Best of the Twin Cities 2015: Food and Drink Categories

Emily Utne
City Pages' annual picks for the Best of the Twin Cities are finally here, which means there's a whole new bunch of tasty bites and scrumptious sips in our food and drink categories. Come take a look at your next checklist of must-eat and must-drink spots in the Twin Cities.

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What to Eat and Drink at This Year's Best of the Twin Cities Party

Diana Albrecht

It's party time, party people, and you know what that means: snacks and bevvies. Here's what you'll find to eat and drink at this year's Best of the Twin Cities party, April 23 at Orchestra Hall.

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SLIDESHOW: Best of the Twin Cities 2014 Party: People & Scenes

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Chow down with Hot Dish at the Best of the Twin Cities Party!

Get ready for Glam Doll Donuts at the Best of the Twin Cities 2014 party.

Our annual Best of the Twin Cities issue is out and we want you to hit the red carpet with us and toast another year of the good life in our favorite sister cities. Join us on Thursday, April 24 at Muse Event Center as we drink, dance, and, of course, chow down on some tasty food. Click here to purchase your tickets, and read on for a full list of participating restaurants.

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Best of the Twin Cities 2014: Food and drink categories

Emily Utne
Finally, the big day is here! The Best of the Twin Cities 2014 issue hits newsstands today, chock-full of the metro's crème de la crème in shopping, services, recreation, and yes -- restaurants.

Hot Dish gathered up all of our many food and drink winners for you to check out in one handy location.

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Best of the Twin Cities 2014 Winners

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Top 5 chicken and waffles in the Twin Cities

Alma Guzman
Gluten-free chicken and waffles from Bluestem Bar & Table
Just a few weeks back, we published a list that named "haute" chicken and waffles as one of the 13 most overcooked food trends of 2013. To clarify (and to pre-emptively combat any cries of hypocrisy that this Top 5 might provoke), that food trends list was compiled by writers from our team as well as our sister papers like L.A. Weekly, Riverfront Times (though that particular writer is a CP alum), and the Dallas Observer, which might help explain why ramen burgers and cronuts, two items that barely made an impact on our local scene, were included in the article.

So while some feel there's an oversaturation of this particular dish in the rest of the country, and maybe even here in the Twin Cities too, we just can't help but be attracted to the sweet and savory flavor combination and textural contrast between crispy chicken and soft, springy waffles. Here are our Top 5 favorite takes on this soul food classic, from the straightforward to the sinful to the truly sublime. 

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Town Hall Brewery celebrates 16 years of beer all week long

town hall.jpg
Hoppy Anniversary at Town Hall this week 
Monday funday, anyone?

Fresh off their silver medal win at the Great American Beer Festival in Denver last week, Town Hall Brewery is kicking off a weeklong celebration to mark their 16th anniversary. It starts tonight at 5:00 p.m. with the release of their Anniversary Ale, an American hopped red ale with chocolate and caramel malt undertones. Pints will be cheaper from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. so plan to get there early. 

Here's what's on tap at the Brewery for the rest of the week.

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Minnesota breweries take home top prizes at the Great American Beer Festival

Courtesy Summit's Facebook page
Brewers from Summit at the Great American Beer Festival
This past weekend in Denver, Colorado, brewers and beer enthusiasts turned out in droves from all over the country to sample submissions and select America's best beers at the Great American Beer Festival. From the nearly 5,000 individual beers entered for evaluation at the largest commercial beer competition in the world, a handful of local brews took home big prizes, including ones from Surly, Schell's, Summit, and Town Hall Brewery.

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GrainUp event showcases local restaurants and whole grains

Thumbnail image for Spoonriver exterior.jpg
A.J. Olmscheid
Spoonriver helps get the word out about whole grains all next week
"I believe restaurants have a real responsibility in society to expose people to healthy, whole foods," says Brenda Langton, chef/owner of Spoonriver. "It's very gratifying for me and my staff to know that we are doing that every day."

As a longtime advocate of integrating more whole grains into our daily diets, Langton is one of 12 local chefs participating in next week's GrainUp Twin Cities Dine Around event. The Hot Dish caught up with Langton to see what she's cooking up at Spoonriver and to get her one hot tip for making whole grain eating at home fast, easy, and diverse.

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Natedogs and Kramarczuk's tour of sausage kicks off tomorrow

Bre McGee
Kramarczuk's Kielbasa 
Practice makes perfect, even when you're talking about an actual sausage fest. That's why, in order to gear up for its fourth-annual Kielbasa Festival (September 6-7, mark your calendars), Kramarczuk's is teaming up with Natedogs and launching their first-ever combined pre-fest "Classic Kielbasa Mini Tour."

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Kings Wine Bar welcomes new chef with an open house event

Courtesy Kings Wine Bar Facebook page
Kings signature burger with fried egg
Fine wine and tater tots never seemed like a natural pairing until popular Kingfield wine bar Kings came onto the scene four years ago. Since then this cozy spot has collected lots of local awards, appeared on many a "favorite places" list, and seen its share of talented chefs come and go. This Sunday, to celebrate their anniversary and welcome a new executive chef, Kings is hosting an open house with (free!) food and libations.

Here are more details on the event and the man taking over the helm, chef Andrew Kraft:

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