Courtesy of the artist.
>> Peppers & Fries is a new burger/burrito joint open in the Longfellow neighborhood. The shop comes from the Frias family, who opened Boca Chica some 50 flippin' years ago! This place is an homage to the Triple B: Burgers, burritos, and baseball. There's a locker room feel to the decor, lots of craft beer on tap, and a round of creative burgers, including one with peanut butter, pepper jelly, bacon, and cheddar.
>> Sassy Spoon is now open as a real live restaurant in the former 3 Tiers space in Nokomis. Though it was once a bakery, this space is now 100 percent gluten-free, down to the Burning Bros. beer served at the bar. The food truck was built on the idea of nutritious, wholesome foods that tasted good, and so it goes in the shop with Paleo-friendly, natural ingredients, and no processed fats.
>> Pairing's Food & Wine Market near the big Opus office complex has closed.
>> HOLY MOLY! BIG NEWS!!! Mike DeCamp (a.k.a Young Chef) is leaving La Belle Vie for a new gig. Jester Concepts (Borough, Coup, etc.) will be taking over the former Porter & Frye spot and opening a restaurant, lobby bar, and basement cocktail bar by mid year. Expect coastal Italian cuisine, Jesse Held cocktails, and another big name, Michelle Massey from The Bachelor Farmer, as GM. The overhauled space will have more seating, a larger bar, patio seating and street-side entrance. The downstairs cocktail bar will have a wholly seperate identity, with its own name, menu, and offerings . . . the open stairway between the spaces will be closed off. Holy buckets, if ever there was a reason to give Hotel Ivy another shot, this is it.
>> VOODOO donuts. Order them now.
>> I guess Lynden's Soda Fountain will not be coming back. Instead, a more coffee-focused Cold Front will open in the space, hopefully sometime next week. Dogwood Coffee will anchor the program, and there will also be house-made soda fountain creations and ice cream, but the old-timey candy is gone. Guess you'll have to jam your face with a banana split.
>> France44 and The St. Paul Cheese Shop are about to get a sibling. The St. Paul Meat Shop, a whole animal butchery and meaty sandwich shop, will open sometime this spring/summer.
>> Apparently Thom Pham is in expansion mode again, and opening another Thanh Do, in Woodbury. The sign went up on the former Asia Bistro on City Walk Drive, and construction is under way.
>> Valentine's Day for beer lovers means Schell's Bock Fest. Head down to New Ulm for some serious fun that includes a beer release, brats, live music, bonfires, a roaming of the woods in heroic bock hunt, and general revelry in all things North. What's not to love?
>> Elevate, people. Go check out the exhibit Feast: Radical Hospitality in Contemporary Art, which opens at the Weisman Art Museum this weekend. Running through May, the show explores the artistic and cultural meaning behind the sharing of meals. With more than 30 artists digging into this project with varied installations, it should be quite interesting. On Saturday, the annual Big WAM Bash benefit will give you a preview of the exhibit, plus The New Standards and a performance art beer bar.
>> Other ways to celebrate your Northern-ness: The Chilly Open in Wayzata this weekend, because a frozen lake is just another reason to golf. If you can't get a tee time, at least hit 6Smith for the $15 brunch buffet in the morning and the outdoor ice bar after that.