Eating and Drinking with Heavy Table's James Norton: Central Avenue Tour, part 2

The burger at Jimmy's Pro Billiards
The burger at Jimmy's Pro Billiards (Becca Dilley)
Eating and Drinking: James Norton - Central Avenue, part2
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Heavy Table food editor James Norton joins the Current's Morning Show to talk about the local food scene.

This week on Eating and Drinking, James tells Jill Riley and Sean McPherson to talk about the next chapter in his culinary tour of Central Avenue Northeast, from 694 in Fridley, Minn., down to Broadway Avenue in Minneapolis. (See part one)

"It's a long haul," James says. "Over the course of it, we're going to eat and drink at 52 independent restaurants and a taco truck."

The Heavy Table reviewers have marveled at the sheer diversity of the places they've visited so far, and how no two are alike. "It's just so crazy how within the course of a few blocks, [we're] getting all these different really sharply focused facets of the American experience and the American immigrant experience," James says. "It's all there on Central."

So far, the James and the Heavy Table team have visited 15 places, from 694 into 40th or 41st Street North. The food reviewers are accompanied by the artist Wacso (with whom readers of the Southwest Journal are familiar), and Mike Cronin, Wacso's writing partner. "It's really immersive," James says of the experience that takes the group to five restaurants per night.

Here are the venues James discusses in this week's report:

Tasty Pizza

VFW Post 230 / Marino's Deli

Filfillah Restaurant

Jimmy's Billiards

Listen to the complete interview above to hear James's thoughts on each of these Central Avenue eateries, and to find out which one has the coolest men's room in the Twin Cities.

James Norton edits the Upper Midwestern food journal, Heavy Table. He's also the co-author of a book on Wisconsin's master cheesemakers and editor of The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food.

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