Author: Jeni (page 1 of 133)

My First And Last Wondrous Punch: Red Dragon

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.

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Happy Hour In A Haunted Mansion: Forepaugh’s

I love going to haunted places, but I never ever ever want to find a ghost.

Haunted places are old and interesting. They’re cloaked in storytelling and steeped in history. I especially love visiting haunted dining/drinking establishments because you don’t just wander through; you get to pull up a seat and eat.

Forepaugh’s is 147 years old. The mansion is tucked into a quiet stretch of West 7th near the river. Jake and I have driven along West 7th a million times and somehow never saw Forepaugh’s. I’m not sure how, because the mansion in all of its glory looms on the peaceful, grassy lot.

Since 1870 the sign says. 

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Life In Photos & Stories: From The Best Muffins To Kombucha Adventures

Every once in a while my friend Beth publishes a “What’s On My Camera Roll” post. I get a kick out of the photos she shares along with their corresponding stories.

Now that we carry phones equipped with high quality cameras at all times, it’s effortless to snap a photo of whatever is amusing us at the moment. Here’s a glimpse into my past couple of weeks:

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How To Make Rhubarb Syrup For Cocktails & Spritzers

Growing-up in Minnesota, I took rhubarb for granted.

My folks weren’t really into it. Rhubarb was this mysterious, sour pink stalky plant we dared each other to eat as kids. Jake remembers dipping it into sugar. As a young adult, I remember catering an event where the people ate all of the other summer pies except the rhubarb. The rhubarb slices came back to the kitchen where we happily enjoyed them.

I realized they were fools.

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Trung Nam French Bakery: Croissants and Banh Mi

Saturday morning Trung Nam runs are becoming my new thing.

Trung Nam is a Vietnamese and French bakery located along University Avenue in the Frogtown neighborhood of Saint Paul. The owners have been serving french bread and croissants since 1989.

Although I remembered Heavy Table visiting Trung Nam in one of their Green Line Checklist chapters, what really pushed me to visit for the first time was learning they also serve banh mi sandwiches in the morning. Not only can you buy almost any flavor of croissant, but also a pork banh mi, too, all starting at 8 o’clock in the morning.

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