BEST MEAT RAFFLE - 2002
What is it about northeast Minneapolis and meat raffles? "People in Northeast like to gamble," reasons Pat Stebe, who has owned Dusty's for 20 years (his parents owned it the previous 30). "And they love their meat." Fair enough. It's Friday at 5:00 p.m., time to commence Dusty's weekly raffle, whose proceeds go to the Church of the Incarnation just down the street. A table near the door of the cozy but clean joint is stacked with offerings from Hackenmueller's butcher shop in Robbinsdale: three stuffed chicken breasts, country-style spare ribs, a pork roast, pork chops, a ham, a sirloin, a porterhouse, a rib eye, old-fashioned wieners, and (oddly) a pound and a half of shrimp. Tammy, a perky blonde from the church, doles out 30 tickets at a buck a pop, then spins a numbered wheel. "Number 30!" she calls out. She doles out tickets again (a process she'll repeat ten times in all this evening), and spins again. "Number four!" And so on. The first lucky wiener, er, winner returns from the john and heads to the table. "My family is in the meat business, so I know what to look for," he says, stroking his mustache and surveying the booty. He picks the shrimp.