By Timothy W. Joseph on August 9, 2023
Minneapolis, MN – While Minneapolis boasts a vibrant and diverse food scene, its culinary reputation doesn’t exactly revolve around the traditional flavors of the American South. However, hidden within the bustling streets, there is 2 Dope Chicks, a hidden gem of a cafe that stands out from the rest. This unassuming eatery has managed to master the art of Southern classics, serving up dishes like succulent catfish, creamy grits and mouth watering cornbread that rival, if not surpass, those found in any restaurant South of the Mason-Dixon line. With every bite, patrons are transported to the heart of Dixie, relishing the soulful tastes that evoke a sense of warmth and nostalgia.
But don’t be mistaken, they deliver more than just food for the soul. This cafe’s robust menu boasts American classics like hand-pattied burgers and fries common in the Midwest along with Southwest favorites like quesadillas and burritos. For those with a little more of an East Coast craving, they also have deli staples and a salad bar. Let’s not forget the wraps and vegetarian options that are more common to the Pacific region of the US. So, on your first visit be sure to try the Southern cuisine, but on subsequent trips, maybe try a tour of the rest of the country.
Behind the magic of the cafe responsible for these culinary delights are the dynamic duo, Rhonda Caldwell-Heard and Jamis Rodriguez. Both ladies are co-owners and masterminds of this unique venture; though Jamis handles more of the customer service and managerial tasks while Rhonda acts as head chef. Their passion for food and a desire for something more than just a typical nine-to-five job brought them together to create 2 Dope Chicks.
2 Dope Chicks aims to provide unparalleled convenience to their customers with a special focus on those who work in the government center or visit for court proceedings. While other nearby food options exist, Rhonda and Jamis strive to be the ultimate one-stop-shop for breakfast, lunch and dinner, delivering a unique experience that keeps people coming back for more.
The cafe’s American specialties extend to their breakfast menu with options like chickritos (a chicken breakfast burrito), biscuits with gravy, and veggie omelets. For those looking for classic breakfast fare, they also have pancakes, toast, oatmeal and hash browns. Their adaptability has garnered them a loyal following, and they reach out to various communities through their own app on ChowNow, DoorDash, Foodsby, Sharebite and Nextdoor.
One satisfied customer, Tenisha Spencer, effused, “The first time I ate here, I had the catfish basket with unc’s tartar sauce, and it was so good I just had to go back! Today, I ordered the chicken strip basket, and it was amazing! Not only was the food good, but the customer service was on-point!”
Chef Rhonda’s culinary journey began when she established her personal chef business, Chick-on-the-Go, in June 2020. After teaming up with Jamis, Rhonda wanted their new venture’s name to share a similarity with her existing business. Thus, the name “2 Dope Chicks” was born, evoking the idea that there was now double the passion, creativity and awesomeness in the culinary world.
Jamis Rodriguez, a former teacher with 20 years of experience, left her old career behind when she found herself yearning for a change after she became pregnant with her son. Fate brought these two mothers together, and they realized that pursuing their passion for food was the path they wanted to take, where work would never feel like a burden.
In the early stages of their business, they were situated in the Northtown Mall, but their ambitions reached far beyond those walls. When Rhonda’s in-laws discovered an opening in the Hennepin County Government Center, they jumped at the opportunity to walk through the facility and apply for the space. However, doubt crept in, and they feared they might not be a good match for the location, leading them to hesitate finalizing their application.
Little did they know, the dedication to their culinary craft caught the attention of the Hennepin County Government Center’s building manager. He reached out to them directly, expressing curiosity as to why their application had not been completed. He explained that the uniqueness of their offerings and the ability to cater to diverse palates made them the ideal choice for the location, securing their spot in this prestigious center.
Thanks to this location change, 2 Dope Chicks offers an array of dining areas, making it a true haven for food lovers. From a cozy cafe and a cafeteria to a delightful guest station and a full dining area, the eatery provides an inviting ambiance for patrons to relish their soulful Southern meals. For those who prefer to dine al fresco, there’s an outdoor grill shack area, allowing visitors to savor their meals under the open sky.
Rhonda and Jamis express their love for Minneapolis, praising the abundant opportunities that the city has afforded them. As one of the largest counties in Minnesota, Minneapolis is a fertile ground for their culinary vision to flourish. The duo also cherishes the proximity to iconic destinations like Minnehaha Falls, Stone Arch Bridge, U.S. Bank Stadium, Target Field and Target Center.
Embracing a shared passion for community support, both Chef Rhonda and Jamis are actively involved in initiatives such as the YMCA, WomenVenture and Elevate Hennepin. Their team of employees, including Kilo and Randy, diligently upholds the kitchen’s smooth operation, for which Rhonda expresses deep gratitude.
2 Dope Chicks transcends its clever name to become a culinary odyssey, inviting patrons on a journey through the flavors of the United States with an emphasis on the soulful South. Whether you’re a local resident or a visitor to Minneapolis, be sure to indulge in their delightful cafe at the Hennepin County Government Center. You can also check out their full menu online by visiting 2DopeChicks.org.
From the cozy ambiance to the soul-warming dishes, 2 Dope Chicks invites you on a gastronomic journey that feeds not just your appetite but also your soul. So don’t miss out on this hidden gem; come and savor the enchanting flavors that transport you from coast to coast with every unforgettable meal.
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