Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily midday digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.
First of All, it Should Have Been Called a Matt Birk-er
By now you’ve surely heard about Republican lieutenant governor candidate and sinister Big Bird impersonator Matt Birk’s recent comments about women, either from us here at Racket or from any number of national publications that have run with the story. The owners at Shamrocks and The Nook in St. Paul have certainly been hearing about it—the Minnesota Reformer reports they’ve been getting so many calls about their Matt Birk Burger that they recently renamed it the Double Stack Pepperjack Burger. Birk, who attended Cretin-Derham Hall Catholic school just across the street from The Nook, said that encouraging women to work promotes abortion and compared legal abortion to slavery, among other things. “We’ve gotten a barrage of phone calls over Matt Birk, and it’s certainly stirred a lot up,” general manager Dan Casper told the Reformer’s J. Patrick Coolican. The restaurateur and the ex-NFLer remain friendly, The Reformer reports, and Birk was given a heads-up about his burger’s impending cancelation. In other Birk news: Revisit Racket’s recent scoop, which oddly has not been seized on by any other outlet, on his potential PPP swindle.
The “Longfellow Boom,” Explained
A couple months back, I hassled folks at the airport and with the National Guard to help explain an ambient buzzing noise that’s heard throughout south Minneapolis some mornings. I struck out; nobody knew what the hell I was talking about. Perhaps I’m going nuts. Turns out a much louder mystery noise is also afoot—the “house-shakingly loud” phenomenon known as the “Longfellow Boom.” The latest installment of the Strib’s reliably interesting Curious Minnesota column/podcast is on the case this week, consulting befuddled Minnesota Reformer editor Max Nesterak, Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson, the cops, the power utility company, and “a local expert” in pursuit of the noisy truth. “Boom theories abound among neighbors, who speculate that it could be exploding electrical transformers, sewer issues, fireworks, freight trains, or even a fault line on the Mississippi River,” writes Strib intern Jasmine Snow. Some suspect UFOs, while Nesterak, who’s clearly not a potamologist, suspects the boom “might have something to do with the river.” We won’t spoil the answer and/or non-answer for you; click here to find out.
Minnesota BBQ… Doesn’t Suck?
For a few years now, a new generation of Twin Cities chefs has been answering the question: What is Minnesota barbecue? (And also, is it even a thing?) To hear Texas Monthly BBQ editor Daniel Vaughn tell it, our metro smokes, grills, and sauce-slathers with the best of ’em, at least regionally speaking. “Aside from joints in Kansas City, there aren’t many other worthy spots that come to mind north of Red River,” the esteemed critic writes. “But after spending a few days in Minnesota, I can say with confidence that KC is only halfway to some of the best barbecue available on this journey.” How about that! Among the local meat joints that delighted Vaughn: Boomin’ BBQ, Handsome Hog, Scotty’s Whole Hog BBQ, and Animales Barbeque Co. The whole article is framed with an awareness of reader incredulity (“It may seem surprising…”), and many of the featured pit masters kiss the Texas heritage ring, though it’s still a treat to hear someone with real BBQ credibility sing our praises.
Adopt a Gentle Beast for Free This Weekend
Pets aren’t just a big responsibility, they’re also hella expensive. Folks looking to add a new dog or cat to their family can knock some dollars off this weekend, as a variety of shelters are taking part in National Adoption Weekend. Buddies from Minneapolis Animal Care and Control come already vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed or neutered, plus adoption fees will be waived. (Yes, you will still have to pay a pet licensing fee to the City of Minneapolis, bah humbug). The forever-home-a-thon is taking place from noon to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday at MACC (212 17th Ave. N., Minneapolis). Adoptable cats and dogs from Carver Scott Humane Society, Pet Haven, and Ruff Start Rescue will also be available. Even if you’re not in the market for a new friend, regularly checking out this page of dogs and this page of cats is always a good time; go look at Mama the dog and Rocket the kitten, aw!