Take Action Now: Comment to Protect the BWCA from Copper Mining

Courtesy of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters

Courtesy of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters

This post is sponsored by Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters.

At the heart of the Upper Midwest’s unique cultural heritage is a love of freshwater fish and wild game. The threat posed by sulfide-ore coppers mines to clean, protected wilderness areas like the Boundary Waters Canoe Area is real, and it puts that heritage at risk.

Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters is one of several groups working to ensure that these woods and waters remain protected and unpolluted. We are currently in a public comment period and environmental review and your comments can help sustain the momentum and defend these wild places from proposed mining activity and the waste that is associated with it.

Courtesy of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters

Courtesy of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters

The Boundary Waters is a vast wilderness of lakes, streams, and forests where anglers and hunters can test their skills. This wild landscape is home to moose, deer, bear, grouse, walleye, bass, lake trout and pike.

Even conservative models of pollution show that waterways would carry contaminants from these mines into the Wilderness. A single mine in this watershed could pollute the areas where you fish or hunt for at least 500 years.

Acid mine drainage, heavy metals and associated pollutants from sulfide-ore copper mines harm microorganisms, aquatic plants and fish. Acid mine drainage also increases the acidity of waters. As acidity increases, we know certain species will be unable to survive. Minnows are impacted first, followed by walleye, northerns, smallmouth bass, trout and loons.

The forests of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness are deeply interconnected with the streams, lakes, wetlands and groundwater. Mining activities would disrupt this relationship, resulting in the loss of forest area and unique opportunities for hunting in remote areas.

Courtesy of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters

Courtesy of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters

Minnesotans already face fish consumption advisories from mercury contamination around the state. Sulfide-ore copper mining near the Boundary Waters would expose local residents and visitors alike to additional sources of mercury, increasing the risk of elevated blood mercury above the safe limit.

Your engagement in the environmental review process, and your continued support for the coalition, are critical. The environmental review process has started with a 90-day public comment period.

If this threat is of concern to you, your comments on this environmental review are needed now!

As someone who loves the Boundary Waters, your comment should be sent in as soon as possible, and definitely before April 19. You should also consider attending and speaking up at an agency-hosted public meeting.

ABOUT SPORTSMEN FOR THE BOUNDARY WATERS: Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters was formed by a group of sportsmen and women who are concerned about protecting the habitat of the area where they hunt, fish and camp. Learn more about the group on the Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters website.

Courtesy of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters

Courtesy of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters



La Terraza Mexican in Mankato

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Madison Avenue is a main drag in Mankato that consists primarily of nearly every chain and big-box store you could want. Or not want, as the case may be. If you find yourself on Madison and hungry, don’t despair–there’s a Mexican restaurant that’s bucking the trend, and we could not be more thankful.

La Terraza is a breath of fresh air on the Mankato strip. The restaurant interior feels new, even though it’s been open almost four years, and with more of an upscale feel than one would expect from its location.

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Of course, interior means nothing without good food, and on that count, La Terraza delivers. Everything is made from scratch onsite, including the flour tortillas, which were plump and airy, more kin to naan than to the traditional thin flour tortilla. The Enchiladas Verde ($9) came plated as cheese enchiladas buried in goodly helpings of succulent pork, onions, and green peppers, all in a verde sauce redolent of fresh cilantro and lime juice, along with portions of better-than-average refried beans and Mexican rice.

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

The Molcajete ($16) is sized for sharing and is served in an eye-catching giant heated stone serving bowl. It’s a thick, earthy stew of fajita beef, chorizo, shrimp, and chicken served over a bed of grilled cactus leaves, onions, and peppers. The whole thing is tossed in a thick, gravy-like sauce made of tomatillos and roasted chiles (but no worries, the heat level is mild). There’s so much flavor going on here that it’s a little delirious, but in a wonderful way. Take advantage of the puffy tortillas to act as a solid base for the stew-like concoction.

Kudos to La Terraza for adding some authentic Mexican food to what otherwise is mostly a real food desert. May it inspire others to do the same.

La Terraza, 1404 Madison Ave, Mankato, MN; 507.344.0607.



Heavy Table Hot Five: Feb. 24-Mar. 2

hotfive-flames

Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email editor@heavytable.com.

shepherd-song-banner-ad-horiz-3The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.

shepherd-song-green-keyline

James Norton / Heavy Table

James Norton / Heavy Table

1-new - oneSakatah Cheese from Alemar
Made from cow’s milk and aged in grape leaves, Sakatah isn’t a simple object or a simple flavor. The cheese we tried was intensely salty and peppery, and possessed a profoundly funky finish. By itself, it was aggressive but palatable, but on a freshly baked baguette it was absolutely delicious, the crusty substance of the bread moderating and cradling the intensity of the cheese. Its earthiness is complemented still further by a sweet spread with a similar umami-rich element – we tried it with a fig and orange spread and the result was a fantastic flavor bomb.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by James Norton]

James Norton / Heavy Table

James Norton / Heavy Table

2-new - twoRIS from Inbound Brewing
There’s a snappy, almost pepper-like bitterness in Inbound’s Russian Imperial Stout that keeps RIS from slumping into the oversweet, overboozy stupor that can define this category of big brews. Dried fruit can often dominate this sort of special release, but in this case the flavor trends more toward dark chocolate and bold roasty notes that balance out the beer’s mild but persistent bite.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by from an upcoming review by James Norton]

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

Amy Rea / Heavy Table

3-new - threeThe Molcajete from La Terraza
The Molcajete from La Terraza in Mankato is sized for sharing and is served in an eye-catching giant heated stone serving bowl. It’s a thick, earthy stew of fajita beef, chorizo, shrimp, and chicken served over a bed of grilled cactus leaves, onions, and peppers. The whole thing is tossed in a thick, gravy-like sauce made of tomatillos and roasted chiles (but no worries, the heat level is mild). There’s so much flavor going on here that it’s a little delirious, but in a wonderful way. Take advantage of the puffy tortillas to act as a solid base for the stew-like concoction.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Amy Rea]

Varsha Koneru / Heavy Table

Varsha Koneru / Heavy Table

4-new fourButternut Squash Daiquiri at Cafe Alma
A butternut squash cocktail doesn’t sound like something you would want to order, especially in favor of the other great cocktail choices on Cafe Alma’s menu, but this one is worth trying. The squash notes are subtle, but add a wonderful earthiness to the drink. There is a burst of lemon for freshness and acidity, which balances the mild sweetness of the squash.  If that isn’t enough, the drink is served in an adorable hollowed gourd, and topped with a velvety sage leaf, making it one of the best looking cocktails around.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #1 | Submitted by Varsha Koneru]

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

Tricia Cornell / Heavy Table

5-new -five Beef Tagine at Moroccan Flavors
A speedy, elegant lunch from a warming tray? Yes. In the heart of the Midtown Global Market, you can get an authentic, slow-cooked tagine. The beef is rich, sweet and mildly spicy, served with apricots, prunes and almonds over rice. Or choose chicken and squash, served over couscous.
[Last Week on the Hot Five: #3 | Submitted by Bruce Manning]



Chef Camp Cooks! Classes at the Food Building

Food-building-+-Chef-Camp-graphics

Nathan Strandberg

This post is sponsored by Chef Camp, a three-day culinary retreat amid the woods and water of Sturgeon Lake, MN.

This spring, join 2017 Chef Camp chef instructors Vincent Francoual and Yia Vang for a limited series of cooking classes at the Food Building in Minneapolis.

Chefs Vincent and Yia will demonstrate technique and tell stories about food and cooking all while using artisan ingredients from Food Building producers including Red Table Meats and Bakers Field Flour & Bread. Classes are $25 and include multiple hearty tastes of food prepared by your instructor.

Chef Camp Cooks! attendees will receive a discount code good for $25 off of a Chef Camp ticket.

Courtesy of Cara Pubs

Courtesy of Cara Pubs

MARCH 9, 6-7:30 p.m.: Jambon Royale with Vincent Francoual

Vincent will demonstrate the uses of jambon royale (uncured ham) with arugula, a cured fat croustade, and a cheese curd soffrito. He’ll also teach Pain Perdu (AKA French Toast) using Baker’s Field brioche, baked apples, and bacon-whiskey jam.

Chelsea Korth / Heavy Table

Chelsea Korth / Heavy Table

APRIL 11 and 13 at 6-7:30 p.m.: Kimchi Fried Rice with Pancetta and Salumi with Yia Vang (Tickets: April 11 | April 13)

Yia will share techniques for making a world-class fried rice dish using Red Table Meats and charred veggies, topped with a fried duck egg and ricotta cheese. The dish brings together flavors of sweet, salty, bitter, sour and umami tastes.

buy-tickets-bugTickets are available on Eventbrite: March 9, April 11, April 13

VINCENT FRANCOUAL serves as the Culinary Director for Cara Irish Pubs. Vincent worked under famed chef Eric Ripert at Le Bernardin, a 4-star New York Times and 3-star Michelin-rated restaurant. He also owned and operated Vincent A Restaurant in Minneapolis, a local favorite for 15 years before he closed the restaurant in 2015 to venture into his current role.

YIA VANG is the proprietor of the pop-up restaurant Union Kitchen. He was born in a refugee camp in Thailand and his father and mother moved their family to the US in 1988. While working in some of the foremost kitchens of Minneapolis (including Nighthawks, Borough, and Spoon and Stable) he began to find his own voice in showcasing Hmong food.

Adam Hester

Adam Hester

CHEF CAMP is a three-day gastronomic retreat held at YMCA Camp Miller from Sep. 1-3, 2017. It includes camp activities, feasting, and culinary instruction taught by some of the region’s most talented chefs. For tickets and more information, visit chefcampmn.com.

Chelsea Korth / Heavy Table

Chelsea Korth / Heavy Table

THE FOOD BUILDING in Northeast Minneapolis is home to some of the Upper Midwest’s most noteworthy food artisans including Red Table Meat Company, Baker’s Field Flour & Bread, and Lone Grazer Creamery.



An Illustrated Tour of the Original Coney Island Cafe and Bar

WACSO / Heavy Table

WACSO / Heavy Table

Some time in the mid 1990s, the Original Coney Island Cafe and Bar in St. Paul abruptly went dark. A sign posted in the window said that the restaurant was closed due to family illness. The sign stayed there for years, but the space remained untouched and looking like they could reopen at any minute. Since they closed, I’ve pressed my face against the window 1,000 times wishing/hoping it would reopen. Well, they finally did…for one day earlier this month during the St. Paul Winter Carnival. We got there early and stood in a line with the diehards that stretched down the block an hour before they opened…everyone waiting for a taste of that famous Coney dog and a peek at space that’s been frozen in time. Sometimes dreams really do come true.

(Top: The line stretched out the door and down the block. And see the original-sized illustrations on WACSO’s website, in gallery #31.)

There are 2 distinct sides to the Original Coney Island…the “cafe” side, and the “bar” side. Walk through a fenced doorway with a sign reminding you that children are NOT allowed in the bar area and the space goes from a very diner-like space with stools at a counter, to a very bar-like space with stools at a bar.

WACSO / Heavy Table

WACSO / Heavy Table

The bar side.

WACSO / Heavy Table

WACSO / Heavy Table

The cafe side.

WACSO / Heavy Table

WACSO / Heavy Table

The old bar gets a workout.

WACSO / Heavy Table

WACSO / Heavy Table

Enjoying the original.

WACSO / Heavy Table

WACSO / Heavy Table

People couldn’t believe what they were seeing: an “open” sign.

WACSO / Heavy Table

WACSO / Heavy Table

Left: Preparing the Coneys. Right: Mustard is key to a good Coney dog / the dogs / satisfied customers.

WACSO / Heavy Table

WACSO / Heavy Table

I’m assuming she’s the daughter of the original owners…she kept saying how happy her mother would have been to see so many people lined up down the street for the dogs.