What you need to know to dumpster dive in the Twin Cities

Categories: Weird Food

Wilder Burnham navigates a dumpster
When I was in my early teens, being punk and loving trash went hand in hand. Dumpsters cut out the middle man, providing my friends and me with all the snacks and random trinkets we desired -- without us ever having to enter a store. At punk shows and potlucks, we came equipped with crates of Odwalla juice scavenged from a suburban dumpster, where whole cases were thrown away if one bottle was defective. The same went for wine, beer, and anything else that came in a pack. There were dumpsters for everything -- a chip dumpster, a bagel dumpster, a pizza dumpster, and even a toy dumpster. And we're not talking small quantities either. On a good night, we'd score enough bagels to feed a punk house for a month (and yes, the amount of carbohydrates I consumed was slightly appalling).

But dumpster diving isn't reserved for smelly teenaged punk kids. Anyone can search for treasures in the trash, whether they do so for anti-consumerist, ecological, profit-driven, or survival purposes. All it takes is a willingness to move past the stigma and get a little dirty.

"It's kind of like going to vintage stores but for food," said diver Greg Baker. "Instead of looking through a box of records, you're looking through a bag of lettuce or something."

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Teamsters Union stalls Sunday growler sales

Categories: News
Except on Sundays
Last week wasn't all good news for beer: Minnesota craft brewers took home five international awards but may have lost the battle over growlers.

Sales of these refillable 64-ounce containers are prohibited on Sunday and will remain so, for the foreseeable future, thanks to the Teamsters Union.

See also:
Growler and pint punch cards being offered for local breweries

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Fifth annual Savor Minnesota event in Shakopee celebrates local wine

On April 26 at Canterbury Park, Savor Minnesota hosts its fifth annual wine and food event
If locally produced wine is your thing, or you don't know a lot about it and want to, then mark you calendars for April 26 when Savor Minnesota takes over Shakopee's Canterbury Park, turning it into a celebration of locally grown grapes and locally produced food. This will be the event's fifth year and will feature over 40 Minnesota wineries, breweries, and various other food producers.

Thirsty event goers will receive a wine glass they can use to sample an array of local wines and beers while munching on treats from local producers like Caves of Faribault, the New French Bakery, and Olive on Tap. The event runs from 1 to 5 p.m. and tickets are $40 if purchased in advance and $45 at the door.

See also:
Town Hall Brewery's Barrel Aged WeekMore »

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.

See also:
Best of the Twin Cities 2014 Winners

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Beer of the Week: Castle Danger's dark chocolate stout

Loren Green

This week's beer of the week is Dark Chocolate Stout from Castle Danger Brewery. It's a mid-body stout complemented by milk and dark chocolate flavors and additives. There is a milky mouthfeel and complexion to the stout, and the dark chocolate complements and enhances a bitter finish while the predominant flavor profile is in the roasted malts. The beer is a take on the brewery's George Hunter Stout and this is their first time with these particular additives, having previously married the stout with Jack Daniel barrels and, separately, with cinnamon, vanilla, and raspberry.

See also:
Castle Danger Brewery expanding in 2014: "The sky is the limit"

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Aquaponic urban farm takes over former Hamm's Brewery building in St. Paul

Categories: Now Open

Keane Amdahl
Urban Organics, one of the nation's largest aquaponic farms, has opened for business in the former Hamm's Brewery building in St. Paul.

All six floors of the building will eventually be utilized by Urban Organics's aquaponic system and 18 3,500-gallon tilapia tanks will be scattered throughout. At peak production, the Urban Organics farming system is projected to yield 720,000 pounds of greens and 150,000 pounds of fish per year. As of now, only one floor is fully operational.

The produce -- which currently includes 100% organic certified kale, Swiss chard, Italian parsley, and cilantro -- is already being sold at select Lunds and Byerly's locations in the Twin Cities.

See also:
Take a peek inside the remodeled Town Hall Brewery

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Taco Cat's founders: "We're a couple of dumb guys"

Categories: Interview

Courtesy of Taco Cat
Last week, Taco Cat made every Minnesotan's mouth water when they announced the return of their bicycle-delivered taco business. But that wasn't all. They also revamped the menu and extended their delivery services from one to five days per week.
Taco Cat will now be up and running from 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays.

On Monday, Taco Cat announced that they'll expand the delivery zone to cover more of Uptown, including the areas surrounding Lake Calhoun and Lake of the Isles.

Addressing those who still fall outside the delivery zone, they wrote: "Nothing is set in stone. We do bend the rules (that's kind of our thing), but don't take it personally if we say no."

Hot Dish caught up with Taco Cat founders Tristan Jimerson and Daniel Laeger-Hagemeister to chat about none other than bikes, cats, and tacos.

See also:
Taco Cat launches taco delivery service: "Call number. Get Tacos."

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Cajun 2 Geaux food truck to open Bistro La Roux in Circle Pines

Categories: Food, News
Cajun 2 Geaux (536x381).jpg
Cajun 2 Geaux to open new brick and mortar Bistro La Roux
The food-truck-gone-brick-and-mortar trend continues this week as Cajun 2 Geaux launches a Kickstarter campaign to help fund their new north-metro location, Bistro La Roux. They're currently planning to offer the same Cajun-inspired fare that can be found on their truck, but with the addition of local craft beer, wine, and jazz.

The new location will plant its roots just north of Minneapolis in Circle Pines. The Kickstarter goal is set at $10,000, and the campaign runs until May 9th. At the time of this post, they had raised just under $500 with 24 backers.

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Josh Thoma and partners to bring back the Lexington with Jack Riebel

Categories: News
Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for the-lexington-bre-mcgee-4.5277712.131.jpg
Bree McGee
Bringing the Lex back to life

For the past few months, we've noticed increased activity inside the Lexington, the historic restaurant that has stood empty on the corner of Lexington and Grand Avenue in St. Paul. Now we have confirmation that when she springs back to life, it will be under the guidance of some accomplished and exciting local chefs.

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Gasthof's Mario Pierzchalski issues apology letter for Nazi-themed dinner

Categories: Investigations

Mario Pierzchalski with Nazi impersonators
Mario Pierzchalski, the owner of Gasthof Zur Gemütlichkeit, has issued an apology letter to the community for the Nazi-themed dinner held at his restaurant on Martin Luther King Day.

Pierchalski posted the letter in the comments section of City Pages' initial post about the dinner. The letter was also tucked into a recent issue of the Bottineau Gazette, the Bottineau neighborhood's local paper.

See also:
The story behind a Nazi-themed dinner at Gasthof's

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