Oh March, how I love you. March is an exciting month in Minnesota. We have gotten through the worst of winter and it signifies the end of winter. We can almost taste the spring. As with many months in Minnesota March can show up in many different ways. We can still have snow and also see 80 degree weather. Is the weather in Minnesota a bit bi-polar you ask? Just a bit. For the most part March is still very much winter and spring doesn't pop its head until late April but this year was warmer than usual. We didn't see too much snow but as you can see in the pictures the snow littered the ground still.
I like March because St. Patricks day is one of my favorite holidays. We don't disappoint here in Minnesota. The best place to go to celebrate would have to be St. Paul. Head up to 7th street and hit The Liffey or Patrick McGovern's. The whole street is hopping and you can watch the St. Patricks day parade usually along 7th or 5th street. I personally love the Local in downtown Minneapolis. It's a big place with a traditional Irish Pub feel. You feel like you've transplanted yourself to Dublin with its old world charm thats hard to find here in the US.
In March hundreds of eagles nest along the St. Croix River. There is many beautiful areas along the river to visit but The National Eagle Center in Wabasha would be perfect for this occasion. If your a Grumpy Old Men Fan, Wabasha is the city where the movie was filmed. If you haven't seen the movies shame on you. It is one of my favorite movies. How can you go wrong with Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon together? Rest in peace guys you blessed the world with your humor and talent. Take the time to watch prior to checking out the area it will make it that much more interesting.
We are on the cusp of the best months of the year. It's an exciting time waiting for the spring. Enjoy the last of winter folks as its on its way out.
February is the month of love and in Minnesota you need all the warmth you can get in February. Next to January, February is the 2nd coldest month of the year. We are still in the depths of winter. The temperatures can vary quick a bit. You can see by the pictures I posted we have snow in early February and then a 60 degree snowless day later in the month. Don't count on 60 degree days in February. This is a freak occurrence. It appears mother nature is as up and down as the energies on the earth these days. She looks to us to tell her what we want and this is what we are putting out. We may like 60 degree days in February but it's not the best thing for nature and the balance of the earth. So what do you do? I guess we enjoy what we get! Overall, it was a very strange month weather wise. I found myself yearning for a snow covered winter wonderland. If its cold out it might as well be beautiful to look at.
February brings us Valentines day! I always enjoy any holiday. It gives us something to celebrate and love is always a great thing to give and receive. You don't need a significant other to celebrate. Make a special meal for other family members or you can have a "Friendentines" celebration. Get some friends together and share some gifts, great cocktails and food. Here's a great goal this month, how can you give love to one person every day in February? Find some great sustainable/ethical meat and seafood options for your home made celebrations at Whole foods in Edina or Minneapolis. Whole Foods also has the best deals for organic vegetables. If you would rather go out you can head Downtown Minneapolis to Tullibee's. Featuring Rustic Nordic cuisine and a charming, warm atmosphere order a nordic latte and sit by the fireplace on one of the comfy leather sofa's. For dinner hop a few blocks down to the Red Rabbit and share some oysters with your "Skat" a Danish term you call your "Sweetie" translated as "treasure". I have to join the Nordic obsession that is sweeping the world at the moment. As you can see we have a Nordic winter theme happening this winter. What better way to experience the Scandinavian experience then in Minnesota the most Nordic state in the U.S.
Ramen is the hot item in the Twin Cities. Where once it was hard to find now there are many choices available and I like many other's am looking to find the best Ramen in town. This ramen joint is pretty new. It was ironic that one day I was craving some ramen and was headed to my favorite Pho place when out of no where I noticed Ippudo Ramen on Nicollet Ave out of the corner of my eye. I thought my prayers had been answered and decided to check it out. The outside does look like a noodle place you would find on the streets of Japan. I got a bit nostalgic as Japan is one of my favorite places in the world especially for food. I was not disappointed. The menu consists of different type of ramen and you can also get an array of yakitori (grilled food on skewers). Its a type of Japanese street food. Your options range from grilled meats to vegetables, including rare finds like liver or tongue. I have to say now after trying some different Ramen restaurants this place is one of my favorites. Ramen is all about the broth. This broth is smooth and delectable without being too salty. The water to flavor ratio was right on. It may not be completely like the real deal but can you really replicate something so magnificent as eating ramen in Japan? The Japanese cook like its an art form. Until we in American can truly harness the love, beauty, passion and untarnished ingredients into our food we will not come close. Besides that Ippudo Ramen is a good 4 out of 5 stars. I highly recommend it.
It is never to late I say...so here is your December forecast in January.
December here you are. It's the most wonderful time of the year in Minnesota. You can truly feel the magic. It permeates the air, the sites and the sounds. This December brought unseasonably warm weather, which we enjoyed. The snow appeared here and there. We had a handful of days with a winter wonderland. I think we all truly want the white covered Christmas landscape in December but the last couple years its been quite barren. Christmas day instead brought us a fun ice storm in the north and rain in the south. December weather is a bit bi polar but I think that is usual, so if your visiting in December its hard to tell what your going to get. You may be able to hit the ski slopes or snowshoe the many great trails we have or you may get 40 degree's with rain. December is always a surprise.
There is much to do in December. It's a great time to get out and feel the christmas energy all around. Ikea hosts a traditional Swedish Julbord dinner early in December. For $12 I wasn't expecting much but was quite surprised at the whole experience. They had a live Swedish chorus serenading the affair in traditional Swedish fashion. The spread was 4 star including many Nordic dishes including an assortment of herring, Gravad Lax, meatballs with lingonberry sauce, rice pudding and warm Glogg (for you non nordic folks thats mulled wine). A marvelous Nordic Christmas experience. I would highly recommend.
The last 3 years the cities has brought the ethereal Christmas market experience to Minnesota. This year St Paul hosted a European Christmas Market theme. I lucked out the night I went and it started to snow. The snow does add to the whole ambiance. Though the Minnesota Christmas markets pale in comparison to the Christmas markets in Europe. Its gives you a little taste of what its like and a fun thing to do at Christmas time. There is something magical about walking around the Christmas themed wood stands, with a warm glass of mulled wine as the snow falls. Put this on your bucket list! After the Christmas market you can continue the European experience and head over to Emmett's Public House on Grand Ave and get a Irish coffee or a Guinness. The small pub gives the appearance of a traditional European pub in the middle of St Paul, Minnesota. The pub fair is quite good. I recommend the fish and chips or the bangers and croquettes. There is so much to do in December in Minnesota you must get out of the house and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year!
You may have heard of Spoon and Stable located in The North Loop of Downtown Minneapolis. The waitlist for a reservation is out a few weeks to a month, especially if your trying to get a table on a Friday and Saturday evening. I had to see if it was as good as the waitlist makes it out to be. Well, I was not disappointed and my dinner date made the comment, "This is the best restaurant I've been to in the cities". Hailing from Copenhagen the home of Noma, rated the best restaurant in the world for 4 years, I have to take his review as a legit stamp of quality at its best. For me a restaurant is not only the food but a whole experience that must tantalise all my senses. It is an experience and not just fuel for the body. This is a place you don't just go to fill the rumble of your tummy but a place to visit if your looking for an experience to remember.
The atmosphere is a very quaint mix of contemporary and local homey charm. I recommend their version of a gin and tonic. It's not just your ordinary bar cocktail. I included a picture in the collage above. A must try from the bar. For food the seared rainbow trout was delicious. The mix of fish, truffle, leek and brussel sprouts is a winning combo. Lastly, the roasted pumpkin tortellini is a savory meets sweet dish. I love me some gingerbread and the crushed cookie on top really brings out the flavor of the pumpkin and brown butter. I think it depends on your palate because it could be too sweet for some but for me it was a 4 out of 5. Freebies are always good and they end your meal off with a free assortment of small pastries and candies. If your celebrating a special event make sure to tell your server. They surprise you with a giant stick of their own cotton candy they make in-house.
Bottom line is the wait is worth it. The owner/chef Gavin Kaysen did a great job accomplishing his vision of bringing award winning food to his hometown. For the midwest, Minneapolis/ St Paul is truly a diamond in the rough when it comes to great food.
November, November here we meet again. You surprise me every year. I'm never quite sure what you will bring but no matter your many faces they are all beautiful. It is a month of thanksgiving. Thanks for this place, thanks for the people and thanks for this time of year. November reminds us to look around and take stock of all that is good in our life. What are you thankful for?
The start of November has been unseasonable warm. We are enjoying it thoroughly. People were still out and about walking, biking and taking in the last bit of warmth. Many trees stood bare but some didn't seem to want to let go of their leaves. There was still fall colors sprinkled around. The end of the month has now brought some colder weather but today warmed up a bit into the 40's, which again is unseasonable. Thanksgiving has now come and gone. We are still reveling in the long weekend.
Its a great time to come check out the Mall of America. I know, I know. That is one of Minnesota's claims to fame but we will continue to ask newbies "have you been to MOA"? "Its the biggest mall in the US"! The sales are hoppin, so come on up! It is also a great time to check our amazing food scene. It is a diamond in the rough for great food. People would never guess it but the Twin Cities is one of my favorite food scenes and its not just because I'm from here! November is a good time to go catch some good eats before the roads get bad. Check out Spoon and Stable, Downtown Minneapolis. You'll need to reserve a table in advance as they are booked out a few weeks to a month. Get some brunch and a good coffee at Vicinity Cafe in South Minneapolis or head over to St. Paul to the Meritage for the best french food in the cities.
Its not the best time to hang outside but we were able to get in a few last bonfires. There has been a bit of snow, so you can get in some skiing in as well as the hills are open. In the cities try out Buck Hill or Hyland Ski Hill. It's quite a bi polar time for the weather as you can see.
No matter the month Minnesota always surprises you. The weather changes like our moods but you will never get bored. I'm truly thankful for November in Minnesota!
It really can't get any better than this....fall in Minnesota. Oh, October I love how you intoxicate all my senses. The breathtaking diversity of colors; fire red, sunset dazzling oranges, bright golds and yellows, soothing greens. The air a mixture of warmth during the day and crispness in the nights. The leaves now cover the ground and the smell is quit comforting. Summer makes a brief appearance when Indian Summer hits. If you haven't heard of it Indian Summer is a bought of unusual warmth following the first autumn frost. I remember temps reaching into the 90's during some years. If you haven't been you must come visit us in October. You can't help but fall in love.
A friend from Denmark has never seen anyone so obsessed with Fall as are here in Minnesota. He couldn't believe we have a leaf index. How else would you know where and when to find the best fall colors! It is a great time for road trips. In early October head up north as the leaves are at its peak. I recommend Grand Marais or Duluth on the North Shore. Mid to late October stay around the Twin Cities or head down a bit more south to Northfield or Red Wing.
There is so much going on in Minnesota in October I can only scratch the surface. You have Oktoberfest in early October (there are a lot of Germans here). We love our sauerkraut and beer! I can't forget Halloween. There is tons of Halloween festivities. Check out The soap factory for a good scare in southeast, Minneapolis. There is Pumpkin Nights at the State Fair Grounds. You can take a scroll with your kiddies and view 3,000 carved pumpkins that make up 12 magical worlds. For you Zombie lover's check out The Zombie Pup Crawl. The worlds first and largest Zombie gathering. Get your zombie on and visit some of Minneapolis's best bar's.
October is one of my favorite months. As you can see there is much splendor, beauty and amusements to partake in. To my fellow Minnesotan's take a moment to stop and smell the leaves. Life is truly magnificent at the current time. Take time out to experience and be grateful for this wonderful place we call home.
One of my favorite brunch places is The Tiny Diner in south Minneapolis. Located off East 38th and 11th ave, it taps all my passions; good food, enchanting atmosphere, clean fresh ingredients, sustainable resources and supporting local farm farmers. You may not have noticed it but once you know its there you get hooked on its quaint charm and great food. It also offers lunch, dinner and a bar.
I immediately fell in love with the garden they have surrounding their patio. They grow some of their own ingredients right on the property and use as much local produce as they can. You can take a walk through the garden and the twig gnome house (thats what I've named it). The feeling is quite Nordic country. The entire buildings is solar powered by solar panels that line the roof of the patio and main building. The restaurant really prides itself on promoting and utilizing bio intensive farming methods and using efficient water methods for water conservation. When you know your food comes from the love of the earth it will nourish your body and soul that much better.
As for the food I'm going to feature the biscuits and gravy in my review as I seem to consistently go back to that every time I go. Who can pass up biscuits in gravy? I like that they give you the option between sausage or mushroom gravy. Great for you fellow non meat eaters. Between the farm fresh eggs, homemade buttery biscuits and the rich mushroom gravy this will be a win every time. Mmmmm, biscuits and gravy! Don't forget to try the fresh squeezed orange!
Aww, Minnesota in September. Every month brings a different feel and atmosphere and September does not disappoint. It's a space where summer wanes and fall starts peaking through, a mixture of the two. During the day it may be in the 80's but at night drop down into the 50's, maybe even in the 30's in the north. Red, yellow and orange start peering through the once vibrant green foliage. It seems strange to me that the trees are already starting to turn. I don't recall it happening this soon in the past but again every fall is like my first. The first day the temp drops below 70 us Minnesotans grab hold to summer with a death grip "don't go"! It takes a few weeks for us to accept summer is pretty much over and we bid it adieu. Half of us do not look forward to fall as again it means winter is near but half of us can't wait for the fall to begin. Once your in the midst of fall it is quit heavenly. The magnificent colors all around, the scent of leaves and fresh air. The first pumpkin spice latte. We can't wait to pull our boots and sweaters out of the closet but hold your horses because it can still be quite warm during the day. I personally don't want to put those sandals away just yet. I'll wear them until my toes can't handle the cold anymore. Its still a great time to enjoy a walk around the chain of lakes in Minneapolis, take a stroll down grand or summit ave, pick some apples at the many apple orchards, have dinner on the patio at W.A. frost, or head up to Alexandria to stomp grapes at the Carlos Creek Winery Grape Stomp Festival. Oh, how I love Minnesota in September!
I live in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Author of The Sum of Everything Book Series. I have my own business as a hypnosis practitioner providing the Quantum Healing Hypnosis technique and a essential oil health advocate. Minnesota is by far one of my favorite places in the world and its not just because I live here. It continues to surprise me and leave me in awe at the many splendors it contains. Through this blog my mission is to help you explore Minnesota through my eyes.