Friday August 20
Waking up to a dreary morning with on and off drizzle is not pleasant. I needed something to cheer me up...
How about a meal at one of my favorite breakfast joints in the country Hell's Kitchen
, located right in downtown Minneapolis
. I got here after enjoying a couple of quick cups of decent coffee at a coffee house in uptown called Isle Bun and Coffee.
This is their new location, when I last visited 4 years ago, it was at their original location a block or so away.
The first thing to arrive at the table was their trio of spreads including their fantastic peanut butter which I tried for the first time.
very dense n' crunchy...
It mated very well with the amazing sausage bread
a side of garlickly bison sausage
and a cup of sweet n hearty Mahnomin Porridge complete the meal
There are very few occasions I can say that I enjoyed each and every course of a meal- This was on of them.....
However there are few things I wasn't happy with...
I found the decor tacky and overdone
and the new space lacks the intimacy that the old place had.
Most important of all, the website is very misleading as it refers to "their parking garage" for parking options. After parking in "their" parking garage when I got to the restaurant I found out that it is in fact NOT
their parking garage and that they do not provide validated parking. Although I only paid $5 for parking, I could have parked a block or two away and paid a few $ less. Although I'll admit it was drizzling and I didn't have an umbrella and didn't know if it would get worse or better after leaving the restaurant.
After breakfast the sun was shining again (although it was very muggy) and I decided to revisit
Minnehaha State Park which I last visited 12 years ago
Enjoying the natural beauty and taking advantage of the trails both beneath and over the falls, the jaunt was quite invigorating.
After an hour or two of walking around It was time to take the hour drive north of the Twin Cities for lunch at.. Kaffe Stuga
in Harris MN
In business for over 50 years. The place was buzzing when I got there around lunchtime.
I started out with their outstanding Wild Rice Soup.
Although this was my first cup of wild rice soup of the trip (which I would enjoy 3 more times) I will declare this now as the best "traditional" cream of wild rice soup of the trip. Thick and flavorful and loaded with grainy goodness. I did have one cup that was even better but it was more of a buttery broth.
I then moved on to a fantastic Hot Beef Commercial
Fork tender beef, homemade gravy and real mashed potatos.
Will this meal be as perfect as the last????
It's strawberry pie. But I don't know what to make of it. It's supposedly home made but appears to be poorly constructed and I wasn't convinced that it was. It was ok, but it was the only glitch of the meal.....
After lunch, the weather seemed fine enough to head to Interstate State Park in Taylor Falls for a little bit of nature and trail hopping...
But not before a stop in Lindstrom MN
Yes that's a coffee pot on top of that tower!
And a stop at The Lindstrom Bakery
for one of their scandinavian donuts
It was a cake style donut, it was ok, nothing to write home about.
I then continued on to the park...
I was about a third of the way through the trail when it started to pour. Luckily the dense forest prevented me from getting too wet..
I waited out the rain at the nearby visitors center... When it stopped raining I observed some of the amazing pot hole formations that the park is famous for.
There's even a river boat which provides tours of the lake
It would have been cool to spend more time here and explore but I had to get back to Minneapolis in time for the ballgame..
Before heading back to check into my new hotel. I stopped for an early dinner at Mavericks
in Roseville (Just outside of St Paul)\
It was before dinner time and the place was empty. Allthough I did enjoy the decor.
I had the brisket served on a dark pumpernickel roll
Brisket can sometimes run a little dry, but not this brisket it was quite juicy and flavorful and was quite good, the smear of horseradish complimented the sandwich quite well. I also got an order of onion rings
The two guys behind the counter who took my order were great. They gave me a sample of their Roast Beef to try as well..
It was good but the brisket gets the nod over the roast beef.
After dinner I headed back to Minneapolis to check into my new hotel, the Holiday Inn Metrodome about a couple of miles from Target Field
New home of the Minnesota Twins.
The exterior of the ballpark is constructed with local granite
Lots of great statues surrounding the ballpark including
Inside the ballpark was even better!
The view from my seat
great views of the skyline...
The Twins were playing the mediocre LA Angels that evening. Fortunately It didn't rain but it was excessively muggy and humid and taking the nearly 2 mile walk to and from my hotel left me sticky and sweaty... I believe I ended up having more bottled water than beer.
The Twins beat the Angels that evening. Unfortunately I don't remember the score..
And of course here are "The Twins"
"Minnie" and "Paul"
After the game I walked back to my hotel, and so far- everything has been perfect no rain outs, no closed restaurants and look what's located right next to my hotel!
The town hall Brewery- a local brew pub.
What more could I ask for???
That's it for installment #2
I'll be busy this weekend, so I probably won't be able to add more until next week..
Again...this is going to be a long one....
<message edited by wanderingjew on Fri, 09/10/10 7:25 PM>