Gasthof's unveils a 39.4-inch wiener this Week in Food

The mighty meterwurst.

We have to admit--St. Paul is gaining an edge. On Tuesday chef Lenny Russo opens up

Heartland's Farm Direct Market,

where patrons can buy the restaurant's house-made charcuterie, jams, and jellies. It also will offer locally raised meats and poultry. But you'll have to cross the river if you're after a meterwurst (a meter-long bratwurst (about 39.4 inches of wiener)) and go head to head with some serious brat-eaters at


. Clean your plate and make Mama proud this Week in Food.

Tuesday 9/14

  • St. Paul is so cool. Yeah, we said it. Thanks in part to people like Heartland's chef Lenny Russo who today opens his Farm Direct Market in Lowertown. The market will sell all the ingredients found in Heartland's restaurant kitchen (locally raised meats, poultry, dairy products, fruits, and vegetables) in addition to its house-made charcuterie, jams, jellies, preserves, stocks, and soups. Check it out: Tuesdays through Sundays 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Combat the Sunday Night Blues with a Swedish smorgasbord.
Combat the Sunday Night Blues with a Swedish smorgasbord.
Freddie Boy

Wednesday 9/15

  • Crisp fall air, fine Italian cuisine, Prosecco, and opera. Be careful or you may fall in love at Tavola Lirica--an outdoor dining experience that pairs fresh, local food with live Italian opera. Local chefs will prepare a five-course gourmet dinner to be enjoyed outdoors in Northeast Minneapolis, accompanied by the lovely voice of mezzo-soprano Meredith Cain-Nelson. $65. Wednesday and Thursday. RSVP only at [email protected] or 952-941-7328. Call for location.

Thursday 9/16

  • The Nordics are a staid bunch, but when they party, they really party. Join in the revelry at the American Swedish Institute's monthly Nordic Night--an evening of drinking, dancing, dining, and live music. Tonight enjoy a big bowl of Karjalan Paisti, a Finnish meat stew with beef, pork, and lamb, flavored with allspice and cloves and served with boiled potatoes and glazed carrots. Dessert will be vanilla ice cream topped with cloudberry jam. $21. 5 to 7 p.m.

  • Rub elbows with culinary celebrities at the Celebrity Chef Tour, hosted by Solera. Enjoy an evening of dinner, drinks, and conversation with Chef Tim McKee and Susur Lee (a Top Chef Masters finalist). All proceeds go to the James Beard Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to cultivating America's culinary culture. $150. Tickets available at

Friday 9/17

  • Life just got better. Turns out you can win up to $1,000 for eating brats at Gasthof's Oktoberbest, weekends through October 9. For $50 you can compete in the Meterwurst Contest--a challenge to eat a meter-long bratwurst--and receive a T-shirt and Oktoberfest mug. The fastest contestants to down a meterwurst will be invited back later in the month to eat a meterwurst and two sides. The top three fastest contestants will win cash prizes. Prost!

  • Meanwhile, down in New Ulm, Schells Brewery is celebrating its 150th anniversary. Take a tour of the brewery, take down some tastings, and take up a new hobby with demonstrations on how to craft beer. The brewery will also host live music, food vendors, and fireworks. Friday and Saturday. Friday admission: $8 adults, $4 kids. Saturday admission: $16 adults, $4 kids. Ages six and under: free.

Saturday 9/18

  • It seems like only yesterday that the Mill City Farmer's Market was just an empty plaza near the Guthrie Theater. Today it celebrates is fifth birthday with live music, prizes, birthday cake, and adorable animal visitors from Gale Woods Farm. Polar explorer Will Steger will also be on hand to sign copies of his book, Crossing Antarctica. Phillips Prairie Organic Vodka will offer cocktail samplings for the 21-and-over set. Stop by and toast to Mill City's birthday.

Sunday 9/19

  • Ugh, Sunday. Eat the coming workweek away with a Sunday Smorgasbord at the American Swedish Institute. Sample a variety of Swedish dishes, including herring in wine sauce, smoked sausage, pickled cucumbers, Swedish cheese, red cabbage, meatballs, and Jansson's Temptation--a potato, onion, and anchovy hotdish. $28/$23 members; $9 children ages 6-11; free for children under six. Cash bar. Reservations are required by Friday prior to the event. Call 612.871.4907 for credit card reservations. For more information visit
  • If downing anchovies isn't in your wheelhouse, consider a road trip to the Tour de Farm Picnic at the Oliver Kelley Farm in Elk River. Engage in conversation with others interested in fresh, local food; enjoy a multicourse dinner with wine and beer; and watch the sunset over the farm. $50; $15 ages 6 to 12; free for children five and under. Tickets on sale at Corner Table or online at
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