To-Go To Die For

Great picnic and patio fare? No sweat.

Ira Gershwin’s timeless lyrics say that it’s “summertime and the livin’ is easy,” but those moments seem hard to come by between sports leagues, vacations frantically fit in, yard work, home improvements, and competition to have the biggest, baddest barbecue in the neighborhood. A bit of respite can be found in take-out dining that will soothe your sweating brow.


612-822-7400, 1409 W. Lake St.,


If there’s a better bargain for superlative chicken in the Twin Cities, I haven’t found it. Uptown’s Rotisseria turns spits of whole chickens over a hardwood-charcoal fire. Just when you’re ready to take your bird home, the succulent, golden-brown beauty you choose is cut into pieces, then pressed on a grill over the coals with an iron plate for one last singe that takes it to a heavenly external crispness. The bird and a side order of tangy hot sauce are just $12. For just three more bucks, you can select two generous side orders from a list that includes rice, refried beans, yucca fries, and delish potatoes tossed in a garlic and dill butter.

Kallyste Chocolates, Etc.
651-552-8300, Signal Hills Mall,
5 Signal Hills Center, West St. Paul

This little-known gem does indeed sell exquisite fudge and authentic Belgian chocolates, but the real treasure is the menu of gourmet salads, soups, hot and cold sandwiches, and crêpes. You’ll think you’re in Paris rather than a strip mall in West St. Paul (note: it’s moving in August). The 27 varieties of sandwich ($7 to $9) are layered on freshly baked baguettes, ciabbata, or croissants, and even their exotic monikers don’t do justice to the flights of fancy they contain: The Brasilian is made with banana, red pepper, feta, and chicken; a warmed Roussillon combines peach, garlic, thyme, pepper jack cheese, and chicken. Among the appetizers are tomatoes stuffed with tuna, shallots, and avocado cream, and a presentation of grapefruit, shrimp, and crab in a creamy orange sauce.