Archive | March 2012

Minnesota Breweries


I am not sure what I love most about Minnesota. I know of something that comes close.  BEER. I am proud of craft brewers of Minnesota because they are making some wonderful brews. Call me a beer snob but, enough of the Budweiser and light crap, I would take a Minnesota beer over those anytime, anyplace.

I am also proud to call Minnesota my home because of the push to get these wonderful beers in our restaurants and  the work that is being done to let them open tap rooms! The more beer the merrier or at least that is my opinion on it.

Here is a list of  a few breweries I haven’t been to but I am hoping to make it there sometime soon.

1. Castle Danger Brewery 

In Northern MN on the way to the Gun Flint Trail you will drive through a small town called Castle Danger. This is the greatest name for a town and I want to buy a cabin there eventually.

This is a production brewery and only puts out a few different beers at a time. It is a one- man production. The family who owns the brewery also own the Castle Haven Cabins. Sounds like a great weekend trip to me. They are already booked for summer but have some availability in the next few weeks.

Growlers are available every Wed, Fri & Sat from 4-7pm at the brewery filled with your choice of beer that we currently have.  Now Available:  Danger Ale, Camp Depression Lager & George Hunter Stout.

More information here on their website: http://www.castledangerbrewery.com/

2. Boom Island Brewing Company

Owned by a french horn playing couple Boom Island sits on the banks of the Mississippi. This is a Belgium style brewery with strange named beers like thoprock.

You can contact the brewery for tours. I believe that it is pretty small. Otherwise, you can find their beers on tap at places like the Happy Gnome and Pig & Fiddle.

Check out their Website here: http://boomislandbrewing.com/home.html

3. Harriet Brewing

If you are looking for a brewery in Minneapolis look no further than Harriet Brewing. They have a newly open taproom which has been getting a lot of attention lately. Plus, you can take the light rail there.

They focus mostly on European style beers specifically German and Belgium. It was started in a garage on lake Harriet hence the name and has grown into it’s new space. If you go to an event hosted by them you will notice the local art and music.

They currently have a home brew and label competition going on to help their delivery man Andy who hurt his hand.

Check their website to see when the tap room is open: http://www.harrietbrewing.com/

It is usually open Friday and Saturday nights.

4. Surly Brewing Company

Starting as a home brewer in 1994 Omar Ansari most likely never thought he would own a brewery like he does today. Surly is one of the fastest growing names in beer not only in Minnesota but around the country.

Surly is a term coined by the company that means the anger that is fueled by not being able to find a good beer.  Good beer is the name of the game at Surly, who taunts people who don’t drink it by posting their tag line, ” Good beer is an acquired taste, get some.”  Omar is credited for working to get tap rooms a commonplace around Minnesota.

Surly is soooo popular that you need to actually sign up online to take a tour of the brewery. Check out the website here and sign up: http://www.surlybrewing.com/brewery/tours.html

5. Lift Bridge Brewery

Their mission is simple. To create fine beers for you to enjoy. I picked lift bridge to make my list simply because Stillwater is a must in the summer. It is a wonderful place to enjoy a beer. Plus, I love the farm girl brew.

You have to sign up online to go on a tour of Lift Bridge Brewery: http://www.liftbridgebrewery.com/tours.aspx

I was inspired by another blogger to write a post about Minnesota Breweries after seeing the wonderful pictures on his page. I hope this helps get more people to visit breweries and try some craft brews that are local. Check back later to see pictures from my brewery tours.

Thanks Cameronkarsten for your post Odin Brewery. http://cameronkarsten.wordpress.com/

Because beer is a beautiful thing

@mplsgossipgirl

My recent restaurant experiences…


After re-reading several of my recent posts about restaurants, I clearly have not been happy with my experience at several of the places I have been.

This is horribly sad for me. I don’t mean to be a crank. But, I figure if I tell the truth and the restaurant reads it maybe they will make some changes. I also want to make diners aware of what kind of experience they could get if they go there. No fake Amazings!!! here. I love food and love to appreciate the food in Minneapolis and surrounding areas. If I say something was AMAZING, I feel that way wholeheartedly.

Most of my rank comments have been about the service and I have been pondering why I have gotten some not so great service these last few weeks. Is it because I am younger than most of the servers, my lack of fashion, or because I do a lot of happy hours? I don’t know what exactly it is. I always tip over 20%.

I should also mention that none of the restaurants know that I write a blog. I try not to be too descriptive in my posts to let them know who I am. That way my experience is not skewed by what they want my experience to be that might be different than a normal customer.

Come on restaurants! I am just like any other person who wants to have a reason to come back again. My wish right now is that I could write more complementary posts about the restaurants to get more patrons in them.

 

My challenge to you:

I am ready to be redeemed by a restaurant… Please let me know if you know of any restaurants with great service. I will go there and let you know about it.

Macy’s Flower Show


Macy’s in Minneapolis is holding it’s annual flower show March 25th-April 7th during their normal store hours in the 8th Floor Auditorium.

Their theme this year is Brasil and it is going to be colorful one.

During this show there will be many events and demos at Macy’s that you could participate in. I love a good food demo! The two that sounded interesting to me were with The Public House and Samba. The Public House demo will be about desserts and Chef Anelisa Ponpes will be leading the demo on March 28th at 12:00PM. Samba will be hosting Monday, April 2nd at 12:00 PM where you can learn how to cook a Brazilian dish. Both demos are held in the Culinary Kitchen in the lower level.

Find more information on other events and demos HERE. They have over 16 in store events during the show.

 

because if I can’t afford to go to Brasil at least I can feel like I am there

@mplsgossipgirl

Key’s at the Foshay


 

Key’s at the Foshay is one of the best kept secrets in Minneapolis. Not only do they serve breakfast all day, they also have amazing desserts.

The best part of  this restaurant is their staff. They greet you and remember you from past visits. Ask you how you like items on the menu. Tell you stories. But, most importantly, make you laugh.

Be prepared Key’s you can’t get rid of me now!

 

Because Key’s knows how to treat a customer and friend

@mplsgossipgirl

 

Salut Bar Americain- on Grand


I had great company last night when I attended Salut in St. Paul. Thank goodness, because otherwise I would not have been very happy when I left there.

When I got to the hosts table I waited because there was no one there to help me. When someone showed up I said I had reservations under my name and I was not sure if anyone from my party was already there, thinking that this host would be able to show me where our table was. They just looked at me as if I had something on my face. Then said, “well, did you look in there to see if they are here?” So, we went on our way without help from the host.

It stared out pleasantly with water, some bread, and butter.  Our waitress was MIA. We finally ordered drinks and meals. Then, the strangest thing happened. Our waitress came out with a small dish with some small bites, placed it in front of one of us, muttered something and left. It took us awhile to figure out if that was something that came with what one of us ordered or if it was just an add on to our meal. We finally decided to share it. It made for an awkward moment.

The people who enjoyed the main course were the ones that ordered burgers. They looked delicious. My suggestion would be the burger with swiss and onion I believe it is called the french onion soup burger. I was hungry for something on the lighter side and ordered a staple. A GREEK salad. What ended up coming out was a hodge-podge salad with something that they must have had left over. My Greek salad had no cucumbers and had both red and green peppers all over it. It was the majority of the salad. If you take a look at the menu it does not even mention peppers come on it. I wasn’t sure, therefore I did not question the salad I ordered. I thought I may have not read the menu correctly. How disappointing, I spent 10 dollars on a salad that I really didn’t like. I might have ordered something else other than a salad but they were a little bit out of my price range for a mid-week dinner with friends who are on a budget.

My wine was fantastic. I had the $6.00 Merlot and would recommend that as a cheap, good wine.

My advice, if you go there order a burger and not a salad.

because what is on the menu should be what you get.

@mplsgossipgirl

Salut Bar Americain on Urbanspoon

Walk for Animals- Animal Humane Society


Look at that face, how can you say no to a face like that? The Animal Humane Society is hosting the Walk for Animals on May 5th, 2012 in Golden Valley from 8:30-2:00. They are trying to raise money to support their programs.

I fully support the Animal Humane Society because I have used their resources on many occasions. I recently adopted a cat from the Golden Valley Humane Society and was amazed at how wonderful the process was. With the help of someone volunteering, we made the decision of what type of cat we wanted to bring into our family and we adopted our cat Nugget. Her favorite activity is sleeping.

This is my cat Callie. I call her Nugget.

The Animal Humane Society takes in animals that otherwise would have no where else to go an tries to find them new homes. My cat lost her home due to the death of her owner.  They provide housing, food, and any medical attention the animal might need.

Another important program that the Animal Humane Society funds is Classroom Visits.  They do outreach in schools teaching students what animals need, the cost of having an animal, how to take care of an animal, and the obligations you have when you get a pet. Along with many other topics that teachers can choose from.

Animal Humane Society offers spays and neutering services at a low cost with their kindest cut program to control the pet population. They also offer classes, boarding, and advice if you are having trouble with a current pet.

They would love for you to get involved by starting a team or registering as an individual to raise money for the walk and to just participate in this day with them. You can also make a donation if you cannot make it to the walk.

Click HERE for more information.

Because you should help animals in need.

@mplsgossipgirl

Pictures from St. Patrick’s Day in Minneapolis


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Here are some photos from my St. Patrick’s Day!

This parade was the worst one that I have ever been to, but all the people in it looked like they were having fun and by fun I mean they were very drunk.

 

because it was St. Patrick’s Day

@mplsgossipgirl

Andy Cohen is coming to Minnesota


I love Andy Cohen and he is coming to Minnesota! Thank you to the Young Leadership of the Minneapolis Jewish Federation.

Andy knows how to do a great interview and how have a drink while doing it.

9:00 PM on Saturday, April 21st at the Metropolitan Ballroom in Golden Valley. If you want tickets go HERE. It’s 50$ for a single ticket and you can sponsor for more.

 

because being serious is not as fun as having fun.

@mplsgossipgirl

Happy Hours on St. Patrick’s Day in Minneapolis


Minnesota must have had the “luck of the Irish” this St. Patrick’s Day! 80 degrees and sunny on a Saturday. Although, party buses seemed to be the fad this year, I spent the day hitting up the patios around Minneapolis.

The first place we were going to stop at was Brit’s Pub. Clearly, that was everyone’s idea. I think people might have mistaken Brits pub as an Irish bar. :) They closed their patio at 3, my guess is for the parade.

We then headed to Rock Bottom Brewery. What great deals! They had 2 dollar stouts. We had this great pretzel appetizer that I would get again.

Then off to Crave. Where apparently belligerency was the key to being on the rooftop. It was a beautiful rooftop only be ruined by all the people who had already had too much to drink. Apparently, Jason Matheson of FM107 was there at the same time I was take a listen to the first hour of their show today to hear all about my experience. :)  Being cut-off at 4PM by your server is not good.

We got out of there quickly as another group of drunken leprechauns set up behind us and headed to Solera. I had never been there before and was very satisfied with the experience. We got a wonderful spot on the patio and had some great appetizers and some Sangria. My favorite was the lamb croquet’s.

All and all, this was a great St. Patrick’s Day good food and watching the belligerency from afar.

because 80 degrees in March is amazing!

@mplsgossipgirl

Solera on Urbanspoon

Hell’s Kitchen- The Worst Cocktail I have EVER had.


Good thing their tag line is damn good food. Last night I had quite possibly the worst cocktail I have ever had at a restaurant. It was actually worst than most of the stuff I had in college. So, you know it’s bad.

I ordered a Cosmo (raspberry, that was recommended by the person who made my drink). It was $8.50. I am expecting a good drink if I am going to pay that much. Well, Hell’s Kitchen did not deliver.

It was overly sweet and tasted like cough syrup with booze in it. I am not sure if the person who made it was actually a bar tender or if he was just helping out at the bar for that time. I hope for the restaurants sake that he is not a bar tender. They should not let him make any drinks anymore. I literally, not figuratively, could not drink it.

It was actually quite sad. The whole restaurant at 7:00pm was almost empty. I felt bad for the guy preforming because he was the best thing about my experience there. He was good! But, clearly something is going wrong if at 7 on a Thursday you can’t get people in to eat your food and drink your drinks when there is a good performer.

I like Hell’s Kitchen for breakfast. I did write another review about Hell’s Kitchen that was glowing. But, I doubt I will ever go there to get a drink again. I am very glad that I didn’t choose the bar tenders choice drink  because I wonder what kind of drink I would have gotten then.

The happy hour menu looks good… so maybe I will give it a try.

Let me know if you have had a drink there and what it was like.

Because booze should taste good.

@mplsgossipgirl

Hell's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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