Being the most populated city in all of South Dakota with ~170, 000 people, this charming city is home to the historical Falls of the Sioux River. Apparently, locals joke that to get from any given point to another in Sioux Falls it takes about 15 minutes (it was 10 mins before). I was able to walk this downtown area at quite a leisurely pace in about 30 minutes, taking photos and deciding where I should eat. The charm of new cities is that I get to try some non-franchise restaurants to satisfy the foodie in me.
After picking up a few macarons for my clients and wandering into a bead store, a lovely young woman at Beads Co. directed me to Bros Brasserie for some local eats.
I was warmly welcomed to this hipster-esque restaurant and scanned over their delicious looking menu. I liked the positive vibes and places that support local artists. Hanging on their walls are pieces for purchase in this simply designed but welcoming restaurant. I was greeted by, Cody, the manager of the establishment and we got to chatting. He reaffirmed my suspicions that there isn’t much to do, nightlife or entertainment, in the area but he was quite happy nonetheless relative to where he used to live.
What can I say? I love to eat. There’s nothing better than trying Chicken and Waffles in the US. As we continued to chat, it would only make sense to pair my meal with one of the All-American microbrews he had on tap. He paired my sweet and savoury meal with a pint of Zip Line Harumeku brewed in the state of Nebraska. He noticed that I had a bag from CH Patisserie, a luxury pastry shoppe across the street, and mentioned that it was the best in SF and likely, South Dakota. I was a bit skeptical, given we weren’t in a foodie hub like NYC, LA or even, Toronto. As I wrapped up my delish meal, he mentioned that the owner operator was the winner of Top Chef – Just Desserts, Chef Chris Hanmer.
Of course, I had to go.
It would be insane not to.
CH Patisserie looked very inviting as the sign would call to you to come inside and check out the phenomenal looking pastries. From SF, it seems to teleport you to one of the swanky pastry shoppes where you would expect to see the Jolie-Pitt brood snacking on petit gateaus and macarons as they reminisce about their time in France.
Minimalistic, immaculately clean and the dessert case is beautifully decorated with european-inspired treats. I was super stoked to have been able to meet and chat with Chef Chris who allowed me to take shots of his creations and establishment. It was evident how passionate he was about his work and even encouraged me to try the restaurants in Vegas at some point in the near future (he lived their previously). Were there moments where I was internally screaming OMG, I’m shooting the shit with a world class pastry chef? Totally.
Chef Chris was even kind enough to offer me complementary macarons that I ended up shooting and sharing with 3 young ladies.
Food is a universal language and if you have the opportunity, share the experience. I devoured his specialty macaron, Cake Frosting, and without a doubt it was hands down it was the best macaron I had ever tasted. Go ahead Buzzfeed do a taste challenge because his macarons rock!
My apologies to the NYC and TO shoppes, he royally kicked your butts. You should maybe brush up your techniques to beat this world titled pastry chef who is also named one of the top 10 pastry chefs in America.
My foodie tour wasn’t quite done yet. As a true local and all around nice guy, he directed me to his favourite coffee shop and recommended I try the cappuccino as it was served as a flight. My last stop, and a perfect way to end my trip in South Dakota.
As Chef Chris explained, Coffea was a local coffee shop that sold real coffee. The buyer heads down to South America to purchase the beans and they roast them in a warehouse locally.
I would be stupid not to take his recommendation, so I ordered this cappuccino. I have to say that the idea and presentation is pretty cool as it comes in a flight: shot of sparkling water, espresso and the espresso-steamed milk combo.
The barista explained that the sparkling water is to cleanse your palette, taste the steamed milk, take the shot of espresso and continue with the steamed milk drink. Why? The steamed milk was acting as a natural sweetener. Also, this amazing drink is less expensive than Starbucks.
Trust me, I am in complete disbelief myself. I was blown away at this impromptu food tour. I guess, the best things do come up when you are least expecting them. I proudly ate my way through downtown Sioux Falls (aka Phillips by the Falls), South Dakota.
So, whether you are passing through Sioux Falls or staying in town, please make your way to visit these fine establishments dear foodies. You will not be disappointed.
If anything, you will have foodie regret and wonder what that lunch or dinner at Bros Brasserie was going to taste like, how incredibly divine the treats are at CH Patisserie are or worse, picking starbucks over the magical caffeine-induced experience of Coffea.
These establishments, and I’m sure there are others are truly hidden gems of the foodie world.