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My God: Saturday Dumpling Co. Goes Brick and Mortar

Plus investigating MN's ties to the Underground Railroad, more info on Justin Sutherland's arrest, and all about Duluth's Clark the Shark in today's Flyover news roundup.

Em Cassel|

A live look at how your author felt upon biting into this burrito.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of important, overlooked, and/or interesting Minnesota news stories.

Don't Sleep On the Scallion Breakfast Burrito

When Racket's Em Cassel tried Saturday Dumpling’s scallion pancake burrito during a pop-up back in December, she was left shaking and crying over how amazing it was. Now folks in search of their tender dumplings, golden chicken broth, and Chinese giardiniera will have a regular hookup, as owners Peter Bian and Linda Cao announced Monday morning that they’ve found a permanent Minneapolis space.

“The restaurant will serve dumplings in three styles–steamed, pan fried, and deep fried– with signature pork, beef, chicken, and vegetarian fillings, plus a rotating filling of the month,” the press release proclaims. “The menu will also include rice bowls…and of course scallion pancake burritos and the amazing là cháng sliders.”

The new spot, 519 Central Ave. NE (formerly Glam Doll Donuts), is currently being renovated and will open sometime this fall. Bian and Cao say the service will be countertop, and there will be frozen dumplings for sale as well if you want to take more home with you.

Black Underground Railroad Participant Lived in St. Paul

Did the Underground Railroad run through Minnesota? Evidence points to yes, but the details are often murky, as it’s hard to reconstruct the history of people who didn’t want to get caught making history.

Still, there have been a few breakthrough discoveries in the past few years. St. Paul’s Pilgrim Baptist Church was added to an historic Underground registry last year. And this year, historian Karen Sieber discovered that Black abolitionist Moses Dickson, a major player in the Underground Railroad, lived in St. Paul in the 1850s. She was tipped off when she found his wife, Mary, in a Minnesota census report. While in Minnesota, Sieber says, Dickson worked as a barber and opened up Dickson’s Eating Saloon. (A charming newspaper ad from 1854 says the spot offers “Oysters, Game, and Meats… served in the shortest time, and to suit the tastes of lovers of good eating.”) 

Dickson was also an eloquent writer; in an 1857 letter to the editor printed in the Minnesota Weekly Times he responds to the U.S. Supreme Court’s conclusion that Dred Scott, among countless others slaves, were not U.S. Citizens. "What kind of institution is a negro?” he writes. “Who am I? I am not an alien, for I was born on American soil. I am not a citizen, for you and your subordinates, the five slaveholders, say I am not. I am a thing. I live, breathe, eat, work, think, die, and if I have a soul—does it go before the eternal judge? Or does the Supreme Court take care of that, too?"

For the Cliff Notes version on Sieber’s quest to discover more about Dickson in this info-dense piece from Kyle Stokes at Axios. Mikki Morrissette also chatted with Sieber on her process for Minnesota Women’s Press.

Chef Justin Sutherland Arrested On Felony Charges

News broke this weekend that restaurateur Justin Sutherland was arrested Friday for suspected domestic violence. This Monday more details are out and they're… not good! The allegations are extremely upsetting, actually.

According to a criminal complaint, police arrived in St. Paul's Como neighborhood after witnesses called 911 reporting that a man with a gun was threatening a woman; the man, Sutherland, had allegedly been fighting with his girlfriend. Witnesses, including the celeb chef's girlfriend, say Sutherland put his hands around her neck and was heard saying, “I want you dead." A friend of Sutherland’s came by and was able to get the gun from him; police say they discovered two handguns plus eight other firearms at the scene, and that Sutherland’s hands were bloody. This morning, he was charged with one count of felony threats of violence and was told to hand in any other weapons within 24 hours. Sutherland’s attorney, John Daly, tells the Star Tribune that, “He never physically assaulted anybody, never pointed a gun at anybody, and never choked anybody."

Sutherland is known around town for his many restaurants, including egg sandwich shop Big E’s and chicken joint Northern Soul, as well as for launching Handsome Hog nearly nine years ago before moving on from that business. Nationally, people may know him for appearances on Top Chef and Iron Chef America, as well as his Emmy-winning web series Taste the Culture.

Duluth’s Clark the Shark: An Oral History

We didn’t know that we needed an oral history of a wooden shark that sat on the Glensheen Museum lawn for three years, but this sure is a funny little slice of history from Jay Gabler at the Duluth News Tribune. In 2020, a marketing team planned to build a wooden shark and set it on fire during a party at Lake Superior. Then city officials asked them not to, for safety reasons. But then Covid hit. So Clark the Shark languished outside, where he attracted kids, photographers, and rubberneckers.

Clark was only supposed to be around for a week or so, but instead he became a mascot of sorts during lockdown. "I remember I had someone who was trying to tell me that we needed to get rid of the shark because it wasn't historically connected to Glensheen,” says Dan Hartman, Glensheen director from 2014-2021. “They took their lunch break at the table by the shark, and then she came back to me and she's like, 'OK, I get it.'" RIP, Clark.

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