I remember dutifully going with my mom to a Huey Lewis casino concert. She loaded us kids up in the mini van alongside my cousin and his friend.
They wanted to come. Actually, they were big fans.
“I can’t believe our friends made fun of us for going to this concert instead of Smashing Pumpkins,” they lamented. “Billy Corgan sounds like a parrot.” I was never able to unhear it.
We’ve hit that age where we don’t recognize some of the singers on the GRAMMYs, a lot singers on the Video Music Awards. and, certainly none of the ones nominated for Teen Choice Awards.
Our favorite singers are making the casino circuits now. We knew this day would come. Yours will come, too.
Sometimes spicy won’t do. Extra hot won’t be good enough, either.
You don’t just want your food to make you sweat, you want a cathartic, painful, out-of-body experience due fueled by spice, chilis and serotonin.
I think this is how you heal a broken heart.
Once in a while discussion threads appear on Twitter and Reddit; Someone will ask where to find the spiciest food in the Twin Cities and people respond.
They often suggest Marla’s, On’s, Bangkok Thai Deli, Gandi Mahal, Grand Szechuan, Grand Catch, D-Spot, and Revival’s Poultrygeist sauce.
I’ve had all summer to think about this.
My favorite farmers breakfast is from the big Minneapolis Farmers Market on Lyndale.
It consists of two things:
- Iced Vietnamese coffee with boba pearls from Rainbow Chinese ($5). If you are lucky enough, the owner may mix it up for you. It’s so flipping good I long for it all week.
- Spring rolls and/or egg rolls. There are no bad egg rolls at the MPLS farmers market. Rainbow sells big ones. GreenHearts (also listed as Vang Express) sells long, thin egg rolls and huge spring rolls. Their spring rolls are nearly twice as large as everyone else’s and cost only $3. They’re packed with shredded veggies. Sometimes you can choose from different meats or vegetarian ones. Last time they included some sliced chicken breast. Another vendor down the stall from Rainbow (I think it’s called Deelish) also sells egg rolls and spring rolls + coconut curry.
I haven’t visited the Minneapolis Farmers Market for years.
The reason why I didn’t visit often is because of the produce resellers (I just want to know I’m buying from local farmers), the flea market feel, and lack of hot food vendors.
Now it’s one of my favorite markets to shop – I’ve visited two weekends in a row.
There’s plenty of parking beneath the overpass on Lyndale. I arrive before 8:30 a.m. to avoid crowds.
You’ll still find some vendors that sell grocery store produce (just look for the tropical fruits!) but it’s pretty clear which vendors are local farmers. Compared to the smaller neighborhood farmers markets I usually shop at, the variety of produce and herbs is stunning. The prices are also incredibly affordable. Take advantage of buying a bag of bell peppers for about $6 at the farmers markets instead of paying $7 for a pepper at Whole Foods or a co-op.
Wandering around the stalls curiously gazing at all of the vegetables with an iced coffee in hand makes me feel closest to heaven.
Our summers are short but we never take them for granted.
As soon as it’s remotely comfortable enough to eat or drink something outside, restaurants set out their patios. You can find us here in our winter hats and sweatshirts until it snows.
Here are three patios in Minneapolis that we’ve enjoyed a meal at recently:
Birchwood Cafe has been serving organic, local, farm to table food before it was cool (1926 to be exact). In addition to operating the restaurant, Birchwood cultivates community by displaying local art and coordinating events like farm visits and monthly peace-building films.
My friend used to work here and spoke highly of how the owner made employees feel valued and provided health insurance and staff meals.
Weekend brunch is very popular. Be prepared for a wait if you arrive closer to lunch. It had been years since I’d last visited. We enjoyed our first summer meal on a patio here and everything was lovely.