Nordic Waffles closed its outpost in Rosedale Center's Potluck food hall on April 27 after a three-year run.
The sweet and savory waffle stand is a popular State Fair stop, but you won't have to wait until the Great Minnesota Get-Together to get your fix — several flavors of Nordic-style waffles are already available in freezer cases of many supermarkets. The company has decided that there's more opportunity in serving home cooks directly and they're seizing the day with a new flavor, berries and cream, to be launched in May. The distinctive heart-shaped waffle sandwiches will wrap around a mix of strawberries and raspberries along with fresh cream filling. (Other flavors include egg-cheddar-bacon and egg-cheddar-sausage.)
"Rosedale Mall was extremely supportive of our goals," Jeremy Ely, Nordic Waffles' CEO, said of the closing. "However, as our lease comes to an end, it presented a greater opportunity to focus our resources on supporting the continued growth of our frozen food strategy."
The company will continue to operate its stand at the State Fair.
All-day Filipino cafe open in St. Paul
The highly anticipated Kalsada, the Filipino restaurant from the owners of Cafe Astoria, is now open and serving in the former Augustine's space in St. Paul. Kicking off mornings with Cafe Astoria's Instagram-baiting lattes and a bakery case loaded with croissants, monkey bread, scones and more, Kalsada will open daily at 7 a.m. The menu unfolds throughout the day with sausages, lumpia and sandwiches for lunch, then resets for dinner service from 3 to 9 p.m. Reservations are available on Tock.
1668 Selby Av., St. Paul, kalsada-stpaul.com
Dive bar bagels could be the next big thing
Bagel Taïm, a self-proclaimed proletariat bagel business, is popping up at Palmer's Bar on the West Bank of Minneapolis. Bagel Taïm is located in south Minneapolis, where scratch-made crusty rounds and schmears are available on Saturdays for pickup or doorstep delivery (providing you live within the delivery radius — sorry, St. Paul).
Now, on Thursdays from 4 to 7 p.m., bagels, bagel sandwiches and schmears are available outside the beloved bar, a perfect base before heading in for a Hamm's or two. The prices are purposely affordable, with an everything bagel sandwich with hot pastrami and melted provolone for $8 and a bagel and schmear just $3.
Palmer's, 500 Cedar Av. S., Mpls. bageltaim.com
Mendota speakeasy courts big-name chefs
Inside a Mendota speakeasy you'll find dreams of dishes from the past and, soon, menus from bold-name Twin Cities chefs. The Mudd Room is the work of chefs Tyge Nelson and Steve Hesse, who also own the Lucky's 13 pubs and Pajaritos. The duo also boasts impressive resumes of their own — La Belle Vie, Solera, the Inn, Libertine and more — and have called on friends from their culinary pasts to launch the Speakeasy Chef Series.
The series kicks off with Shane Oporto, formerly of Octo Fish Bar and La Belle Vie. Oporto's menu dips into his dreams of that "someday" restaurant with dishes that lean into Asian ingredients, like gyoza with pork and ginger sausage and a riff on his popular catfish sando from the Octo Fish Bar days. Drinks? Oporto's making a Tokyo Tea, a modern-made nostalgic sipper that swaps in sake for tequila. The menu is available May 5-28.
Other chefs in the lineup include Tim McKee (the chef/owner of fine-dining pinnacle La Belle Vie, Octo Fish Bar), J.D. Fratzke (the Strip Club, Saint Dinette, Bar Brigade), Sameh Wadi (Saffron, World Street Kitchen), Lenny Russo (Heartland), Justin Sutherland (Handsome Hog) and more.
Nelson and Hesse have added a new food and drink menu to the speakeasy, too, with croquettes and stuffed piquillo peppers that sound a lot like a couple of loved and missed dishes we used to order at Solera.
To find the speakeasy, guests have to head to Lucky's 13 and wind through the main dining room to a phone in the back.
The Mudd Room, 1352 Hwy. 13, Mendota, the-mudd-room.business.site
Learn from the chefs at Travail
Young cooks looking to become a chef have the opportunity to train at one of the most lauded restaurants in the metro. Travail, the chef-owned collective, is ready to hire and train its second wave of apprentices. Applicants can range in age from 16 to 18; those accepted into the program will get paid for their work, starting at $15 an hour. Those who work full time also qualify for benefits.
It's a new way to approach the old cook career paths of staging (working for free) and expensive degrees from for-profit schools. Would-be apprentices need reliable transportation and a willingness to commit to the program. For more information, e-mail Rachel@travailcollective.com.