Wisconsin native Jon Wipfli crossed enemy lines to make his presence known in Minneapolis, starting with a prime sous chef position at The Bachelor Farmer when it opened in 2011. After a decade of cooking in high-octane kitchens, including earlier stints at Manhattan’s Cookshop and Brooklyn’s Marlow & Sons, Wipfli left the restaurant business (and New York) to launch his own catering/cooking education company called The Minnesota Spoon.
The Spoon’s whole butchery classes and Wipfli’s love of wild game (see Venison, his acclaimed cookbook from 2017) dovetailed perfectly with the opening of Animales Barbecue Co. last fall. Currently parked in a backlot at Northeast staple Able Seedhouse + Brewery, the BBQ truck serves revelatory spare ribs (pictured at top on a $20 platter with pork belly, cheddar-knit sausage, and pickled veggies) and heavenly sides like butter-and-sugar grits and a vinegary slaw that cuts through all that fatty-rich glorious meat.
Animales is also known for its rotating lineup of tacos—everything from roasted pumpkin and pork to beef birria with a brûléed onion broth—and holy-moly weekend specials like smoked prime rib and the Insta-friendly #meattornado sandwich. The latter is only available on Sundays and features a sky-high stack of smoked protein topped with sugar-cured jalapeños, barbecue sauce, and cheese. Pair it with one of Able’s award-winning pub ales for the perfect midday meal. 🍖😋
1121 Quincy St. NE, Minneapolis, MN; 347-661-5608.