I’m a city fanatic, but live in a first-ring suburb. My humble ’burb for the last two years is technically classified as an urban area, but just outside the grid-style neighborhoods of Minneapolis. Our delivery options have been lackluster, and has been the hardest adjustment moving 10 minutes away from our long-term, big-city neighborhood—but things are looking up.
Weeks after my husband and I moved into our first home, the biggest local delivery brand Bite Squad discontinued service to our neighborhood. This landed with a big, squishy thud. Did we make the biggest mistake of our new lives? Should we have just moved to Alaska if we were going to live such a rugged lifestyle? Panic and brooding ensued.
More than two years later, I’m pleased to announce these storm clouds have parted. We still hadn’t found any go-to delivery options that got us fired up like we had in Minneapolis, but Bite Squad resumed service in our ‘hood and other providers like UberEats and DoorDash also came to town. Sizing up our new options, we were pleased to find some middling Asian places (our obsession) and a few other ethnic restaurants that made life in the hinterlands so much better.
Last Thursday, however, something profound happened. Husband and I, along with two friends who are temporarily shacking up with us decided we weren’t just hungry—we were at risk of starvation—at 9 PM. Phones were deployed, options were discussed, and we coalesced around a restaurant none of us had ever visited: Sarna’s Classic Grill.
We’d driven past this large-format, casual restaurant on the edge of our city many times, but never stepped inside. Judging from the lot, they’re quite busy at peak times, but sleepy on shoulder dates/times. The menu, however, was a revelation for four opinionated foodies. There were lettuce wraps and soups, big salads and a Thanksgiving dinner entree. Even better, we found pierogis, bacon tots, absurdly meat-filled mac and cheese, a meatloaf plate, summer berry salad and Korean beef tacos. Nirvana.
Bite Squad had a free delivery special going with Sarna’s, so we placed the order and roundly agreed the total tab was oddly affordable. A scant 30 minutes later and the food was at our door.
I was pleased to find that tipping was now part of the on-screen transaction, rather than clumsily managed while the driver was handing over the food. Bravo, Bite Squad. Our driver’s phone rang and he laughed that his wife had been blowing him up all night, then told us to enjoy our food and sped away. In and out. The food arrived hot, properly presentable and packaged with care—all breads, delicate bibb lettuce and soup all arriving as they should in separate containers.
It’s hard to not feel gluttonous ordering such an absurd, overflowing order for just four people, but the experience was perfect from start to finish. Being a somewhat fragile Minnesotan, I also needed something, anything, from the driver to know I wasn’t an inconvenience or overly bougie for ordering delivery so late on a weeknight. I think we’re going to survive this Simple Life.
*Spectacular photo credit to Georges Biard