• Latin Fare with Flair

     
    POSTED September 22, 2022
     
    Photo credit: Guacaya Bistreaux
  • Latin Fare with Flair

     
    POSTED September 22, 2022
     
    Photo credit: Guacaya Bistreaux
  • Latin Fare with Flair

     
    POSTED September 22, 2022
     
    Photo credit: Guacaya Bistreaux
  • Latin Fare with Flair

     
    POSTED September 22, 2022
     
    Photo credit: Guacaya Bistreaux

Guacaya Bistreaux, in the heart of Minneapolis’ North Loop, is a Latin Caribbean restaurant with Louisiana flare. As one of few Latin-owned joints in the neighborhood, the restaurant is a dream come true for Pedro Wolcott, chef and owner. 

The Panamanian native moved to Minnesota from New Orleans (where his culinary journey began) with his wife five years ago. With intentions of opening shop in 2020, Wolcott halted his plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Pivoting his focus to community service, he supported locals affected by the pandemic and the worldwide reckoning following the death of George Floyd in May 2020. 

His actions of kindness found their way back to him when he pursued his restaurant goals. Partially made possible through the help of community members and organizations that he once aided, elements such as the tables, lighting, and artwork were donated to furnish the restaurant. 

“What you put out into the universe comes back,” he says. “[The restaurant] is so full of emotion.” 

In what Wolcott describes as the land of meat and potatoes (the Midwest), he says he strives to bring food education and enlightenment to the region. Serving a lineup of his favorite foods, Wolcott says he wouldn’t serve anything he wouldn’t eat himself. “If I don’t want to eat it, I won’t bring it to the table,” he says. 

The menu features a rotating selection of family-style tapas that are inspired by Central American, South American, and Caribbean cuisines, and are made fresh from seasonal ingredients. “We didn’t want to be limited to one dimension, we wanted freedom to explore,” he says, regarding the multiregional approach. “We try to be creative and include any culture that speaks to us. We want to experiment with that and build off that to create layers.”

To complement the fusion of bold flavors, Meteor Bar, a Minneapolis cocktail lounge, collaborated with Guacaya to craft an array of beverages—many with plenty of rum to go around. 

Though food and drink are at its core, Guacaya also provides a place to uplift diverse voices and showcase cultural traditions. It does so by using its location off the Washington Avenue Bridge—a space that offers an extra-wide sidewalk space in addition to its expansive patio. 

Hosting a variety of public and private events, Guacaya’s biggest venture is The Mercado, a market on the bridge that provides a space for local Latino artists and vendors to showcase their crafts alongside live music from a DJ and, of course, food. 

“Bringing completely different culture[s] to a neighborhood like this is one of my biggest goals,” he says. 

Embracing the core values of inclusion, care, and celebration, the restaurant does not take reservations to encourage a “come as you are” approach—making it more accessible and welcoming to all. However, Guacaya is also available for buyouts and offers catering services for other meetings and events in the area. 

www.guacayabistreaux.com

Bill Von Bank, vice president of marketing and communications for Experience Rochester Minnesota Convention & Visitors Bureau and Mayo Civic Center, knows how to make a luscious pie. On summer and fall weekends, he travels to Minnesota farmers markets as Bill the Pie Guy, selling his homemade apple, blueberry, mixed berry, strawberry, rhubarb, peach, and pecan pies to hungry marketgoers—and donating the profits to hunger-relief organizations. 

 

Sleek and modern amenities relax hotel guests at the Radisson Blu Mall of America in Bloomington. Attached to the mall via skybridge, the hotel is home to 500 guest rooms, a pool, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and extensive event space. Shuttles are available to and from the airport. 

 

Hilton Worldwide’s 2021 Brand Awards & Recognition program honored the Hilton Rochester Mayo Clinic Area Hotel as the No. 1 Hilton Hotel in North America and awarded the property the Connie Award in the category of 500 guest rooms or less. 

The Connie Award, which is the highest award granted by Hilton Worldwide, highlights the “best of the best” of every facet of the Hilton portfolio based on the combined ranking of overall experience, service, quality assurance audits, brand standard compliance, hotel condition, cleanliness, and property accommodations.