Maple tree tapping
Today some of us are aching for the epic snowstorm we’ve wanted all winter, and others are looking wistfully at those flip-flops they dug out last week. It’s that same competing push and pull—warm days and cold nights—that heralds the beginning of maple syrup season, spurs chefs to buy dive bars, and allows the best beer fest of the year to have a little drama.
>> Randle's is now open in the former Ling & Louie's spot on Nicollet Mall. The space has been given the sports bar treatment, with plenty of screens and wall pics of namesake former Viking John Randle. The menu is insane offering everything from Ling & Louie's holdover Asian dishes, to sushi, to burgers, to nachos, and why not, kale salad.
>> Guess what? Adele's Custard in Excelsior opens for the season next Wednesday, 3/1. So we've got THAT going for us. Which is nice.
>> Of all the news this week, the one that sucked its way into the top bits, was the announcement of the closing of Lone Grazer Creamery. There's a lot of complexities with bringing local cheese to market, and they couldn't figure out a way to make it work.
>> Looks like Crisp & Green North Loop has called March 9th their opening day!
>> Eli Wollenzien will be opening a second location of his popular Excelsior spot, Coalition. He'll be taking over the old Pearson's space (lastly 50th Street Cafe) at 50th & France, with plans to overhaul the whole space. Including the odd stone jumble exterior. Some of you might have to let that sink in and be ok with it. They're hoping to open this spring with roughly the same menu as the original, while serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
>> Whiskey fans can be psyched that Dalton & Wade Whiskey Common will be opening on the ground floor of the cool new T3 building in North Loop this summer with more than 200 varieties of American mash. Now if we could just get Jeff Healy to play at the opening.
>> Dive bars hold a certain draw, even to (or perhaps especially to) chefs. Doug Flicker and his wife Amy Greeley have bought the funky divey Sunrise Inn and plan to bleach it, patch it, give it some love and reopen it as Bull's Horn this summer. There will be juke, there will be Heggies, there will be happiness.
>> Well, tickets to the Craft Brewers Guild Winterfest have sold out, so boo. BUT you can still get some beer jollies on by hanging out at Red Cow in North Loop tonight for a little Winterfest Pre-Party gaming. Hang out with Fair State Brewing and get special deals on Raspberry Roselle and nosh, plus if you don't have tickets to the big shindig you might be able to charm some brewer into sneaking you in. Drama.
>> There's no better way to teach the rugrats that food comes from nature, than by schooling them in the very Minnesota art of maple syruping (along with the art of making up verbs). Three Rivers Park District will hook you up, starting this Sunday with a class that teaches you how to make it at home. Then through March they have sap to syrup seminars, maple syrup history trolley rides (!!), syrup festival fun, and of course a big pancake brunch at the end of the month. Fruits of your labor, and all that.
>> You thought gift markets in breweries were just for Christmas? Silly rabbit. Check out the Arctic Market Winter Pop-Up at Lakes & Legends Brewery this Sunday. Local artists galore (it's time to treat yo'self), fresh Belgian beers, plus tacos and quesadillas from intriguing looking newcomers Flagsmash (there's talk of a 14-inch Megadilla, hmmmm).
>> Bakers: please report to me on Sunday for the Baker's Field Flour & Bread Garage Door Pop-Up. I am not kidding that this freshly milled heirloom grain flour will knock your baking game into next week! Pick up breads, flours, bagels, pretzels, croutons, granola, cookies and more starting at 10am in the Food Building in NE.
>> Do you have those kids who run amok at restaurants? Licking butter off their knives, hurling bread rolls at their siblings? Wish someone else would yell at them for you? Check out these nifty manners and etiquette classes at the St. Paul Hotel being held in March. Sign them up for a three hour etiquette luncheon where they will learn social etiquette, proper introductions, and fine dining skills during a three course meal. You, go shopping or something.
>> Tuesday 2/28 might be Mardi Gras, for which you might pop out to Nola Bistro for their raucous shindig, but it's also Shrove Tuesday so pancake your heart out at Merlin's Rest if you're more about collecting carbs than beads.
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