Here's what's happening, food- and drink-wise, around the Twin Cities this weekend:
Thursday: The Longfellow Grill and the Lowry are marking Minnesota's "Freedom to Marry Day" by offering a deal: A three-course dinner for two -- salad, entree, lavender cupcakes and a champage toast -- for $50.
Friday-Sunday: The 50th (yeah, fiftieth) anniversary of the Uptown Art Fair (pictured, above, in a Star Tribune file photo) takes place this weekend, and along with all the artists (and crowds), there will be plenty to eat. Two highlights: Paella at the Kitchen Window booth outside the Calhoun Square store, and goat burgers and pork belly-green papaya-fried egg salads at AZ Canteen food truck, which will be parked along Hennepin Avenue.
Saturday-Sunday: The Loring Park Art Festival is taking over downtown Minneaoplis' largest park, with plenty of grazing options, including chicken curry, pretzel hot dogs, fish tacos and that Minnesota summer staple, the corn dog. The talker? Chocolate mini doughnuts from Mighty Chocolate Mini Donuts.
Saturday-Sunday: Mayor Rybak should declare the next few days Minneapolis Art Fair Weekend, because it's also time for the 22nd-annual Powderhorn Art Fair, which is featuring, among other food vendors, the previously mentioned Mighty Chocolate Mini Donuts (which serves as a reminder: the Minnesota State Fair opens in less than three weeks).
Saturday: The Bachelor Farmer is throwing Kraftskiva, its second-annual crayfish festival/street fair, from 5 to 10 p.m. outside its North Loop building. On the food side, chef Paul Berglund and his kitchen crew will be preparing untold numbers of chilled crayfish, along with the restaurant’s awesome meatballs, sweet corn and snow cones, and the Marvel Bar will be pouring locally brewed beers and chilled aquavit. Live music, too, including appearances by Joey Ryan & the Inks and the Cloak Ox. Admission $4, sold at the door.
Thursday-Sunday: Sawatdee is celebrating its 30th anniversary -- that's like a century in restaurant years -- with a pair of dinner options: A three-course dinner for two for $30, or a six-course dinner for two for $60; a three-pour wine flight is an additional $15. The offer is available at the restaurant's St. Paul, downtown Minneapolis, Maple Grove and Eden Prairie locations.
Thursday-Sunday: Here's one gig I'm signing up for this weekend, weather permitting: Blueberry picking at Rush River Produce in Maiden Rock, Wis. The ultra-scenic U-pick farm, located about an hour southeast of the Twin Cities, is open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday through Sunday; call ahead (715-594-3648) to confirm availability. While you're in the neighborhood (Friday through Sunday, anyway), drop in on beautiful downtown Maiden Rock for sweets, sandwiches, quiche or a slice of owner Sandra Thielman's exceptional pies at the Smiling Pelican Bakeshop, and browse beautiful Cultural Cloth next door. If you visit on Sunday, consider having (a lovely) brunch at Chef Shack Bay City, about 10 (scenic) minutes north of Maiden Rock on Hwy. 35.
-- Rick Nelson