Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Sea Salt Eatery - Minneapolis

One of the things I loved about the Twin Cities of Minnesota was their intersection with nature. Fort Snelling State Park, where we saw a flock of Eastern wild turkeys, and which contains the confluence of the Minnesota River and Mississippi River, was just a few minutes drive from the Mall of America and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport.  
An Eastern wild turkey in Fort Snelling State Park.
Just a few minutes drive from there was Minnehaha Park, which contains the Minnehaha River and the beautiful Minnehaha Falls, immortalized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem, "The Song of Hiawatha." 
Angie and Judy in front of Minnehaha Falls.
This painting of Minnehaha Falls was by Albert Bierstadt in 1886. He painted this while a guest of a friend in Minneapolis. The friend's child is in the middle foreground. Minneapolis is also an amazing area for the arts. This painting was in the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus.
Fall colors in Minnehaha Park.
Just a stone's throw from an overlook of Minnehaha Falls was Sea Salt Eatery, a restaurant specializing in fish and seafood. It was rated number 68 out of 1,440 restaurants in Minneapolis on Trip Advisor. As we wanted to visited Minnehaha Falls and it would be about lunchtime, we decided to eat there. 
Minnehaha Falls from an overlook.
Looking at Sea Salt Eatery from near the overlook.

We were visiting Judy's sister, Angie, and Angie's husband Pete, who live in Anoka, a 30 minute drive northwest of Minneapolis. Angie met us at Mall of America in the morning and spent the day with us. It was a perfect time of year to be there, fall colors and temperatures in the 60s. 

With the Mississippi River so close and Lake Superior a few hours drive away, I figured fish was a local dish we needed to try. Judy ordered a fish soup which she was not too impressed with, not much flavor and not much fish in it. Angie ordered I dish I don't recall well, I think it was a cajun type stew or soup.

I got a poh boy fried fish sandwich and it was fantastic, some of the best fried fish I've ever had. The fish was fresh, it had a nice batter coating, not cooked too long, and it was slathered in tarter sauce with a few squirts of Sriracha sauce.
Fried fish poh boy sandwich. The tarter sauce is hidden underneath the fish in the lettuce.
Wanting to experience more of the menu, I ordered a bunch of "appetizers" as well. The clam fries, which I envisioned as french fries with sprinkled clams, were actually battered and fried clams. They were nothing special, mostly just lots of fried batter with some spongy insides that were allegedly clams. I would have liked them better had they been french fries sprinkled with clams and garlic. Anything they had going for them went downhill as they started to get cold.
The crab-stuffed avocado had quite a bit of crab, just a little bit of pepper garnish, and no dressing or seasoning. Meh. Some mayonnaise, some paprika, some something, could have transformed this dull dish into something worthwhile. At least it was healthier than the fried clams.
The pickled herring was quite good. Most pickled herring I've had is fairly soggy and mushy, the tissues broken down by the pickling juices. This herring was more firm, less infused with the transforming pickling juices, and thus not as strong tasting. I liked it, and Judy and Angie did as well.
I love the location of the restaurant in the park and the proximity to Minnehaha Falls. I love the proximity of the park to downtown. If I lived or worked nearby, that fried fish poh boy would occasionally draw me back, perhaps to a leisurely lunch overlooking the falls, particularly in the fall, when the leaves begin their magical transformation before they die and drop.

Finally, although having nothing to do with downtown or the park, but in keeping with the proximity of nature to the Twin Cities, I present an evening photo from Angie and Pete's backyard in Anoka, a view of the mighty Mississippi, in its northern infancy, in a glow of northern light, not Aurora Borealis or northern lights, but serene, lavender, purplish light. Beautiful, beautiful place.
The Mississippi River in Anoka.


  1. I'd rate my soup as the worst fish stew I've ever had, but you hit the bull's eye with your sandwich, and Angie did about middlin' with her dish. I agree on the appetizers: thumbs down on avocado and fried clams, but two thumbs up pickled herring. The location gets a 10+. What a beautiful place!

  2. Angie and Pete's view is impressive.