I’m nearing my 33rd birthday. Ever since I wrote the post 31 Feels Like Getting Really Excited About Trying A New Broom, it comes to mind again and again.
33 still feels like Uncle Rico trying to throw a football over them mountains. 33 knows a lot of Uncle Ricos. Basically everyone is Uncle Rico.
33 has heard Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” many times, but, feels a punch to the gut when she really listens to the lyrics for the first time.
33 feels excited about getting new gutters.
33 revels in wearing sensible shoes. Heels, panty hose and panty lines be damned.
33 plans bi-annual lightbulb dates. These involve taking inventory of all of our burnt out bulbs, going to the homestore, buying the bulbs and replace, experiencing more excitement than the situation might dictate.
33 is (ironically) grateful she grew up before every moment and second could be documented and shared on smartphones and social media platforms.
Pat’s Tap has many lovely qualities.
If you can forgive Pat for preferring the Packers, you’ll appreciate her generous happy hour, Skee-ball machines and a patio welcoming to pets.
Oh yeah, and the food’s good too.
What I’m here to talk about today is cheese curds.
It’s easy to make OK versions and hard to perfect. Deep frying battered cheese so that it has the ideal taste and texture is a complicated and beautiful thing.
I make kombucha but I still pronounce it incorrectly.
“Kom-Boo-ka” I say. Kombucha enthusiasts are quick to say, “Ohhh, that’s great. We love “kom-boosh-a.”
Since it hit the mass market, we’ve enjoyed drinking kombucha but felt too intimidated to make it. This all changed when my cousin offered to send me a scoby.
“Sure!” I replied, thinking that if I actually had a real life scoby, I would get over my fear of kombucha-making out of obligation.
This was true.
At first I thought about adding a blurb about Fogo De Chao’s lunch to my Minneapolis Skyway food post. However, Fogo’s Market Table lunch is so glorious that it deserves a post of its own.
Fogo De Chao is a Brazilian steakhouse chain. Servers wander the dining room with metal spears of meat that they slice table side. You can choose from a wide variety of steaks, and cuts of chicken, pork, and lamb. The options are practically endless. Bacon-wrapped, ribs, parmesan chicken, filet mignon, top sirloin, you can have it all. Servers will also ask what doneness you prefer. The well-done people can have their well-done steaks without preventing everyone else from eating medium rare.
As if all of the meat isn’t enough, all meals come with the salad bar Fogo calls the Market Table, feijoada and soup bars, and side dishes.
I never want to drink another Wondrous Punch but I have no regrets about trying one.
Until this weekend, I had never had a “Wondrous Punch,” but I’ve always known the name. Most Twin Cities residents do. It’s the signature drink at Red Dragon, a dive bar located on Lyndale in South Minneapolis. As far as I know, Red Dragon’s always been there. The exterior looks the same as it did when I used to drive past every day ten years ago.
People tell their Red Dragon stories wistfully. They typically occurred a while ago and end in “I don’t remember much,” a brawl, or puking. “The Wonderous Punch is really strong,” they add.
Many things in Uptown have changed. When everything becomes newer and shinier, I’m drawn to establishments that keep serving what they’ve always been serving in an unapologetic, irony-free manner. They don’t serve kale salad or change their menu font from Comic Sans because they don’t want to.