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.
Who: Arnellia Allen of Arnellia’s Apollo Nightclub
Bummer of a story making the rounds this morning: After running the popular, and yeah at times troublesome, club Arnellia’s in St. Peazy, Arnellia is closing the spot because of health issues. While the club was, of course, mostly in the news for shootings and police calls, it also has hosted numerous big names in music, including even Prince himself.
Where: First Avenue for Prince celebrations
It’s been a sad, but celebratory, year since Prince passed away—especially for those of you born again fans—and the club made famous by his Purpleness will spend the weekend of April 21st throwing dance parties inside and outside of First Avenue to help him Rest In Power.
What: French Presidential Elections 2017 Round Table
We know many of you readers keep an eye on international politics, so we’ll also mention tonight’s discussion at Alliance Française about the upcoming French Presidential race. Spoiler alert: They’ve also got a popular extremist candidate of their own, and she just inaccurately denied over the weekend that France deported Jews to Germany in WW2, which will make the discussion even more interesting and important.
When: 4/20 at the Black Forest Inn
Big holiday coming up, and while there’s a lot of (in)appropriate events planned, we strongly recommend seeing No No: A Dockumentary (2014), a trippy recount of the incredible and true story of Pirates pitcher Doc Ellis and the time he threw a no-hitter while on LSD. Film 4M hosts the screening at its regular spot at der Black Forest Inn, plus free popcorn for your munchies.
Why (Do We Love It So Much?): The artsy fire alarm at The Lowbrow
Need a brunch spot in South MPLS? We were pretty happy with our time at The Lowbrow on Nicollet on Sunday, mostly because they could seat us right away and they’re open at 9 AM instead of 10 AM like everyone else. That’s what it takes, really. But we kept cracking up at their sort of pinterest approach to the art on the walls where it was a dozen or so framed pics—one we discovered was actually realized after three cups of coffee was their fire alarm with a frame around it.
One of the cornerstones of the thriving film scene in Twincy: FilmTown™, the Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival (MSPIFF) returns again with bold, exciting and moving works, an impressive slate of 350 new films representing 70+ countries by emerging and veteran filmmakers.
We want to give you an early alert that next week we’ll be doing recommendations for films to see, but also giving away a bunch of tickets to our regular readers for ten selected films that will be excellent intro points for the massive event. So you’ll want to open your newsletters next week to get our on regular readers (we need a better name than that, actually) list for the tickets.
Some publications save up their awards for special once a year blowout packages—but not us! We’re giving out awards whenever we want to, in whatever categories we want to, because that’s what we’re like.
“Alcohol may be man’s worst enemy, but the Bible says love your enemy.” That’s the Frank Sinatra quote engraved on the service paddle for Ngon Bistro‘s Barrel Aged Cocktail Flight, a true highlight of any restaurant we’ve been to in recent memory. We’re excited to give this award, but will warn you that there’s an immediate problem with the $28 deal for four of the drinks—there’s five to choose from and they’re all good. Actually, they’re all really good: Sazerac, Bistro Bijou martini predecessor, Old Fashioned, Black Pearl smokey rum, and the Phalen Boulevardier, it’s like picking between your children. Plus, even though the flight is billed as “1/2 size”, you’re going to have to share your four close-to-full-sized drinks and that can lead to some tense conversations as well. We’d also give this award if this offering were anywhere, but the fact that it’s at one of the top restaurants in MPLS + STPL makes it all the more important to go and experience for yourself.
Week after week, Mike S. impresses us with the depth and breadth of his burger knowledge. Staff and readers love him so much we added him to our header today! Check out all The BurgerHunter’s meaty exploits at the #GreatAmericanBurgerHunter tag on Instagram.
They hold a secret power to the dining experience. Some are great and some should try a bit harder. We all have stories. Stories of the good, the bad, and the OMG Never Again! Wait staff are a big part of the experience. So this hunt takes us to the Bad Waitress, where they take that whole bit out of the equation. Yup sit down, look at your menu and write down what you want and go do this damn thing. Get up and move, yo. No, it’s actually pretty slick and they do bring you out your food. Thank goodness. Around these parts business meetings and breakfy are running hard, but I’m self ordering the Black-Top Bacon Cheeseburger. Diners do good burgers, folks. Almost always. This one is choice. Bun is a soft mound of rebound. Fresh from The Wedge. Meat is grass-fed with a loose pack and seasoned lightly. Delicious beef. Very clean but not lacking anything here. Juicy to the nines. Drips a plenty on the plate. “Can I get another napkin?” Maybe? Not sure TBH cause you’re a bit on your own here. Really tho, it’s kinda nice. Back to the beef. It super fresh tasting and I like it! The cheese is savage. A white cheddar thunder _____. What? It’s a white cheddar and it’s way good. Now the bacon is super crunch; in pieces, poised, positioned, and presented like a wedding cake. It’s really a nice touch. The salad is all organic and v refreshing. My lettuce was so happy to see me and I put the BBQ sauce on the side for a few dips. Not all that ‘ness cause the flavor alone is beautious. Pro tip: No throwing shade up in here cause no ones listening.
Scorecard: Flavor: 8.9 Presentation: 9 Originality: 7
The Bad Waitress Diner and Bar (Northeast), 700 Central Ave NE MPLS; thebadwaitress.com
The very first publications were basically just lists of prices for the necessities you would buy throughout a market; that’s what we’ve got here, some of the costs throughout MPLS + STPL. If we had the time, we’d include this in every newsletter! All costs are in American dollars.
MN Hmong hotdish $12
Hmong sausage, char root vegetables, bamboo shoots, green coconut curry, tater tots
Shrimp & Basil taquito $13
Chipotle and basil marinated shrimp, guajillo sauce, Cotija cheese, lime cream
Tequila lime prawns $33
Australian prawns on top coconut yucca, salsa fresca
The McFly $8.99
Braised chicken tinga, red cabbage slaw, crema, cilantro, salsa verde
The Larry $8.99
Chicken, chorizo, cheese, onions, cilantro, crema, and salsa
MN Twins Home Opener It’s Today!
Target Field $20 (Standing room only)
Palace Theater, July 28th & 29th (Sold out) $48
Resale Online $70-150
Def Leppard + Poison + Tesla
Xcel Energy Center, April 21st $67 (Upper Level) $716 (Front Row + Meet & Greet)