Minnesota Spoon: Bibimbap, Urban Roots, and Eddie Wu

We live in a world saturated by the pursuit of brand and audience. Social media has turned us all into intimate personal entrepreneurs marketing the product of our curated selves. We present to the world evidence that we lead enviable lives, and that we command a following, more or less loyal, that is supposed to … [ Read more]

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From Eat Streets to Food Deserts: Nonprofits aim to fix a broken food system in the Twin Cities

A thriving, nationally recognized food scene is one part of living in the Twin Cities. So is the troubling existence of food deserts in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. We’re surrounded by fertile farmland. We’re a recognized destination for creative chefs and adventurous diners. Yet while it may seem that the Twin Cities would be a place that feeds all … [ Read more]

The Mill: Parlour Bar to open a St. Paul location near Xcel Energy Center

The eastward migration of Minneapolis restaurateurs to St. Paul is showing no signs of slowing down, especially in light of the news that Parlour Bar will be opening up a second location on West 7th Street. The original Parlour Bar in Minneapolis’ North Loop quickly gained a loyal following after it’s opening in 2012, and has since achieved … [ Read more]

Fridays on Isabel: Black Market StP brings its barbecue to the people

A large silver barbecue smoker is parked on the 200 block of Isabel Street on St. Paul’s West Side. It’s a neighborhood fixture. Pull up Google Maps and you’ll see it in the satellite photos. Every week, Robert Lorch-Benysek and his wife, Jill Moeller, load it with black cherry wood and stuff the racks full … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: A certain lack of ego with the collaborative excellence of Grand Cafe

Jamie Malone leans back against a pale pink throw pillow, and looks over at her chef de cuisine Alan Hlebaen. She has just answered a question by, in fact, not answering it, and instead deflecting the question to Alan, who adjusts a pair of black, rectangular wire rims and offers a serious, thoughtful response. Let’s … [ Read more]

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Growing Strange and Beautiful: The Sheridan Community Garden

The lot at the corner of NE 15th Avenue and 3rd Street NE in the Sheridan neighborhood of Northeast Minneapolis used to be overgrown and forgotten. Today, it is lush and blooming with zinnias and marigolds, a grape arbor, fruit trees and rows and rows of vegetables. The Sheridan Neighborhood Organization (SNO) Community Garden is in … [ Read more]

The Mill: NOLO’s Kitchen & Bar opens October 9, Basement Bar not long after

September 13—September 19 Going for a bit of a “where everyone knows your name” vibe, NOLO’s Kitchen & Bar will open its doors to the public on Monday, October 9 in the historic Gardner Hardware Building at 515 Washington Avenue. Look for an announcement about NOLO’s companion space downstairs, the Basement Bar that will open in a few … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: Back to the Stone Age with Twin Cities bakers embracing Old World traditions

If you’ve ever gotten used to the taste of Folgers coffee—as I have, intermittently, during life’s dark stretches—and then opened a bag of just-ground, freshly roasted coffee beans, you will understand my state of mind last Friday, as I walked into the production room of Baker’s Field Flour & Bread, in Northeast Minneapolis’s Food Building. … [ Read more]

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Back on the Farm: Cultivating the next crop of farmers

Jim Weninger has been an Agriculture Education instructor and Future Farmers of America (FFA) advisor at Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted High School, located 45 miles west of Minneapolis, for 34 years. Back when he started, many FFA students were “farm kids”—children whose families derived their income from production farming. That is no longer the case. Today, only … [ Read more]

The Food Hub Dilemma (or what we mean when we say we support local farmers)

What’s the best way to support a local farmer? Buying their product, obviously, that much is clear. But how? And where? I’ve been providing mostly scattershot support for my farmer-neighbors. I eat at restaurants known to feature their products. I browse farmers’ markets and have a CSA share. I try to eat with the seasons, … [ Read more]

Love, Anger, and Salumi: A picnic with Mike Phillips of Red Table Meat Company

Mike Phillips looks tired. That’s because he is tired. Mike is the quiet Twin Cities institution who over the years has given us Chet’s Taverna, The Craftsman Restaurant, and, though we have yet to prove ourselves entirely worthy, Red Table Meat Company. Yes, he gets up for work at 5am most days, but that’s not … [ Read more]

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The Food Pedalers: Why food companies in the Twin Cities are betting on bike delivery

To start her bicycle delivery shift with Brake Bread bakery, Hannah Field straps her bike to a sizable trailer, which doubles as an advertisement and a bread transporter. “Fresh Bread By Bike to You” the trailer reads, “BrakeBread.com.” As she makes her weekly deliveries to homes and local businesses, which serve as makeshift CSA stops … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: Travail cooks traditional with Bob Gerken, James Winberg, and Mike Brown

So they arrived, the guys from Travail Kitchen & Amusements. Or rather two of the three guys. The third guy might swing by later. The two guys, Bob and James, got out of their white pickup. Introduced themselves. We smiled at each other. Bob had kind eyes and a scruffy black beard that failed to … [ Read more]

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Minnesota Spoon: Baja on the Lake with Billy Tserenbat and Zach Schugel

Billy Tserenbat arrives at our house with the odds stacked against him. We are here to create a kind of Baja California beach party as a way of getting to know Billy’s new Wayzata restaurant, a beach-centric, Mexican-influenced, fish and seafood celebration called Baja Haus. Except that a sunny May sky has turned suddenly woolen … [ Read more]

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RJ’s Meats in Hudson installing a meat vending machine

In the most uber-Wisconsin development of the day, RJ’s Meats, the terrific butchery in Hudson, took delivery of a Regiomat meat vending machine from Germany. The refrigerated unit will be stocked with an unspecified selection of meats in the near future. The company claims, via Facebook, that the machine is the first of its kind in … [ Read more]