Photo courtesy of LynLake Brewery
Just kidding. But if I was a gamblin' girl, and you know I like the ponies, my money would be on a brewery rooftop to be ready and open for Saturday's 52. Not that there won't be a heap load of beer in St. Paul this weekend, or a new ramen house for you to swarm, or a room to book in which you can safely belt out ABBA's Winner Takes It All.
>> Some say love, it is a river that drowns the tender reed who can't face the karaoke stage. Fear not, young rose, Encore Karaoke & Sushi Lounge is now open in the former Verdant Tea Lounge in Seward and there are no less than 11 private karaoke lounges complete with couches, screens, a monster catalog of songs, and best of all, sound-proofing. Plus, in between sets, all the sushi and drink you need to get your Gaynor on.
>> Ramen alert! Kung Fu Noodles is now open on Eat Street, attached to Shuang Hur market. It's a dark room with a contemporary design, not as kitchsy-cool as either Zen Box or Kazama, but they've got the bowls. Beef, pork, kimchi, veggie ramen among other dishes like Chinese noodles, sandwiches, buns, and more.
>> Piada Street Food, after opening an initial location in Chanhassen, is now open at MOA.
>> Dogwood's newest coffee bar location is in St. Paul, tucked right in the neighborhood near Foxy Falafel. Sort midway between Mpls. and StP if you ask me. It's a sharp little shop with a some sleek design and touch of neon, plus an excellent upgrade of chocolate drinks!
>> Macy's Southdale has closed the Marketplace area, and Ali Kaplan basically says "WTF".
>> The Taste of Minnesota has officially called it quits, the announcement coming from Linda Maddox, who was married to founder Ron. I went the last two years out in Waconia, and it was running on fumes. I think in the world of food trucks and beer fests and other food fairs, it was too expensive and just couldn't hold sway. Not that someone won't buy the name, slap the word "curated" on it somewhere, and revive it to become a smash hit. Bygones.
>> The guys from Forage Modern Workshop and Blue Door Pub have teamed up to open the Hi-Lo Diner in Longfellow, opening in March.
>> Don't know if you've heard, but Jack Link's (the gas station beef stick treat) is planning to open a "retail and restaurant experience" in the new Mayo Square downtown Mpls. There's lots of talk of passion and innovation and growth, but not so much about snack-stick cuisine. So there's that.
>> It's crazy, but true, that there are a few tickets left for the MN Craft Brewer's Guild Winterfest beer party this weekend at the Union Depot. Go tonight or tomorrow and take in more than 80 breweries and brewpubs all sporting multiple beers. My pal Ryan over at MN Beer gives you five beers to try while you're there.
>> Winter Market of the Week: The Neighborhood Roots Market (Nokomis, Fulton, and Kingfeild markets) at Bachman's on Lyndale. Open at 9am on Saturday.
>> If your Sunday won't be spent watching gowns and tuxes on E!, maybe it should be spent watching tacos. The Taco Throwdown at East Lake Brewery will pit Hot Indian, Manny's Tortas, and Taco Cat against each other in an epic battle. For $25 you get two beers, three tacos, a pint glass, and a vote in crowning the victor.
>> Go explore a new neighborhood at Sunday's Taste of Downtown Longfellow. Pop into the cluster of restaurants that include Le Town Talk, El Nuevo Rodeo, and Midori's Floating World, for $5 small plates, drink specials, live music, and prizes!
>> If you DO want to watch the Oscars out on the town, two good options: Head to Brit's Pub where there are food and drink specials, FREE popcorn, and big screens. Or go to LynLake Brewery where they'll be showing the night of nights on a big screen too.