Drive for Pie

6August 2021

Happy Braham Pie Day! The first Friday in August is always celebrated with slices in Braham, which was named by Gov. Rudy Perpich as the “Homemade Pie Capital of MN”. Just one hour north of the metro, it has all the best parts of a small town fest: pancake breakfast, car show, local makers market, and pies, hundreds of pies. Make it a stop on your way up north, as people have been doing since the 1930s, because homemade pie is worth a detour. Other detours worth your precious August days: lunch in an old firehouse, island eats in the south metro, and walk-up pizza puffs right in the city.


The Lexington is hosting an open house to celebrate Chef Jack Riebel, who has been fighting the good fight against neuroendocrine cancer for more than a year. On Sun., Aug 15, from 10am-4pm, friends and fans alike are encouraged to come for a quick visit, share stories, trade memories of meals past, and maybe even raise a glass. The event is free, but they are asking people to reserve a time-slot so they can keep things running smoothly. And of course, masks are required. 

 Smoke Out is back! Justin Sutherland and friends are back, this year at Allianz Field, to whoop it up with smoky meat treats and a TON of live music. Early Bird tickets get a discount through August 15, then prices go up for the Oct. 3rd event. We’ll sneak out the list of the vendors soon, but you know it’s going to be fun. 

Really, there are seriously 56 new beverages to drink on Day One of the Minnesota State Fair? Not it. Just kidding, of course I’m: it. 

It’s been a pretty tough week for restaurants, psychologically, as they look at what could be be coming down the pike with new mandates and restrictions. Plenty of places have chosen to mask back up, while others are putting together a new Plan B, and C though F. The hardest part, is that it’s not like they have been on the surest of footings, thanks to a beleaguered supply chain. Is this the perfect storm? 


+ Pau Hana is now open in Savage, by the team behind Lake & Irving. Chef Chris Ikeda brings Hawaiian dishes to the south metro, including Kahlua pork lumpia and loco moco which is a rice dish topped with a hamburger patty, egg, and gravy. They’re also spinning pizzas with some great toppings such as miso corn cream, pepper-brined fresh mozz, and macadamia nut pesto. Pau Hana means “done with work” and is employed with friends gathering for drinks, Hawaii’s happy hour. 

+ In a renovated former fire station, A-Side Public House is open on Randolph in St. Paul. Just smack in between Burger Dive and Mucci’s, this newest addition to the neighborhood is both a brewpub and coffee bar. Chef Drew Ledo (lastly of Dark Horse Bar & Eatery) has a brief and easy going menu with a few French influences: Croque Monsieur, Lyonnaise salad, Coq au Vin, and the like. The brewery in the back is working on their first brews, but the coffee bar is ready to rock. The space is open and gorgeous, and very importantly open for lunch! On Monday and Tuesday even!

+ EaTo is the latest incarnation of the Eastside space on Washington Ave. It has grand plans to be like a mini-Eataly (with bottle shop, market, and meat counter) but for now, it’s open for pizza patio and takeout window fun. Look for more evolving this fall. 

+ El Norte Kitchen food truck has officially launched! Formerly a pop-up that brought tasty burritos jammed with french fries and smoky meats, plus the crazy popular cult-status concha burger, chef Ben Allen’s truck will now be rolling through the cities with their signature Southwestern comfort food. They’ll be at The White Squirrel Bar this Friday and Saturday, go see if you can’t grab a taste of Tuscon. 

+ After a very long hiatus, Bark and the Bite is back open in Merriam Park for indoor dining. 


<<  Sad to report that Seward Soft Serve will be closing up shop. The numbers don’t work and they are forced to move onward. They’ll have shortened hours for the next few days as they wind down service, so get in for a cone and a hug. 

<< Riverview Wine Bar has decided to close while owners David and Mara Bernick take time to decide what the future holds for that corner. In a post they called out how grateful to the neighborhood they were for the support, but noted the extreme challenges of the year and promised to keep people posted on any future developments.


>> Looks like The Dakota is coming back in full style! News dropped that Lowell Pickett plans to reopen the restaurant on Sept. 10, and he’s brought on some heavy hitters to help. Tim McKee will create a whole new food concept for the space, while Nathan Rostance (formerly of Bachelor Farmer) will oversee operations. Chef Remy Pettus, who closed his restaurant Bardo last year, will be on as Executive Chef. The menu will lean toward low-country Southern cuisine, which has a family connection for Pettus. Think boiled peanuts, pimento cheese, hickory-smoked chicken wings, and sweet corn and hominy chowder.


// Braham Pie Day! Today’s the day to head north for pie. You do NOT want to miss the pie auction at 3pm. Then stick around for the pie eating contest and see how those kids do it. 

// Something a bit, moodier, hmmmm? For date night? What about the Russian Art After Dark gig tonight! Love this idea, of strolling the Russian Art Museum while sipping cocktails and a DJ thrums in the background. Go ahead, dress up! The event starts at 8pm and a complimentary slider bar starts around 10pm, and there’s so much good art to talk about.

// It’s Crazy Days in their Nokomis neighborhood, so Bull’s Horn is getting insane with a parking lot fish fry on Saturday. There’s a beer collab with neighbors Venn Brewing to make a Crazy Days beer, plus a pin making station, musical chairs for great prizes, balloon animals, a fish meat raffle, and of course crispy fishes from 1-4pm, then regular menu after that. 

// Nershfest 2021 is back at InBound Brew Co. on Saturday. For the love of Bill Nershi, it’s a free outdoor music fest with live bands, a craft market, food trucks, and of course lots of beer. 

// Over at Dual Citizen Brewing, Saturday means a Naughty Neighborhood Shrimp Boil. The team from neighboring Naughty Greek will take a quick left and cook up some NOLA-inspired fare for this one. Stompers Jazz Band will be out in full force from 3pm-6pm, and the DCB slushie seltzer game continues in Hurricane flavor. 

// Get your tickets NOW for next week’s Txakoli Fest (say it: cha-ko-lee) at The Bungalow Club. Aug 15 is the day for celebrating and tasting Basque wines and pintxos (say: peen-chos). For just $48 you get to taste 5 different txakolis, a Basque cider, and snack on pintxos snacks from the patio grill. Count on the porron making a show, and a mess of your face.

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