I recently visited friends in Minneapolis over a long weekend. I had never been to Minnesota before, and really loved the Twin Cities and the fall weather (I’m aware of how terrible the winters are and you Minnesotans can keep them). Here’s a quick sum-up of places I went to that are worth visiting should you find yourself in Minneapolis.
- Walker Art Center – The crown jewel of the already bustling Minneapolis art scene, the Walker is worth a visit for the building alone. But it’s full of interesting art so go see that, too. Stop by the expansive gift shop.
- Franconia Sculpture Park – Not exactly in Minneapolis, but an easy drive outside of town, Franconia is a little magical. The giant piece of land is covered in native grasses, a little forest, and dotted with dozens of large-scale sculptures. It’s free and open during daylight hours for endless wandering.
- Stone Arch Bridge – In case you didn’t know, downtown Minneapolis is lined by the Mississippi River. This historic bridge spans the wide waterway, and is nice to look at and equally nice to walk over. While you’re in the area, check out the remains of an old mill and step out onto the Endless Bridge.
- Chain of Lakes – Not only does Minneapolis have a river, it has a whole chain of lakes. All of them are lovely, and offer walking paths. If the weather is nice, take a kayak or pedal boat out for a spin.
- Minnesota Center for Book Arts – A very cool, collaborative space that features a rotating gallery, shop, coffee shop, and book store.
- Kyatchi – A modern Japanese restaurant that strives to use sustainable (and sometimes local) seafood. They offer a surprisingly extensive menu with lots of opportunity for sharing.
- Izzy’s – This local ice cream stop has a couple of locations including downtown. An “izzy” is a tiny extra scoop on top of your order so you can have a bite of another flavor. Get the “dizzy izzy” for five little scoops (if you are indecisive like me).
- Kramarczuk’s – I’ve only eaten their classic sausages at Target field, but they were soooo much better than your standard ballgame hot dog with a nice snap.
- Brasa – Probably my favorite meal I had in Minneapolis. Great chicken, pork, and lots of sides like yucca, collard greens, beans and rice, and plantains. Nice atmosphere but casual. There can be a wait!
I can’t believe I just typed the date and it says December. But here we are. I’ve been writing per usual, and here are some examples:
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Last weekend we took a short trip to the Arts District in downtown LA to try Guerrilla Tacos.
They’re menu changes on a daily basis, but they usually post it on their site and Twitter. Most days they’re in front of one of two coffee shops downtown, but certain days they’re in Culver City or Silver Lake. Again, all on their site.
They have a limited, rotating menu, and the day we went they were serving shrimp and potato tacos with a chile morita, sweet potato tacos with feta and fried corn, mortadella tortas with pinto beans and avocado, and an ahi tuna tostada. We ordered everything but the tostada.
The torta was huge, with the thickest slice of mortadella I’ve ever seen, a slice of queso, beans, arugula, avocado, and aioli all on a crusty bun. My husband devoured it.
The sweet potato taco was lightly sweet and creamy, with gooey cheese, a bit of crunch, and a lightly spicy sauce.
The shrimp taco had huge grilled shrimp, crispy and creamy potatoes, lemony greens, and a really tasty sauce. Actually, it was all really, really good. We’ll be back again and again.
I was lucky enough to have a weekend pass for The Taste—The Los Angeles Times’ yearly food festival. It consists of five events over the course of Labor Day weekend, with lots of food, drink, cooking demos, panels, and more. My husband and I went to four (yes, four) of the events, and, a few pounds heavier, lived to tell the tale.
It was one of the most enjoyable food festivals I’ve ever been to, and overall felt well-planned and well-executed. Each event had a loose theme, and various restaurants from around LA served small plates from little booths on the Paramount Studios backlot. The restaurants changed for each event (for the most part), and several liquor, wine, and beer purveyors were on hand.
I’m basically just going to bang out a bullet point list of my personal highlights, and say that we had a great time. Looking forward to next year!
- Two of the events were during the day, and it being LA in September, it was hot. Luckily, there were a number of “cool down lounges” available to duck into, our favorite being the arts lounge. We entered to win opera tickets and even joined the Natural History Museum while sipping on bubbly.
- We kept going back to the Knob Creek bar, which was there all weekend. My husband fell head over heels for their Orchard cocktail, which was bourbon, Granny Smith simple syrup, lemon, and basil. You could also get a custom cocktail made, and I had a concoction of rye, Campari, grapefruit juice, lime, and ginger that was delicious.
- Prova Pizzeria served up delicious pizza from it’s portable brick oven along with fresh burrata. The sauce was perfect.
- The Gadarene Swine handed out fried olives as well as a dessert of coconut pudding, mojita granita, shortbread crumbles, and fresh strawberries that wasn’t too sweet and totally tasty.
- Roy Choi gave a cooking demonstration, making avocado toast and a spicy pork and rice dish. He was as charismatic as always and the crowd loved him.
- Mexikosher served falafel tacos with a burnt salsa and habanero tahini that were crispy and flavorful.
- Love & Salt handed out a grilled peach salad with duck pastrami, dandelion greens, and cheese. It was refreshingly simple and clean among a lot of powerfully flavorful food.
- At the bar stage, Wes Hagen from J. Wilkes wine hosted a left coast wine tasting, all of which were delightful, and his talk insightful.
- Bulgarini Gelato served up a few flavors, but their fresh peach gelato and Sicilian almond gelatos were superb, and tasted so good together.
- Plan Check Kitchen + Bar handed out 6 chili cheeseburger tacos. It sounds like a lot, and it was—but in the form of one small taco, it was truly tasty.
- Jonathan Gold hosted a panel called “Things in a Bowl” with Alvin Cailan of Eggslut, Christine Moore of Little Flower, and Minh Plan of Porridge & Puffs. It was whimsical and everyone was lovely.
I’ve been busy type-typing away, and here are some of the results!
“Cooking The Simpsons” is the beginning of a new series on Paste. Stay tuned for more shenanigans!
Some articles I’ve read and loved lately:
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Here’s some articles that I’ve written recently with my own two hands and ten typing fingers.
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