MN Beer Activists: Sunday Sales Fight Is Like David vs. Goliath

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Photo courtesy of Minnesota Beer Activists
Andrew Schmitt and his son at the March 15 Capitol event

Our alcohol laws are outdated, and a 2013 poll shows Minnesotans agree: It's embarrassing when we have to tell Wisconsin visitors that we'll need to stockpile beer on Saturday night.

Local consumer advocacy group MN Beer Activists has been working tirelessly to change that. After a recent Capitol rally cry, we caught up with founder Andrew Schmitt to talk about his inspiration, his motivation, and why he keeps fighting for progressive alcohol laws year after year.

See also:
Minnesota Beer Activists fight for your drinking rights


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Tinto Cocina y Cantina Chef Carlos Garza Wants to Be a Culinary Champion

Categories: Interview

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Mecca Bos
Chef Carlos Garza says he's deeply in love with cooking

Every chef needs to have a one-track mind. There simply are not enough hours in the day for people who work seriously in the culinary industry to split their attentions much. A macrame champ you are not going to become in your spare time, nor an award-winning bike racer nor the very best at bungee jumping. You can't -- there isn't enough time if you want to be really good at the bread and butter.

And for this to work out nicely, you gotta love it. We have spoken to very few (maybe even zero) chefs who use the word "love" lightly when they talk of cooking. So it takes a lot of love to make this calculation: Chef Carlos Garza might love it the most.

See also:
Tinto Cocina + Cantina Is Now Open and Serving Made-to-Order Tortillas


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A Cider Boom Is Coming, with Dan Kelly's and Republic Igniting the Fuse

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Photo courtesy of Dan Kelly's Pub

With the opening of Dan Kelly's Pub, the Twin Cities is getting an infusion of cider options. Owner Matty O'Reilly, who also owns Republic 7 Corners, has a longstanding interest in the apple-derived brew, which he sees following a similar trajectory to craft beer: Once consumers learn there are better, less gimmicky options available, cider will have its day in the sun.


See also:
Dan Kelly's Bar Grows Up into a Pub Paragon

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Vegan Drag Queen Mistress Ginger: "All My Many Lovers Have Been My Taste Testers"

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Mistress Ginger

All of us, every one, would be wise to glean a little bit of the self-confidence the average drag queen has in her flamingo-painted fingernail. Why did Mistress Ginger, a.k.a. Justin Leaf, write a cookbook?

"To share with the world all the wonderful recipes that have made me the gorgeous showgirl that I am!"

But of course.

See also:
10 Best Local Cookbooks and Food Guides

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John Kraus of Patisserie 46 on Coupe du Monde: "I've Never Been So Nervous In My Life"

Categories: Interview

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Photo courtesy of Paul Strabbing

"Maybe if I was a Swiss watch maker people would understand it better."

Master pastry chef John Kraus, owner of Patisserie 46, is referring to the processes that go into making his pastries, each one a couple days' worth of labor. By way of illustration he holds up his hands. They're a worker's hands -- big and rough and strengthened by endless hours at the task.

Maybe you've stood at the cases at Patisserie 46 and thought about it: they're nothing more than sugar and butter and flour but under the hand of Kraus and his crew, they become little lemon yellow easter hats with a jaunty mad hatter's chocolate tag tucked in the side; a dome of electric lime; a shiny, lipstick red velveteen finger sandwich.

Anyway, you can't eat Swiss watches. Unless Kraus gets a crack at them. Maybe then.

See also:

Best French Restaurant Minneapolis 2014 - Patisserie 46

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Chef Shack in Seward Is Like Home, But With Fresh Donuts and Sangria

Categories: Interview

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Mecca Bos
The women of Chef Shack empire: Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer

I've never been to the downtown Minneapolis home of Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer, but they tell me it's bright, with big windows, a tiny kitchen, and lots of cool stuff, because Summer is an avid collector but Carlson is a minimalist.

So I'll bet that means there's lots of interesting things to look at but it's nice and neat and never cluttered; there's probably great music going at all times and something good to drink and good smells wafting all around...

Wait. I have been to the home of Summer and Carlson, because I've been to both of their restaurants, the one in Seward but also the one in Bay City, Wisconsin and I'll be damned if I've ever felt more at home in any restaurant, ever, in my life.

Gracious doesn't begin to describe the experience of drinking and dining with them. Had a little too much to drink? They'll offer to call you an Uber. And then, pour you another glass of a luscious winter Sangria.

Their success lies very much in this hospitality ethic: "I don't want to sit at home tonight," says Carlson as she hands me that glass. "I want to make people happy with food. It's what I love to do."

See also:
Best Restaurant in Seward Minneapolis 2014 - Chef Shack Ranch


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Emily Torgrimson Throws Giant Dinner Parties for Charity

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E. Katie Holm
Emily Torgrimson brings joy through Eat for Equity

One of the fascinating Twin Cities community members featured in City Pages' People 2015 issue. Check out our entire People 2015 issue.

The notion came to her in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Emily Torgrimson was attending Boston University, living in communal housing with 24 other people.

They each took turns cooking. When Torgrimson's time arrived, she chose to cook New Orleans-style fare, asking people to kick in "a buck or two" for storm victims. So began Eat for Equity.

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Surly's Todd Haug Has the Grit of a Metalhead and the Heart of a Cat Lady

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E. Katie Holm
Todd Haug, Surly's head brewer

One of the fascinating Twin Cities community members featured in City Pages' People 2015 issue. Check out our entire People 2015 issue.

Surly Brewing is arguably the Twin Cities' biggest craft-beer success story. It's the namesake of the landmark "Surly Bill," which legalized taprooms in Minnesota. And it runs on the grit and finesse of a black-booted metalhead with the heart of a cat lady.

"My wife and I, we've got a few," says head brewer Todd Haug, gently nudging the conversation away from the actual count, since "there's a limit on the number of cats you're allowed to have in Minneapolis."

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Khati and Andrew French Are the 1 Percenters of Your Food Supply

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E. Katie Holm
Khati and Andrew French are living the sustainable dream

One of the fascinating Twin Cities community members featured in City Pages' People 2015 issue. Check out our entire People 2015 issue.

If you can't stomach another headline about animal cruelty on a corporate farm, turn your attention to Khati and Andrew French.

Factory farms produce roughly 99 percent of all U.S. meat. The Frenches are the 1 percenters.

Their Living the Dream farm across the St. Croix in Oceola, Wisconsin, specializes in permaculture, the notion that raising animals, vegetables, and perennial crops should be sustainable. They supply duck eggs, pastured poultry and pork, and Highland beef to the Twin Cities.

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Dan Oskey's New Craft Distillery in Northeast: "Life's Too Short to Drink Crap"

Categories: Interview

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Courtesy of Tattersall

Pick two colors. Imagine them as long strips in your mind, and weave them perpendicularly over each other. If you're like us, you'll recognize it as something plaid-ish, probably a flannel. Good.

This summer, that pervasive pattern is working its way into Northeast in the form of Tattersall. What's Tattersall? It's a fancy term for plaid, the checkered design that is Minneapolis's unofficial uniform -- and the name of the next distillery in Minnesota's burgeoning craft distillery scene.

See also:
Which Bargain Beer Should Be the Official Tallboy of Minnesota?

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