It's time for the local corn festival in my berg. I remember riding my bike up to the church on the Friday night before the festivities, helping to shuck hundreds of ears. I'd host a marauding gang of girls at my house for the whole weekend, because I was just down the block from the fest. Sometimes we'd volunteer to work one of the game booths for a teenager who wanted to go smoke, in exchange for a liter of pop, of course. This year, one of my own teens will be working the Culver's stand, plying the throngs with custard and his Culver's smile. It's an all-you-can-eat deal, pay for a hand stamp and eat corn til you can't. Last year, sitting on the grass with butter and salt dripping down my arm from ear No. 3, it occurred to me how great it would be to have a little cotija cheese and mayo mixture, plus maybe a little Rooster sauce to kick it elote style. Maybe this year I can get the Culver's kid to hold a little stash in his custard cooler.
Azia has indeed closed, but the z lives on with tonight's opening of Thom Pham's Wondrous Azian Kitchen, which shall be henceforth shortened to Wondrous. The neon sign looks great popping on the corner. The menu looks large and happily has some of the fun things from A25 I liked (pork belly with spinach and fried egg, hamachikama) on the list of starters, soups, and curries. There'll also be sushi and they've added dim sum brunch.
Il Premio is about to open at Mystic Lake on August 20th. The Italian restaurant is the revisioning of the Ribbons Steakhouse space, so you can count on some steakhouse favorites to remain. Gamers can enjoy pizzas, pastas, focaccia flatbreads, and Italian standards at the new place.
Undoubtedly you've you heard that Mike Phillips's last day at The Craftsman is the 18th. His new venture is tied to Kieran Folliard and they plan to become the sausage kings. Green Ox will be the name of their new meat company, focusing on artisinal meats and charcuterie. HT has a good Q & A.
OK festers, this is YOUR weekend!
Best of the Fests honors has to go to . . . Garlic Fest! I love that stinkin' gig. Yeah it's in Hutchinson, but there's a Garlic Express leaving from the Mill City Farmers Market, so city clickers have no call to get snippy. Mr. James Beard Alex Roberts will be there, and we'll all have the same breath so who cares.
Let's just do a world tour, starting with the IRISH FAIR at Harriet Island today. Get your Guinness on, do a little Riverdance, but keep it family friendly, this isn't St. Paddy's Day. Then tomorrow, it's sausage and kolaczi at the POLISH FEST, before some hard-core polka moves. And finally, on Sunday you can dig INDIA FEST and find some inner peace, and maybe a nice curry.
Non-global festers can come eat some corn with me at my hometown Corn Days. If ya want. Or maybe head out to the Carver County Fair. They have an honest-to-god demolition derby on Saturday. Malachi Crunch!
A host of biggie chefs will be out at the Mpls. Farmers' Market on Sunday as part of the Toyota Farm to Table Tour. Kevin Kathman of Barbette, Jack Riebel of Dakota, Hakan Lundberg of Cosmos, and others will be paired with local farmers and their ingredients to create free snack for everyone! There's also a chance for potted herbs, test-driving enviro-yummy Prius cars, and John Boos cutting boards.
Brew at the Zoo is tonight! This is a seriously fun event benefitting the zoo. Come on, there's grizzlies, Tim Mahoney, snacks, and a ridiculously long list of local suds including Schell, Brau Bros., Flat Earth, and my new pals from Mantorville (check out the smoked porter).
And then boom, it's already time again for the Pizza Luce block party.