Dish of the Week: Korean BBQ Burrito

The downtown Minneapolis skyway system is amazing. I remember the first time I walked through it as a working, world-weary adult, and it felt alive and magical — like Disney World, or an ant colony. There are SO MANY restaurants above the cold, bleak Minneapolis street, and they’re all only open for lunch. It’s an incredible business model. Frankly, many of these places look horrible, but I’m sure there are enough hidden gems out there known only to the most ratty of the rat racers. Vellee Deli is one gem, although not exactly hidden. Parlaying a successful downtown food truck into a successful downtown skyway brick-and-mortar, it’s a Mexican/Korean fusion restaurant with a killer Korean BBQ burrito. One thing both cuisines do well is spice, and at Vellee you can get your order with one, two, or three kicks (plus a bonus fourth option just called The Kicker). I’m not Guy Fieri on Hot Ones, but I’m no slouch with spice. Yet, two kicks cleared my sinuses. Vellee doesn’t mess around. On the inside, despite the tortilla exterior, the guts are all Korean. The beef is tender and flavorful, while kimchi and bok choy add flavor, texture and temperature contrast. The white rice ties everything together for an extremely pleasant bibimburrito (burritobop? bopurrito?). Finally, Vellee throws some salsa roja in there because FUSION! It works, though, and has to be one of the best skyway lunches in the world.