Postcard From Tom: Minneapolis, Minn.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Washington Post food critic Tom Sietsema's monthly report from the road.

BRASA ROTISSERIE (600 E. Hennepin Ave., 612-379-3030)

What could pass for a car repair shop on the outside contains a menu of roast pork, chicken and beef that comes prepared with some pedigree: Chef Alexander Roberts also owns Restaurant Alma, a Mediterranean-

accented restaurant that happens to be one of the top dining spots here. At Brasa, Roberts's long-cooked meats and soulful side dishes hark back to his worldly travels and meals he's made at home for friends. My ideal meal in this rustic room teams Caribbean-spiced pork with jalapeƱo-fueled spinach. Entrees $7.50-$14.50.

HELL'S KITCHEN (89 S. 10th St., 612-332-4700)

What a fun way to wake up! Downtown's wackiest a.m. destination is culled from eye-opening java, heavenly

ricotta-lemon hot cakes, a punchy corned beef hash and local walleye slipped between slices of sourdough for a fish sandwich of distinction. Bring an appetite; the portions are Bunyanesque. On the walls: red paint and hellish art. On the servers on Sundays: PJs and other bedtime attire. Breakfast dishes $3.75-$15.25

RED STAG SUPPERCLUB (509 First Ave. NE, 612-767-7766)

It would be hard to find a greener place to eat; the

tabletops turn out to be doors rescued from a condo

project, and the kitchen relies on solar panels and low-flow dishwashers. The menu, on the other hand, reflects the owner's youth in northern Wisconsin, which means there are fish fries on Fridays and updated Midwestern staples -- stroganoff made with venison, local mushrooms and watercress -- to consider. Cornmeal-sprinkled smelt fries sound like a joke, but the fishy snack gives french fries stiff competition. Entrees $16-$49.

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