The ultimate decision this Sunday isn't about which team to support, it's about which salsa to use as the spackling in your snack stadium! If ever there was a high holiday for guacamole, this is it. But the weekend is wide, so don't forget to hit the beer tent at the Loppet, grab a cupcake from a new television darling, or throw your hat in the ring for Top Chef. I believe in you.
>> After 15 years, First Course Bistro, that cute little south Minneapolis restaurant has shuttered its doors.
>> Linden Hills gets a patisserie! John Kraus of Patisserie 46 is opening Rose Street Patisserie this spring in the same building as Upton 43. Guess what, it's a really good story.
>> Pioneering El Burrito Mercado is getting ready for the next 36 years. Founders Thomas and Maria Silva have handed over the business to their daughters, making it a fully Latina owned company (el podor esta en manos de las mujeres, haHA!!) Milissa Silva-Diaz announced that they will expand into the space next door to grow their restaurant and add live music, while also working on a new patio space and possible taco stand. Elote for all!
>> Green + the Grain, a food truck turned salad shop, has revealed that their second Minneapolis skyway outpost will be in the Roanoke Building, in the former Cousin's Sub shop across from Vellee Deli. Construction is underway.
>> The iconic Minneapolis Grain Belt sign will soon be back in commission. Schell's Brewing, who now owns the brand, has closed on the deal to buy it and plan to celebrate it's restoration with the release of a new beer, Lock & Dam copper ale, this summer. (PS .. this Saturday is 30th annual BOCK FEST down at the brewery, which is an outdoor beer party totally worth the road trip).
>> Did you see how well our little Copper Hen Cakery did on NBC's Restaurant Startup this week? Joe Bastianich had ALL sorts of good things to say about Danielle Bjorling's cooking and then gave them a pile of cash. Oh and Chelsea Clinton stopped by for lunch. Kind of a big week.
>> Pack you knives and get to Spoon and Stable on Feb. 12 if you think you have what it takes to compete on Top Chef. Auditions start at 9 a.m. for this casting call for season 192. Who do you think will throw in? Jorge Guzman? Adam Eaton? Christina Nguyen? We need to represent.
>> It's important to know that you don't have to be ANY kind of ski bunny to enjoy this weekend's City of Lakes Loppet. You can lope around and watch people play that weird Kubb game, you can watch carvers make magic snow sculptures (sans carrot nose), and of course you can walk the luminary trail and end up at the Surly Beer Garden where food trucks await.
>> Actually, just keep loping North and hit up Tattersall on Saturday for Skalstock 2016, in which all things Nordic are celebrated. Get on your woolie clogs and enjoy some great snacks from Ingebretsens while you sip your aquavit. Prizes for the Ole and Lena with the most spirit then!
>> We rounded up your game day bars and all that they have to offer (your own keg?!?!), but what if you don't want to leave the squoosh of your own couch? I got your Game Day Take Out: Wings from the Blue Door Pub are a ridiculously good idea. Terzo is selling pick-up porchetta by the bucket if you so desire. Birch's Brewhouse is offering growlers with platter of everything from fried chicken to smoked ribs and crab hotdish. Tune into the Weekly Dish this Saturday for more!
>> Set the tone for the Year of the Monkey at a Chinese New Year dinner at Rainbow Chinese this Monday. Pryes Brewing will be along to coordinate beer and sake pairings, and you'll be able court health, wealth and love simply by tucking into Dungeness crab wontons, bacon fried rice, and Buddha's Delight noodles. A lucky $88 covers dinner and drink pairings.
>> Don't forget about Fat Tuesday y'all. We don't have a great history of celebrating Mardi Grad really well up here in da Nort (other than eating all the pancakes), but that could change. Check out the party at Crooked Pint where there will be $8 beer cheese lucys and all-you-can-eat pub fries (plus $3 pints and a wing eating contest). Or head over to Smack Shack where the hurricanes will be flowing and the gumbo will be warm. If you really want to soak in the bayou traditions, head up to Bistro LaRoux in Circle Pines where they're throwing a doozy of a party with Summit Beer, and their special Peppered Pale Ale, along with jumbalaya, etoufee and some sweltering Dixieland Jazz bands.
>> You're going to need to get on this one fast: FREE ribs from Saint Dinette with FREE cocktails from Easy & Oskey on Feb. 12 at the Rayette Lofts. Kick off Valentine's Day weekend the cheap way, then splurge later. Only open to 50 peeps so sign up now!
photo by Martí Sans