We as a society like to give out rewards and designations to our favorites: Best restaurant, best dish, best chef, best service, best…
These are pretty common.
And Tongue in Cheek (989 Payne Ave, St Paul), has certainly seen its fair share, including a recent entry as the City Pages’ Best Brunch of 2017, as well as inclusion in our own Best Twin Cities Restaurants – Summer of 2017 Edition.
And now, it’s representing Minnesota on the list of The Most Instagrammed Restaurant in Every State.
There are more, and better, Instagram pics of Tongue in Cheek than any other restaurant in Minnesota, at least according to the research done by Spoon University, “The food resource for our generation” aimed at college students and the college-aged.
Sure, why not?
There are plenty of reasons to love this now-established Payne Avenue restaurant. It’s innovative, consistent in both quality of service and product, and, drawing from global influences, unconventional conventions, and with a little molecular gastronomy, as fun as the name implies. Plus, their mission is an honorable one: All meat protein comes from sustainable sources, and was all raised humanely (free-range, hugs for cows, etc.) as well.
But this is an award that cares less about what goes on behind the scenes. This is a designation given simply because the food looks so good; each dish so picturesque. Dishes like the Octopus Prime (funny) with confit octopus, grits, sorrel, togarashi, and scallion ($24), or the awesome braised beef cheeks alongside mashed potatoes, cashew gremolata, and horseradish ($19/$31), seem ready-made for photos and memories.
And the “teasers” guaranteed to get you Instagram love.
But what an honor and designation this is: It’s not necessarily about any of the things (quality, sustainability, etc) we mentioned earlier. It’s simply about where people are taking the most pics and uploading them on their phones.
And is it that Tongue in Cheek is the restaurant that people most want to snap shots of, or simply that more Tongue in Cheek diners are Instagram-users? Is there a difference? Does it matter?
As social media, and showing the world where/what you’re eating, becomes an even more ubiquitous part of our dining experience, it is not surprising that this exists.
And, as 59% of internet users between the ages of 18 and 29 use Instagram, and 17% of teens say Instagram is the most important social media site,
it might be a tell of where the future will be eating out.
Either way, congratulations to one of St. Paul’s most interesting and photogenic restaurants. We’ll definitely be back for the food and drinks regardless, and maybe to take a few pics as well.