Parental Murphy’s Law states that every time you request time off in advance, someone gets sick.

It could be you! Or, it could be one of the kids. Someone’s going to get sick and so you’ll all or part of your days off taking care of someone sick.

During my birthday week, Artie got sick.

Our pediatrician told us to bring him in before the weekend when everything seems to implode.

There is literally only one children’s urgent care open on the weekends in the Twin Cities. Otherwise it’s off to the emergency room and a FML Emergency Room copay.

I’m glad I brought him in because he had an ear infection which cleared-up right after he started antibiotics.

I spent the morning at the doctor and trying to get his prescription and generally, pouting.

Our doctor insisted that I take a paper prescription to the pharmacy because she said they would prepare it faster.

I am in no way blaming the pharmacy staff for the chaos resulting from corporate understaffing.

At the drive-through I waited for 30 minutes (one car ahead of me), so I could hand off the prescription with my sleeping baby in the back. Surely it wouldn’t be long, right? They wouldn’t give me an estimate.

Later, I tried calling the pharmacy auto-phone system, but it also wouldn’t give me a status because there were two?! and no one answered the phone.

I waited in line again inside the store and they said they didn’t have my prescription.

“I gave you a paper prescription – like, I handed it to you.”

“Oh! When did you do that? Sometime last week?”


I left to go find lunch nearby while they filled the prescription.

NL Oriental Food & Deli is a small grocery store in East St. Paul with a deli that serves Hmong food in the back. It caught my eye because of the positive Google reviews. East Saint Paul is rich with fantastic Asian delis located inside grocery stores.

It was my birthday week so I bought a lot of food – eggrolls, sticky rice, pork belly, chicken wings, and papaya salad, with hot pepper sauce of course. The people running the deli were very nice.

People in the online reviews and Facebook seem to mention the papaya salad often – they make it fresh and according to your specifications. The heat level is great – hot means hot.

All in all, the whole feast plus a beverage cost around $35. I shared it with my kids while I waited.

The eggrolls are crisp and mostly filled with noodles which is what the kids prefer to meat-heavy filling, anyway. I would certainly return for lunch again.

We ordered dinner from Bole Cafe for a belated birthday meal together that weekend. 

We used to live near Bole Cafe’s old location, but haven’t visited since we had the kids.

The Tour of Ethiopia ($65) is a huge feast that includes three meat dishes (each in their own containers), and selection of veggie dishes, sambusas and injera.

Simply put, it’s delightful.

My personal favorite Ethiopian dish is chicken doro wot – Jake preferred the lamb and beef stews.

Our favorite veggie dishes were the spicy lentil stew, cabbage, green beans and collard greens. The salad had a refreshing, bright vinaigrette that served as the perfect palate cleanser between bites of stewed veggies and spicy sauces.

Just as I remembered, all of their veggie dishes taste extra flavorful and fresh.

We enjoyed many meals from the leftovers that week, although I did have to run out and buy more injera. Make sure to order some extra.

Based on service, value, flavor, joy it brought, I nominate Bole Cafe as the best restaurant in the Twin Cities.