Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th

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The Travelin Man
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 16:17:42 (permalink)
wanderingjew

True, the German population is larger than the Scandinavian population....but that applies to just about every major city in the country. I'll betcha that the German Population in South Florida is larger than the Cuban population..


That depends on your definition of "South Florida."  When most people think of Cubans in "south Florida," they are most certainly referring to Miami.  If that's the case, there are surely many, many more Cubans than Germans in Miami.  If you want to play semantics, then expand into surrounding counties - and the numbers will narrow, and depending on how far you expand out you will eventually get to the point where there are more people of German heritage than Cuban.

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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 16:22:12 (permalink)
 Hmmm.... I've been here 41 years and the only "Swedish" restaurant I can remember is King Oskar's on 66th st. in Richfield....My 100% swedish great-grandma loved it ,but it was pretty darned BLAND!! my Dad always brought his trusty bottle of Tabasco sauce for the swedish potato sausage
   As for Jucy Lucys,  they aren't backward, they're INSIDE OUT!!  that lets the burger grease mix with the melted AMERICAN cheese making a yummy cheese goo that you dip crinkle cut fries into!! { I lived 4 blocks from Matts while I was pregnant, and that baby INSISTED on going there at least once a week! }          For most any swedish/ Minnesotan food I go to the original Byerly's in St.Louis Park;  MMMMM lefsa-lingonberry and shaved turkey roll-ups!! Also in the HUGE hot area of Byerly's deli you can get tater tot hotdish priced by the #  ready to eat!!!  it's way to pricey to do real grocery shopping there,but I could {and have!} wander around for hours....sample ladies everywhere you look!!!     Davydd, I'm thinking I may have waited on you!! I was at McCormick and Schmucks from '01  till '04 and we got LOTS of Target folks, cool!  Afriend of mine worked at the old Hell's Kit. for 3 years and loved it ,then he made the move with them and quit within 2 months ,got tired of all the BAD changes and downhill quality of the food...... Sigh.
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 16:59:02 (permalink)
It's a shame I'm going to miss this by a couple days. I'll be in on Tuesday the 24th for meetings, staying that night, then have an appointment Wednesday morning and flying out in the afternoon.
Would've loved to meet everyone...
#33
Davydd
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 17:36:38 (permalink)
Dawn,

I've eaten at M & S numerous times, so maybe you did wait on me.

Before we continue to argue with wanderingjew's fundamentalist roadfood views we ought to get back to the subject. How do you think Buffetbuster will fit in at Nye's? Hope he can carry a tune.

I'm thinking a great day if there were time would have been lunch at Jax in Nordeast, an afternoon happy hour tipple at Mayslack's, dinner at Murray's and and winding down at Nye's. That's not Scandinavian at all but would have put you in spiritual touch with old-time, liberal, blue collar, working man Minneapolis that reaches back beyond 50 years.
#34
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 17:51:47 (permalink)
I am sure Buffetbuster will (would?) love Nye's.  Every out-of-town guest I've taken there does, whether the polka band is playing or not.  I agree -- there's nothing like it.
 
I also frequently take out-of-town guests to Murray's -- I have two more coming in this week, and we'll be dining there Tuesday night.  "Sophisticated" folks from New York City, Washington and London have been delighted by this quintessential old-school supper club.  Famous for steaks, of course.  I'm sorry they stopped serving their fresh red raspberry pie, though. That was the best!
 
Two great choices.  I confess I haven't been quite as enamored with Jax, but I've only been there once, and may have visited on an off-night. 
#35
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 17:53:30 (permalink)

  Ya, sounds good you betcha...     I'm wondering if Our Lady of Lourdes church is still selling their pastys? might not be the right time of year...but they are just up the hill from Nye's. I can imagine BB singin'with sweet Lou at the piano bar..." sweet tea for my men, and PIE for my horses!!!!"     OOOOO... Mayslacks garlic beef !!! it's been WAY to long since I made it over there. have to fix that soon!!   I was famous at M&S for saying "get the steelehead,it's a good eatin' fish! " 
#36
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 19:44:13 (permalink)
Davydd
How do you think Buffetbuster will fit in at Nye's? Hope he can carry a tune.
I may not be the best singer in the crowd, but I just may be the loudest!!!  If I tip the band, will they play the Pennsylvania Polka?
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BuddyRoadhouse
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 20:24:59 (permalink)
bb, you will LOVE Nye's!  Excellent food (make sure you get at least a sampling of their Hunter's Stew; either a side cup of soup, or as a main dish), amazing late '50s time capsule atmosphere, and, if she's working that night, a hostess with a bouffant flip hairstyle to match the mid 20th century decor.

As for wanderingjew, if he really wants some "authentic" Skandessota food, send him to Pearson's near 50th & France.  We ate there once and the food was so bland it actually sucked the taste out of my mouth, leaving me with the understanding of what absolutely "nothing" tastes like.

WJ, I understand your "regionalist" beliefs about experiencing local cuisine, but as a frequent visitor to the Twin Cities, I can tell you that unless you can get past whatever preconcieved notions you have about Minneosota grub, you will go very hungry up there looking for whatever idealised version of Scandahoovian food that you think is there.

Buddy
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 20:32:59 (permalink)
BB,

You'll find out.

Dawn,

I haven't been to Mayslack's in years. In fact it was 1978 when Stan Mayslack was still alive. I resigned from an architectural firm to go to work for another yet the head of the company gave me a farewell lunch with the whole office of about 20 in attendance. It was at least a three hour lunch as the line for the garlic roast beef sandwiches formed outside. Stan Mayslack, a giant of a man, would be at the head of the line ladling on the garlic beef on a bun that filled the plate. He'd scowl and if you did not have both hands fully under the plate he would not serve you and send you back. It was quite the experience. Seinfeld's soup Nazi had nothing on this guy. Stan Mayslack was an ex-pro wrestler with some modicum of fame.
#39
wanderingjew
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 20:50:20 (permalink)
Travelin Man

I define South Florida as Dade, Broward and Palm Beach Counties. Therefore based on the map you provided I should perhaps reconsider German and Italian food the next time I visit.

Davydd

I am not throwing the Hmong Ethnic Group under the rug... I'm simply saying it's been done elsewhere....or in other words it's "the same old song and dance" The Twin Cities is just "the new edition" among many others.

Let me illustrate

Here is the best map I can find of the those with Hmong ancestry around the country

http://www.epodunk.com/ancestry/Hmong.html

If I were to base your assumptions on this map, perhaps I made a big mistake in enjoying BBQ on my last trip to North Carolina, I guess I should have considered Hmong Food instead

Here's another map showing those of Vietnamese Ancestry

http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo200/pct_vietnamese.pdf

You can see the biggest concentrations on the West and East Coast

I've also included a map of Swedish Ancestry

http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo200/pct_swedish.pdf

and of Scandinavian Ancestry in general

http://www.valpo.edu/geomet/pics/geo200/pct_scandinavian.pdf

you can clearly see where  Minnesota lies on this map.

I know you mention that those of Scandinavian descent in The Twin Cities go back several generations, well so do those of Italian descent here in Rhode Island, yet there are more Italian Restaurants in a square mile than I know what to do with....Does that mean that Italians are prouder of their heritage?

Here's another map of those of Jewish Ancestry

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Jewish1346.gif

as you can see the NYC area has a significant population yet in a city with a metro population of 20 million there are probably less than  50 kosher (style) delis in the entire metro area, in fact "50" may be too liberal of a number, yet there are alot of delusional roadfooders on the forum who think that these delis are alive and well and flourishing. There used to be hundreds in Manhattan alone.. Now all that I hear about are the same 4 or 5. Not because they're the best (although they are ) but because that's all that's left!

I'll use another example, the fried chicken houses in  Indianapolis and Kansas City- I betcha there used to be "dozens"  in each city. Whats left? Hollyhock Hill and Strouds!! I don't know of any others, do you?

You mention that Scandinavian Cuisine is not "twin cities" cuisine. I guess using that argument, then places like Sokolowski's is not definitive of Cleveland but just a Polish Restaurant that could just as well  be in Albuquerque or Atlanta

Finally I provided you with one restaurant (Grumpys) that had Hot Dish on their menu, you said it's a joke. Then I provided another (Hot Plate) and you indicated its a tourist trap. I'm not certain why restaurants would waste their time, money and resources by putting a "joke" on their menu, I've never seen that before and it really doesn't make any sense at all, in addition I'm not certain how a tourist could even by the widest margin of chances accidentally find a restauarant in a non descript neighborhood, yet at the same time all the reviews (most positive) on the web were written by locals??

Despite all this , Davydd, I still like ya'  and look forward to meeting you next year.





post edited by wanderingjew - 2009/03/19 21:59:01
#40
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 21:59:22 (permalink)
There's a difference. If you put it all together there are more Hmong in Ramsey County (St. Paul) than Swedes for instance. The difference is a Swede by ancestry may more than likely be a fourth generation or greater with little cultural heritage other than the last name, but Hmong are most likely immigrants and first generation still speaking their native language and embracing their old world cultures.

So you get authentic southeast Asian cuisine in the Twin Cities but non-authentic stereotype Swedish hotdish made with commercial tater tots from a bar like Grumpy's. The Swedes stopped coming off the boats nearly 100 years ago and they certainly did not bring tater tots with them. But if you insist buying into that stereotype you really should drive up the North Shore to Grand Marais and take in Sven and Ole's Pizza.
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Nancypalooza
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/19 22:19:30 (permalink)
If you do that, please bring me back a bag of granulated sugar cake donuts from World's Best Donuts please.

One of the most interesting books I've ever read was about Hmong immigrants in California, 'The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down' by Anne Fadiman.
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 04:47:34 (permalink)
I've greatly enjoyed the back and forth between Davydd and Wandering Jew in the various threads, but did not intend to join in as I learned long ago that getting in between the Bickersons is never a good idea.  But if you want to find some legitimate remnants of Scandinavian culture and food, come to Davydd's adopted city of La Crosse.   We have Scandahoovians everywhere, and you don't have to chew Copenhagen, neither.

In little Holmen WI is Drugan's Supper Club, (Viking ship logo), with traditional supper club menu, and lutefisk and lefse on the Sunday brunch (seasonal only, October-March).   But they don't go back that far, just since 1970.  WJ, there are no tourists eating here, they are all local.  And mostly older, which is good 'cause you can get in front of them easier.

If you google 'Lefse WI' you will find several small producers in local villages, Blair, Fountain City, Taylor.....these are all tiny, family type operations.  The fact there are so many is proof that around here we like our lefse.  And you can buy it at many retail outlets.

Nearby Westby is nothing but Norwegian, with many specialized shops, and Borgen's Cafe, under recent new ownership but in existence since 1903.  Everything there is Vilkommen, Uff-da, and "Spis, drik, a ver gla" (Eat, drink, and be glad."

But the Scandinavains here are not ashamed of their heritage.  On the contrary, they celebrate it as much as do Germans, Poles, Czechs, and others in the area. Syttende Mai celebrations, and Norskadalen Village and on and on.  

But there is not much in the way of cuisine, which is mainly because no one wants to eat it.  Lefse's ok, but it competes with tortillas;  swedish meatballs are ok, but they compete with Italian;  pickled herring is ok (if you're drunk), but it competes with pickled sausage;  and lutefisk....doesn't compete with anything.

Davydd said that the Scandinavians sure did not bring Tater Tots over with them on the boat.  At Borgen's you can get a Lefse Breakfast Wrap, which did not make that trip either.  (Or maybe it did, you can roll up anything in a lefse.)

But hey, we're cosmopolitan!  We've even got a Hmong cafe, with real Hmongs and everything!
#43
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 08:47:11 (permalink)
BuddyRoadhouse,
 
I went to Pearson's back in 1998 and I   concurr, I wasn't impressed. However in 1999, I went to the Scandinavian Buffet at Kafe Stuga at the Radisson Hotel in Bloomington- Fantastic (although I've heard its since gone downhill)  then went to Crabtree's Kitchen in Marine on St Croix, this place  was reviewed by the Stern's in their roadfood book in the 80's and to me was truly definitive Minnesotan with a touch of Scandinavian influence.  Like Strouds in KC or Hollyhockhill in Indianapolis, I understand there used to be "dozens" of restaurants like Crabtree's Kitchen in the Twin Cities area. Probably one of my favorite roadfood stops of all time along with the now defunct White Way Cafe in Durant Iowa. Unfortunately both places were "taken out" by the "sheeple casual restaurant chains". On the same trip I enjoyed wild rice pancakes at the now defunct Rick's Cafe in Minneapolis, Walleye and Wild Rice Soup at Tavern on Grand in St Paul and I then continued on to Pheasant, Wild Rice, Beer Cheese Soup and Sour Cream Raisin Pie at Anderson House (another restaurant formerly reviewed by the Sterns) in Wabasha.
I certainly didn't go hungry on this trip, or for that matter my last trip to the Twin Cities in 2006.
 
Davydd,
 
I never considered tater tot hot dish "Scandinavian" or "Fake "Scandinavian" however it is definetely "Minnesotan" or at least Definetely "Northern Heartland" regional food.  Is a Cuban Sandwich really Cuban food?? it was invented in Ybor City in Tampa, Cubans fleeing the  Castro regime didn't bring these compressed sandwiches with them on the boat?
 
Why would I want to get authenthic Hmong food in the Twin Cities when I can get it right here in South Providence? Yes we do have a Hmong Population here. I can probably get authentic Vietnamese here too, or if not here in Rhode Island then definetely up in Boston.
 
Ahi
 
King Oscars was one of the Scandinavian Restaurants my former coworker mentioned, there were several others too- The Jolly Troll? Ginghams? (spelling?) and a couple of other places too.
 
Easydoesit,
 
Davydd and I are just having a friendly debate, we respect eachother's opinion and you're welcome to join in. I know that Wisconsin (as well as Minnesota and North Dakota) have quite a few small town cafes with Scandinavian influence. I've been to Door County which is touristy but is mostly local tourists from Wisconsin and had some delicious flavorful and hearty Scandinavian food at the Sister Bay Cafe in Sister Bay, I also went to Al Johnson's Swedish Restaurant, real goats on
the roof and all, and although it was somewhat tacky and touristy the Swedish Meatballs and Swedish Pancakes with Lingonberrys was actually quite good.
#44
Davydd
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 09:25:28 (permalink)
easydoesit,

WJ and I just enjoy having a jousting debate. It springs up every once in a while and I do hope with all my power that the Minnesota Twins offer lutefisk on a stick at the new Target Field next year. Maybe a lefse wrapped spring roll? 
#45
wanderingjew
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 09:33:48 (permalink)
Davydd

easydoesit,

WJ and I just enjoy having a jousting debate. It springs up every once in a while and I do hope with all my power that the Minnesota Twins offer lutefisk on a stick at the new Target Field next year. Maybe a lefse wrapped spring roll? 


or perhaps a walleye bhan mi sandwich  and some pho hotdish.
#46
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 09:34:34 (permalink)
 Gadz!!! I forgot all about the Jolly Troll, my family couldn't go there 'cause the robot trolls scared the Bejesus out of my little brother... I went there on a field trip in 5th grade and a bunch of rowdy boys had to go wait on the bus for starting a swedish meatball fight!! " />
#47
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 09:41:28 (permalink)
  BB, Chris and Amy,     I forgot to mention Kramarczuk's ,but it's pretty famous so you most likely already know about it.... across the street from Nye's, pirogi ,sausage and strudel!!!   been there for a bizillion years.
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The Travelin Man
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 10:32:17 (permalink)
Davydd

There's a difference. If you put it all together there are more Hmong in Ramsey County (St. Paul) than Swedes for instance. The difference is a Swede by ancestry may more than likely be a fourth generation or greater with little cultural heritage other than the last name, but Hmong are most likely immigrants and first generation still speaking their native language and embracing their old world cultures.


This really is the key.  I think wanderingjew lives in this static world where the world is perpetually the same.  Technically, *I* am of German decent (at least to some part), but I live my life no more German than I do Korean. 

Your comment also holds true for the "south Florida" comparison above.  Given the same maps used there...

Cuban ancestry

German ancestry

By looking at those two maps, you can see that as much as 30% of the population of the nation's eighth largest county is of Cuban decent - and, odds are, of somewhat recent Cuban ancestry.   Even by expanding into Broward and Palm Beach counties, my suspicion is that the overall number of people claiming Cuban ancestry would be higher than German.  But, those who are first or second generation Cubans versus those who are first or second generation ANYTHING would be a HUGE difference.
#49
wanderingjew
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 12:41:47 (permalink)
The Travelin Man

I think wanderingjew lives in this static world where the world is perpetually the same.


If that's the case then perhaps last spring we should have completely skipped over
Katz' Museum of Ancient Judaica and spent the entire day at Cinco De Mayo
in Spanish Harlem.
 
Or skipped over Stroud's Shrine and Conservatory on our baseball trip and gone to one of those Korean Restaurants that Sfreader mentioned on one of his trip reports! " />


 Technically, *I* am of German decent (at least to some part), but I live my life no more German than I do Korean. 



That's open to interpretation,  you and I get our own special category of Jewish Descent, although it's a religion it's also deemed an ethnic group as well....it's even included in those maps.




post edited by wanderingjew - 2009/03/20 13:24:11
#50
mar52
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 13:16:40 (permalink)
special category of Jewish Descent, although it's a religion it's also deemed an ethnic group as well.


What is it about that?  I was having that discussion just last week with my co-worker.  We are both Jewish.

Jewish is a religion but it's treated differently.  

My ancestors mostly come from Poland.  I'm first generation.  But I don't think of myself as Polish.  

I frequent delis and have not ever been to a Polish restaurant.

Then again I've never been to Michigan.
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 14:24:34 (permalink)
wanderingjew


or perhaps a walleye bhan mi sandwich  and some pho hotdish.


I did indeed have walleye spring rolls and walleye claypot at a Vietnamese place in St. Paul.

 
#52
The Travelin Man
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 14:34:30 (permalink)
wanderingjew

If that's the case then perhaps last spring we should have completely skipped over
Katz' Museum of Ancient Judaica and spent the entire day at Cinco De Mayo
in Spanish Harlem.


It's scary when you make someone else's points.  This is exactly what I (initially, Davydd) mean.  The only reason you believe Katz's is MORE authentically New York than a Cinco de Mayo parade through Spanish Harlem is because the Jews were there first.  It doesn't matter - because there were a hell of a lot more people at the Cinco de Mayo festival than there are at Katz's in a week - and, trust me on this one, almost every damn one of 'em was a "local."

We CHOSE to go to Katz's because that is what interests us.  If this was a web site that celebrated taquerias from around the country, we probably would have drawn a much larger group to the Spanish Harlem festivities.
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wanderingjew
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 16:27:48 (permalink)
The Travelin Man



It's scary when you make someone else's points. 
The only reason you believe Katz's is MORE authentically New York than a Cinco de Mayo parade through Spanish Harlem is because the Jews were there first.


Dude, I'm dissapointed in you. When was the last time you were back in NY? I think you need to return and "fine tune' your sarcasm detector....

That's not what I was saying....

I was being sarcastic. The point I was trying to make was that there are too many people on the forum who are "conveniently selective" and I've been playing devils advocate in order to prove my point.
For example....I may refer to Scandinavian food and Hot Dish in the Twin Cities. Person a and b will then mention that  it's "past its prime" "no longer exists" "for the tourists" or "it never existed at all" (I love that reasoning).  Then someone will mention NY or Kansas City  and persons  c  and d always has to shout out "Katz's, Katz's Katz's!" or "Stroud's, Stroud's Strouds!" And others will go along and embrace this even though one can argue "it's past its prime" "for the tourists" or "it no longer (barely) exists, hell if these restaurants go under I guess eventually you can even say "they never existed at all", why not?. That's what I mean by selective reasoning. 

In other words why is dying or dead regional cuisine acceptable in one area and not another?


post edited by wanderingjew - 2009/03/20 18:58:23
#54
Nancypalooza
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 16:37:27 (permalink)
Are you new to the Interwebs?
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Davydd
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 19:04:34 (permalink)
Nancypalooza

Are you new to the Interwebs?


Interwebs?
#56
Nancypalooza
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/20 20:23:53 (permalink)
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=interwebs

I was basically suggesting that Dale's summary above was the way all forum conversations go.  ;)
post edited by Nancypalooza - 2009/03/20 23:50:19
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/21 02:10:31 (permalink)
zataar
wanderingjewor perhaps a walleye bhan mi sandwich  and some pho hotdish.
I did indeed have walleye spring rolls and walleye claypot at a Vietnamese place in St. Paul.
And we had a whole walleye prepared Szechuan style last time we visited Tea House in Plymouth, a western suburb of Minneapolis.  Great stuff!

Buddy
#58
easydoesit
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  • Joined: 2007/06/20 01:52:00
  • Location: La Crosse, WI
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Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/21 05:12:18 (permalink)
Sad to report from today's local paper that the Anderson House in Wabasha MN  has shut down due to lack of business.  The claim is it was the oldest continuously operating hotel west of the Mississippi, opening in 1856.  

The current owners had been supporting it at a loss for the last four years and can no longer continue.  The building is now empty, except for its supposed ghosts. 
#59
easydoesit
Double Cheeseburger
  • Total Posts : 559
  • Joined: 2007/06/20 01:52:00
  • Location: La Crosse, WI
  • Status: offline
Re:Descending on the Twin Cities March 20th 2009/03/21 05:22:45 (permalink)
Forgot to mention a tasty Scandinavian treat that you won't find hardly anywhere, but we make it here, at Old Country Cheese in Cashton WI.  Their website says Juusto (full name Juustoleipa) is pronounced "...HOOstah-lee-pah....a flat, squeaky cheese with a buttery flavor..." made in Finland and Sweden for the last 200 years.  

You can get it at their plant (way) out in the country, or at a few local outlets.  It's kind of like eating a mild, nutty raw cheese curd. 
#60
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