I'm still giggling on this Fresh Forkin' Friday as I think about my little April Fool's Day joke. A friend and I were having dinner at Corner Table when our server, in a conspiratorial whisper, asked if we would be willing to help her play a joke on her boss, Scott Pampuch. Kitchen hi-jinx? Sh'yah. I told her to go get me a band-aid from the kitchen kit before the next course. I slipped it on my finger, and worked it a little to make it look really worn. Our next course came and it was a small sandwich, perfect. I slipped the band-aid beneath the lettuce, just poking out the side, and sent it back with our sneaky server. There was a good full minute of heavy silence in the kitchen before we heard the laughter. Apparently Scott had gone ghostly white, turned to his pastry chef, who had done the lettuce that day, and with a time-halting voice asked "Have you at any time today had a band-aid on?" Properly freaked out, and most likely retracing every second of her life, she stood mute. Our server apparently let the torturous clock tick a few more seconds before calling the bluff. I was afraid Scott wasn't going to give me back my sandwich, but he was a good sport. Thank goodness because the deadly-fantastic pastrami sandwich, made with one of the most softly dense brioche buns I've ever experienced, would have been too high a price to pay for a laugh.
- Mt. Fuji is finally open in the old Mysore building in Uptown. I popped in yesterday, and the space is sleekly done in dark charcoal tones with pops of bright green and red. I usually hate menus with pictures, but this one was nicely done, the photos of the creative sushi were actually appealing. The restaurant doing more than sushi, offering a Pan-Asian menu featuring things like pad-thai, stir-fries, and mango chicken.
- El Burrito Mercado has remodeled and expanded the El Cafe Restaurant at its location in the District del Sol. With an enhanced wine list and bigger seafood selection during dinner, maybe this should more than just your flautas-to-go place. TWINS FAN BONUS: El Burrito will be selling on the Metrodome plaza starting next week with the opener. Churros, pork-filled tamales, bean-and-cheese burritos, and Jarritos are all worthy pre-game snacks.
If this recession means the further proliferation of bar menus, shine on. I am a fan of bar dining, especially when out with the girls and chatting leads to eating (as it always does). There seem to be more and more hotsy-totsy places rolling out the carpet, and Oceanaire's new bar menu is my latest fascination. Available only in the bar are crab cake and tuna sliders, Old Bay chips, spicy fried calamari, even a spicy tuna tartare. It also offers a "black n' bleu" bar steak for less than $14. There's also a new by-the-glass list in the bar, with ten wines for less than $9.
Taking the White House's lead? Think you, too, could don some overalls and dig in the dirt for the love of making your own tomato sauce? Maybe you want a little guidance before you rent the roto-tiller. Gardening Matters is holding its Spring Resource Fair this Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in St. Paul. It's free, but a $3 donation would be good karma.
Shepherd's Way Farms want to be your cheese guru. It is now offering classes and personalized cheese tastings. Get an inside look at artisan cheesemaking down on the farm, just outside of Northfield. During the April 26th or May 17th class, you'll go over the basics, sample and discuss cheese, and learn a few hands-on techniques. The afternoon will swing you $85, but the class is limited to fifteen, so it's pretty intensive. Register soon.