Because back-to-school is almost upon us and because we need a beer and because we're always in the mood for free oysters, here are a handful of great drinking and dining deals (and some other free stuff, too!)
Buy a lunch or dinner entree at Oceanaire on August 5, National Oyster Day, and they'll give you a gratis half dozen oysters. Can't make it? Dine at Oceanaire any given Sunday and get oysters for a buck apiece.
50 S. 6th St., Minneapolis
From August 1 to September 25 from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. daily, kids eat free at IHOP (kid's menu only). It's their way of saying "Back to school is a bummer." (Well, that's what we say, but IHOP is trying to make the transition a little easier.)
All you can eat crawfish and all you can drink Hurricanes and beer? This is the closest you'll get to Louisiana-style les bons temps.
On Saturday, August 20 from noon to 8 p.m., Smack Shack presents Crayfest 2016 where $50 gets you all you can consume of the above, plus live music by a half dozen bands including the Suburbs.
603 Washington Ave. N., Minneapolis
Every third Tuesday of the month, Grand Cafe presents a four-course family-style meal for $38 per person. Sample menus could include wild salmon, the first Heirloom tomatoes of the season and lots more. Reservations are recommended.
3804 Grand Ave., Minneapolis
Breaking Bread Cafe has some of the best dining deals in either city. A towering grilled cheese on Texas toast is $3, a tuna melt is 50 cents more. Scratch-made cookies are a buck. Now they've got brand new weekend hours, so there's yet more time in the week to get over there and take advantage of all of it.
Weekend hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturdays and Sundays.
1210 W. Broadway Ave., Minneapolis