36 Hours in February: A Twin Cities Food and Drink Itinerary

Categories: Eat This

Manny's Steakhosue Facebook Page
Manny's starts serving breakfast at 6:30 a.m. for a civilized way to start the day.

Don't be so selfish. Your favorite restaurant just won't do. Maybe your friend doesn't even like Elvis burgers and eels on toast. Instead go wheels-up, seat-of-the-pants whirlwind for a day and a half with this itinerary.

We might be cocky about all we have to offer because Prince still lives here sometimes, we've got lakes plopped right in the middle of the city, biking to work is a breeze (well, kinda), and we're suddenly popping up in all the food magazines. But this is a Lilliputian window of time and opportunity, and you've got something to prove.

For all they know, this is just, you know, Minnesota. Flyover country and all that.

Don't plan on sleeping. Thirty-six hours is a day and a half. You can sleep when you're dead.

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10 Best Places to Take Out-of-Towners in the Winter

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You Want Real Wagyu Beef and Japanese Whiskey? Head to Wayzata

Categories: Eat This

Photo courtesy Sushi Fix
A slab of certified Wagyu beef sits proudly upon the fish case at Sushi Fix. Chef Billy Williams has the certification papers to go with it if you'd like to have a look.

What's happening at Sushi Fix these days?

"Oh, just shaking up a lot of cocktails. It's pretty crazy," says Billy Tserenbat, chef/owner/cocktail shaker of Wayzata's finest sushi bar.

And he means whiskey cocktails, since the restaurant possesses the state's biggest Japanese whiskey collection. To go with them, some certified Japanese Wagyu beef.

See also:
Best Sushi Minneapolis 2013 - Sushi Fix

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Let This Travail Chef Cook Your Super Cool Super Bowl Spread

Categories: Eat This

Kate Sommers
Geoff Hausmann of Pork and Pickle wants your Super Bowl guests to worship you.

It's strangely impossible to think of Travail chef and all-around super nice guy Geoff Hausmann without also thinking of his Star Wars tattoos. Maybe its because they're a visual reminder that he's the sort of guy who, when he thinks of something cool, he just does it, and somehow it all turns out all right, like emblazoning his body with every Star Wars character.

Slowly but surely break away from the Travail brand with pop-ups and other mystery projects? Might be scary, might be cool, but he did it, and you know? Cool.

And now, he's here to crank up the cool on your otherwise ordinary Super Bowl party.

See also:
Pork & Pickle, a Meaty Pop-Up, Takes Over Travail Next Monday

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Dorothy's Dinners at Spoon & Stable Are a Tip of the Toque to Gavin Kaysen's Grandma

Categories: Eat This, Now Open

Courtesy of Spoon & Stable
An example of a Dorothy's Dinner

What chef isn't inspired at least in some part by the first loving tastes of childhood?

Chef Gavin Kaysen is no different, despite his status as the most illustrious name in food around this city right now.

See also:
Gavin Kaysen of Cafe Boulud to leave New York City for... Minneapolis?

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White Hot Ramen: Zen Box Breaks the Tonkotsu Spell, Tries Paitan Ramen on for Size

Zen Box Izakaya's duck ramen

If your idea of a perfect bowl of ramen features rich porky broth with fatty slabs of pork belly bobbing around, you're not alone. Tonkotsu ramen, or pork bone ramen, is a chef's -- and diner's -- darling.

But in their ongoing, epic quest for the perfect bowl, Zen Box owners John Ng and Lina Goh have found inspiration in a different kind of ramen. Traveling twice to Japan and most recently to New York where they slurped at the now-famous Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop (Ivan Orkin is probably the only American with a wildly successful ramen joint in Tokyo and now in NYC, also wildly successful), the pair fell in love with new broths, noodles, and fixings, and brought that inspiration back to Minnesota.

See also:
Zen Box Izakaya brings worldly inspiration to ramen

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Where to Eat on Payne Avenue, St. Paul's New Dining Destination

Benjamin Carter Grimes
Chef Leondard Anderson of Tongue in Cheek

St. Paul's Payne Avenue is shaping up to be a restaurant strip worth a second, third, and even fourth look.

Something of a latecomer to the gentrification game, the city's East Side has long been blighted by vacant and boarded homes, symbols of declining industry. But thanks to some forward-thinking entrepreneurs, along with an infusion of city money, Payne Avenue is looking like the new "eat street" to keep an eye on. Here are four places to add to your restaurant rotation.

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First look: Cook St. Paul, a new brunch star in Payne-Phalen

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This Is the Line of Locally Cured Meats You've Been Waiting For: Red Table Meat Co.

Tammy Kimbler
Red Table Meat Company's salami

Red Table Meat Co. is now in full production and distribution mode with the release of an impressive array of custom cured meats.  Helmed by Mike Phillips, former chef at Craftsman, the Modern Cafe, and Chet's Taverna, with partner Kieran Folliard of 2 Gingers fame, Red Table Meat Co. is passionately committed to local, sustainably raised hogs from small farmers that care deeply about animal welfare.  That commitment is not a marketing ploy, and the results are cured meats with extraordinary flavor.

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How It's Made: Buddy's Small Batch Nut Butters

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Weekend Pop-Up to Try: Black Walnut Bakery at One on One

Hannah Sayle
Espresso shortbread

We've been waxing poetic about Sarah Botcher's pastries since she first started Black Walnut Bakery in 2013. After a brief hiatus earlier this year, Botcher is back with a pop-up bakery at One on One bike and coffee shop, and if you know what's good for your pastry-loving, bread-fiending palate, you'll head to the North Loop to snag some of Botcher's baked goods tomorrow.

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100 Favorite Dishes: No. 12, Black Walnut Bakery's Kouign Amann

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5 New(ish) Brunches to Change Your Weekend Routine

Categories: Eat This, Lists

Hannah Sayle
Color us charmed: Bite-sized croissants and a tiny cup of jam at Heyday.

If you're a diehard bruncher, you've likely got your regular haunts: Psycho Suzi's for its bloody Mary bar and expansive, almost guaranteed-no-wait dining room; Haute Dish for inspired twists on brunch classics; Grand Cafe for an award-winning, hangover-buster with panache. But what are you, married to one ball-and-chain brunch routine weekend after weekend? Could you, starting now, bust out of your mealtime monogamy and flirt with something new? "Yes!" you cry aloud. "You're damn right!" you affirm, slamming your fist on the table, frightening all the sheeple around you at the coffee shop.

Okay then, free spirit. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your brunching life.

See also:
30 best breakfasts in the Twin Cities

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6 Wisconsin Cheeses to Try and Where You Can Find Them in the Twin Cities

Andrew P. Han
Sartori Asiago from Plymouth, WI

Cheese makers from America's Dairyland brought back a haul of awards from the recent American Cheese Society awards, held in Sacramento, California earlier this summer. In dozens of categories -- such as "Rindless blue-veined, made from goat's milk" and "aged cheddar, aged over 48 months, all milks" -- Wisconsin's cheese makers took top honors. Cheeses from a few of these award-winning artisans are available throughout the Twin Cities, at restaurants and specialty stores. Starting mild and moving up in intensity, here 's a list of some fine cheeses for you to try, along with some pairing suggestions.

See also:
Minnesota gets into a beer-fueled brawl with Wisconsin at the Border Battle Beer Fest 3

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