Selby & Snelling now home to Athenian Street Food: The Naughty Greek

Selby & Snelling now home to Athenian Street Food: The Naughty Greek

A Greek native finds his home in St. Paul, and brings tasty pork gyros with him. Flirt, be chic, get naughty at the Greek The scene on Selby just got a whole lot feta. The Naughty Greek, run by Angelo Giovanis, has become a hot spot for the neighborhood. Located in the old Cupcake space, the new eatery opened in November 2016. Lead by frustration in finding authentic Greek food in Minnesota, Greek-born Giovanis decided to become “The big feta” and open his own authentic shop, based on the tastes Giovanis misses from the Greek hills of the Peloponnese. The entire menu reflects things he always wants to eat himself, making it hard for him to choose a favorite off the menu: “I would say I have two favorite dishes followed by a dessert. My favorite dish is the ½ lb lamb plate. I love lamb, I love tzatziki and fries and the combination of the three on one plate makes me happy. My pork gyro is the reason why I opened this restaurant – eating this “sandwich” brings me back to the streets of Athens.  Lastly, the orange filo cake is a favorite of me and my family, it is my Grandma’s recipe (thus called Yiayias Orange Fillo cake) and reminds me of her; it’s also the best way to end a Greek savory meal.” Inspired by his grandma, and the rest of his family, he has now managed to create and open an adorable shop in the heart of St. Paul. From the authentic ingredients to the family feel, The Naughty Greek has nailed it. The shop roasts locally-sourced pork and...
Confessions of a TC drug dealer

Confessions of a TC drug dealer

A “drug” can mean anything from prescription painkillers to meth made in country labs. But we all know what they mean when they talk about the War on Drugs. The lack of work right out of high school (or college for that matter) has left many Americans looking for alternative means of income. Sometimes those means don’t fit inside the confines of the law. Some might call it a product of an unfair system, the result of a world we didn’t create. Others might say it’s purely opportunistic, preying on addiction and an at-risk population. Regardless, Teddy** always knew he deserved a better life, and that no one was going to hand it to him. Success is attainable in many different ways for many different people. Right or wrong, this is what he has to say. **Name has been changed. We’re not messing around with that drug war.   The confessions of a Twin Cities drug dealer The beginning How did it start? Start? Selling. It didn’t really start. It was always an option, more about when than if. When you were a kid… Yeah I started selling weed in junior high. Bricks of midgrade all full of seeds and shit. I didn’t tell my mom where I got the money, and I didn’t spend it on stupid stuff. I saved it. I had a box in the back of the closet and I kept my room clean so that she never had a reason to go in there. I was saving up. For what? Just the future man. I’ve always known that no one was going to give me...
Wine notes with Alicia Lee: Steele winery

Wine notes with Alicia Lee: Steele winery

Wine notes with Alicia Lee Jed Steele has been involved in California wine production for nearly fifty years and has made a difference in the evolvement of California varietals.  He has an affinity for making small production wines from often over-looked varietals, such as Lemberger, Aligote and Counoise.  I find that I appreciate Jed’s approach to winemaking as he has a light touch; he lets the grape and place speak louder than the winemaker, like magic from a humble magician.  In fact, Jed refers to his winemaking style as minimalist, using non-GMO yeasts, natural fermentations and no additives (think Mega Purple).  Gentle pumpover during fermentation and gravity flow movement of the wine ensures that the wines are fresh and unbruised, giving the drinker the purest example of terroir without too much interference.   1st Red – Zinfandel 2012, Lake County AVA, Catfish Vineyard Ah, Zinfandel.  The quintessentially American grape.  From our forays into sweet blush wine to the heady alcoholic red, Zinfandel has been thought to be native to our land.  Before DNA testing proved it to be identical to Primitivo from southern Italy and Crljenak Kaštelanski in Croatia, we thought this little guy was all ours.  But we know now that it most likely came to us by way of Puglia.   I find that I prefer Zinfandels that are blended with other varieties as is the case with some of Ridge Vineyards bottlings.  They are often met with Petite Sirah, Carignan and Mourvedre.  So it did not surprise me to find that the Catfish Vineyard Zinfandel from Steele is a field blend of grapes that include Carignan, Alicante bouschet,...
The ultimate Thanksgiving compilation, by Brandon Randolph

The ultimate Thanksgiving compilation, by Brandon Randolph

Ah, Thanksgiving. It’s that time of year again; a time of family, friends, and lots of food. In honor of this most food-friendly holiday (especially local food when you live in Minnesota), here are some last minute recipes to spice up your Thanksgiving table. Whether you’re hosting or visiting, these simple recipes will make you look like a genius in the kitchen. First, of course, the bird:   Thanksgiving maple turkey The secret to any moist white meat poultry is to brine it.  This recipe is particularly great with smoked or slow grilled turkey.  The sweat earthy maple syrup creates a skin that is to die for while keeping the flesh moist and succulent, even the boring white meat. Ingredients: 13-20lb free range, local turkey 3 yellow onions, chopped 1 head garlic, cut in half horizontally 8 sprigs fresh thyme 5 sprigs fresh rosemary 1gal maple brine 1 5gal bucket, clean as a whistle   Directions: Place the turkey in the brine for at least 12 hours and up to 36 hours.  The sweet spot is probably around 28 hours.   Remove turkey from the brine and let it sit at room temperature and air dry for 2 hours.   Stuff the bird with onions, garlic and fresh herbs (or my wild rice stuffing, see below). Roast or grill at 350f until the internal temperature reaches 150f. A slow roast in a green egg is the money shot here. Let the bird rest in an off oven or on the counter wrapped in foil for 20-30 minutes before carving and serving. This should bring the internal temperature up to 160f...
1926, 1954, 1975: Three old ladies

1926, 1954, 1975: Three old ladies

I hear shuffling and a tentative knock on a paint-cracked bedroom door. I breathe impatiently. “What?” “There is coffee.” My mom’s voice is tired today. She has finished her radiation treatment and all went as well as it could have. But she is always tired now. “I’ll be down later.” I don’t want to get up. It is past noon but what is there to do before work but sit and smoke cigarettes with her? She will want to talk about things I don’t care about. I don’t want to talk at all. I pull my hair up in careless bun, put on old slippers and trudge downstairs. Grandma is at the table, peeling crates of apples from the farm. She would prefer to still be out there, on her land, in her cabin with her books and gin. But after a tumble down the steps, her children decided she had to be watched more. So, mom watches her and I cook for her. (I also give her gin when no one else will.) “Do you have to work today?” Grandma asks hopefully. She would prefer I stay at home and talk with her. I would prefer that too, but I would also prefer to make enough money to move out. At 41 I am back where I started. Living with my mom.   Mom is already out back, smoking her menthols. I guess it is a little ironic that her cancer has nothing to do with 45 years of smoking. The doctor said if it makes her comfortable, then there is little reason to quit now. I just...