The last time Rosedale Center attempted to play with the idea of a traditional mall food-court, we got Revolution Hall. It was a short-lived — and inexplicably cashless — experiment in meme-able, internet-inspired food from one centralized vendor disguised as multiple restaurants. It lasted eight months.
This time, the Roseville shopping center is taking a more heavily curated approach in the space that was once a two-story Borders bookstore.
Potluck (1595 Hwy. 36, Roseville, potluckmn.com), which opens Nov. 12, features an exciting lineup of Twin Cities food purveyors, each their own business owners with their own kitchen teams turning out both tried-and-true and new-to-us bites. And yes, you can pay with cash.
There are seven counters, and all of them are on one floor. (The second level is now closed, to be redesigned in a “Phase 2.”)
The largest counter belongs to Burger Dive, elevated bar food and a “gotta-have burger” from chef and co-owner Nick O’Leary. Burger Dive first launched earlier this year in the back of Tony Jaros River Garden (2500 Marshall St. NE., Mpls., 612-789-9728). It’s the only counter with a bar, so guests wanting a drink will have to stay within the confines of railings surrounding a large space in the center of the hall. And in true dive form, there will be pulltabs and a meat raffle. But if you are holding out for a Greenie, the signature neon drink from Tony Jaros, don’t hold your breath. Co-owner Josh Thoma has asked the originators and “We can’t get an answer.” (At least there will be Greenie-soaked pickles.)
Thoma’s also behind Smack Shack, the onetime food truck and North Loop restaurant (603 N. Washington Av., Mpls., 612-259-7288, smack-shack.com) known for its lobster rolls and mac and cheese. Here, it’ll be offering a pared down, food truck-style menu.
Greeting guests upon entering Potluck will be a circular hut for Nordic Waffles, Stine Aasland’s wildly popular State Fair stand and international hit. It’s the first long-term, stationary outlet for Nordic Waffles in the Twin Cities, and the proprietors hope to use it to test new flavors for the fair and beyond.
“What appealed to us was the whole concept of all local chefs,” said co-owner Luis Carrillo (Aasland’s husband). “We don’t have that in the Twin Cities at any other food courts.”
Ascending celebrity chef Justin Sutherland is behind two new concepts. His Obachan Noodles & Fried Chicken creates build-your-own bowls: Choose from miso, tonkotsu or shiitake broth; ramen, udon or soba; tofu, pork belly or crispy chicken (mild or hot — and not Minnesota hot). It’s named for Sutherland’s grandmother (“obachan” in Japanese).
And Chickpea, a collaboration with Shish’s Leo Judeh, offering big bowls of creamy hummus, baba ganoush, feta dip, garlic sauce and loads of toppings. Judeh hopes the Rosedale spot will help launch Chickpea into a chain. Next up for the brand will be an opening at Keg & Case Market (928 W. 7th St., St. Paul, kegandcase.com).
On the sweet side, there’s St. Paul and south Minneapolis’s Grand Ole Creamery (750 Grand Av., St. Paul; 4737 Cedar Av. S., Mpls., grandolecreamery.com) which will be scooping 12 flavors, including its signature sweet cream, in homemade waffle cones. They’ll also have three rotating flavors of pizza by the slice.
And Fox 9’s “Jason Show” host Jason Matheson is debuting an entirely new concept using an old recipe, his grandfather’s biscuits. Betty and Earl’s Biscuit Kitchen will offer six flavors of the crispy, flaky, buttery baked goodness. Think of them as self-contained sandwiches. Fillings are baked right in, including a cinnamon roll version, caramel apple, bacon and Cheddar, and one with sausage and gravy. Matheson has been perfecting the recipe of his Tennessee grandfather at Sunday brunches for more than 15 years, and he believes he finally nailed it.
“That’s him in biscuit form,” he said.