This Fresh Forkin’ Friday kicks off a long weekend of fun for most folks. There’s tonnage of stuff to be grilled, sangrias to make, washers to be tossed all in the name of welcoming The Good Life (read: summer in MN). I will be attending at least one gathering, one that is not at my house, which is hard for me: what to bring? There’s a level of expectation from some people, not my normal food set girls who all play in the big pool, but the from the pals who have gloriously nothing to do with the industry. They look to me to bring something different, something they wouldn’t have thought of. This cracks me up, because the first thing I’ll do is Google and then I’ll hit some mags. I’m not saying I’ll rip something off and claim it came from my great culinary brain, but I’ll look for some inspiration and see if there’s something fun and funky that I can riff on and make easily enough so that I don’t have to break a sweat (it’s my weekend, too). I figure that’s what most of us do. I think I might grill some prawns and float them on a platter of fregola (I swear it’s all fregola these days) with a bit of arugula pesto. The leggy prawns should rightly freak some people out and fregola looks like swollen cous cous, plus the arugula pesto has a nice bite that the basil stuff can’t hit, so I think my food cred is safe.
Prairie Kitchen & Bar is the first new shiner to open in the remodeled Hyatt. Oh the days when the Hyatt was a destination for both Manny’s and Oceanaire. It looks like the hotel is taking the food game seriously again, the remodeled Taxxi space is stylish and modern with a two-story fireplace anchoring the room. The whole vibe is upscale Minnesota with a touch of nordic character (lingonberry, lingonberry) and modern winks to our tried and true local food icons (wild rice brat, parmesan crusted walleye). There’s Bittercube on the cocktail list and Fulton on the beer list, plus a separate lounge menu.
AliShops has a little buzz about the fabulous re-do of Southdale and it seems that there will be a few more restaurants coming to the Edina biggee. Someone is finally going into the old Maggiano’s space and there’s possibly someone taking over the Ulta location. There will also be a few new fast-casual concepts that have been coyly described as “chicken and burger.” Look for more specific news on names and details coming this week.
The World Street Kitchen boys will be slinging yum-yum bowls in a kitchen that doesn’t roll! The Wadi brothers are taking their food truck to a bricks and mortar location on 28th and Lyndale.
You might already be too late to buy tickets to this very cool blind beer tasting. The Better Beer Society is holding a Blind Beer Tasting at Butcher & The Boar on June 30 (brought to you by the letter B). This summer session of backyard BBQ beers will run you $45 for 28 carefully selected taps broken down into four categories. DudeBros who think they are all pro on beer will be able to put their money where their beard is, the beer comes to your table in blind taster cups and you have to score/ID them on a sheet. The person with the most correct points in the end wins a huge ego and some prizes. Along with each round of sipping there will be house-specialty sausage by the B&B boys.
I love this! Finally, for all of you looking for a healthy snack at Target Field, you shall have one. Roots for the Home Team is a new program that will bring produce grown in local youth farms to Target Field on home game Sundays, starting this Sunday. The kids who grow the ingredients had a hand in creating the salad recipes such as Silas’ Fiesta Salad and Bryan and Ly’s Epic Quinoa Salad. Look for the Garden Goodies cart just inside Gate 34. Let’s see if we can’t get some good lines forming, then maybe they’ll get the program to run on other days as well!
Did you enter? The St. Croix Valley Brew-B-Que is this weekend and not only will there be tons of wings and ribs to be gnawed, but there will be an entire dunk tank filled with just brewed Lift Bridge Farm Girl Saison. That’s right, about 250 gallons or 2,400 bottles of freshly brewed beer that someone will be swimming in. The honor to be the first in the pristine suds will be auctioned off before the first dunk (proceeds go to Valley Outreach), dig deep in your pockets chums, this opportunity doesn’t come along often.
The kids from Cupcake are on Cupcake Wars this Sunday competing for the grand championship against 15 other suitors. Join the gang at a viewing party at the New Century Theater or tune in at 7 p.m. to the Food Network to see if Kevin Van Derra can make it to the finals.
If you are bloggish and you love food, you may want to check out TECHmunch. A series of blogger conferences held around the country, our local version will be held June 2 at the 514 Studios in Minneapolis. On the hook for insight and information are Andrew Zimmern, Daniel Klein of Perennial Plate, and more! I’ll be moderating a panel of food writers and editors as we dig into how to make the transition from hobbyist to paid professional (a.k.a. living the dream). A Must Attend, don’t you think?