Pack a Picnic for a little Al Fresco Enjoyment

Local eateries help you enjoy a summertime meal outdoors.

The joy of summer is a picnic in June. Splendid Minnesota weather and fine food make for a perfect day. Why limit your picnic basket to the usual potato salad, fruit and cold chicken? Pack some of these local specialties for your next spread. Salad, sandwich, cake, cookies, and wine—you’re well on your way to a perfect picnic, Edina style.


Patrick’s Bakery
A boxed lunch from Patrick’s includes a gourmet sandwich of meat, cheese and veggies atop housemade, French-inspired bread, a side of chips, a fresh-baked cookie and a beverage. Custom-build your boxed lunch from a menu packed with mouthwatering choices. Classic ham, tomato-mozzarella, roast beef, wraps and bistro salad—you get the picture. You can even opt for one of Patrick’s rich, buttery quiches, elegant enough to satisfy even the most particular Francophile. Mais oui! Rain or shine, your picnic will be a huge gastronomic success. Preorders with a minimum of five preferred, delivery available. $9.95 each.


Q. Cumbers
The secret is out: You can get your meal to go from Q. Cumbers. Expertly prepared salad and such by the pound makes a painless picnic. Take your pick from a vast lineup of salads, fruits, entrées and desserts—all made fresh from healthy ingredients. Get something hot, cold, light or heavy. Assemble whatever your heart desires in a takeout container. Weigh, pay and you’re done. Travel down the steps to beautiful Centennial Lakes Park to enjoy your picnic. $6 per pound.


D’Amico & Sons
Good things come in threes. The salad sampler stacks up as a terrific trio of taste. A rotating selection of up to 10 freshly made Mediterrean-inspired pasta and lettuce salads dazzle. The deli case has so much to offer: grilled chicken Caesar, antipasto, chicken with dried cherries and lush seasonal salads, just to name a few. A scoop of three different cold salads makes putting together a picinic easier than ever. Still can’t decide? Have a taste before you place your order; just ask for a sample. These fresh-made salads neatly arranged in takeout containers are perfect for picnics. For more Tuscan flavor, purchase some of the housemade basil lemonade to accompany your al fresco lunch. $10.95, lemonade $2.99.


Dino’s Gyros
The family pack has everything you need, carefully packed to go. All the fixings for a flavorsome Greek feast are included: a pound of falafel, grilled chicken, or rotisserie beef or shawarma meat; five pitas; sliced lettuce, tomatoes and onions; plus creamy tzatziki cucumber sauce. The assortment is ideal, whether for a picnic or on the way to the cabin, says Brian McConnell, marketing director. The convenience comes at no sacrifice to taste or healthy eating. Your authentic Greek family meal will be made fresh and assembled to order in minutes. $30.


A picnic cake stands tall and proud amid the bounty of picnic possibilities at Jerry’s Foods. Simply put, a picnic cake is a picnic must. Pick from buttercream-frosted white cake, chocolate cake, fudge-frosted marble cake or cream-cheese-frosted carrot cake finished with pecans. All picnic cakes are designed to withstand the rigors of your excursion. The sturdy plastic bubble-covered 8-by-8-inch cake tin fits snugly into a picnic basket or bag. Don’t forget utensils and napkins. $5.39, carrot $6.99.


Edina Liquor
Wine adds something special to a picnic, especially on a lazy summer afternoon. For an appropriately light summer spirit (7 percent alcohol) try the Lolea Sangria. Fragrant Spanish wine fuses with carbonated water and fruit juices for a quality sangria. This Spanish cocktail bestows a slightly sweet, peachy and flowery flavor with tiny bubbles. Pick from No. 1 white or No. 2 red. Sparkling wine turns a plain picnic into a special occasion. A handy stopper easily reseals the bottle in the unlikely event you don’t finish it. $14.99.


Lunds & Byerlys
Put together a power picnic with this newly designed Nourish creation. Sweet pomegranate molasses vinaigrette cloaks golden-brown wheat berries and quinoa tossed with leafy green kale, crunchy almonds, and chewy dried blueberries and cherries. Rounding out your picnic menu is a snap. Bea James, bakery director, recommends that you “pick up a loaf of the Lunds & Byerlys artisan peasant bread and one of our fresh fruit tarts from the bakery. This would knock it out of the park on a picnic!” $8.99 pound.


JK’s Table
JK’s Table hides in the shadows of the towering One Corporate Center next to Dairy Queen headquarters. There chef Kuma and his wife Junko turn out Asian fusion dishes like the banh mi sandwich– part Vietnamese, slightly French and fresh-made at a Japanese deli. Housemade sweet pickled carrots and pickled daikon radishes, fresh cilantro leaves, cucumbers and jalapeños sizzle into your choice of meat—the pork belly is a customer favorite. Smooth made-from-scratch pastes of onion and sesame add a pleasant bite. A soft, chewy French baguette holds everything together in a tidy, transportable package. $5.99, tofu $5.79 double protein add $2.


Cocoa & Fig
Super-portable cookies are prime contenders for any picnic lunch. Go with the yummy oatmeal peanut butter sandwich cookie from Cocoa & Fig. The filled oatmeal cookie combination resembles a famed Girl Scout cookie. A luscious peanut butter filling joins two crisp oat-studded sugary biscuits. Snappy on the outside, smooth on the inside and sensational through and through, these are no ordinary cookies. Owner Laurie Pyle puts her classically-trained pastry chef finesse into every morsel. A simple presentation masks a scrumptious sweet. As Pyle explains, “It’s an item that gets overlooked. We’re known more for our cupcakes, but people in the know really flock to these cookies and they buy them by the dozen.” Be sure to stock up for your next picinic. $2.50.


Tollefson Family Pork
Set yourself up for an all-American picnic with wieners from Tollefson Family Pork. Head to the Tollefson booth at the Centennial Lakes Farmers Market and order your hot grilled wiener in a bun. Top with your choice of condiments and grab a table overlooking Centennial Lake. If you want to do your own grilling, buy a package of wieners to go. But whatever you do, don’t call these hot dogs. Unlike ingredient-loaded hot hogs, wieners are pure meat with no fillers. “We don’t put anything extra in there,” says Ricky Tollefson, partner. The Tollefson wieners and other meat specialties are so popular you may have to wait in line, but patience has its reward. Tollefson’s all-natural products contain no antibiotics or growth hormones. “We can’t imagine a better pork in the world,” says Tollefson. $3.25 on a bun, $5.49 per pound, packaged to go. Centennial Lakes Farmers Market starting June 16.