Ted Talks and motivational Instagram accounts have been telling me to do what I love, and two things I definitely love are delicious beverages (preferably of the alcoholic or caffeinated variety) and delicious food. So on a weekend trip to Minneapolis with friends, I took it as my solemn duty to consume as much of those things as possible. What follows is a quick list of reviews on my picks for eating and drinking in the city. Since I was only there for three days, this isn't an exhaustive list by any means. But don't worry, I'll be back (and recommendations are always welcome).
Fantastic espresso and highly skilled baristas. I tried a natural process Ethiopian - the most deliciously fruity espresso I've ever tasted, and a Gibraltar with a more traditional South American blend espresso. The barista drew a swan with the steamed milk on the Gibraltar and I wish I had given her a round of applause for this feat. Weird? yes, but appropriate I think.
The gorgeous little windowed seating area is a bit on the small side, but Uptown is a cool neighbourhood, so get that coffee to go and enjoy it as you look at books, records and home goods.
I completely loved the retro-diner decor, and the food is decent. I had the fried chicken and waffles, which were the tiniest bit dry, but still yummy and unusual. Their jam is made in house and is completely to die for. I didn't try any of the desserts, but they looked like delicious works of art in the pastry case. Their brewed coffee is better than most diners, but skip the espresso-based drinks.
This place is huge and fun fun fun. Between four people we ordered three small plates and one large and there was food a-plenty. Their guacamole and salsa is an explosion of flavour and the leftovers tasted amazing mixed up in my scrambled eggs the next morning. The mojito I ordered was underwhelming, but they have a great beer selection.
Great coffee and lovely decor. I especially love all the original mouldings and ceiling. This would be a perfect place for a chat with friends, some laptop time, or a book.
Butcher and the Boar
If you want some flavourful, well-balanced cocktails, go here. Their outdoor beer tent (a misnomer, since they serve the full drink menu) is beautiful. We didn't try anything from the dinner menu, but it looked promising.
As a side note, the restaurant floor is tiled with pennies: pennies people. I think the Canadian government should take every penny they've removed from circulation and tile the floors of all the government buildings they can with them, because the effect is interesting and gorgeous.
Do yourself a favour and enjoy a deceptively strong tiki drink. Just make sure you're not the one driving. I had the One-Eyed Willy, which was delicious and made me feel just wonderful ;) Each drink comes in its own specialty glass that requires a 5$ deposit. Because, yeah, the cups are totally steal-worthy.
Our pizzas were okay, but nothing to write home about, and the service was friendly, but a bit slow. Understandable since the place is HUGE and what you're really paying for is the atmosphere.
The Angry Catfish
Watching my syphon-brew being made was like witnessing a science experiment, and the result was a really clean, bright cup of coffee. The staff were very friendly.
If you're interested, they also carry some pretty serious bike gear for various types of riding. Definitely a neat space. I was super sad the The Butcher's Wife's just down the street was closed, because pastry dipped into coffee is among my favourite things. If you're there and it's open, try it out and report back!
Brasa Premium Rotisserie
I am completely in love with the concept of this restaurant. You order multiple plates of soul food to create your own meal or share around with a group. I had one protein and two sides (all small) and I was stuffed by the end. The prices are really reasonable, and if you go in the summer with nice weather, the restaurant is open to the outdoors, with a patio and a fire pit. Such a great place to spend an afternoon or evening.