The Minnesota State Fair just added a pair of new vendors to its edible lineup next month. Homegrown hummus maker Baba’s and Solem Concessions Cheese Curds and Mini Donuts make their debut at the famous 12-day fair in St. Paul from August 26 to September 6. The Baba’s booth will serve a variety of bowls dressed with every thing from truffle hummus to za’atar, served with warm or fried pita bread. Solem Concessions Cheese Curds and Mini Donuts will roll out new blueberry mini donuts and classic cheese curds in Cajun — a first-ever for the fair — and ranch, garlic and original flavors. Both vendors will sit on the east side of Underwood Street. Baba’s is the brainchild of founders Khalid Ansari and Rana Kamal, the adult children of “Baba” Jamal Ansari, the owner/operator of Mediterranean Cruise Cafe in Burnsville. Over 300 vendors flock to the historic state fair every year to sling over 500 menu items.
In other news:
- Beloved pastry shop Zoe’s Bakery & Cafe relocated from its Minneapolis digs in Lyn-Lake into a big ground floor space of a new Eat Street apartment building in Loring Park (1400 Nicollet Avenue S.), reports Star Tribune.
- Owamni, the Sioux Chef’s hotly anticipated wood-fired restaurant free from European ingredients, finally opened on the banks of the sacred Haha Wakpa (Mississippi) in downtown Minneapolis and reservations are going fast.
- The Mall of America was just awarded a $2.4 million judgement against national chain Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen, reports the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal, adding to the $8 million share the mall has already collected in four other lawsuits over tenants’ back rent and related fees during the pandemic.
- Muddy Paws Cheesecake Bakery sets up shop at St. Louis Park all day on Friday, July 30, with a portion of its handmade cheesecake sales going towards local advocacy group STEP St. Louis Park (9 a.m. to 9 p.m.). The Bad Rooster and Soul Lao food trucks will also be onsite throughout the day, with live music staring at 4 p.m. (3359 Gorham Avenue).
- More than 200 venues across Minnesota received nearly $165 million in grants from Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which includes big bucks for Chanhassen Dinner Theatres in Chanhassen and Minneapolis Armory.