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Lunch with this one ❤️

Posted Wednesday, July 26th, 2017 01:38 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:38 PM

SK @ Mercury Dining Room and Rail

Looking forward to this

Posted Monday, July 24th, 2017 10:36 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Food,Music at 10:36 PM

Big River Pizza is cool (#2)


Posted Monday, July 24th, 2017 10:34 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Personal at 10:34 PM

Big River Pizza is cool (#1)

Sunday with the Saints

Posted Sunday, July 23rd, 2017 04:57 pm GMT -5 in Baseball,Food,Sports at 4:57 PM

Mac and meat is my new favorite 

Never been to this one

Posted Thursday, July 20th, 2017 02:00 pm GMT -5 in Food,Friends at 2:00 PM

Thanks for lunch, Mark

Had at least five of these

Posted Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 02:56 pm GMT -5 in Food,Games,History,Technology at 2:56 PM

The throw-back games wall @ Hot Plate

The Oceanaire Sampler

Posted Tuesday, July 18th, 2017 10:43 am GMT -5 in Food at 10:43 AM

Restaurant Week is good for stuff like this

Maxwell lunch with SK

Posted Wednesday, July 12th, 2017 12:57 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 12:57 PM

Tried something other than fish and chips

Keepin’ it sexy

Posted Tuesday, July 11th, 2017 09:37 am GMT -5 in Food at 9:37 AM

S’more donut from Bradley @ SSSDude-Nutz

Fries and a phosphate 

Posted Friday, July 7th, 2017 10:09 pm GMT -5 in Food,Friends at 10:09 PM

Thanks JV for reminding me about Annie’s

We had a golden ticket

Posted Thursday, July 6th, 2017 01:33 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:33 PM

Free preview week @ the new Portillo’s in Woodbury

He’s still at it

Posted Sunday, July 2nd, 2017 01:51 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Travel at 1:51 PM

Mandatory stop at Gordy’s, Cloquet

Takes me back to SoCal

Posted Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 09:56 pm GMT -5 in Food,Travel at 9:56 PM

…every time

Finally tried clam chowder

Posted Monday, June 26th, 2017 02:33 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Food,Travel at 2:33 PM

Rick Moonen’s RM Seafood @ Mandalay Bay

Dinner at Esker Grove

Posted Sunday, June 25th, 2017 07:57 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 7:57 PM

I’ll interrupt this stream of Vegas posts to briefly talk about Esker Grove at the Walker. One of Doug Flicker’s projects, it’s been open for a bit now and we went way back in December (as an anniversary gift from kid one – thanks, SK!). Rick Nelson gave it 3.5 stars (out of four) in his Strib review and Dara’s review at Mpls.St.Paul magazine talks about the tea that Colleen liked so much:

The green tea toddy was a treasure. It came as a pure white cup with an orange-flower rose in its heart. When the server poured in a blend of green tea, lemon, and honey and orange flower water, the orange peel unfurled into a ribbon before my eyes like a conjurer’s trick. The scent of orange exploded from the cup and then vanished to be replaced by great familiar comfort. That’s some tea.

Two former La Belle Vie alums are also part of the deal: chef de cuisine T.J. Rawitzer (who has a fun Instagram account to follow) and bar manager Jon Olson (who I think was also part of Bradstreet Crafthouse, no?). The space is part of the newly redesigned Walker north entrance, directly across from the remodeled sculpture garden. It’s very nice and fits the museum well, in my opinion. Not sure if they will rotate the artwork along the back wall, but the beautiful collage by Duluth artist Frank Big Bear was present when we visited.

Looks like the menu changes often, as what’s posted online now only contains one thing I remember ordering (Endive & Farro Salad, 11 – blue cheese, smoked honey, vinaigrette). You can take a look at my pictures after the jump, which also includes scallops, steak, swordfish and dessert. Doug and Amy are working on their new Bull’s Horn project in South Minneapolis now (along with the big Heggies Pizza news), but I recommend you stop in to the “old” joint on your next visit to that part of town.


Crack pie from the Milk Bar

Posted Sunday, June 25th, 2017 03:02 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Food,Travel at 3:02 PM

Not bad…

Hot as Hell’s Kitchen 

Posted Saturday, June 24th, 2017 04:20 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Food,Travel,Weather at 4:20 PM

This 110F business is just ridiculous 

Still my favorite 

Posted Saturday, June 24th, 2017 11:59 am GMT -5 in Casinos,Food,Travel at 11:59 AM

First stop, Cafe Bellagio

Happy Tiki Birthday

Posted Friday, June 23rd, 2017 01:32 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Holidays at 1:32 PM

Birthday lunch for the old lady @ Pyscho Suzi’s

Free music everywhere

Posted Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 06:51 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Food,Music at 6:51 PM

JazzFest time in Lowertown 

I spy a pizza girl

Posted Thursday, June 22nd, 2017 01:43 am GMT -5 in Family,Food,Work at 1:43 AM

Kid two started her new summer job across the street

MoA lunch with kid one

Posted Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 01:29 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:29 PM

Found something that didn’t make her sick

Dara and the Strip Club

Posted Wednesday, June 21st, 2017 12:46 pm GMT -5 in Food,Friends,Links at 12:46 PM

More carbs

Posted Saturday, June 17th, 2017 04:32 am GMT -5 in Food at 4:32 AM

Geno’s in NE was a nice surprise

Shh! It’s really a work trip

Posted Monday, June 12th, 2017 07:27 pm GMT -5 in Food,Travel,Work at 7:27 PM

Vegas in two…

What if you don’t have a Bro?

Posted Sunday, June 11th, 2017 04:09 pm GMT -5 in Food at 4:09 PM

First time I’ve seen one of these

Tot Boss in the ‘hood

Posted Thursday, June 8th, 2017 07:45 pm GMT -5 in Food at 7:45 PM

Music in Mears + food trucks

I love this building

Posted Wednesday, June 7th, 2017 07:02 pm GMT -5 in Food,Housekeeping at 7:02 PM

Revival chicken and Easy/Easy & Oskey gimlets @ Rayette Lofts

Happy Birthday Jen!

Posted Monday, June 5th, 2017 07:49 pm GMT -5 in Food,Friends,Work at 7:49 PM

Three martini Mondays are a great way to celebrate @ Freehouse

Hurray for Donut Day

Posted Friday, June 2nd, 2017 09:50 am GMT -5 in Food at 9:50 AM

Katie rocks (and lives near Mojo Monkey)

Checking out another Punch

Posted Thursday, June 1st, 2017 06:41 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 6:41 PM

This must be the hipster NE version

Ireland in Minneapolis 

Posted Thursday, June 1st, 2017 06:38 pm GMT -5 in Food at 6:38 PM

Fish and chips @ The Local

Course closed; grill open

Posted Wednesday, May 31st, 2017 10:39 am GMT -5 in Casinos,Food,Golf at 10:39 AM

The pork ribs at the Meadows Grill

Not the hot turkey sandwich 

Posted Monday, May 29th, 2017 11:57 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Food at 11:57 PM

Something different at the Minnehaha Cafe

Dinner at Bellecour

Posted Saturday, May 27th, 2017 11:00 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 11:00 PM

After the success of Spoon and Stable in the North Loop, everyone was watching to see what Chef Gavin Kaysen would do next (and I don’t mean the stand at the stadium). When word got out the next project would appear in Wayzata, the countdown for reservations was on (and become like a concert on-sale date). Bellecour was the name, Lake Street was the place and modern French influenced by mentors Daniel Boulud and Paul Bocuse was the format. With some good social media timing, I snagged a reservation for one of the first Sundays (March 26th).

The building has housed several restaurants over the years (including a Muffuletta I knew nothing about) and was completely redesigned for Bellecour by Minneapolis-based Shea (whose growing résumé is becoming seriously impressive: Spoon and Stable, McKinney Roe, Mercury Dining Room and Rail, Milkjam Creamery, Italian Eatery, 4 Bells, Eastside, CōV). It’s a pretty space that’s not super big, but has several distinct areas, including a tiny bakery up front for pastry superstar Diane Yang. Cocktail legend Robb Jones (Spoon and Stable, Saffron, Bradstreet Crafthouse) leads the bar program, which we sampled while we waited for our table.

We were seated between two groups that were rather remarkable. On the one side, we had a family of four that appeared very high up the socio-economic ladder. I was surprised someone would bring such young children to a restaurant like this, but the kids turned out to be some of the best behaved people in the whole place. On the other side, we had what I found out later was a table full of restaurant critics (several of which I follow on social media). They were having an extremely fun time, at least that’s what I would surmise based on the amount of noise coming from that table (I still love you all, but wow).

We asked our server Ross how he liked working there and he said he actually just started and was hired after the initial wave of people were trained. He told us he was a chef prior to this job and he was very knowledgable about how all the menu items we asked about were prepared and served. There were a few timing issues with our service, but overall they were doing fine for a brand-new operation.

Colleen and I both started with salads – hers the verte (bibb lettuce, shaved radish, fines herbes vinaigrette, $9), while I went for the frisée (sourdough crouton, crispy bacon, poached egg, sherry vinaigrette, $12). How can you go wrong with sourdough, bacon and egg in a salad? It was very good, but The Bachelor Farmer still holds my number one spot.

For our main course selections, my notes say that Colleen had cod ($25), but it must have been a special (don’t see it on the current menu). I chose the steak frites (NY strip steak, watercress, arugula, beurre de Paris, $28) and found it to be a solid second to the same dish at Barbette. Colleen added a side of champignons (roasted mushrooms, madeira butter, $8), which were one of the highlights of the evening for her.

We both ordered sorbet for dessert (don’t recall the flavors, three scoops for $7), which were served in an edible bowl. Great presentation and strong flavor. Overall, the total bill with tip was right around $150. Stopped in the kitchen to say hi to chef and congratulate him on the new venture and found him to be as gracious and humble as the other times I’ve met him. It’s great to see good people achieve success – bravo, chef!


Friday Fish Fry

Posted Saturday, May 27th, 2017 09:52 am GMT -5 in Food at 9:52 AM

Trophy House in New Trier was something else

Uptown doesn’t have all the rooftops

Posted Thursday, May 25th, 2017 06:23 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 6:23 PM

Ox Cart Ale House Rooftop – follow the tracks

Tried a new one today

Posted Thursday, May 25th, 2017 01:52 pm GMT -5 in Food at 1:52 PM

Chicken teriyaki with vegetable fried rice

On the walls @ Barbette

Posted Wednesday, May 24th, 2017 02:52 pm GMT -5 in Art,Food,Music,Quotes at 2:52 PM

Miss you, MCA

Upgrades at Tobies

Posted Saturday, May 20th, 2017 10:10 pm GMT -5 in Food,Travel at 10:10 PM

So many changes in Hinckley

Tried out dinner @ Golden’s Deli

Posted Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 08:13 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:13 PM

Lunch with kid one, dinner with kid two


Posted Wednesday, May 17th, 2017 01:19 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 1:19 PM

Can’t believe the steak lover had never been to Murray’s (still the best in town, IMO)

Yet another St. Paul classic

Posted Sunday, May 14th, 2017 08:45 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:45 PM

Mother’s Day dinner with the fam 

Mother’s Day 2017 @ IHOP

Posted Sunday, May 14th, 2017 12:37 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Holidays at 12:37 PM

Tried the Maplewood edition

Porky’s Rig

Posted Saturday, May 6th, 2017 10:18 pm GMT -5 in Charities,Food at 10:18 PM

Looks like Boss Hog to me – King’s Place, Miesville

Back at the Turf Club 

Posted Thursday, May 4th, 2017 08:43 pm GMT -5 in Concerts,Food,Music at 8:43 PM

Frankie and Friends (plus dinner) – first time here on the green line

It’s been too long, Cap

Posted Friday, April 28th, 2017 12:48 pm GMT -5 in Food at 12:48 PM

The lunch special at Cap’s Grille, Minneapolis

Thanks for the dogs, Franky

Posted Thursday, April 27th, 2017 08:31 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:31 PM

Post-run dinner with the old lady

Wish I liked beer more

Posted Monday, April 24th, 2017 05:55 pm GMT -5 in Food at 5:55 PM

Actually no I don’t, but this place was nice

Great – I did shitty in real estate

Posted Thursday, April 20th, 2017 03:42 pm GMT -5 in Food at 3:42 PM

Stupid cookie – what does it know?

Choo-choo bonus

Posted Monday, April 17th, 2017 02:01 pm GMT -5 in Food,Schools at 2:01 PM

Took the train for lunch @ Cane’s U of M location

Peter Gabriel and Sting at Summerfest

Posted Saturday, April 15th, 2017 09:55 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Concerts,Food,Music,Travel at 9:55 PM

Summerfest in Milwaukee just announced their 2017 lineup, which continues their amazing run of awesome bookings. I still don’t fully understand how they can get such great acts year after year, while charging so little to get in. There must be some serious beer vendor underwriting going on – plus now they are stepping up the other corporate sponsorships to improve the grounds.

While the closing night this year features the outstanding Outlaw Music Festival (with Willie Nelson, Bob Dylan, Sheryl Crow, Jason Isbell, Nathaniel Rateliff and Margo Price), I don’t think we are going to go this year. Reviewing the daily lineups reminded me I never wrote about last year’s finale: Peter Gabriel and Sting on the Rock Paper Scissors tour.

The problem with me forgetting about these posts in the draft folder is that I have a really hard time remembering exactly what happened. Thankfully this Sunday night show from July 10, 2016 was covered by the local newspaper. They also included the setlist I included below (followed by some really bad shots from our waaaaay in the back seats).

After re-reading the review, I do remember that I was really concerned heading in to the show about Sting covering Peter Gabriel songs and vice versa. We’ve seen Sting a number of times, but had never seen Gabriel and didn’t want to get a “fake” cover show. In reality, the show was the best of both worlds and was one of my favorites all year. I don’t recall how much the tickets were, but I know they were expensive and that I intentionally bought seats farther back to limit cost.

The only other things I remember about this trip is that we stayed in the really nice new rooms at the Potawatomi Hotel and we took our first two Uber rides (which also turned out to be our last Uber rides). Didn’t play much at the casino – Milwaukee pricing is a little too rich for my taste. Oh yeah, also made a quick pit stop at the Gritty in Madison…

  • The Rhythm of the Heat (PG)
  • If I Ever Lose My Faith in You (Sting)
  • Digging in the Dirt (PG and Sting)
  • Invisible Sun (PG and Sting)
  • Games Without Frontiers (PG and Sting)
  • Shock the Monkey (PG and Sting)
  • Secret World (PG)
  • Driven to Tears (Sting)
  • Fragile (PG and Sting)
  • Red Rain (PG)
  • Dancing with the Moonlit Knight (Sting)
  • Message in a Bottle (PG and Sting)
  • San Jacinto (PG)
  • Walking in your Footsteps (Sting)
  • Kiss That Frog (PG and Sting)
  • Don’t Give Up (PG)
  • The Hounds of Winter (Sting)
  • Big Time (PG and Sting)
  • Englishman in New York (PG and Sting)
  • Solsbury Hill (PG and Sting)
  • Every Little Thing She Does is Magic (Sting)
  • If You Love Somebody Set Them Free (Gabriel)
  • Roxanne (Sting)
  • Love Can Heal (Gabriel)
  • Desert Rose (Sting)
  • In Your Eyes (PG and Sting)
  • Encore
  • Every Breath You Take (PG and Sting)
  • Sledgehammer (PG and Sting)

Finally visited the other Izzy’s

Posted Friday, April 14th, 2017 11:25 pm GMT -5 in Food at 11:25 PM

So close to the office

Breakfast in Hell

Posted Tuesday, April 11th, 2017 11:00 am GMT -5 in Food at 11:00 AM

Hell’s Kitchen is right next to my doctor

My Current Top 7 Blogs

Posted Monday, April 10th, 2017 12:15 am GMT -5 in Disney,Food,Reading,Technology at 12:15 AM

Can’t wait for Sandcastle ’17

Posted Saturday, April 8th, 2017 07:43 pm GMT -5 in Biking,Food at 7:43 PM

11 miles via bike from our loft

Lunch at Vee Quiva

Posted Monday, April 3rd, 2017 05:24 pm GMT -5 in Casinos,Food,Travel at 5:24 PM

…and maybe a few games

An oasis in the desert

Posted Saturday, April 1st, 2017 02:54 pm GMT -5 in Food,Travel at 2:54 PM

How could I not? Right across the street from the hotel…

Didn’t seem like 30 years

Posted Thursday, March 30th, 2017 10:33 pm GMT -5 in Food,Friends at 10:33 PM

Great visit with St. Paul Central classmate Paul Diedrich @ Okra

Dangerously Delicious

Posted Wednesday, March 29th, 2017 12:12 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 12:12 PM

SK and I try out the St. Paul Lowry (aka Bottle Rocket)

Sunday Brunch at Saint Dinette

Posted Monday, March 27th, 2017 11:50 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 11:50 PM

I’ve already said about all I can say about the burger – it was time to try brunch at Saint Dinette. My only issue with the regular menu is that my younger daughter is a picky eater and won’t be adventurous, while my wife is allergic to eggs and corn and won’t eat red meat (SK is always good for a burger and fries). The brunch menu had expanded options for Colleen and MK is still out of the country, so Sunday was the day to go.

You know it must be a good sign when there were people waiting outside the door to get in when I got back from my morning run. There were still a few tables open after I showered and changed, but it was almost completely full by the time we left. It will probably be even worse once the regular Farmer’s Market resumes next month.

We started off with the monkey bread (cream cheese frosting, $7), which might have to be served alongside that cheeseburger and fries during my last meal on Earth. I’ve always had a soft spot for Cinnabon amongst all the evil chain options, but damn, this thing just blew them out of the water. It was hard to really follow that up, but my crepe was really good (Canadian bacon, gruyere, truffle bechamel, egg, $13), while Colleen had granola and blueberries ($8) with a side of maple pork belly ($6). So tasty.

What can I say? Saint Dinette is one of the best amenities to living in Lowertown. Come early, come often…

Wisconsin out, BBQ in

Posted Saturday, March 25th, 2017 05:22 pm GMT -5 in Food at 5:22 PM

New specials @ Shake Shack MoA

This didn’t suck

Posted Friday, March 24th, 2017 09:05 pm GMT -5 in Food at 9:05 PM

Brownie with sweet cream from Grand Ole Creamery @ 7th Street Social

She’s on the menu

Posted Thursday, March 23rd, 2017 02:19 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 2:19 PM

Bird sauce forever @ Cecil’s

The neighborhood grocer

Posted Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 10:15 pm GMT -5 in Food,Shopping at 10:15 PM

That’s a damn fine store (even if it’s a bit $$$)

Lunch with the scholar

Posted Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 04:14 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Schools at 4:14 PM

Kid one @ Sea Change

Life in Lowertown

Posted Tuesday, March 21st, 2017 12:15 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food,Housekeeping,Personal at 12:15 PM

Change is good, right? Well, we’ve been charging ahead full force the past month. Kid one moved out and into her own apartment mid-February, while the rest of us decided to pack it up and move back to the city. Today marks three weeks in our new loft in St. Paul’s Lowertown neighborhood, which the local boosters describe as:

A vibrant artists’ quarter filled with beautiful workspaces, hip cafes, fine dining and the stunning CHS Field.

We are kitty-corner from the wonderful St. Paul Farmer’s Market in the Rayette building, which we share with the home of my all-time favorite cheeseburger, Saint Dinette. The building has had an interesting history, opening as a millinery in 1911, with stints as the home of Aqua Net hairspray and as a parking ramp before being converted to lofts in 2014. We downsized from three bedrooms to two, but added 13 foot ceilings, huge windows and a layout that seems much larger than before (ours is the Monroe, with 1,459 square feet). I love the exposed brick, industrial columns and lack of carpeting throughout (finally got to toss our crappy vacuum cleaner).

In addition to the suburb-to-city change, transportation has also been turned on its head. We still have two cars, but one is parked here and the other is in storage. Colleen gets a discounted transit pass from her employer and now rides the bus to work (express plus a short transfer). I bought a monthly Go-To card from Metro Transit and ride the Green Line trains to and from the stadium. The Union Depot station is a block over and takes just under 40 minutes to drop me off right across Chicago Avenue from the Legacy Gate (and/or the skyway entrance). I can’t express how much of a quality of life improvement it is to not drive in metro rush hour traffic any longer. Now I plug in my headphones, check social media, read stories, play games and just relax. Hoping to eventually sell one car and just stick with one (which kid two uses to drive herself to school).

We lived in downtown St. Paul the first year out of college at Galtier Plaza, but this area is now completely different. I read somewhere that Lowertown now has 3500 residents and I’m pretty sure about half of them have dogs, which makes me very happy (even though allergies still prevent us from adding to the total). Mears Park is a block west and has a mini restaurant row, with Bulldog, Barrio, Public Kitchen + Bar and Handsome Hog. Big River Pizza is across the street, with the eclectic Golden’s Deli a few doors south of that. There are a ton of additional restaurants nearby and we are super excited for Saints games to start. Our Twins ticket group also has Saints tickets, so we are buying one share this season to see how it goes. The stadium is literally on the other side of the building you see above.

In addition to having the option of that cheeseburger downstairs six days a week, the building has a bunch of other great amenities. The workout room is just perfect – it’s exactly what I would design if I had the opportunity: all Life Fitness gear, two treadmills, a room full of spin cycles, free weights, an elliptical, squat rack, benches and more. There are two large TVs with DirectTV and a speaker system that you can supposedly plug stuff into (can’t seem to get that part working so far). It’s conveniently located one floor below our unit and now I don’t have to go outside in the winter any more to exercise. The downtown YMCA teaches a free spin class one night a week and may bring back a yoga class later in the year too. Once it gets warmer, I will have some great new running and biking routes along the Mississippi that I can’t wait to try.

Directly across from the exercise room is the “Sinatra Lounge,” which is a shared community space that has a fireplace, bar, multiple TVs and a pool table. We’ve already spent a lot of time shooting pool – I really like having access to that again (and free is even better). Up on the roof, there is a community patio that includes a gas fire pit, grill, all-season TV and speaker system. The views of the river and surrounding areas are stellar, day or night. The office manager and maintenance guy are great, the mail and package delivery systems seem to work well and I love having chutes for trash and recycling. My only (small) issues so far are the overly complicated thermostat and the noise from one of the garage door openers.

We are mostly unpacked now, with just a few areas that need to be cleaned up (and a few more things to hang on the walls). Once that’s done, we’d love to have visitors – drop me a line at and we will see you soon in Lowertown!

Saturday morning in Lowertown 

Posted Saturday, March 18th, 2017 08:56 am GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:56 AM

It’s a rare SK sighting at Golden’s Deli

Pig of the Day

Posted Saturday, March 18th, 2017 12:33 am GMT -5 in Food at 12:33 AM

Handsome Hog, Lowertown

Wednesday night in St. Paul

Posted Wednesday, March 15th, 2017 08:32 pm GMT -5 in Family,Food at 8:32 PM

This building has it all


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Husband, dad and stadium IT director

Personal Records & Mileage

  • Mile - 6:10
  • 5K - 21:42
  • 10K - 44:40
  • Half - 1:38:40
  • Marathon - 3:43:32
  • 2017 Mileage: 188.9

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