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Monday, January 17, 2011
3:24 PM | Posted by The I.I. | | Edit Post
This blog thread posted by the Irving Inquisition uses some explicit language, as well as depicting some aspects of life in North Minneapolis that some readers may find objectionable. Reader discretion is advised.
Tahtianna’s: Restaurant Review
If you’re in the mood for soul food, you may want to give Tahtianna’s a shot. I would say their competition is Hook Fish and Chicken, except much nicer.
When you approach this restaurant, it doesn’t hold any cards back. The means of advertising is very simple, yet innovative. The buffet sign mounted on top of the four foot snow drift was a clever solution to the visual impairment of said snow drift against the front end of the restaurant.
|That snow bank is good for something after all.|
I was in the general area after having concluded a meeting, and was hungry. Tahtianna’s was open and so I went in. I was too late for the buffet, but that’s okay, I’d rather have a meal made to order anyway. I walked in and the chef greeted me and said I could sit anywhere.
Within five minutes, the chef and the owner had greeted me. I asked for iced tea to drink, unfortunately they didn’t have any. I could choose between Mellow Yellow and Hi-C for my beverages… Heh heh heh; ah yes, this is indeed a soul food restaurant. I ordered water, and it was promptly served to me in a Styrofoam cup. Hmmm… That’s a little tacky, not to mention, environmentally detrimental, and expensive… Anyway, moving on.
|Not fancy, but quite tasty.|
My order of catfish, mashed potatoes, and green beans came up in about ten minutes. Baring in mind, soul food restaurants are known for their food, not presentation or atmosphere; my meal was served in more Styrofoam containers. When asked why, the chef responded—no servers at this restaurant—that a lot of their glassware had been broken and the Styrofoam containers did a better job of keeping the sides warm. Fair enough, presentation isn’t that important to me, unless the venue is an image driven atmosphere, which Tahtianna’s most certainly is not.
The catfish had a nice dusting of traditional flour and hot sauce, then covered in a layer of corn breading. The breading was actually quite thin and didn’t over power the fish at all. The fish itself tasted authentic, like it was just caught by the Cajun man of the swamp himself. Images of noodlers in the bayou plucking out 80lb. catfish raced across my mind. The fish had some spice, some flaking, a little crunch, and a fresh flavor. I liked the fish, they did it right. As you can see from the photo of my lunch, the mashed potatoes were quite yellow, that’s not from gravy, that’s from butter. Those were the most buttery mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. Still, they weren’t too bad. Most places would have salted the hell out of them. The green beans were pretty good. They weren’t mushy, but they were soft, and had a nice meaty flavor from the broth they were cooked in.
|Noodling: Yes, there are people that do this for sport...|
About six months ago, I was in Tahtianna’s and had their smothered pork chops. That happens to be their signature dish; and it happens to be delicious. Obviously a few things have changed. Out went the pricy glassware, in came the buffet; other than that not too much had changed.
The meal was finished and now it was time to leave. I hailed the chef, gave him my card, he swiped it, I signed the slip, and that was that… Not bad. I will come back here again.
|Smothered pork chops served with greens and rice.|
Let’s sum up here…
Service: Friendly and reasonably quick.
Food: Presentation is unimpressive, but if you care more about taste than appearance—I certainly do—then the food is plenty good to satisfy the palette.
Pricing: Moderate, Tahtianna’s isn’t cheap, but I felt good about what I paid vs. what I ate.
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