Tag Archive | St. Paul

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

Social Media Day Twin Cities


Social Media Day, #SMday, #MPLSis, The Social Lights

Sunday, June 30, 2013 is Social Media Day in the Twin Cities as proclaimed by the mayors of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

It is hard to remember back to the days without Social Media where to speak to someone in South Africa you would have to dial them long distance on your home phone. Now I can send my friends a Facebook message or tweet to Cape Town.  Social Media allows me to connect with people all over the world, which is simply amazing.

Vincent Burger, Food, Minneapolis, Burger

People can follow and read my blog from anywhere, connect with me on twitter, like my instagram photos, share my facebook posts, or repin my blog posts on Pinterest. I can share a little bit of Minnesota with anyone who wants to listen.

Cherry and Spoon, Walker, #SMday, Social Media

If you want to participate in #SMday Twin Cities tweet, blog, instagram, or pin your own Social Media Day post by using the hashtags #MPLS is_______________ and #STPis _________________ #smday

The best photos will be posted on this tumbler page: http://smdaytwincities.tumblr.com/

Tell everyone what MPLSis and STPis to you!

Mplsis walker art center greens

because Social Media Day is a day to celebrate the technology that connects us all.

@mplsgossipgirl

*A special thanks to The Social Lights a boutique social media and digital marketing agency in Minneapolis for organizing Mashable’s Social Media Day Twin Cities.

Sound of Music Sing-A-Long – The Ordway


Sound of Music 1Guest Post: mplsgossipgirl’s Mom

If you thought you were going to the Ordway to just watch “The Sound of Music” on a big screen and sing along to all those beautiful songs that you already know by heart, you were very surprised.   Not only were theatergoers encouraged to dress in costume, (my favorite was the ten women who dressed as the goats) but you were also given a goodie bag with props to use at different parts of the movie.   They included a piece of edelweiss, cards to hold up during the song “How do you solve a problem like Maria” and best of all, a party popper to pop the first time that Maria and the Captain kiss.

Sound of Music 2

Erin Schwab was the host for the movie and before the movie started she came out on the stage and gave the go ahead for the frequent audience participation parts of the movie; cheering whenever you saw Maria, booing at the Nazis and the hand motions for Do Re Mi.   This got the audience whipped into frenzy for the start of the movie.   It had the feeling of an Austrian Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Sound of Music 3

Even if you weren’t into all the participation parts of the movie, it was wonderful to see this beautiful movie on a big screen.   Most people under the age of 50 have only seen the movie on their television screens.   The beautiful scenery of the Alps and Salzburg definitely was conducive to seeing it on a big screen and it didn’t disappoint.  So, if this is one of your favorite movies make sure you put the Sound of Music  Sing-A-Long on your list of shows to see.

Sound of Music 4

because it will definitely become one of your favorite things

@mplsgossipgirl

I’m on a boat – Anything Goes at The Ordway


Ordway Anything Goes 1

Anything Goes is a feel good musical and the perfect way to start out springtime here in Minnesota.

This is the musical that never goes out of style. Anything Goes debuted in 1934 and has been entertaining people ever since.This is a family friendly show about love. You will hear familiar songs, such as, “I Get a Kick Out of You” and “It’s De-lovely.”

Roundabout Theater Company does not disappoint with their take on this fun musical. They hit all the right notes by keeping the audience laughing. Everyone around me could not keep themselves contained during “The Gypsy in Me.”

I appreciated that the entire show was perfectly choreographed and that each and every member of the cast was a triple threat. The tap and ballroom dance numbers were a joy to watch.

If you are in the mood to see something light-hearted,  visit St. Paul for Anything Goes from May 7-12th at The Ordway. Tickets start at just $26 including fees.

Because it’s easy to love

@mplsgossipgirl

C.J. Chenier at The Ordway


C. J. Chenier , The Ordway, Zydeco

As an avid fan of the show Swamp People I was familiar with Zydeco music before attending The Ordway on Friday night to see C.J Chenier and the Red Hot Louisiana Band. This was my first time at a World Music and Dance Series event and had no idea what to expect. Are people really going to sit and watch a Zydeco band and not dance?

As I walked in to find my seat I thought I saw what looked like a dance floor and a diverse audience with people of all ages. I then searched my program for any sort of direction. It does not tell me if I can get up and dance or what is appropriate or not appropriate in this theater. During the opening act a few brave souls danced around what I thought was the dance floor but I was unsure if the staff at The Ordway was okay with this.

As soon as C.J. Chenier hit the stage there was no doubt left in my mind that everyone could and should get up and dance. People actually rushed the dance floor. Unfortunately, I was up in the highest balcony and only was able to watch from my high perch but I would have loved to bust a move to this lively music. My suggestion is to get tickets on the floor level for Dance events if you want to dance. If you are someone who is not up for cutting a rug I would sit up in the balconies.

The Ordway, C.J. Chenier

This upbeat, and fast-paced music was the perfect way to warm up on a chilly winter night. Zydeco music originated from southwest Louisiana where it is warm and it reflects just that. It comes from the Creole culture and much like the culture the music mixed many sounds. Even if it was only for a few hours I felt like I was in the Bayou eating some boiled crawfish and relaxing. I almost forgot that I was not on vacation. Hopefully, this event helped gain a few more Zydeco fans in the Twin Cities because I would love to hear this music more often.

because you should put on those dancin’ shoes

@mplsgossipgirl

*disclosure: I am a blogger for The Ordway and receive tickets to the shows.

Cheeky Monkey


Cheeky Monkey Salad Beets, Goat Cheese

If I didn’t live in Minneapolis the Selby/Dale neighborhood would be high on my list because Cheeky Monkey Deli is located there. Cheeky is one of my favorite places to get a casual meal. To date I haven’t had anything on their menu that I haven’t liked.

This place has a neighborhood feel and is the perfect place to meet an old friend for dinner. I love sitting by the fire-place and keeping warm. During the summer you can even sit outside on their back patio.

If you are sitting down for a meal expect it to take a little bit more time. The service is a little slow sometimes and the food takes awhile to prepare. It is fresh and I am okay with waiting a little longer for my meal. Our server Amanda let us know if we needed anything we could flag her down. It is more relaxed than your typical restaurant and has a unique atmosphere. It makes you want to have a long discussion about something deep.

For an appetizer order the salt and pepper chips the blue cheese dip is creamy and delicious. For an entrée choose anything from the menu, it is all good. I have had many of the sandwiches and salads. This time I had the beet salad with goat cheese. It was large and I had enough to take for lunch the next day. I also enjoy the fancy grilled cheese and the salmon salad. Don’t miss the sides at the bottom of the menu. The kale and brussel sprouts are cooked correctly and a great way to add another vegetable to your meal.  This is a place I enjoy to linger and stay for a while with a glass or a few glasses of wine or beer.

Cheeky Monkey is doing a prix fixe valentine’s dinner for $60 a couple which includes three courses and a bottle of wine. That sounds like a sweet deal to me.

Cheeky Monkey Menu and Outside

When you go there make sure that you stop at the wine store next door to the Cheeky Monkey. They have a good selection. They told me they do a wine event for mother’s day which sounds like the perfect event for wine lovers.

because it is fun to get cheeky.

@mplsgossipgirl

Cheeky Monkey on Urbanspoon

Elf – The Ordway


Elf

Elf is the perfect show to bring your family to this year. It is a fun and entertaining show for all age groups incorporating both child humor and adult humor perfectly. Despite the target audience being children there is enough in the story to keep adults attention. Plus, it is really wonderful to see their smiling faces.

Elf 3

I was sceptical when I found out someone was making a musical based upon the movie Elf. Kind of like when you hear a book is being made into a movie. But, this musical combined all of the funny one-liners and new material.

This show does run about 2 hours which may be a little long for very young ones but I saw many 6 year olds in the audience watching Buddy intently as he joyfully bounced around the stage.

Elf2

Also, when you come to The Ordway you will be transported into the world of Christmastown thanks to Bachmans Floral who created a winter wonderland to the utmost detail. Believe me, it is magic.

The best part of all of this is that tickets start at 35 dollars making it an affordable holiday celebration.

Don’t forget that by coming to see shows at The Ordway you are helping them bring 50,000 students in to see shows each year. You never know what show will bring a spark into a child’s mind and help them become who they want to be.

because the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

@mplsgossipgirl

Billy Elliot -The Ordway


Billy Elliot at The Ordway is the perfect show for Minnesota right now. It is a heartwarming story about being yourself and going after whatever it is that you want. If you want to wear a dress, wear a dress. If you want to dance, dance. And most fittingly, if you want to kiss a boy, kiss a boy. It reminded me of the innocence of childhood and how children tend to do what makes them happy until someone tells them that it is unacceptable.

This show has a great storyline and stars Billy Elliot who falls in love with dance after he mistakenly ends up in a dance class. Taking place in the 1980’s in England in coal mining country, Billy faces pressure from his brother, father, and community when they find out that he is in ballet class. They are not happy with his choice of activities and make it known that they do not think a boy should be in dance class.

As expected, the choreography is absolutely wonderful. The use of the stage and the ever-changing formations keep the audience engaged and the story moving. With a young cast that travels, it is hard to take chances with active choreography because you are on a new stage all the time and it is always different. The more active, the more opportunity there can be for mistakes. They handled it with grace and kept the energy of the entire audience up.

Since this show is so dance focused, I appreciated the amplification of the tapping  with a microphone. It really added to the fact that these people are actually wearing tap shoes and they are actually dancing.

What makes this an enjoyable show is the choreography and cast, a very young cast. This group is full of the triple treats, people who can sing, dance, and act. Many of them come from Minnesota because we breed talent here. Janet Dickensen is from Bemidji, Minnesota and plays the part of the dance teacher. As well as, one of the Billy Elliot’s, Zach Manske who is from Woodbury Dance Center.

I cannot believe how much talent each and every young person in the cast has. This show does not have easy choreography or music. They had to be able not to only be ballet dancers but also be great at tap dancing all while singing.  The show also runs for about 3 hours total which requires stamina for this young talent. If you have young children that you would like to bring be prepared to be up late that night and there is a bit of swearing. Well, swearing with an English coal miner accent.

This show runs until October 14th at The Ordway and I suggest that you dance on down to Saint Paul and grab a seat. As someone who has never watched the movie or been to the musical before, it was something that cannot be missed. The dancing was fantastic!

Billy Elliot paints a very clear picture of what it can feel like when someone says what you are or what you are doing is, “not normal” or unacceptable and what it can look like when someone lifts you up and believes in you.  A lesson we can learn and re-learn no matter what our age.

You can buy tickets HERE

because if you needed another reason besides the dancing, The Ordway gives 50,000 tickets a year to school children to see the shows. So come and support them.

@mplsgossipgirl

#RetroRama


 

Time to go Retro. If you love fashion and especially if you love Retro Fashion this event is a must. RetroRama at the Minnesota History Center happening this Thursday, May 24th at 7:30-11:00PM.

This years theme is a match up between Politics and Fashion so come in your best retro-wear, prohibition era gangster or 60’s era civil rights the choice is yours. There will be a fashion show, shopping, blingo, and an after party at the Amsterdam Bar.

It looks like a whole lot of fun!

Tickets are only 15 dollars and they will be selling a few at the door.  Otherwise you can get them online here: http://www.minnesotahistorycenter.org/events-programs/retrorama

 

Because you need to play dress-up once in awhile.

 

@mplsgossipgirl

 

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