Calling all asparagus lovers: Here’s your chance to try a menu entirely dedicated to the spring veggie–“spargel,” as Germans call it (pronounced shpahr-ghel). The Black Forest Inn is holding its annual Spargelfest celebration, working up a menu of special options ranging from asparagus-infused vodka (the “Spargeltini”) to pretzel pockets filled with asparagus and cheese (“Spargel pretzelettes”).
Spargelfest is celebrated each spring in Schwetzingen, Germany, where Black Forest owner Erica Christ was born. Music is played in the town square, and restaurants create menus dedicated to locally grown asparagus–the inspiration behind the restaurant’s fête, now in its eighth season. During the celebration, the restaurant gets its green and purple asparagus from the Southeast Minnesota Food Network, brings in live music, and hosts a benefit for Harvest the Hungry.
Although I am in no way a spargel enthusiast, I was converted by the Eat Street restaurant’s creations. I appreciated how they used asparagus in new ways, like combining it with cabbage, jicama, carrots, and honey mustard in the Spargel Rolls (think egg rolls with a citrusy, German twist). Christ, too, admits that even she isn’t a fan of asparagus but would eat anything on the menu. One of the restaurant’s goals for the ten-day celebration, she says, is to make the antioxidant-packed veggie as accessible as possible.
Stop by, grab a spot on the patio (one of the restaurant’s popular draws), and try the limited-time dishes through June 1. You can also check out the restaurant’s Weinfest in July, which will feature wine samples and food specials.
Black Forest Inn
1 E. 26th St., Minneapolis