That’s still about rightOriginally published by DK on March 29, 2020 at 2:48 pm
My policy on home drinking is being revisedOriginally published by DK on March 25, 2020 at 12:22 pm
https://www.forbes.com/sites/eveturowpaul/2020/03/22/how-restaurants-innovating-during-the-covid-19-pandemic/Originally published by DK on March 24, 2020 at 9:31 pm
Eating way too much of it, thoughOriginally published by DK on March 23, 2020 at 8:09 pm
Live at five with Nive…Originally published by DK on March 15, 2020 at 1:50 pm
Great desserts @ EstelleOriginally published by DK on February 25, 2020 at 8:33 pm
From the @kingsbury Instagram accountOriginally published by DK on February 25, 2020 at 8:30 pm
Thanks, Gardens of Olive!Originally published by DK on February 22, 2020 at 1:11 pm
Dinner on Randolph with the siblingsOriginally published by DK on February 21, 2020 at 9:58 pm
I usually don’t like to do the social media question thing *on* social media, but I’m intrigued by the “5 Drinks to get to know me” one:
- Mountain Dew
- Cherry Coke
- Any cider > any beer
- Old Fashioned
- Octo’s Madagascar
Honorable mentions to the Epiphany at Prohibition and just about anything from Marvel Bar…Originally published by DK on February 19, 2020 at 5:14 pm
$20 snow cones for all!Originally published by DK on February 14, 2020 at 5:11 pm
The root beer boots are back!Originally published by DK on February 4, 2020 at 9:46 pm
That’s just sadOriginally published by DK on February 3, 2020 at 2:32 pm
“Sleep at the Fairmont Banff Springs” has been item #34 on my bucket list for quite a long time. As we looked to conclude the year of milestone birthday trips, Marisa and I decided we would make ours a combined ski trip (and invite Colleen and Sasha to tag along). SkiBig3 had some good sales after Thanksgiving, so we picked the week between our two birthdays and made reservations. Airfare between MSP and Calgary wasn’t too terrible on the Delta nonstops and I reserved my normal Emerald Aisle rental with National.
We planned to fly on Monday and Friday, with ski days on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The drive from the airport to downtown Banff only takes about 90 minutes and we purchased the required park passes ahead of time, so we didn’t have to stop at the park entrance. Sasha and Marisa brought their own skis with, so we had one large ski bag, four large suitcases and a bunch of carry-ons. Thankfully, National had a Mazda SUV for us that really held up all week with the extreme winter conditions (heated steering wheels are awesome).
Speaking of conditions, the Canadian equivalent of the National Weather Service warned: “Temperatures will plummet to values not seen in years.” Air temp was -30C (-22F) during the early part of the week, closing two of the three ski areas completely on Tuesday. That was the day Marisa and I got to experience the Canadian health system with a morning visit to Banff Mineral Springs Hospital. She had flu symptoms the night before and they did a great job helping get her back in shape for skiing the last two days. Everything was pre-pay for service, so we are now working with our regular insurance to get reimbursed for the hospital and doctor fees (which weren’t outrageous).
What can I say about the hotel? The Fairmont Banff Springs is one of the most iconic hotels in the world, built as part of the Canadian Pacific Railway network in 1888. The “Castle in the Rockies” was just perfect – historic, great amenities and flawless customer service. It’s not cheap, but in the overall scheme of world-class hotels, very competitive. Tipping was included for most services, so that was different (and convenient, since I didn’t exchange for any Canadian currency this time). The valet was wonderful all week – we’d just call down to the concierge (“How is the Kingsbury Family doing today?”) and they would pull our warmed up car to the front entrance. The bellmen were great – somehow loading up everything at the end of the trip back into the SUV. Maid service also went the extra mile to line up shoes, organize things on the desk and generally pick up after our daily mess.
The hotel has at least three known ghost stories. Our favorite was the Ghost Bride, who was commemorated with a postage stamp and coin by the Canadian government in 2014. Sasha and I spent one night searching for the staircase, where the hotel has a picture hanging (along with the stamp and coin). The ghost of Sam the Bellman and the alleged murder-suicide in room 873 are tales that added an extra element of suspense every time the lights by the elevator would flicker when the doors opened. There was a cool museum-style area off of the lobby that was loaded with historical pictures and artifacts. The old pictures of the golf course and visits from Queen Elizabeth and Marilyn Monroe were highlights for me.
We ate at two of the twelve hotel restaurants: Castello Italiana and the Swiss-themed Waldhaus Pub & Biergarten. Both were high quality with great service. I think the Waldhaus might have been the original golf course clubhouse, as it was set down a hill from the main hotel along the river (and near the current 15th hole). Colleen and Sasha both enjoyed time in the Willow Stream Spa, which included the semi-spooky indoor pool. There were also outdoor pools that amazingly had people in them, despite the extremely frigid temperatures (how exactly did they get out there?). The hotel also had several very nice stores, a free ski storage room (with overnight boot heaters) and a uniquely Canadian five pin bowling alley (which is really difficult to master).
The actual town of Banff is a short ride or walk from the hotel, across the Bow River. It was a wonderful little mountain town, full of shops and restaurants and surrounded by the most amazing mountain vistas. On our arrival on Monday, we picked up my rental skis at the SkiBig3 Adventure Hub and had lunch at Tommy’s Neighbourhood Pub. Other stops over the course of the week included a great dinner at the Maple Leaf Grill (with the bison tenderloin recommended by my friend Chuck), poutine at the local McDonald’s, shopping at Roots and Hudson’s Bay and a visit to the largest rock store I’ve ever seen in my life. I also wanted to try out the famous Beaver Tails, but they didn’t really have any indoor seating and it was just too cold to stand around outside for any length of time.
As far as skiing goes, there are three different resorts near Banff: Mount Norquay, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise Ski Resort. Norquay is the closest to town, but we elected to skip that one when we found out we could only ski two days. We decided to go to Sunshine Village on Wednesday, as several people told us that Sunshine sometimes gets temperature inversions that make it warmer there compared to town. The other unique thing about Sunshine is that the base area is just a parking lot in front of a building with a gondola. A long ride takes you up to the actual resort (with one stop in the middle for Goat’s Eye Mountain). We didn’t have great visibility that day and had difficulty finding easier, groomed runs to ease back into skiing shape. Groomed runs don’t seem to be as big a thing in the Canadian Rockies as they are at home, so we were initially a little uncomfortable (and I was extra cautious this trip anyways, for obvious reasons). We did find a few runs off the Strawberry Express chair, which is marketed as their beginner chair (sigh). We also skied the Wawa lift, but that was about it. I would love to try it again with warmer temps, clear skies and more confidence in my skiing ability.
On Thursday, we went to Lake Louise. By the second day, we were more comfortable with the bus shuttle system: all three resorts have nice coach-style busses that pick up right in front of the hotel. Schedules varied, but there were usually 5-6 departures and returns each day to each one. The Fairmont was the first stop in the mornings and the last to drop off on the return, with 2-3 stops at various spots in town. Lake Louise is the farthest resort from Banff, but it took less than an hour to get there on the Trans-Canada Highway. The town of Lake Louise is a few minutes away from the ski resort and is home to a couple of other cool hotels, including the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and the Post Hotel. I thought about the hotel package that let you split your time between the castle and the chateau, but I’m glad we did what we did. It would’ve been cool (literally) to see the ice sculptures on the lake for their Ice Magic competition, but that just wasn’t in the cards this time.
We loved the skiing and atmosphere at Lake Louise. The bus dropped us off right in front of the Lodge of the Ten Peaks and one of the friendly information guides told us that the breakfast buffet at the Northface Bistro was the spot to go for pre-skiing food. After a great meal, we discovered there are only two choices from that spot: the Glacier Express chair and the Grizzly Express gondola. We started with the chair and took two great runs on nice intermediate cruisers that really tired us out. After another stop in the chalet (and a visit to the nice ski shop), we tried the gondola. It’s not the highest lift there, but I felt like I was on the top of the world when we exited (and honestly, a little frightened at how everything dropped off from that point). Lake Louise prides itself on having green, blue and black runs from every lift, but the cat track we took down from there was scary just for the fact that the runs that crossed it were very steep. But once we got down below the tree line, it turned into our favorite run of the trip.
One of the things that I still find magical about skiing in the big mountains are the moments of complete silence you sometimes find among the trees in the back country. Since our week was so cold, none of the locals really wanted to be out, so it was nice and uncrowded all over. I let the girls ski ahead of me on that long, green cruiser and at one point I just stopped and soaked in the silence. That trail crossed in front of another favorite thing of mine, the mid-mountain chalet with sun deck and greasy mountain cafeteria food. The Temple Lodge made me think of the great times I used to have with my Uncle Greg at the Outback Inn in Idaho. He would’ve loved this trip… ❤️
Not sure that’s true, but OKOriginally published by DK on January 28, 2020 at 8:19 pm
Spoil ’em? Just a little…Originally published by DK on January 16, 2020 at 10:02 pm
Feels colder in C vs. FOriginally published by DK on January 13, 2020 at 3:47 pm
Made $200 + free dinnerOriginally published by DK on January 8, 2020 at 8:24 pm
Pizza from the originalOriginally published by DK on January 3, 2020 at 9:18 pm
Gift card sale ends todayOriginally published by DK on December 22, 2019 at 2:56 pm
Last 14 Asian EateryOriginally published by DK on December 15, 2019 at 7:45 pm
The old joke in the neighborhood is the first three words children learn were mommy, daddy, and Cecil’s…Originally published by DK on December 8, 2019 at 8:13 pm
Thanks, Auntie LynnOriginally published by DK on November 28, 2019 at 6:56 pm
Support your neighborhood establishmentsOriginally published by DK on November 18, 2019 at 9:38 am
Thanks, AFOriginally published by DK on November 13, 2019 at 10:04 am
Good luck with your big week!Originally published by DK on November 9, 2019 at 9:02 pm
We had a great time on Maui last week, despite the record high temps (and crazy dew points). We had lots of great food recommendations from people, but Mama’s Fish House took home the prize for most memorable experience. Located on the central north shore of Maui just outside Paia, Mama’s was a 2018 James Beard semifinalist for Outstanding Restaurant. Open Table says Mama’s is the second most popular restaurant in the United States, Trip Advisor has them listed as a Top 10 U.S. Fine Dining Restaurant, while ZAGAT has them number one for food on Maui. Everyone we talked to said Mama’s was expensive, but also a can’t miss.
Needless to say, expectations were high…
Floyd and Doris Christenson have an awesome backstory. The location, atmosphere and general setting of Mama’s is probably the most Hawaiian thing I’ve ever seen in my life. You turn off the Hana Highway at the fishing boat and enter a lot that offers complimentary valet. Once checked in, you get to roam around their own private beach, which we were told often has sea turtles playing in the water. The day we visited had a high surf warning, so the turtles were (hopefully) playing elsewhere. After checking in at a second host stand, we were escorted into the open-air dining room and seated near the bar.
Our server Lacey was wonderful. We started with fancy tropical drinks: Colleen had a Mama’s Margarita, while I had a Pink Hibiscus (hibiscus, elderflower liqueur, lime, cranberry and Maui PAU vodka). We shared an appetizer of seared island venison with honey lime sauce, which was extremely tender for venison. We both had autumn salads, with Waipoli greens, Kula persimmons, spiced pecans, goat cheese and Tahitian vanilla vinaigrette dressing. For the fish main course, I choose “kanpachi from ocean waters off Hawaii Island,” while Colleen had “onaga caught bottom fishing off Keanae by Joe Hobson.” We both loved that they customized the menu daily with who caught the fish (and where). I was super-excited to order the Polynesian Black Pearl for dessert: lilikoi (passion fruit) chocolate mousse in a pastry seashell (with a beautiful plate presentation – pics after the jump).
When we looked at the menu before we went, I didn’t think the prices were crazy-high. Afterwards, we found out it just all adds up, turning in to the most we’ve probably ever spent on lunch. That’s also part of the trick – there is no discount for having lunch over dinner. We heard one of the servers say they average about 1,000 covers a day, so I think they can price however they want. I’m glad we went, though, and would highly recommend it at least once in your life. Mahalo, Mama.
He gets to live here all the timeOriginally published by DK on November 1, 2019 at 9:50 pm
CK @ Mama’s Fish House BeachOriginally published by DK on October 29, 2019 at 2:39 am
As seen on Diners, Drive In’s and DivesOriginally published by DK on October 27, 2019 at 10:01 pm
Chicken and pancakes @ Roy’sOriginally published by DK on October 26, 2019 at 4:52 pm
P.S. Steak with the famOriginally published by DK on October 5, 2019 at 6:25 pm
Thank you Target Center (and Shelly)Originally published by DK on October 4, 2019 at 4:37 pm
I hope they keep the Frenchie foreverOriginally published by DK on September 30, 2019 at 5:17 pm
Four bars, two cities, one nightOriginally published by DK on September 25, 2019 at 11:35 pm
Thanks, MKOriginally published by DK on September 24, 2019 at 8:10 pm
Fresh from the farmer’s marketOriginally published by DK on September 23, 2019 at 7:43 pm
Rose Street PatisserieOriginally published by DK on September 21, 2019 at 2:08 pm
Pit stop after medical imagingOriginally published by DK on September 9, 2019 at 1:50 pm
Uniqueness in South MinneapolisOriginally published by DK on September 6, 2019 at 1:23 pm
Cecil’s hot pastrami + Toy Story 4Originally published by DK on September 1, 2019 at 4:11 pm
Thanks Rich (and team) for a great dayOriginally published by DK on August 30, 2019 at 11:19 pm
One of the best (and getting better)Originally published by DK on August 29, 2019 at 12:42 pm
Nice to see Lynn and DadOriginally published by DK on August 24, 2019 at 8:08 pm
…plus the new north end event building.Originally published by DK on August 23, 2019 at 9:32 pm
But I will take the $56Originally published by DK on August 23, 2019 at 8:21 pm
Come on, HootieOriginally published by DK on August 23, 2019 at 8:19 pm
As I pulled out my red concert shirt today, I realized I better post my pictures and grab the setlist from the fun Tenacious D show I saw with Mike and Jake at the Palace last month before I forget all the details. This really was about as perfect as a concert gets for me these days: early access pre-sale seats in the first row of the loge (three seats all by themselves, even), pre-show dinner at a nice restaurant (finally crossed Pazzaluna off the list), our own little bar with no line right behind our section, two great friends I don’t see nearly often enough and a band that changed people’s lives that night.
This was my second time seeing the D. The other time was, believe it or not, a get out the vote concert with the Beastie Boys and Ben Harper at Roy Wilkins. The first half of the show was the new Post Apocalypto album in its entirety, followed by a greatest hits set and a one song encore (set list and pics after the jump). Other than missing out on Wonder Boy, I was very happy with the song selection. JB and KG definitely gave it their all, with a talented group of musicians backing them up.
Softly. Gently. Sweetly. Discreetly.
Set List (July 30, 2019 – First Night of Two):
- Making Love
- Take Us Into Space
- Fuck Yo-Yo Ma
- Daddy Ding Dong
- JB Jr Rap
- Woman Time
- Save The World
- Post-Apocalypto Theme (Reprise)
- Rize of the Fenix
- Low Hangin’ Fruit
- Beelzeboss (The Final Showdown)
- The Metal
- Dude (I Totally Miss You)
- Double Team
- Fuck Her Gently
Is it, punk?Originally published by DK on August 16, 2019 at 10:57 am
It will be cold before you know itOriginally published by DK on August 16, 2019 at 7:37 am
https://www.eventbrite.com/e/moua-friends-and-family-event-tickets-65762839423Originally published by DK on August 12, 2019 at 11:41 am
Barrio Lowertown, 79FOriginally published by DK on August 9, 2019 at 6:05 pm
Go to The Left Handed Cook, L.A. peopleOriginally published by DK on July 27, 2019 at 1:22 am
They seem extra large to meOriginally published by DK on July 24, 2019 at 2:07 pm
Too cold, too hot?Originally published by DK on July 14, 2019 at 5:32 pm
https://www.forbes.com/sites/larryolmsted/2019/07/11/the-cosmopolitan-las-vegas-hotel-is-now-better-than-ever/Originally published by DK on July 13, 2019 at 2:40 pm
As opposed to?Originally published by DK on July 8, 2019 at 1:09 pm
Lunes likes her wafflesOriginally published by DK on July 7, 2019 at 12:39 pm
Nothing else quite like itOriginally published by DK on July 4, 2019 at 1:01 am
MK + Gordy = true love ❤️Originally published by DK on July 3, 2019 at 10:58 am
That hit the spot (as usual)Originally published by DK on June 30, 2019 at 2:52 pm
One purple and one red – thanks, SKOriginally published by DK on June 24, 2019 at 10:15 pm
Thanks for the pie, BettyOriginally published by DK on June 16, 2019 at 1:09 pm
Too bad the patio is only open about 10% of the yearOriginally published by DK on June 15, 2019 at 12:35 pm
Only the best on the North ShoreOriginally published by DK on June 15, 2019 at 9:49 am
Delta 360 Club @ Target FieldOriginally published by DK on June 13, 2019 at 6:18 pm
Glad we went when we didOriginally published by DK on June 10, 2019 at 6:31 pm
Good luck to Toyya in SoCalOriginally published by DK on June 5, 2019 at 9:58 am
Dinner at Mystic + no luck (or play time) on the slotsOriginally published by DK on June 3, 2019 at 8:54 pm
Culture + colleaguesOriginally published by DK on June 1, 2019 at 11:45 am