The Fryer: Restaurant News, BEST New Restaurants, and Events, Events, Events!

Another week and another slew of Minnesota related food news. We’ve got everything from beer festivals, new restaurant openings, restaurants voted “best new restaurant” status, and events, events, and even more events!

Restaurants Add 3% Surcharge for Healthcare

This week started off with a little bit of restaurant news/controversy when Kim Bartmann’s group of restaurants opted to start adding a 3% insurence fee to all tickets. The Bartmann group (Barbette, Bryant Lake Bowl, Pat’s Tap, Red Stag Supperclub, Tiny Diner and The Bird), has long offered insurance to employees who work more than 25 hours per week, however, amid rising costs, they recently opted to add the surcharge. If you’d like to learn more about that, we did a whole piece on the topic which you can read about here.

On Old Restaurant Breathes New Life

In other news, the Star Tibune’s, Rick Nelson, just gave a glowing review to the newly reopened, Lexington, in St. Paul. Hat’s off to long time Twin Cities chef, Jack Riebel, for breathing some new life into the long lost supper club scene!

Fast Food Clones

In the fast-food copycat scene this week, St. Paul’s newest vegan restaurant, J.Selby’s, made the social media rounds with the introduction of their brand new “Dirty Secret”; a vegan interpretation of the classic Big Mac. The sandwich features two “beaf” patties and a coconut oil based vegan cheese that come courtisy of Minneapolis’ notorious vegan butcher shop, The Herbivorous Butcher. The sandwich also gets the mandatory lettuce, pickles, and onions treatment and features a dairy-free special sauce all of which is served on a vegan sesame seed bun. In addition to the “Dirty Secret”, vegan diners can also get their hands on what they’re calling, The Soyclone, which is made using soy-based, dairy free ice cream, so dine on vegan friends. Dine on.

Best New Restaurant

This week Eater announced their list of the 12 best new restaurants in the country. Included on the list is Minneapolis’ brand new Young Joni. Since it’s opening back last winter, it’s recieved rave reviews from a variety of publications across the country which include another “best new restaurant” win from GQ and a James Beard Semi-finalist nomination, also for “best new restaurant”. Owner, Ann Kim, is also responsbile for South Minneapolis’ Pizzeria Lola and Hello Pizza.

Superstar Comedian Steals the Stage and Dines Locally

This week, mega-comedian, Dave Chappelle, came into town to play a crazy FIVE consecutive show’s at Minneapolis’, Icehouse. While tickets for the show quickly sold out, a handful of Minnesota diners were able to catch the man during an after show visit to Robbinsdale’s illustrious, Travail. While Chappelle and crew dined in the restaurants back bar, which was closed off to the public, eagle-eyed patrons where easily able to pick out the Comedy Central star.

New Restaurant Opening

In even more St. Paul news, this week saw the opening of new pizza joint, Delicata, open in the Como Park neighborhood. Delicata comes to St. Paul courtesy of the crews behind Republic and the also recently opened, Bar Brigade. The menu consists of a fairly laid back menu which includes pizza, appetizers, and gelato. While the menu may be pretty straightforward, with culinary director, J.D. Fratzke, at the helm, you know it’s all going to be out of this world!

Events, Events, Events!

August always has more events than any rational human being could possibly attended, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try anyway. You could start off the night heading over to Omni Brewing in Maple Grove for their Friday night music series, this week featuring Brain Laidlaw & the Family Trade, or you could join them up north, along with our friends at Big Wood Brewing, in Duluth for the All Pints North festival.

On Saturday, country music legend, Mary Chapin Carpenter, will be playing at the Minnesota Zoo and on Monday you can check out the 3rd Annual Big Wood Golf Tournament, put on by White Bear Lake’s, Big Wood Brewing, which seeks to raise funds for adult day and memory care, day training and habilitation, and supported employment through Merrick, Inc. of Vadnais Heights.

Additionally, this weekend will also be Northgate Brewing’s, Harry Potter Birthday Party, as well as Coup d’état’s fourth annual, Rock the Block, in Uptown.

Next weekend is also the Uptown Art Fair where you’ll be able to catch yours truly judging the Kitchen Window Culinary Art’s Competition, which pairs local Twin Cities chef’s with local artists and challenges them to create complimentary creative works. It’s alway super fun and you should definitely come and check it out. The art fair runs from August 4th-6th and you can catch the culinary arts competition Friday, Aug. 4th at 2pm, 4pm, and 6pm, Saturday, Aug. 5th at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm, and Sunday, Aug. 6th at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm.

Finally, on Saturday, August 5th, it will be Smack Shack’s annual, CrayFest, which features a variety of crayfish eating and themed events along with pleanty of drinking and live music. It’s always a good time and you can, you should definitely get there and check it out, espcially if you’re a fan of putting away tons of mud-bugs!


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