Today we had our first mid-70’s degree day since. . . I can’t remember when?

Maybe we’re wimps up north, but 90 degrees feels unbearable? Maybe anger inducing? I’ve lined up all of my favorite hoodies on my dresser and wistfully eye them every morning. Give me that basic bitch fall. Pumpkin spice lattes, oversized hoodies, caramel apples and apple cider doughnuts, Halloween movies. . .

Addie is doing well. After graduating from the pavlik harness, she took a while figuring out how to roll, but the situation has escalated quickly. She’s basically crawling now. Daytimes feel like marathons. When she’s awake, she wants to participate in everything we’re doing. She wants to see things, she wants to do things. Like I said, she came out with her eyes wide open.

When I see friends on Instagram post photos of their babies peacefully lying in carriers at restaurants or napping in strollers I just shake my head. Thank goodness she sleeps well at night.

She also loves food, which is no surprise. Everything we eat, she wants to taste, too. We used to eat dinner after she went to bed. Now, she won’t go to bed until she’s sat with us, tasting whatever’s on our plate. Then, and only then can we place her in the crib and expect her to contentedly turn on her side and drift off to sleep.

Anyway, here are a couple meals I’ve enjoyed since I last posted – they just happen to be mostly vegetarian.

Five Star Cafe

The meal that I think about the most is takeout from Five Star Cafe located in the Sibley Plaza on West 7th in St. Paul. I’ve driven by it a million times. It showed up on the DoorDash site so I ordered lunch one day when I was stuck at home.

The cafe offers breakfast, sandwiches, West African dishes and cafe beverages.

I ordered the vegetarian combo and chicken Derho . The veggie sampler included four dishes including lentils and collard greens, plus a crisp side salad dressed in a very tasty vinaigrette – like an Italian vinaigrette but better. Derho is an Eritrean dish similar to Doro Wat served with a hard boiled egg and a small cup of cheese (like a thick cottage cheese).

I happily devoured the food for many meals in a row. The veggies tasted fresh and the derho sauce was spicy and flavorful. Even though I ordered extra bread, I certainly didn’t need it, as each dish came with it’s own  round of injera.

This is the meal I probably think about most and hope to order again.

Five Star Cafe
Sibley Plaza
2469 7th St W
St Paul, MN 55116
(651) 696-0909

Marty’s Deli

One weekend, I just wanted to eat a really good sandwich.

We’re lucky to live near Cecil’s, whose pastrami and coleslaw sandwich always sounds good.

An Instagram post from Marty’s Deli advertising a pop-up at Stewart’s caught my eye. Owner Mary creates about six types of sandwiches on homemade foccaccia. I say “create,” because the sandwiches are best described as thoughtful curations of ingredients.

Each sandwich costs between $13-16 – the halves are large and packed with fillings. I got two meals out of each sandwich.

We ordered The Seward (pictured above) a vegetarian sandwich ( roasted cauliflower, curry pickled beets, fennel pesto, arugula, and whipped feta and The Tooch (house-smoked ham, idiazabel cheese, marinated onions, Calabrian chilis, sweet pickle, garlic aioli).

Both sandwiches tasted exceptional, combining savory, sweet, tangy, salty flavors and all sorts of textures. My favorite of the two was vegetarian Seward. A vegetarian feast between bread.

Follow their Instagram page for updates. Menu here.

The Giant Quang Cookie

Of course Quang’s pho and soups are good. They have a weirdly good pad thai and this amazing salmon dish. Salmon probably won’t come to mind first when you think about Quang, but maybe it should. Oh and the homemade sparkling limeades. . .

The salmon fillet is nicely seared and served with a citrusy sweet (but not too sweet) and spicy sauce, along with some steamed rice, cucumber slices, and scattering of pickled veg. This is my latest order.

People online kept telling me to get the giant chocolate chip cookie. We finally remembered. It was warm and chewy, crisp on the edges, buttery. Can’t imagine an order without it now.

2719 Nicollet Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55408
612) 870-4739