Local D?Lish's owners Ann and Yulin Yin source all their food from more than 200 farmers throughout the Midwest. But the inspiration for their business came from their time spent living in China. Each morning they'd go down to the market to get fresh meat, produce, and tofu directly from farmers. As they got to know each farmer, they came to understand and trust the processes by which their food was produced. That experience also stuck with them when they moved to Minnesota, where their journey inspired them to recreate that market experience and start up Local D?Lish.
Above all, they help their customers connect with their food and understand where it all comes from. Beyond carefully curating the foods on their shelves and deli counters, they host in-store events where farmers and customers can meet and greet. They even lend space for cooking classes and demos that help students identify seasonal produce and turn it into delicious meals by following simple instructions such as "Take a bite, chew, and swallow."
Dedicated to the preservation and celebration of the state?s storied past, the Minnesota Historical Society dutifully curates 26 historic sites and museums that help visitors delve into days of yore?from the Forest History Center in Grand Rapids to the Jeffers Petroglyphs in Comfrey and Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore.
Explore the Minnesota History Center?s collection of artifacts, local artworks, and hands-on exhibits at the History Center in St. Paul, from Civil War battle flags to Prince's suit from Purple Rain. Temporary exhibits include American Spirits: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, on display through March 16, and Toys of the '50s, '60s and '70s, opening May 24. Mill City Museum in Minneapolis chronicles the linked histories of the flour industry, Minneapolis, and the Mississippi River, sending visitors through history as they traverse each floor on an eight-story elevator ride that depicts a working day at the mill. As a bonus, baking-lab demonstrations produce balmy bread samples and historically accurate stomach rumbles.
Poor Richard's Commonhouse whips up hearty platters of classic American pub grub and intrepid tumblers of signature cocktails against a cozy backdrop of exposed brick walls and hardwood floors. Oil rusty jaw hinges with starters such as the Samuel Adams lager mussels ($9.99), which bathes Prince Edward Island mussels in Sam Adams dijon-cream sauce, or the bison chili ($5.25/bowl), which couples locally raised, slow-roasted bison with fresh chilies, tomatoes, and spices, blanketed with pepper jack cheese and sour cream. The Colonial meatloaf ($13.99), dressed in a suit of bacon and anointed with an East Coast red glaze, blends Hereford beef and Compart Family Farms Premium Duroc ground pork with fresh herbs in a meal hearty enough to survive New England winters and tender enough to journal about it.
NOLA Bistro & Bar immerses patrons in the sights, sounds, and tastes of New Orleans. Inside the colorful dining room, diners devour alligator bites, blackened catfish, poboys, crawfish ?touff?e, jambalaya and other creole favorites. The Cajun favorites pair with hurricanes?a type of sweet rum cocktail that, along with colorful beads and people walking around with only one shoe, is a mainstay of the French Quarter. NOLA Bistro & Bar feels the most authentic on warm summer nights, when the patio's double doors stay open and live jazz music permeates the air.
Born from the imaginations of two brothers running a flower shop, Edible Arrangements has grown from a single neighborhood storefront in Waltham, Massachusetts, to more than 1,100 locations throughout the globe, sending clusters of fresh fruit to deserving loved ones throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. Produce artisans arrange delicious bundles of candy-dipped apples, strawberries, and bananas alongside carved melon slices and morsels of orange, grape, and berry, combining the eye-catching color of a floral bouquet with every human's unconscious desire to feast on that bouquet. Guests stop in the store to enjoy fresh fruit smoothies and salad or pick up baskets to present to sweethearts, friends, or family in person. For web-based gift giving, helpful package tracking allows customers to keep tabs on their remotely ordered bounties of seasonal citrus bouquets and cocoa-covered berries.
Twin Cities Local Food transforms grocery shopping into both an online and local experience. Members log on to the virtual marketplace to peruse a variety of goods from more than 20 local farmers and producers, such as organic tomatoes, cow's milk cheeses, and whole-grain breads. Each product is source identified, so shoppers know exactly where their food comes from, how it was grown or raised, and what its first words were. After finalizing their food order, customers then choose a pickup location from one of nine nearby towns, such as Plymouth or Minneapolis, in weekly intervals during growing season, and bi-weekly during the winter.