This weekend I sat down and handwrote a list of all of the places in the Twin Cities I wanted to try.
I’m not so much in the mood to chase the hottest new restaurant openings (although I guess I did just make a reservation for Hyacinth). What I’m really in the mood for is chasing the places that have bene around for a while that we haven’t tried yet.
When you live in one place for a while you can take things for granted. For example, in St. Louis, we made it a point to see all of the major attractions in the area. We talked about how we should do the same in our own home state and visit the History Museum, Wabasha Street Caves, and James J. Hill house.
This year’s list of everything we ate at the Minnesota State Fair looks similar to last year’s. I tried one of those hyped up new foods, a couple “new to me” things, and old favorites.
I live for the excitement and new food offerings that swirl from this Great Minnesota Get Together.
Some people live for occasions like Christmas and Valentine’s Day. I live for Halloween and the Minnesota State Fair. My Christmas Eve is reading the Twin Cities food critics’ reviews of the zany new foods. I’m always amused by how foods that make one critic’s worst list will make another’s favorites.
My best advice for fair goers is to simply eat whatever catches your fancy.
Castle Danger sounds scarier than it really is.
This very pleasant brewery is located on Lake Superior in the small town of Two Harbors along scenic highway 61.
Of the few breweries we’ve visited between Duluth and Two Harbors, this is our favorite. Jake enjoys the IPA’s and like the nitro stout.
Castle Danger doesn’t serve food (except for chips and salsa) but that’s ok. You can order from local restaurants. Or, you can bring your own.
If you’re heading to Castle Danger from Duluth, stop at Northern Waters Smokehaus, first. Our favorite thing to order are the smoked fish boxes. Simply order whatever portion of smoked fish you would, and they will add saltine crackers and scallion cream cheese.
It took me one visit to love Duluth. Even in February, when the winds hurl sub-zero winds from across the lake.
In February, we felt like we had the lake to ourselves. In the summers you have to share.
Last weekend we headed 2.5 hours north back to Duluth. A mere 2.5 hours north, I-35 takes you far away from the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities. As the hills open up and you reach the port you’ll feel like you’ve different world.
There was a blues music festival down in the open park by the aquarium, bringing lots of visitors to the area. Canadian wildfires north cast a sort of sleepy haze over the lake.
Grand Avenue is a popular street running through St. Paul, Minnesota.
It’s also near our home, which means we’ve found ourselves here on Grand a lot over the past couple years.
People flock here for shopping, walking, and restaurants. There’s the adorable and independent Red Balloon Bookshop that many of our parents took us to when we were kids, The Bibelot, Grand Ole Creamery, Juut Salon Spa. Or some of us may remember dancing at the Wild Onion (RIP) and drinking at Billie’s.
It’s natural to get excited about all of the new restaurants opening around the Twin Cities. But, I wanted to dedicate this post to three places I love along Grand Avenue that have stood the test of time for 13+ years.