How I Spent My Fall Vacation - Restaurants

So, yes, I semi-inadvertently took a couple of months off from Forkbastard. Part burnout, part lack of free time, part Marvel Puzzle Quest, and part lack-of-writing inertia. So it's time to travel back and tell you all How I Spent My Fall Vacation in a series of catch-up posts.

First, restaurants. I didn't do a lot of exploring over the past couple of months, content to enjoy my usual haunts. But an aborted trip to the Hot Indian Food Truck on their second-to-last week at the Linden Hills Farmer's Market, where they closed before we got there due to rain, led to a brunch at the Red Cow near 50th and France in Edina, and that was, I have to say, fairly nice.

I'm a fan of any brunch menu that has straight-up lunch stufft on it. I'm not an egg guy, which means a lot of brunch menus have very little for me, because they'll put fried eggs on all their lunch stuff to make them brunchy, and that fucks my shit up.

Anyway, Red Cow sells the kind of modern American standards I like - not overly complicated, but aware that tastes h ave broadened in the past decade. So yeah, I got a chicken sandwich, but it was moist pulled chicken, not a rubbery Sysco breast. It had spinach and smoked gouda and a tomato jam and came with some very good proper and, I believe, hand-cut fries. All in the twelvish buck range. Tiny parking lot, but a nice space.

A retina check put me in a part of town I'm never in, around lunchtime, with eyeballs dilated all to fuck, needing to kill some time with lunch and Arrow streaming on my iPad. DON'T JUDGE ME. I ended up at the Colossal Cafe in... west St. Paul? Como? I never go there, so I don't know neighborhoods. Anyway, there I had... come to think of it, it was another chicken sandwich.

It's not my fault. They also had a pork sandwich on the menu, but I'm pretty sure, through the fog of eye drops, that it said it was featured on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and I wasn't emotionally prepared to be That Guy.

This was a marinated chicken breast, some greens, a nice aioli, tomatoes, a good roll... just a good solid all-around sandwich with lots of flavor. Nice atmosphere, too. Makes it almost a shame I don't need to go back and have my eyeballs squashed some more.

And finally, my final trucklunch of the year was also a sandwich, but not a chicken sandwich. It was the porchetta sandwich from Gastrotruck, which I'd never been to before despite its' local renown. I've always wanted to try porchetta but never had a chance - this was a pork belly variant. Basically, rolled and herb-roasted pork, and, in the case of this sandwich, sliced and then seared off. The slabs were laid out on soft flatbread with a tomato jam,

It was delicious and hot and porky and the only flaw is that there was nothing but a cardboard tray to catch the ocean of juice this thing gave up as I ate it. Not for the delicate.