Wishing you a happy holiday season! For the first time since we dated, we decorated. We have a jolly, fake Christmas tree from Bachman’s (came out of the box with lights on!) and a garland of lights that reminds me of “Stranger Things” when it blinks. Oh, and we placed a stocking for Trayse the dog above the mantel.
Here’s some late fall/early winter tastes I wanted to share:
Mizuki Fusion, Faribault
I ate lunch here after a strange experience at the Medford Outlet Mall. Back when we lived in Mason City, IA we drove past the mall countless times but never actually stopped anywhere except for the gas station.
Anyway, I ordered a pair of shoes from one of those adult comfortable shoe stores that actually sells sizes 5’s & 5 1/2’s NOT realizing a few important things. First, you must return shoes within 30 days of ordering. You also must pay your own shipping to return by mail. I ordered giant boots and was not mailing them.
Otherwise, you must return the products at a store. All of the Twin Cities locations closed. I’m not only at the age where I shop for comfortable mom shoes. But, I feel like it was just yesterday when I saw a Naturalizer and Aerosoles at the Mall of America when it could have been 10 years ago, I have no idea.
I called ahead to verify that I could return these boots at the only location in Minnesota, the Medford Outlet Center located an hour away.
I would not go out of my way to shop at the Medford Mall, for the Medford mall is rather dead. If you live nearby, that’s one thing. If you are passing through and feel like perusing a Halloween outlet or Dress Barn, then why not?
When I went to make an even exchange, I was offered much more than I paid for the boots. I gave them multiple opportunities to adjust the transaction with receipts. “The online price and store prices don’t always match,” the manager shrugged, so I took the damn refund.
I stopped at Mizuki Fusion in Faribault on the way home. The original location is in downtown Owatonna. This one’s located in a strip mall. The service is very friendly and lunch prices are reasonable. I ordered the sushi lunch which included a roll of my choice (I chose spicy shrimp), a California roll and bowl of miso soup. Even when I added green tea, my bill, including tax + tip, didn’t go much over $10. The bento box lunch specials are also very affordable.
When you order the hot green tea, your server will keep filling your cup with genmaicha, green tea brewed with toasted rice. It’s one of my favorite teas.
If you are in the area and want healthy options or something other than burgers and sandwiches, Mizuki is an option to consider. The sushi seaweed wrapper was a bit chewy, but the fillings tasted fresh. I would certainly return to try more dishes. It seems like a well-loved pair of restaurants.
Tibet Kitchen, Minneapolis
This is as pretty as I can make this photo taken in a flourescently lit conference room at work. Trust me when I say this curry is good. One of my coworkers suggested delivery from Tibet Kitchen. She has good taste in food and I knew her suggestion wold be solid. The majority of my coworkers like spicy foods and we’re always sharing our latest finds.
Tibet Kitchen’s menu offers a variety of Tibetan, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Thai dishes. You could order momos, pho, General Tso’s chicken, and pad thai.
I ordered the Vietnamese curry, extra spicy, with tofu ($8.99). The description lists “Vietnamese spices,” coconut milk, onions, and pineapple, topped with crushed peanuts. I love sweet and savory combinations. It was not served on a bed of lettuce and bean sprouts which is fine because the lettuce would get soggy.
The entrée with the side of rice provided three meals. The tofu has a nice spongy chew without the strong soy flavor. Extra spicy was actually extra spicy, causing me to sweat. My coworker ordered a stir-fried noodle dish at the “super spicy” level. She didn’t break a sweat. I thought they were delicious.
You can read about my love of the Cucina here.
We liked all of the dishes we ordered including a porchetta- rapini sandwich, ricotta cavatelli, and cheese filled arancini. The dish we couldn’t stop raving about is the fried cauliflower. I don’t know if this is a regular item, but it’s the best cauliflower dish either of us has tried. The friedness just seems to give the cauliflower texture. With the crispy breadcrumbs, sweet peppers, and tart sauce it’s perfectly complex and balanced.
Tamarack Tap, Woodbury
Disclaimer – Jake’s uncle is a co-owner. His aunt and uncle treated us to dinner. We love the cheese curds. They’ve got a different type of coating than the state fair Mouth Trap style. Still, the curds are fried well and have that high quality milk fat string. Usually I think homemade ketchups are gross. Tamarack’s blueberry ketchup is more like a blueberry sauce. It’s a little sweet but not too sweet with a natural blueberry flavor. Another satisfying sweet and savory combo. I also savored a giant pretzel the size of my abdomen for breakfast that week. It comes with queso and sweet, grainy mustard.