I have to admit that I was not familiar with Red Wagon Pizza. It was not on my list nor my radar. We had dinner there with our friends Jessie, Lucas, Nate & Kristen. Jessie was the one who recommended the place and we went along for the ride knowing she has good taste in restaurants. Red Wagon is a wood-fired pizza joint located on Penn Ave in Minneapolis. According to the owner, the restaurant specializes in modern American pizza paired with American craft beer. Red Wagon serves 36 beers on tap. Guy Fieri highlighted the restaurant on his show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives back in May.
A little bit of history on the Minnesota State Fair before I begin. The first Minnesota State Fair was held in 1859 near what became downtown Minneapolis. This was a year after Minnesota was granted statehood. Today, often referred as the “Great Minnesota Get Together”, the annual Minnesota State Fair is one of the most popular tourist destination in the region. The fair attracts nearly 1.8 million visitors annually. The fair is always held 12 days leading up to and through Labor Day. The 2016 Minnesota State Fair runs Aug 25 – Sept 5. There are many reasons why I love the Minnesota State Fair, but for me it’s simply all about the food. Each year, I look forward to the State Fair new foods list to find out what new creations have been concocted. I often attempt to try one or two items from that list along with my usual favorites. And this year, was no different.
After a stop at Dangerous Man Brewing, we walked down the street to the Anchor Fish & Chips for dinner. The restaurant is located in a quiet area in Northeast Minneapolis. Surprisingly, I had never been there as I had been told that it was difficult to get in due to its popularity and they did not take reservations.
This post represent my first out of state restaurant visit. Last month, we traveled to Chicago to attend the Coldplay concert at Soldier Field. We dined at Bar Siena prior to the concert. We found Bar Siena courtesy of Yelp and Open Table. We picked it because we liked the menu which mostly consisted of different Italian dishes and it was easy to make a reservation. Bar Siena draws its inspiration in size, style, and energy from a casual, energetic bar and restaurant called La Taverna in Siena, Italy.
A few weekends ago, we found ourselves in Bayport, MN, a quaint little town along the St. Croix River, one mile south of Stillwater, MN. During our visit, we took the kids to Lakeside Park, but before that we had the privilege of dining at this charming little cafe called L’Etoile Du Nord. L’Etoile Du Nord is a french phrase meaning “The Star of the North”. I also found out that L’Etoile Du Nord is the motto of the U.S. State of Minnesota chosen by the state’s first governor, and was adopted in 1861, 3 years after admission of Minnesota to the Union. As for the cafe, it is Belgium inspired thanks to the owner who is from there. The cafe prides itself as using only the freshest ingredients which they source locally from farmers in the St. Croix River Valley. One of their motto is that everything they offer is made from scratch with only the finest, local, organic, and seasonally available ingredients.
While attending the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, we were looking for a dinner place and found JEFE with the help of Yelp. It is located on St Anthony Main and is a little more than a month old. The restaurant was launched by the same people that own Aster Cafe, which is just down the street. JEFE Urban Hacienda is described as a comfortable hang out where you are cared for in vintage Spanish style. Lovingly built cocktails, Mexican tap beer, grotto-cooled wines, fresh Mexican street food, and sweet ambiance all await you.
Public kitchen + bar is located in the St. Paul Lowertown neighborhood. The restaurant overlooks Mears Park. In the last couple of years, Lowertown has quickly become one of the hottest neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. The city is now home to the newly opened CHS field (home to the St. Paul Saints) and countless of new bars and restaurants.
We were looking for a place for Sunday Brunch after a fun filled wedding weekend and the Hen House Eatery was recommended. They specialize in local food and drink. They use the freshest locally-source ingredients and serve breakfast all-day. Their bar also features a variety of craft beers and specialty bloody mary’s. The restaurant also has a bakery.
This past weekend, I rediscovered one of my favorite places in the Cities, Victor’s 1959 Cafe. We stopped in for lunch with some friends, prior to taking a stroll around Lake Calhoun. On their website, the restaurant calls itself a place where you can escape from everyday life, eat some mighty tasty food, experience another culture, and maybe even feel like you are on a mini-vacation. In a nutshell, you go there to experience some delicious Cuban food.