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Twin Cities' First [and only] Ping Pong Bar is Now Serving Smørrebrøds!

Shrimp Sandwich // Delicate shrimp on buttered dark rye bread with lemon, sliced hard boiled organic egg, lettuce, topped with fresh dill and a side of honey mustard dipping sauce.

Shrimp Sandwich // Delicate shrimp on buttered dark rye bread with lemon, sliced hard boiled organic egg, lettuce, topped with fresh dill and a side of honey mustard dipping sauce.

This blog post is sponsored by Hop21 but all opinions are my own.

If you’re new to the Twin Cities, especially to Minneapolis, you’ll quickly realize that we have one hell of a food scene. In 2014 alone, the state hit a record and opened over 90 restaurants!

The food scene is so impressive that we like to coin the phrase “Land of 10,000 Places to Eat and Drink” to replace the original phrase, "Land of 10,000 Lakes.” According to the Minnesota Restaurant Association, in 2016 we had a record of “9,852 eating and drinking place locations in Minnesota.”

So, there you go. We’re damn near there.

It’s safe to say that competition is fierce and restaurants are closing as fast as they’re opening, but we’re always hungry for something new (pun intended). Hop21, Twin Cities’ one and only Table Tennis (Ping Pong) Club and Bar, is a unique 4,500 square feet contemporary-chic venue with 7 ping-pong courts, a full bar, and a go-to spot for many corporate and personal events.

They’re located in downtown Minneapolis on the corner of Washington Avenue and 5th Street, and steps away from US Bank Stadium and Gold Medal Park. Max Vinogradov, Owner of Hop21, opened his business 4 years ago with no intention of creating a food menu.

It [Hop21] was a unique idea of a niche bar that was maybe a little too crazy and unorthodox for Minneapolis, and that’s precisely why I thought it might just work. And I was right! - Max Vinogradov, Owner

Max moved to the United States in 1995, after getting a bachelor degree in mechanical engineering from the college in his hometown of Chelyabinsk, Russia. Then, he moved to Minneapolis in 1998 where his first career began in advertising working as a motion graphics designer and a 3D animator for a few years before starting his own business in the same field in 2003.

There was a period of time when he and his friend used to go play ping pong at a local LifeTime, and then they’d go out for beers afterwards. That’s when the idea of opening up a bar with ping pong came to be.

Chicken Salad Sandwich // Delicious rotisserie chicken salad with seedless grapes, celery, red onion, fresh dill and parsley served on a bed of lettuce and a slice of dark rye bread.

Chicken Salad Sandwich // Delicious rotisserie chicken salad with seedless grapes, celery, red onion, fresh dill and parsley served on a bed of lettuce and a slice of dark rye bread.

The new lunch menu launched in early August and the response has been positive, especially regarding their top two sellers: the Chicken Salad sandwich and the Pastrami sandwich.

Many of our ingredients come from local sources: Pastrami and sausage come form a butcher shop in St Paul, bread comes from a bakery in NE Mpls, and greens and veggies - from local farmers markets. This is extremely important to us, as we support local small businesses and they support us! - Max Vinogradov, Owner

Pastrami &amp; Arugula Sandwich // Spicy, herbed, locally made beef pastrami topped with arugula, red onions, garnished with horseradish sauce and dill, served on a bed of lettuce on a slice of buttered dark rye bread.

Pastrami & Arugula Sandwich // Spicy, herbed, locally made beef pastrami topped with arugula, red onions, garnished with horseradish sauce and dill, served on a bed of lettuce on a slice of buttered dark rye bread.

We asked Vinogradov why he decided to start offering a lunch menu and why he focused it on smorrebrods (traditional Scandinavian open-faced sandwich), and he said that there was a clear demand for it as his customers would often complain about limited lunch options in the area. In addition, he’s always wanted to experiment more with food and what better than starting with a deli-focused menu.

At the bar, we don’t have a full size commercial kitchen, so we had to be creative with our menu. A friend traveling in Europe posted pics of smorrebrods online and it just clicked. That was exactly what we were looking for! -Max Vinogradov, Owner

You can view the full menu here and dine-in/take-out any time Monday through Friday between 11:30am and 1:30pm to try one of these delicious craft-made smorrebrods.

Looking into the future, Vinogradov says that they’re planning to start offering a limited smorrebrod menu on weekend nights. So keep your eye out for that!

From Nutritious to Delicious: Our Spin on Dining In Like You’re Dining Out

This blog post is sponsored by Angelic Bakehouse but all opinions are my own.

Spring is in the air, which means more color and variety when it comes to food. This is when you start to see more herbs, tomatoes, and berries on the menus in restaurants, and when you start to take a deeper look into your eating habits at home.

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EatDrinkDish x Angelic Bakehouse.png

When I’m not dining out at all the amazing restaurants in the city, I like to keep it healthy at home. Let’s be real, it’s not super healthy to always eat out. Especially as you age and your body starts to reject those oh-so-good greasy, cheesy, salty foods that are undeniably delicious.To set the record straight, I am not a cook or recipe developer but I love to be creative in the kitchen. So when Angelic Bakehouse sent over these nutritious and delicious Flatzza™Crusts I really had some fun with them.

Taco pizza anyone? You can easily make this vegan if you take off the meat and cheese. This was surprisingly really easy to make. I’ve never made pizza at home because it seemed intimidating, but Angelic Bakehouse’s Flatzza™ Crust made it so simple.

  • Angelic Bakehouse Flatzza™Crust

  • Taco Sauce

  • Ground Beef w/Taco Seasoning Mix

  • 4-Style Mexican Cheese

  • Serrano Peppers

  • Black Olives

  • Tri-Colored Heirloom Tomatoes

  • Chopped Cilantro

  • Drizzle of Chili-Lime Dressing

EatDrinkDish x Angelic Bakehouse Taco Pizza.png
EatDrinkDish x Angelic Bakehouse Taco Pizza.png

Within 10-15 minutes in the oven at 400 degrees, this pizza was ready to be served and devoured!

You can find Angelic Bakehouse at your nearest grocery store or purchase from their online website, angelicbakehouse.com. Be sure to use our exclusive offer for $2 off your online or in-store purchases.Cheers!

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Eat.Drink.Dish's First Annual Faves & Maves Event

Video Credit: Foodist Films

Over the last four years, Eat.Drink.Dish has reached several milestones. From its first 1,000 followers in December of 2014, just 6 months after creating the account, to hosting events to winning City Pages Readers’ Choice Best Instagram five years in a row; what started as a way for Golnaz Yamoutpour, founder/creator, to share her love of food has turned into a local Twin Cities staple.

Last summer, the platform reached new heights when it gained 50,000 followers on Instagram! To celebrate, Yamoutpour and the Eat.Drink.Dish team wanted to host a special event honoring the restaurants/eateries and supporters that have contributed to the ever-growing platform.

However, before they knew it they were projecting to hit 55,000 before the end of the year. The account reached yet another milestone right before the date of their biggest event of the year.

On Thursday, November 8, 2018 at the InterContinental MSP Hotel, guests were treated to Eat.Drink.Dish’s Faves and Maves event. An evening filled with food, drink, music and prizes all in celebration of the Twin Cities’ thriving foodie community.

The concept was born from Yamoutpour wanting to share some of her most favorite dishes she’s encountered over the years, but also thank those restaurateurs who had been true partners. 

Eat.Drink.Dish really wouldn’t be where it is today without the amazing innovative and creative food entrepreneurs we have in our cities and the support from all the food-loving restaurant-goers. - Golnaz Yamoutpour, Founder

Featured vendors ranged from St. Paul’s Can Can Wonderland to Excelsior’s Rebel Room, treating guests to flavors from all over the Twin Cities. In total, 13 restaurants and businesses were featured:

  1. The Lynhall

  2. PinKU Japanese Street Food

  3. Cardigan Donuts

  4. Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe

  5. Smack Shack

  6. Red Rabbit

  7. Can Can Wonderland

  8. Rebel Room

  9. The Waffle Bar

  10. La Voya

  11. Bradstreet Craftshouse

  12. My Chef Box Meals

  13. Savour Deals

Upon arrival, guests were offered colorful and flavored cotton candy from Can Can Wonderland. Once in the room, foodies were invited to wander through the vendors, sampling Red Rabbit’s Burrata soup, Rebel Room/Red Sauce Rebellion’s kimchi hot dogs PinKU Japanese’s spicy tuna crispy rice, Smack Shack’s lobster guacamole and the sweet confections from Waffle Bar, Cardigan Donuts and Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe. The InterContinental MSP even provided guests a flavor of from both their restaurants, La Voya and Bradstreet Cafe.

Photos by Sarah Ellen Photography

DJ Sticky of the award-winning Nora Events treated guests to some lively beats, while Savour Deals (local restaurant-based app) offered an array of giveaways ranging from gift cards to restaurants and tickets to events. But, perhaps the piece-de-resistance, was the beautiful cake by The Lynhall’s Pastry Chef, Katie Elsing.

Photo Credit: Sarah Ellen Photography

Photo Credit: Sarah Ellen Photography

In April 2019, Eat.Drink.Dish reached yet another milestone with 60,000 followers along with winning City Page’s Readers’ Choice Award for ‘Best Instagram’ for the fifth year in a row!

Food creates culture, culture creates food. All I want to do is share my foodie lifestyle with others and bring in another perspective to this lively foodie culture. If I can do that while helping local food businesses grow, why not! - Golnaz Yamoutpour, Founder

What’s next for Eat.Drink.Dish? Well, that’s all up to the Twin Cities bustling food and foodie scene. To attend our next event and stay tuned about Faves & Maves 2019, subscribe to our newsletter here and stay hungry!


Psst … are you a restaurant/eatery interested in participating in FAVES ‘N’ MAVES 2019? Email us at info@eatdrinkdishmpls.com to reserve your spot today.

ABLE Brewery's Better Selves: Non IPA Drinker’s IPA With a Bangin' Spotify Playlist

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Able Brewery, located in #Nordeast as the kids like to call it, recently released an IPA made for the non-IPA drinker named Better Selves. If you noticed, even the can is new. A more chic look with a matte finish, upside down pink arrowhead, and some more verbiage on the back of the can than usual. Perfect fit for this tropical blend IPA.

Another unique branding element is the Spotify code located on the can. That’s right, now you can jam out to a curated playlist made specifically for this IPA. If you are a Spotify user, all you have to do is open the app, click search, click the camera icon, hover over the code on the can, and start jammin’.

Probably one of the coolest things I’ve seen on a can of beer.

Similar to unfiltered hazy IPAs, Better Selves is built with a blend of tropical hops including Idaho 7, Bravo, and Ahtanum. White wheat and oats are added to balance out the bright citrus tones for a pillow-soft finish and smooth, silky mouth feel. The protein content in the wheat and oats gives the beer its cloudy consistency and milky straw hue.

Better Selves boasts a lower IBU (International Bitterness Units), an attractive quality to a host of craft fans who love the hop flavor, but not the bitterness. A 4.4% ABV also makes it a flavorful, versatile option rounding out Able’s core selection.

One of the reasons that Casey Holley, Founder of Able, said they created this tropical blend IPA was due to customer demand. When the people ask for it, the people will receive. That is one of the qualities that we love about Able.

Especially when it came to partnering up with Chef Jon Wipfli of Animales BBQ less than a year ago.

Pork Spare Ribs, Pork Belly, Lowry Hill Meats Hot Link, House-made Sauces, Pickled Beets Salad, Brown Sugar and Butter Grits, Meaty Beans

Pork Spare Ribs, Pork Belly, Lowry Hill Meats Hot Link, House-made Sauces, Pickled Beets Salad, Brown Sugar and Butter Grits, Meaty Beans

Recently, Animales BBQ was named Best BBQ by City Pages, Top 50 Restaurants by Mpls/St. Paul Magazine, and ‘Set the Gold Standard in Minneapolis BBQ’ according to Food & Wine magazine. If you’ve never tried the food at Animales BBQ, which is the vibrant food truck parked behind the brewery, I suggest you go and see for yourself and do not underestimate the sides.

Brown Sugar and Butter Grits, Pickled Beets Salad with Queso Fresco, Meaty Beans, Red Cabbage Slaw

Brown Sugar and Butter Grits, Pickled Beets Salad with Queso Fresco, Meaty Beans, Red Cabbage Slaw

The food truck is open Thursday thru Friday from 4pm - 9pm, Saturday 12pm - 9pm, and Sunday 12pm - 4pm (or until sold out!).

Able is open Wednesday thru Sunday. They are closed Monday and Tuesday for private events.

Taproom Hours:

Wednesday 3pm - 11pm
Thursday 3pm - 11pm
Friday 12pm - 11pm
Saturday 12pm - 11pm
Sunday 12pm - 8pm

Coca-Cola and Ritz team up for the NCAA Fan Fest in Minneapolis!

Coca-Cola and Ritz team up for the NCAA Fan Fest in Minneapolis!

This April, American favorites Coca-Cola and Ritz teamed up for a special interactive experience at the NCAA Final Four Fan Fest! With several “flavor room” sections set up specifically for Instagrammable moments, it’s a must-see when at Fan Fest all weekend long.

JonnyPops Releases 5 New Flavors

It starts off simple and delicious: real fruit and heavy cream. Throw in a little bit of sweetness with cane sugar. Get the right texture with purified water. And then round it out with just a pinch of salt.

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What results is the simply delicious summertime treat: a JonnyPop. This company-- with its Midwestern roots-- has been crafting creamy smoothie pops since 2011. They started off simply with three classic flavors: Strawberries & Cream, Raspberries Blueberries & Cream, and lastly a tropical Pineapple Coconut & Cream.

But then, the company grew, and so did the public’s interest. That’s when they added three more: Mango & Cream, Banana Cinnamon & Cream, Strawberry and Banana & Cream.

This year, another flavorful five were added to the lineup, for some slightly sweeter and less fruit-forward options. Cherry Chocolate, Dark Chocolate, Root Beer Float, Cold Press Coffee Chocolate, along with a Vanilla Mint Chocolate are hitting shelves now.

A Frozen Fruit Bar by Any Other Name Wouldn’t Taste as Sweet.

In 2011, the company was founded by Erik Burst and Connor Wray, a few years after Erik conceptualized the tasty “better for you frozen fruit bar” with his cousin, Jonathan. Though Jonathan passed away before the company came to be, his legacy lived on in the name-- JonnyPops -- and in its charity work. The company annually donates a portion of profits to various nonprofits working on addiction recovery programs.

But that’s not all the good they do. Each pop has a notion of kindness written on the stick, “Be a Force for Positivity!”, and now, each purchase of a pop is helping schools around the country implement kindness and anti-bullying programs.

 

So where can you buy them? Locations are popping up all over the place, check out the Locator to find one near you.

Keep an eye our social media for more JonnyPops moments. We’ll still have two more giveaways coming up!

The Moxy Experience

You’ve just gotten off your flight and snagged a lyft from the airport. You’re likely impressed at how beautiful, sunny, and likely, humid, the Minneapolis summer is. You hop out of the car, slip your friendly driver a five star rating and stroll into your hotel. Sauntering toward the bar, you check in, get your key, and head upstairs. A contemporary chic room is there to greet you as you kick off your shoes and float down onto the plush bed. Soft leather chairs, floor to ceiling windows, an electric guitar hanging glamorously in the corner.

Welcome to Moxy Minneapolis.

Photo by Asha Belk

Photo by Asha Belk

Photo by Asha Belk

Photo by Asha Belk

The Moxy Hotel in Uptown is Minneapolis’ newest hotel addition. Having opened in early 2018, some of its first guests were Superbowl celebs. The hotel offers primarily one-bed rooms costing under $200 a night. Check in is at the bar (open hotel-side and sidewalk-side) and while there’s no hotel restaurant to grab a dinner (save for some snacky flatbreads), you’ll soon find you don’t need one. All of Uptown rests at your fingertips.

Dozens of restaurants and food trucks nearby means it’s nearly impossible to go hungry. Vegan? Head to Fig and Farro. Spending Taco Tuesday in Uptown? Venture down to Lago Tacos. Something coastal? Stella’s is right around the corner. In the summer, leave the hotel for a walk through the heart of Uptown and end up at the brand new Lola’s on the Lake at Bde Maka Ska.

UpDown is perfect for all your gaming needs, and the Lagoon and Uptown movie theaters aren’t far either. All the fun in Uptown continues well past sundown too, as you can bar hop all night long. With Libertine, Stella’s, Uptown Tavern, and even the newly added Pourhouse, you won’t even need to step foot downtown. Plus, Moxy is located right on the 21 bus line, so it’s an easy trip right down to downtown Saint Paul and Union Station.

Late June, we at Eat.Drink.Dish hosted a ticketed Summer Social event in Moxy's Green Room. The Moxy Experience included complimentary house-made cocktails and food from some local businesses-- Fig & Farro, Lago Tacos, Kafe 421, SomruS Liqueur, HipPop Popcorn, and Carousel Macarons-- along with a hotel tour, as well as a PhotoBooth and live DJing from DJ Sticky and Nora Events. Skyline Specs and Carol’s Candles also joined the party. If only we had the whole weekend to stay.

For the moments you may want to stay close to home (so to speak) in the hotel, feel free to take a seat at the bar with one of their craft cocktails, or relax in the Vinyl Listening Lounge. A gym is tucked away in the basement for all you fitness junkies-- and there’s even some tantalizing neon “fitspo” hanging above the treadmills. For when you're all done with your workout, snag a spot in the hammock lounge. 

Whether you’re visiting Minneapolis for the first time, or the 100th-- even if you live here-- Moxy is a top choice-- walkable, cozy, trendy, and affordable. It’s your comfy place to sleep and the essential jumping off point for city exploration.

Missed this last event? You're in luck-- we'll be back at the Moxy this fall with Mighty Spark Food Company. Keep an eye out for details coming soon! 


For more information or to book a room at The Moxy Hotel Uptown, visit the website or follow Moxy on Social: Instagram @moxymplsuptown and #AtTheMoxy.

All Photos by Asha Belk

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At Nicollet Island Inn, Pair Fine Dining With Fine Entertainment

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While newer, quicker dining trends have begun to dominate the hospitality scene in Minneapolis, many restaurants are still celebrating the tradition of fine dining.

One such restaurant is doing so by going back to the golden era, and pairing a fine meal with fine entertainment.

On Friday, Feb. 23, Nicollet Island Inn is bringing back its cabaret series with “Love Inspires.” From 6 – 9 p.m., singer Jennifer Eckes will take the stage to perform love songs from throughout the ages.

Owners Larry and Caryl Abdo want to take diners back to a time when a night on the town included great food, drink and showmanship in one place. To do so, they’ve forged with the Twin Cities Cabaret Artist Network to create a series at their venue. Through the network, their series will feature local accompanists, singers and directors that have repertoires to please all ages. Eckes will be Nicollet Island Inn’s second performance in the series.

In addition to live, the evening will also include classic cocktails and a prefixed menu by Chef Noah Balow.

The menu includes:

Passed Appetizer
White Cheddar and Thyme Gougères with Sea Salt
Amuse
Chef’s Choice
First Course
Roasted Broccoli Salad - Pine Nuts, Chevre, Mustard Seed, Brown Butter Vin
Second Course
Stuffed Pork Tenderloin - Green Apples & Herb Stuffing, Speck, Green Beans, Yam Puree
Dessert Course
New York Cheese Cake Topped with Raspberry Puree
(includes Prosecco Toast)

Entertainment will take place from 6 – 9 p.m. Tickets cost $89 per person, which includes dinner.

Eckes has performed with the Minnesota Opera, Bloomington Civic Theater, the Ordway and has twice been a Fellow at Yale University’s Cabaret Conference.

For more information, or to purchase tickets, visit the Nicollet Island Inn online.

New Year, New Pop-Up: Soul Bowl Returns To N. Mpls.

Credit: Klassics

Credit: Klassics

By: Katie Fraser

New year, new food!

For the first weekend in the New Year, Klassics is bringing back its Soul Bowl pop-up.

Started by Chef Gerard Klass of Kaskaid Hospitality, Klassics is a hospitality business specializing in pop-up restaurants. The return of Soul Bowl marks its fourth venture.

First held in mid-November of last year, Soul Bowl is a quick service restaurant reimagining southern style food.

The build-your-own menu allows diners to customize their dishes from base to sauce. Bases include cauliflower, mac and cheese, cornbread dressing or red beans and rice. Then, guests can top their bowls with veggies, meats and sauces.

The menu will once again include the AA Sandwich – a fried chicken topped with collard greens and mac and cheese on hot water cornbread – deviled eggs and corn bread muffins.

Also, the Best of New Soul Music will once again provide entertainment.

Soul Bowl will be open from 5 – 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6 and 12 – 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 7.  It will be hosted at 1825 N Glenwood Avenue in Minneapolis.

For more information, visit Klassics on Facebook.

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Behind the Bar: Guest Mixology at Aloft Minneapolis

Eat local, drink local-- the lifestyle of Minneapolis foodies. With Minneapolis owned distilleries and Twin Cities mixologists making it big, Aloft decided to take the local-centric movement up one more notch.

On the evening of December 13, Aloft and Coca Cola invited our very own Golnaz Yamoutpour to be the guest mixologist behind the bar during the latest Aloft Live concert.

 

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Crafted special for the event, guests could get one of two locally-inspired cocktails for the evening: the Mintapolis-- a refreshing tequila based drink featuring Suja’s Strawberry Balsamic drinking vinegar--  and the Spoonbridge Cherry -- a rye whiskey drink featuring both Sharab Shrub’s Asian Pear shrub, and a Cherry Coke reduction.

 

In order to stick with a technically innovative theme for the night, customers were able to order their drinks via emoji text, to have their drink ready at the end of the bar.

 

With a packed house and crowded bar, singer Joshua Radin performed an acoustic set for Minneapolitans and hotel guests alike. Radin has released 6 albums over the past 10 years and is well known for his musical contributions to shows like Scrubs, Greys Anatomy, and One Tree Hill.

 

Other concert series have taken place in New Orleans, Denver, Brooklyn, San Francisco and Portland.

Make the Mintapolis at home:  1.5 oz. Tequila Blanco  1 oz. Suja’s Strawberry Balsamic drinking vinegar  0.5 oz. fresh lime juice  0.25 oz. agave or honey  2 oz. Sprite

Make the Mintapolis at home:

1.5 oz. Tequila Blanco

1 oz. Suja’s Strawberry Balsamic drinking vinegar

0.5 oz. fresh lime juice

0.25 oz. agave or honey

2 oz. Sprite

Make the Spoonbridge Cherry at home:  1.25 oz. Rye Whiskey  0.5 oz. Cherry Coke Reduction  0.5 oz. Campari  0.5 oz. Sharab Shrub’s Asian Pear Shrub  0.25 oz. Sweet Vermouth.

Make the Spoonbridge Cherry at home:

1.25 oz. Rye Whiskey

0.5 oz. Cherry Coke Reduction

0.5 oz. Campari

0.5 oz. Sharab Shrub’s Asian Pear Shrub

0.25 oz. Sweet Vermouth.

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