The 5 best bar food bites in town right now
What's 100 percent better than Brussels sprouts? Brussels sprouts drowning in cheesy goo. Though they're best known for their tube meats, Prairie Dogs has some serious cooking going on....But right now we've got a major crush on the Brussels sprouts. They're fried until caramelized, which is the only worthwhile way to treat this delicious vegetable, and then engulfed in a blanket of melty and sharp Hook's (a righteous Wisconsin brand) cheddar spread. Eating your veggies has never been easier.
....Mecca Bos, City Pages 05/04/16
THE BOTTOM LINE
Prairie Dogs is fantastic. Great local ingredient sourcing, innovative and clever elevation of cased meats, and a warm and friendly approach to service (Thanks Andrew!), I can’t recommend this place enough.
...Derusha Eats First Bite, MSP Magazine 06/02/15
At the core of everything are the dogs and sausages. Without fail, we found them to be rich, texturally correct (nice snappy casings, firm but yielding interiors), and balanced from a flavor perspective. These are strong bricks from which to build a welcoming house.
...James Norton, Heavy Table 03/26/15
Oh, sweet glory of glories, a resto consisting [almost] solely of hot dogs and craft sausages is upon us! Starting as a one-day-only pop-up before becoming a permanent fixture, the hand-tubed meatery's got everything from locally sourced, traditional wieners and sausages, to lamb and seafood varieties, and is the brainchild of Tobie Nidetz and Craig Johnson. Get to that pop-up right quick!
The Twin Cities don’t really have a “hot dog culture,” as Nidetz pointed out, but we do have some strong preconceptions of what makes a proper bratwurst. And, Prairie Dogs’ bratwurst ($5, above) busts them wide open. Instead of coarse, meaty, peppery, and dripping with juices, the brat was unexpectedly creamy — almost bready — and mildly sweet. It’s a German-style brat Nidetz remembered from Milwaukee and Johnson successfully recreated
…The best of the bunch was the traditional Mexican Sonora Dog, wrapped in bacon and unafraid of piling on even more flavor and flair from there. The Prairie team tucks sliced tomatoes, avocado, and salsa verde into the soft poppy seed bun before dusting everything with a generous layer of cotija cheese.
If you're out in my neck of the woods tonight, head to Monies for a Prairie Dogs pop-up. Srsly, Monies (the old Keg & Cork for you 80's kids) is a righteous dive bar in Maple Plain with a dirt parking lot and guys with non-ironic work shirts, but yeah who doesn't love a good tube steak, so come on.
The chefs behind Prairie Dogs have proven themselves at other Twin Cities restaurants. Craig Johnson was recently at Spill the Wine where he wooed us with his simple snacks that paired so well with cocktails and wine. Tobie Nidetz is known in some circles as "the Restaurant Whisperer."
Johnson says customer input is vital, so he’s been serving sausages at events and holding pop-ups at restaurants such as First Course Bistro, Birch’s in Long Lake, Monies Bar in his hometown of Maple Plain, and The Zumbro Café. These events have allowed Johnson to identify recipes that are hits, like the popular, mildly spicy merguez lamb sausage that he tops with light mint aioli, piquillo peppers, and feta cheese. His “Tickle me Chelmo” emerged as a favorite at the Zumbro popup