Maybe you've spilled enough Guinness this week to not notice that we'll officially get to Spring this weekend (despite snowy notes from up north). The seasonals are popping open, there are tiki drinks on the calendar, and it's already time to start plotting which CSA fair you'll attend. Plus, all that time spent perfecting your grilled cheese this winter could finally pay off, in cash.
>> Open officially on Monday, but perhaps a little softly this weekend, is Handsome Hog in Lowertown. It's a sassy revamp of Bin Wine Bar with plush booths and curated pretty bits that brings of touch of glam to the low-country menu from chef Justin Sutherland: shrimp 'n' grits. crispy pig tails, pickle brined roasted chicken, a 24 hour smoked brisket, and plenty of bourbon.
>> The Rabbit Hole is relaunching lunch! The MGM spot will be open for lunch starting next week, Tu.-Sat. from 11am-4pm, which will roll right into dinner. Now day-noshers can score some KFC (Korean fried chicken), daily stuffed bao buns, those killer bop bowls, and an Appa Goober burger if you need one. Mondays are dinner only.
>> BREATHE IT IN people, it's great to be alive: hey, SEASONALS!! Conny's Creamy Cone is open in St. Paul, Dari-ette Drive-In will start chucking pizza burgers at you this Saturday, Harbor View in Pepin is open as of today, A to Z Produce and Bakery (a.k.a the PIzza Farm) opened this past Tuesday, and the Minnetonka Drive-In where I bike for rootbeer and drummies (I earned it!) is ready for us all.
>> Bonnie's Cafe on University, next to the Dubliner, has closed and I'm a little miffed. I liked that place and it felt real and shielding, like a Mom's place and it's a moment of diner life that will slip away and we will likely get a cool very non-Mom's beer bar thing with fat burgers and guess what we have enough of those.
>> Big news for those of us who were frustrated by last summer's downtown Minneapolis Thursday farmers market (which stretched along busy busy Hennepin Ave in random plops). This summer the Thursday market will move to the Government Center South Plaza where there is grass and not as many angry buses and we can all be together and eat our squares of cheese and candied almonds.
>> Hot Heads: please report to Bent Brewstillery this Saturday for the release of the small batch sriracha, Isabel Street Heat sauce, which was aged in Dark Fatha Imperial Stout barrels. A one-two punch, to be sure.
>> Graze 4 Good is always a fun and dishy event, and this year it's being held at Surly Brewing! Head over on Sunday with all sorts of youngish philanthropist foodist types to nosh on treats from chefs Steven Brown, Jorge Guzman, Doug Flicker, Christina Nguyen, Katie Gerdes, and Landon Schoenefeld. All the proceeds go to fund grants for this year's focus issue, mental health.
>> Next Thursday the 24th, you can staycation at Eat Street Social's tiki lounge The Torpedo Room, which will be featuring the libations of Norseman Distillery and some snacks from the (still almost open) Pimento Kitchen.
>> Have you heard about CITY OF GOLD, the new documentary about Pulitzer Prize winning food writer Jonathan Gold's career treks through Los Angeles? Pretty much everyone loves it, and I can't WAIT to see it. You can see it at the Lagoon Cinema starting next weekend, and if you act fast you can buy tickets to a special screening with a post-movie Q&A with Andrew Zimmern (who comments in the film) led by yours truly!
>> Grilled gouda ... was that the way you made it through the torpor of winter? Well you still have time to perfect your recipe for the Grilled Cheese Recipe Showdown to win $15,000 (that's a lot of cheddar) from the Wisconsin Cheese Board. Starting April 1 you can enter your masterpiece sammy in the dairy battle supreme. Perhaps you want to check out the past winners and see what kind of griddle game they play, because someone from California won it last year, and that's just not cool.
>> I hate to tell you but some CSA farms are already booked solid for the season, but don't panic, just brew some tea and look through the Annual CSA Guide. Or get your calendar ready for Seward Co-op's CSA Fair during which you can ask all the awkward questions you want (like: so does it hurt the cow ... when you pull ... on ... the ...) directly to the farmers on April 16.
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