The Tap is Back!
After a summer-long hiatus, we’re pleased to announce that the Tap is back and here to stay, thanks to underwriting support from Shepherd Song Farm. Look for the Tap to appear every other Tuesday with restaurant and food purveyor news plus a constantly updated schedule of future and recent openings (and recent closings).
The Tap is a biweekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm. “We raise 100 percent grass-fed lambs & goats traditionally, humanely, and sustainably.”
The Tap is the metro area’s comprehensive restaurant buzz roundup, so if you see a new or newly shuttered restaurant, or anything that’s “coming soon,” email Tap editor James Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Case for Voting Yes on Minneapolis Ballot Question #2 (vote takes place November 4, 2014)
Lovers of local food (and even more critically, drink) have a civic task to accomplish this November: voting yes on Minneapolis Ballot Question #2. The question amends the city charter to drop a requirement that neighborhood eateries make at least 70 percent of their sales in food. It also allows those restaurants to serve you a drink while you wait for a table.
To hear the case in more detail, we talked with Molly Broder, of the Broders’ Cucina / Broders’ Pasta Bar / Terzo mini-empire of Southwest Minneapolis.
“Ever since fine wine and craft beer have come to the neighborhood, there’s been a revolution of beautiful little places, these gems that we all love,” says Broder. “But it’s getting difficult, if you’re upping the level of food and the offerings that accompany that food, to meet the 70-30 rule.”
Once upon a time, a beer was a buck or two, and the 70-30 rule was enacted as a way to keep restaurants from turning into boozy, rowdy taverns. But the craft beer boom and the resurgence of places like Terzo (which offers some fine bottles of wine indeed) mean that alcohol costs in respectable establishments can easily keep pace with, or even outstrip, the cost of food.
“Over the past 20 years, the food has gotten better, the wine has gotten better, and the craft beer movement is huge in this city,” says Broder. “As a result, if you’ve got good food and you want wine that complements that food, … cheap Yellowtail by the glass doesn’t quite make it. Neither does Bud or PBR. Any artisan product will cost more than any mass-made commercial product. The care and attention and the ability to make it costs more.”
Broder points to the extensive wine menu at Terzo as an example of how the rule has become outdated. “[Our customers] can spend $200 on a bottle of wine if they want — that’s their choice. They’re not getting more alcohol in their system if they’re spending more on the alcohol. So putting a dollar value in an attempt to control behavior doesn’t work, and it doesn’t make sense. In fact, when people spend more on a quality beverage, they tend to drink less because they get more satisfaction from it.”
If ballot question #2 passes, Broder sees more restaurants in neighborhoods, helping to stabilize nodes of economic activity. “Take the corner at 46th and Grand,” she says. “You had storefronts coming in and out, in and out — never were successful. But in comes Cafe Ena, Kings Cafe, and Patisserie 46, and now you have a corner that is solid and absolutely adored by the neighborhood. You’re going to have more of those corners happening in the city because it’s more desirable to go into the neighborhoods.”
At the end of our call, I complimented Broder on Terzo’s sandwich window, the Porchetteria. Broder laughed. “It helps us make our food percentage!”
Betty Danger’s Country Club (under construction)
2501 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis
After many months off the radar, the ambitious, horror-movie–amusement-park-inspired Betty Danger’s Country Club (“A Country Club on Crack”) seems to be picking up serious steam. The restaurant’s iconic dine-in Ferris wheel is under construction, and the company is hiring employees — a post for an assistant general manager went up late last week.
Thanks to reader Jeremy Banks for the tip and photo.
Bachelor Farmer Cafe Expansion (being planned)
200 N 1st St, Minneapolis
The former Askov Finlayson (which is moving to much bigger digs) will become a cafe expansion of the North Loop Scandinavian-inflected favorite The Bachelor Farmer. The new cafe will open sometime in 2015 for breakfast and lunch. It will feature pastries from Bachelor Farmer baker Khanh Tran (one of her pies is pictured above) and offer some hot food options, although exactly what is still under discussion. “The menu is still very much in the works,” says The Bachelor Farmer chef Paul Berglund. “We’re definitely going to do lunch. As far as breakfast goes, I’m working with Khanh Tran to create some offerings that complement the coffee and tea program. Kind of like the things we’re doing on the brunch pastry and sparkling wine cart [at The Bachelor Farmer].”
Superior Salt (now for sale)
Lake Superior may be the world’s largest body of fresh water in terms of surface area, but one Grand-Marais-based entrepreneur is hoping to give the region a reputation for salt. Melanie Steele has been flavoring unrefined Atlantic Ocean sea salt for her own use for years, but has recently begun selling it at farmers markets and online.
“Superior Salt is unrefined sea salt that I hand craft locally with regional ingredients,” says Steele. “I wanted to start eating salt that was a little more local than 1,000 miles away, so I looked for a local artisan sea salt. I found that there wasn’t anything.”
Steele’s salt comes in 2.25 ounce packages and is offered in six flavors: grilled onion, roasted garlic, blueberry, lavender, rosemary, and sun-dried tomato. “I’ve worked to source all of those as locally as possible,” she says. “The tomatoes I get are from central Minnesota. The onions and garlic are from Wisconsin. The rosemary is from Duluth. The blueberries come from the south of Lake Superior, in Bayfield, and the lavender comes from Upper Peninsula Michigan. They’re all organic and grown in the Lake Superior region.”
Steele touts the salt as being a way to season food more easily and gently. “Instead of masking flavor with a bunch of spices or sauces,” she says, “it allows people to simplify as they cook. I use blueberry and lavender salt in my baking. Not only is it unprocessed, but it also adds that extra layer of flavor to recipes.”
“Instead of using barbecue sauce when you’re cooking meat, just add some Superior Salt, which brings out the flavor of the meat and adds a layer of flavor.”
Her favorite recipe? “Salad — you just cut out the salad dressing and drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle a little Superior Salt on as a finishing salt, and that’s all you need.”
Superior Salt retails for $6 a 2.25 oz. bag, and is available online.
- LynLake Brewery, 2934 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
- Dogwood Coffee Company, 4021 E Lake St, Minneapolis and inside Shinola, 228 N Washington Ave, Minneapolis
- Red Table Meat Company, 1401 Marshall St NE, Minneapolis (wholesale only)
- Northgate Brewing, 783 Harding St NE, Minneapolis
- 612 Cafe, 311 E Lake St, Minneapolis
- Le Town Talk Diner, 2707 E Lake St, Minneapolis | Our review
- Foreign Legion Wine Bar, 105 S 5th St, Minneapolis
- Urban Growler Brewing Company, 2325 Endicott Street, St. Paul
- The Nicollet Diner, 1428 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
- Bauhaus Brew Labs, 1315 Tyler St NE, Minneapolis
- Fair State Brewing Cooperative, 2506A Central Ave NE, Minneapolis
- Sagauro, 5309 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis
- Maple Island Brewing Company, 225 Main St N, Stillwater
- Dong Hae Korean Grill and Sushi, 251 1st Ave N, Minneapolis
CLOSED / CLOSING:
- The Left Handed Cook | Our review
- Mosaic Cafe | Our review
- Half Pint and Grain Stack at the MIA | Our visit
- Parka (now Dogwood) | Our review | Our interview
- Surly taproom (closing Oct. 25; reopening bigger and better as the Beer Hall in December)
- Eat Street Buddha Kitchen | Our review
- Eastlake Brewery, Midtown Global Market, Minneapolis | Fall 2014
- Surly Brewing Beer Hall, 520 Malcolm Ave SE, Minneapolis | December 2014
- Vellee Deli, Baker Center at 30 S 7th St, Minneapolis | December 2014
- Sassy Spoon, 5011 34th Ave S, Minneapolis | December 2014
- Black Sheep Coal-Fired Pizza (new location), 2550 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis | Mid-December 2014
- Merchant, 211 N 1st St, Minneapolis | 2014
- Corner Table project: Revival mid-South / fried chicken restaurant | 2014
- Betty Danger’s Country Club, 2501 Marshall St, Minneapolis | 2014
- The Bachelor Farmer Cafe Project To Be Named, 200 N 1st Street, Minneapolis | 2015
- Paddy Shack at Half Time Rec, 1013 Front Ave, St. Paul | October 2014
- Lexington (new ownership) | Autumn 2014
- Salt Cellar, 173 Western Ave N, St. Paul | November 2014
- Saint Dinette, 280 E 5th St, St. Paul | 2014
Greater Twin Cities Area and Beyond
- Victor’s on Water, 205 Water St, Excelsior | 2014
- Skaalvenn, 8601 73rd Ave N, Suite 28, Brooklyn Park | Awaiting licensing approvals
- Voyageur Brewing Co., 233 West Highway 61, Grand Marais | Early 2015
The Tap is the Heavy Table’s guide to area restaurant openings, closings, and other major events. The Tap is compiled and published biweekly by the Heavy Table. If you have tips for The Tap, please email James Norton at email@example.com.