Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Charlie’s – A Favorite Foodie Moment

           Photo Source: Unknown

This photo is of Charlie's Cafe Exceptionale, 7th Street and 4th Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis, in 1960.

The restaurant closed on July 21, 1982, after 49-years. It was, for most of those years, the city's most talked-about restaurant and part of the reason was their unbeatable potato salad recipe which, to this day, still remains a secret.

One of the most powerful food memories I have was sharing my 22nd birthday with my mom there for lunch. In an instant during that lunch, I recognized that my mother had great taste …especially in food. She didn’t like to cook but Oh, did she love to eat!

Here is a knock-off recipe – authentic or not – that bonded my mother and I as foodies from the same bundle.

Being a foodie with a friend is wonderful but being a foodie with family…extraordinary.

Bon Appetit!

From Minnesota Eats Out

Mayonnaise – it’s got to be homemade!

1 pasteurized egg yolk

1 tsp. dry mustard

1 tsp. sugar

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice, divided

1 c. vegetable oil


5 medium potatoes, freshly cooked, peeled and diced

1 tsp. salt - 1/4 tsp. freshly ground white pepper

2 tbsp. or more chopped green onion

1 to 2 tbsp. finely chopped red bell pepper

3 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and diced (or more to taste)


To prepare mayonnaise: In a blender, combine egg yolk, mustard, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper and 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar. Blend at medium speed, adding oil in a thin stream until mixture thickens. Add remaining lemon juice. Makes 1 3/4 cups.

To prepare salad: Place diced potatoes in a large bowl and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gently mix in green onion, red pepper and eggs. Stir in about 1 1/4 cups dressing, adding more if needed ( Charlie's was a very creamy potato salad) and mix gently. Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours before serving.