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Finally, Soup SZN

15October 2021

Yes, the weather has turned to that perfect mix of chill and moody, with bright azure skies one minutes and puffer vest-provoking winds the next. That can only mean one thing: Soup SZN. Wade into a bowl that warms through gloves at a soccer game, or spend all day simmering a pot while you noodle if chili is soup, what takes a soup to a stew, and whether mugging your soup makes it a drink or not. Then dunk your crusty bread as you plan for new rice bowls, swing by for boba, and bid farewell to a good burger spot.

NEWS

// Well it’s an official national love fest for Twin Cities Dining. Not only was Owamni and Sooki & Mimi called out by the NY Times for their Top 50 Restaurant List, but Owamni got a nice rave from the folks at Vogue too. And Pimento Jamaican Kitchen was called out as one of James Beard Foundations 100 Most Influential in Food Globally. Big ups!

OPENS

+ Town Hall Tap has a little action on the side. They softly opened Sidecar in the former Adrian’s Tavern space recently, right next to The Tap. This is owner Pete Rifakes first real push into craft cocktails (though I ran into him on the bourbon trail in Kentucky once) and the vibe is comfortably chic. Hearing good things about the drinks, which are available softly W-Sa starting at 4pm.

+ Iconos Cantina is now open in the revolving space (at one point it was the Lyndale Tap) next to the Jungle Theater in LynLake. Billed as a gastro-cantina, they promise superlative Latino food, with 20+ beers on tap. Look for dishes and drinks named after icons, as well as iconic eats like queso fundido, chimichanga, tacos, and chilaquiles at brunch. 

+ International power-house dessert and milk tea brand, Tiger Sugar, is opening their first MN shop in Dinkytown on Saturday. The Taiwanese company in known for boba teas made with black sugar, which is basically cane sugar before the molasses is stripped out, leaving more of the nutrients in. I feel like I can get behind their website’s statement, “The world’s first “drink” dessert, Taiwan boba pearl milk tea visual drink “sugar” is the core element of dessert, With the global trend of healthy living, delicious food is “more nutritious, healthier and less burdensome.” 

+ Zen Box Izakaya is finally once again open for indoor dining. There are no reservations being taken, it’s first come first serve seating with a 90 minute/6 person limit per table. But yes, you get to have takoyaki and tonkotsu ramen inside now!

+ St. Paul Grill is finally open again, after being closed since lockdown day one. Go say hi and get that luxe three course dinner for $45 for Restaurant Week!

CLOSES

– Cute little Glen Lake is losing a burger joint, but gaining sashimi tacos. The Copper Cow announced that their building had been sold, and that they’ll be closing as of Nov. 14. It’s a big loss for west metro burger and boozy shakes fans, but the building owners are revamping the space for their own restaurant Kazoku, which has a location in Burnsville. 

Betty & Earl’s Biscuit Kitchen in Rosedale will close on Monday, Oct. 18 so that they can transition into B&E Featuring Sweets by Diane by Nov. 1. Diane Minor has partnered with the popular biscuit company to bring in more baked goods, pastries, bars, even soups to the counter. 

COMING SOON

+ Union Hmong Kitchen finally has a home. After wandering from place to place, Yia Vang’s original eatery has taken firm root at Graze Food Hall in North Loop. Look for some new menu items and late-night offerings when the counter opens at the end of the month. 

+ Erik the Red is coming to Richfield. Erik Forsberg was originally going to transplant his downtown Northern BBQ spot (formerly in the shadow of US Bank stadium) to a new development in South Minneapolis, but the deal fell through. Today we found out that he is headed to E. 66th, across from Veterans Memorial Park, in the Local Roots space (though there are some community grumblings about this swap). Looks like they’ll be adding a coffee and ice cream shop known as Leif, with a walk-up window and a huge covered dog-friendly patio too.

+ Khâluna is almost ready to open. Ann Ahmed’s third spot is a looker, with a long bar, staycation tones, and a market and cooking classroom in the back. Rezzies are already booked for the first month’s seatings, but you can still amble in and grab a seat at the bar. 

AGENDA

// You still have a few meals to sneak into the last Restaurant Week of 2021!!

// So much sooooooup at the Fall Festival Fundraiser for the Northeast Farmers Market on Saturday. Pop over from 9am-1pm for apple cider and soup samples from these Kings and Queens of the Slurp: Vinai, Hai Hai, Nixta, Animales, Kieran’s Kitchen, Aki’s Breadhaus, Alma, Ukrainian Center, 45th Parallel, Mary Ellen’s.

// Happy 35th Birthday to craft beer in the TC. It’s been that long since they rolled a keg of Summit EPA beer to Johnny’s Bar, and started a whole thing. Celebrate Summit’s Birthday this Saturday at the brewery, with the newly re-opened Ratskeller, a great line up of live music, patio seating on what looks like a fresh day, special release beers, and food from Dark Horse Bar & EateryLone Oak Grill and New Bohemia. $10 to get a wristband, beers and food for purchase. 

// La Doña Cerveceria is ready to throw bash for its third birthday. It starts at noon with a BIPOC vendor craft fair that runs all day. Then the DJ’s take over, the beer starts flowing, you start dancing, and only stop for snacks from Que Tal Street Eats.

// Two important things to tell you: #1 Burger Dive on Bay Street is starting up karaoke this Saturday at 10pm. And #2 Lady Marmalade is much harder to sing than you think it will be. Practice up. You have time, the karaoke will henceforth run Th-Sun after 10pm, until we are all hoarse. 

// Of course the best booyah is well known to be hosted by the Annual Booya at Mancini’s each year. Sunday’s soup boil starts at 11am and goes until 2pm unless they run out. Plus outdoor cocktails and Vulcans, natch. Buy it by the bowl, the half gallon or gallon if you’re feeling feisty. You can now order in advance online if you’re worried about it selling out, but on-site orders will be open too. 

// Stick Night! Pip Hanson and Tony Zaccardi are teaming up to offer a sweet Monday night hang at Palmer’s with cigars and whiskey. Pip’s O’Shaughnessy Distilling will be popping up on the outside patio with a build-your-own-hot-toddy-bar, since it’s also Toddy SZN. BYO cigar and one to share and you’ll puff the night away together. 

// Elite tequila sippers (not the shooters and clearly not the licky sucky crew) might be interested to know about the ultra-premium Clase Azul Tequila Dinner at the Westin Edina on Nov. 3. The multi-course dinner pairs each bite with what some think is the world’s finest hand-crafted artisan spirit, which explains the $800 ticket price. 

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