My pal Berit sent me this cartoon. Now you can see the dilemma I often find myself in when I am on the road. In today’s world, diners pay a hefty premium for chowing on farm-fresh ingredients in chic restaurants specializing in rustic peasant fare while indigenous people around the world are starving, unable to afford the food that has been grown and raised for centuries just miles from their own homes. It’s as if the gods are now spelling ironic cruelty in capital letters.
Chris Schwab, with the Sioux Falls Canaries Baseball Club in South Dakota, sent me an e-mail a few weeks ago. For those who don’t know, the team is part of the same ownership group as our local Saint Paul Saints. Well, apparently at the Canaries’s ballpark, vendors are selling turkey testicles. They call them Fowl Balls, and the Canaries teamed up with a local turkey processing plant (Dakota Provisions) to sell these little darlings. Chris assures me that they are not selling them two to a sack. Canaries fans can choose from dipping sauces including ranch, barbeque, and bleu cheese to add just the right nuanced flavor to an overflowing sack of Fowl Balls. During the first home stand last month, they sold out. Nearly 1,500 orders. So the question is, with the new stadiums being built, what concessions would you like to see featured closer to home? What local foods should be represented when the Gophers’s and Twins’s new homes open for business?
Here’s a short list of my picks:
—A large St. Paul Farmers’ Market stand with local produce, sandwiches (local roasted pork shoulder sounds good), and beverages modeled on the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market concession in San Francisco.
—A Brasa stand, just like their current eatery.
—A Kramarczuk’s booth featuring many of the Eastern Euro deli treats, including the roasted cured ham and grilled sausage sandwiches that have made it justifiably famous.
—Mavericks roast beef sandwiches.
—Lurcat’s French fries, béarnaise optional—after all, it’s a ballpark.
What do you think? Local barbeque? Ideas?
Get your tickets now for the Twins weekend home stand at the Metrodome the first Friday and Saturday in August. That would be Bizarre Foods Weekend, and details will follow.
Speaking of great events, Tom Colicchio has agreed to appear at the Mpls.St.Paul Magazine Taste! event at the W Hotel on October 3 and 4. He will be doing some book signings and a few demos. Tickets go on sale August 15.
Burt Joseph, former Joseph Catering honcho, is opening a restaurant called Birch’s in the old Ravello space. Tobie Nidetz is apparently helping him with the menu. According to Joseph, the inspiration came from The Buckhorn, an old supper club that was popular in Long Lake back in the ’40s and ’50s. Think fried chicken, KC strip, mac and cheese, club salad, frog legs, etc. Sounds like the locals will have another dining option out west, and hopefully Joseph will reorient the eatery’s windows or landscape the exterior, so diners won’t have to look out over a gas station while dining.