The Tragic Crash of Flight 307

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.

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The Woman Behind Cafe Maude

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.

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Eating at the World Street Kitchen

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 both decided on the Yum Yum Rice Bowls. I had the Crispy Marinated Tofu charred squash, shiitake mushrooms and Chinese Broccoli (I requested it vegan):tofu rice bowl

 

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Breakfast at The Bad Waitress

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.

The Husband went for THE BAD WAITRESS BREAKFAST BURRITO. He ordered his three eggs scrambled with white cheddar cheese, chorizo and mushrooms; served with hashbrowns:
burrito

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:
breakfast hash

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:
mimosa and breakfast scramble

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 Details:
The Bad Waitress Diner & Coffee Shop
http://thebadwaitress.com/
2 E. 26th St
Minneapolis, MN 55404
(612) 872-7575

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

A Closer Look: Wood Lake Nature Center

Wood Lake Nature Center was one of the first nature centers built in the Twin Cities.
wood lake

Dedicated in 1971, it was once a recreational lake surrounded by homes.
wood lake

The lake was drained of most of its water in the 1950s.
wood lake

Friends of Wood Lake (FOWL) was formed in 1991 and thanks to their advocacy and fundraising efforts, Wood Lake thrives in Richfield, Minnesota.
wood lake

Approximately 72,000 visitors enjoy the 150-acre area annually.
cattails

 

A Wood Lake Walk

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.
fall leaves

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.
wood lake

The squirrels were busy hiding food; this has always signaled to me that cold weather on the way.
red squirrel

The breeze was refreshing and the sun was warm on my face:
wood lake

I caught this little House Finch bathing:
house finch

And wondered if anyone was home:
tree

Fat Tuesday

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.

mural

Fat Lorenzo’s features murals by local artist Ed Charbonneau

We started our evening with the Garlic Cheese Bread served with their house marinara sauce. I love their cheese bread, it’s super cheesy.
cheese bread

From there I moved onto the Manicotti Lorenzo. They stuff their manicotti with a mixture of spinach and ricotta cheese, top it with marinara and bake until bubbly.
manicotti

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.
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!

Living Large at The Lowry

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.

I had the Breakfast Burrito (vegetarian). It came with hashbrowns, Wisconsin cheddar, scrambled eggs, black bean salsa, cilantro sour cream, and salsa roja rolled up in a soft flour tortilla. YUM!! breakfast burrito

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.
biscuits and gravy

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.
peanut butter waffle

I’m ready to go back for seconds, but this time I’m wearing stretch pants.

Relaxing at Merlins Rest

I love finding a neighborhood joint to relax after a long day. Growing up watching “Cheers,” I feel compelled to find a place where everybody knows my name. That’s the kind of place Merlin’s Rest could be.

Known for their Bangers & Mash, authentic Fish & Chips and whiskey stocks, they also serve up a delicious veggie burger:
veggie burger

And from what The Husband says, an awesome Reuben sandwich:
reuben sandwich

And according to my girlfriend, they have a knitting night that I just can’t miss. Who could ask for more?

Sandcastles in the Sun

The Husband and I spent a leisurely Labor Day enjoying the beautiful weather. After a scooter ride on the Grand Rounds, it seemed like the perfect time to stop at Sandcastle and eat lunch on Lake Nokomis in South Minneapolis.

Sandcastle has a kitchen on the beach serving fresh, local food. They focus on sustainability by composting and recycling most of their waste. I was impressed to learn that all of their service-ware is either reusable or compostable, even items that look like plastic are made from compostable materials.

In a nod to the last day of the Minnesota State Fair, we shared the Fried Castle Rock Cheese Curds:
cheese curds

The Husband tried the Fish Tacos on two grilled double corn tortillas:
fish tacos

I tried the Big Room Wrap made with sweet pea falafel served with dill yogurt and sprouts:
falafel

We weren’t the only ones who liked the food, these clever scavengers were busy keeping the deck tidy!
ducks

It was the perfect farewell to summer.

Breakfast at Birchwood

Located in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, The Birchwood Cafe was recently renovated and we finally got there to to see how it had shaped up. I’m happy to report that it was a success and the food was just as good as ever!

We stopped in for breakfast on a busy Saturday morning and I couldn’t wait to dig into the Beans & Rice. The cumin lime black bean puree, tomato cilantro brown rice, poached egg, heirloom tomato, avocado puree, grilled corn tortillas, scallion curls and salsa roja was a gluten free dream. I’m not exaggerating either, the man at the table next to me asked what I was eating and said he’d have to get it on his next visit:beans and rice

The Husband went for the classic Bacon & Egg Sandwich. The Birchwood’s features an open-faced housemade English muffin with sunny-side up egg, bacon, dijon aioli, cheddar and mustard greens:
egg sandwich

With generous pots of tea on the side, The Birchwood Cafe started our Saturday off on the right foot. I can’t wait for seconds.