Last year, we stopped at The Lexington for drinks after a family Christmas gathering.
I’ll never forget the incarnation several years ago. I had live-tweeted an extreme white elephant gift exchange. Each year our aunts coordinate a game with rules, regulations, props, and, sometimes, even a set. It’s fantastic.
During this particular year’s party, the prizes included white elephant prizes (supplied by hosts and guests )+ real prizes. I forgot the exact details of the game, but were no consolation “good prizes” and one of the rules allowed stealing. It became very competitive. Households divided against households. Children may have cried.
Even though we’ve lived in the Twin Cities most of our lives, there are many classic and much talked-about restaurants we haven’t visited.
The North Loop area in downtown Minneapolis has boomed since our first move to Fargo and we haven’t spent much time there. In fact, we rarely go to downtown Minneapolis on weekends. I love working there, but am eager to catch the early bus after work to beat the traffic and crowds.
It’s possible to find parking downtown, but you will have to navigate around all of the construction, meters, and pay lots/ramps, all typical downtown stuff. If you can take a bus, the light rail, or Lyft, it’s a breeze. And, you don’t have to worry about enjoying some drinks.
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 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.
“I want to be a wine baron,” Jake stated as we sat at Buena Vista’s bar illuminated by the glowing picture of Count Agoston Haraszthy.
“Who doesn’t” I replied.
The evening before, our flight landed in San Francisco, thus beginning our road trip weaving east to Tahoe and then up to Portland.