The famous Al pancakes will join the Minnesota State Fair festivities

Al to participate in the exhibition

In addition to all the exciting new and official fair food announced this week for the 2022 Minnesota State Fair, there’s another dish we’ll be ordering. Al’s Diner, the classic James Beard award-winning restaurant in Dinkytown, will fill its spoons and head to the Hamline Dining Hall. Inside the 125-year-old establishment, Alison Kerwin, owner of Al, will prepare the griddle, serving original pancakes and blueberry pancakes.

The Hamline Dining Hall is one of the last remaining dining halls at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Started by a group of church women in 1897, the hall’s basic menu hasn’t changed much, continuing to serve Swedish meatballs, roast chicken, and scallops. The Hamline Dining Hall, located at 1667 Dan Patch, will serve gallery-goers from August 25 through Labor Day.

Giant egg rolls and a sweet little bakery open on Grand Avenue

The long-awaited new Vietnamese restaurant Em Que Viet is now open on St. Paul’s Grand Avenue. The restaurant (1332 Grand Av., St. Paul) is a little sister to other Que Viet Restaurants and Bakery, owned and operated by Maria Nguyen and Brianna Le.

You’ll find the famous giant eggrolls (a tradition of State Fair), a small bakery space and a menu filled with plenty of traditional Vietnamese dishes.

The facade of the restaurant is decorated with cascades of faux wisteria and painted white. There is a window for outside seating as well as a seating area inside and a patio on the sidewalk.

Historic bar turned into the first Kenyan restaurant in the West Bank

Tamu opened this weekend at 1829 Riverside Av. , Mpls. , the former site of the historic Viking Bar. George Ndege’s new restaurant (dubbed Chef Jojo) will share Kenyan-bred foods such as mild curries, samosas and a selection of vegetarian dishes. The restaurant takes its name from the Swahili word for delicious or delicious.

Have a beer, will travel

If you need an excuse to visit Duluth, maybe the 10th annual All Pints ‚Äč‚ÄčNorth Festival on July 30 at Bayfront Festival Park will do the trick. More than 100 breweries, breweries, and cider bars in Minnesota will offer samples (non-alcoholic and gluten-free as well) along with food trucks, vendors, live music, and more. The festival is from 3:30-7pm (only for those age 21 and over) and will take place in the rain or under the sun. Tickets $65; Sober driver tickets are $15; Buy yours at mncraftbrew.org/event/all-pints-north.

Party time at Smack Shack

After a two-year hiatus, Smack Shack held summer parties at both locations.

The first is Lobsterfest on July 23 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the parking lot at Bloomington Restaurant (3801 Minnesota Drive). The event is free with food and drinks available for purchase. A limited number of tickets are also available at $75 to boil lobster. There will also be an opportunity to visit the Maine Lobstermen Association to learn about their sustainable fishing practices.

Next up is the Crayfest Party next to the North Loop Smack Shack (603 Washington Av. N., Mpls.) on August 6 from noon to 7 p.m., which features live music and an all-you-can-eat lobster, beer, and hurricanes. Event tickets +21 are $75 in advance, $80 at the door.

For more information and tickets for both events, go to smack-shack.com.

Night date at Midtown Global Market

On Thursdays this summer, Midtown Global Market vendors, Moroccan Flavors and Eastlake Craft Brewery, offer date night packages that include entrees, entrees, and a bottle of Eastlake beer. The meal also includes an organic dessert exercise. The cost is $45 for two people; No need for reservations, just head to Eastlake Craft Brewery between 6 and 9 pm

In other market news, July 23rd is Global Salsa Cook-Off. Market chefs will prepare their own specials on salsa sauce, vying for the title of Best Salsa Sauce of 2022. Taste salsa from 2 p.m. to 2 p.m. and vote for your favourite. (Winners will be announced on social media.) Cost $15; Samples are limited, so book your place at midtownglobalmarket.com.

The market is located at 920 E. Lake St., Mpls.

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