It's fun to check back in with these old Self albums every few years. My feelings about them vary, from "ugh, this is so 1998" to "this guy should've been a superstar." Breakfast With Girls is happening at the moment, and my current stance is "I totally understand that too-cool music dudes didn't go for this, but damned if this guy didn't know to craft an audaciously produced power pop song."
Parka - South Minneapolis Fried chicken Parka. A new restaurant. Cafe? Not very big. Separated only by a half-wall partition from an artisan and vintage furniture showroom. Weird, right? It probably photographs beautifully, what with the cool chairs and geometric wood booths, and it could easily be mistaken for a simple coffee shop. Alas, no. It's full menu, full service, small plates and entrees, kinda current American cuisine (reference point: the folks behind Victory 44 are involved). Everything on the menu looked good, but they had me at "fried chicken." Then they lost me. It was 4 or 5 chicken breast strips on a biscuit with gravy, carrots and peas (and a little carrot and pea puree). I see "fried chicken," I want bones, man! Bones! Anyhow, I wouldn't really complain about this if anything about it was particularly inspiring, which it just... quite... wasn't. It was good, well made. Just not special. More special, however, was the brussel sprouts we got on the side, served with smoked quail eggs and a coffee/mustard vinaigrette. Great flavors. Undercooked, but great flavors. I'm going ahead and giving Parka a (measly) 6 for now. I fully expect it to be better in the future, and we will definitely be back. But I just felt our first try was a little lackluster.