Getting your Cultural Culinary fix at Workshop

Workshop has been around for a couple years now, but only recently has this fancy “exploratory food court” stepped up their game with a wide variety of very authentic ethnic food options. The food court has been criticized in the past for having stalls that are good, but leave shortly after they open and also for being a bit TOO fancy and being expensive for a food court-style business. I ventured over to Workshop recently to try out some of the newest stalls, and found myself to be quite impressed with not only the food but the entire layout of the whole place.

Over the course of the past year or two, Workshop has become less of just a food court and more of a family-friendly hang-out spot. You not only have the option to sit inside, but there is also plenty of seating in the huge lawn outside. Workshop now offers live music on the lawn a couple times a week and inside the food court during the cold winter months. Another more recent development is that Workshop now serves fun craft cocktails on the lawn, which makes it easy to grab a beverage if you’re just hanging out on the lawn with your kids or friends.

In my recent visits to Workshop, I sampled a few of Workshop’s offerings. My first stop was to Mansueta’s, which is offering up authentic Filipino cusine. Here I tried the Pancit ($13), the Lumpia ($8), Squash Salad ($11) and Champorado ($8). The Pancit consisted of stir-fried noodles, crab-fat ginger sauce, cabbage and egg. The Lumpia was pork spring rolls, and the Champorado was a thick chocolate rice pudding. Everything at Mansueta’s was delicious and full of rich flavors. The best part was that none of these dishes cost more than $13 and they definitely weren’t skimpy on portion sizes!

My next stop was to Julius’ Deli, where I tried the Whipped Feta ($6) and the Pierogi’s ($8). This stall is a Jewish deli, so many of their dishes are staples of traditional Jewish cuisine, such as the potato Pierogi’s I had. Both of the dishes were super flavorful and I especially loved the sweet and savory flavors of the feta dish, which also had chunks of salty beets on the side. The portions weren’t light and the meal only cost me about $15. Definitely a good bang for your buck!

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My next stop was to Rebel Taqueria, which serves up authentic Mexican cuisine. Here, I tried a dish off their appetizer menu. I sampled their Yoda Balls, which only cost me $5. I was given a basket of what I suppose you would call Mexican hush puppies. The balls were fried and were infused with salsa verde and a corn filling. They were topped with cotija cheese, giving them the perfect tangy finishing flavor. I loved the sweet and spicy flavor combo of this dish I’d probably say these are going to quickly become my new favorite hush puppies in town!

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I paired this delicious food with a warm bourbon-spiked apple cider from the cocktail cart on the lawn (though inside this time due to rain). It cost me $8, which is a bit more on the pricey side, but it was delicious and definitely not skimpy on the bourbon! They are also currently selling mulled wine for about the same price, as well as local beers and wine. You can also venture over to Edmund’s Oast Brewing Co, which has plenty of freshly brewed beer on tap and more delicious food options.

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I still have a few more places at Workshop to check out, but in the meantime I will be here reminiscing about the amazing fusion of flavors of the food I had in my recent visits to Workshop. If you haven’t been yet, you’re really missing out on some high quality food at a very reasonable price. If you need a good post-work hangout spot, this is definitely the place to go!

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