11 Local Markets to Get You Through Winter

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Mike Kooiman

The arrival of winter doesn't mean the end of farmers markets, and this year there are more indoor markets than ever before. If you loved visiting the Mill City Market this summer to pick up a free-range chicken, some cheese, and that addictive bag of butterscotch granola, you can now make it a part of your winter routine.

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10 Twin Cities Apple Dishes and Drinks to Try Right Now

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Stacy Spensley

Good food is all about the present. Spend all your time geeking out about the MN55, the lovechild of a Honeycrisp and a MonArk and the next big thing coming from the poindexters at the University of Minnesota apple research lab, and you'll miss the seasonal flavors sweetening up menus across the Twin Cities right this very minute.

We've got a list of 10 nibbles and tipples to get you started on this quest for that teacher's-favorite, doctor's-worst-nightmare, doesn't-fall-far-from-the-tree kind of autumnal fruit that makes Minnesotans go wild.

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Dessert Wines to Try and Where to Buy in the Twin Cities

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Where to Get Thanksgiving-To-Go in the Twin Cities

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Ruocaled

For those of us who feel overwhelmed by the thought of cooking enough food to feed a football team on Thanksgiving Day, several Twin Cities restaurants offer an essential escape hatch. Whether we need to add a few side dishes into the mix, snag a pie or two, or commission the big bird itself, we can place our orders and relax knowing the day will come and go without a hitch.

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Haunted Dining at Billy's in Anoka: The Tale of the Spooky Scrod

Categories: 'Tis the Season

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Suzy Piper
Uhhh...anybody home?

It was Friday night and we were ready for some spooky thrills and ghoulish grub, so we did what anyone would do: We googled haunted restaurants in the vicinity. There are a few in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area (Forepaugh's and Cuzzy's to name a couple), but we wanted an adventure. So we chose Anoka, the self-proclaimed capital of Halloween and all things scarifying. The haunted establishment we set out for was Billy's, a popcorn-littered sports bar stuffed into an old Victorian hotel -- which was once a scarifyingly scandalous brothel.

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8 Best Bets for Local Candy This Halloween

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Michael Ocampo/Jeff Vier
Don't let this happen to you.

Halloween isn't just for kids anymore, but that doesn't necessarily mean you want to gorge yourself on fun-sized Snickers, Pixy Stix, and Skittles (but, hey, no judgement if you do). Check out the offerings from these Minnesota candy makers that will take your holiday to the sublime, whether you're watching Texas Chainsaw 3D, hosting a costumed bash, or making a midnight trip to a haunted graveyard.

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The 5 Best Fall Soups in the Twin Cities

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Junita Bognanni
Borough's parsnip soup

The true soup lover longs for fall. After a summer of haphazard cooking, meals thrown together from fresh farmers market fare, we start to crave more complex flavors. The cooler temperatures inspire us to return to the kitchen. We're ready to linger over a simmering pot. Is it the changing leaves? The cable-knit sweaters? The preponderance of pumpkin? We don't know, but as far as we're concerned it is officially soup season by mid-September.

Luckily for us soup-lovers (and non-cooks), Minneapolis/St. Paul restaurants are just as enamored with the autumn harvest. Here are some of our favorite fall flavors.

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6 Local Ciders to Woo You This Fall

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As this crisp, pleasant, all-too-short time of year rolls around again, productivity is in the air. Kids go back to school, adults go back to regular work hours, we take our last trips to the cabin and start making dinner in the crock pot instead of on the grill, and suddenly every store smells like some sort of cinnamon-spiced Yankee Candle. As much as we're all sticking to schedules and vowing to get stuff done, we still need an end-of-the-day way to unwind. In summer, we do that with a beer. In fall, we do it with a cider. Here are a few of our locally made favorites.

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Food truck guide 2014: The best new and returning mobile kitchens in the Twin Cities

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E. Katie Holm
Trucks are lining up to feed you. Here's where to find them.
Our ever-evolving food truck scene has undergone yet another wave of transformation. 

Back in its infancy, the main challenges facing these vehicular restaurants were getting proper permits and finding available street parking. Then came the success stories, the kooky concepts, the carts, the one-offs, and the brick-and-mortar dreams. Fairs and rallies were organized. Inevitable turf wars surfaced. Winter-specific trucks like Warming House popped up and made us re-think these mobile kitchens as a spring and summer-only affair. Existing restaurants got the bright idea of adding trucks as an offshoot of their thriving businesses. Kickstarters launched. Some succeeded. But most importantly, the trucks found their fans, the people followed their favorites from downtown lunch to weekend brewery event, getting to know the dedicated makers behind those sliding service windows. 

If you've been meaning to get out and discover the truck that makes your ideal meal, now's your chance: The warm weather means the fleet is out in full force. Here's a handy guide to our picks for best new and returning food trucks.

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Marin opens patio for spring, puts Chad Larson back behind the bar

Categories: 'Tis the Season
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Is it gin o'clock already?
Patio season is officially here. No, don't look ahead at the forecast. We have felt the spring sun on our warm-weather starved faces and you can't make us go back inside! To mark the start of the season, Marin has opened its patio in downtown Minneapolis and welcomed the return of craft-cocktail slinger Chad Larson.

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Zen Box Izakaya brings worldly inspiration to ramen

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John Ng
Special ramen
The Ramen Attacks lines were epic. By some accounts, people waited, with varying degrees of patience, for over four hours to get a bowl of those coveted noodles.

At Zen Box Izakaya the winter wait time has been reduced drastically. Chef and owner John Ng just returned from a culinary tour of Japan along with his wife and front-of-house manager, Lina Goh. The two were inspired by all the sights, sounds, smells, and tastes, and this weekend, Ng will share some of those flavors with ramen fans at his restaurant.

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