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Three Things to Eat: Aug. 29–Sept. 4

A State Fair classic, best local Cubano, and drinks by lauded chefs


Photo by Todd Buchanan

This week I made what was likely the best and dumbest decision of my adult life: We got a dog. I’ve been wanting a dog ever since I left home and our golden retriever years ago. It was never the right time, between apartments and impending children and all. Well, this weekend I met a beautiful girl that I was certain would be a great fit for our family and lifestyle (big eater; a little lazy). So far she hasn’t tried to eat the toddler all that much and knocked over the impending second grader just that one time. She’s a Great Pyrenees blend. So...she’s huge. We are in for it. For better or worse, when I jump in, it’s feet first. Here’s where I’m heading during these final dog days of summer.

Corn Dog at the State Fair
That’s right. I am firmly in the dog versus pup camp. The stand in front of the DNR building serves them so perfectly that this single serving on a stick will win over even the most ardent of other lovers. Crispy, crunchy exterior is full of toasty corn flavor and wrapped around a perfect dog. mnstatefair.org

Cubano at Red River Kitchen at City House
n what might just be the prettiest place to eat on the river there is a serious contender for the best Cuban-style ham sandwich in the Twin Cities. It’s the bread that does it. It’s the perfect mix crusty and squishy with a heavily buttered exterior. Inside is all the good stuff, pork, mustard, and pickles. Chef J.D. Fratzke knows how to build a tasty menu and Red River/Republic’s showrunners know how to build a comfortable experience with a killer beer list. Plus, they’re pooch friendly! It’s a perfect spot to take a run and have a beer. (Also worth noting, Republic is dog-friendly, too. I have so much to learn.) redriverkitchen.com


Cheftender Series at Constantine
I always think of Constantine on those summer days when it’s so ridiculously hot, that all you want to do is escape the heat (see: the State Fair on Sunday when I was certain I was going to melt.) Tonight there’s a special event where Tyge Nelson, who is not only one of my favorite chefs and humans will be guest bartending inside the dark sanctuary below Monello. Tyge is the co-owner/co-chef of the forthcoming Parajito, a Mexican restaurant that’s taking shape inside the former Glockenspiel in St. Paul. Anyway, tonight Tyge is reunited with Jesse Held. The duo used to work at The Inn that was my very favorite restaurant for the five minutes it was open. The event kicks off at 8 p.m. and proceeds are donated to No Kid Hungry. facebook.com

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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