Sue Z.’s Charitable Check-In: September

The top philanthropic fun around the Twin Cities, plus Sue Z. tells you where to eat next
Funky Grits
Funky Grits

Check back in as Sue Z. updates her picks throughout the month.

Bid for a Vibrant Future

WHAT: The Page Education Foundation All-Star Gala
WHEN: Saturday, September 14, 7 to 11 p.m.
WHERE: U.S. Bank Stadium, 511 11th Ave. S., Minneapolis

Mingle with Minnesota legend, football star, and retired Minnesota Supreme Court judge Alan Page and other celebrities at this cocktail party for the Page Education Foundation. Take in the music of Minnesota’s own Annie Mack, nibble on hand-held fare while bidding on a silent-auction item. Test your luck at Plinko, or unwrap a Mystery Box. (Look for valet parking at the Ecolab gate.)

Modern-Art Party

WHAT: Avant Garden
WHEN: Saturday, September 21, 6 p.m.-midnight
WHERE: Walker Art Center, 725 Vineland Pl., Minneapolis (inside and outside tented garden)

The evening is a signature Walker Art Center party experience, complete with gourmet food, craft cocktails, an art auction, and live music by MC Lyte and Ringing Bell—a this-night-only collaboration between Poliça, Mina Moore, Mark McGee, and electronic producer Alex Nutter (Lizzo, Boys Noize, Le1f). Proceeds support the Walker’s award-winning artistic and educational programming.

Loaves, Fishes, Wine, Beer…

WHAT: A Warehouse Affair
WHEN: Saturday, September 28, 5:30-9:30 p.m.
WHERE: Loaves and Fishes Warehouse, 721 Kasota Ave. SE, Minneapolis

While raising funds for food-service nonprofit Loaves and Fishes, enjoy chef-selected dishes from local food trucks and restaurants (Cafe Latte, Joey Novas, KaKookies, Mo’s Drive-in, Pimento Jamaican Kitchen, more) and from the Loaves and Fishes farms, along with wine pairings, brewery tastings, live music, plus silent and live auctions. Learn about the services Loaves and Fishes offers and how to become involved.

Purposeful Pace

WHAT: Run, Walk, Roll
WHEN: Saturday September 28, 9 a.m.-noon
WHERE: Mt. Normandale Lake, Bloomington, 84th Stand Chalet Rd., near the intersection of 494 and Hwy 100

At Pacer’s 10th annual run/walk/roll, show your support and raise awareness for bullying prevention while partaking in family-friendly activities, prizes, music, and treats at the Run/Walk—with options for four miles and two miles.

No Kid Hungry

WHAT: Taste of the Nation
WHEN: Sunday, September 29, 6-7 p.m. pre-party, 7-10 p.m. dinner
WHERE: Renaissance Hotel-The Depot, 225 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis

Local chefs cook dinner to raise funds for Taste of the Nation, to help stamp out kid hunger in Minnesota. Co-chairs Seth Bixby Dougherty and Tim Mckee have gathered over two dozen chefs (and friends) year after year, with this year’s beneficiaries including the Council of Churches Food Share, Legal Service Advocates, Second Harvest Heartland, and the University of Minnesota Co-op Extention.

Sue Z’s Edible Hot Tips

Hot off the State Fair: If you loved chef Jared Brewington’s shrimp-and-grits fritters in the Food Building at his first State Fair appearance, you will be happy to know that you can get his grits and more at his brick-and-mortar spot, called Funky Grits (805 E. 38th St., Minneapolis). It’s open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays through Saturday, with an all-day brunch menu on Sundays.

This cute little funky place was designed by Brewington and local architect Jim Smart and Associates, and it has been a hit in the south Minnie hood since it opened. Who would have thought that the Southern grain could be enjoyed so much in wild rice country? You must check out his extensive, exciting menu, where you get a choice of yellow, white, or pencil cob grits in multiple combinations. But don’t stop there, as the dill curry egg salad sandwich with avocado, bacon, and bib lettuce on an onion brioche is sooooo good.

Also, if you’re gluten-free and/or vegan, you will rave about the Skinny Love Salad with baby kale, quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, dried apricots, and almonds, topped with an orange vanilla vinaigrette dressing. And you dessert lovers will have a difficult time choosing between the cornbread pudding with a bourbon honey glaze and the myriad of flavored beignets. Who needs to go to New Orleans? Can hardly wait to see what funky treat Brewington will serve at the State Fair next year.

And for a most memorable meal, head to Grand Café (3804 Grand Ave., Minneapolis). This eatery takes on the French classics with matching wines in a whimsical, delicious way from start to finish. Chef and owner Jamie Malone, CEO Nikki Kloeker, and their kitchen and front-of-house staff have created a wonderful experience even before you step inside: Take time to view the new window display, on which they collaborated with artists from the In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre to present a moving tableau of light-hearted stuffed animals in scenes of restaurant happenings. The menu includes delicious presentations of oysters, pâtés, fish, beef, fowl, brunch items, and desserts, with wait-staff services to match.

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Sue Zelickson (Sue Z.) is a James Beard Award-winning food media personality, philanthropist, and longtime contributor to Minnesota Monthly and WCCO radio. She has founded the Charlie Awards, the Women Who Really Cook networking organization for women in the local food industry, and the Kids Cafe at Perspectives, Inc., which improves access to nutritious meals for families in need. You can find her buzzing around from event to event throughout the Twin Cities, helping to raise funds for charitable organizations, including some she has had a hand in building.