Cat Video Fest 2014
There is nothing that brings people together like watching cat videos. In its third year the #catvidfest was back on the original stomping grounds of the Walker Art Center. Boy oh boy, did the cat people come out with an audience of thousands the cat video fest is one of the best attended free events that Minneapolis hosts each year.
The highlights always include the actual collective watching of the film, seeing the stars of the videos like lilbub, and just being amazed that there are that many cat people in one place at one time.
Also, you cannot miss the cat fashion!
The fest did not stop there though. You could also make your own GIF with the people from Animal Planet, write your own cat poetry, draw a cat picture, grab a cat themed beer from Flat Earth, and try out one of the food trucks. They even had Rudy Fig a local artist painting cat art!
The only large snafu was the screen that had a little mishap.
If you loved the #CatVidFest as much as I did make sure you help fund their Kickstarter. They want to make a book about it! Visit the Catstarter here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/301071279/catstarter
A few complaints were that there were not enough bathrooms, parking, and no where to sit (the fuzz had to do a little crowd control). Not sure how to remedy this for next year other than maybe trying to do it a few days in a row.
I advise that if you want to attend the event next year make sure you come early. Not only do they have a lot of fun activities that you can participate in but you will be able to get parking and a good spot on the hill.
Because cat people are the best people.
Top 10 Things to do at The Minnesota State Fair
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.
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?
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.”
What do you look forward to at the MN State Fair?
Travail Chefs at Gather June 2013
I can’t think of a time that I have had more fun eating food. Now I completely understand why Travail Kitchen and Amusements is one of the most popular restaurants in the Twin Cities. Although, it is closed right now for a location change, the chefs were on top of their game as guest chefs at Gather.
Gather is one of my favorite spots in Minneapolis because of the beautiful location, great happy hour, and the creative food from the guest chefs.
The first Thursday in June was particularly exciting since Gather was celebrating it’s second year and because the Travail chefs were there. Mike Brown, James Winberg, and Bob Gerken know how to get people excited about food. The mood in the room was electric.
I had fun learning about their playful dish and the ingredients in it. Have you ever had langoustine before? This was a first for me.
As you can tell, the Travail chefs do things differently. They went around and spoke with each table and showed them how to eat their dish.
I also had the watermelon salad which is on the summer menu at Gather. It was light, a bit spicy, and very fresh.
This cherry and spoon dessert is only at the Gather for a limited time. Yes, you can eat the spoon! It was not my favorite dessert and tasted like it came out of a fridge but it was fun to look at.
You only have one more Thursday to get the guest chef plate with langoustine (google it…) .
because making food fun makes everyone smile
What is the most fun you have had at a restaurant in Minneapolis? Where do I need to go?
Seriously, Gather what were you thinking? After sharing my previous post you changed what I praised you for a great selection of 5 dollar plates for happy hour.
You can read my previous review HERE.
I really hate having to tell my readers about a change in a restaurant that I recently gave glowing reviews. I dread it. But, alas it has to be done. What I said then, now is not true.
I praised you for you happy hour of 5 dollar small plates. But, when I went there this thursday the menu was different and there were not the 5 dollar plates available (only the bahn mi and the peas and bread). It was disappointing. Especially since I had suggested this restaurant as a great meeting space where we could get happy hour appetizers to share. Please update your website with your current menu.
The British fare should have been done in addition to the regular menu. “My favorite restaurant serves only British food,” said no one, ever.
Thank goodness I was in the presence of fellow fantastic, fashionable, foodies who were able to find some other interesting menu items.
When we ordered I was asked if I wanted salmon on my salad. I said sure and the server had to check to see if they even had salmon. Why offer it if you don’t know if you have it? I did not feel well afterwards. The server could have told me that you did not have any fresh salmon and I would have been fine with that.
I was then charged for the salad and the salmon separately. Which ended up being more expensive than anything else on the entire menu. What? yeah. I know. 12 dollars for over salted salmon served on a small side plate. If I would have known this I would have never said okay to the salmon which came on the side and not on top of the salad. A good rule of thumb is to only offer up-charges that are half of the price of the main order. My salad also did not have asparagus on it which is the second item listed with the salad on the menu. The salad was well dressed and the beets were tasty, it was just too bad there wasn’t asparagus on it.
The cocktail I had was poorly mixed. Not sure why you would do a vodka cranberry with a mint syrup. Also, when you have the holiday grog on your menu it should be available. Do not act suprised when someone orders it and respond with a snide comment of, “it is not ready yet, it has to sit for a while” Honestly maybe you should have thought about that before you put it on the menu. College students plan better when making wops or jungle juice.
In one single night of a poor $40 dollar dinner you have disappointed me and embarassed me. Gather was one of my favorite spots in the city. I would love to hear what you have to say about my recent experience please leave me a message or email me. Bring back the good 5 dollar happy hour menu!
because if you have a good thing, don’t change it.
Secrets of Minneapolis- One of the Best Happy Hours no one knows about – Gather at The Walker
Looking for a secret spot for happy hour on a Thursday night? Try Gather at The Walker.
It is one of the best happy hours in the city that no one knows about.
- 5 dollar small plates
- 5 dollar special drinks and wines (this past week it was a mango martini)
- 3-5 dollar beers
It only happens on Thursday night, when The Walker opens its doors for free Thursday nights. That is right, you do not have to pay to get into The Walker on Thursdays. So, after you eat you can go explore all the wonderful modern art that The Walker has to offer.
Why I call this one of the secrets of the city is because when I was there last Thursday only about half of the tables were full. Normally, I equate this to either bad service or overpriced foods. That is not the case with Gather. My best guess is that people think you have to pay to get into the Walker to eat in the restaurant. Not true. Plus, it is a bit hard to find in the building but if you get lost ask one of the Walker staff.
You need to try this place because the service is excellent. The staff is always trying to make this the best experience for their guests. I even overheard a staff member trying to make a childs nonalcoholic drink fancier and extra special. They go the extra mile. Plus, you can tell the staff enjoys working with each other.
Another reason this place is wonderful is that you can watch the chefs work. When I looked over at them they were smiling and having a great time. Good food comes from happy chefs.
This would be a great place to take a date; the ambiance and low lighting create a romantic atmosphere. This space in the Walker has really nice views. My advice: when making a reservation ask for a spot near the window. It is also a great place for a birthday, they have room for a group of about 8. I suggest sharing a bunch of the small plates.
My favorite small plates are the grilled cheese, fish tacos, bahn mi, and the fries with the aioli. Also, each week they usually feature two dishes from a local chef. Those usually are wonderful as well. They are a great way to try something that you might never try otherwise, such as frog legs. Plus, if you go on the first Thursday of the month the dishes from the local chef are free to try.
The trio of grilled cheeses differ with what cheeses are served. The ones that I had this week were a cheddar, brie with fig jam, and another one with herbs and mushrooms. All of them were different and fun.
I also had the fish tacos, a little bit spicy but very fresh. I liked the lime flavor of the slaw that tops the fish.
All of the food at Gather is locally sourced with much from family farms. Which makes the menu smaller but it only contains dishes that are necessary. Two items on the menu that I want to try next time are the Buttermilk marinated chicken and the beet dish with asparagus, pistachio, and orange.
Gather came out with a new menu, so the menu on their website may not be reflective of what is really on the menu now. I am very excited about some of the drinks on the new menu. They are flavors of fall and winter. The Harvest Grog with red wine, cider, whiskey, and maple syrup will warm the heart. Yum! Who comes up with these drinks?
I heard a rumor that in December, Gather will be open Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and will be serving British fare to celebrate the British Ad Awards. I also heard a rumor that the next guest chef has a restaurant near The Walker.
Take a look at Gather’s website HERE.
because I like secrets.
#CatVidFest – @walkerartcenter
When cat-ladies and gents are called to assemble, they do. 10,000 people came out for the first Internet Cat Video Festival at The Walker Art Center last night. As part of their open field programming, people watched cat videos together laughing along at the hilarious kitties. Seriously, what could be better than people watching internet videos communally in a shared experience?
The cat-lady-in-residence at The Walker couldn’t resist the idea of getting together her people to enjoy something together that is normally watched behind a computer screen when you need a break from that project at work that never ends.
Lots of other people liked that idea as well. Not only did this #CatVidFest get local attention from The City Pages, it got national attention from the Huffington Post and BBC news. My cat Nuggs loved going and getting attention from all the cat lovers in the audience.
It can be best described by me in one word: fun. A group of women sitting by me were there to celebrate a birthday and had brought some snacks and boxed wine (don’t tell). There were children as well as older adults sitting by each other all laughing at the funny things that cats do. It was a great event to go to on a Thursday night.
I hope that The Walker decides to do this again and does an entry for local cat videos. They also might want to think about more parking because of how popular this event was.
People are starting to discover the great programming that The Walker Art Center offers, for FREE. I can remember coming to the Walker Sculpture Garden as a child on field trips and being able to run around by Spoonbridge and Cherry. Not only is the Sculpture Garden free every day, The Walker offers free Thursday nights in the gallery and special events like Open Field and Free First Saturdays.
Open field is from June to September and offers a place for people to gather and exchange skills and interests in an informal setting. The Walker even has a tool shed with games and art supplies for people to borrow and create magic together.
Free First Saturdays have different themes and coming up tomorrow, September 1st, they will be hosting, “Get Up and Read.” If you read Nancy Carlson as a child, you have to bring your family to The Walker. There will be book readings from Nancy, activities from her books in the Sculpture Garden, a chance to make your own book, and an opportunity to put together your own healthy snack.
They also have a fabulous restaurant named Gather that is open on Thursday nights. I go there often because it is an affordable luxury. They have guest chefs from around Minnesota come and create small plates. The first Thursday of each month they offer a couple free dishes from the guest chef. Plus, the happy hour is to die for. It goes from 5-7PM and all small plates are 5 dollars and they have a seasonal cocktail for 5 dollars as well. I love the grilled cheeses and the bahn mi. Keep a look out for the guest chefs in the coming months, I believe they are one is the most famous chefs to come out of Minnesota and has a restaurant near The Walker. I would make your reservations now.
I also have to throw in a shout-out to all the animal shelters in Minnesota. I adopted Nuggs at The Animal Humane Society and it was a great experience. They helped me pick out the perfect cat for me. I wanted an older cat who liked sleeping and cuddling. If you are thinking of getting a cat consider adopting an older one.
because being a cat lady is cool
You can find more pictures of the event on my instagram account: mplsgossipgirl
or follow me on tumblr; mplsgossipgirl
If you haven’t been yet! Get there and get there tonight! I have had some great food here and the guest chefs are a lot of fun.
Get a cocktail with Prairie Vodka as well. A couple of month ago I had a Banh mi there once that rocked my world.
James Beard Semi-finalist Russell Klein of Meritage is the chef-in-residence tonight @Gather at the Walker.
There will be samples of:
Crispy Frog Leg
Tonight from 5-9PM