Good news for St. Paul-ites. Finally, The River City outpost of Salut, the wildly successful Edina French American brasserie, opens mid-June, according to what I hear. That’s good news for Grand Ave. denizens in particular, and I can guarantee you it will do wonderful business there. It’s an easy concept to like, serving accessible food in a comfy space, it’s priced right, and it sits smack-dab in the middle of one of the most underserved restaurant areas in the metro.
Speaking of openings, 3 Squares opens today in Maple Grove, part of the Blue Plate Restaurant Company’s family of restaurants that includes Highland Grill, Edina Grill, Groveland Tap, and Longfellow Grill. In today’s sketchy economic times, a casual restaurant serving recognizable fare is exactly what the ‘burbs need more of.
The Bayport Cookery’s Morel Mushroom Fest begins May 8 and will run until June 28. This year’s twist is Jim Kyndberg’s Ten Year Celebration Dinner, a ten-course meal honoring Jim’s ten years of ownership at The Bayport Cookery. Ten years is a heck of a run and worth celebrating under any circumstances. Check out its website for reservations.
For Food Network fans, Bobby Flay will be at Mall of America on Sunday, May 11. Flay will be signing copies of his first full-color, fully illustrated grilling cookbook, Bobby Flay’s Grill It! The event runs 3–5 p.m.
In other FN news, Paula Deen is going into syndication, something we need less of, not more. Deen has a few problems to deal with. Remember last year when I wrote about her Smithfield sponsorship and the inherent conflict with sponsorship from a company with a worker health history such as Smithfield?
Well, Atlanta-area churches are joining a campaign to get Paula Deen to meet with injured and abused workers from Smithfield, the company she promotes. Rev. Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Rev. Lowery, Danny Glover, Susan Sarandon, Judge Greg Mathis, National Hispanic Leadership Conference, and others have mounted a national campaign to support the Smithfield workers and are pressing Deen to follow up on her promise she made in previous interviews on Larry King Live to meet with these Smithfield workers who have been fighting for more than a decade to improve the working situation in Tar Heel, North Carolina.
According to an e-mail I received from friends in the South,
"At the Smithfield Tar Heel plant workers suffer crippling injuries. They endure excessive line speeds and receive inadequate training to do their jobs. A 2007 Research Associates of America report, using company data from federal safety and health reports, reveals that injuries at Smithfield Tar Heel went up 200 percent between 2003 and 2006.
In 2006, a federal appeals courts enforced the National Labor Relations Board decision that found that the company assaulted people, harassed and threatened violence against the Tar Heel workers during an election in 1997. Human Rights Watch, an organization that normally documents abuses by foreign governments, published two reports, in 2000 and 2005, decrying the dangerous conditions and numerous abuses that workers faced at the Tar Heel plant. Similar to the Kathie Lee Gifford controversy, the ministers want Paula Deen to meet with workers and are appealing to her sense of morality and faith to ultimately speak out on their behalf."