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5 brand-new restaurants to try that opened mid-pandemic

Young Man's Té Saté

Young Man's Té Saté Young Man / Facebook

Mental health experts have advised that the best way to emerge from quar' partially intact involves setting (and sticking to) routines.

But frankly, that shit is hard and sucks. Whomst among us wants to do—let alone eat—the same thing day in, day out? 

Thankfully, these five intrepid folks opened shop as the world around them was going to hell in a handbasket just so the rest of us can to enjoy the fruits of their passions and boldness. Check out the flavor combos, takeout treats, and fun surprises they've dreamt up, right when our taste buds are at peak stir-crazy… all available to-go, of course.

It’s Greek to Me Taverna e Parea

Remember when It’s Greek to Me closed at the corner of Lake and Lyndale back in August? Well, a reincarnated version of the nearly 40-year-old restaurant has returned to its former haunt with a new-ish name. A partnership between Alkis Arambadjis and his nephew Evangelos Arambadjis, longtime employees of The Greek, and family friend Erik Johnson breathed new life into the south Minneapolis institution, which they’re now calling “It’s Greek to Me Taverna e Parea.” Though they’d hoped to open the dining room in April, a limited takeout menu with items based on the owners’ original recipes will offer a taste of what the future holds in store. Look for rotating daily dinner specials like Mousaka or Pastitsio, in addition to larger menu items that feed parties of two, and classic Greek desserts like Galaktobouriko to finish. 626 W. Lake St., Minneapolis

Dragon Wok

Back in February, Dragon Wok’s Rashad and Ashley West (partners in both business and life) closed up shop in Kingfield. When they reemerged at their new location in Minneapolis’s Bryant neighborhood, the pandemic had just descended, raining on their plans to host a grand reopening. Undeterred, they’ve steadily been slinging their distinctive brand of takeout to an increasing base of loyal customers who’ve been wooed by Dragon Wok’s ability to bring together traditional Cambodian dishes, Americanized Chinese takeout favorites, and wild cards like Golden Biscuits (stuffed with chocolate and peanut butter). 805 E. 38th St., Minneapolis

Young Man

Located at the epicenter of Kingfield eats, Young Man introduces a bunch of flavor to diners using very little square footage. Owners Albert and Zye Kurniawan are serving “Balinese-Hawaiian fusion” in the former Dragon Wok spot at Nicollet and 38th Street. Their menu, which has been designed to embrace everyone from timid to adventurous, ranges from small bites—like takoyaki (octopus and bonito dumplings) and “Corn Attack” (a fiery corn appetizer)—to big plates like Té Saté (marinated, grilled chicken over nasi goreng, with Balinese-style vegetables). Online ordering and curbside pickup, including convenient parking, are available. 3752 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis

Pyramid Pizza and Grill

Once upon a saucy time, Red's Savoy held it down on the pizza front at 24th and Hennepin. Then, with just as little fuss as the pizza they served, Red's Savoy folded. In its place has popped up a temple to simple, greasy satisfaction: Pyramid Pizza and Grill. On the docket are specialty pizzas and build-your-own pies, of course, but also fun surprises like a handful of options for cheese fries, rice dinners, nachos, burgers, and sandwiches. That’s a strong torch-pass from where we sit. 2329 Hennepin Ave. S., Minneapolis

Billy Sushi 

The larger-than-life character behind Sushi Fix and Baja Haus goes by just one name—Billy—and he’s back in the sushi game with his new spot in the North Loop: Billy Sushi. The former home of Sweet Chow has opened for takeout during evenings, and when the time comes, it’s ready to welcome customers to the brand new sushi bar, and will serve drinks from a program designed by the team behind winter’s hottest watering hole, Meteor Bar. Cruise the limited takeout menu available presently here; orders can be placed over the phone. 116 First Ave. N., Minneapolis