Friday is that cherished American holiday, National Doughnut Day. How will you be celebrating?
YoYo Donuts (5757 Sanibel Dr., Minnetonka, 952-960-1800, yoyodonuts.com) goes all-out.
"Anyone who comes in can pick up any doughnut with a hole, for free, while supplies last," said owner Chris Moquist. "Every year the 'while supplies last' gets shorter and shorter, even though we make more and more."
Note: There's always a line when the freebie fun starts at 6 a.m.
Moquist really gets into the spirit of the day by donating 30 to 40 dozen doughnuts to the Salvation Army, which distributes them to veterans groups.
Here's the connection: National Doughnut Day started as a Depression-era program of the Salvation Army. It was a tribute to the organization's female volunteers, who fried doughnuts for American soldiers on World War I's front lines.
"It's always the first Friday in June," said Moquist. "And it's not a made-up decree from the National Doughnut Council. It's actually a legitimate way to honor what these Salvation Army women did."
At Mojo Monkey Donuts (1169 W. 7th St., St. Paul, 651-224-0142, mojomonkey.biz), owner Lisa Clark will be handing out free doughnuts to the first 200 customers (doors open at 6 a.m.) and she'll also be making beignets, a ritual usually reserved for Saturday and Sunday.
If you plan to stop by Glam Doll Donuts (2605 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-345-7064, glamdolldonuts.com), prepare to get in line.
"We're planning on making the most doughnuts we've ever made," said Glam Doll-er Jesse River with a laugh. While the shop is open until 1 a.m., don't plan on leaving your doughnut craving for the wee hours.
"We'll probably sell out long before that," he said.
Open and close
Opening soon: Bar Italiano, an expansion of the Butcher Block (308 E. Hennepin Av., Mpls., 612-455-1080, thebutcherblockrestaurant.com).
June 9 is the long-awaited — at least, by yours truly — Minnesota debut of Shake Shack (shakeshack.com). The chain, from New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, is opening at the Mall of America's third-floor Culinary on North.
Plan accordingly: The first ShackBurgers and Shack Attack frozen custard shakes will be sold at 11 a.m.
Cafe 128 (128 N. Cleveland Av., St. Paul, 651-645-4128, the128cafe.com) is taking a break. Chef/owner Max Thompson is using the summer to renovate the restaurant.
Before it became the much-loved Vincent in 2001, the space at 1100 Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis was home to a Bruegger's Bagels. Five months after chef Vincent Francoual closed his namesake restaurant, the Orchestra Hall-adjacent real estate has come full circle: A combination Caribou Coffee-Einstein Bros. Bagels-Argo Tea concept now occupies the space.
Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse, the latest venture from Famous Dave's founder Dave Anderson, has hit the Twin Cities metro area. After opening in Hayward, Wis., and then expanding to Rice Lake, Wis., Anderson is now operating his third outlet in Hudson (2421 Hanley Rd., 1-715-245-8900, oldsouthernbbq.com). The counter-service operation is open for lunch and dinner daily.
Sorry to report that Z Italiano in Southdale has closed, after a six-month run.
Read full reviews and other restaurant news at startribune.com/dining.