BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE
Openings and closings – I spoke too soon?
Last time I mentioned that these were becoming less frequent, and I might drop this section, but then the end of the year (or something) caused a rebound.
A Bar of Their Own, a sports bar that shows only women’s sports on its TVs, is set to open in March in the Tracy’s Saloon space on Franklin Avenue.
A local artisan soda company, Northern Soda, recently opened a family-friendly soda taproom, with flights, floats, slushies, board games, arcade games and pizza, but no “adult beverages.” It’s in New Brighton.
Falastin Duluth is a Palestinian-American food pop-up growing in popularity and planning to soon open a brick-and-mortar deli in Duluth.
Coastal Seafoods St. Paul just moved a few blocks to a larger place and has expanded to add new sections, including an indoor dining area.
Jax Cafe is not going anywhere, which is amazing, because it just turned 90 years old.
Eater awards, Hmong Village in Conde Nast Traveler, forager stars in Minnesota and more
The Eater awards for the Twin Cities came out in mid-December. Here are the winners:
• Restaurant of the Year – Oro by Nixta.
• Best Damn Sandwich – Marty’s Deli.
• Best New Pop-up – Lito’s Burritos.
• Best New Bar – Hi! Flora.
• The Visionary – Indigenous Food Lab.
I have only been to the last two. I love the Indigenous Food Lab, as I’ve said before. Hi! Flora is a restaurant and bar. Their bar is completely alcohol-free. They do, however, sell THC beverages and also THC tinctures that you can drop into drinks or onto food.
Eater Twin Cities recently published a map list piece on (and titled) where
to eat in Dinkytown. See what they recommend at tinyurl.com/DKRatSSP-2401Dish-1.
Eater (the non-local version) did a fun and informative piece on Keith Lee. In case you don’t know who that is (I didn’t because I’m not on TikTok) he is one of the biggest independent food critics in the country. His reviews are on TikTok, he orders to-go food through friends and family to preserve his cover, and he videos himself eating in his car while he gives his on-the-spot review with a rating from one to 10. tinyurl.com/DKRatSSP-2401Dish-2
Racket did a great piece on four foraging stars of social media from Minnesota: Linda Black-Elk, Katie Krejci, Alan Bergo and Tim Clemons. It’s packed with good storytelling and also hot tips if you want to learn more about foraging yourself.
Check it out at tinyurl.com/DKRatSSP2401Dish-3.
“In a World Where There Is No Hmongland, There Is St. Paul’s Hmong Village,” is the title of the beautifully-written piece in Conde Nast Traveler on St. Paul’s Hmong Village Mall. It’s a recommended read at tinyurl.com/DKRatSSP-2401Dish-4.
Mini-review: lunch at Reverie Café + Bar
Earlier this year I was at the hearing rooms at City Hall to attend a hearing on an ordinance of interest to me. When I got there, it was not up yet as they were on the previous agenda item. I was in an overflow room watching the action on closed-caption TV, and I thought, hmmm, that woman talking looks very familiar. See, I know the owner of Reverie, from In the Heart of the Beast, where she was president of the board of directors during about half the time I was the office and database manager. And that’s who it was, Kirstin, testifying on how all
Reverie’s neighbors, both business and residential, are in favor of their upgrade plans (which were approved).
I went to Reverie for lunch (which is usually about 2:30 p.m. or later for me) in late December. I had the crepe of the day, which was filled with a cremini mushroom mixture. I accompanied this with a 20-ounce house-made basil-mint limeade. The limeade is one of the most refreshing-in-a-healthy-way things I’ve ever tasted. It is elusively effervescent, but the three flavors of mint, basil and citrus are distinct and strong.
The crepe was lovely, served with a big puddle of something that suggested a pate made of nutmeats, then a balsamic drizzle of some sort, a scattering of pomegranate arils, and a larger scattering of baby arugula leaves. The cremini mushroom filling was dark, unctuously umami, and flavored with thyme and tamari, I’m guessing. I did not investigate the ingredients of the crepe itself. I trust the chef. If you’re one who can drink
alcohol at lunch (unlike me) know that they have an impressive array of local craft
beers, wines and ciders, and a full espresso bar. Other great items from previous visits include the potato wedges with mojo aioli, the smoked Brussels sprouts, the beignets, and all the tacos. (Some of these are only available for dinner.)