Tag Archive | Minnesota

Support Local Kickstarter Projects!


Kickstart

I am a huge fan of this whole crowd funding movement. It just makes sense for me to be able to easily give money to products and causes that are important to me. Plus, it is really cool just to see all the awesome stuff that people are trying to do.

Here are a few local projects that need your help to become completely funded:

ENDING SOON Appetite for Change –  is a social enterprise that hosts community cooking workshops, builds urban farms and engages community to build a community-based food system. This money will go towards training youth in their job program. You obviously don’t need me to tell you how important this is!

They have some amazing rewards still available for restaurants like Spoonriver, Burch Steakhouse, the soon to open Brut, and even a unique experience with Andrew Zimmern and Gavin Kaysen available. I totally volunteer to come to any one of these dinners!

Help them fund their project HERE

Bark and the Bite- Artisan Barbecue Truck serving Minneapolis with world class smoked meats, craft sauces, scratch sides, great vegetarian and gluten free options. This is from the team behind Sapor this food truck seems like it will serve some awesome food.

I love food trucks and I love BBQ. Naturally, I think it would be great to have another one on the road.

Help them fund their project HERE

Crapola- Awesome high-fiber breakfast cereal, which is named by playfully combining the words cranberry, apple, and granola. (Smart)

They want to move to a larger production facility.  “We don’t want to have to hire someone else to make our granola – we prefer to continue making our products ourselves.” – I agree!

Help them fund their project HERE

Omni Brewing- OMNI means “all, every, of every kind.” That’s a perfect summation of their vision – a beer for everyone. They serve a wide variety of interesting craft beers at our inviting taproom in Maple Grove. No pretense here. Just beer.

They are trying to make their taproom a comfortable place to be.

They will be using the funds to:

  • Build a great bar
  • Renovate the taproom area
  • Buy tables, chairs, and bar stools
  • Stock the taproom with games and entertainment

Although, they already hit their goal they are offering a new perk if they hit their stretch goal of $40,000.

Get some awesome perks HERE

because it’s fun to help people with their dream

@mplsgossipgirl

What’s the coolest perk you’ve ever gotten from a Kickstarter project?

Eli’s East -Northeast Minneapolis Restaurant


Elis East Cocktail

I know, I am behind the times. This was my first time at Eli’s East and I loved it! It has a great casual atmosphere but with a great menu of supper club classics and new local dishes. It made me wish that I lived in Northeast so this could be my neighborhood spot.

I had a great cocktail to start the night with gin and a blueberry lemonade sort of thing. It was a great summer cocktail. I did see a bunch of people order a pink martini that I want to try next time. It must be very popular since they kept coming out of the bar. Don’t miss out on their wine specials as well. I thought they had a well curated wine list with many great options to go with their dishes.

Elis East Burger

I had a really hard time picking what I wanted for dinner. They had many items on their menu that appealed to me but ended up going with a burger. It was cooked perfectly to order and the fresh avocado on top was delightful. One of the highlights for me was their chips. No other place does homemade chips like they do. It was a nice change from the fries that you get everywhere else.

Elis East Coq Au Vin

I also was able to try the Coq Au Vin. It had great flavor and looked beautiful when it came out of the kitchen. The chicken was a little dry for my taste but overall it was a great dish and something that I want to try again in the winter. It was very comforting.

They have a great dessert menu that I didn’t get to try because I was way too full. Their portion sizes are a little bigger.

Elis East

They have an excellent outdoor patio and a parking lot which makes this a great place to go for smaller groups 8-12. Plus, a back area that many families with children were using. They give you a little bit more privacy which is great for those with young ones who still want a fantastic meal!

Because I love a good neighborhood place.

@mplsgossipgirl

Where else do I need to try in Northeast? Any places I should move to in Northeast?

Eastlake Brewery


LynLake Brewery

I’ve been meaning to go here forever and finally made it out to Eastlake Brewery! I am a huge fan of the Midtown Global Market where it is located. I think it holds some of the best food found in Minneapolis. If you haven’t been to The Rabbit Hole or The Salty Tart yet, go there soon.

When you go to Eastlake Brewery come with an empty stomach because you can get food from the market and bring it in to the brewery to enjoy. The space is fairly big and contains a lot of natural light. It is also family friendly. When I was there, there were several families sitting around and having a meal together.

EastLake Brewery

I wasn’t hugely impressed by the beers that I sampled other than their current sour brew Kirby Pucker and Belgian Pale Ale. They were a little too fruity and floral for my personal taste. I am the first to admit that don’t take my word on it. I love to drink beer. BUT– I think beer is such a personal thing that beers that I am not a fan of, others would like. Their current Saison with ginger and pink lemons was not my thing but I could see people who like fruity beers loving it.

Current Beers at EastLake

With all that being said, I would come back even though I wasn’t a huge fan of their brews I tried. I didn’t get a chance to try their IPA’s since I got their lighter flight. I will be back to give those a try sometime soon. I went lighter because I was looking for a great summer beer.

I loved the space and it’s fun to bring food from any of the places in the market. If you are going to eat at the Brewery try Hot Indian Foods or Manny’s Tortas. Both are wonderful!

IMG_1254

Overall, I liked this place as a perfect place to hang out and I’m excited to try some of their heavier brews next time.

because a great hangout and great food make a wonderful night.

What’s your favorite brewery to hangout in?

@mplsgossipgirl

Shopping on Grand? Stop at Salut on Grand


WIth the right sauce. Salut Grand

Recently, during a hideous Minnesota snow storm when the google maps was colored all red, I decided to just hang out on Grand Avenue for awhile. I say decided like it was a choice. Rather, I was stuck there for awhile until traffic cleared up.

Instead of wallowing because I was not able to get home. I decided to frolic on Grand Avenue. Usually, when I stop by Grand it is for a specific purpose. I stop at the store that I need to get something from and I get out of there. Parking can be a mess and I get stressed out about leaving my car. Was that really a parking spot?

Bar Salut on Grand

While I was over there freaking out about parking I completely forgot to explore. I had no idea that I was missing a bunch of other stores that I never knew were there. This storm made me make my own fun. After stopping into a few stores by Grand and Victoria. I stopped into Salut.

I have been to Salut a few times and already knew I was a fan of their Pomme Frites and french food in general. I took a seat in the bar and had red wine and ordered some food off the happy hour menu.

Red Wine Salut

I cannot tell you how relaxing it was to sit down and just eat some really good food, alone.

Everything I tried was delicious and the staff was more than accommodating by allowing me to hang out in the bar until I could get home safely.

Salut on Grand Ave.

Overall, the happy hour menu isn’t dirt cheap prices. But, would you really want to eat food that was that cheap to make anyway? I thought the prices were fair for what you got and I really enjoyed the glass of wine that I had.

Because stop in and explore Grand sometime.

@mplsgossipgirl

What is your favorite store on Grand Avenue?

Cozy Winter Restaurant in North Oaks: Tria


Tria Mussels

 

Tria is a great place to get a meal during the winter in Minnesota, with the real fireplace and the warm staff it was just what I needed to escape the weather for a few hours.

I had been to Tria a few times before this visit and was not impressed. This place has had its ups and its downs, many different chefs have contributed to this. But, they must have gotten it under control. The food I had there was fantastic.

It was the first time in awhile that I ordered mussels and each one was opened. I cannot tell you how many times I have gone to restaurants, even “fancy” restaurants and have received unopened mussels in my bowl, even up to 1/3 of a bowl. Not only is it frustrating because you cannot eat them but, it is a health risk for someone who doesn’t know that they shouldn’t eat the unopened mussels. Frankly, I find it unacceptable to serve unopened mussels. It should be checked before the dish leaves the kitchen. #EndRant

I am glad to say that not only was I served opened mussels but they were tasty as well. The white wine, garlic, butter, and shallots were perfectly balanced. Plus the crispy bread that came with it was seasoned well with garlic. It was simple, but done well. In my view that is what makes a great dish. I would suggest though that they get rid of the variations of this dish. They offer a few variations of the mussel dish on the menu, just keep the one that is the best. No need to make it confusing.

Tria Chow-Chow

I also had a bruschetta special that was good as well. The highlight of the dish for me was a tomato chow-chow. Obviously, tomatoes are not in season in Minnesota right now but the tomatoes were bright and sweet. It pared well with the garlic bread and had a lot of color.

Overall, the menu was very varied and offered a lot of options. Most of it was comfort food which fits perfectly for the vibe of this restaurant. I do suggest just like the mussel dish that you condense the menu a little bit because it is fairly overwhelming. Plus, I have no idea how your chefs turn out this many dishes in a night.

Another great thing that this restaurant does is offer a free bottle of wine for your birthday. It is equivalent to your age and good within 3 days of your birthday. Plus, a free dessert.  It is a fun reason to go out and enjoy a meal for your big day. They have a wedding anniversary special too.

I wonder if this place will keep up the quality of the food that I had on my recent visit or if it will fall again. I guess we will see.

Because comfort food in the winter is the best.

@mplsgossipgirl
Tria on Urbanspoon

Where do you go for comfort food in the winter?

You May Not Be a Twins Fan but Target Field Is Pretty Awesome!


Target Field Minnesota Twins

Okay. Okay. I get it the Minnesota Twins are not doing the best this season. You do have to admit that catching a game at Target Field is fun regardless if the Twins win or lose.

I am impressed each time I go with the different food and drink offerings. Plus, I am a total sucker for helmet nachos.

I guess for me going to a game is about the experience rather than about how anyone plays the game.

So, if you are the opposite of me. Give my approach a try sometime. Maybe, just maybe, you’ll enjoy the experience more than you thought you could.

Give some of the items on my list a try:

1. Try some food you haven’t tried before. AZ Canteen or Turkey to Go are always on my list of places to stop.

2. Grab a drink in one of the many bars at Target Field.

3. Meet a member of the staff. There are some really neat people who work at Target Field. Get to know one or a few of them.

4. Try a new beer!

5. Walk around–There are always promotions and fun things to do around the ball park so stop and try one of them.

6. Start a conga line. Why not???

7. Play some TWINGO because it is fun!

8. Talk to the person next to you about the song that you would have during your at bat.

9. Bet on the character race. I bet my cracker jacks on Spot every time.

10. Enjoy the people that you came with!

Because if you are not having fun. Make your own fun.

@mplsgossipgirl

What’s your favorite thing to do at Target Field?

What bar should you visit when you are in town for the All Star Game in Minneapolis?


Bars, Minneapolis, Brits Pub
So, you’re in fabulous Minneapolis for the MLB All Star Game and you are thirsty. Where should you get a drink?
Top 5 Bars:
1. Butcher and the Boar
2. Solera Rooftop
3. Fulton Brewery
4. Marvel Bar
5. Prohibition
5. Brits Pub
(Yes it’s 6!  I couldn’t decide between the last two)
Best Family Bar:
Day Block Brewing
Ratings:
  • #Recommend – If my description sounds like something you would like then you need to try this place.
  • #Eh- This place is just okay. It would never be my first choice but it will work in a pinch.
  • #Avoid- This place is somewhere that I would have a really hard time going even in a pinch. If you go there I might judge you a little bit.
  • #4AM – It’s open late the day of the All Star Game
*Keep in mind these are all my own opinions.
Need a beer:
Brits Pub– They have lawn bowling on the roof and a good beer list. Food is eh. But, no one goes there for that anyways. If you are hungry go for the fish and chips, stay for the atmosphere. Avoid during any World Cup games. There are a lot of places to sit outside and service is usually good. #Recommend
Fulton Brewery– They have an awesome tap-room with delicious local beers and usually a food truck outside. It’s near the stadium and gives you a feel of what Minneapolis is really about. Need I say more? #Recommend
Day Block Brewery– Great family place! You not only get beer but some good grub including pizza and pretzels. This is a local place and a good place for groups. #Recommend
The Local– Do you love a good Irish bar? This is the perfect place for you. Try a Big Ginger made with Two Gingers whiskey! Don’t forget to take your sweetheart into the kissing room. Good tap list and some tasty eats. If it’s a nice day the patio is a great place to sit and watch people. #Recommend #4AM
Want something heavier?
Butcher and the Boar- Yes, they have bourbon and it is tasty. I highly suggest trying the beer garden out back. They know how to party with really good drunk food. #Recommend
Marvel Bar– Part of the Bachelor Farmer. This bar has some funky and fun cocktails. Go get it! #Recommend
Barrio– Is tequila your drink of choice.? This place is for you. #Recommend
Hells Kitchen– I had the worst cocktail of my life here.  It was so bad that it was the first and only drink that I have ever sent back. They have a great brunch with the lemon ricotta pancakes. Go for brunch. #Avoid
Lemme see that view:
Prohibition at The Foshay– My favorite view in town. Prohibition mixes great cocktails with a great view.  Plus, the history of this place makes it one of my favorite places in Minneapolis.  #Recommend
Solara Rooftop– Great sangria and good tapas for the adventurous eater. This is one of the lesser known rooftops right by the stadium. #Recommend
Crave Rooftop– Your run of the mill place. It’s a great place to go if you have a picky eater or drinker with you. They literally have everything. It has an awesome view but watch out for the dudebros. #Eh
Union Rooftop– Expensive drinks all for the sweet retractable roof. This place has great ambiance but I haven’t ever been impressed while I’ve been there. #Eh
Seven– Are you a creepy older man who wants to hit on young girls and buy them drinks? Ahhhh yes, this place is for you. You might run into a few celebrities too.  #Avoid #4AM
I am getting sloppy and I wanna dance:
The Pour House– This is a prohibition style bar with a hidden staircase. This place is a little trashy and you might feel a little old but if you want to get your groove on it is a great option. I think this is the best option in downtown Minneapolis if you don’t want to go to a gay bar. #Eh #4AM
The Saloon– Yeah, it’s a gay bar. But, they play great dance music and mix a strong drink. You might leave asking yourself what just happened. That’s part of its charm, right? If someone asks you to take a shower. Just do it. #Recommend
Brothers– Might as well be called bro central. #Avoid #4AM
Bar 508– Dancing, yes they have it. If the Poorhouse has too long of a line head here. It’s a great alternative. #Eh #4AM
I want a CHEAP beer:
Cowboy Jacks: Yeah, this is a pretty trashy place. If you want cheap stuff this is a great option. We don’t have cowboys in Minnesota only boys who like to wear cowboy hats and boots to pick up the ladies.  #Avoid #4AM
Travel to Uptown:
Stellas Rooftop– This place has a great rooftop! I am not a huge fan of their indoor space and the food. But, the ambiance makes this a great choice. #Recommend
Republic– In Calhoun Square this place has great food and $3 beers of the day. This place has a great local tap list and you can even get a walleye po’ boy. #Recommend
Williams– The peanut bar. If you want to drink beer out of a huge glass and drop peanuts on the floor, this place is for you. It gets really busy on weekends #Eh
Breweries outside of downtown:
612 Brewing– Not my favorite local brews but they have a fun tap-room for you to enjoy. #Eh
Dangerous Man– Try the chocolate milk stout. Great tap-room and a good atmosphere. #Recommend
Harriet Brewing– Really excellent beers with fun taste profiles. They usually have live music and a food truck there over the weekend. #Recommend
Because it’s time to say, “CHEERS.”
@mplsgossipgirl
Am I missing a bar that needs to be on this list? What do you think the best bar on the list is?
Make sure you tell me if you had a good time at any of these places by tweeting me @mplsgossipgirl.

 

Are people still eating there?


Quote Blog (1)

Where have you been eating lately?

I ask this because I was driving around the other day and spotted some chain restaurants with full parking lots.  I thought to myself about the last time I had eaten at one and why I ate there. I believe it was at an Applebee’s when I was meeting a group of people that I hadn’t seen in awhile.

Of course, they are much easier to go to if you have a large group, they will split checks, and you already know what is on the menu because they have burgers, sandwiches, salads, pasta dishes, and any other thing you could imagine under the sun to accommodate even the pickiest eater. And you know you are going to have to eat there when you are going out with coworkers or for meetings. (Yes, I know it’s a run on paragraph)

But, why not when you get to make the decision about picking a restaurant to go somewhere local with really good food? Not just a place where the microwave is the main form of cooking.

It can be hard to make that choice sometimes because what if one person doesn’t like the food choice? Or you don’t really know how to order at a tapas restaurant. Give it a try. Because what do you have to lose? You know you are not going to have the best meal of your life at a Buffalo Wild Wings. Although, maybe some people will disagree with me. I’m fine with that.

It’s okay if you like eating at chain restaurants. All I ask is that with all of the wonderful options there are out there, why would you choose to eat there? Why not go out and try something new? Take a chance. Go on an adventure. I am making a bet that if you try somewhere new, you will really like it.

Because it’s fun to eat new things.

@mplsgossipgirl

Do you agree/disagree with me? Are there any good chain restaurants? I can think of a few. Best place for someone to go to try something new?

A Foodie Halloween – Acqua Forest Lake


Halloween Acqua

So, I am not sure what you are doing on Halloween but this sounds like a lot of fun. Acqua in Forest Lake is having a ‘night of the living fed’ dinner party.

Acqua just opened its second location in Forest Lake. You may remember the original location that is on White Bear Lake near Tally’s. I haven’t been to Forest Lake yet, but the food in White Bear Lake is amazing.  I had a honeydew gazpacho there once that made me look at gazpacho in a new light.

This Halloween party is limited to 200 guests and costs $100. This includes a five course dinner, drinks, a costume contest and raffle prizes.The dinner includes a cocktail hour with passed hors d’oeuvres, salad with fried pork belly, roasted butternut squash soup, scallops, beef tenderloin and pumpkin tiramisu.  Drinks include, wine, beer, and select cocktails.

It sounds really great but I hope they know how to serve 200 people at one time. I think that will be quite the challenge. This is their first time trying an event like this, so it will be interesting to find out how it goes. If it goes well, this would be a great event to have each year.

They are giving out some big prizes. The prizes for the costume contest are $1,000 gift card, $250 dollar gift card, and a $100 gift card. It would be a great way to treat your family to a wonderful meal. Also, they are not stopping there, they are also giving out two raffle prizes, one is a dinner for ten including wine pairings prepared at your home. The other is a limo, wine tasting, and dinner for eight at one of the restaurants. Plus, chances are good since they limited the dinner to 200 people.

You can sign up to receive weekly emails from Acqua that tells you about the specials and events like this one on their website.

If you want to attend you can call Acqua Forest Lake at: 651-464-6130.

because it is better than eating all of that candy.

@mplsgossipgirl

Don’t worry, I am not affiliated with Acqua in any way. I got an email from them and I thought I would share this fun event with people who love food.

Cheeky Monkey Fall Soups


Cheeky Monkey

I have been to the Cheeky Monkey twice in the last two weeks. I cannot stop myself.

There are two reason why I keep coming back:

1. fresh food

2. relaxed atmosphere

Cheeky Monkey Potato and Leek

The Cheeky Monkey has a daily dinner special and two daily soups. These Fall soups are exactly what I was looking for on a chilly day. On my first visit I had a potato and leek soup that was creamy and earthy enough.

Cheeky Monkey Salad

I paired the soup with a fresh perfectly dressed salad. One of my normal complaints is that restaurants over dress their salads. This one was flavorful but not dripping in the dressing which made the nuts and cheese hold up.

Cheeky Monkey Chorizo Soup

On my next visit I ordered a chorizo and white bean soup which was equally as good. They know how to build the flavors with these soups by adding in ingredients like kale and green onions.

Cheeky Monkey Watermelon Salad

With this soup I had a watermelon salad which was a summer dish and did not really go with the soup but still very good and exactly what I felt like eating. They also had the Surly Fest on tap which is the Octoberfest style of beer from surly.

Cheeky Monkey inside

because it is time to fall in love with Fall.

@mplsgossipgirl

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