Provisions for an All-Night Journey

Public Address asked Northern Spark food curator Sarah Peters to write about the culinary art of the Festival.

Mobile Food at Northern Spark

Trolling the Twin Cities all night long to experience a spectacular array of artist projects requires some stamina. You can always stop into your favorite neighborhood joint to grab a bite, but we’ve rounded up some of the best food trucks in the Twin Cities to provide sustenance along the way. Stationed in each Zone, these mobile chefs will keep you happily fed, caffeinated and recharged. Eat your way through the festival starting with a sunset dinner and ending with breakfast at dawn!

Border Tacos truck - Photo by Aaron Fenster

Border Tacos truck. Photo by Aaron Fenster

In St. Paul Border Tacos will be planted in front of the St. Paul Central Library where you can take a break from watching films of light and darkness, or a “campfire” reading to load up on tasty Mexican fare. Border’s acclaimed tacos, burritos, tamales and quesadillas are piled with perfectly seasoned chicken, pork or steak and covered in fresh cilantro and onions.

Anna Dien's family is working the stand and crafting bubble tea pearl recipes.

Anna Dien's family is working the stand and crafting bubble tea pearl recipes. Photo Michelle Bruch

If cantaloupe is more your style than carnitas, head over to the Science Museum of Minnesota for a smoothie from Sophea Fresh Fruits. Choose from a long menu of fresh fruits such as avocado, watermelon, banana, papaya, and yes, cantaloupe, or recharge with a bubble tea. Sip your sweet treats while listening to Mike Hallenbeck’s Sound Spandrel or tricking out your bike with the Bicycle Synthesizer Ride.

If a caffeinated pick-up is what you need before or after getting down on the dance floor at McNally Smith College of Music, stop off at the Black Dog Café. Their doors and kitchen will be open all night, where you can order from a special “menu of dreams” constructed by the café and artist Peter McLarnan based on research into the effects that late-night cheese consumption has on our unconscious imaginations. And did we mention FREE COFFEE? Yes!

In Minneapolis four mobile vendors are reason enough to stay up all night. At the Soap Factory, Dandelion Kitchen serves up their fresh fare from a bright yellow truck. Locally-sourced meats and produce join forces in sandwiches like roast chicken with whole grain mustard, blue cheese and greens. Homemade sodas—lemon ginger! basil lime!—wash it all down.

Over at the Walker Art Center, where the festival’s eight hours are packed with activities under the moniker Nightshift, the Garden Grill by D’Amico serves snacks, light fare and local beer ‘til 1 am when the Barrio Truck rolls up to take us through until morning. Stop by for a Latin-inspired  boost of Compart Family Farms Pork Carnitas, Soft Shell Crab, and Meyers Natural Beef Barbacoa and a bottle of Jarritos.

She Royal Deli

On the campus of the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, stationed somewhere between the Three-Story Drawing Machine and The Battle of Everyouth at the Minneapolis Institute of Art is the place to go for Ethiopian food. She Royal Coffee Company will be there to serve chicken curry, spicy gyros, veggie platters (lentils, collards, cabbage) and the ever-necessary cup of coffee.

At the south end of the Stone Arch bridge in the upper parking lot Cruzn Café will keep you on your toes with espresso drinks, pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, nachos and smoothies. Make it a plan to end your night on the bridge with one of Cruzn’s breakfast tacos and the sunrise.

Mero Cocinero Karimi - Photo courtesy of the artist.

Mero Cocinero Karimi - Photo courtesy of the artist.

And finally, when your night is complete and you’re still hungry, stop at a 24 hour grocery store and bring an ingredient to cook at Mero Cocinero Karimi’s Power of the People Community Breakfast at Intermedia Arts. The meal will be as good as YOU make it!

We hope your journey through Northern Spark is as delicious as it is awe-inspiring!