Don't let all the hype turn you against welcoming Shake Shack to the Mall of America. Hating to hate in the name of being contentious and cool-kid is already played out this election year. Go, eat, decide. Then, once your burger belly has been malled off, consider plotting your days to enjoy Scotch in a garden, Travailian hi-jinx by a lake, or a new weekday brunch for your summer leisure time.
>> Right, so Shake Shack has opened at the Mall of America. This is their 95th location in the world and the first one located in the interior of a mall. They've said that they won't comment on whether or not they've already locked onto a city-side site, "let's get this one cooking first" and all that, but no one would be shocked to see one of those bad boys hit Dinkytown. They're using MN beef for the burgers, donating profits from a signature malt to local Open Arms, and if you've never been a big fan of their basic thin burgers, maybe check out the Chick 'n Shack sandwich: killer crispy chicken, snappy pickles and a herbed buttermilk dressing on a buttery bun. My thing? It's the consistency and the culture that makes them winners.
** If the line is too long, might I suggest a sojourn at Disco Fries across the way where there's a gold booth and the spuds are loaded? Also, you should know that East Coast PYO glaze donut shop Fractured Prune is opening across the hall.
>> It has been confirmed after a lot of rumoring, Uptown Thai restaurant Roat Osha will leave their current location and move into Calhoun Square's vacant Chiang Mai Thai spot.
>> There's a new neighborhood in Mpls., called East Town, and it's getting a new bar and restaurant from Dermot Cowley: McKinney Roe will have a huge bar and enviable sight lines right to the new stadium.
>> Todd Macdonald and Luke Shimp of Red Cow will indeed be opening a new restaurant together, an as yet unnamed pizza/pasta joint in the North Loop.
>> Fun news came from Mighty Axe Hops last weekend, Eric Sannerud and Ben Boo announced that they'll be moving their production to a new 80-acre site, which is just a tad bigger than their current 3 acre site and makes them the largest hop growers in the state. They'll break ground on the first 40 this year, and the other 40 the year after that. Hop onward!
>> Coastal Seafoods, which changed they way this town thought of tuna, has been sold to Chicago based Fortune Fish & Gourmet. Wholesale will be renamed to match the parent company, but the retail locations will remain as Coastal.
>> I think it must be time to refresh your rec room, Summerize it if you will. Well nothing achieves this better than the Posters and Pints sales that happen at Uppercut Gym, and one is happening this Saturday. Beer themed $30 posters from local artists, many with a snappy eye, may be perused while you sip samples from local craft breweries, and the whole shebang is a fundraiser benefiting Art Buddies. Way better than that rope bridge Ikea print.
>> On June 15, Tongue in Cheek will be launching a new weekday brunch on W-F, because it's summer and we deserve to live. You'll be able to score their great #HowWeBrunch deal during the week, where you get an Eye Opener cocktail, two teasers, an entree and a coffee all for $25, but don't sleep on those Belgian waffles. Literally.
>> Here's what he's NOT telling you: Dad loves a cook-out, but Dad doesn't want to actually have to work the coals for a cook-out. Set him, and you, up to win with Father's Day at Create Catering's Dining Studio where the picnic benches will be lined up, the wet-naps plentiful, and the goats and pigs professionally whole roasted. It runs from 6-9:30 with special pricing for kids, so bring the whole crew!
>> I have to applaud the American Craft Council for pairing up so smartly with the finely crafted Balvenie Scottish Whisky, it sure puts the fun in fundraising. Support the ACC with Scotch in the Garden on June 19, wherein you will sample the fine whisky of Balvenie while touring through the historic grounds of Summit Avenue's Dittenhofer House. Not a bad Sunday at all.
>> Finally! A farm dinner for architecture buffs (read: hey mom!). Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin in Spring Green, WI is hosting its first series of farm dinners on the property. June 25 is the first of three that will highlight the ideals of FLW, the uses of the land, and the culture of the property. Four course meals made with local ingredients and paired with beer and wine, might also include an optional hike around the property, a discussion with cultured notables, or even an walk through the vineyard and an apple pressing later in the season.
>> Travailians are at it again in the water. The Travail Lake Side Party is going down on June 26 this year, and boy howdy does it look like a whip. Your $10 gets you in for all the live music and nutso yard games, but be ready to bring cash for food and drink tickets for things like potato salad tacos, Yucatan style shrimp, elote corn, fried chicken, sexy avocados with crispy garlic and carne asada among other things.