I grew up in “Nordeast” Minneapolis. I once counted five Catholic churches within a one-mile radius of my old “hood”. Why? They all had a different ethnic origin including Polish, Russian Orthodox, Ukrainian, the Italian one my mother once attended plus too many bars to mention. Today “Nordeast” still holds on to its ethnic origins, but I dare say its gotten a lot more hip. Now known as the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District, it also celebrates its diversity in the food scene.
My family has a tradition to dine out after the Saturday night church service at nearby St. Hedwig’s Catholic Church. Since I was visiting from California, I got to choose the spot; so I went on Yelp and found this gem. The Anchor specializes in fish and chips but there is more to the menu. With a pub atmosphere, this hipster bar cooks up the best fish and chips half a mile east of the Mississippi River. You can also order pub specialties such as Sheperd’s Pie, Meat or Veggie Pasties, Burgers and Sausages.
What makes this fish so good? They buy flash frozen cod from Alaska, thaw it out, dip it in flour and a thick batter. The result is a crispy, chewy batter that when cracked open reveals a flaky moist white fish. For $9.25, a bargain, you get a large piece of fish and more meaty steak fries than you can eat. Order the tartar sauce for an extra 50 cents. It’s dressed up Hellman’s and definitely complements the meal. Add the coleslaw for $3.50. It is a delicious non-traditional recipe made with red cabbage and raisins in a creamy dressing that made me feel like I was getting my veggies along with the splurge of the fried food.
Wash it all down with a Nordeast brew for $3.50 or one of the new hipster craft beers served. After all, you’re sitting less than a mile from the landmark Grain Belt brewery, now a historical building that sits on the east bank of the Missisippi River.
The food and service was so good that the family is planning to come again after church. Good thing they go to the early service, because this place fills up fast on a Saturday night. There are still plenty of churches in the old hood including one across the street, St. Cyril & Methodius, built in 1916. Back in the day, it had a Slovak membership, but now they say mass in English and Spanish. On my visit back home, I was pleased to learn that the old hood still boasts plenty of great ethnic bars, restaurants and churches that have stood the test of time.
On your next trip to Minneapolis, step out of the ordinary and stop for some great Fish and Chips at The Anchor, 302 13th Avenue NE and experience the history of “nordeast Minneapolis”. For more information, visit www.theanchorfishandchips.com. Closed Mondays.