Nestled in the trees along a quiet section of Minnehaha Parkway is a beautiful memorial that is such a natural part of the landscape, it’s easy to miss. I finally noticed this big rock as I drove by on my scooter several months ago and pulled over to investigate thoroughly stumped. How could I have missed this memorial for so long? It turned out to be a tragic story with a fairly recent history.
Maybe I watched too many episodes of Cheers when I was growing up, but I love a neighborhood bar where I feel like everyone could know my name. That’s the feeling that you get from Sweet Peas. Located on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, Sweet Peas has a classic bar menu filled with burgers, fries and sandwiches. They’ve added their own touch of intrigue with homemade tater tots (not for the vegetarians in the group), lobster grilled cheese sandwiches, and spicy stuffed pickles. Despite the meat-centric menu, I liked my veggie burger so much I returned for a second visit!
One of the things I love about the local eateries in Minneapolis is that they often have a story, and usually they are stories I didn’t know.
Cafe Maude in southwest Minneapolis, for example, was named after Maude Armatage, a woman basically forgotten to history. Enticed to do a little Googling, I learned that Maude was considered a driving force in helping Minneapolis come of age in the 20th century. Born in 1870 to a family whose farm is now the entire Armatage neighborhood in Minneapolis, her grandparents founded Harmony, which later became the city of Richfield. When she first married, she moved to South Minneapolis – an area that was considered the wilderness at that time.
The Best-Good Friend always has brilliant ideas. It was a crisp winter day when she suggested lunch at the World Street Kitchen, one of the best restaurants in Minneapolis. Featuring a seasonal menu that is inspired by the food served in street carts around the world, their lunch took me on a culinary vacation – my favorite kind of dining experience.
We stopped in at The Bad Waitress last year but didn’t stay, it was busy that night and we weren’t sure what we were in the mood for. Over the weekend we were looking for a great breakfast joint in Minneapolis, so we finally headed back to give it a try. Their setup is simple. Each table has menus and an order pad. Simply write your table name on a slip, add your order and its specifications, then take it to the counter to pay. When your order is up, a waitress will bring it out to you! We were all hungry that morning and there were a lot of items that we wanted to try.
I had a craving for veggies, so I went with THE AMSTERDAM HASH. I ordered my eggs scrambled with red potatoes, broccoli, red onions, red peppers and mushrooms with their cheddar-mozzarella cheese blend:
The Mom-In-Law treated herself to a mimosa in addition to THE OUT-OF-THIS-EARTH SCRAMBLE. The rosemary-seasoned scramble included organic eggs and hashbrowns with broccoli, oven-roasted tomatoes, and white cheddar cheese. She said that the tomatoes were fantastic and we all tried the sake-spiked mimosa:
Our breakfast was really good, I’m ready to go back for more. They have several vegan and gluten-free options as well, so it’s a great Minneapolis breakfast spot for multiple diet types.
The Bad Waitress Diner & Coffee Shop
2 E. 26th St
Minneapolis, MN 55404
M-F: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 10:30 pm
Sa: 7:30 am – 11:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 10:30 pm
Su: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Kitchen closes at 9:30 pm
Wood Lake Nature Center was one of the first nature centers built in the Twin Cities.
Dedicated in 1971, it was once a recreational lake surrounded by homes.
Approximately 72,000 visitors enjoy the 150-acre area annually.
Sometimes despite my best efforts, my photos are an epic fail. Despite the bad photos, I hope that you will make a stop at Everest on Grand in St. Paul because the food will knock your socks off.
I had a real itch this week for non-American fare, so we headed out for Everest’s delicious Nepali, Tibetan and Indian options. We started with the Veggie Momos. Momos are steamed dumplings made with a mixture of vegetables and served with a house sauce of cilantro, tomato and spices – I would love to take this sauce home with me.
The Husband went for the curry. The Chicken Tikka Masala is marinated boneless chicken breast roasted and then cooked in house tikka sauce. He ordered it “hot” and lived to tell the tale.
I opted for the Tofu Chau-Chau “medium+” spicy and it was perfect. What isn’t to like about sautéed wheat noodles with veggies?
Not only does Everest on Grand have tons of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, they also do takeout and catering. They can feed every appetite, stop in today!
Whenever I talk to people about how much I love living in Minneapolis, I tell them about how our fair city was built preserving green space. Because of that, this nature girl doesn’t have to go far to enjoy the outdoors.
The beautiful fall weather was perfect for a visit to Wood Lake Nature Center. This nature preserve isn’t in Minneapolis proper, but neighboring Richfield is as close to Minneapolis as a suburb can get.
When you want a classic Italian dinner, it’s time to head to Fat Lorenzo’s. Fat’s has been in business for over 25 years and has won awards for their pizzas, we love getting those delivered. But tonight, we opted to dine in and took advantage of their 1/2 priced wine and beer special.
In my excitement to dig into my manicotti, I blurred all my photos of The Husband’s Shrimp Alfredo but you get the idea. Shrimp sautéed in garlic butter and served with penne pasta and tossed with Alfredo.
You can’t go wrong with dinner at Fat Lorenzo’s, just don’t make the same mistake we did. Save room for their award-winning gelato!
After a long week, The Husband and I treated ourselves to a breakfast date at The Lowry. I left loosening my belt after overindulging, every bite was better than the last.
The Husband ordered his breakfast standard, Biscuits & Gravy. Sausage gravy slathered over buttermilk biscuits and eggs, served with hashbrowns on the side. This was his first time having Biscuits & Gravy served with scrambled eggs, but he declared it delicious.
We had to order the Peanut Butter Waffle, peanut butter is one of my all-time favorite things. I’d meant to have a bite and take the rest home but between the two of us, we polished the entire things off. The waffle is served with crunchy Skippy, vanilla custard, and candied peanuts.
I’m ready to go back for seconds, but this time I’m wearing stretch pants.
I have been driving past the Carmelo’s sign for years, always meaning to stop in but never making the time. Last night that changed and I expect to be stopping there regularly from now on.
A cozy little Italian restaurant on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul, Carmelo’s believes in the wholesomeness of homemade food. Making everything from scratch using recipes passed down through the generations, the entire meal was a comfort after a long day. While Frank Sinatra softly crooned in my ear, I slathered butter on the fresh baked bread, dug in to my Primavera and sipped a crisp Pinot Grigio:
The Husband opted for their signature dish, The Chicken Carmelo. He loved every bite:
Gluten free? No worries, they have options for you too. Trust me, you don’t want to wait to stop in.