Chef’s Corner: Q&A with Linda Haug of Cafe Twenty Eight
Linda Haug of Cafe Twenty Eight talks to Southwest Minneapolis Patch about the lovely synergy between beer and food.
Unassuming and comfortable, Cafe Twenty Eight focuses on serving sustainable, locally sourced, lick-your-chops tasty food. If you're not a foodie, come for the beer.
Cafe Twenty Eight is co-owned by Surly brewer Todd Haug and the restaurant features a nice selection of Surly beers on tap. If you are a foodie but you're also a beer connoisseur, try one of the location's unique pairings.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch recently sat down with Linda Haug, co-owner and general manager of Cafe Twenty Eight. I had the opportunity to pick her brain about food, beer and what makes Cafe Twenty Eight unique.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: What is your ultimate, favorite dish this time of year?
Linda Haug: A really nice pork chop, pork loin. We buy ours from Fischer Farms. I like to incorporate a locally grown apple and oven roasted brussel sprouts.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch:What will you be cooking at home this Thanksgiving?
Haug: Nothing. I'll be going to my in-laws'. I'm bringing cranberries, beer and wine.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: What makes the Cafe Twenty Eight menu unique?
Haug: A variety of flavors. When designed, I wanted it to be accessible but a bit of a challenge. There's a mild side but still with flavor, and then there's more authentic Mexican dishes like the Pork Adobo, which takes three days of prep.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: Does beer influence your food or the other way around?
Haug: Both. With the different flavors Surly has, it's easy to recommend pairings.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: What's your favorite beer/food pairing?
Haug: Surly Smoke with Pork and Adobo. Some vegetarians don't like Surly Smoke because it actually tastes a little like ham. Also - Surly Darkness with chocolate cake.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: What's the one ingredient you would be lost without?
Haug: Onion. I like the sweetness, the bite. Whenever I cook at home, very rarely does it not have onion.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch:What's your favorite vegetarian meal?
Haug: My red sauce and homemade pasta. I had an Italian boyfriend as a young lady and he gave me his mother's recipe.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: What's the best in season produce to prepare this time of year?
Haug: Squashes, turnips, rutabagas, apples.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: We're coming into comfort food season. What's your favorite healthy substitute?
Haug: Eat a smaller portion of the comfort foods.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: What is your favorite spice to cook with?
Haug: Probably Cumin.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: What was your favorite food as a child?
Haug: SpaghettiOs. I grew up in Northern Wisconsin - there wasn't a lot of fresh anything.
Southwest Minneapolis Patch: When it comes to food, what is your guilty pleasure?
Haug: I don't think anything is inherently guilt-inducing. People get too many hang ups about food. I just like real food in whatever format.