Arts and Rec in Uptown's Seven Points Mall has opened its highly anticipated indoor space.
The former Libertine/Cafeteria restaurant features several different spaces, including an immersive mini-golf course, a rentable private barroom that comes stocked with art supplies, an open stage area that will host live performers, and a bar and restaurant. The menu and cocktails are both playful, with the usual suspects of smashburgers and hot chicken sandwiches, but also cricket-topped ants on a log, Spam bánh mì and Dorito cheese curds. Prices range from $9 togarashi fries to a $34 pork chop. Drinks are imaginative — the Sauna Society is a mix of dilly Aquavit with cucumber lime tonic and a pickle garnish — and are priced from $10-$14.
Drive-thru Shake Shack opens at Rosedale
The newest metro location of the beloved burger chain Shake Shack opens Nov. 18 near Rosedale Center. The stand-alone restaurant has a drive-thru and will eventually add patio space. Facing County Road B2 near Snelling Avenue, the restaurant is open daily from 11 a.m.-10 p.m. This is the company's fourth Twin Cities location, with others at the Mall of America, Maple Grove and Edina.
Asia Mall gears up for grand opening
Online food fans are buzzing over Eden Prairie's Asia Mall (12160 Technology Drive, asiamallmn.com) — so much that they've extended their soft opening phase and delayed their official grand opening. The complex is filled with storefronts and eateries including Pho Mai, Uni Uni Bubble Tea, plus Mochi Dough's Japanese mochi doughnuts combined with Bober bubble tea, Home Taste with Hong Kong cuisine, bubbling broth at Hot Pot City, CrunCheese battered and cheese-filled hot dogs, Dosirak's bibimbap and Korean barbecue, and Szechuan from Legendary Spice.
There also are retail outposts and a large supermarket. Stores have been hard at work to staff up, and reports have included long lines. So bring a little patience along with your appetite. Hours are noon to 7 p.m., but capacity is limited.
Soul Lao food truck eyeing permanent location
The popular food truck Soul Lao is aiming for a year-round permanent location inside St. Paul's Sibley Plaza (2401 W. 7th St., St. Paul).
The truck, run by Sabrina Boualaphanh and Eric Phothisanh, serves their take on Lao cuisine, cooked with plenty of soul, including wings and the crispy/juicy/cravable pork belly. A restaurant would allow them to expand their menu and put down some roots. A Go Fund Me campaign hopes to raise as much as $50,000: "We have never been this close and are asking for your help to make this happen finally."
Miracle returns to Lawless
"Last Christmas" has hit playlists in grocery and retail stores, so it must officially be the holiday season. In its honor, Miracle at Lawless returns for another year of tinsel and ornaments on everything not nailed down.
The festivities kick off Nov. 21 with holiday-themed cocktails and twinkle light-festooned rooms. There are no reservations; all seats are first come, first served. Lawless Distilling Co. is at 2619 28th Av. S., Mpls., lawlessdistillingcompany.com; Stilheart Distillery & Cocktail Lounge is at 124 3rd Av. N., Mpls., stilheartdistilling.com.
Ann Kim joins Nigella Lawson on stage
Bestselling British cookbook author and television chef Nigella Lawson is coming to town to talk about her latest cookbook, "Cook, Eat, Repeat." The event, "An Evening With Nigella Lawson," moderated by local chef Ann Kim, will be Nov. 21 at 8 p.m. at Pantages Theatre, 710 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls. Tickets are $39.50-$75; get them at hennepintheatretrust.org.