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Scoop N Swirl from Sebastian Joe's Kingfield Social

The quandary of the summer: scoops or soft serve? I can never decide. It usually comes down to which ice cream shop is nearest. Fortunately, Sebastian Joe's has found a happy medium at its new ice cream shop, Kingfield Social.

The airy new outpost of the venerable ice cream maker, at 43rd Street and Nicollet Avenue S., has already proven to be a crowd-pleaser just weeks into its opening. And it has the origin story to prove it: Neighborhood kids wrote a letter in Southwest Voices asking Sebastian Joe's to open in its neighborhood. (The production kitchen was already there.) Less than half a year later, here we are, with another place to get Joe's famed Oreo and Nicollet Avenue Pothole ice creams, along with something altogether new.

In addition to all the usual scoops, you can order a Scoop N Swirl. Choose one of four hard-pack flavors, pick any two mix-ins, and an auger-like contraption will combine them. The mix-ins run the gamut from pretzels and birthday cake to granola and Cajun peanuts. I wanted to go out on a limb — protein powder and pineapple! cayenne pepper and potato chips! — but my inner-kid instincts won out with rainbow sprinkles and M&Ms swirled into Sebastian Joe's straight-up South Minneapolis Vanilla.

The result ($7.25 and up) is a soft and smooth sundae, made any way you like. And for those who still can't decide how to take their summer ice cream, there are seven predetermined "Joe's Favorites" combinations. (Sharyn Jackson)

4301 Nicollet Av. S., Mpls., 612-238-3777,

30 years of fresh Italian comforts at Broder's.
30 years of fresh Italian comforts at Broder's.

Joy Summers, Star Tribune

Tagliarini di locanda di lupo at Broder's Pasta Bar

Lately I've been feeling a deep appreciation for old friends. I've gone through a few passages lately that have had me leaning into the support of people who've known me for a while.

It took just one forkful of tagliarini ($27.50) at Broder's Pasta Bar to send my mind reeling back through every meal I've been lucky enough to have at this restaurant. The salty prosciutto, crisped around the edges, mingling in the rich truffled cream sauce wrapped around every squiggly noodle had me thinking of days when Minneapolis was new and thrilling to me, when my friends and I were making spectacular discoveries and questionable decisions with equal aplomb. Twirling pasta around my fork then felt like the height of sophistication and the service at Broders had a level of care and polish that made me feel so fancy.

It's hard to believe that Broders first brought their family's taste of Italy to this corner of 50th Street and Penn Avenue 30 years ago. The second generation of Broders has grown up in the kitchen and now runs the restaurant. So much has changed in the world and in my life, but thankfully these tastes — and the memories that come with them — are just as thrilling as they ever were. (Joy Summers)

5000 Penn Av. S., Mpls.,

Croffles from the Croffle Corner are selling out at local farmers markets.
Croffles from the Croffle Corner are selling out at local farmers markets.

Nicole Hvidsten, Star Tribune

Salty caramel croffle from the Croffle Corner

My introduction to the Croffle Corner was rooted in panic. I was in line at this farmers market stand, but inventory was dangerously low.

What looks like a waffle on a stick is actually the croffle, a Korean-inspired dessert that combines the crispiness of a waffle with the flaky texture of croissants. And it's in Minnesota thanks to Jean Park, who, as a self-proclaimed foodie, noticed it hadn't made it to the local food scene. Park set out to remedy that. She's a cottage food producer, meaning she makes these delectable bites at home to sell at markets. In other words, you have to plan ahead to get one.

But it's definitely worth the effort. Available in six flavors — powdered sugar, apple cinnamon, salty caramel, chocolate matcha and Oreo — the croffles are just as Park described them, tender and flaky on the inside, crispy on the outside ($6 each). The caramel added a layer of sweet, gooey stickiness, with just enough salt to provide flavor contrast without overpowering. It was even better warmed.

You can find them at farmers markets — Minnetonka (Tue.), Eagan (Wed.) and Edina (Thu.) — but they do sell out. The pro move is to head to the links on their Instagram page, place an order for pickup at the market and be the envy of everyone. (Nicole Hvidsten)

Weekly schedules are on Instagram at @the.croffle.corner

Hazel's in northeast Minneapolis now offers Earl Giles cocktails.
Hazel's in northeast Minneapolis now offers Earl Giles cocktails.

Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune

Cocktails from Hazel's Northeast

"Hazel's has cocktails?" That was a surprise to one of my friends who lives in northeast Minneapolis. They'd always thought of Hazel's as a neighborhoody, family-friendly diner, a beer-and-wine-only establishment. But Hazel's Northeast has quietly expanded its drinks menu after getting its full liquor license in May.

Owner Adam Sieve partnered with local distillers and elixir-makers Earl Giles to come up with a breezy list of summer drinks (and a more snuggle-by-the-fire kind of Old Fashioned). "The radio was playing Yacht Rock while we sampled and tweaked these cocktails," Sieve wrote as an explanation of the names of the drinks. Seen here: the Slip Slidin' Away Margarita ($10, $8 at happy hour), a not-too-sweet and quenchable house marg of Campo Azul silver tequila and Earl Giles Quadrasec with lime and orange. Another way-too-easy-to-drink choice was the Caribbean Queen Mojito ($10), which paired Salvadorean Cihuatan Pineapple rum with pineapple-mint elixir, coconut water and mint. Cheers! (S.J.)

2859 NE. Johnson St., Mpls., 612-788-4778,

Beef empanada from Atacama South American Foods, found at the Golden Valley Farmers Market
Beef empanada from Atacama South American Foods, found at the Golden Valley Farmers Market

Sharyn Jackson, Star Tribune

Empanadas from Atacama Foods

When Market in the Valley, Golden Valley's farmers market, reopened for the season, it was full of farmers, families, prepared food vendors and a fearless singer-songwriter with a Taylor Swift album's-worth of breakup songs.

Among the hungry visitors were my two little ones, who of course wanted only the cookies, cakes and brownies on display. I finally convinced them to try some empanadas ($7 each) from Atacama Foods, a South American food purveyor founded by a Chilean family a decade ago. The dough was golden and shiny like it had been polished, the filling was warming but not too hot for a summer lunch, and there was a flavor for everyone. We especially liked the beef and hard-boiled egg filling, which was moist as a loose-meat sandwich, mellow but easily amped up with their fresh tomato-cilantro salsa. Of course, our market visit wouldn't have been complete without at least some cookies, and Atacama's regular and chocolate alfajores ($10 for four) hit the spot. (S.J.)

Market in the Valley, Sundays 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., 7800 Golden Valley Road, Golden Valley, 612-440-2648,; Atacama Foods,