A newspaper story about the rising number of Minneapolis street food vendors spurred Jeff Burstein into action. "I saw it and thought, 'I'd better get out there and compete,'" said the owner of the Brothers Deli (50 S. 6th St., Mpls., www.the brothersdeli.com).
From a prime spot at 8th Street and Nicollet Mall, Burstein plans to serve made-to-order sandwiches, using his kitchen's pastrami, corned beef and whole roasted turkeys, and served with his delicious house-made potato chips, cookies and brownies. At breakfast, the cart will offer fresh-squeezed orange juice, coffee and egg sandwiches.
Oh, and Burstein will also offer knishes. "It's something I have to try," he said with a laugh. "I don't really want to, because I've tried them several times over the years, and I have to listen to the voice in my head that says I should learn not to put things out just because I like them." A good knish on Nicollet Mall? Sounds like paradise to me.
Because he's using a cart and not a larger, heavier motorized vehicle, Burstein was able to get past the city's jitters concerning pedestrian right-of-way and damage to sidewalk infrastructure. Burstein plans to staff the cart Monday through Saturday, and hopes to open the week following the July 4th holiday.Now open
The latest dining-drinking establishment at the Shops at West End, Sauce Pizza & Wine (1610 West End Blvd., St. Louis Park, www.mnsauce.com), opened last week.
Faces Mears Park (380 Jackson St., St. Paul, www.faces mearspark.com), David Fhima's cafe-bar-bakery-wine shop remake of LoTo, debuts Thursday.
Red Lobster (www.redlobster. com), the nation's largest seafood chain, is undergoing a store-by-store makeover, and the new look (inspired by Maine's tony Bar Harbor) has hit nine Twin Cities locations. The company announced Tuesday that, due to price increases following the Gulf oil spill, it's pulling oysters from its 600-plus restaurants when its supply runs out in a few weeks.From Bayport to Duluth
Kirk Bratrud plans on giving Twin Cities diners a reason to visit Duluth. The original chef-owner of the Bayport American Cookery in Bayport (and former chef at the Boathouse in Superior, Wis.) is placing a 26-seat restaurant into the cozy dining room at Norway Hall in downtown Duluth.
"Oh, man, it's great -- completely original," he said of the 1910 landmark building, which is home to the city's branch of the Sons of Norway.
Bratrud said he's going to focus on what he calls "Scandinavian immigrant city food."
The summer-only restaurant will offer a single seating at dinner, with five courses running in the $30 to $35 range. "The idea is to have the basic hospitality of people entertaining at home," said Bratrud. "I'm going back to the ideas of what I did at the Bayport American Cookery and combine them with what I've learned living up here."
Here's the bad news: The restaurant, still unnamed but currently under construction, won't open until next spring. Bratrud is thinking of kicking it off with a mushroom festival, much like the popular morel fests he staged at the Bayport.
"We don't really have morels up here, but we do have porcinis; they grow all over the place and I almost like them better than morels," he said. "They have a butterscotch quality that I love. We make ice cream out of them, and it tastes like butter brickle."