Here's what's going on, food- and drink-wise, this weekend in the Twin Cities:
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY: The prodigiously talented cooking team at Travail Kitchen and Amusements, currently without a home while their new location is under construction, has been staging pop-up dining events all summer. The latest is taking place this weekend at Kitchen in the Market at the Midtown Global Market. "We'll be doing globally-driven food, what we feel the Midtown Global Market represents," said Travail co-owner Mike Brown. "Of course, we'll be doing it Travail-style." Translation: An over-the-top 10-course tasting menu, with wine and beer pairings, served in two seatings (5:30 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.) on both evenings, Cost is an all-inclusive $80 per person; limited tickets available here. My recommendation: Hurry. "It's going to be one of our last pop-ups," said Brown. "We'll maybe do one more."
FRIDAY: Canterbury Park is playing host to a wagon train of food trucks this weekend, with more than a dozen notable mobile food names, including AZ Canteen, Hola Arepa, Gastrotruck, Anchor Fish & Chips, She Royal, Motley Crews and more. Oh yeah, there's horse racing, too. The first starting gate goes up at 6:30 p.m.
SATURDAY: The 2013 Minnesota Garlic Festival is just what it sounds like -- fun -- pulling together entertainment, kid activities, cooking demonstrations and 100 varieties of garlic for purchase. Oh, and eating, of course, with contributions from an impressive lineup of Twin Cities restaurants and chefs, including Tilia, Restaurant Alma, Common Roots Cafe, Birchwood Cafe, Lucia's and more, serving up deliciousness along the lines of roast corn with garlic-lime butter, garlic potato salad, garlic prime rib sandwiches and an heirloom tomato plate with garlic-honey vinaigrette (top price: $10.50). 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the McCleod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Minn., about 60 miles west of downtown Minneapolis. Admission $5 ($3 for children under 12, and free for babies in strollers), with proceeds benefiting the Crow River chapter of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota.
(Sidenote: Restaurants and chefs are forever investing or flat-out donating their time, their food and their expertise -- often all three -- to worthy causes, so give this a thought: Reward their generosity with a little generosity of your own by taking note of the restaurants and chefs that support fun-filled outings -- like the Minnesota Garlic Festival -- and then including their establishments on your dining-our rotation.)
FRIDAY-SUNDAY: There are plenty of shenanigans happening this weekend on Harriet Island in St. Paul at the Irish Fair of Minnesota, but the ones to note here are of the food variety: Shepherd's pie, corned beef sandwiches, bangers and mash, soda bread, fish and chips, Guinness barbecued pull pork sandwiches and more, courtesy of the Liffey, Claddagh Irish Pub and others. 3 to 11 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 7 a.m. Sunday; free admission.