Ribbon Junkies: Behind the scenes at the State Fair food competitions

Categories: State Fair

Robert Couse-Baker
We may disagree about corn dogs versus pronto pups, where to find the best cheese curds, and which political candidate deserves our vote, but most Minnesotans agree that there are two kinds of people: State Fair People and everyone else. Drop off an entry for a State Fair competition and it is a safe bet that everyone in line is a proud self-proclaimed State Fair Peep. Nothing gets a gathering of State Fairers more excited than talking about the State Fair. Approach us with caution.

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Fantastic food at the Minnesota State Fair 2014 [SLIDESHOW]

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Month in Review: Open, closed, coming soon September '14

Categories: Month in Review

Sasha Landskov
Cured salmon with savory granola at Libertine, now open in Calhoun Square


Agra Culture Kitchen & Press (City Pages First Look)
2939 Girard Ave. S., Minneapolis

Aki's Bread Haus Bakery (City Pages First Look)
2506 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis

Buster's on 28th (re-open after re-model)
4204 28th Ave. S., Minneapolis

Cafe Zentral
Soo Line Building, Marquette & 5th, Minneapolis

Dong Hae Korean Grill & Sushi
251 1st Ave. N., Minneapolis

Lyn 65
65th St. & Lyndale Ave. S., Richfield

See also:
Saint Dinette pop-up offers a sneak peek at Tim Niver and J.D. Fratzke's next venture

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Parlour's Jesse Held shows us the next hot thing with a sipper & shot

Categories: Cocktails

Marsha Trainer
Jesse Held's seemingly serious pouring technique - flawless!

Jesse Held has a packed schedule. His daily duties often start with getting his two daughters on the school bus around 8:30 a.m. and frequently keep him on the go until 3 a.m. He may only have two shifts a week behind a bar, but he's expertly managing the beverage programs at many establishments: Parlour, Borough, Coup d'Etat, and the new Marché (yes, it has cocktails).

Lucky for us, he's not too busy to reveal what's wetting his whistle as summer wanes. So get ready for the latest edition of What's in your glass? Held not only shows his deftness with a delicate quaff but also introduces us to the next hot thing. Hint: It's a twofer you don't want to miss.

See also:
Best Bartender Minneapolis 2012 - Jesse Held at Eat Street Social

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Fair beers and beyond, news from Eastlake, Fair State, and Lucette

Quinn Dombrowski

With the State Fair and Labor Day on the calendar, it's a weekend void of beer festivals. That's not to say there's no beer activity in the Twin Cities (and beyond), just that you'll have to visit the taprooms and your favorite stores, bars, and restaurants. Plus, as next weekend marks official hop harvest season, breweries around the state are prepping for their fresh hop recipes.

See also:
Fair State, Minnesota's first co-op brewery, gets set to open

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The Tavern on Grand's walleye dinner: Secret investigation reveals unauthorized deliciousness

The Tavern on Grand
As good or better than anything you'd get at a plywood shack on White Earth.
Grown men speak its name in whispers of reverence. Other fish seek its sage counsel on dating, off-shore tax strategies, and dealing with that wayward guppy who's been smoking cigs behind the SuperAmerica with bottom-feeders like the sturgeon.

He's the walleye. Biggest name in the freshwater aquatic world. Friend to dinner plates across the Northland.

See also:
Cuzzy's steak sandwich makes all others tremble with fear

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Fair State, Minnesota's first co-op brewery, gets set to open

Categories: Brews, Etc.

Loren Green
Fair State Brewing Co-op's taproom takes shape.

Fair State Brewing Cooperative, a new northeast Minneapolis brewery -- and Minnesota's first co-op brewery -- is in the final stages of preparation for a late-summer opening. The fermenters are filled, the beer is aging to perfection, and the paperwork is being filed. It's now a waiting game for those final licenses and taproom touch-ups before the co-op members can get their first taste.

See also:
Bauhaus Brew Labs, Northeast's colorful new brewery, opens tonight

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PizzaRev, a Buffalo Wild Wings-backed pizza joint, is better than you might expect

Categories: First Look

Last week, PizzaRev, a fast-casual pizza chain from California, opened its second Minnesota location in Edina. Buffalo Wild Wings -- which recently invested in Minnesota's Rusty Taco chain -- owns the franchise rights to PizzaRev in Minnesota, as part of its effort to diversify within the fast-casual market. PizzaRev's first Minnesota location opened in Hopkins on May 14.

To be frank, we didn't have the highest hopes for PizzaRev. The build-your-own pizza concept isn't exactly new and the setup sounded too much like a Subway adaptation for us to fully trust the quality of the final product. We were wrong. Mostly.

See also:
PizzaRev, a Buffalo Wild Wings-backed pizza joint, makes its way to Minnesota

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The Third Bird gives comfort food the highbrow treatment

Categories: First Look

Grant Tillery
The (third) bird is the word.

The Third Bird, the latest addition to Kim Bartmann's veritable restaurant empire, feels like a secret clubhouse. Its entrance is situated in an alleyway off Harmon Place, with no signage indicating a restaurant. Understated furnishings elicit a too-cool-for-school vibe, and the staff treats customers with a familiarity rarely found outside decades-old greasy spoons.

See also:
Kim Bartmann on her new Loring Park endeavor, the Third Bird

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Candyland files lawsuit over trademarked Chicago Mix popcorn

Categories: News

Photo courtesy of Candyland
Candyland, St. Paul's 82-year-old candy and popcorn shop, has filed a lawsuit against three major companies over wrongful use of Candyland's "Chicago Mix" trademark. Owner Brenda Lamb created the mix in 1988 after taking a trip to a Chicago candy expo with Candyland co-owner Doug Lamb. Upon returning home, she combined Candlyand's caramel, cheese, and regular seasoned popcorn varieties and named it the Chicago Mix as a tribute to the Midwestern city. The name was trademarked in 1992.

See also:
Haute Dish celebrates the State Fair with (really good) food on a stick

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Saint Dinette pop-up offers a sneak peek at Tim Niver and J.D. Fratzke's next venture

Categories: Coming Soon

courtesy of the Strip Club Meat & Fish website
Tim Niver (left) and J.D. Fratzke (right)

"We love our hugs here," says Strip Club co-owner Tim Niver.

It's true. Stepping into Strip Club often feels like walking into someone's living room, where you're welcomed with a hug and a bite to eat. And as Niver opened the doors Monday night to a new experience -- a sneak preview of his new restaurant concept, Saint Dinette, soon to open in Lowertown St. Paul -- that same casual and loving atmosphere shined through. Niver and his co-owner, chef J.D. Fratzke, circulated, sharing stories and smiles with every table. Seating was communal, with new and old friends mingling throughout the small room. And yes -- many hugs were given.

See also:
The Strip Club owners to open "upscale flannel" Saint Dinette in Lowertown

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