Minneapolis – day 2

alssWhat a day.  We began at 8am and went non-stop until 4ish.  Regrouped and went back out in the world again.  It was 93 hot and humid.  The sun doesn’t set until 930pm which is pretty awesome but the day was long….and fun.

alWe started the day at Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown.  A long small diner with 14 seats and solid diner food.  The guy behind the counter (above) commandeered the seatings.  People had to move right and left on occasion to make room for two or sometimes more.  We spoke to a guy who had been coming there since 1971.

eggsEmily went with the eggs benedict.

pancakesI had one blueberry pancake with two poached eggs over the top.  Love this place.

bridgeNext stop was Mill City Farmers Market.  Nothing like a good farmer’s market.  The market overlooks the water and the Stone Bridge which is now only for walking.  Some yoga going on down there.

asparagusThe asparagus, rhubarb, garlic scapes, radishes and snap peas were out in force.

honeyHoney is big there.  Different honey’s and also beeswax honey candles.

syrupMaple syrup in large doses and of course there was jam, breads, and other wares.

redoWalking over the Stone Bridge was the thing to do.  Lots of history here.  There were over a dozen flour mills in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s in this area.  My guess is that history has to do with why there are so many bakeries around the area.  They shored up the destruction of this building and built out a glass structure behind it.  Really great job whoever did this.

damThe dam was built when the water was eroding the area.

parkThere are these small parks off the bridge.  This little area is quite beautiful.

lookingbackThis is looking back over the bridge.

mallWe were hot and sweaty so what better place to go than the Mall of America.  It is like nothing else.  A few large areas that are more like being at an amusement park.  At one point someone shot over our head from a ride where people were zip-lining across the mall.

shoesMaps are everywhere to keep you going where you need to go.  We picked up mophies at the Apple Store for our phones and I picked up a pair of shoes.  Sandals were not cutting it for the amount of walking we were doing and the heat.

tshirtsNext stop was Midtown Global Market.  Conceptually it is smart but execution is not great.  It is a market with multiple small restaurants and I believe many were food trucks first and then parked it here.  The place just feels old.  A good paint job and a cleaning would really be a game changer here.  The t-shirt shop was the first place we saw when we walked in.

tortaWe walked around for awhile until we got to Manny’s Tortas.  A roll, sliced in half and then toasted on the grill and filled with pork belly, jalapeno, onions, spicy sauce, chopped lettuce and avocado.  Kind of the perfect sandwich.

tartSalty Tart was the other place we wanted to check out.  It looked good but was disappointing. Chocolate caramel salty tart and roasted rhubarb square.

glamdollNot far from there was Glam Doll donuts.  After checking out the website I really wanted to go there.

donutsDonuts are not something I partake in very often.  It always seems to taste better going down then later on.  That dense mound of sugar and dough is intense.  I so wanted these to be delicious but they were just ok.  Maybe they were made a few hours ago, who knows, but one bite is all we did and that was enough.  Peanut butter and sriacha and a chocolate covered vanilla cream filled donut.  The reality is ordering the simple glazed is probably the way to go.

metWe were curious about the Minneapolis Museum of Art so we went over there.  A beautiful big old building overlooking a luscious green park.  The museum is more fine arts although they do have a wing of modern art and photography but we decided to just sit outside and regroup instead.

frederickNext stop was the Frederick R. Weisman Museum.  The physical museum is by Frank Gehry and it is connected to University of Minnesota.   Frederick Weisman was an incredible entrepreneur, philanthropist and art collector.  He was born in Minnesota but moved to LA when he was 7.  His father owned a hotel near University of Minnesota so he would go back there in the summers as a boy.  Weisman has a large estate in LA where the majority of his art is housed including a foundation that makes loans of art to museums across the globe. Weisman made his money investing in risky start-ups including Toyota when it was just starting to import cars to the US.

weismanThis is a piece made of Weisman called Executive in a Red Chair by Duane Hanson.

sheepThese sheep by Francois-Xavier Lalanne are part of the collection.

cheeseWe then hit up Surdyk’s Liquor Store and Gourmet Cheese Shop.  This place is fantastic.  A really well curated cheese shop with crackers, cheese, jellies, etc inside a liquor store.  Smart move.  We tried a few local cheese and bought a few for snacks later in the afternoon with a bottle of Rose to celebrate National Rose Wine Day.  Every city needs one of these.

sausagesOur last stop before going back for some rest was Kramarczuk’s East European Deli.  The smell is intoxicating from the moment you open the door.  A few sausages to go with our cheese and wine then back to the hotel.

pickWe relaxed a bit before having our pick me up.

cocktailThen out to dinner at The Bachelor Farmer.  Underneath the restaurant is a speak-easy bar called Marvel.  We had a cocktail to start.

hipsUp to the restaurant for dinner.  They start you off with some potato chips and a lemon yogurt parley dip.  The restaurant has Scandinavian roots.

beerWe split the beef tartare.  Not only a beautiful presentation but just perfect.  Mix this all up and spread on the two toasts they gave us.

vealEmily went with the fish and I had the veal schnitzel.  All ok nothing great.

coconutThe coconut cake with ice cream was our ending treat.  I much preferred Spoon & Stable around the corner but the overall vibe here is good.  Just not my type of menu.

Got up the next morning and headed back to NYC.  Great weekend.  I can hardly wait to see where we go next year!