You had me at pork belly. You had me at slow-cooked, walnut-infused, pesto-topped pork belly. Perfectly rolled, grilled, uncoiled and served in a humble paper tray, ably sidekicked by carrots or potatoes.
So, yeah: In the manic run-up to this issue, one of the restaurants we were bandying about as a prospective Restaurant Awards winner — just as our collective excitement was needling into overdrive about its inspiring underdog story — closed.
Blue Ox is a Minnesota joint, and you can taste the Minnesota in this sandwich: the sturdy rectitude of the roast beef; the homey, calorie-rich comfort of the cream cheese; the modesty of the cole slaw, all piled Bunyan-high on a white roll.
As a naturalized citizen of Fast Food Nation, my gustatory comfort zone is about the size of a burger and fries. Now and then I try to nudge those boundaries outward an inch or two, which is how I found myself at this winsome Asian-fusion place in Green Valley, ordering a short-rib flatbread. Which turns out to be more or less a pizza.
Nobody really expects a French place to have a good deal, right? Normally, people associate French food with expense, even though people in France don’t eat like that every day. What do you think so far?