First Look: Brasserie Zentral brings a taste of Austria to downtown Minneapolis

Categories: Now Open
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Hannah Sayle
The main dining room of Brasserie Zentral, now open in downtown Minneapolis

The much anticipated second restaurant from Meritage owners Russell and Desta Klein is now open in downtown Minneapolis and the rich, old-world vibe and continental cuisine will make you feel like you're supping in a fancy Austrian dining car.

The sights and sounds of construction outside -- some renovations to the historic Soo Line building that houses the restaurant are still underway -- might just as quickly jolt you from that reverie. But get a few bites into one of Brasserie Zentral's elegantly composed European standards, and you'll soon find that luxury again.

See also:
Russell and Desta Klein's Brasserie Zentral has an opening date and is now taking reservations


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Hormel's Compleats Breakfast: I can't believe it's not cat food

Categories: Product Review

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Emily Eveland
When the apocalypse hits, you'll be forced to think strategically. The first step is safety. The second is shelter. The third is finding a hefty supply of dry food.

Fortunately for us apocalypse-fearing folks, a variety of meals lend themselves to dry storage and easy prep. In the event of a nationwide emergency, we'd still be able to chow down on Spaghettios, Campbell's Soup, and Velveeta mac and cheese, among countless highly processed others. Eggs have now been added to the list, thanks to Hormel, the Austin, Minnesota-based company behind Spam and other meaty delicacies.

See also:
Austin, Minnesota rejects new Spam-inspired logo


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Emily's Lebanese Deli vs. Zakia Deli: Spinach pie showdown

Categories: Food Fight

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Amy Dahlin
Zakia's spinach pie

One Saturday last autumn in the parking lot of the Maronite church on University Avenue in Minneapolis, we had a transcendant Lebanese sandwich: grilled bread stuffed with meaty eggplant, crispy onions, and tart and flavorful za'atar (a mixture of dried oregano, wild thyme, dried sumac, and sesame seeds) topped with yogurt sauce. Last Saturday, after spotting a few flyers for an upcoming Lebanese dinner event, we were once again reminded of the glories of this country's cuisine. This time, we wanted to try some spinach pie and tabouli salad.

See also:
Dong Yang vs. Hoban: Bulgogi blowout


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The 10 best dishes for $1 in the Twin Cities

Categories: Top 10
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Sasha Landskov
Eat well for less than it costs to ride the bus during non-rush hour
What will a dollar get you these days? 

A pessimist would say "not much," but we live in the Twin Cities so we know better. When it comes to cheap eats we are the ultimate optimists, going to extremes to stretch our budgets and make room for life's essential luxuries, from oysters to ice cream. How do we do it? We seek out the best bites our fair city has to offer for just a single simoleon. 

Here are the ten best $1 dishes in Minneapolis. Think of it as the dollar menu of your dreams. 

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Public Kitchen and Bar: More details about the upcoming Lowertown spot

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Photo courtesy Public Kitchen & Bar
The view from inside the forthcoming Public Kitchen & Bar dining room
Carol March has had a passion for the hospitality business ever since her first job in the industry at Ciatti's in the Galleria. While her career later took a turn into the real estate business, she always dreamed of returning to hospitality. When she toured the historic former home of Woods Chocolate Factory in Lowertown, she knew the time had come. Soon her dream restaurant will be our reality.

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New law eases food sampling restrictions at farmers markets

Categories: Farmers Markets

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Hannah Sayle

Recent legislation could make your farmers market experience a little less intimidating and a whole lot tastier.

The new law, which Governor Dayton approved earlier this month, will allow for cooking demonstrations and more extensive food sampling at farmers markets across the state. Formerly, local growers, artisans, and producers could only share unaltered samples of their products -- even a sprinkle of salt on a slice of locally grown tomato was verboten. Cooking demonstrations with samples were similarly off limits.

See also:
Tricia Cornell on how to shop Minnesota's farmers markets like a pro [RECIPE]

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Sisyphus Brewing launches Kickstarter for mural [IMAGES]

Categories: Beer, Taprooms

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Adam Turman
Paul & Babe Cheers: screenprint

Sisyphus Brewing, slated to open near Loring Park later this spring, has launched a Kickstarter to fund a mural on their exterior wall. The mural would face the I-94/I-394 interchange, and the Kickstarter aims to raise $6,000 for local beer artists Adam Turman and Jawsh to collaborate on the painting.

Turman's work is prominently featured on many Surly products as well as in 612Brew's taproom, and Jawsh has done many murals about town in addition to designing the label on the Surly Darkness 2013 bottle.

See also:
Comedian Sam Harriman to open Sisyphus Brewing

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30 Days of Biking combines Thai food and a nighttime bike excursion

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Photo by Phil Vello, courtesy of 30 Days of Biking
Ride your bike, eat Thai food, then ride your bike some more to raise money to buy bikes for kids!
If you're at all involved in the local social media scene, you've likely heard of 30 Days Of Biking, a group dedicated to promoting bicycling as an alternate means of transportation. The people behind the initiative have set up a fundraiser in partnership with northeast Minneapolis Thai restaurant Sen Yai Sen Lek, to help raise money for an organization called Free Bikes 4 Kidz.

The event will take place on Tuesday, May 6 at 5 p.m. and will start with a three-course meal at Sen Yai Sen Leck and will end with a nighttime bike ride along the Mississippi river. Dinner is $30 and $5 of every meal will be donated to Free Bikes 4 Kidz.

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Beer of the Week: Summit's Maibock

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Loren Green

With patio season in its early stages, lighter beers are starting to spring back into the market. Among them is an old standby, the Summit seasonal Maibock, this week's beer of the week.


See also:
MN brewers win 6 medals at World Beer Cup

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Dust off that MFA: Izzy's Ice Cream is now hiring poets

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Courtesy of Izzy's
Fly on the viewless wings of Poesy and mocha almond fudge

Calling all frozen dessert bards! Izzy's Ice Cream is now accepting applications -- in the form of haikus. That's right, for 25 job-seekers wishing to scoop their summers away behind barrels of flavors like Summit Oatmeal Stout, Salted Caramel, and Mango Django, the dream job is just a lick of poetry away.

See also:
Who's got the Munchies? Icehouse, Izzy's, and Surly nominated for people's choice awards


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