Travail’s annual party started off as a regular block party in the restaurant’s parking lot but after the legendary fundraiser the party was moved to Robbinsdale’s Lakeview Terrace Park and was back this Sunday for the 3rd time on the shore of Crystal Lake.
This year promised a great combination of food, beer, music and games and true to form the Travail Collective did not disappoint. The weather was perfect with a good breeze keeping the heat at bay. The chefs created dishes that had their unique touch (Potato Salad Taco anyone?), local breweries were on site and several other food options from Performance Meals to Frio Frio were available. Games were on hand as well and you had a chance to dunk the Robbinsdale Mayor.
A great Music lineup kept the guests entertained. We missed the Roe Family Singers but folks I spoke to really enjoyed them. Sarah White a very talented singer from Minneapolis was up next. I would describe her style as modern should with influences from hip hop and quite enjoyed her set. Then she threw us a curve ball with a kick ass cover of Nirvana’s Lithium.
Bad Bad Hats, the next act, were voted Minnesota’s best new music act in 2015. The trio got the crowd close to the stage and dancing quickly and kept them engaged throughout their set. The heat forced them to re-tune their instruments after each song, but the band took it in stride. Their song are cool and quirky. Viva Knievel, as Mike Brown described them, are the best band that’s also a baseball team. The 8-piece cover band took over the stage and their old school covers re-energized anyone who had too much food (or beer) and they kept it going until the end of the party.
One thing that always strikes me at those events is how tight knit a community the independent Minnesota restaurant industry is. Chefs and volunteers from several other restaurants helped out and a number of chefs that worked with the Travail gang in the past attended as guests.