Saturday, February 23, 2008

A nice little Friday in Lent

I typically dread Fridays during the 40 days of Lent as I am Catholic and for one whole day a week, I am deprived the privilege to consume meat other than seafood (See Mom, I really do adhere to the rules sometimes). Most people would think "He's complaining about seafood? What's this Guy's problem? I'll have the lobster, please." Well, it's not that easy. Although I'm sure I would enjoy most varieties of shellfish, I also have proven highly allergic to some and the thought of rolling the dice on one of the many varieties I have yet to try and having to watch my mother or girlfriend plunge an EpiPen into my thigh as I try not to violently explode on the restaurant floor is not my idea of a great dining experience.

Now in the grand scheme of things this sacrifice seems really insignificant (probably because it in fact, is), but then again depriving a natural born carnivore his favorite sustenance can start to irritate a guy, especially after a long day at work. However, I will say that I've started to find a few places right near my house that offer Lent friendly meals in warm environments that help to alleviate my steak, chicken and pork deprived pains.

Last night I found both a savory meal and a comfortable location at Cafe 28 The setting is in an old historic firehouse in the friendly confides of charming Linden Hills. I've eaten there several times and really enjoy the fact that they not only embrace local products, but they also embrace the needs of the Lent weary crowds. Last night, I had the Tuna Melt which is far from typical. They take a nice light albacore and blend it with spicy jalapenos, cilantro and lime juice, slide on a nice piece of creamy cheese and lightly grill it on nice thick sourdough bread. It was the perfect light, warm and satisfying meal for someone who was looking for something other then the typical pasta or cheese pizza on a Lenten night.

My cohorts had the Friday night fish fry which is absolutely fantastic and could make even the most seasoned Minnesotan Scandinavian smile. You get a few nice pieces of lightly breaded and fried Walleye, some nice salty, crispy fries and a little dish of cole slaw. Now, I can't say I'm a huge fan of dill in my slaw, but the fact that you can get an Ice cold PBR ($3) to wash down your meal and get out of there for less then $20 more then makes up for it. If you are a native Minnesotan you can at least appreciate what they are doing. Overall Cafe 28 has several dishes that can help you forget that you are even making a Friday night sacrifice. They offer a wide selection of locally brewed Surly beer as well as an accomplished list of Belgian beers if you are looking for something a bit different. I'll add their blog ( to my link list so you can keep up with this nice little cafe. They offer a weekly fish special that is far from typical, and the service/ownership is a s sweet as can be. Overall it's a pretty nice fit for quite, comfy, cozy Linden Hills.

Stay tuned for more updates if you are looking to upgrade form the Fillet-o-fish default on a Friday in Lent.

Happy eating...


1 comment:

Bhobbs said...

Hungry in SW -
You are right about Cafe 28, they have an awesome fish selection...It almost makes me wish it was lent again, and not just because of the PBR!

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