Tag Archive | Minnesota

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

State Fair Images


As you all know, I love the Minnesota State Fair. I wanted to share some pictures I took this year at the fair with all of you.

In other good news, I didn’t win a ribbon but I know my scones made it in the top 25 which makes me proud. Next year I might need to get some advice from a winning State Fair baker. I want to be in it to win it.

Check one item off the LIST.

State Fair Gyro

State Fair Giant Slide

State Fair Corn

State Fair Cookie Dough

State Fair Chicken

State Fair Butter Head

I am going to go with the Heavy Table on this one. The gyro was my favorite food that I had at the fair this year. I did not get to eat all of the new fair foods and missed out on the fried olives but, I enjoyed the freshness of this gyro.

because summer is almost over

@mplsgossipgirl

Minnesota Cheese Festival 2013


Minnesota Cheese Festival, MNCheesefest, cheese

Get your tickets for the Minnesota Cheese Festival that is going on this weekend at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds.

On both Saturday and Sunday there will be two sessions, one from 10-1 and another from 2-5 in order to keep crowds small and give you an opportunity to interact directly with the Cheesemakers.

During the event you will be able to sample the best cheeses from Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. You can also attend demonstrations, seminars, and buy cheese from local Cheesemakers directly.

Redhead Creamery that I mentioned in my post yesterday about neat Minnesota Kickstarter Projects will  be there. A few of my other favorite Cheesemakers such as the Caves of Faribault, Ellsworth Creamery, Shepard’s Way Farm, and Singing Hills Goat Dairy will also be there.

Support the Redhead Creamery project : http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/redhead/redhead-creamerys-cheese-needs-to-come-home?ref=home_location

You can get tickets: HERE

because I am not vegan anymore.

@mplsgossipgirl

Best Free and Cheap Stuff at the Minnesota State Fair


Minnesota State Fair, Free, Cheap, Deals

The fair can be expensive but you can still do and see some really wonderful things for free or cheap.

Here are a few of my FREE picks:

I love the DNR building. I can spend a good bit of time watching all the fish in the pond and in the new indoor fish exhibit. I hear there is a huge sturgeon in there this year.

You can also get a free lake map from the DNR. In the past, they have had someone outside at a little store selling fishing licenses but they will also give you a copy of a lake map if you know the name of the lake and the county it is in. Yes, there are 30 Long Lakes in Minnesota.

Head over to the Eco Experience building, they have many free demonstrations each day. I am interested in many of the topics such as vertical gardening, rain barrels, eco fashion, straw bale gardening, healthy local foods cooking demonstrations, and chickens in the city. I mean where else can you learn how to become an urban chicken farmer?

You can look at the full schedule at the Eco Experience HERE.

Minnesota Public Radio broadcasts from the fair and many times they have performances from musical artists that are performing later that night. P.O.S. will be at the MPR booth on August 29th at 4PM and the pre-show music-on-a-stick is from 3-5PM on August 30th.

See the full schedule at the MPR booth HERE.

There is free entertainment on many different stages at all times of the day. I think this is one of the best benefits of coming to the Fair.

Here are my picks:

Hanson- Known for their hit from the 90’s MMMBop, they are making a come back. August 26-27 at 8:30PM.

Jared Sherlock- Great for families, Jared is a magician who will surprise and amaze you. September 1-2 at 10:30AM , 11:30AM , and 3:00PM.

The Okee Dokee Brothers- Great for families, these Grammy award winners are fun and know how to get your children dancing. August 24-25 at 10:30AM , 11:30AM , and 3:00PM.

The full schedule is available HERE.

Always do the free park and ride or bike to the fair. It is way less hassle then trying to park at the fair.

If you volunteer at the fair usually you get in for free. If you have some extra time and know of a place where you want to volunteer, it is a great way to do something good and get in free.

You can listen to people sing “Call Me Maybe” at The Giant Sing Along for free or even sing along yourself. If you are into that kind of thing.

Not sure where this is at the fair, but the Boy Scouts have a climbing area for kids and it is free.

It is free to walk through the Fine Arts building. You will get to see art from local artists and the building is air conditioned.

If you are looking for free swag, don’t miss the Education Building where most of the colleges give away something such as the purple St. Thomas bag. All of the news stations and construction type companies give away stuff at certain times during the day. Stop by early on to see when you get  in line for free stuff.  KARE 11 is giving away blue sun glasses, Home Depot usually does make it and take it crafts, and Menards has nail aprons.

I also suspect the health fair will be giving away pretty neat stuff this year since MNSure is launching and Healthcare Reform is underway.

Gopher State One Call is giving away free bright colored yardsticks if you promise that you will call before you dig. They are located across from the Giant Slide. Give it to your favorite teacher as a beginning of the school year gift.

You can see a list of all the free items on this deal list HERE.

Here is a list of cheap items at the Fair:

Get an Apple Cider Freeze in the Ag/Hort building, they are only $1 and made from cider from the Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake.

Also in the Ag/Hort building you can get a Honey Stick from Mademoiselle Miel for only 50 cents. They have a smoked scotch version that I have to try.  Plus, the money goes to benefit the University of Minnesota Bee Lab.

All you can drink milk for $1 is always a favorite of mine. I can taste the freshness of the milk and it actually is quite refreshing.

Because many of the best things in life are free

@mplsgossipgirl

What is your favorite free thing to do at the fair?

Top 10 Things to do at The Minnesota State Fair


MN State Fair, !0 Things to Do

1. People Watching.

Where do all these people reside when the Fair is not going on?

2. Trying all of the new foods.

Okay, maybe not all of them. The one that caught my eye was the new candied bacon cannoli from Ole’s Cannoli.

3. Free Hanson concert (or any of the free concerts).

My middle school self is thrilled. Mmmm Bop.  You can watch Hanson for free at the Bandshell on August 26th and 27th at 8:20PM. I heard their new single is pretty good. I am sensing a come-back.

4. Visit the new attractions.

You can ice skate in August at the D1 Backyard Rink near the Fine Arts Building. Go to the Luminarium Exxopolis, whatever the heck that is…

5. Seed Art.

Art made from seeds, it can not be missed in the AG & HORT building.

6. The Fine Arts Building.

This building houses great work from local artists. I always love to walk around and see amazing work that people have created.

7. Cat Video Festival

Meow. Wednesday, August 28 at 7:00PM. Tickets are $10. I went last year to the one at the Walker Art Center and it was purrfect.

8. All you can drink milk & Martha’s cookies.

If you haven’t figured out how to do this yet it is pretty easy. First, buy a bucket of Martha’s to share. Next, walk over to the all you can drink milk booth and buy a cup. Then, eat cookies with ice cold milk. Enjoy!

When will they put the booths next to each other?

9. Rabbits.

I want to see the rabbits in the poultry barn. Why? because they are cute and fluffy.

10. Eat all of your favorite foods.

Get the staples: Corn Dog, Pronto Pup, Cheese On a Stick, Deep Fried Candy Bar, Luigi Fries, Cheese Curds, and Mini Doughnuts.

Have any questions about the fair? I am somewhat of an expert, so ask away.

My post from the 2012 Minnesota State Fair: HERE

because “Our state fair is a great state fair, don’t miss it don’t even be late.  It’s dollars to donuts that our state fair is the best state fair in our state.”

@mplsgossipgirl

What do you look forward to at the MN State Fair?

Local Minneapolis Business: Joia Soda


Joia Soda

In the summer there is nothing like a refreshing soda on a warm day.  A local company, Boundary Waters Brands, started a line of all natural sodas called Joia. They have fresh flavors and add a bit of fun to a dinner party.

Joia Dinner

I decided to have a BBQ with my family and ‘share the Joia’ with them. I cooked chicken, corn, asparagus, and potatoes from the farmers market.

Joia Food

Before dinner I served a caprese type of appetizer. It is very easy to prepare by combining fresh cherry tomatoes, mozzarella pearls, and basil on top of a slice of a baguette then sprinkled with olive oil and balsamic.

Joia Corn

These sodas are much different than what was in the market before. With combinations like pineapple-coconut-nutmeg and ginger-apricot-all spice these drinks are a treat for your mouth.

Joia Grapefruit

My personal favorite is grapefruit-chamomile-cardamom because of the hint of cardamom that comes out. It is one of the best and most forgotten spices.

Boundary Waters Brands is based out of Uptown in Minneapolis and we are lucky to have a company here who is being innovative and producing a quality product.

Joia Soda Header

You can find Joia in local specialty grocery stores. Also, you can visit their website to ‘share the joia’ and host a tasting for your friends, family, or co-workers.

because fresh is in

@mplsgossipgirl

*disclosure: I was sent samples of Joia to try. All opinions are 100% my own.

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