Categorized | IN OUR COMMUNITY

Lake Street Dumpling Tour is first of many ‘Make on Lake’ events

Posted on 25 June 2018 by calvin

Sat., June 2 dawned cool and rainy, but people still came out in substantial numbers for the first ever Lake Street Dumpling Tour. Preregistration closed weeks before the event happened when 800 tickets were sold out. Five dollars covered two randomly selected tokens for dumpling samples at two of the 14 participating businesses along Lake Street, a dumpling map, and a dumpling sticker—all handsomely illustrated by south Minneapolis artist Cori Lin.

Participating businesses included Safari Express (sambusas) and Pham’s Deli (fried dumplings) at the Midtown Global Market; Panaderia San Miguel (empanadas) at 1623 E. Lake St.; Ashkay Paatram (samosas) at the Midtown Farmer’s Market; Midori’s Floating World (Japanese gyoza and wontons) at 2629 E. Lake; Gandhi Mahal (samosas) at 3009 27th Ave. S.; El Nuevo Rodeo (empanadas) at 2709 E. Lake; the Himalayan (momos) at 2910 E. Lake; and Urban Forage (samosas from Alimama’s Mediterranean Food Truck) at 3016 E. Lake St.

It’s hard to find a culture that doesn’t lay claim to dumplings. What exactly is a dumpling, and why are they so popular?

First off, they’re delicious, tasty morsels of dough that are steamed, baked or fried, and most often filled with meat, beans or cheese. Some are served plain, but most come with sauces.

Dumplings also make people happy. At Gandhi Mahal, diners stood contentedly underneath the awning as rain streamed down. Inside, the cashier kept shouting into the kitchen, “More, they want more!”

Photo right: Niko Simning served up steamed Japanese chicken and veggie gyoza, and fried banana wontons at Midori’s Floating World Café. (Photo by Margie O’Loughlin)

Theresa Swaney, Communications and Program Coordinator for the Lake Street Council, said, “We’re continually offering these kinds of events to highlight the unique qualities of Lake St. There isn’t another street quite like it but, even so, running a small business is hard. We often hear from small business owners that one of the challenges is getting new customers to come through the door. We opted to have people pick their two tokens randomly when they started the dumpling tour at the Midtown Farmer’s Market, in hopes of getting them to try a restaurant they didn’t know.”

The Lake Street Dumpling Tour was sponsored by Metro Transit and the City of Minneapolis Great Streets Program. The event was created by the Lake Street Council, whose mission is to engage, serve, and advocate for the Lake Street business community to ensure the vitality and prosperity of this commercial corridor.

For the summer of 2018, the dumpling tour was just the start. With support from the McKnight Foundation, Twin Cities LISC, the City of Minneapolis Great Streets Program, and GoodSpace Murals, the Lake Street Council is undertaking a creative placemaking initiative to develop relationships between local artists and Lake St. businesses. The coordinated public artwork series is called “Make on Lake,” and fifteen separate public art projects are part of this initiative.

Projects will take place through August 2018. One of the primary goals of Make on Lake is to support the success of small businesses, particularly those negatively impacted by changes in the current political environment and immigration policies.

The projects include permanent and temporary visual art and performance art installations meant to draw residents and visitors onto Lake St.

One of the projects currently on view at the East Lake Library is called Lake of Dreams: The Poetics of Forgiveness. Visual artist Alan Milligan and poet Nichole Mary Kelby collaborated on the 14’ long wooden boat, whose shell is lined with poems. The Lake of Dreams project will create a series of culturally themed boats and display them at various businesses and locations along Lake Street throughout the summer.

Details about upcoming Make on Lake activities and events can be found at the Lake Street Council’s Facebook page: @VisitLakeStreet.

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