Four new hotspots you want to know about, plus wieners for brunch

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Matthew Kazama is going to give you what you've been waiting for: ramen. Nothing more, nothing less. Only ramen.

While we've got talented folks doing good things with ramen around here — Zen Box, Unideli, Moto-i, and Tanpopo just to name a few —  we've been lacking a true ramen bar: a slick slip of a place that does ramen, and only ramen, all of the time. In Japan, your sushi guy isn't your ramen guy, and your ramen guy isn't your izakaya guy, and your izakaya guy isn't your curry guy and hey — we want our own ramen guy! The time has finally come. Ramen Kazama is itself a "ramen specialist" and yes, it's all they do. They're going into the old Mama's Pizza spot at 34th and Nicollet, and a little sleuthing indicates that the owner is Matthew Kazama, formerly of Fuji Ya where he's been running a weekly ramen special to much acclaim. Projected opening date late summer. 

Neighbors of the ill-fated Cause Soundbar have been drumming their angsty fingertips on apartment coffee tables trying to figure out where to go head-banging in the Uptown area since the demise of the only live music spot left in the 'hood. Well, sorry headbangers. The new occupant is a more plebeian bar called Iron Door Pub, with plenty of screens for watching rock shows. Just kidding — they're for watching sports, and there will be beer, and scratch bar food and.... You know, it's a bar. The owners are also responsible for Central Avenue's Mac's Industrial so if you like that spot, give it a shot. They're supposed to have a good reuben, if that sweetens the deal any. 

300 W. Lyndale Ave. S., Minneapolis

612-200-9959

Would you like there to be a "community-driven industry and artists' haven with quarterly rotating food and cocktail menus highlighting local chef and mixologists’ creations" at the corner of Lake and Lyndale? Well then, the folks bringing you Detour Minneapolis would like you to pitch in a little dough to make it happen. They're promising "more than just another place to have a drink," and instead a steampunky space, intelligent conversation, and lasting relationships. Sound good? Donate here

Wieners for breakfast? Prairie Dogs Sausage will soon be offering brunch, including their entire menu plus some brunch time specials including breakfast sausage pancake sticks, which sounds like a State Fair shoe-in — housemade sage and black pepper sausages fried in buttermilk pancake batter and served with warm Minnesota maple syrup. So you know, it's diet. Plus, hoisin-glazed pork belly Benedict on toasted milk bread with yuzu hollandaise, and chicken confit and sweet potato hash with poachers and foie gravy. And, if your kid hasn't developed a taste for that stuff yet, bring her anyway— they're also offering up a "cereal bar" served with fresh fruit and ice cold milk. Nine classic faves like Cap'N Crunch, Lucky Charms, even a heart healthy pick or two like Raisin Bran. Saturdays and Sundays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. beginning July 18. 

Lowertown is straight blowing up like a real downtown, with multiple new places cropping up at the foot of the new Saints Stadium. Ox Cart Ale House opens today, from the owners of Salt Cellar, and they say Ox Cart will serve "elevated pub fare" in a "laid back environment." We spotted a Coney Island and cheese curds as menu sneak peeks. 


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