Overview of Eat Street Crossing Minneapolis
Named for the stretch of Nicollet Avenue known for its array of international restaurants, Eat Street Crossing is housed in an opulent brick building once home to the Twin City Scenic Company, a renowned performing arts studio founded in 1890. Pioneer Press Eat Editor Jess Fleming and I was able to tour the space on a preview night before its official opening last weekend.
With soaring vaulted ceilings and weathered brickwork, the space has a fun vibe that’s both industrial and eclectic. There is ample seating; in return, however, navigating the space on a busy day can be difficult. And unlike other new markets with spacious parking lots, like Malcolm Yards, you’ll probably need to brush up on your street parallel parking skills.
Fortunately, when it comes to food, you have some very good options.
Near the front is Sushi Dori, offering street food-style sushi sandwiches and maki rolls courtesy of John Ng and Lina Goh of Zen Box. The hand-held sandwiches — stuffed between two small sushi rice patties and wrapped in a sheet of seaweed — are fun and just the right size. Jess particularly liked the Kimchi Bara sushi sandwich, stuffed with crispy pork belly and spicy kimchi straw. Filling options range from Spam to fried chicken to more traditional smoked salmon or raw tuna.
Ng and Goh’s other contribution to Eat Street Crossing is Ramen Shoten, a ramen shop that is in a separate but connected space to the side of the main hall. With its own mural aesthetic and counter space for standing and scratching, Ramen Shoten’s presence is more distinct than other concepts.
The ramen is quite good and especially without the pork. For their traditional style shio (salt), shoyu (soy sauce), and miso ramen, they use a chicken broth base—just as rich and spicy as I want it to be—and the vegetarian ramen features mushroom broth and miso. Even chashu, usually braised pork belly, is made with chicken. Among their sides, the only offering that’s neither chicken nor vegetarian is the beef teriyaki bao – which, for the record, are delicious.
Bebe Zito Ice Cream + Burgers (and Chatime)
Bebe Zito’s team — Ben Spangler and Gabriella Grant-Spangler — also has a significant presence here. There’s ice cream, of course, including boozy flavors like the slightly smoky chocolate fudge. The ice cream operation shares a storefront with Chatime, the Taiwanese bubble tea chain that is rapidly expanding in the Twin Cities.
At Bebe Zito Burgers, located at the very back of the space, they have their now classic beef and bacon burger, plus delicious honey and butter fried chicken in both sandwich and candy form.
Unique to Eat Street Crossing, however, is the couple’s Brazilian pizzeria, Ouro Pizzaria. The crust is airy and chewy, and the toppings are unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere in the Twin Cities: Shrimp Portuguesa, for example, comes with shrimp, hearts of palm, chopped egg, and a pico de gallo vinaigrette that Jess thought was fresh and delicious. Ipanema features cold-smoked salmon cured in Brazilian cachaça spirit, with lemon and fennel sour cream.
I personally loved the Brazil: spicy roast chicken and tomato romesco topped with catupiry cheese, a spicy delight imported by Grant-Spangler directly from Brazil. They also do dessert pizzas, which I haven’t tried yet – but I plan to change that very, very soon.
Eat Street Crossing Bar
And as for the drinks… this is the place. Public Service Announcement: Each bottle on the impressive wine wall is $25. Meanwhile, at the central bar, bartender Trish Gavin has created two (count ’em!) cocktail menus. (Most cocktails can also be made non-alcoholic.) A menu is designed to reflect the cultural flair of the food options, with citrusy cocktails and more fun balls with ingredients like cola cinnamon and ume plum.
The second cocktail menu asks, “What’s your sign?” with 12 drinks corresponding to astrology. I’m an Aries, which in drink form means green chile, jalapeño, habanero, passion fruit and lime. I admit I was a bit skeptical as I don’t like the spicy drink, and then I tried it.
Maybe astrology really knows more about me than I do.
Eat Street Crossing
Where: 2819 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
Contact: 612-345-4136; eatstreetcrossing.com
O’clock: Every day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; the bar is open until 10:00
Good to know: Eat Street Crossing also features a pet-friendly outdoor patio.