World Street Kitchen, Milkjam Creamery duo set their sights on St. Paul seafood shack

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Sameh and Saed Wadi are heading across the river Tom Wallace, Star Tribune

You know siblings Sameh and Saed Wadi as the duo behind the food-truck-turned-Uptown-global-eats-hot-spot World Street Kitchen and the adjacent fancy ice cream shop Milkjam Creamery.  

Soon, the talented duo -- Sameh is a former City Pages "Best Chef" winner -- will expand into St. Paul with Grand Catch, an "ode to Cajun seafood boils," the Star Tribune reported yesterday. It's a collab between the Wadis and Thien Ly, owner of Brooklyn Park's Cajun Deli, who's been wowing the brothers with unexpected spins on spice for years.

The plan's apparently been a long time coming. “The idea came to me years ago, when I started hanging out at the Cajun Deli in Brooklyn Park, and I fell in love with the way that Thien -- we call him T -- cooks," Sameh tells the Strib. "He’s Vietnamese, his wife is Laotian, and their food is so exciting and familiar, but exotic and new.” Ly is big on Middle Eastern and Vietnamese spices, which lend an unusual flavor profile to his take on Cajun.

At the heart of Grand Catch is a traditional, Louisiana-style fish boil -- and you can bet there will be po' boys and other sides -- but "with a bit of a riff on that Vietnamese/Middle Eastern connection,” Sameh tells the Strib. They're setting up shop at 1672 Grand Ave., the former home of the Jason Bush joint Grand Central.

There's also gonna be a full bar, a patio, and a nautical-but-not-kitschy theme. 

Sameh says the shack should open up this spring.


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