Culture Compass: Eat your veggies this weekend

A&E plans your weekend. You’re welcome, cool kids.

by Lucy Nieboer



Michael Pollan

Beth El Synagogue

5224 W. 26th St., St. Louis Park, Minn.

7 p.m.



Calling all foodie-environmentalists, pioneer of what is now known as the “American Food Revolution” Michael Pollan will be giving a lecture and signing copies of his new book “Cooked” this Thursday.

Best known for the groundbreaking book “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” Pollan was one of the first to go public with the shortcomings of factory farms and processed foods. An expert on all the foodie buzzwords: locavore, organics, nutritionism — Pollan is sure to have your head spinning with visions of high-fructose corn syrup being kicked to the curb by organic golden beets by the end of the event.




Ben Rector

Varsity Theater

1308 Fourth St. SE, Minneapolis

8 p.m.

Sold out



This Tulsa, Okla., native can rock a bow-tie and an acoustic guitar and still sell out shows like any rock ‘n’ roll bad boy. His smooth tunes go down like water with pretty lyrics, simple melodies and catchy choruses. The young pop-rockin’ cutie may have lessons to learn in life, but his sound is fully developed and ready to pounce on the impressionable Twin Cities teeny-boppers. If you’re a concert-crier, get ready to weep. This sweet singer-songwriter could bring even the least emotional brute to his knees as he coolly belts a ballad and plunks out notes on the piano.




Sara Bareilles

Cedar Cultural Center

416 S. Cedar Ave., Minneapolis

8 p.m.

Sold out



The cool, bluesy songbird is back, and she may not write you a love song, but she still has a couple romantic ditties up her sleeve. With a new album, “The Blessed Unrest,” out in July, the first single, “Brave,” proves to be yet another toe-tapping, lady power anthem dripping in confidence boosters and sugary pop beats. With the vocal cords of a Broadway diva, piano skills that rival any concert ivory-tickler and a very cool collection of West Coast vintage, we can’t help but love this queen of acoustic pop.




Watch This: “Rick Steves’ Europe” on Hulu

Whether you’re prepping for your summer backpacking trip or just doing a little arm chair travel, Mr. Steves has got your back.

Traipse around the Italian countryside, a Parisian street fair or the Dutch canal system with your nerdy dad-esque tour guide. He knows the best restaurants, the best hidden beaches and the best places to stay on a budget.

So Rick Steves may be a bit dry in his delivery. Watching his show is sort of like reading an old, dusty guidebook — one with great tips. It may not be the erotic, Eurotrip fantasy you’ve been envisioning where the absinthe flows freely and the lederhosen-clad soccer studs are banging down your door, but you’ll get to the front of the line at the Louvre and be able to check out a great olive farm in Spain.


Follow this: @UberFacts

You know that lumpy neuron sack you keep in the hollow space between your ears? You know the one — the cranium, the psyche, the big ole brain. Somewhere along the road from spring break to Spring Jam, we flip the genius switch to autopilot, happily cruising along until finals week brings us crashing down to earth. SHA-BOOM. What?! I have to memorize facts about things? What?! I have to write down all these facts in a blue book? Where am I?!

For some reason, finals are always a shock to the system, no matter how much prep work you’ve done. To take a breather from your last weeks of academia, follow UberFacts and learn some actually cool things, like penguins can’t walk backwards and an orgasm can cure a bad case of hiccups.


Eat this: Fresh veggies

Celebrate the omfg-it’s-finally-actually-here-for-real change in season with the inaugural jaunt to the farmer’s market. Due to the unseemly weather we’ve experienced of late, lots of our summertime favorites won’t arrive until later in the growing season, but there will still be plenty of green goodness to go around.

Getting your nutrient bump ‘n’ grind on with some tender stalks of asparagus, crunchy, spicy radishes and a handful of smooth spinach — all early growers — is just the fix for a vitamin-deprived winter diet of Wonderbread and peanut butter.