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Pie of Mind

12November 2021

Are you just thinking about pie 24-7? These are pie times, so no one is going to call you out. Pie makers are thoroughly plumbing the depths of the philosophical differences between a butter crust and a lard crust. Team Squash is out there evangelizing on the merits of a butternut pie over pumpkin pie. The pie-challenged are scouring bakery order forms and trying to make a decision before things sell out. And cake eaters? Who cares. Keep your pie mind otherwise occupied with news of new breakfast to the north, fresh fish to the southwest, and luxe caviar service to the east.

NEWS

Did you hear that Dot’s Pretzels are being bought by Hershey’s for like $1.2B? How the … who the … heck? 

Did you hear that Tattersall will be making French Fry flavored vodka for Arby’s and that Justin Sutherland is coming up with cocktails for it? Just: heck. 

Did you hear that Bell’s Brewing sold to New Belgium’s parent company? I know that’s not local, but the beerists wanted me to tell you.

The Lexington has a new head chef in charge. Nick O’Leary, who had been helming the company’s Burger Dive operations, will take the lead as Culinary Director at Grand Ave.’s grand dame while founding chef Jack Riebel steps back to spend more time with his family while battling cancer. 

We added more stuff to the Thanksgiving Roll Call, things are starting to sell out! Pssst, there’s a suckling pig meal you can still get!

OPENS

+ Churchill St. has doors open in Shoreview. Carved out of an old hardware store, this northern suburban eatery has airy vibes and big windows for good light. Currently open Wed-Sun from 7am-2pm, the menu sports blueberry hotcakes with campfire butter and bacon fat, sweet potato hash, a Croque Madame, loaded Brussels with bacon and blue, and a smash patty burger among other things. Emily Marks, formerly of Bachelor Farmer, is on board as Head of Baking and Pastry, while Exec. Chef Aaron Marthaler has French Laundry cred. There’s buzz!

+ Ama Sushi is now open at 50th + France in the former Hana Bistro location. From the same family behind Northeast’s MOMO Sushi, this spot is a collaboration between brothers Sonam Nyorie and Rinpo Yak. The two started working together on the Volcano Hibachi food truck, and with Ama, which means mother in Tibetan, they plan to woo the Edina set with Japanese/Tibetan sushi, sashimi, dumplings, and more.  

CLOSES

Khan’s Mongolian BBQ in Richfield has announced that it will permanently close its doors at that location after service this Sunday. They cited upcoming construction and the end of their lease, as well as pandemic woes and staffing issues as the reason for closure. The Roseville location remains open. 

– Last week, Emily’s Bakery and Deli in Hastings announced that it would be closing after 73 years. The response has been overwhelming as people try to lend support and get in one last bakery item and memory. Originally, the closing date was supposed to be Nov 27, but the bakery has had to bump it up to Nov 20, as they don’t have the bandwidth to be able to handle the demand and the holiday. 

–  The MN Craft Brewer’s Guild posted that it would NOT be bringing back Winterfest in 2022. The craft beer festival was a favorite among brewers, but the guild wants to focus on other important industry events, so stay tuned. 

Lemongrass Thai in Brooklyn Park has decided to close indoor dining, and transition to takeout only for a while, due to staffing issues which has left their current team exhausted and pushed to the limit. They hope this is a temporary situation. Takeout hours are Wed-Sun from 4pm-8:30pm.

COMING SOON

>> Great news! Remember our favorite farmers market burrito friends Quince, who almost got a store-front in Northeast, but then disappeared for a bit? Well Billy and Frida Busch are back and have landed as the bakery partner to The Get Down Coffee Co., grand opening on Black Friday. They’ll be supplying bakery items for the cafe and doing breakfast burrito pop-ups on the patio when they can.  

>> The former Champps near Ridgedale will soon be bustling again. The Top Ten Liquors guys plan to open Wineside, an ambitious project that includes a massive wine and liquor store, a restaurant/wine bar, plus a specialty foods market. 

>> Last week I mentioned that cute little Tillie’s Farmhouse was closing, and this week we’re talking about who is taking the spot. The bright-eyed kids from Estelle plan to open Mario’s in the space. Yep, more Detroit-style pizza, but owner Jason Hansen promises it will be a little different: Modern Italian Deli with Detroit Style “inspired” Pizza. AND HOAGIES! Did I fully bury the lead that they plan Italian Hero Sandwiches?! Much more important than pizza in this chick’s mind. Some 50 seats inside, counter service, takeout, delivery, and hoagies. Look for it to open this winter.

>> Cardigan Donuts has let it fly that they will be opening a new downtown Minneapolis location in the IDS Center, this coming February. Look for their entire donut menu in the new spot, alongside hot and cold bevs, and ice cream for the scooping. Plus they’re going to do things like a Cookies and Cream Mocha Shake made with nitro infused flash brewed coffee, and a nifty ice cream sandwich: forming ice cream into a ring, then coating it in a chocolate candied shell before serving in a halved glazed donut. Ice cream will only be available in the IDS.

>>  While most of us missed out on the cutest little pumpkin cheesecakes ever, there’s more good things coming from Edward’s Dessert Kitchen. Closed since the first lockdown, EDK in the North Loop has announced that it will indeed open again in 2022. 

AGENDA

// Snoop’s in town this weekend*, because INDOGGO Gin is in town this weekend. The King of gin & juice developed this strawberry gin with locally based Prestige Beverage Group, and they are rolling into town on a national bus tour launch. Check the big purple bus out at Top Ten Liquors Blaine and Brooklyn Park HyVee on Saturday, then Eagan Total Wine and Woodbury Cub on Sunday. *can not promise that Snoop will be here, just his pic on a bus really … was that unfair? There will be free tastings and giveaways, tho. 

// Afternoon tea service in the lobby of the St. Paul Hotel is nice and all, but hello, afternoon caviar service is better. Starting this weekend, for a limited time, the Lobby Bar Caviar Experience can be chosen for a little luxury. Go easy with Just the Sea, Osetra sturgeon caviar with red onions, capers, heirloom tomatoes, hard boiled eggs and fried wontons for $65. Or level up to The Sea with Vodka, and get two glasses of chilled Stoli for $70. Or pinkies out with The Sea with Bubbles, adding two glasses of Ruffino Prosecco, $75. 

// A lot of people have been wondering if the breweries and restaurants are going to keep that killer winter patio game from last year going. Utepils is stepping forward with a big fat YES! This weekend, the brewery launches their Winter Beer Garden with twinkle lights, live music, fire pits, food trucks and of course, beer poking. It’s 5th-grade level fun to stick your beer with a red-hot poker, but 44th-grade level fun to then drink it. 

// You know who else is a big fat YES? Broken Clock Brewing. Starting today you’ll be able to reserve one of their outdoor domes for groups of up to 6 people. Each dome comes with an electric heater and has a cool-kid theme, such as: “Ski Lodge”, “Back to the 70’s” and “90’s Sitcom”. The Landing Hotel in Wayzta, is also dome worthy. $20/hr rezzie fee. 

// And yet. The Hotel Landing in Wayzata is taking the igloo game up a notch. They have four igloos all offering different experiences, centered around some pretty great sipping brands. The Cliquot in the Snow is all about bubbles and grilled seafood platters, the Winter Wonderland brings Belvedere Vodka in with venison tartare, Woodinville in the Wilderness is for whiskey and sliced steak boards, and The Bubble Room brings Chandon and crab stuffed shrimp. All offer a six-course meal with optional add-ons, rates are $425-$500/ 4 guests. 

// Its makers market season! You’ve heard the answer to the supply chain woes: skip the ship and shop local. Start with this one, because there’s beer. The NE Neighborhood Makers Market & Bar Hop is free to stroll this Saturday. Shop some 50 local makers with a beer in hand as you meander at Indeed Brewing Co.,  Able Seedhouse + Brewery, and 612 Brew.

// If the last piece of the feast you need to master is the tabletop centerpiece, why not get cookies on that journey? Rustica is hosting a Thanksgiving Table Arrangement Workshop on Tues. Nov. 16 at their Southdale location. For $70 you will learn from Jo & Louise how to arrange, you’ll make and arrangement, and you’ll drink coffee, snack on pastry, and get to take said winning arrangement and a six-pack of cookies home at the end. Badge earned. 

// Chip’s Clubhouse is doing a little cos-play as Chip’s Steakhouse next Thursday. It’s classic: two seatings, set menu for $99. You get fancy apps like steak tartare, sides of garlic mashed and stuffed mushrooms, then prime ribeye, shrimp scampi, créme bruleé, an Old Fashioned, such fun. 

// You know what you should plan on TD weekend? Get tix with your rellies to France 44’s Cheese World Cup: Europe vs. USA Showdown. In this $60 Nov. 30 class, you get to taste and vote through a six-round throwdown between cheeses. This is the kind of friendly competition where everyone wins and no one gets punched, because: cheese.

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