Photo by Katherine Harris
I love my job. Sometimes I still giggle at the fact that I'm a magazine food editor, that people actually pay me to eat cheese and drink bourbon. So you could have knocked me over with a feather steak yesterday when the Bigs at MSP Communications chose to honor me with the Brian Anderson Award for Extraordinary Service, Commitment, Performance. It's quite meaningful to me that it's named after our late great editor, the man who helped invent a kick ass magazine, who I think merely tolerated my constant joking that I swore he ate lingonberries on everything . . . the man who hired me in a down economy and put me on this path that allows me to be snarky and opinionated while I try to keep you guys laughing and full. Grateful doesn't scratch it.
>> After what seems like a lifetime (for them, I’m sure) The Nicollet Diner is finally open on Eat Street. There’s a long counter and all-day breakfast that includes chicken and waffles, breakfast burritos, skillets, Grandma’s French toast, and a buttermilk pancake sandwich with eggs and sausage (dibs). Burgers, grilled cheese, malts, and sundaes round it out. They’re not 24/7 yet, but they’re trying to be, which would make my post-event life much better.
>> Cute little Saguaro is open on South Lyndale, in a former Caribou near the creek. It’s an Abdo family venture (a stalwart restaurant family that runs The Nicollet Island Inn, My Burger, and more) and the menu is inspired by their Lebanese grandmother who lived in Tuscon and blends a bit of Mediterranean into Southwestern dishes: Sopes, braised beef tongue quesadilla, osso buco, whole roasted trout with salsa verde, and a load of tacos filled with everything from fried chicken to roasted carrots to lamb sausage.
>> Sushi Fix 2.0 will launch on Monday with a new addition, new menu items, a frightful amount of shoyu, sake, and Japanese whiskey (which I’m going to go check out in the name of due diligence this afternoon . . . See? Always working).
>> Le Town Talk French Diner & Drinkery for real, opens next Tuesday. After some training parties, they decided to hold off for a week and get things buttoned up. So smart.
>> The Four Firkins has thrown open the doors in Oakdale, so go check them out for all your crafty beer needs this weekend. BTW, join the frequent buyer club and you get a sassy little newsletter and some nice deals.
>> Byerly’s in Edina has opened with a huge new store. The spiffy thing has a mezzanine with an outdoor deck and wine and beer. Grocery shopping is just so much more fun when it includes a bump.
>> Well. It looks like Figlio is closing again. Kaskaid is dumping the name and rebranding the restaurant as a lighter Mediterranean eatery even though they “. . . had a successful run with Figlio.” Do you close and rebrand successful restaurants? The current menu already is kind of lighter Mediterranean focused, with barely any of the old Figlio favorites on there, so I’m guessing they’re going to strip the neon and call it a new day. Does anyone else notice a pattern here? Also, Kaskaid has announced that they’re opening two new spots at the MOA, this Italian spot and a burger concept, that will tie into the Mall’s expansion. Meanwhile, Stew Woodman has overhauled the menu at Crave: goodbye blackened chicken flatbread, hello duck confit flatbread. I am not mad at that.
>> It looks like Robb Jones, current Saffron bartender and all around nice guy, has been brought into the Gavin Kaysen fold to run the bar at forthcoming Merchant.
>> You haven’t had your fill of turkey legs and mead, have you? If there’s any weekend to choose to Ren Fest, it’s this one. This weekend is the Oktoberfest weekend, and it boasts Dachshund races, polka lessons, sauerkraut eating contests, and Byggvir’s Big Beer Cup in which home brewers compete for greatness.
>> Tickets are still available for the Cheese & Cider class at The Wedge & Wheel next Tuesday. Sign on to try an array of hard ciders, including some unique domestic and European brands, paired with a curated assortment of cheeses.