Eight Great Noshes at the North Coast Nosh

Brianna Stachowski / Heavy Table
Brianna Stachowski / Heavy Table

We sampled more than 30 bites and sips at last week’s Heavy Table + Wedge Community Co-op North Coast Nosh. (I know. Tough job.) Not a single one of them disappointed, but there were a handful that stuck with us — and might even subtly change the way we cook and shop and look at food.

Brianna Stachowski / Heavy Table
Brianna Stachowski / Heavy Table

Rise Bagels

I have a few culinary regrets in my life. And after the Nosh, I have at least one more: I regret every time I walked past the long line at Rise Bagels at the farmers market. I regret thinking, “A line for bagels? Have we no self-respect?” Because, damn, these two sisters make a fine bagel. A beautiful bagel, inside and out. A chewy bagel with a deeply developed flavor in the dough. A bagel worth a few minutes in line. And now you can learn from my mistakes by following Rise Bagels wherever they may show up.

Brianna Stachowski / Heavy Table
Brianna Stachowski / Heavy Table

Poorboy Caramel Sauce

This is my favorite instance of culinary synergy — pretty much ever. The Lone Grazer has vats of whey left over after making cheese. Whey is a thin liquid, but it’s packed with protein and milk sugars. Poorboy, makers of delicious caramels, takes that whey, boils the heck out of it to reduce the liquid, and makes jars of rich tangy-sweet caramel sauce unlike anything you’ve ever tasted.

Brianna Stachowski / Heavy Table
Brianna Stachowski / Heavy Table

Lone Grazer Ricotta with Curry, Cilantro, and Caramel

Culinary synergy, part 2: The Lone Grazer was showing off its whole-milk ricotta in a dip that I never in a million years would have dreamed up. Hold your judgment until you try it: ricotta mixed with curry powder and cilantro, then drizzled with Poorboy Caramel Sauce — the stuff made with Lone Grazer whey. It was like the caramel had come home. Smoky, sweet, herbal. Perfect. (Sorry, you can’t buy the dip; you’ll have to make it yourself.)

Farms in the Lens: Redhead Creamery

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

About the Farms in the Lens series: Much of what we write within these pages is focused on the restaurants of Minneapolis and St. Paul. But much of what we eat at those tables comes from farms around the state. With underwriting from Clancey’s Meats and Fish, we’ve set out to document a half dozen of these farms, focusing on the relationship between humans and animals. Check out our complete Farms in the Lens series, including: Wild Acres, Hidden Stream, Shepherd’s Way, Redhead Creamery, Twisted Suri Alpaca Ranch, and Paradox Farm.

clanceys-shirt-banner

Redhead Creamery is run by Alise Sjostrom and her husband Lucas alongside her parents’ dairy farm, Jer-Lindy Farms. It was founded this year with assistance from a successful Kickstarter campaign that raised $41,495 — more than $6,000 beyond its initial goal.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The founders of Jer-Lindy Farms are Jerry and Linda Jennissen. They grew up on dairy farms and met at a calf show when they were children.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

Many years later, they married. They started their own farm (in Brooten, Minn.) in 1983.

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

“It is amazing to be on a farm that my parents basically built from scratch,” says Alise.

Five Lessons from Minnesota Food Kickstarter Campaigns

redhead-creamery-kickstarter-screenshot

Every week or two, a new Minnesota food, drink, or restaurant campaign is launched on Kickstarter. We’ve covered many of them on the Heavy Table, and most succeed, some spectacularly so (see: Travail). In a sense, all campaigns are the same: organizers set a dollar goal, offer rewards for different levels of financial support (i.e. back us for $25 and get a collectible T-shirt), and strive over the course of the campaign (typically 30 days) to raise financial support through social media, traditional media, personal connections, and any other legal means available.

Unlike many other crowd-funding sites, Kickstarter operates on a win-or-die basis. If you don’t meet your goal, you raise none of the money pledged, which motivates organizers and backers alike and can lead to sometimes tragi-comic levels of veiled desperation as the clock ticks down on a doomed campaign. Done right, a campaign can launch a successful business or renovate a flagging one; done incorrectly, it can strangle a good idea in the cradle or fatally freeze a project’s momentum. All in all, it’s fun to watch, and a bit terrifying to run.

Most press focuses on the launch of new campaigns. But as inspiring as it can be to look forward to a campaign’s successful completion, it can also be useful to look back on an idea that’s hit its goal and figure out what went right, what went wrong, and whether the money was worth the price paid in time, anxiety, and material rewards for backers.

“I think it’s a fantastic tool,” says Alicia Hinze (below, second from right), one of the co-founders of The Buttered Tin in St. Paul. “Not everybody can expect what happened with Travail, but as long as you use it as a tool, it’s going to help you a little bit. It’s not going to make your business, it’s not going to pay for everything you need with your business, but it is a great tool for starting businesses.”

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The Heavy Table’s Kickstarter campaign for The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food aimed for $16,000 and raised nearly $22,000; that experience underlies this story, as do memories of the visceral fun and serious agony of the process.

But we wanted to broaden our reach, so we interviewed other metro-area food Kickstarter veterans about their experiences: The Buttered Tin (goal: $10K; raised: $10.8K), Redhead Creamery (goal: $35K; raised: $41.5K), and Birchwood Cafe (goal: $100K; raised: $112K).

1. KICKSTARTER MONEY ISN’T FREE

From the outside — and the potato salad guy’s campaign only adds to the perception — Kickstarter looks like a magical plastic bucket that one need only wave with a bit of panache for it to fill to the brim with high denomination currency.

The truth is, any funds brought in through Kickstarter are earned by a combination of sweat, creativity, smart and/or tenacious marketing, promised rewards, standing connections, and existing reservoirs of goodwill. The money is only free if time and stress have no value, and many (if not most) smart, medium-to-large campaigns end up spending some money on extras such as professional video production, paid media marketing and/or social media boosts.

“Prevail Travail” Kickstarter, Bang Brewing, and More

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

The Kickstarter explosion continues, and Travail’s on the cutting edge: Their new, larger space was fully funded ($136.3K / $75K) within the first six hours of posting and continues to pull in pledges à la Veronica Mars (if you donated, they made this quirky-cute thank-you dance party video just for you). Also en route to succeed: The Rabbit Hole ($9.6K / $10K), the Left Handed Cook’s swankier, “travel adventure” sibling, and — with two weeks to go — the sustainably powered Redhead Creamery ($23.8K / $35K) (read our profile here). Not funded through Kickstarter: Newcomer Bang Brewing Company just opened their tap room along the central corridor in St. Paul last weekend. And the brand-new Torpedo Room at Eat Street Social has been a trendy stop: Joy Summers and the guys at the Well Fed Guide to Life each weigh in (here’s our take).

Redhead Creamery, Seventh Street Social, and More

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Readers: Win The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food

The Tap loves restaurant tips from readers, so we’re awarding a copy of “The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food” to the best tipster of September and October. 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 editor@heavytable.com.

July / August Winner: Jeremy Banks

Screenshot from kickstarter.com
Screenshot from kickstarter.com

Redhead Creamery (Kickstarter project ends Sep. 25)
Brooten, Minnesota

Slowly but surely, Kickstarter is transforming the Twin Cities food community, helping to launch The Buttered Tin in St. Paul, backing the Heavy Table’s upcoming Secret Atlas of North Coast Food, and now — potentially — launching a new farmstead cheese plant called the Redhead Creamery in Brooten, Minnesota, about two hours northwest of Minneapolis.

“We thought it’d be a great way to help us get started,” says Redhead Creamery co-founder Alise Sjostrom. The campaign must raise at least $35,000 by Sep. 25 in order for the project to receive its funds. If successfully funded by Kickstarter, loans, and a potential Minnesota Department of Agriculture grant, the cheese plant will operate on Alise’s family’s 180-cow dairy farm in Brooten.

“I wanted to get back on my parents’ farm for a lot of reasons,” she says. “We have an anaerobic digester here, which produces electricity from cow manure [similar to the setup at the farmstead Crave Brothers plant in Wisconsin]. We also have this picturesque scenery we’d like to take advantage of — I feel like if we bring people here for cheese, they’ll be awestruck.”

As for why she and her husband Lucas are opening their creamery in Minnesota (as opposed to Wisconsin, which offers stronger public support for the dairy industry) she says: “We love this state. We moved all over and we felt like we had to come back.”

Alise is one of four redheaded farm-girl sisters who inspired the creamery’s name. The cuteness of that anecdote aside, she’s jumping into business with a good deal of relevant experience: she has spent time working at well-regarded cheese companies, including Vermont’s Grafton Village and at the Crave Brothers.

Among the creamery’s first cheeses will be a cave-aged cheddar, a batch of which is currently aging at the University of Minnesota. “We’ve done some different rubs on them,” says Alise. “One has a cayenne pepper rub, we were trying to get something red to go with our name. It has a little bit of spice. We also did an ash-rubbed cheddar, and a clothbound cheddar which we haven’t opened yet. It’s about six months old right now. I want it to age out.”

Down the road, Alise says that Redhead may produce a washed-rind cheese or a blooming rind brie-style cheese.

The Kickstarter campaign’s rewards include a harvest meal on the farm, custom aprons, and — of course — cheese. Backers at the $25 level receive a full pound of local farmstead artisan cheese, a fair retail price that doesn’t factor in the satisfaction of helping a new Minnesota dairy venture get up and running.

seventh-street-social-logoSeventh Street Social (opening mid-September)
2176 W 7th St, St. Paul

Seventh Street Social is the first food-and-drink venture for owner Brian Glancy, who has taken a self-described “long, kind of weird road” from corporate finance through project management into restaurant ownership, courtesy of in-laws with a thriving beverage catering business.

Glancy’s “romantic notion” of the business has led him to the old Parrish’s Supper Club / Casa Vieja space on W 7th St, St. Paul, where he plans to open a restaurant dedicated to upscale comfort food. “When somebody walks in the door, it’s a very comfortable atmosphere,” he says. “There’s two levels to the bar — one side is bar stools and the other side is regular low chairs. We’re combining the old and the new. Every 18 inches along the bar, we have outlets so people can plug in their laptops and phones.”

The menu encompasses a number of different American favorites (some old, some new), with an emphasis on scratch-made comfort food. “We’ll have everything from roasted marrow bones to cold cuts to poutine,” says Glancy. Burgers will be a showpiece of the menu, not a mere obligation: “I’m a big believer in searing beef, so we’ll have a large flattop so we can really sear them,” he says. “When you’re eating a burger, it’s not supposed to be healthy — you want to cook it in its own fat. We’re going to grind our meat — we’ll have our own house grind with prime rib, chuck, and short rib. Every burger starts off with two 3 1 / 2 ounce burgers and you build it from there.” Smoked meat will be a big presence as well — Glancy says chicken wings, baby back ribs, and prime rib will all be blessed by the flavor of smoke.

Skillet roasted lobster pot pie is another of the house’s upcoming specialties, says Glancy: “It’ll be market vegetables, homemade cream gravy, with both the knuckle and tail meat [of the lobster], and then it’s covered in a cheddar-buttermilk biscuit top. It’s one of the things I’m really looking forward to.”

Glancy adds that the restaurant will have 12 beers on tap, mostly local — all local, in fact, if he can swing it.  But first and foremost, he promises, Seventh Street Social will shoot for delivering consistency in everything it does: “In my mind, quality equals consistency, and vice versa. When it comes to everything here — when it comes to food, to the service we provide, to the cleanliness of the place … consistency isn’t just a behavior, it needs to be a mantra. Everything we do in this kitchen is from scratch, so consistency is very very very important.”

NOW OPEN

Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table

CLOSED / CLOSING:

  • Sally’s Saloon and Eatery, 712 Washington Ave SE.  Closed for remodeling until summer 2014.
  • Ursula’s Wine Bar and Cafe, 2125 4th St, White Bear Lake
  • Bullwinkle’s Saloon, 1429 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Guayaquil, 1526 E Lake St, Minneapolis
  • Peter’s Grill, 114 S 8th St, Minneapolis
  • Buster’s on 28th, 4204 S 28th Ave, Minneapolis | Temporary closure due to fire.

    Uchu in Plymouth, MN
    Natalie Champa Jennings / Heavy Table
  • Uchu, 4130 Berkshire Ln N, Plymouth
  • Johnny Tequila’s Drinking Taco, 430 N 1st Ave, Minneapolis

COMING UP:

Minneapolis

  • The Torpedo Room (at Eat Street Social) | September 2013
  • The Triton, 1610 Harmon Pl, Minneapolis | Late Fall 2013
  • Betty Danger’s Country Club, 2519 Marshall St, Minneapolis | Early Spring 2014
  • Hammer & Sickle Vodka Bar, 1300 Lagoon Ave, Minneapolis | Fall 2013
  • Eat Street Buddha Kitchen Lounge, 2550 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis | Late 2013
  • Coup d’état, Uptown Minneapolis | Late Fall 2013
  • Day Block Brewing Company, 1105 Washington Ave S, Minneapolis | Fall 2013
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
Becca Dilley / Heavy Table
  • Sonora Grill, (second location) 3300 E Lake St | Winter 2013
  • Insomnia Cookies, 402 14th Ave SE, Minneapolis
  • Russell and Desta Klein projects: Brasserie Zentral, Cafe Zentral, Foreign Legion wine bar, wine shop to be named, Soo Line Building | 2014
  • Nico’s Taco and Tequila Bar, 2516 Hennepin Ave S, Minneapolis | Opens Sep. 3, 2013
  • Minnesota Honey Company, 4956 Xerxes Ave S, Minneapolis, 612.388.4304 | Opens autumn 2013.
  • Vo’s, 3450 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis | Opens autumn 2013.
  • The Rabbit Hole, Midtown Global Market | Opens 2013.
  • Ray J’s, 500 Central Avenue SE (old Arone’s location) | Opens 2013.
  • Heyday, 2702 Lyndale Ave, Minneapolis | Opens December 2013.
  • Baldy’s BBQ, 1501 SE University Ave, Minneapolis | Opens 2013.
  • La Fresca, 4750 Grand Ave S, Minneapolis | Opens October.
  • Keen Eye Coffee, 2803 E 38th St, Minneapolis | Opens summer 2013.
  • Lake & Irving, 1513 W Lake St, Minneapolis | Opens August.
  • La Loma Tamales, old Tensuke Sushi spot in Medical Arts Building, Minneapolis, 825 Nicollet Mall
  • Ling & Louie’s Kitchen, 9th St and Nicollet Mall, Minneapolis
  • The Tangiers, 116 1st Ave N, Minneapolis | 612.599.2651 | Opens August.
  • The Nicollet Diner, 1428 Nicollet Ave S, Minneapolis
  • Tiny Diner, 1014 E 38th St, Minneapolis | 612.822.6302
  • Unnamed Gastrotruck restaurant, 2400 University Ave NE, Minneapolis | Opens 2013.
  • Rocky and Shem’s Ice Cream Shoppe, 56th St and Chicago Ave, Minneapolis | Opens 2013.
  • Loose-Wiles Freehouse, 701 Washington Ave N, Minneapolis | Opens September.

St. Paul

  • Untitled seafood-themed project by the owners of the Strip Club, Lowertown, St. Paul
  • Seventh Street Social, 2176 W 7th St | September 2013

    Courtesy Urban Growler
    Courtesy Urban Growler

Greater Twin Cities Area

  • Castle Danger Brewery, Two Harbors brewery expansion and taproom | 2014
  • Dakota Junction, 2281 Commerce Blvd, Mound | Opens Fall 2013.
  • Jordan Brewery, Jordan, MN | 2013
  • Prairie Tap House, Eden Prairie Center | Opens September 2013.
  • Cafe Sol, Burnsville | Opens September 2013.

    Courtesy of Honey & Rye Bakehouse
    Courtesy of Honey & Rye Bakehouse

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 editor@heavytable.com.

Banner for the Tap: Food and Drink News

Readers: Win Pint Glasses

The Tap loves restaurant tips from readers, so we’re awarding a copy of “The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food” to the best tipster of July and August. 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 editor@heavytable.com.