Being a food sleuth is one of the fun parts of this gig. I am not above a little strip-mall diving to find a good new samosa and I don’t consider the suburbs as barren a wasteland as many of y’all. Let me tell you what I found in Bloomington yesterday.
Driving into the Normandale Lakes area, right into a place you might not consider in the summer, namely Hyland Ski & Snowboard park, I found Morty’s. At the bottom of the sloping grassy hills sits the “chalet” where this little lunch cafe operates M-F. In the cold months it’s jammed with fluorescent-clad boarders and in the warmth it’s a bit brown, airy, and packed with office workers. The cafe is kind of a fast-casual affair run by the park board, but it’s doing way more than just average ski fries and chicken tenders.
Each week on the Facebook page, Morty’s posts a menu with specials. I damn well lucked out that I went during the week of The Snowpig. The sandwich is smoked pork covered in melty provolone, onions, and pickles with applesauce (yes!) and rooster sauce (Sriracha). It was a spicy sweet hot mess that you could never get at Subway. I also had Erik’s Power Burger which was a happiness bomb with a just-pink patty, two cheeses, pecanwood smoked bacon, and a fried egg. The bun was lightly griddled and had the perfect squoosh I needed, and it was a huge meal deal with tater tots for $8. Did I mention that they had Surly Hell on tap for $4? Or that there are craft beer bottles in the deli case? I swear, as I was placing my order with the super-nice park lady, a whole gaggle of IT guys came swarming in shouting Snowpig! Snowpig! Snowpig! She said they do about 80-100 people for lunch each day.
Here’s my final win: Out front you can smack whitey up the hill at a makeshift driving range and there is a full-fledged disc golf course which might be the perfect exercise after a Hell + Snowpig. I think my half-day Fridays are now booked.