The Art, Food and Pull Tabs of Minneapolis

Trip Start Apr 20, 2012
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Trip End Ongoing


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Where I stayed
Kristina Kulp's Pad

Flag of United States  , Minnesota
Monday, May 21, 2012

While Kristina's at work, we spend the morning trying to update our blog. We realize we’re quickly falling behind on our updates (by the time we publish this entry, we'll be 10 days behind). For one reason, we can’t get consistent access to wireless internet, and for another, we’re just having too much fun exploring and seeing new things every day!

Once Kristina gets back from work - and we’ve published two more blog posts - we head to Uptown Diner (in the Uptown neighborhood, of course) for some quick grilled cheese sandwiches before driving to Lake Calhoun for a stroll in the sunshine.

Lake Calhoun is filled with college types and young professionals, so the street scene seems pretty exciting. Since it's a Monday, we don’t think there will be a ton of people at the lake. But I guess school’s out for summer and there appears to be a large amount of people playing hookey to soak up one of the first hot days of the year.

We walk along the paved path, which not only goes all around the lake but continues and winds its way among several other lakes in the area, so you can walk or run for more than 50 miles without seeing the same thing. Walking around Lake Calhoun, which is about three miles, you get a nice view of downtown Minneapolis. All around us, people are running, roller-blading, pushing strollers or playing volleyball, frisbee, horseshoes and cornhole (where you toss a little beanbag into a hole cut out of a board).

Dandelions are also out like crazy. These little cotton balls float past us constantly, and there are some patches of grass that are covered so completely, the dandelion fluff looks like fake snow.

After our walk around the lake, Kristina drives us to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, which is enjoyed by both locals and tourists. We walk past a Minneapolis landmark, the sculpture of a gigantic spoon with an equally gigantic cherry balancing on top.

This garden is also right across the street from the Walker Art Center, which we learn is one of the big five museums in the US for modern art. We don’t have time to visit today, but we put it on our to-do list for our next trip to Minneapolis.

All this walking around has us really thirsty, so we head to Psycho Suzi’s Motor Lounge for some more local beers and food. Psycho Suzi’s is right along the Mississippi River with a huge outdoor patio decorated in a tiki bar theme. Kristina orders us a plate of beer-battered cheese curds and potluck pickle roll-ups. The cheese curds are pretty similar to mozzarella sticks and served with a side of marinara sauce, and the pickle rolls are basically a long wedge of pickle covered in cream cheese and wrapped in some kind of meat, which could be prosciutto, salami or baloney. We're told this is the sushi of the midwest...

They’re both pretty darn good.

For dinner, Kristina has promised another local favorite: walleye!

For the best walleye in town, we head to Sunshine Factory Restaurant & Bistro - a sort of Midwest supper club. The staff is super friendly, there’s free popcorn which is a plus for Bret. There’s also a girl up front selling Pull Tabs.

We've never heard of pull tabs, so Kristina buys us six at a dollar a pop. It's akin to scratch-offs, but all proceeds go to a youth sports organization.

We pull all the tabs and then lay the cards out on the table to see if we have any winners. It turns out we’ve (Lizette) won two dollars!

After some creamy chicken and wild rice soup and our delicious walleye – Bret had it pan-fried, I had it broiled – we turn in our pull tab winner for two more cards.

I know, we should quit while we’re four dollars behind, but we get two more cards and pull the tabs. Of course Lizette "pulls" another winner, so we let it ride. It turns out to be a loser. But knowing we’ve done our part to support the local youth sports organization thanks to Kristina’s generous donation, we all feel like winners. LOL

We return home full of the flavorful local foods, and have one glass of wine for a little nightcap. Tomorrow we’ll be heading to Chicago, another new city for us.

We only spent two days in Minneapolis but with all the amazing buildings, art, scenery, sunshine, bars and food we took in, we can't wait for our next visit!
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