"The best burger I've had in quite a long time" is usually a good recommendation, especially when it comes from a local restaurateur with several lauded restaurants and counting.
The source is Kim Bartmann, owner of Barbette, Red Stag Supper Club and Bryant Lake Bowl, and the subject is the grass-fed, "limousine beef" burger at Bread and Pickle
, Bartmann's new incarnation of the concession stand near the Lake Harriet bandshell. After a soft opening last week, the reborn refectory is poised to serve the summertime crowds at the lake.
It's pretty busy down there," says Bartmann. "We are thinking of it as a [Bastille Day] block party a few times a week. We feel like we've done it before, just not in a fixed, night-after-night setting."
Bread and Pickle will sell "simple offerings," says Bartmann — burgers, fries, sandwiches, pasta salads, potato salads, as well as breakfast foods like espresso, egg sandwiches, granola and yogurt from 7–¬11 a.m. And of course there is still ice cream, from local favorites Sonny's and Izzy's.
Like at her other restaurants, the fare will be "focused on as much organic, local product as possible," says Bartmann.
One thing that won't be available at Bread and Pickle: waste. "Everything that comes out is compostable," she says, in new compost stations installed by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (Park Board), an effort Bartmann called a "beta-test for zero-waste in the Park Board system."
The composting was in response to the Park Board's request for proposals, which called for sustainability practices that Bartmann new would give her a leg up on the competition. "We do that at all the other restaurants, and at the [Bastille Day] block party," she says.
Even water comes in a sustainable container: stainless-steel water bottles at plastic-bottle prices. Visitors can refill them at a water-filling station, installed by the Park Board, which have counters to see how may times it gets used.
Bread and Pickle will be open until 9 p.m. in the evening, possibly later for busier concerts, says Bartmann.
The refectory is not her only recent project, however. She is planning a remodel and revamped menu at Gigi's, near 36th Street South and Bryant Avenue, which Bartmann took over last November. Prep kitchens and extra cooler space there as support the Bread and Pickle operation.
In the early summer, Bartmann expects to unveil Pat's Tap at the old Casey's location on 35th Street South and Nicollet Avenue. She described the LEED-targeted project as "a little gastro-pub with a few skee ball machines."