Before the Fair, before the school year, before the end of summer that legally occurs on a certain Monday (appropriate), there is the lull. It’s yours to fill. Stretch your nights as late as you can by hanging at the brewery festival until they kick you out. Indulge in wine and crime, then spend your whole weekend on a deck with podcasts. Find the whiskey tent in St. Paul, maybe cancel all the other plans.
\\ So, Famous Dave’s eh? The locally based BBQ chain restaurant has been sold to Montreal-based MTY Food Group for a cool $200mil. They say the HQ will remain in Minnetonka.
\\ Yia Vang has a new series on Foodnetwork.com called Stoked. It’s all about the legacy of Hmong cooking over fire and wood grills. He’s got recipes for grilled duck laab and wild boar coppa steaks waiting for you!
\\ Also, feels like the week to remind you about s’mores tech.
+ If you’re seeking colder deeper waters, go find the newly launched Northland Larder food truck in Duluth. It’s parked near the Vista Fleet Cruises just up Harbor Drive on the Downtown Waterfront. It’s a project from the amazing farmers at Y-ker Acres, and the very talented butcher + chef at Y-Ker Acre Meat Co.. I’m just stalking that Superior whitefish chowder, a ham and jam sandwich, not to mention the pork point salad which feels like (FINALLY) the appropriate amount of ham for a salad.
+ Urban Wok has a new location in West End. That brings the total count to four locations, Lowertown and SLP, plus two out of state spots. It’s all about cashless ordering, custom bowls with the veg and sauces that you like, zip in zip out. I do remember liking the cilantro lime fried rice quite a bit.
+ Earl Giles is now open for lunch! But. For the month of August, that’s all they’ll be open for, lunch service W-Su from 11a – 4p, with take out until 8pm. And unfortch, there will be no booze during August lunch. The Qunicy Street distillery is trying to finish their legal docs and licensing, so dinner and booze are on hold for a bit.
>> HUGE news again this week! Tim McKee is getting solidly back in the restaurant game. He’s launching a Spanish restaurant that leans into the Basque country cuisine, and it’s landing somewhere in North Loop on 1st street. The exact location isn’t being confirmed, tho, do you have eyes? Can we have a private industry moment to consider that Thoma, Burnet, and McKee will suddenly all be comfy cozy on the same street?
>> We’ll have to call it MAXI-golf soon ammmmirite? Looks like there’s a luxe mini-golf operation headed into downtown Mpls., in a newly constructed apartment building across from the Four Seasons, at the tip of North Loop. The Puttery announced that it would be opening three uniquely-themed indoor courses with, bars and lounge areas throughout. Pizza, snacks, very small pencils, and drinks are all part of the deal. No opening date mentioned.
// Irish Fair is in full swing this weekend in St. Paul. You think March is the only day those brogues come out to play? Head over to Harriet Island to find cloggers, Celtic comedy, Biddies Galore (literally “3 women who can’t stop dancing”), and of course Afternoon Tea. Also, fish n chips, curry chips, pasties, loads of Guinness and whiskey, cider, and mead, plus a pub quiz and the first ever Red Locks Toasting Contest on Saturday. Bring your best limerick and be ready to hoist a glass.
// Gather your pals for a little evening of Wine & Crime tonight at the Fitzgerald. The live podcast is hosted by three gals who love their vino, love their true crime, and holy cats do they love their Minnesota accents. It’s a hoot!
// Find the Asian Street Food Night Market on White Bear Avenue tonight. From 4p-midnight, there will be lots of food trucks and vendors, DJ tunes, and a talent show.
// It’s also Made in MN Beer Fest Day at Canterbury Park on Saturday. This beer fest ticket comes with all the beer tasting, live music, and admission to the races. That’s $50 for unlimited beer and ponies, which already feels lucky. Pro tip: Race 1 … 3-1-6-7
// At the state capitol on Saturday, please enjoy IndiaFest. Besides henna painting and Bollywood performances, there’s a beautiful parade to watch and great eats from Barwachi Biryanis, Hyderabad Indian Grill, Pizza Karma, and many others.
// Open Streets takes over East Lake Street on Saturday. From 2nd to 22nd, you’ll be able to stroll and roll car free. The Midtown Global Market has a LOT of good treats, but also a block party and a live music stage.
// Breathe it in, you know you love that sharp stench, it’s the MN Garlic Festival on Saturday! Hutchinson never smelled so good. Just $10 to get it, then it’s chef demos, Crow River Winery, craft beers, garlic soft serve, a blessing of the crop, and an official tasting of the garlic bloody mary.
// It’s a very special episode of Sunday Cheese Day at Keepsake Cidery on the 14th. Three extremely talented local cheesemakers (Shepherd’s Way, Cannon Belles, and Capra Nera Creamery) will be on hand to teach you about cow, sheep, and goat cheese. AND there will be special cheese toasties made with the goods, along with pet-nat cider tastings matched to the cheese. I don’t know how you don’t drop everything for this.
// On Sunday eve, the Brit’s Outdoor Movie Night is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. No word on any butterbeer specials.
// Next Wednesday the 17th, it’s the Taste of Lakeville that will light up the south metro. You have to respect a food vendor list that starts with Amoco, hoping for some of those paper wrapped breakfast sandwiches which have no right to be as good as they are. Other tasters include B-52 Burgers, Bourbon Butcher, and Lakeville Brewing. The VIP ticket includes a Woodford Reserve Lounge.
// If you’ve never made it to the innovative Travail, and wonder if it’s worth the hype, the kitchen invites you up for a bite. Intro to Travail is like a slice, a mini 8 course experience delivering some of the best dishes from the summer menus for $99. Booking Aug 18-20.
// Don’t forget you can get Smoke Out tickets right now, because Early Bird pricing ends tonight!