This is the week of great food and sports news. First, U.S. Bank Stadium, the new home of the Vikings unveiled a long list of local food vendors that will be serving all kinds of edibles to hungry fans. In addition to the porketta sandwich from Andrew Zimmern and Gavin Kaysen and the fried chicken from Revival, there are hot dogs from Prairie Dogs, sausage from Kramarczuk's, a concept from a trio of culinary powerhouses: Tammy Wong of Rainbow Chinese, Shawn Smalley of Smalley's Barbecue and Matt Bickford from Icehouse and way, way more. There are food trucks, kettle corn purveyors, makes of fine quality chocolates and more. We can't wait to get into the finished stadium and get a real bite of all these new eats. Plus, as if that wasn't thrilling enough, Tattersall Distilling is getting in on the act with some special cocktails and bottled drinks that will be available in suites.
—The other sports news is that the Minnesota Wild's owner Craig Leipold is opening a restaurant in the Minnesota Club overlooking Rice Park. Herbie's On the Park is named for the legendary hockey coach Herb Brooks (of the Miracle on Ice fame). According to a press release the restaurant will be a "quintessential social house with a sense of camaraderie and intrigue." Whatever that means. (Secret bookcase passage ways? Tuna noodle surprise? The use of the word "intrigue" alone is intriguing.) It will be more an upscale tavern that works for hockey fans, but also serves theater and concert goers at the nearby venues. Expect an opening before the first puck drops on the Wild's 2016 season.
—What was once the Rail Station, a beloved dive has been re-opened after a facelift as The Howe Daily Kitchen & Bar. Locals who loved the dive aren't exactly thrilled with the gastropub makeover that includes scratch-made tater-tots served with a swoosh of ketchup, but there's avocado toast and prosciutto and fig flatbread! What's not to love? They do also serve broasted chicken, and in the mornings, broasted chicken and waffles. The Howe is open from breakfast through bar close.
—Travail and Pig Ate My Pizza are just about back from their summer vacation (where we might hear more about that alleged barbecue joint in Northeast.) PAMP opens for regular hours Wednesday July 13 and Travail and the Rookery get rolling on July 20. The next event for the pop-up happy crew is called Venture by long-time Travail chef Maddie Wilson. There will be two seatings and tickets are $50. Get the full scoop on the dinner here.
—We'd never heard of a meat sommelier before, but that's what they're calling boxer turned butcher Raul Gracia. The one-time pro boxer traded in his gloves in 2006 and picked up a boning knife. Around town he's worked for Cafe and Bar Lurcat, Senor Wong's, and Von Hanson's Meat. In addition to rocking a sweet mustache, he's taking over the Whole Hog Butchery class at Kitchen in the Market on August 19 for $125. He'll be showing off how to break down the whole animal and use it nose to tail. Tickets are available through Gracia's website.