Archive | March 2013

5 fun things to try on the day before Saint Patrick’s Day 2013

Everyone knows St. Patrick’s Day will be celebrated on Saturday this year since going out on a Sunday night is not feasible for those who work early Monday morning.

Here is 5 Fun things to do this Saint Patrick’s Day:

  1. Do a super- scientific poll and see how many people know that Saturday is not really Saint Patrick’s Day.
  2. Attend the Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Starting at 6:30PM the parade travels down Nicollet. My favorite is the Bag Pipers and the huge Irish Setter dogs who make an appearance every year.
  3. Have a Jameson and Ginger or the Two Gingers at The Local in Downtown Minneapolis. It will be very crowded but don’t worry they have space outside as well.
  4. Drink so much green beer that your pee turns green. Just kidding. But, does that really happen? Drink a Finnegans instead 100% of their profits go to charity.
  5. Later tonight head to The Saloon. If you want to see the best costuming and green clothing items in town.

Because you are Irish today.



Best All You Can Eat Sushi in the Twin Cities – Aji


I am not usually a fan of the All-You-Can-Eat type of places but I was pleasantly surprised by Aji Contemporary Japanese in Hopkins. They have a sushi bar that gives you a chance to try many different rolls at what I think is a reasonable price.

This isn’t a place that I would frequent all of the time. But, when I am in a sushi rut it is a good way to try something new. The chefs who work the sushi bar are friendly and will take requests, if you ask nicely. They can also explain the rolls that have already been made. If you really like a certain roll, you will know what to order next time. If you do not like a specific roll or ingredient you know to avoid it in the future.

I would suggest Aji for the more adventurous sushi eater. Someone who is willing to go past the California and the Philly roll and go for something with crispy skin or eel.

Eating sushi off a bar freaks me out a little bit. But, the ingredients they were using were fresh. I saw them cutting a fresh fish while I was there. The rolls go quickly as well, I was not worried about them sitting out for too long.

The Aji website is not clear as to how much the sushi bar is and when they have it open. It is not open all of the time. I know that the lunch is a bit cheaper than dinner and that Sunday is special. I would call ahead of time and ask some questions to make sure you are not disappointed.

because try something new!


Aji Contemporary Japanese on Urbanspoon

North Shore, MN

NS5 (Logo)

I love the North Shore in the wintertime. Yes, it can be bitter cold. But, it is simply beautiful as well.

NS6 (hike 5)

On the way up to the North Shore I always stop in Duluth to get a bite to eat. I can never wait long enough to make it to Two Harbors, so Duluth it always is.

My stop in Duluth included a trip to Duluth Grill. I have been talking up this place with many friends and on here after my summer trip. You can read about it HERE.

ND Duluth

Duluth Grill serves really good food. The portions are huge and there are so many options I think it would take me a year to eat all of the combinations. I stopped here for dinner this time and because it was a Friday they had fish specials. I tried both the meat loaf and salmon. Both were delicious. I cannot remember anything that I have ever had there that I did not like though. The salmon came with smashed sweet potatoes that were cooked just right with a bit of brown sugar on top. The service was great and made me sad that we don’t have a Grill in Minneapolis. Hint, Hint.

North Shore, Fish Market

NS Fish

Another stop I have to make is in Grand Marais at the Fish Market. I always pick up fish to make during the trip. It is always fresh and cooks up quickly. I also like the salmon dip from here as well. It is a wonderful appetizer for a wintertime party (see below). I have never eaten at the Fish Market because it does close after New Years for a bit and by the time I get there they are done serving food. I am going to make it a stop on the next summer trip I take.

NS1 (Ale and dip)

Also in Grand Marais I like to stop in all the local stores especially the Sivertson Art Gallery with work from artists like Dave Gilsvik and Jim Brandenburg. It is fun to look at all the different artwork and sip tea. Many of the artists live in the North Shore and their art reflects many of the sites of the North Shore. It would be like taking a piece of the shore home with you.

NS4 (Hike 3)

In Grand Marias I also enjoy the trading post because of all the great brands that they have there. I can always find something to use. This year I bought a pair of gloves with fur that are missing the fingers. I like them when it is not too cold outside because it is easy to grab my bus pass.

NS3 (1) (Hike 2)

We always stay in a VRBO rental (Vacation Rentals By Owner). It is a great way to do a vacation with a larger group or if you like to cook. This year we stayed in Tofte, MN. I liked Tofte because there are a few shops and gas stations not too far away for supplies. I haven’t stayed in any of the hotels in the area but, I am curious as to what they are like as well. I am a sucker for a pool. Also, stay on the lake because the views are breathtaking.

NS3 (2) (Hike)

If it is not too cold out, take a hike. There are so many places to hike in the area. If you have snow shoes there are cleaned paths that you can take as well. Many of the local gas stations and stores have maps. My best suggestion is to ask a local.

NS Sir Bens

On the way home I stopped at Sir Ben’s. Deli by day, bar by night. I love the relaxed atmosphere and the beer selection. It is a really fun place to be. Try whatever their special is that day or whatever on the menu speaks to you. I have yet to be disappointed.

because you gotta get, get, get away.


India Palace – Roseville

India Palace

Right off the freeway, India Palace may not exactly look like a palace. But, don’t judge this palace by its cover. The food is very good.

I am not an expert by any means in Indian food. But, I do know when something is cooked correctly. I had the Rogan Josh which is lamb cooked in a yogurt sauce and special spices. I thought the lamb was cooked correctly and fell apart when cut with a fork and I liked the spice blend that they used. It helped the cold that I had.

I also ordered Roti and garlic Naan. I liked the Nann better, it was a little lighter. Don’t forget the beer.  I had the Taj Mahal which went nicely with the food. Not the best beer that I have ever had because it is lighter in nature but, paired well with the lamb.

India Palace 2

Overall, this restaurant gave me the home cooked meal feel. It was warm and inviting. Be prepared to wait awhile for your food since the service is a little slow. It didn’t really bother me at all. They have several other locations in Minnesota as well.

In the future, I want to travel to India. Until then, I will have to do with eating at India Palace.

What is your favorite Indian restaurant?

because I like it spicy!


India Palace on Urbanspoon

Minneapolis Snow Day

Minneapolis, Snow, DowntownI thought I would share some photos of the snow in Minneapolis this morning. I forget sometimes how beautiful it can be. A big thanks goes out to all the DID and other city workers who clean off the streets and sidewalks, without you it would be a mess.

Snow Day 2

Look at this guy biking like a champ down Nicollet this morning. Many reports of a biker slowing traffic on Lyndale. My advice: if you are not a pro-snow-biker take the bus on days like this.

Minneapolis, SnowShe must be new to Minnesota. This was in a busy intersection in Downtown Minneapolis and she decided that it was now time to clear off her van. She was all smiles and laughed with those of us crossing the street.

Snow Day 4

because snow brings people together.


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