Archive for April, 2007

Peanut-free baseball?

I know! It doesn’t even sound American, right?

Considering more than three million Americans suffer from some sort of peanut allergy, ranging from just a small rash to the potential of death, the tradition of peanuts and Cracker Jacks can take a backseat for a few Minnesota Twins games this season.

The Twins today announced the Skybox will be peanut-free and available exclusively for individuals with peanut allergies and their families for four games during the 2007 season.

The peanut-free skybox dates are:
Wednesday, June 27 vs. Toronto Blue Jays – 7:10 p.m. CT
Tuesday, July 31 vs. Kansas City Royals – 7:10 p.m. CT
Monday, August 20 vs. Seattle Mariners – 7:10 p.m. CT
Monday, September 17 vs. Texas Rangers – 7:10 p.m. CT

Those with peanut allergies can reserve their seats in a peanut-free zone right here.

Expensive food = JUSTIFIED

delicious.jpgFar be it from me to rely on mainstream media to tell you Minneapolis is a happening place with great places to eat. We’ve got all kinds of foodie advocates of our own, including James’ skeptical diner series here at MM, and even local chefs and hostesses who blog.

But I suppose I’ll point out yesterday’s NYT article, “A Foodie Scene in the Twin Cities”:

In another sign of a cultural awakening, dining out in this city of sensible industry is no longer confined to steakhouses (though, this being the Midwest, the steaks are pretty good). Recently, a crop of innovative restaurants have expanded the city’s culinary landscape with their cosmopolitan mix of celebrity chefs and appreciation of organic and regional ingredients.

Of note were Puck’s 2021, Chamber’s Kitchen, Cue and Spoonriver

They forgot about Matt’s Bar and Jucy Lucy’s! And no slam on the MN State Fair and pronto pups?

That’s why you can’t rely solely on the NYT, people. In fact, I found out about this article from Chuck on Twitter.

Minneapolis: clean and full of cheap dates

Forbes Magazine recently published their list of the cleanest cities in the world, and Minneapolis came in at #5. WCCO did a follow up article on it, and managed to produce this great quote:

“I do take cans to the place (to recycle).”

Well, I’ll be damned. That person needs to run the EPA.

In more interesting news, Forbes also published a list of the 25 Most Expensive Cities for a First Date. Minneapolis did not make that list. It goes to prove my theory that nothing says Perfect First Date in the Twin Cities like a bottle of Boone’s Farm and a $5 cover charge at the Gay 90’s.

The Skeptical Diner: Muffuletta for Brunch

If the Parasole restaurant group were to be equated to the once-mighty British Empire, Muffuletta might be its Gibraltar; small in stature, but rightfully distinguished. (Gibraltar for its crazy apes, Muffuletta for its elegantly innovative cooking.)

But with the exception of a crunchy breakfast pizzetta, Muffuletta plays it pretty straight and old-school with its brunch choices. The classic Eggs Benedict were served on toast rounds that initially seemed insubstantial, but soon revealed themselves to be excellent choices as they — along with the strips of ham, poached eggs, and hollandaise sauce — relaxed into an easy-to-gobble down mass of breakfasty goodness. Tougher bread bases for Benedicts (leathery English muffins, for example) do a slightly better job of maintaining structural integrity, but at the expense of the actual experience of eating the meal. And the poached eggs were perfect; runny yolks with hardening around the edges. Mm. Good.

An order of banana brulee pancakes obeyed the cardinal rule of sweet breakfast foods; take a step back from being 100 percent sugar, and you make a far more interesting and delicious meal. The warm buttermilk pancakes were pleasingly light, and the caramel sauce that topped them lacked maple syrup’s tendency to saturate and over-sweeten.

IMPORTANT NOTE: It has become known to frequent brunch-eaters that while a sweet brunch is Very Delicious, a savory brunch is ultimately more nourishing and a better long-term bet. The answer to this classic problem? Order one sweet entree for the whole group to share as a brunch appetizer, and then order savory mains. Thanks to Noah of Chino Latino for making what I think will be recognized as one of the most important brunch-related insights of 2007.

Complimentary coffee cake with an apple topping made a nice grace note. And I didn’t personally try the other savory entrees that hit the table, but there were no complaints to be heard from as fussy a group of epicures as I’ve dined with in quite a while.

Service lagged, but our party was 30 minutes late for our reservation… and hell, it was a Sunday. There may have been slacking going on in the dining room, but there was no evidence of it happening in the kitchen.

Fisticuffs on I-694

This is old news by now, but in case you didn’t hear about it, you simply must read about the two women that got out of their car and had a catfight on the highway during Wednesday evening rush hour.

The bizarre scene unfolded when Zion Johnson and Jerusha Monger, both of Sag Harbor, N.J., stopped the car they were in, got out, and pushed, shoved and hit each other in the center lane of westbound traffic on the border of Brooklyn Center and Fridley.

Don’t make me pull this car over!

Minnesota RollerGirls Season Championship Report

For the tiny or non-existent sliver of the Metroblogging audience that hasn’t yet been to a Minnesota RollerGirls event: whatever positive hype you’ve heard is entirely true. Holy. Hell. The ladies bring the fun / drama / excitement. It probably doesn’t hurt to sit in the first row, where the fun / drama / excitement goes from “vicarious” to “if I don’t move fast enough, the laws of inertia are going to bring 120 pounds of skating woman into contact with my face in a manner that is way, way faster and harder than is desirable.”

The favorites won (the Garda Belts over the Dagger Dolls, and the Atomic Bombshells over the Rockits for the championship), but the drama felt true blue as the ladies skated all-out and the occasional mini-scuffle erupted, delighting fans and players alike.

Halftime? Half an hour of feel-good polka music by Alpenrose. Exactly the right fit for the crowd and event. And while misguided covers (Jimmy Buffet? Seriously?) may have been a little too plentiful, the rendition of Tequila on the alphorn more than made up for it.

Alphorns are awesome.

All that goodness aside, this wouldn’t really be blogging if there wasn’t an evisceration of the crap. So here it comes.

Like Honey, Only More So

Weirded out by the Case of the Disappearing Honeybees? Do your part to encourage apiculture and
buy some single source comb honey from Ames Farm of Watertown, MN.

At about $8 for 10 oz., the stuff isn’t cheap. But it packs an intense honey flavor that puts normal stuff to shame — Minnesota Monthly accurately describes it as “smooth and silky as flower petals.” Also, a little goes a long way. Stir a teaspoon or two of the comb honey into plain yogurt — or into vanilla ice cream — and you’ve got a fantastic old-school dessert.

Or just eat it straight up. That totally works, too.

And if you’re curious as to which of 300 different Minnesota hives your honey hails from, each container is searchable in the Ames Farm beeyard database, using the hive number and location printed on the side of every container. Yay Internet!

The Skeptical Diner: Fogo de Chão


If you’ve never before been to a Brazilian-style churrascaria restaurant, get ready to expand your horizons. A heavy-hitting national — and Brazilian — chain known as Fogo de Chão has opened a sizable outpost at 645 Hennepin Ave.

“We think there’s a huge renaissance that’s happening in the downtown area,” said Fogo’s corporate manager, Andy Feldmann. “We had a lot of people from Minneapolis who were dining in our restaurants in other cities and they kept asking, ‘Why are you not in Minneapolis?'”

The concept is relatively straightforward. When your little circular place-card is flipped over to its green side, guys with skewers of meat come to your table and offer you slices of pork, or lamb, or chicken, or beef. Or sausages. Or bacon-wrapped chicken. (You get the idea.)

When the card is flipped to red, the guys stop. Eventually — generally between a half and “several” pounds of food — the meat wins, and you surrender.

What sets Fogo apart from the other churrascarias I’ve been to (in Boston, which has a sizable Brazilian/Portuguese population) is that it’s firmly aimed at the non-Brazilian locals (i.e., no skewers of chicken hearts) and that it’s firmly planted in the “upscale” end of the food spectrum.

Fit for the Cure – May 2 at Macy’s

The Wacoal Fit for the Cure event will be taking place from 10-5 at the downtown Minneapolis Macy’s on Wednesday, May 2. Wacoal will donate $2 for each eligible bra fitting and $2 more for every bra purchased.

FM 107‘s Lori and Julia will be broadcasting live from 3-6. They’ll be in the lingerie department on the fourth floor.

Proceeds go to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.

They say there are a lot of women who aren’t wearing the right size bra. I imagine some chatty hen busybody of a lady with a tape measure and I don’t really want to let her near my girls.

I don’t know what constitutes an “eligible” fitting, but guys, why don’t you stop by, too? It’s for charity and all.

Breakfast with Schiff & Rybak

Got a beef with the local politicians, or just wanna hang out with them to hear about public safety issues over a cuppa joe? Then head down to La Loma CafĂ© of the Americas this Friday morning (3019 Minnehaha Avenue South). A mere $5 will buy ya some breakfast during the event, which runs from 7:30 – 9:00 AM.

More information here.

If you go, let me know how that breakfast is–I’ll be at work!

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