Eat out cheap, go to new places, drink N/A beers and other food pleasures

The reborn Keefer Court at Asia Mall in Eden Prairie

BY DEBRA KEEFER RAMAGE

Openings, closings, and crosstown moves

Keefer Court has been reborn in the Asia Mall in Eden Prairie. It has different owners from the original, long-lived, tiny, mostly to-go spot on Cedar Avenue that was named for the building it was in, Keefer Court. But the new owners have the blessings and the recipes of the old owners, and their new digs are large and posh by comparison. They had a soft opening in early March.
A Bar of Their Own officially opened March 1 on East Franklin Avenue in Seward and it was packed and rocking on opening night. It was even covered by Eater.com, the national one! Read it here: eater.com/24097469/womens-sports-bars-rise-trend-openings. All the local news channels were there. Most of my shy friends did a drive by (or bike by or walk by) and said they’d come back later when it had calmed down a little.

Michael Bui outside the new Keefer Court at Asia Mall

A new coffee shop opened in February in the Nokomis neighborhood, called Sunbean Coffee, on 34th Avenue. Another big opening is coming soon, hopefully in the very near future. The Birchwood spot in Seward finally sold to Juell and Ray Roberts, known as Prince’s personal chefs and then as the owners of People’s Organics. They are opening a new restaurant called Darling, possibly as soon as late April.
I am covering soup kitchens and church suppers and other restaurant alternatives for the masses, in case you didn’t notice. So here’s the latest news from my friend and comrade CJ’s soup kitchen of choice, Soup for You! Cafe. The old church building on Franklin where it lives, that was given or sold to Augsburg College, has been sold again. The Somali Museum of Minnesota is moving into the space where Soup for You! has been operating for almost a decade.
According to a chat on Facebook with Jean-Claude Patrice Nataf, the chef at Soup for You!, the lunch service will shut down for the last two weeks of May for them to move into their new facility, and have a grand re-opening Monday, June 3. And where is the new site? Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, on 31st Street just east of Minnehaha Avenue.

Emily’s Lebanese Deli, on the ‘feasts for under $10’ list

There are also two closings to report, both sad because I wanted to visit these places and never did. One was there for quite a long time, in that parking nightmare of the Lyn-Lake area. The restaurant, I am sorry to say, is Galactic Pizza. The other, in downtown Minneapolis, hasn’t been there that long: Coconut Whisk, an interesting concept selling vegan pancake mixes, bubble teas and other ingredients to go, as well as offering sit-down brunching.

Boston Tea Party 2.0 and other news

From Eater.com, Michelle Francl’s new book “Steeped: The Chemistry of Tea” sparked an international debate over which country makes the best tea. British readers were outraged at the idea of Americans teaching them anything about tea. The U.S. ambassador in London was forced to send a conciliatory letter
Twin Cities Eater has a listicle of 14 local feasts for $10 or less. Only four of them were in South Minneapolis – Lu’s Sandwiches, Taco El Kevin, Matt’s Bar and Bull’s Horn. Racket.com had two food-related pieces of note recently; one was a listicle of places to eat and drink along the D Line BRT, and the other chronicled how the Twin Cities has become the boomtown of the burgeoning trend of artisanal N/A beers.

Blood orange spritzer for brunch at Heather’s

Heather’s Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl for brunch

Mini-review – Heather’s again

On St. Patrick’s Day, amid below-freezing temps and light snow flurries, I impulsively decided to try brunch at Heather’s again. I reviewed it a few months ago when I went there with my sister, and had the Autumnal Hash. I was tempted to have it again since it was so awesome, but in order to be a more useful restaurant reviewer, I didn’t. (I hope you dear readers appreciate the sacrifice.)
Instead I had the Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowl, which also featured arugula, poached eggs, black beans, avocado and pickled jalapenos. It wasn’t quite as good as the hash, but still in the running. It’s probably lighter, seeing as how hash is fried, whereas this bowl had no detectable fat or oil, just half of a small avocado. I accompanied this with a wine and blood orange spritzer which was great but, as usual, I could not finish it.
If you prefer a sweet brunch, Heather’s has you covered there, too, with two sumptuous French toast dishes. One is an Orange Caramel Pecan French Toast and then there is a weekly special, such as Lemon Cream Cheese French Toast with fresh strawberries. If you prefer burgers for brunch, there’s a wide choice, as well as other creative sandwich and bowl offerings.
By the way, Heather’s was one of the places to eat along the D Line.

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