Best dishes countdown #70: Pernil from Tinto Cocina + Cantina


Those of us who love it are always crying about it. There isn't any quality Caribbean food around here! But that's not quite true, is it? If you've been paying attention, you know Tinto Cocina y Cantina is using all the familiar flavors — cumin, chiles, plantains — to put out a regional brand of Caribbean-inflected Mexican food. It's just the thing to keep cold, wintry Lake Street aglow with the spirit of warmer climes. 

Pernil is a dish you don't get just anywhere around here — it's a long-simmering braise, where time is as important an element as anything. The yin of fatty pork shoulder gets bombarded with the yang of exuberant amounts of citrus and brine — vinegar, olive, and lime. The underlying funk of garlic and cumin play bass note to the mouth-pucker; the whole of it is deeply complex, savory and satisfying.

Scoop it up with little "spoons" of caramelized plantains to round out the experience. 

Tinto Cocina y Cantina 

901 W. Lake St., Minneapolis 


100: Caramel-Bacon Puffcorn at Red Cow

99: Pappadams from the Curry Diva

98: The Kingfield at Five Watt

97: Raspberry Cream Scone at Sun Street Breads

96: Bacon and Bourbon from 6Smith

95: Biscuits and Gravy at Ward 6

94: Burgers from Peppers and Fries

93: The Everything Bagel from Rise Bagel Co.

92: Bent River Camembert from Alemar Cheese

91: Two large pizzas and a pitcher of beer, Original Red's Savoy

90: Boiled Peanut Hummus at 4 Bells

89: Chaksuka from Shish

88: Fried Green Tomato BLT from Butcher and the Boar

87: Charcuterie Board at Surly Beer Hall & Restaurant

86: Quiche from Le Town Talk

85: Aloo Tama from The Himalayan

84: Caramelized Cauliflower at Libertine

83: Banh Mi Joy Dog at Prairie Dogs

82: Salmon Poke at District Fresh Kitchen & Bar

81: Savory Waffle at Birchwood Cafe

80: Kofta from Mim's

79: Medianoche at La Ceiba

78: Spicy Golden Tofu from Peninsula

77: Chicken Fantastic from Safari

76: Ramen at Zen Box

75: Puttanesca at Foreign Legion

74: Salted caramel hazelnut tart at Eastside

73: Pastas at Monello

72: Housemade sausages at Ox Cart Ale House

71: Indeed's Rum King