All hail the ultimate expression of fried dough! Today is the day in which your office box of donuts can be righteously justified by someone slapping a date on the calendar. God bless 'em. Think of it as carbo-loading for all the activities afoot: A week simultaneously dedicated to both cider and Negronis, the largest one-day festival (which has busted through to two days), the first of the new summer classic Open Streets, and of course, all Magnus all weekend. Sprinkles up!
>> Bread delivery by bike is only great if you live within their biking distance, yeah? Well, don't hire a realtor yet, because Brake Bread has opened their St. Paul bakery doors to the public and now you can shop their tasty yeasty things with no bikes involved. Check them out on West 7th, which is becoming a very cool 'hood. You might call that realtor after all.
>> Hauteque Soulhut BBQ is taking over Haute Dish from June 6-9, tossing out the regular menu for a backyard bbq situation in North Loop. Think smoked ribs, brisket, smoked bologna sandwich, fried pickles, catfish bites, and the like. THEN, when your regularly scheduled Haute Dish returns, it will open for LUNCH for the first time in six years, starting June 13. Get your crispy chicken club with a side of smoked trout potato salad for 11sies.
>> Shake Shack opens at the MOA at 11am next Thursday and I feel like that is going to be an interesting thing to watch (after I stuff my face with cheeseburger).
>> The restaurant that will soon be taking the place of South Minny neighborhood charmer First Course is called Xavi Restaurant. Industry vets chef Michael Agan and James Elm are in charge of winning you over with modern American plates. Look for an opening this month.
>> Blue Plate Restaurant Co. came down with the big news yesterday: Fall is going to rock for them. They will be taking over the former Brasserie Zentral space and launching Mercury Dining Room & Rail. The Foreign Legion space will become Shindig Event Center space for meetings and weddings and private events. Nearly simultaneously, they'll relaunch the old Scusi spot as Bottle Rocket, with a more playful attitude and a new bar. AND, they've bought a farm in New Prague, but that's really on a 10 year plan.
>> It's Negroni Week, y'all! From June 6-12 some 25+ restaurants and bars across the metro (in conjunction with thousands across the country) will be offering special house variations on the classic drink and giving a portion of the proceeds to their charity of choice. Check out the list of venues, see what they're offering, and map out a plan because a Saint Dinette Negroni Puebla benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project will be vastly different from The Rabbit Hole's Big Easy Negroni Sour benefiting the Family Enhancement Center. Gather a plan while you're at the Negroni Week launch party at Heyday on Monday.
>> It's Cider Week, y'all! From June 6-11 the folks at Town Hall Brewery are celebrating the craft cider movement, which is strong locally. There will be cider tap takeovers at all Town Hall locations, a cider dinner, and a home cider competition, which all culminates with a Cider Fest event on Saturday Jun 11 in conjunction with Republic 7 Corners. $35 gets you in and sipping hard to find ciders and cult bottles from the makers themselves.
>> Open Streets has become one of those cool city rhythms of summer. This Sunday, Lyndale Ave will be closed between 22nd and 42nd streets to all motorists, leaving a wide swath of boulevard for walkers, skaters, strollers, bikers, footers, and the like. Along the stretch you'll find tasty deals and parking lot parties abounding.
>> St. Paul's biggest one day party has broken through to two. Grand Old Days is now on Saturday and Sunday, but most of the edible and drinkable joy can be found on Sunday during the traditional block party. There will be plenty of music stages and a Grand Old beer garden, plus a street load of concessions, food trucks, and neighborhood restaurants to stuff your gut.
>> The 8th annual St. Paul Summer Beer Fest is going down on Saturday at the State Fair Grounds, kicking off summer beer fest season. From 2-5pm, the International Bazar will be buzzing with craft beers from over 100 breweries. The $60 VIP ticket gets you in an hour earlier from the $45 general admission price.
>> St. Paul is hopping this weekend! Don't forget to swing by Cook's of Crocus Hill annual yard sale unitl 5pm today and tomorrow. There are always some killer steals and the stock is refreshed to that all the Le Crueset doesn't get nabbed in the first round.
>> Superstar chef Magnus Nilsson is in town, and he's pretty much hanging out at the American Swedish Institute all weekend. But if you missed out on the sold out dinner tonight, you can always scoot over to Heyday for the afterparty with $5 slices of pizza (a Magnus rave!) and $4 Fernet Cokes starting at 10:30.
>> After you're done slogging beer all weekend, get over to Monello for the Somm Slam on Tuesday Jun. 7. Watch top winos (a.k.a. sommeliers) as they go head to head pairing food with wine. Best part? You get to judge the winner. Actually the best part is eating four courses of Mike DeCamp's food and drinking all that wine before getting judgey, who am I kidding. Will Nico Giraud of Meritage pair shockingly stylish shoes with his wines? Will Nick Rancone skip the man bun in an attempt to distract? Will Chuck Kanski do what he does best and get everyone Kanskied before they vote? Only your $125 ticket will get you the answers.
>> No one would question Pizzeria Lola's Ann Kim on her love of The Purple One, so it should not shock that there will be a mighty celebration on Prince's birthday at Lola. Head over on Tuesday June 7 for a special night with DJ's spinning Prince vinyl, surprise food specialties and other tricksy things from 5-10pm. 100% of the profits from the night will go to the Mixed Blood Theater which was special to both Prince and Ms. Kim. Go! Wear purple! Dance your ass off.
>> There's a new Wednesday night market in the city. Riverplace Market launched this last Wednesday down at St. Anthony Main with a bunch of food vendors, food trucks, and artisans. It runs from 3-7pm, so it's really like a happy hour market, which is good to avoid gridlock traffic and sadness.
>> Do not forget to check out the happenings at Three Rivers Parks as the summer rolls. You might have already missed the How to Build a Bread Oven class, but there are so many more, like this wild medicinal and edible herb walk happening out at Gale Woods Farm on June 11.