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Minnesota's First Vermouth
First Bite: Giordano’s
By: Stephanie March | Posted: 06/13/2014
The World Cup started yesterday; let the global mania begin! If you only know the game of soccer through your progeny/your own youth time-suck, maybe it’s time to approach the game from an adult perspective: Footy in bars. Watching futbol in a bar with a bunch of beer-sopped mates is something you should try. We’ve got a whole guide to get you started, and a whole month to ease into it.
I’m happy to let you in on some of my own strategies for evading everything else.
>> Best bar for skipping out of work and slinking through the skyways to catch a daytime match: The Local.
>> Best place to watch a French match with the chance of a Vincent sighting (or a post-match Vincent burger): Brit’s rooftop.
>> Best spot to get totally into the scene with potential for real hooliganism: The Nomad.
>> Best liquid location to ease the pain of the Group of Death: Merlin’s Rest, and all the whisky that implies.
Yes, it happened. Tiny Diner is now open in Powderhorn. I scooted in and had a very nice egg sandwich, and great sourdough pancakes made from a 120-year-old starter. And bruleéd grapefruit, which is my new standard.
The Office Pub and Grill is open next to Déjà Vu. But it’s not just for strippers, or friends of strippers: there are tons of TVs, a big year-round patio, USB charging stations so you can be cheeky and say "I’m working at The Office!!!!!!" The menu looks stacked with bar nosh (wings, cheese curds, flatbreads), sliders, and burgers including a Big Boss, which is two 1/3 lb. patties dressed up. Full bar includes 24 taps and cocktails, happy hour from 4-6 p.m. and they stay open til 2 a.m. every day.
Out at Ridgedale, the renovation of the Lakeshore Grill and Taste Bar Cafe has been completed. The new Lakeshore Grill concept is way more modern and forward thinking than the last grills, but it keeps a nod to its heritage by displaying one of the original Dayton’s Waterford chandeliers that used to hang in St. Paul. Look for cocktails and craft beer, plus a menu created with a focus on local sourcing and a fresher emphasis. The Taste Bar is a quick-service model in which the famous chicken pot pie can be found as a trendy hand-held pie.
Scott Pampuch has a Lunchbox situation popping up on the U of M campus. Plus, have you heard about his epic 100-course meal at Northern Spark this weekend? Boy’s going to need a shoe change in the middle of that one.
Did you check out the menus at Libertine? Looks like the Uptown Cafeteria space will be replete with meat.
Let’s celebrate public transportation and the massive achievement of the opening of the Green Line in the best way we know how . . . PUB CRAWL! Summit is sponsoring an Off the Rails Pub Crawl this Saturday with the launching of the train line. The crawl is open format, runs from 4-10 p.m., and will get you FREE RIDES and $4 Summits at the participating pubs.
Also on Saturday, if you happen by France 44 to stock up on cheese for your Daddy-o, there will be a pulled pork and beans cookout in the parking lot for $5. And if you bike there, and get a $5 helmet sticker, you get 10 percent off your purchases when you bike.
Prairie Dogs is settling in for a 10-day stretch at Sawatdee in Eden Prairie. They’ll kick it off on Monday and serve creative dogs for lunch and happy hour, and there’s a new Thai Som Tum dog and a red curry pork sausage on the menu.
A local chapter of The World Gourmet Society is having its first dinner on Monday, June 23 at Tilia and space is limited. Fun thing they’re doing: all diners will bring money to donate to a charity, then Chef Steven Brown will be making a first course that has a secret ingredient which diners have to identify. The winning palates get to choose the charity for the donation. The rest of the meal is à la carte.
Also, Northern Spark all night on Saturday with food trucks, Al’s Breakfast with Bachelor Farmer, and so much ballyhoo.
This weekend Summit Avenue will be lederhosen central while Deutsche Tage is happening. For some that means running in a dirndl 5K, for others (me) it means a ton of German beers, sausages, pretzels, kraut, und eierlaufen. Steady as she goes.
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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