Working Little G’s pizza food truck

Enjoying my own creation from Little G's Pizza

Enjoying my own creation from Little G’s Pizza

I had the opportunity to make a pizza of my own at Little G’s Mobile Pizzeria, a wood-fired pizza food truck based in the Twin Cities. Inside the food truck. My own pizza. And it was a great time.

You read that right. Seems pretty random, right? Well, it came about pretty randomly.

A hard cider-loving friend and I went to the cider tap room Sociable Cider Werks. It was hopping, standing-room only (and rightfully so—check it out!). A nice group of two couples invited us to join their large table since we were standing with coats, drinks and purses near them. Minnesota nice, right?! And one of them was related to the person who runs the food truck that was there that day. Yes, Little G himself!

Little G (Johnny Goral) stopped at our table and we chatted with him. I mentioned I would love to peek inside the truck, and he invited me in to make a pizza of my own. What? Yes, that JUST happened! I took him up on that offer, hopped in the truck and went to town. When I saw they have a Reuben-style pizza, I made a vegetarian version. They didn’t have mushrooms that day, so really it was onions, peppers and sauerkraut with 1,000 Island dressing, but it was still good to me (I’m not sure if the rest of the table agreed).

So many toppings Johnny G's KaleAndAle.com

So many toppings

Topping my own pizza Johnny G's KaleAndAle.com

Topping my own pizza

Cooking in the wood-fire oven Johnny G's KaleAndAle.com

Cooking in the wood-fire oven

I got to push my pizza into the wood-fire oven. I’ve never used a wood-fire oven, but I love how quickly it bakes and creates a crunchy yet chewy crust and bubbly cheese top. I pulled the pizza out, let it cool a minute and cut it. The 10-inch masterpiece was mine! And I made it myself.

This pizza is the real deal as far as food truck wood-fired pizza goes. I am a huge fan of this pizza, and not just because I made it myself. Thanks for letting me try my hand at this, Johnny!

 

Tap rooms and good food

Spring has arrived in Minneapolis!

Finally.

And now, it’s gone. Seriously, it’s supposed to be a lot of 18 tomorrow. But for a few brief days, it was spring! In the past week, I ran outside twice. (Well, I’m using the word run rather liberally.) It reached 70° Wednesday. And Friday I saw a row of 10-12 food trucks in downtown Minneapolis, so I declared it “Food Truck Friday” and tried out The Moral Omnivore for lunch. It was a great day to step outside and have lunch al fresco. And the truck was a great choice, with a wild rice sliders topped with rosemary pickled radish, arugula and a lingonberry-wine reduction. A great surprise and nice way to start the food truck season.

On Saturday, I checked out the Northeast neighborhood of Minneapolis, hitting up three tap rooms just blocks apart from one another! All great in their own right, I went to Dangerous Man, 612 Brew and Indeed. I can’t wait to go back when it’s warmer out to enjoy the outdoor areas.

And to cap off the night, I got to try Restaurant Alma, which was hands down one of the best meals I’ve ever had. It’s a three-course tasting menu with a separate vegetarian menu. The website says they change their menu every six to eight weeks, but the menu I had said April at the top. They use inventive flavors and textures, local and seasonal ingredients to make a truly unique dining experience. (I’ve added Restaurant Alma to my can’t miss restaurants page.)

I’m really hoping it warms up again to start exploring some of Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes.

Duluth craft beer bus tour

Enjoying my first beer of the day, at Bent Paddle in Duluth

Enjoying my first beer of the day, at Bent Paddle in Duluth

After 10 weeks in my new home, I went on my first road trip, only I didn’t need to do any driving! I had previously heard about a daylong organized bus tour to breweries in Duluth. Since it was an organized craft beer tour to a place I had never been yet known for craft beer, I jumped at the chance. And I’m pleased to say, the Get Knit North Shore Brewery Tour and our hosts Shannon and Nick did not disappoint.

Here is a snapshot of my trip about 2/3 through the day before my phone died:

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For $109, you get transportation and 13 hours of well-organized entertainment. The day starts with coffee and a light breakfast as you travel the two hours to Duluth. A hearty lunch and dinner, snacks and water are included, as is plenty of beer at each of the six stops.

Since I had never been north of the Twin Cities, I staked out a prime viewing spot on the bus. And it was near the front, which I quickly realized was good because 1) It was far from the bathroom, and 2) You get off the bus and into the brewery quickly.

There were six stops, so I won’t review them all. But I will mention the stops and why this tour was worth a full day and $109.

First, the stops (in order):

And why it’s worth your time:

  • The tour is very well organized
  • You stop all around Duluth (and a bonus with Castle Danger about 40 minutes north)
  • The breweries vary widely in size, years in existence, reason for getting started and goals
  • The food and snacks are included
  • Duluth is an up-and-coming beer scene, according to this article, and after visiting, I agree with the points mentioned
  • It’s fun to meet the people who make the beer and love drinking quality beer
  • Great scenery
  • You don’t need to drive but you can enjoy a beer on the bus!

As of right now, there are 5 spots left for April. I would snag the April or May trip if you can! Register here.

I’m already planning a trip to Duluth when (if?) the snow is gone. Are there any spots I have to visit? They don’t have to be beer related, but I’m already going to try to get some Castle Danger brew when I’m up there.

Growing tomatoes: Seeds purchased

I'm going to try and grow heirloom tomatoes this summer.

I’m going to try to grow heirloom tomatoes this summer.

This week, I came across packets of seeds, and decided to give growing something a go. I’ve never successfully grown anything, but I really want to grow something that produces food. And last week, Megan at Deck Gardening encouraged me to give a shot to growing plants in pots. (You need to check out her site, her pictures and growing results are beautiful!) Based on my desire and her results, I decided to buy a packet of seeds.

But the real selling point was the seeds themselves. They are Seed Savers Exchange seeds. Per its website:

Seed Savers Exchange is a non-profit organization dedicated to saving and sharing heirloom seeds. Since 1975, our members have been passing on our garden heritage by collecting and distributing thousands of samples of rare garden seeds to other gardeners.

How great is that?!? And you can visit the exchange, located in the northeast Iowa town of Decorah. I really would like to go sometime.

Right when I saw the Seed Savers Exchange name on the packet, I knew I needed to buy something and give it a try. But there were so many options, it really was difficult to pick something. I decided on Lemon Drop tomatoes which, interestingly, came from Florida. But these seemed like a good starting plant because they are cherry tomatoes that can produce in cold, wet growing conditions, making them easy to grow in a small space (a pot) up north (Minnesota).

So, I’m giving it a grow this year growing something. But, as noted, I’ve never been successful at growing anything so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Stay tuned, I’ll keep you updated here. Hopefully it’s good news with a lot of updates!

Veggies on the small screen

This is what I’ve been loving this week: the actors, the ridiculous stories, the veggies. What has your attention?

(For more random food finds, be sure to like Kale and Ale on Facebook!)