’s. 11308 Hwy. 55; 763.525.0500.
SOUTHERN FRIED CHICKEN
Mike and Barbara Latuff opened Latuff’s Pizzeria in 1971 and have been serving up mouth-watering pizzas ever since. Even though Latuff’s is known for its famous pies, it also has a variety of other menu items worth a try—especially the fried chicken. Make sure you’re hungry, because this customer favorite boasts a half chicken ($10.60). The chicken is then covered in Latuff’s secret batter and fried until crisp and golden brown. Served with salad, soup or coleslaw, and your choice of potato, vegetable or pasta, the last thing you’ll do is go home hungry! 10820 Hwy. 55; 763.545.2914.
Buffalo Wild Wings is finger-food nirvana. All wings are hand-spun fresh into your choice of 16 BW3s sauces—think Thai curry, Caribbean jerk and chipotle barbecue—or five dry seasonings, and served with your choice of celery, carrots, bleu cheese or ranch dressing ($5.99–$18.49). Make sure to stop by on Wing Tuesdays or Boneless Thursdays to get discounted prices on your favorite wing combinations. 3505 Vicksburg Lane N.; 763.551.9464.