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New Fair Food and Other Briefs

Taco Cats duo at the Fair.


Mama D’s and Taco Cat, two vendors from Midtown Global Market, will be rotating at the Taste of Midtown Global Market booth in the International Bazaar during the Minnesota State Fair in September. Both restaurants will offer new menu items, which have been selected for the Minnesota State Fair Official New Foods List.

Mama D’s Catfish fries, lightly breaded catfish with lemon pepper seasoning, will be available from the start of the Fair through August 27. Taco Cat will take over the booth on August 28 through Labor Day with Fried Tacos on a Stick: two wrapped tacos, one filled with green chorizo and potatoes, the other filled with a vegetarian smoky black bean mix.

The Taste of Midtown Global Market booth is located on the east wall of the International Bazaar.  

Additional Midtown Global Market vendors returning to the Great Minnesota Get Together include:

  • Manny’s Tortas in the Food Building features Manny’s Mexican-style sandwiches and piña coladas served in pineapples;
  • Produce Exchange will offer healthy alternatives, including grilled peaches, at the corner of Underwood and Carnes;
  • Holy Land will serve authentic Middle Eastern fare, and
  • Fiesta in America will provide an assortment of Mexican candy and ice pops, also in the International Bazaar.


More Fair Food: Birchwood Cafe will once again bring an array of new, locally sourced, made-from-scratch offerings to the recently renovated Minnesota Farmers Union Coffee Shop at the Great Minnesota Get-Together this year.

Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU) has had a strong presence at the Minnesota State Fair since the 1950s, with a building on the corner of Dan Patch Avenue and Cosgrove Street. It became the Farmers Union Coffee Shop in 2003 and has remained a destination for fairgoers to learn about Minnesota’s family farmers. Birchwood Cafe will be using their outfitted food truck on-site, with Chef Marshall Paulsen leading the team.

Once again, Minnesota Farmers Union Coffee Shop fare by Birchwood Cafe has made the official State Fair New Food list.  The two new items for this year include:

  • Blueberry Key Lime Pie is a twist on two summertime pie favorites featuring fresh blueberries from Blue Fruit Farm in Winona, MN, blended with Birchwood’s signature key lime filling and folded in a buttery graham crust made with Annie’s organic graham crackers. The pie is topped with whipped cream, sourced from Elgin’s own Stony Creek Dairy.
  • Lavender Lemonade is made with fresh lavender leaves from the HAFA (Hmong American Farmers Association) farm in Vermillion Township.  

The Birchwood Cafe Heirloom Tomato & Sweet Corn BLT is returning with a new option to add a fried egg from Locally Laid Egg Company in Wrenshall.


Hamline Church Dining Hall has made the 2019 Minnesota State Fair New Fair Food List with its new Snow Cap Waffle Sundae; a three-inch mini waffle topped with a scoop of Izzy’s premium Cream Cheese Ice Cream, drizzled with warm maple syrup and capped with a maraschino cherry.  

This year, Hamline Dining Hall is partnering with Minnesota-based singer, writer and rapper, Dessa, for a new Izzy’s Ice Cream flavor: Dessa’s Night Drive Ice Cream, coffee cardamom ice cream with chocolate covered espresso flakes and bits of buttery toffee. Dessa will be performing at the Minnesota State Fair at the Leinie Lodge Bandshell on Sunday, September 1, and Monday, September 2 (Labor Day).

Additional Izzy’s Ice Cream flavors that will be served at the Hamline Dining Hall include Church ‘Elder’ Berry, Chocolate Agate Crunch, and Raspberry Pizazz.


OpenTable, a provider of online restaurant reservations and part of Booking Holdings, has partnered with Upserve, a full-service Restaurant Management Platform. The partnership allows data and guest insights to flow in real-time both ways between OpenTable’s GuestCenter operating system and Upserve’s restaurant point-of-sale system, enabling servers to have diner information and preferences at their fingertips to help them personalize service on the fly.


The National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF) and the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) is supporting a bipartisan bill to codify into law current milk varieties that schools may offer and reaffirm the long-standing requirement that milk served in schools be fully consistent with the most recent version of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The School Milk Nutrition Act of 2019, introduced by Representatives Joe Courtney (D-CT) and Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson (R-PA), preserves current policy which allows schools to offer students low-fat and fat-free milk, including low-fat (1%) flavored milk. The bill permits individual school districts to determine which milk varieties to offer their students, provided that they align with the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

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