Cabbage

I am a Dreamer.

If you asked, I’d say yes, I am a dreamer.

I am one of those that can get lost within my own head for hours. I dream of worlds different than this; of realities that don’t exist.

My imagination fueled my childhood and that of many cousins, as we gallivanted through our grandparents property… pretending to be the “Raiders”, or saviors of souls in need. Off we were to free towns from peril, swinging our sticks in an epic battle with imaginary forces.

My day dreams have filled many an international plane ride’s seemingly endless flight.

Day dreams are fewer and far between these days, though they  have not disappeared.

In fact this year I turned four of those dreams into goals.  Yes I became that person that actually writes down her personal goals. I’ve never done this before, outside of a corporate setting. I’m working on two of them. Progress, right?!

While I will selfishly keep them to myself for now, just working towards them helps relieve the feeling as if I’m a gated puppy, chained to my cube, which the corporate world often imparts upon me. It’s a feeling of being stifled, of turning off portions of your brain, creativity or as I’ve been calling them; dreams.

In the meantime new restaurants call my name. But  of course! What is this blog without food? I recently checked out Upton 43 and it lived up to the hype.

Upton 43 Rose

I mean Rose all day right? This glass was the perfect balance of sweet and dry. I like it right in the middle.

Cabbage

Get the charred cabbage… this dish had me at marrow butter. At home, I would have put my entire face into the plate. The boyfriend can attest… this has happened.

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The peas, grains and fermented strawberry dish was just as summer should be. All in a plate about to be inhaled.

Chicken and Cauliflower

My pressed chicken, cauliflower, ham hollandaise and truffle was absolute comfort. This is my new go to comfort food.

If you asked, I’d tell you to order all three dishes and more 🙂

I’ll be over here working on my dreams and gallivanting around the Twin Cities’ restaurant scene. Don’t worry, you won’t catch me with any sticks hoping to ward off imaginary enemies. I’ve traded sticks for Rose.

Have you been to Upton 43?

Friday Favs #2

Happy happy weekend! I don’t know about you, but I’m so ready for a break 🙂

Before I’m off to happy hour, here are a few of my favs from the week.

Linking up with Katie, Heather and Claire!!

1.Total Wine. Have you been? To the Mecca of wine and bewilderment. Yes. After a rough work day, a day of brain shutting-down-ness, I finally made it here. I wandered the aisles in awe. Wine, aka god’s grapes, everywhere. Its walls of unending eye (wine) candy.

I walked those aisles in awe, bewilderment and wonder.

Ok…. I might have a wine problem.

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2.  This bench in South Minneapolis. It reminds me, 18 months ago I wasn’t here. I was in a different city, state and stage. I’m thrilled to be in Minneapolis now, but who knows where in another 18 months I could be…

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3. The new passport arrived. My last ten months with an expired passport made me feel naked. But its here! And this just means our Vietnam trip is that much closer

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4. These vegan double chocolate cookies. Yes I said vegan, and they’re from Angel Food Bakery and Coffee Bar. How did I not know about this place? If you didn’t tell me these were vegan, I wouldn’t have known…

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5.These stuffed pork chops. Pretty sure more than one person was disappointed they didn’t make it over for dinner Tuesday night.. chops stuffed with bacon, apples, onions and walnuts. Yum.

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Woodrow Wilson

As cheesy as it may sound, honesty is the best policy. If I’m feeling something, not feeling it, you should know.

The last couple of months, dating for me has been defined by honest communication. Not the crazy, did this really happen, I should have thrown a drink in your face, type of dates.

While receiving the communication can hurt, sometime the bearer can feel even worse.

While my dating stories may not be as entertaining lately, lucky for you, and me, my roommate’s are 🙂 And she has given me full permission to share.

I mean, imagine it is your second date. You are sliding down the cafeteria style line at Kramarczuk’s and suddenly your date is singing the Looney tunes song….

And he is serious. Full on, serenading you with looney tunes.

He then walks you through the four different ways to pronoun pecan, in a, I’m enriching your life immensely sort of tone.

And while pecans and looney toons may be odd…. then his intense rage over former President Woodrow Wilson surfaces. Hes yelling and professing his hatred for Woodrow. Fists are pounding on the table. Pounding!

CHECK PLEASE!

A place I suggest for non-Woodrow rage dates:

Grand Café. I’m having a love affair with South Minneapolis lately, and Grand Café just continues it.

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Go to Grand Café. Just leave your personal presidential rage at home.

Do you struggle with honest communication?

Ever been on a table pounding date?

Its a Small World After All

And now the Disney theme song is stuck in my head. I was actually afraid of that ride as a kid.

Those moving doll things and the boat ride, the dark lighting….. Something about it was OOO so uncomfortable for me. I’m quite sure even as an adult that ride may creep me out.

However, much of that saying, “Its a small world after all” is so so true for me. Having had the most amazing childhood, in multiple countries and states, I run into people from my past lives in the strangest places, and often times in places so close to my current home.

Last week I had the chance to have dinner with three other wonderful local bloggers. Turns out, one of them, Deepta, and I share a very similar moving background. She and I even lived in Singapore at the exact same time! My heart aches for Singapore in the best way possible, for some of my first and or deepest memories are there. If I find a fellow former Singapore expat, there is sure to be a common bond 🙂

Allison, Jen, Deepta and I met at Cafe Ena. Sister restaurant to Rincon 38 and La Fresca. (See my visit to Rincon 38 here) I had the Lechon, the prosciutto wrapped pork tenderloin, with a trio pepper risotto, black garlic sauce, and a roasted artichoke-pepper relish.

O. My. Delicious. This was hands down the best pork tenderloin I have had in a long long time. It was melt in your mouth, cooked to perfection. And that black garlic sauce! If I could just have a bowl of that and call it a soup!

Now my pictures did not really show up… but that just means you should go and try Cafe Ena for yourself!

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You could not pick a better place to meet, eat, connect and discover how small of a world it really is sometimes.

Would you eat a sauce as a soup? No, just me? 🙂

 

The Doing and The Donut

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again.

Saturday mornings are meant for exploring.

There is an Olive to walk and new to me places calling my name. With morning temps now at a range where Olive struggles to poop outside, (yes we are working on this issue), donuts are totally called for.

And I just used poop and donuts in the same sentence. If you can get past that sentence and keep reading, we can totally be friends 🙂

I have been hearing of this place since they recently opened.  Jen and I had to wake with the sunrise and scoot ourselves in line.

Hello Bogart’s Doughnut Co.

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Though not on the agenda, a stop into a new to me coffee shop was necessary.

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Sometimes the thrill is all in the exploration, the path, the idea, the doing.

HOW WAS YOUR WEEKEND?

Keep Them Coming: Tapas

And another weekend draws to a close. The older I get, the more precious my Sundays are. More often than not I’m scrambling to get in just one more activity.. like ice cream. Or enjoying a patio as the weather finally clears… or rediscovering Patina and deciding I somehow need new diffusers for ever room… oops 🙂

I have to admit I suffer a bit from the Monday blues…. and they seem to start on Sundays around 6pm… do you get these too?

Before the blues kick in too hard core.. how about a distraction?

My running list of need to try restaurants is one place shorter. I finally made it to Rincon 38. Another South Minneapolis Location I had yet to try, Tapas style and very European-esque in terms of space. We were shoulder to shoulder with our neighbors, but what better way to start conversations. The wine was a flowing and the love in the food quite apparent in our friendly neighbors 🙂

Our tapas just kept coming.

Patatas Bravas, Cannoli, Queso Frito, Ibiza, Mero …. and I cannot enough remember the rest. So many our table could not keep up.

So delicious! Have you been?

Have you tried a new Restaurant lately?

Rincon

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Rincon 2

Kings

Back on the path of exploring the new! Well at least the new to me 🙂

This place has been on my radar for awhile.. and holding the top spot for first on my running list of places to try. Yes I have a list. It sits in my soon to be retiring iPhone 4s..

People will be talking and all of a sudden, I can’t help it, the running list is open and growing… however those around me are normally talking of food, so my rude iPhone interruptions can be forgiven.

I can finally say I’ve made it down to Kings in South Minneapolis. Arriving in the midst of weekend happy hour, we gladly ordered two glasses of Rose each.

The happy hour extended to a few small plates, meaning we had to order a few of those as well.

Tatortots with a bluecheese bacon sauce. (yeah I know, I’m eating cheese, but I just can’t not order cheese at a wine bar)

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Hello  Hush puppies like tot perfection.

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My cheese loving soul won out over my cheese inducing headaches…. and this appeared at our table. With the addition of Italian sausage of course. THAT sausage. The fennel. Ugh can I just eat like a platter of that sausage?! And the homemade crackers were delightful.

What could be better than a late Saturday afternoon, sipping wine and devouring sausage at Kings?

Have you been? You should go, pronto.

Where is your favorite wine bar?