This is the week you might see the biggest flurry of OOO replies to your email as people come out. Maybe they’re heading for the crystal-clear waters and piny air of the North Shore, or heading south to fish in the no-drift zone, or just a day trip to find a good beer. and a barbecue. Follow their lead, because you don’t have to leave town to go out: leave your house in the name of a new brunch, go to the distillery for dinner, or participate in other antics from local pros.
+ Center-East officially relaunched in the former Bad Waitress Northeast spot off Central. The vibe is pretty similar, the cool mural still lives on that front wall, but the menu has been refreshed and they’ve moved to a 20% service charge model. Brunch brings benedict and waffles, a $ 10 lunch menu features an omelet of the day or soup / salad combo, and dinner features burgers, as well as larger platters like fettuccine and pork chops.
+ I think this could be the summer of cold noodles (for me at least). If you want to be on this relaxing journey that means keeping the kitchen cool, get your digital ducks in a row for Sunday’s order from Jaba noodles. Follow them on Insta to see the products, then get ready to order authentic fresh Taiwanese noodles with chopped veggies, fried shallots, cilantro, garlic water and signature sesame sauce. . The pack is naturally vegan, but you can add chicken if you want. Order on Sunday, delivery / pick up at South Mpls the following Wednesday.
+ Not new, but new to me, apparently there is a distillery / hotel near the border waters in Rainer, MN just east of International Falls. Cantilever was built as a tribute to the local bridge, which has helped some bootleggers to come and go in the country across the river. They have a cocktail room that serves food, right by the shores of Rainy Lake and the vodka, gin, and whiskey they’ve made with those cold, clear waters. If you feel like driving, it’s just 5 hours from the metro. If you feel like you need a test sip first, go to First try in the North Loop, where they just started hauling some of the cocktails drawn from the distillery.
+ Officially, Owamni by The Sioux Chef is now open. If you can’t make a reservation in the dining room, remember that the lower terrace is a first-come, first-served situation with patio tables, a lighter menu, and a pump truck of its own.
+ We haven’t really talked about it here, but I put it in the mag. Remember how much we all loved that little smoky yellow Rib Cage trailer that showed up every summer in County 81 just north of Maple Grove? These fatty ribs had all the right dry spices, but I wasn’t mad at the house sauce either. Well, Vic has turned brick. Vic’s Rib Cage is now a full time counter in The Nordic Brewing Co. in Monticello. So it’s a road trip or a pre-cabin stop.
Cafe Jax is closed for a while. Bill Kozlak’s legendary Northeast restaurant has discovered structural issues that require special attention. Expect them to be closed for 3-4 months to consolidate the old lair.
To wrap up, the sandwich counter that has been rocking the North Loop Galley dining room for the past few months, is ending its pop-up. If you slap yourself for never getting up to eat a delicious wrap, I just hope you learn something. Like a painful but precious lesson.
// The Aquatennial is back! The city’s summer festival started earlier this week with the torchlight parade and will end on Saturday with the fireworks display. In the middle, there’s a Johnny Pops Ice Cream Group, a City of Lakes open-air market, and Carifest (which usually has amazing grills).
// I can’t tell you how much I love it when transportation issues lead to something less frustrating. Ok, less frustrating for me. Like when France 44 receives a huge shipment of French cheese and we all MUST eat it to save the world. And we get a very reduced 25% reduction on all French soft cheeses from them as a little push. How does such cheese really get here? I’m glad you asked.
// If you are looking for a good dark bar on this scorching weekend, go to Dampfwerk Distillery where the ingenious cocktails have found a way for you to have a beer in a distillery bar. Here’s a hint: It’s like when you detox to detoxify yourself and then have the best night’s sleep.
// Although I don’t want to hear about Burch Steak again that you miss, I’ll give you something. Isaac Becker has regained his sea legs and will offer classic Burch dishes on the menu at Snack bar. Starting tonight, you can slip into a crab and seafood salad, ricotta gnudi, a little Schupfnudel with gorgonzola cream and top-notch steak. You’re welcome.
// Chef Dan Manosack’s Bad English The Lao-American pop-up is back this weekend, but this time it’s a full-service dinner series. This month and next, you can get tickets for an all-inclusive dinner that includes a selection of Lao-American fare, small platters, and bites, all accompanied by Steady Pour drinks. As an added bonus, you’ll get to experience the cool new space that Steady Pour will use for more dinner parties, pop-ups, and private events. He’s a spectator.
// Brother Justus Distillery is open again this evening, following their small construction project. Head over to sip a peaty Minnesota whiskey innovation or get tickets to their upcoming Distillery Dinner on July 31. Summer party will feature dishes from three chefs: Yia Vang, Amalia Obermeier-Smith and Jamal Hashi. Your $ 60 ticket will give you all-you-can-eat pork and goat roast, along with a yucca fries bar, Somali Surbiyaan rice, and Khao Sen, among other vegetables and sides. Pick your 4 hour block of time and get ready for the full.
// The Valley Fair starts Grand Carnival this Saturday with big colorful parades, live shows and dancing evenings through the park. They try to bring all the happy holidays in the world to Shakopee, and that includes highlighting great bites from 5 different countries: ponzu pork balls from China, Wiener cutlets and sauerkraut from Germany, as well as other samplers from Italy, Spain, and India. Get a $ 30 tasting card online before you go and you’ll get six tastings of your choice.
// Falling Knife Brewery finally launches its first festival! In the 20 months of opening they have yet to party, so this Saturday, look for people to celebrate their Alive Inside: Outdoor Brewery Festival. The North East Craft Brewery will have lots of bands and music all day long, as well as food trucks, a manufacturers market and of course beer.
// Sunday will be a good day. Especially if you make a commitment to stop at Thai Sunday Market which stands in the parking lot of Wat Promwachirayan temple in St. Louis Park. Wander the stalls and shop for some nice produce, then order Thai barbecue pork, papaya salad, boat noodles, sticky rice and more! Profits go towards the running costs of the temple, and if you miss this weekend, you’ll have two more in August and one in September.
// You’re not done with rosé wine yet. It is still necessary to consult the Solo Vino Sunday Series: Rosé Edition this Sunday. This targeted tasting of 12 to 15 wines will set you back $ 25, but you’ll also get a special 20% bonus on these wines in store.
// Even the Brewery Running Series wants you to get out of town. On Saturday, you can register for a race with Hops and barrel from Hudson, WI. Not far enough? So meet up in Duluth for Sunday’s double header with Bent Paddle Brewery and Wild State Cider.
// Yes, it’s already time to go back to the orchards. Souvenir cider house is open this weekend with Red Hen Gastrolab making Puerto Rican food tonight, then there will be toast and acoustic music on Saturday, and glasses of BOGO cider for anyone cycling to the cider house on Sunday.