Midtown Global Market Culinary Adventure –
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Midtown Global Market in Minneapolis. The Midtown Global Market is a collection of international stores and restaurants that is located in a historic building in the city.
I attended the TBEX conference in Minneapolis and as part of the conference, several tours were offered to the attendees. One of the ones that I selected was to visit this market.
The tour began with a introduction to the market including the history, followed by an introduction to some of the businesses located within the facility. Several of the restaurants within the building offered tastings for their offerings during the event.
Midtown Global Market
The Midtown Global Market was located in the former Sears Building on Lake Street.
The Sears was located in a vibrant area of the city and it was one of the larger Sears stores.
The store featured a dedicated catalog department that handled a lot of the catalog orders. Catalog’s used to be a big method of selling for the stores and their was a railway track that led right into the basement of the building to deliver the products to sell within the store.
Several years ago, several of the businesses in the area began to move out of the city and the area declined.
A large project was underway in Bloomington near the airport to create the largest mall in America. Sears elected to be one of the anchor stores at the mall so they eventually closed the location, which further depressed the area.
The city and local businesses worked to keep the building alive and they made partnerships to clean up the area and make it a positive place to visit.
The train tracks were removed and the area was converted into a walking and bike path which connects to other trails throughout the city.
The main area of the store was converted into an international market with the intent of it being an incubator to local businesses. The city worked with several organizations to provide classes on business ownership and as a result the incubator was developed which has allowed for a lot of ethnic restaurants and stores to be opened within the market.
Today the market offers a vast selection of ethnic food restaurants. There are also a cheese and meat market and fruit market located within the location. In addition, several stores are setup within the facility.
At the middle of the facility is a common dining area with a small stage were local performers offer concerts.
The store made several stops at the restaurants within the market.
Restaurants Visited –
Mapps Tea and Coffee
The first location was Mapps Tea and Coffee.
This business roasts its own coffee and teas and serves fresh pastries.
The owner greeted us and they provided a sample of Chai Tea Latte.
The Chai Tea Latte was mild and it was served warm. The tea had a good flavor and it had a light sweetness.
The second location that we visited was Salty Tart.
Salty Tart is a local bakery that offers fresh pastries and breads. The breads were all on display at the store and they looked amazing.
The baker welcomed us to the location and she offered a coconut macaroon.
The coconut macaroon was served at room temperature. The macaroon was freshly made. It had a wonderful coconut flavor and went well with the Chai Tea Latte from Mapps.
The next location that the tour visited was Holy Land.
Holy Land is a middle eastern restaurant and store which offers a daily buffet featuring exceptional Middle Eastern treats such as falafel, humus and many other items. The food was displayed neatly at the buffet.
The chef offered a sample of falafel.
The falafel was served hot. The falafel was fried lightly and it had an excellent chick pea flavor. The falafel was seasoned well and it had an excellent taste. It was served with a mild yogurt based sauce that enhanced the flavor of the dish.
Holy Land also offers a market featuring halal meat, fresh cheese, humus and many different international food items.
The next location that was visited was Manny’s Tortas.
Manny’s Tortas is a Mexican sandwich store that has been featured on Diners Drive Ins and Dives as well as several other Food Network shows. The owner Manny greeted us and he told us his story how the Midtown Global Market helped him develop his businesses into a successful multi-location shop.
The restaurant is famous for their specialty sandwiches which are made fresh on pressed bread.
Manny invited everyone on the tour to take a seat, and he offered a choice of sodas including Mexican Coca-Cola and several other fruit sodas.
Manny also talked about his sandwiches and he then prepared a large tray of sandwiches for the tour participants to sample.
The sandwich was served hot and it consisted of steak with onions and cheese. The steak was seasoned well and it had an excellent taste. The onions were fresh and they were sauteed. The cheese also had an excellent flavor. The bread was excellent.
The next location that we visited was Moroccan Flavors.
Moroccan Flavors is the newest restaurant at the market and it features couscous and other Moroccan favorites.
The chef and owner greeted us on the tour and he explained how he went through the classes offered by the market, which helped him to open his restaurant.
The decorations at the restaurant were excellent and the food looked amazing. I am excited to get to try the locations food in the future.
Hot Indian Foods
We visited Hot Indian Foods.
Hot Indian Foods started as a food truck and they recently opened a location within the Midtown Global Market.
The restaurant is setup to resemble a food truck with a window into the kitchen.
The restaurant features a variety if Indian food items including curries and rice dishes.
The owner greeted us and he talked about his restaurant.
The owner also offered a sample of the fries that he serves. The fries were freshly prepared and they were served with a tangy mango pickle aioli.
Grand Italian Ice
The tour concluded with a sample from Grand Italian Ice.
The Grand Italian Ice was served chilled and it was sweet and had a good fruit flavor.
The tour was a lot of fun. I appreciate that TBEX and the City of Minneapolis setup the event.
If you are visiting Minneapolis and are looking for a great culinary adventure, I highly recommend that you visit the Midtown Global Market.