Smack Shack giving away free cider and chowder at happy hour today

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Benjamin Carter Grimes
Patio season jump start
The sun is out. Our cars are starting on the first try. Winter, while far from over, seems to have backed off a little bit. The folks at North Loop's Smack Shack are ready to throw off those icy shackles and celebrate the incredible temperature swing by opening up their patio for a special event today -- complete with some complimentary food and drink.

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Comfort Food Friday: Chicken pot pie

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Katy Meeks
Chicken potpie

This week we found a chicken pot pie that hit the spot, filling our comfort food need and then some. Making the thirty minute trek to Jake O'Connor's Public Housein Excelsior for this masterful pot pie was entirely worth it. In the area, the pub is known for its staple Irish dishes, beer selection, and authentic, rustic décor.

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Comfort Food Friday: Meatloaf 2.0


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Comfort Food Friday: Meatloaf 2.0

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Kitchen Life of a Navy Wife
Classic Meatloaf
Meatloaf just may be the ultimate comfort food. A longtime American dinner staple, this nostalgic dish has undergone many modern twists. But if you look for it, you can still find meatloaf served up the same way Grandma used to make it 50 years ago.

The best meatloaf in the Twin Cities is hard to pin down. Every restaurant has their own take on the classic cold-weather delight. So instead of one meatloaf winner, we snatched up our two favorites and called it a tie -- the more meatloaf the merrier.

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Comfort food of the week: The Lowry's mac and cheese


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Comfort food of the week: The Lowry's mac and cheese

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The Lowry's mac and cheese
The season's first snowfall can come as a shock to us Minnesotans -- a sort of slap in the face, a reality check that those warm August nights are long gone. It's the same every year: We trade our balmy patio seats (complete with fruity cocktails) for six months of eating indoors and the inevitable icy gust we've all experienced when stuck sitting by the restaurant's entrance.

With at least five months of winter ahead of us, now's the perfect time to explore the heartiest and coziest comfort foods in the Twin Cities, guaranteed to warm the tummy and keep out the chill.

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Glam Doll now selling chicken pot pie donuts


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Meritage Oysterfest is back!

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photo courtesy of Meritage
Get your salty slurp on

That's right, mothershuckers, it's a big-time bivalve celebration. After a steep learning curve from last year, Meritage's Oysterfest is returning for a third year of oyster slurping, education, brews, and food. Here are the details on this year's event.

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Bike to dinner: St. Paul edition

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Dawn Brodey
The chariot of the dining bicyclist.

Dare we say it -- summer has finally arrived -- and as it does, increased numbers of weather-weary Twin Citians are taking to their bicycles and hitting the town. They pedal the Lakes, the Grand Rounds, the Greenway, or any of the many urban bike lanes. It is for good reason that we are regularly voted among the most bike-friendly cities in the country.

But bike-friendly isn't the only feather in our cap -- we are also regularly voted among the best cities for foodies. So why not combine the two?

A few weeks ago Hot Dish brought you a course for your courses -- a bike-friendly route with recommended stops for appetizers, dinner and dessert. Beginning and ending in Minneapolis, the 10-mile course was a big hit.

Now Hot Dish pedals East and presents a course for your courses in St. Paul. This seven-mile route hits some of Saint Paul's classic locations and new favorites -- and burns a lot of calories along the way.


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Bike to dinner: A course for your courses

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Dawn Brodey
The chariot of the dining bicyclist.

The Twin Cities is regularly voted among the most bike-friendly metro areas in the country. Bicycling.com currently has us in the #1 spot although we regularly swap the prestigious ranking for second place with Portland, Oregon.

Similarly, publications such as Travel and Leisure also have the Twin Cities and Portland sharing top spots for best cities for foodies.

The situation has us asking two big questions: One, how do we get rid of Portland; and two, how do we best pair our Cities' tremendous and unique opportunities to bike and eat out?

Biking to dinner can be a trick. Does the establishment have a bike rack? Will my helmet hair and wrinkled right cuff solicit snubs from the other diners? Do they serve Surly?

Well, Hot Dish cooked up a sample course for your courses: a scenic, bike-friendly, 10-mile loop with recommended stops for beer, apps, dinner, and, since you've earned it, dessert. On your next date night, why not ditch a couple of wheels and take this road less traveled.


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Cafeteria in Uptown opens Sky Bar this weekend

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Michelle Leon
Sky Bar opens this weekend with a whole host of activities from yoga to hookah

Patio season is in full swing and now that we've had steady days of sun and higher temps, some of the more elaborate, full-service rooftop bars are finally opening for the summer too. Uptown Cafeteria and Support Group, never one to do things quietly, is planning a full day of activities to coincide with the opening of Sky Bar, its top-level pièce de résistance which features a Roald Dahl-approved great glass elevator and lovely views of downtown Minneapolis.

Here's the full schedule of events celebrating Sky Bar's opening on Saturday, May 18.

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Herkimer's summer sports leagues are back

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Courtesy of the Herkimer
Herkimer's outdoor sports stadium.

For over 13 years, The Herkimer has been serving up more than just beer and food - they have also sponsored a variety of sports leagues from kickball to bean bags.

Caroline O'Halloran, social media and marketing manager for Herkimer, tells us their roster also includes volleyball, softball, hockey, dodge ball, and shuffleboard.

See also:
Herkimer: Best happy hour in town?

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Top 5 places to eat on the Mississippi: A dining guide for river rats

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A table with a view of the Mississippi River aboard the Padelford riverboats, No. 3 on the river rats dining guide.








Believe it or not, Twin Cities, spring is coming! And as it does, an increasing number of our citizens find themselves drawn to the riverfront to watch the progress. They want to see if the geese are back, if the ice is melting, and just how loud the falls are roaring. The only thing that makes springtime river-watching more enjoyable is to do it while eating something delicious and/or drinking an ice cold beer.

The Hot Dish is happy to go with the flow. We bring you the top five places to eat and drink in the Twin Cities while gazing at the mighty Mississippi River.


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