Top 5: most memorable food news stories of the year

Lots of pretty cool things happened in the local restaurant scene this past year: We witnessed the opening of restaurants like Sea Change, Bar La Grassa, Kings Wine Bar, Anchor Fish & Chips and others. The year also had its share of bummers: We lost Chelly's, Morelos, the Cliquot Club, and Cafe Brenda. And let's not forget major gross-outs: The Au Bon Pain mouse is enough to haunt you for life. Somewhere in there were quite a few just memorable news stories, some of them sobering, some of them uncanny, and some of them off the charts in super awesomeness. Here's our Top 5 most memorable Twin Cities food stories of the year:

1. Street food gains momentum. While Chef Shack's been around a couple years, it's not til this year that street food started to get some more mainstream traction in the Twin Cities. Eat Curbside, Magic Bus Cafe and Barrio all popped up with their own versions of street eats this year. We're betting more are on the horizon.


2. Cargill burger responsible for young woman's paralysis. The New York Times published an article about the lack of regulation and oversight of the meat industry by focusing on the story of a Cold Spring woman who contracted E. coli and was subsequently paralyzed after eating a burger manufactured by the Minneapolis-based food corporation Cargill. Andrew Zimmern called it "the most important food article in years."


Top 5: most memorable food news stories of the year

3. Gastro Non Grata gets badass enough to start charging admission. The welcoming while still insider-y food + music event went from being the biggest steal of the century to being, well, the biggest steal of the century. Forking over a few bucks for unique dishes from talented local chefs and hot-off-the-presses craft beers while listening to the Cities' best local bands feels just a little less like a crime than going for free. P.S. Extra badass: Rumor has it the Gastro Non Grata concept may spread to other cities.


Top 5: most memorable food news stories of the year

4. State agencies win recognition for foodborne illness detection. The Minnesota Department of Health and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture gained some high-profile recognition this year for being leaders in detecting foodborne illnesses. Look for them to keep popping up with food safety hot on legislators' agendas these days.


Top 5: most memorable food news stories of the year

5. Burger joints become fruitful and multiply. We like burgers, yes we do, we like burgers, so do you! SmashBurger, Five Guys, Burger Jones, American Burger Bar: 'Nuff said.

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