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Forecast: 100% Chance of Festive

10December 2021

There is promise that today holds snow. For some, this brings jubilation and sparks off spontaneous car caroling as the 4WD is engaged. For others, it’s reason to cancel plans and drink all the egg nog while watching Hallmark movies and eating takeout. For many, it’s a gift and a curse, but since it’s the festive season we’ll wait until January to complain about it. Meanwhile, we’ll make sure to bundle up and grab new sandwiches, plan a road trip to eat in the great white north, and check out new spots popping up all over the metro.

NEWS

The Cafe Meow is asking for your help to keep them, and other small businesses around them, from closing. The TC’s first cat cafe is asking for fans to help them do battle with the city over the reconstruction of Hennepin Ave S, which will remove parking in front of their cafe. They say the impact to access, deliveries, even the stress factor on the cat pick ups will put their business in jeopardy. 

Andrew Zimmern, arguably the state’s most influential food human, has been named as a Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations World Food Programme. His first mission is to make some noise around the problem of food waste. 

Our Jack Riebel, veteran chef and wildly respected culinarian, passed away on Monday after a long and very open journey with cancer. Service is set for Dec 19 at 

Hey the Lillegard brothers who own Duluth’s Best Bread, a European bakery up north, are looking to open a second location right downtown. They’ve bought a building but are looking for a few more $$ for some equipment. Watch the whole video, it’s worth it. 

Plenty of people are concerned with indoor dining while the Omicron variant of covid is still making its rounds. If that’s you, and you’d rather eat in a restaurant that asks for vaccination or negative test proof, both the Star Tribune and Heavy Table have created lists. 

If you have not read this EPIC RESTAURANT REVIEW by the wonderful Geraldine DeRuiter, who also wrote one of my very favorite books ever

OPENS

+  The Farmer and Fishmonger is now open in Apple Valley. The sister restaurant to the Mezcalito Butcher (formerly the Misfit Collective), across the parking lot, this new renovation of a suburban chain restaurant is all about supporting local farmers and connecting directly to coastal fishmongers. 

+ Shake Shack has opened their very first drive-thru in the nation, right up in Maple Grove. The burger shop sports dual drive-thru lanes and dual kitchen lines (one for indoor orders, one for outdoor orders) so that they can still make your burgers fresh to order, and get you on your way. 

+ Smack Shack has opened their next location, in Bloomington. Yes, it’s the old Fuddruckers and feel free to look for the pump cheese (not there). This space is nice and roomy, with plenty of seating for bigger parties this holiday season. 

+ Head north of Duluth on scenic 61, New Scenic Cafe has reopened their indoor dining, W-Su. There’s also a second cookbook in the works, which you can pre-order for the foodist gift. 

+ Check out the cocktails and views from the newly re-opened Prohibition bar atop the Foshay Tower. Or stay on the ground and hang in the now open again Living Room bar attached to the W Hotel and adjacent to Manny’s Steakhouse. 

+ DELAYED: There was a planned re-opening of Dan Kelly’s Pub this last weekend, but the team ran into some physical issues with the space and have pushed back the opening for a few weeks. 

CLOSES

– Pig Ate My Pizza will cease to be by the end of the month. The Travail Collective has announced that they will be switching things up a bit, to highlight the talents of the team they have on deck. Expanding the menu to be more creative, and focusing more on the work of chef-turned-brewer Andy Goettsch, they’ll become Nouvelle Brewing in the new year. In fact, PAMP is throwing a non-ticketed, open to the public farewell party on New Years Eve to usher in the new era. 

AGENDA

// Frost Fest Holiday Market at Franconia Sculpture Park is a good thing to go do on Saturday! Potter’s Pasties will be there, along with hot beverages, live music, and holiday-themed art activities.

// The Midtown Global Market is celebrating 15 years of  food-hall life by launching the market’s first cookbook. Head over on Saturday to score your copy, and get it signed by the market chefs who contributed recipes. 

// Favorite northern distiller Emily Vikre is in town tomorrow to sign her very excellent book Campfire Cocktails at Next Chapter Booksellers in St. Paul. This is a great book for year-round outdoor drinking, for you or your favorite camping and drinking buddy. 

// If you’re looking for that Hallmark movie Christmas village vibe, check out The Northern Express out in Excelsior. Held at Camp Tanadoona, this holiday event has a Christmas tree forest to decorate, Santa hangs, holiday market, bonfires, Christmas llllamas!! Good golly how are you NOT going to find the hot chocolate of your dreams?

// Norway House’s Gingerbread Wonderland is open and ready for your appraisals. The judging panel has picked their favorites and it’s hard to believe local real estate can inspire such a festive feel. Don’t miss out on the traditional lutefisk dinner in collaboration with Jax Cafe on the 15th, you have to register by this weekend!

// Cheer up Charlie, Bauhaus Brew Labs has hidden 100 Golden Stickers around the state. Make sure to check your 12 packs of Bauhaus beers or BOLO hard seltzer for a special golden sticker. If you get a golden sticker, enter the golden code on the website to see what you’ve won: Is it chocolate? Is it free beer? Is it a date with Slugworth? Who knows!

// Malcolm Yards is hosting their first Holiday Market this year. Over 20 local artists will be there on Saturday and Sunday, and I bet none of them will mind that you are still eating your Bebe Zito burger while you shop. 

// Quincy Street Solar Arts building is the spot to Light Up the Night this weekend. Shop unique one-of-a-kind holiday arts, and tonight you can salsa dance too! Tomorrow there will be jazz, and art fun for the kids on Sunday. Don’t forget that Vivir is across the street and they have amazing hot chocolate. 

// Feeling good about the Holiday Makers Market at Forgotten Star Brewing on Saturday. Besides the 20 makers selling crafts, they’ll have a hot cocoa bar, beer poking, bonfires, and a gift wrapping fundraiser. 

// Black Forest Inn is back with their Christmas market this weekend. Makers, yes, but also German cookies, mugs and t-shirts from the restaurant. You can stop of wurst and bier too to sustain your shopping journey. 

// The Annual Holiday Bake Sale at Union Depot is on Saturday, and it’s a doozy. All the bakers who bake will be there selling their goods and the first 300 people through the door get a goody bag. Don’t worry there is more than cookies, look for hot sauces, nuts, granolas, salsa and other good stuff. 

// How are there still tickets to Sunday’s early session of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas Drag Tea at The Lynhall??? How many more wonderful things do you need in one place? Tea cakes, Whoville drag, crabby green furries, all the best things. 

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