Just Hanging Out

Ever have that nightmare…. where something happens in public.

That nightmare where you toss out your yoga mat in class, and out comes underwear flying onto the floor?

Or that high school nightmare of tampons spilling down the classroom row?

Or you accidentally, somehow split your pants at work?

Well…..

Nightmare became reality for me on Monday.

Picture this:

It is 3pm and you’re walking to grab that necessary afternoon coffee. You’ve met with company big wigs for a charity kickoff event.

You were introduced to the head of your department’s head.

And now… on that caffeine trek downtown…. you feel something hitting your ankle…. What is that….

You look down….

And there it is…

A pair of underwear hanging out of your pants! (yes its yours!) Time and space freezes, your cheeks flush and your breath pauses.

There it was, just hanging out!

THANK GOD FOR BLAZER POCKETS.  You do a quick, “let me brush my pant leg off” move and into the pocket it goes.

Did anyone see, because this is totally real life and NOT a nightmare. I hope this is entertaining to someone…. because here it is, out there for you all to see!

Anyway! You know what is not embarrassing?

THIS burger from IL Foro.

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The only available at lunch, brisket blend, dripping in cheese, perfect amount of salt, heaven in your mouth burger, can only sit at the bar unless you snag a reservation burger.

For real, go, no run here at lunch. Try this burger.

I’ll be back for more menu items in the future 🙂

Overheard…….

My days walking to work are over. (for now)

The crisp fall air in the morning has me seeking cover in my friendly city bus.

I now take the bus to work. Let me tell you, the first couple of times had me all up in arms. Who knew you actually had to pull the cord  hard enough, it has to make a sound…. Stop requested.

Ten blocks past my stop later, in the rain, I learned my lesson.

I’ve learned my afternoon bus is always late. By five or six minutes.

One time it never even showed up?

However, the stumbling blocks are over and I’m having a love affair with the bus.

Where else can I eavesdrop on my fellow commuter’s supper? Multiple days in a row I was privy to whether or not this guy is going to eat the squirrel in his freezer…. it has become a heated debate between himself and two female fellow riders….

I’ve yet to learn how the squirrel became a resident in his freezer ….. eagerly hoping this detail comes to light on the next ride.

I’m ready for any and all future overheard sessions… Bring on the morning, or afternoon, comedy.

All jokes aside, know where you should be taking the bus to? Kyatchi.  For Ramen Mondays. (no squirrel included)

$13 for ramen and a beer, I’m there!

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Have you been?

If not, lets go! I’ll take the bus 😉

The Middle of What?!

Wait, its the middle (almost end) of September already?

In the midst of travels, weddings and adventures, I’ve failed to get caught up on the present.

My planner is filled to the brim, and while being busy is a blessing and keeps me going, I’m ready for a minor cool off.  (Not weather related) Events cool off.

To look at the upcoming weekend and see blanks, nothing penciled in… nothing cooking… it brings a slow, sweet smile. It means time for coffee and perusing online… on my couch.. with the wild puppy snoozing at my feet. She too loves quiet mornings, smelling my coffee ad gazing up at my unmoving body. She likes the blanks in my planner most likely more than anyone.

Blanks lead to unplanned evenings.. the opportunity to try new places. You know, my M.O.

Like Saint Dinette over in Lowertown. The place of the fabled cheeseburger. The participant in the Twin Cities burger war of 2015. I keep questioning who is next, who will throw down another….. Who will attempt to conquer next?

Saint Dinette’s story is one of coming together.  Of “invoking the welcome and comfort of a “maison,” or house — a gathering place for this re-born River City.” They wish to share the flavors of the region with you.

Head there and I think you’ll agree, they’ve done just that.

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Next time I find a few blanks in the planner….. you know where you can find me 😉

Have you been?

Up the Funk.

While I am a steadfast non-rule breaker… I sometimes fall into the old adage of “some rules are meant to be broken.”

However that typically only applies to food. Food rules. Is there such a thing? I mean I’ve never gone to culinary school. I’m not trained and my techniques in the kitchen are… not chef like.. but I eat.

I know when food tastes the way it should.. I know when food is mediocre.

How? Because I eat a lot and wide varieties of foods. So I’m not sure if there really are food rules, but I do know when classics are taken for a spin. When things get funky and the ante goes up.

Which you can absolutely find at Nighthawks.

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Like bacon. Scallion. Kimchi pancakes.  HUGE chunks of bacon.

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I’d say the rules or the funk have been turned up in this case.

And foot long wieners come rolling out, piled with a mass of ingredients. We pretty much ordered this out of fascination. But it had to be ordered.

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AND the chicken. My first nibble into the fried chicken wars of 2015…

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Delish. Crispy on the outside, not drippy greasy and juicy on the inside. The flavor, the spice, so on point. We tried the Kingfield spice.

My only disappointment? Not ordering the burger.  I sat at the counter and watched dozens of these prepared in front of me. They called to me, each and every one of them.

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Hey lonely little burger……

Next time.

Yes….. next time.

Have you been?

Hopping on the Red Wagon…

As a kid, I had one of those red wagons, you know the one with the black handle?  That you would hop into and ride down the hill?

It was in a sense a mini rollercoaster, careening down the hill. Perhaps a friend or sibling or two grasping my waist and hanging on for the ride. Sometimes you tumbled off and others you almost swung into a tree.  I mean the handle wasn’t the best steering wheel; but it was o so fun!

The restaurant we tried on Saturday brought up all of those red wagon memories. And for obvious reasons.

Red Wagon Pizza Company was on our evening agenda. Red Wagon stated as a passion project at the Linden Hills Farmers Market. Today you can visit the brick and mortar restaurant in South Minneapolis off Penn.

The black and white vintage feel was an inviting haven from the pending thunderstorm…. I also wanted to run off with the roses next to us 🙂

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Bar chips were ordered to start the meal.

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Next was the arugula salad…. while normally it comes with strawberries, the pickled peaches were a welcome substitution.

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As it was my first time at Red Wagon, we went with the classic Red Wagon Pizza; house cheese, red sauce, homemade sausage, soppresatta ribbons, chili flakes and a tiny drizzle of fig balsamic.

When you use loved and fresh ingredients….. you can taste it. And Red Wagon for sure loves its ingredients… you can taste it in every bite.

I’m ready for another pizza pie please 🙂

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I’m disappointed the leftover pieces are in someone else’s fridge and not mine…. 🙂

I’ll be over here wishing I had another piece of pizza and reminiscing of wagon roller coaster rides….

Have you been to Red Wagon Pizza Company?

Philly and My Cheese Steak.

Each plane ride leads me to the next. Each trip, long or short, has me craving a new adventure.

I am always dreaming of that next departure.

I cannot be still and stay. My most comfortable place is the airport.

Last weekend was spent traipsing through Philadelphia with the one and only KB.

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Off we were to explore her new city and eat just about everything in sight. It was as we called it, a foodie weekend, with not much but food crawls on our  minds.

Naturally our first stop had to be a cheese steak.   I’ve had Pat’s and Geno’s on a previous Philly trip, so this time, we walked blocks and I mean like 6 miles to get to Jim’s Steaks.

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I made (yes made) KB order, as technically she had never ordered one before. Don’t worry, whiz was involved.

Our next stop was a jaunt to a pop up beer garden for happy hour. I could live in this pop up beer garden. Which by the way at the end of the season is stripped down to the bare parking lot that it came from. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society puts these on and it may be the best summer activity ever. Beyond jealous one is not on my street. Ahemmm Minneapolis….

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Post beer garden, you should probably head to Tria Fitler Square for you know… carbs and cheese.  The perfect “beer-soaker-uper”. Get the Truffled Egg Toast with Fontina Fontal. O my god this is the best toast or anything else that you will ever put in your mouth.  We also had the Pistachio Herbed Ricotta with Lavender Honey Bruschetta.  I plan to recreate this at home very soon. SO good. The braised beef short rib gnocchi was also to die for. All in all, carb heaven.

Naturally the next morning, we had to start brunch on the same carb and cheese train. Because we totally did not have enough the night before. AND we had trekked all the way to the new Century 21, meaning we had burned off at least half of the night’s delights.

Check out Zavino Wine Bar for seriously the largest meat and cheese tray ever.

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After more walking, exploring and a daytime cocktail or two, our dinner reservation at Mercato arrived. I’m told you are not to take photos here, and as I do not break the rules, I refused to do it. However others were doing it and KB demanded documentation. Somehow, someone managed to take the below………..

 

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(Shhhh!)

With my stomach and carb love full, off we went to wander the picturesque historic streets. If anyone would like to purchase the below home for me, I’d greatly appreciate it.  Then I could spend more time traipsing through the city and sampling the restaurants to my heart’s content.

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While I’m over here already dreaming of the next trip, I left Philly happy at a friend’s new home, happy for her next adventures and delighted to have met some of her new people;  amazed at her already amassed knowledge of the city and passion to explore.

(I’ll be over here eating salad all week)

Have you been to Philly?

The Novice Griller..

One thing I’m not….. is a grill master.

Grilling seems like a challenge to me… and sometimes a complete accidental success.

Like that time I totally forgot to turn down the heat and somehow pulled out the steaks at precisely the right second.

Hmm. Accident or genius?

Experimenting with the grill may be my new thing this summer.

When Blue Diamond sent over the new Sriracha Almonds to try, not only did I devour an entire tin to myself; grilling, shrimp and experimenting seemed appropriate.

I attempted to “entrust” then grill up some shrimp!

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While the flavor was there, my technique could use some work!

But hey, that’s what experimenting is for.

Have you tried the Sriracha Almonds yet?

This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond.

City of Crudo

I had to explain “hanger” to someone.

Hungry + Angry.

I’m quite certain I did not make this up. It is a term floating out there in the food universe.

A certain someone, upon receiving a possibly snarky comment from me, will ask if I am hangry…. if I’ve eaten yet that day…

And while hanger has nothing really to do with the below, it seemed a semi decent segway.

I mean, if I ever have a hangry episode, I know where I can go to cure it.

Monello.

Go to Monello.

Monello recently opened in Minneapolis and we were lucky enough to be invited to a soft opening. We spent the evening ordering half the menu, sharing plates and critiquing between the four of us.  Though might I say, no critique was necessary.

The plating was beautiful, the flavors precise and divine. The service on point and beyond.

I’m still dying over the Sea Bass Crudo.

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I consider going to get this crudo at least 4 days of the week. I could eat crudo at every meal. And Minneapolis is getting its fair share of crudo restaurants these days. Monello does it right.

I am not kidding when I said we ordered half the menu.

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We loved it so much, we went back just a week later…. And ordered the other half of the menu.

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There may be literally only two items we haven’t tried? I say, someone go back with me for those two dishes 🙂

Have you been yet?

In a Blink

Blink and everything is different.

Things you’ve imagined, applied for, worked to achieve. A long drawn out path it seems…. and then you blink.

That which you dreamed, sweated over and stressed…. happened.

Do you ever feel that way? Something that seemed so far off, whatever it may have been… and all of a sudden it is here.

You’ve gone from shaking your fists at neurotic drivers, to walking 20 minutes to work every day.

It amazed me today, walking home, watching the river…. how fast things change.

And some changes call for celebratory dinners.

You could not find a better place than Borough to celebrate anything! It was the best meal I have had in a long time. I’ve heard rave reviews, but had yet to go.

I am ready to go back.

The potato leek soup was perfect and from now on I will need to top dishes with quail eggs…. (have I mentioned I normally hate eggs?)

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The Sweetbreads. My first time actually.

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AND that octopus was perfect. After so many disappointing octopus dishes lately, this one was a welcome treat.

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The duck with the Taleggio grits.

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Amazing. I further cleaned this plate.

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The dessert was beautiful. I’m not a sweets person…. but when celebrating… 🙂

How do you celebrate change?

Dresses and Dairy Delights

We could most likely call this summer, the wedding summer. The summer of dresses, and shoes and flowers, cakes and cocktails.  The summer of love and families joining and the meeting of so many new to me people.

With a good 8 or 9 weddings on the calendar, and with so many out of town, why not turn them into weekends of exploration too?

Like hopping into cheese shops along the way to Green Bay, WI.  Tucked into the plethora of cows and farms during the drive, one must explore the dairy delights.

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Did you know cheese curds were meant to be eaten at room temp? You know, to optimze the squeak in your mouth……..

Post devouring squeaky cheese curds, one must put down a few beers.

At Titletown Brewery of course. Just avoid the food. Until last Friday, I did not think it possible to screw up bacon wrapped brats.  It happened. Just have the beer.

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The only way to recover from mismanaged bacon would be a trip to Lambeau Field the next morning. Obvious I guess when dating a packer fan. Ultimate gesture of Romance?

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Did anyone notice my purple tank top….? #skol

 Continuing on this road of recovery calls for the famous Green Bay Bloody Mary; from St. Brendans Inn.

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Next stop on the adventure? A butter burger from Krolls.  Literally a slab of butter is cooked into the burger and shall commence dripping down your hands once eating. The ulitmate diary indulgence.

And because Lambeau Field, Bloody Marys and a butter burger are the only way to properly prep for a wedding, off we went, fully preped and “dairy-ified”.

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Do you have weddings to attend this summer?