Food and restaurant news, three obituaries, and two mini-reviews

The house band at Soup for You! Cafe


Two openings and a bankruptcy

Falastin is known in Duluth as a Palestinian pop-up, but they’ve been searching for a permanent home, and it looks like they found one. They are moving into the former New London Cafe on Superior Street and will open some time later in the spring. And just in time, Google has amended its tag system to identify restaurant types by adding “Palestinian,” in response to many requests. Previously, Palestinian restaurants could choose between Middle Eastern or Israeli.
Here in the Twin Cities, the big-news opening is Bao Bao. They actually opened back in November, but interest has been steadily and swiftly rising. reviewed them in February, which only added to the buzz. Bao Bao is a local brand of frozen baozi (plural of bao) which are the poofy white Chinese steamed buns with meat or vegetable fillings. You can order them online to pick up at their Hopkins kitchen, or you can find them “in the wild” at a few locations. Go to for more information.
Although they have no plans to close, Fair State Brewing Cooperative, one of the few co-op breweries and also one of the few unionized ones, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy (reorganization) in February.

Marc and Gaosong Heu

Fish for Lent

If you like to lean into your Christian heritage by eating more fish and less (or no) meat during the season called Lent, you might appreciate a list of places to find good fish fries. Twin Cities Eater has what you need in a listicle from last month. Cardinal Bar, The Howe, and Merlin’s Rest made the cut in South Minneapolis, but strangely there is only one in St. Paul. Go to and scroll down to Feb. 9.

Local James Beard semi-finalists.

James Beard award semi-finalists dropped in late January and the Twin Cities has five chefs and two businesses among them. The nominated

Indigenous Food Lab at MGM event

chefs are all well known: Marc Heu, Daniel del Prado, Ann Ahmed, Christina Nguyen and Karyn Tomlinson. The two businesses are Oro by Nixta (restaurant) and Meteor (bar).

Indigenous Food Lab classes

Indigenous Food Labs, at Midtown Global Market, introduced classes for the general public in indigenous food, herbs and foraging. Previously their classes were only for industry professionals or Indigenous youth.

A Twin Cities area food shelf

Record food shelf use, WIC shortfall

The state of Minnesota broke a record for food shelf use with 7.5 million visits. That’s almost one and a half visits for every resident in the state.
In mid-January Congress passed a resolution that would keep the government open and fund WIC at its existing level, or $1 billion less than what’s needed to fully fund the program. At least two million women and children risk being turned away by September if WIC is not funded to full capacity. If that happens, they will likely be put on waiting lists for the first time in over 25 years.

The passing of William, Bob, and local food hero David

William Post, the inventor of the Pop-Tart, died on Feb. 10 at the age of 96 at his home in Michigan. Bob Moore, founder of Bob’s Red Mill, a leader in healthy and gluten-free baking ingredients, also died on Feb. 10, peacefully, at home. He was 94. In 2010, the Moores transferred ownership of Bob’s Red Mill to its workforce via a financing scheme called an ESOP. He retired as CEO in 2018.
Locally, we sadly note the passing of David Leventhal, beloved owner of Cecil’s Deli in St. Paul. He died in his sleep on Feb. 2 at the age of 85. Leventhal and his wife Sheila, who survives him, bought the deli from her parents in 1980, when it was already 31 years old. Leventhal was always very hands-on and present at the deli, so if you were a customer, you probably met him.

Macarons and coffee from Tous les Jours

Mini-review #1 – Tous les Jours Cafe and Bakery

Ever since a close friend of mine moved into an assisted living complex in Richfield, I have taken an interest in places we can go for coffee around there, and discovered Tous les Jours at 6601 Nicollet Ave. My friend is a Francophile, so I thought she might like this place.
Tous les Jours is a fusion bakery of Asian and traditional French pastries and breads, and is a nationwide chain, but I believe this is the only one in our area. I will have to try a few more things to make an informed review, but I had a black Americano and two macarons, which I consider to be the acid test for coffee and French pastry respectively, and they passed with flying colors.


Grab-and-go at Tous les Jours

Dining area at Tous les Jours in Richfield










Old 8 Baltic Porter from Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

Mini-review #2 – Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub

Recently I had to attend a training for convening precinct caucuses, because I did mine this year. It was exhausting – the training that is – so I treated myself to lunch at “my local,” the Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub at 2716 E. 38th St.
I had a seasonal house-brewed dark malty ale called Old 8 Baltic Porter. I can’t drink much these days, so I only drank half of it, but no judgment, it was delicious. With that I had the wild rice burger, which is house made, and a side of their excellently prepared fries. It was all good, as it always is.


Wild rice burger and fries from Northbound Smokehouse

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