Devil’s Advocate, Downtown


               Those who are familiar with my posts know that I don’t normally write about restaurants, other than an off-handed mention in one of my ramblings. However, spending the day with my cousin, we decided to stop at Devil’s Advocate for a large lunch/dinner (helped that we also had a groupon for it). Now, I’ve already stopped by before, but I only had a single slider and some Devil’s on Horseback (dates, stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon); haven’t had the chance to really explore the rest of their menu.

                The groupon was for $50, so we ended up getting a LOT of food for the two of us. One of those dishes, however, so reminded me of that feeling, that SPIRIT of a Food Truck item, which I just couldn’t help but want to write about it. It just helps to reinforce my feeling that this Meatball-focused Bar should get a Food Truck, and soon (see my other Truck-pics Here).


                Before I get to that, though, a look at a few other things we had; ‘cuz they may be meatball-based, but that doesn’t keep them from making everything else above-and-beyond. We of course had some meatball sliders; one Chicken w/ Tomato, and my first try of the Beef w/ Pesto. Both were soft in all the right ways, juicy, filling; the Beef with that nice, rich undertone familiar with Roasts, and Chicken almost tasting like a Pork in how much flavor they got out of it. Sauces paired perfectly of course.


                (Okay I forgot to take a pic and hate to use the ‘net. Still…)

                I also decided to try one of the “combos,” pre-paired dishes of two balls on one of their sides. The one that immediately drew my eye was the Pork w/ Polenta. I expected them to use the firm, baked polenta, but to my joy they did the uber-creamy, soft, spoonable style, my favorite! And it actually stayed creamy on the plate w/out stiffening (not everyone pulls this off), while being loaded with richness, cream, all that’s good with it. Topped with the spicy Pomodoro sauce, it made for a fiendishly hooking guilty pleasure… and found me licking the bowl at the end.


                Not much of a trip to the “Devil’s” Advocate without trying the “Devilled” Eggs, now is it? Not to mention they’re only a couple bucks, so it made a fun little bite. Small, quality eggs, cooked perfectly, with a creamy devilled-mixture, which I can only guess is made purely from the yolks, a touch of cayenne, and a highly flavorful integration of the ubiquitous Paprika, turning their Eggs into an (un)holy revelation of deliciousness. Almost wish I had more, but since it was Cousin’s first time I offered him the uneven extra half.


                We also had nachos. Yeah, I know, my thoughts were the same; sure everything else is good, but nachos of all items? So simple. But my cousin wanted to get nachos… and thank god he put in the order, because they are AWESOME. First off, and here’s the only thing I really NEED to say: they use MASA tortilla chips for it. Even some of the better places only use corn, so this was a great surprise. The rest of the ingredients are simple but combined nicely; ground beef, red onions, cheese, spicy-cheese-sauce, touch salsa, green onions (or chives, not sure), and a couple jalapenos. May not have been a huge platter compared to others, but I thoroughly enjoyed every single bite, as well as going on a ramble with my cousin on the wonders of true Mexican taco experiences and masa tortillas.


                Now, we get to the dish which made me want to do a Restaurant-post in a Food Truck-blog. As I’ve mentioned, some of the most lauded and memorable items in Street Food are the ones that take a familiar, nostalgic dish, and then give it a noticeable twist. This can be to add something to our nostalgia, offer something special, or to change an item that doesn’t fit their mold/focus (for so many trucks stay on one specific style) into their chosen unique style. This latter is what Devil’s focuses on, turning the ubiquitous Buffalo Chicken Wings into “Mini Buffalo Chicken Balls.”


                This is such a SIMPLE dish; and so easily done by a kitchen which spends 90% of its time (I’m guessing) making meatballs. But the spirit behind it is huge, and the result mimics. Tiny little meatballs of chicken, which are just as soft as their bigger brothers, are covered in buffalo sauce and served with skewers on the side.  The blue cheese is blended so it’s silky-smooth, turning that nice blue-grey shade, which I wish more places would do. You get the cheese taste in every bite, it sticks so much better to what you’re dipping into it, and you don’t have this little pile of chunky cheese on the bottom after eating all the actual dressing.

                This dish is absolutely perfect for Food Trucks. It tastes just like a buffalo wing, but… it’s just NOT. It’s soft, the meat even more flavorful, and the skewers make it fun to eat (and if they WERE in a truck, could easily spear all the balls on 1-2 skewers for service). I would certainly give it a Toe Ring if ever I ended up rating this concept.

                Overall, it was a fun day, but Dinner was the absolute highlight (sorry Cousin, I love the food more than you… I’m sure you feel the same though). I can’t wait to go back with someone else, try some more items and Beer (oh crap, I forgot to talk about the beer… oh well, that’s Alcohol-by-Volume’s turf anyways. Just know they have good stuff).

                Oh, quick shout-out to my buddy Yohan! (sure I’m spelling it wrong, sorry!) Worked with him when I was at the Red Stag, he just happened to be our Waiter at Devil’s, it was fun!


What other restaurants or menu items just make you think of Food Trucks?

Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed


                Our cities, our states, our economies are all founded, at one point in time, by small businesses of one sort or another. These are the local places, the family places, the places filled with good neighborhood people working hard to deliver a quality product for the rest of us nearby.

                This is an idea that hits me hard, especially considering how much our local Food Trucks tends to fit into this category of business. And this April 20th (a Saturday), from 10am to 7pm, these and other Small, Local businesses are being celebrated, displayed, and supported in the “Hamms Help a Minnesota Maker Succeed”  event.


                Taking place at the old Hamm’s Brewery, the large area is going to be filled with a plethora of different local vendors, from clothing and apparel to soapmakers to chocolate, and everything in between. Some of our favorite Trucks shall of course be stationed for our dining pleasure, including Gastro and Messy G’s (more to come I’m sure); but really it’s about our community, and about supporting all our neighbor’s in whatever way we can.


                By supporting, we mean that up to $5000 worth of ticket sales will go to one lucky vendor to help in their business. Tickets themselves only cost $10, which I don’t think is much for an afternoon of fun browsing, talking with the various owners, and finding new and fun local entrepreneurs we haven’t heard about yet.

                I think it’s a great little event to participate in, with such variety everyone is sure to find something fun to do and/or eat. To learn more, check out the link I posted, I’ll admit they explain the whole concept on their site much better than I do in a small post. I’ll certainly be sure to buy a ticket myself; hope I can see some of you there as well.