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First Bite: District Fresh Kitchen + Bar
By: Stephanie March | Posted: 06/27/2014
So yeah, Obama’s here in Minnesota and the most important thing that happened yesterday, in my little universe, was the fact that he sat down for a burger at Matt’s Bar. Yes, he went for a Jucy Lucy. Of course he did, it’s iconic, it’s working-man chic, it’s a damn good burger. But the second I heard he was there, I wished to golly I had a bat-line right to the secret service, because WHAT IF NO ONE WARNED HIM HOW TO EAT A JUCY LUCY?!!? This isn’t some simple bite and chew situation, there’s molten cheese involved! You have to nip the burger and open the cheese gap, then let it cool a bit perhaps dipping a fry into cheese, before gingerly giving it a full bite. If you don’t, the chances for a greasy smear of beefy cheese shooting out the back and down your presidential shirt are 1 in 3. But, I suppose, they probably carry a spare shirt.
Dong Hae does actually open today! Good on ya! The Korean and Japanese restaurant, run by the family behind the cultishly popular Dong Yang Korean deli, opens for lunch and dinner in the former Nami space in the Warehouse District. There is all-you-can-eat sushi, plus traditional Korean dishes.
Wayzata has been buzzing with the opening of 6 Smith in the lakeside Boatworks building. It’s a one-two punch with Randy Stanley and JP Samuelson at the helm, bringing a bit of urban swank to the lake. There’s a serious selection of beef on the menu, not to mention a round of lobster dishes: lobster guac, lobster spring rolls, lobster cake, chilled lobster roll, etc. And probably the best list of cocktails this side of the 494.
Tongue in Cheek on Payne Ave. is now feeding the East Side of St. Paul. Lenoard Anderson is the man behind the stoves and he’s cooking small plates, quick bites, and full entrees that focus on modern seasonsal food and humanely treated ingredients (don’t beat your beets). There’s also a round of six-course tasting menus and a tasty looking beverage list.
Lakewinds Co-op is now open in Richfield. The boffo store is celebrating the grand opening this weekend with free coffee and samples, a butterfly release, live music and all sort of co-opish fun.
Bradstreet Craftshouse ends an era as they finish up business in the Graves 601 Hotel this weekend before it turns over to Loews. They’ll be making the move to the Rye Deli space in Lowry Hill and changing their name to Bradstreet Neighborhood Craftshouse to lose some of the pretension. But apparently they’re keeping that annoying "s" in Craftshouse, which always makes me read it as Craft Shouse.
The Taste of Minnesota, July 3-6, is worried about water, so it’s moving the festival . . . to Waconia. Now don’t get all city-snotty, the Carver County fair grounds are awesome, like a mini-State Fair. Every summer I trip it out there for a little demolition derby action. I am 100 percent going because Starship? In Waconia? What could go wrong?
And OMG . . . time to meet your new State Fair Foods for 2014!
There still might be tickets available for the Beer Dabbler at Pride tonight! Remember it's food trucks matched up with breweries for some sort of magical snacktastic rainbow fun.
Then there’s the MN Food Truck Fair, happening in Uptown on Sunday. More than 35 trucks will clump together with live music. Lucid Beer, and chances to ogle well-tanned and fun-having other food truck fans. This year each truck will have a $5 specialty share plate so that you might dig in for a few bites and experience more trucks. My advice: go with a group, divide and conquer.
Travail’s Prevailed Party is also this Sunday at Robbinsdale Lakeview Terrace Park. There’s talk of pork sammies, sweet corn, nitro ice cream, SOLID GOLD, and chefs in animal suits. Advance tickets are $10, bring cash for food. This will be the last chance to see the boys for a while, don’t forget that Travail/Rookery will close for two weeks, June 30–July 17, while they revisit the mothership and drink the tears of unicorns to rejuvenate their youth.
Stephanie March is Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s food and dining editor. See bio
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