If you broke up with nature over winter, the popping of fiddlehead ferns (and scapes and ramps) is like her way of saying, "Hey babe, let's give this another shot." And with a swish of butter, you're back in. So, since you have an extra day or two to actually file your taxes, why not spare some time for nature? Put the top down and cruise to a seasonal drive-in, indulge in some spargel, or go watch a movie about wonderful bugs (and then eat them). It's a new green world—anything can happen.
>> Bartmann is back in her formerly Third Bird/Bearcat space with a new idea: The Bird. She's keeping the Loring Park space as a breakfast and lunch spot and offering nosh like juices, smoothies, quinoa pancakes, spring cobb salad, roasted turkey sandwich, and that delish bologna sandwich that popped up during the last iteration. They'll offer the space for events and pop-ups during evening hours.
>> Dave, who is Famous for BBQ, has launched Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse in the former Chatterbox spot on France/44th. It's a cute counter-service spot with all the right wood-burning smells, smoky ribs, pulled pork sammies, brisket, and these whacked out crazy bowls in which many things are thrown together (like chicken, mashed potatoes, mac n cheese, cole slaw, party corn, and BBQ sour cream) and it somehow works. Meat by the pound, Smokehouse packs, and Pitmaster platters will feed the fam.
>> Hell's Kitchen has launched a Power Salad Bar (making use of that 35ft long Bloody Mary bar when it's not the weekend). Getting in on the healthy bowl game, HK allows you to choose your own adventure, adding ancient grains or greens to your bowl IN THE AMOUNTS YOU WANT, so no more skimping on the feta (I'm looking at you rhymes-with-Smeshii). Or pick up one of their pre-made bowls, perhaps the Thai Mango Peanut Crunch or the Original Crack Salad) and get moving. It runs from 11a-2p M-F, larger bowls are $10.95 and mediums run $7.95.
>> SEASONALS AHOY!! The Dari-ette Drive-In is now open for saucy meatballs and pizza burgers in St. Paul. The Minnetonka Drive In is open for chicken dinner, house-made root beer, and classic cars on Thursday nights. And Sandcastle on Lake Nokomis, with its fat BLTs and fry bread, will open next Fri. 4/21.
>> Hey, did you vote in our Best Restaurants Readers Poll? Wanna know the results? Of course you do.
>> I'm betting my German Opa wasn't the only grandfather to flick errant elbows on the table, and surely someone in every country around the world has laughed so hard at another family member, that some sort of beverage has been shot out of some kind of nose. I think these are important stories, and so does Daniel Klein of the celebrated Perennial Plate. Think about giving him a few bucks so that he can tell these kinds of stories to whole new sets of ears.
>> The MSPIFF has kicked off with a few great foodist films you need to check out. The Chocolate Case is about a candy bar that fights slavery, Theater of Life focuses on Mossimo Bottura's mission to make waste food into beautiful food for those in need, and The Gateway Bug is all about how we're going to eventually start eating crickets, so why not start now. In fact you can see that film and then head to the Bug Banquet at GYST, which is a four course dinner of tasty bugs. Yes, there will be wine, and yes, there will be an appearance by Andrew Zimmern. If you're not feeling buggy, you can always take your ticket stub to these local hot spots for some post show deals.
>> The James Beard Awards has nominated two of our finest chefs to compete in the Best Chef Midwest category this year, so you think there'd be lots of snippery and trash-talking, yeah? Oh cripes, nah, not here in MN. Instead, Steven Brown of St. Genevieve and Jorge Guzman of Surly and all of their kitchen crews are throwing a dinner party on Tu. 4/18, and you can come. Join in the love fest for a six course beer dinner, with limited release brews, all in for $180. Tastes like winning.
>> It's time to get wild with Babetender Night at Constantine. On Tu. 4/18, a trio of women (Katie Dimick, Anne Clifford, and Megan Luedtke who all happen to be badass bartenders) will take over the bar and pour drinks while wearing full animal drag. Onesies encouraged. It's all in the name of comfort and do-goodery: all tips will be donated to Wildlife Rehabilitation Center MN.
>> It seems like Tu. 4/18 is already stacked, but if you can swing by BauHaus Brew Labs for a beer, you'll be helping babies born in Syrian refugee camps. All proceeds, profits, tips, and monies from this special night will go to Heroic Hearts Org which puts Parcels of Love (formula, blankets, healthcare items, etc.) in the hands of mothers and babies in the camps.
>> Is it Spargelfest already? According to Meritage, ja. Get over there to celebrate everyone's favorite spring crop, asparagus or spargel (SPAR-gull) auf German. Starting Th. 4/20 and running through 5/07, they'll be featuring special dishes and menus focused on the green spears, but also the more delicate and prized white spears too. This is one of the best carry-overs from Brasserie Zentral days.
>> Dust off your favorite crop talk for Sat. 4/22, because it's Seward Co-Op's Annual CSA Fair. It's like speed dating your farmers, but you're just chatting up the growers, seeing what they've done in the past, and figuring out who's your soul-grower. That may be too much pressure.
>> Get your calendars inked in for Blue Fin Bay's Food & Wine Lovers Weekend, May 5-6. It's always nice to have your north shore viewing sided with multi-course dinners and wine pairings, no? This year they've got a whole new culinary team and wines from Napa to lure you up, and if you have time to take it all in, your fourth night is free!
>> Prepare for the Twin Cities Burger Battle, babykins. Tickets are on sale for the May 20 event on Harriet Island where some 25 restos will griddle up patties to win your hearts and waistlines. Red Cow took home top honors last year, will they be able to bring it back for an unprecedented second win?
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