Here's a little story for your Fresh Forkin' Friday.
The other night, I held a little salsa party at my house. I wish it were of the dancing variety, but, alas, I am German, and we're stoic. Anywho, I have one friend who is the hot-stuff blowhard, the Heat Miser. You know the guy, the one who's always asking for more hot sauce at restaurants, complaining that there are no five-chili rated dishes on the menu, that kind of nonsense. After he saw me kicking habanero butt at Chino, he was all over me: Yeah, but you haven't had MY habanero salsa, yada, yada. So I arranged a little get-together of some spicy pals, and we decided to do a blind tasting.
He poured his signature salsa into a bowl, and I poured locally made Curt's. Did I forget to mention that Curt's Triple Hot came home with the 2009 Scovie Awards first place ribbon for habanero salsa? Maybe I did. And it's not that the Heat Miser's wasn't hot, it was just hot in a sucking-on-jumper-cables kind of way, all scarred flesh and no flavor. Even the Miser had to admit that Curt's was superior, delivering the beautiful sweaty heat bloom, but then rounding it out with tangy flavor. For a while, our noses ran, we chased the last bits of tomato from the bowl, and no one was German.
Let's just get this over with right away:
- Kay's Wine Bar & Bistro in Maple Grove closed its doors. It's just a tad bit sadder to see an independent sink in a sea of chains.
- Word is that Scandia Bake Shop will have its last day tomorrow, unless some uber-angel floats down with a bucket of money to fix their lease issues.
- Morelos Mex Grill on Nicollet and 26th has gone dark.
On the other hand, Il Vesco Vino has reopened in its new space on West 7th in St. Paul. Vacating the red brick Victorian mansion on Selby, the Italian restaurant took over the old El Patio space and gave it a scrubbing. The new location provides more room for live music, which will happen on weekends.
Mt Fuji Sushi is about to open in the old Mysore Cafe on Hennepin in Uptown, but don't ask me when. I called to find out, and they were super cagey. "Why do you need to know this information? What are you going to do with it?" Um, well I was sort of feeling happy that people were persevering, and I wanted to support you by giving you my money and helping to get people excited. Maybe it's a Jedi mind trick.
Cam Rahn Bay, a Vietnamese restaurant in Eden Prairie, will be opening another outpost in Plymouth next to Joe Senser's.
Did anyone know that Teahouse, the very authentic Szechuan place with a cultish following in Plymouth and St. Paul, had a skyway spot? I had no idea of the existence of T-Express in the Towle Building, but I'll go check it out and report back.
Gabe's by the Park has changed its name to Gabe's Roadhouse. Not much has changed, but it has added a new dinner menu featuring dishes like Chicken Kiev, roast rack of lamb, and beef bourguignon stew. The picture on the website makes it look like fine dining, but it still has Ladies' Night and broomball teams, so I don't think it is.