Lean Times: Pandemic stories from Minnesota restaurants that survived the crisis—or didn’t

The hospitality industry exists somewhere at the intersection between magic and mathematics. On the “magic” side of things: the cheerful ambiance of a full dining room. Servers and bartenders who can intuit the guests’ needs before the guests can speak them aloud. Ingredients with connections to the land, to growers, and to traditions that make … [ Read more]

Brewing in the Time of COVID: To ensure their survival, Minnesota breweries have had to get creative

In the time since March 16, when it was announced that Minnesota’s bars and restaurants would only be allowing takeout service, breweries across the state have been in a constant state of flux. Though some breweries saw the storm approaching and started ramping down production in the weeks leading up to the state’s lockdown, the … [ Read more]

Dinner and the Plague: Even as the state okays dining out, patrons need to do the right thing

James Norton is The Growler’s Food Editor. The views and opinions expressed in this essay are his own.  My mask is in my left hand. My glass is in my right hand. As the first sip of junmai ginjo sake hits my mouth, I can feel my eyes watering in response. I live with my … [ Read more]