Eating and Drinking with Heavy Table's James Norton: Central Avenue Tour, part 4

Crescent Moon Bakery Football Pizza
Crescent Moon Bakery and Restaurant's "Football Pizza." (Rebecca Dilley/Heavy Table)
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Eating and Drinking: James Norton - Central Avenue tour, part 4
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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. "There are roughly 52 independently owned establishments, and we are eating at all of them," James says.

As they've visited these various places, James and his team have come up with some tips for ordering food in a restaurant that will work no matter where you go, whether Central Avenue or elsewhere. "If a restaurant advertises itself as the 'home of' something, order that thing; if the menu item bears the name of the restaurant or vice versa, order that; if a menu item bears the name of the founder or the owner or a member of the staff or a regular patron, order that; if it claims to originate something, order that."

At an ethnic restaurant, "order a dish that's representative of the culture."

If something's labeled a "specialty, favorite or signature dish, get it; if it's labeled 'new' or 'just added,' avoid it."

Here are the Central Avenue restaurants James discusses in this week's report:

Pico de Gallo

Sen Yai Sen Lek Thai Rice & Noodles

Anelace Coffee

Crescent Moon Bakery and Restaurant

Arcana Lodge

Listen to the complete interview above to hear James's thoughts on each of these Central Avenue eateries, and to find out the signature dishes or beverages to order on a visit to them. You can also read more about these places and see additional photos and illustrations on the Heavy Table's post, Central Avenue Checklist: Pico de Gallo to Arcana Lodge.

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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