Let's just call it: food truck season is on! There was a nice gaggle of trucks gathered in downtown Mpls. yesterday, and there's no reason that today can't be your first #FoodTruckFriday of 2017. There are a couple I have my eye on, some new residencies at breweries and such, and we'll be building up the guide all season long. But while you're waiting in line, think about plotting your visit to a new ramen shop and figuring out your liquor store game—whether that's seeing a play set in one, or stocking up for the weekend at one that’s newly minted.
>> Apparently Rah'mn has opened in St. Paul to broth sucking hordes! The new ramen shop from Tryg Truelson has sold out of broth for their custom bowls a few times. For sure they'll get their broth metrics in line and be good as gold soon enough.
>> The Lotus in Uptown has officially opened their doors to the public, but they are operating on a limited menu in soft opening for a short time longer. They'll be open from 4 - 10 p.m. today, and they do have full bar service, so maybe grab a drink and a small bite and see what they're bringing back to the neighborhood in the old Salsa a la Salsa space.
>> If you're one of those humans who reports for flights wicked early, you should know that Smack Shack is now open at the airport. Just on the south end of the main mall, near concourse F and G, you can tuck into a lobster hollandaise scrambled egg sandwich for breakfast. What could possibly better denote vacation?
>> France 44 Cheese Shop will reopen their cheese shop today after a bit of a remodel that has vastly expanded the space. You'll find more room to meander, bigger shelves stocked with fancy grocery goodies, plus new deli cases brimming with cured meats, sausages, and butchery cuts. Yes, there is still cheese, but at a fresh counter. And tons more seating has been added to the back for neighbors to lollygag. There is nothing but the good life here.
>> Devil's Advocate (the great beer bar in the former Hell's Kitchen/The Inn space) has been given its walking papers. Erik Forsberg has long known that his site was slated for redevelopment, but the ownership strung him along for years with timing. Well, decisions have been made and condos will rise. DA will eventually move to the Dan Kelly's Pub space that Forsberg bought last year. You have until Sunday to hang there, but go see Forsberg at Erik the Red if you want to kvetch about condos and "progress."
>> The St. Paul plant-based restaurant we've all been waiting for, J. Selby's, has announced an opening date of April 17. So eat your all of your Easter eggs, then go vegan and see how to live without them.
>> It may feel weird to go eat a meal with the aim of helping famine relief, but that's just what you can do when you Dine Out for Somalia tonight. Just go out for a meal at any of the locally participating restaurants, and through their donations from your meal, you'll be helping to raise $150,000 needed to fund help fund non-profits on the ground in Somalia. Afro Deli and Holy Land are both on there, but why not check out some names you're unfamiliar with and take a chance on finding something new while doing something good.
>> Drive down to Faribault whydontcha? On Saturday you could go for the Faribault Flannel Formal which is a street party outside of F-Town Brewing. There will be bonfires lighting up the lumberjack games, live music, lots of beer, flannel wearing contests (the best cosplay ever), and a hotdish contest, so bring a dish to share.
>> Wine drinkers who want to dive deeper into wine knowledge, but don't know where to start: here. Henry & Sons is launching a new series with sommelier Jill Mott (who I have loved chatting with at GYST). It's called the Square Table Series, and it's a casual tasting and discussing session with maps and books and eclectic wines. Start in on Monday with Unfamiliar Wines, Unfamiliar Grapes, then move into Summer Rosé in May and natural wines in June. Each class is $30, or all three will run you $90.
>> Lone Star Spirits is a new comedy play at the Jungle Theater that is set in a liquor store. There are hipsters, curmudgeons, and straight bottle pulls, so you might not feel odd if you're packing a flask.
>> Look ahead, because these will sell out. Spoon and Stable's Chris Nye will be hosting a farm dinner in conjunction with Lakes & Legends Brewing and Peterson Meats. With the Grain Farm Dinner is on May 21 and aims to celebrate local grains (which sometimes find themselves maligned by the anti-carb and anti-gluten set). Your $100 ticket will get you a tour of the Peterson Farm and a three-course meal cooked by Nye. He'll be on Weekly Dish this Saturday to talk about the dinner and ingrained feelings of grains.