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Burger Hunter: Red Stag Supper Club

Red Stag Supper Club

Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. He’s like David S. Burgers! Check out all The Burger Hunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram and at @BurgerHunterUSA on the twitter.

Just over the river and into Northeast Minneapolis you’ll find a little honey hole of good foodie finds. We’ve hunted in this area before but this time we’re heading to investigate some talky talky about Red Stag Supper Club. Now this place is all charming and hosts a v strong menu. I’m practically dating their fish & chips and their Mac & Cheese. Anywho, once in awhile you have to look past your steady and go hunting on the menu. This probe is honing in on the Peterson Farms Heirloom Limousin Burger. And we’re off . . . Bun is sesame and poppi, toasted yet soft. It’s in collusion with this roasted garlic aioli. Attacking from the top and bottom. Soooo delicious. The meat is limo cattle (French) from a top shelf Minnesota farm. These are grandpa cows. The burger is full of flavor, finely textured and clean. Loose pack. Lots of drips! Cooked to order by pros. Knowing medium is the ultimate complement to a chef. They know medium. The cheese is white cheddar and completely smothering. Light salty and good. Topped with a sheet of crispy lettuce and I added the double smoked bacon. At least it tasted that way. Comes with pickles on and I took um off. Had plenty of crunch and really with this quality beef you can’t have to many distractions. There’s a hint of sweetness and it comes from the sneaky red onions under the meat. The burger is a standout and my findings are that the talky talky is true. Great burger from first bite to last.

Scorecard:   Flavor: 9.4   Presentation: 9  Originality: 9

Red Stag Supper Club, 509 1st Ave NE, MPLS; redstagsupperclub.com

Twincy Cheat Sheet: Some Really Strange Things


It’s almost impossible to keep up with the arts and the culture and the entertainment and food and drink and the people and the places here in MPLS + STPL, so we’ve put together this list of stuff that we’re using as talking points this week and sharing them with you to pretend like they’re you’re own.

What: The MN Science Museum sweatshirt on Stranger Things 2

Local fans of Stranger Things—which seems like a lot of people?—lost their marbles when they saw that one of the nerdy kids—we don’t watch the show, sorry—was wearing a sweatshirt with a Brontosaurus that said Science Museum of Minnesota. The actual Science Museum did, too. But they’re also very smartly printing up a bunch of those sweatshirts ASAP.

Where: New restaurant not Taco John’s

It says a lot about our readers that the single biggest story that we’ve run this year was that fliers went up at Lyn-Lake for a new Taco John’s and it wasn’t. Man, the emails we got. Outrage! Well if that worked you folkx up, then know that instead of TJ’s the spot is going to be a restaurant with fancy wood-fired food called The Hasty Tasty.  

Who: MPLS Mayor Hodges’s Strib photo Halloween costume (pictured)

While we’ve disagreed with a lot things she’s done, particularly with her lack of communications (which is improving by her own efforts, not her office’s) and her handling of the Jamar Clark killing, MPLS Mayor Betsy Hodges doesn’t get enough credit for being funny. At this weekend’s Give a Sh-IT! halloween party, Hodges cleverly dressed up as a Star Tribune photo of herself, cocking her head and closing her eyes to poke fun at the paper’s frequently unflattering pictures. It’s great because it’s true.    

When: Saturday at The Twin Cities Film Fest films and post-party

Here’s what we don’t understand about the Arts & Culture scene here in MPLS + STPL—why doesn’t everyone go to film festivals? It’s really a fun time to check out two-three films in a day, or even more through the week, that you know are going to be good because they’ve been selected by talented curators. And actually, it was full houses for sold out shows on the last day of the Twin Cities Film Fest (big kudos to Artistic Director Steve Snyder, who did a great job on the breadth of films being shown), which is great. It was also great to see King Otto running the decks at the post-party, which was more fun than we expected.

Why?: The big 98° at Christmas show

Is the New Standards long-standing holiday show not your cup of egg nog? What about Nick Lachey and the rest of boy (turned-man) band 98° doing their holiday show at their Pantages Theatre. Super fans can even get a $500 VIP “Dressing Room Meet & Greet” that includes a champagne toast, but no clear answer if the guys will actually be dressing at the event.

Win Tix: John Hodgman + Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches

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Join Rain Taxi in welcoming John Hodgman back to the Twin Cities! He will be reading from and speaking about his new book, Vacationland: True Stories from Painful Beaches (Viking), in which the fearless author wanders through the wildernesses of Western Massachusetts where he spent much of his youth, the beaches of Maine that want to kill him, and the haunted forest of middle age that connects them. Though wildly funny, this is also Hodgman’s most poignant and sincere book to date—don’t miss seeing him present Vacationland live in person! Thursday, November 2, 2017, 7:00 PM. Kagin Commons at Macalester College 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul.

This is a great event for the intersection of our readers who enjoy both books and brainy comedy! Just reply to this email for a chance to win tickets to see Hodgman next Thursday.

Quick Q+A: Monica LaPlante

monica laplante

Regular Readers know we’ve been tremendous fans of Monica LaPlante‘s music and we’re very excited to finally be able to have some of it on vinyl. Ahead of her Noir LP release show with Catbath and Blaha—one of the last shows happening at the Triple Rock—we sent her a Quick Q+A to check back in on LaPlante on her rigorous schedule, recording, radio play, and any costume ideas (the show is of course going have costumes on stage and off).  

Secrets of the City: You’ve played sooooo many shows in the two years since we first interviewed you—so many!—was it hard to take a break from playing to record Noir or was it a sort of welcome vacation? Or was it just in-between all the shows?

Monica LaPlante: It was super easy to record because I was working with my manager Noah Hollander, who was part owner of The Pearl recording studio. We just recorded everything one song at a time with his brother Zach when there was open time at the studio. When Noah left The Pearl a year later, we had to find a new place to finish the album. It was really difficult and took a long time to find one we felt as comfortable in. We tested out a lot studios in the Midwest, but ended up finishing the record at Key Club in Benton Harbor, MI.

Are you surprised at the wider success of “Hope You’re Alone” as a single? It’s awesome to hear it on the radio.

It’s a relief to finally hear it on the radio!! I wrote Hope You’re Alone almost 4 years ago! We actually played it at our Jour release show at the Ritz theater in 2013. We’ve been Hail Mary passing it out to radio stations for a while, and the timing finally worked out. I always thought it was a good song, I mean the chorus is three words repeated over and over again, so it’s catchy enough! I finally feel reaffirmed in my songwriting with all the recent acknowledgment from local radio.

Will the show be the only spot people can grab the album? Will it make it out into record stores for wider consumption?

The vinyl will make it out to record shops as well! The Electric Fetus and Barely Brothers will for sure have copies. They’ll be coming with a poster, an insert with lyrics, and a digital download card.

How bittersweet is it that the party is one of the last remaining shows at the Triple Rock?

Noah and I booked the show without a faintest idea that this would happen. I just feel fortunate enough to have an opportunity to play the Triple Rock one last time. It’s a great chance to have one last wild night there, that’s for sure!

Do you feel a lot of pressure for your costume since you’re headlining? What if you dressed up as the Triple Rock? (Actually don’t do that, we’re going to do that.)

There’s always pressure in a group costume in general! We toyed with a number of ideas. Last year I was Robert Palmer and the rest of the band went as his supermodel lady band. It kind of went over most peoples’ heads, but pretty entertaining for us. This year we’ll be doing something a little more recognizable, but you’ll have to come out to see it!

Monica LaPlante releases the vinyl edition of Noir with Catbath and Blaha. Friday, October 27th, 9 PM. $8. Triple Rock Social Club. 

Win Tix: Wolf Parade + Charlie Bliss


The soaring choruses, rousing anthems, sprawling guitars and chaotic keys that make up Wolf Parade are on proud display over the course of Cry Cry Cry, the band’s thunderous first album in seven years. That unique combination of sounds and influences, spearheaded by electric co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner—a complex yet relatable, energetic brew of glam, prog, synth-rock, and satisfying discomfort—helped define 2000s indie rock with three critically celebrated albums, and propelled a growing Wolf Parade fandom even after the band went on a then-indefinite hiatus in 2010. Fresh off their appearance on Stephen Colbert, Wolf Parade are back at First Avenue for the first time in seven years for a big show with Charlie Bliss in the Main Room on Friday, October 27th. $25.

Wolf Parade throw a fantastic show and we know we have some of their fans among our readers. Just reply to our email that you’re interested in going for a chance at a pair of tickets! 

Kickstart Our Heart: Art Shanties

Art Shanties

There’s a lot of really good kickstarters that will make our thriving metro an even better collection of arts & culture scenes—plus you get goodies if the projects get funded. Here’s something to throw your hard-earned money on proposals like:

Regular Readers know that we love and celebrate the Art Shanties, an integral part of our Twincy winter arts and culture scene, and no you can do the same as a part of their new membership program. Check out their kickstarter, which helps raise money but also talks about some big changes—moving to Lake Harriet this winter!—and has some great rewards including their upcoming on-ice party.

Midweek News & Notes: Local Election Crunch Time

Since even our most well-read readers have a hard time keeping up with local politics because there’s very little good consistent coverage that’s also actually informative, we feel we should update you with some of the important stories being shared around the SotC virtual water cooler, so that you’ve got a little background before the elections.

News: Just a few weeks after the MPLS Police Officers Union successfully spread a smear against incumbent Mayor Hodges, the St. Paul Police Union released their own smear against leading candidate Melvin Carter. 

Notes: Sheesh. It’s like The Wire, but less interesting. In the case of MPLS, the former head of the Police Officer’s Union Lt. John Delmonico, who Hodges called untrustworthy and racist, dropped a last min lawsuit because he didn’t get a promotion and pushed the story to reporters. Setting aside the fact that Delmonico is ground zero for the MPD culture of police brutality and resistance to accountability, he was also one of the police helping with the infamous “pointergate” story. Of course he’s not going to get promoted by Hodges! The lawsuit, however, which was framed as the Mayor jerking around police, garnered exposure in the local papers and television news, and was even picked up by the Associated Press and run in national outlets. Of course it did! Thankfully accountability and reform for the police is such a hot topic that the it may have become a badge of honor for Hodges. Note: This isn’t an endorsement of Hodges, it’s an example of what to expect going into the next week of local election coverage with a big grain of salt as you suss out information. For example . . . 

In a similar fashion, MPR picked up the smear from the STPL PD Union that criticized leading candidate Melvin Carter for not being more secure with guns in his home. The Union went on to say that the weapons further gun violence on the street. Sounds like a weird attack, right? Actually the guns belonged to Carter’s father who was actually a member of the STPL PD and Carter participated fully in the investigation and, no surprise, the SPD PD support mayoral candidate Pat Harris who wants to beef policing in St. Easy. On the one hand, it’s ridiculous that these easy smears get traction with local reporters. On the other, again, it may have an opposite effect—knowing that the people supposed to “serve and protect” are “endorsing and smearing” strengthens calls for police reform. But that’s not it for info leading into the elections . . . 

News: Downtown MPLS Businesses have partnered up with the Right-Wing Minnesota Jobs Coalition to form a PAC that’s flooding the local election with mailers and ads that support many of the incumbent City Council Members who make up Council Member Barb Johnson’s majority. 

Notes: This is super insane. The MN Jobs Coalition, who spent money to help give the state-wide GOP control of the House and Senate, have joined up with The Downtown Council, who are fearful of ordinances like the $15 minimum wage, plus developer Steve Minn, to create a political fund called Minneapolis Works. The fund’s goal: to oppose the incredible push of reform candidate in MPLS, challengers that include political progressives and POCs. Definitely read the Wedge Live breakdown of the funding, it’s nuts. Maybe the craziest part of the whole thing is it that they’re supporting candidate Tim Bildsoe, who previously ran as a Republican but is now running to replace Jacob Frey in Ward 3 as a Democrat. Or, wait, is it crazier that Stan Hubbard, who owns KSTP, is one of the major contributors and has made tens of thousands of dollars to the PAC? 

Speaking of crazy, and even the media influence on the election, the frequently clueless Star Tribune Editorial board is, starting today, releasing out their endorsements. And unfortunately so far it’s all aligned with the Minneapolis Works picks, even choosing Bildsoe over the DFL-endorsed Steve Fletcher (who was the founding director of the vitally important NOC) and Green Party Candidate and Veteran Samantha Pree-Stinson.  

Our best advice for who to vote for right now—without just endorsing candidates ourselves—is to ignore all ads and mailers, and start asking all your friends and neighbors three simple questions: Who are you voting for (and their ranks!), why are you voting for them, and what is your most important issue for MPLS + STPL? You’re going to get much more useful information for your own votes on November 7th.