Photo by Wing Young Huie
>> Remember Fireside Pizza in Richfield, the one with the giant fake tree in the middle of the room, and all the wood paneling and indoor shingling you could ever hope for? Well, they've been closed for a few months and plan to reopen on Monday as Fireside Foundry. Long gone is the tree, and the new remodel brings brick and industrial touches to the place. Plus new menu items, but plenty of good old get-it-in-your-pie-hole pizza like before.
>> That little alleyway in between the old Askov and the new Askov is officially official. Also that sausage cart is out there during the week, and this Saturday there's going to be a hootenanny.
>> Woodbury is getting a new taco shop. Cien Tacos is prepared to throw down the gauntlet on Aug. 16 and open the doors to what they're calling "the suburb's first authentic Taqueria" at Bielenberg and Tamarack. They are tossing big smack talk around, from their press release: “What most Midwesterners identify as South-of-the-Border cuisine is actually very watered-down and incomplete,” explains Chef Oscar Bustos. “Cien Tacos will change all that. I can’t wait until people who’ve only been to chain Mexican restaurants try our food.”He laughs, “It will be hard to go back.” They are also promising pastor, barbacoa, and lengua along with guajillo-braised short rib and spicy chorizo, plus more than 100 ways to top your taco.
>> The love, it keeps coming. This week Bon Appetit steps up to the mic and shouts out for THREE locals in its roundup of the 50 Best New Restaurants (which will get pared down to Hot10 in the September issue, baited breathers). Shiny gold stars went out to Hola Arepa, Spoon and Stable, and Heyday for being top notch . . . but we already knew that, yeah?
>> Also, Hell's Kitchen loves you. Its love language comes in the form of free parking, free beer, and free peanut butter all month long as it celebrates the first-ever Customer Appreciation Month. Because no one loves a door mat, they're offering this affection only until Aug. 31, so get in there and cuddle.
>> Trust me, you do not want to miss this. The Little Mekong Night Market is happening both tonight and Saturday, from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. in St. Paul. You will NOT be able to deny the good smells emanating from those stalls, seek out some Filipino lumpia if you know what's good for you.
>> Then squeeze some summer out of a Monday and give the Target Field Station night market a go. THE MARKET (I'll allow them their ALL CAPS branding, but I'm going to pass on the wanton use of loose punctuation) will happen every Monday in August from 4:30-8:30 p.m. Why not swing by for some fruits, veggies, kombucha, NateDogs, T-Rex Cookies, and the like before heading out of the city. It will keep you from hating life in rush hour and if you decide to take in a screening of Ratatouille on the 10th, I swear your blood pressure will lower by five points.
>> Ok, if you're in the North Loop on Saturday, you better be wearing party pants, because first it's Crayfest in which you go to Smack Shack and suck all the mudbugs you can suck while drinking beer/hurricanes and listening to music. Then, you head down the block to North Loop Fest near Cuzzy's for more live music. Finally, you make your way over to the Pizza Luce Block Party by 9 p.m. to see Har Mar Superstar. (If you don't own those kind of party pants, maybe don a flirty shirt and scoot to the other end of town for the Uptown Art Fair.)
>> If all these things make you squidgey and you think you want to get OUT of town, consider the Carver County Fair this weekend. Besides corn dogs and cheese curds, there is an honest-to-gawd demolition derby along with a for-real Rock Paper Scissors tournament, a midway, and a 4H cat show.
>> Plan ahead: Just when the kids get back into their routines, it will be time for YOU to go to camp. Pizza Camp, that is. September 12th is the day when pizza loving adults gather at camp for pizza feasting and camping hi-jinks. Yes, you can go back, just like #WetHotAmericanSummer.