Had the holiday train several timesOriginally published by DK on December 12, 2019 at 9:04 am
Hello again, Union Depot Christmas treeOriginally published by DK on December 10, 2019 at 10:28 am
Thanks, Auntie LynnOriginally published by DK on November 28, 2019 at 6:56 pm
Still hard, still cuteOriginally published by DK on November 11, 2019 at 10:09 pm
That will be about all the Halloween I need this yearOriginally published by DK on October 31, 2019 at 2:27 am
Oktoberfest in MilwaukeeOriginally published by DK on October 16, 2019 at 10:24 pm
This artwork is so greatOriginally published by DK on October 2, 2019 at 1:30 pm
I finally own a green hat to wear once a yearOriginally published by DK on March 17, 2019 at 3:25 pm
Last year, we had a big blowout birthday party in the Sinatra Lounge (the invite we did still makes me smile). This year, I was planning to go on a ski trip in Banff to celebrate landmark birthdays for MK and I. Then I had my little medical incident and we postponed the big stuff and scaled back 2019 birthday plans. I still wanted to do something a little out of the norm, so we booked a dinner reservation at the new Minneapolis hot spot, P.S. Steak.
I will forever call Chef Mike DeCamp “YoungChef2,” as that is his Twitter handle. Young Chef is a busy guy for Jester Concepts, listed as Executive Chef at Monello and Constantine and Borough and Parlour. He is also behind the weekly Sunday old-school Italian pop-up at Monello, Mama DeCampo’s (which is great, BTW). Somehow Mercado slipped by him, but P.S. Steak is the latest DeCamp project for the group.
We never made it to La Belle Vie before it closed in the 510 Groveland location, but there is so much history there (Dara called it “heavier with history than any restaurant in the state” in her first bite review). Not only was Chef DeCamp in that kitchen, but so was Tim McKee, Matt Anderson and a host of Twin Cities cocktail pioneers (make sure and read this Strib article to find out the backstory on the “Obi Pip Kenobi”). Man, I miss seeing and talking with Pip at Marvel Bar…
Joy Summers has some great pictures of the remodeled 510 spaces in her Eater story, including one of our exact table in the steakhouse dining room side (to the left as you enter – the lounge is to the right). There is complimentary valet parking and I don’t think I really knew how easy it is to get there from Lowertown via I-94 and Dell Place (and back again). In Dara’s story, she described the newly renovated dining room as “Ravenclaw-meets-Eyes-Wide-Shut-for-a-drink” and personally, I couldn’t stop humming the Haunted Mansion music (which actually made the whole night extra fun for me).
So how was it? You never know what service will be like at a place that just opened, but everything went swimmingly. Our server was wonderful, all of our questions were answered, the flow of food out of the kitchen was consistent and everything tasted great. The room is not overly loud and really looks spectacular (was that Norm Green at the table next to us?). Dara asks, “Is P.S. Steak suddenly among the most expensive restaurants in town?” Yup, for sure. It’s also an instant classic that will be busy with special event and corporate expense account business that will give Manny’s a run for their money.
SK and I are the steak people in the family, so one of us tried the 8oz beef tenderloin and the other had the Denver steak. Both were wonderful – I added Stilton blue cheese to mine, while SK had a side of curry béarnaise. We all shared some Aligot (mashed potatoes with cheese), roasted baby carrots and Parker House rolls. Colleen went with one of our Chef Ramsey faves, sautéed sea scallops, while MK had the sautéed chicken breast with smoked chicken thigh, mushrooms and kale. I also shared the P.S. chopped salad with Colleen, while SK had a bowl of the caramelized onion soup (which came with tasty rye gnocchi and cave aged Gruyere).
We saw Young Chef do the cool baked Alaska thing at the table next to us, but we passed on that one. They did bring out a birthday candle in my really good hot fudge and salted peanut sundae, though. The girls shared the Andoa chocolate brownie and added a scoop of the excellent vanilla ice cream (which we think is from Izzy’s). It was a great way to end my birthday and I would definitely go back again. Sorry for the highly filtered photos – it’s not an easy room to take pictures in at night. Oh, and a shout-out to my colleague Keri, who started a new food blog called Keri Tyler Moore that made me realize I need to write about food more often (and not just post pictures to Instagram).
Bowlero Brooklyn Park (or is it Center?)Originally published by DK on January 14, 2019 at 7:07 pm
Very, very nice to see everyoneOriginally published by DK on January 13, 2019 at 5:27 pm
Thank you, MK, for the presentOriginally published by DK on January 5, 2019 at 3:51 pm
You were short, but wonderfulOriginally published by DK on January 5, 2019 at 3:30 pm
Let’s do this thing, 2019Originally published by DK on December 31, 2018 at 9:01 pm
Kids these days don’t let their elders win nothingOriginally published by DK on December 26, 2018 at 8:57 am
Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives. When he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?Originally published by DK on December 24, 2018 at 10:10 pm
That dog is so damn cuteOriginally published by DK on December 24, 2018 at 10:04 pm
This app has it’s momentsOriginally published by DK on December 23, 2018 at 10:39 am
Going from a 6 to a X will be a shock for herOriginally published by DK on December 20, 2018 at 6:25 pm
Best iOS game ever, no?Originally published by DK on December 19, 2018 at 10:18 pm
Thanks, Aramark!Originally published by DK on December 18, 2018 at 12:38 pm
I still want to hear Jim Cunningham say this at a Wild or Twins game…Originally published by DK on December 14, 2018 at 1:07 pm
Another farmer’s market treeOriginally published by DK on December 9, 2018 at 5:09 pm
Nice job decorating, MKOriginally published by DK on December 5, 2018 at 10:21 am
Still cool (literally and figuratively), but needs more varietyOriginally published by DK on December 2, 2018 at 8:50 pm
Pure sugar = pure awesomeOriginally published by DK on December 1, 2018 at 1:49 pm
Before basketball – not lit, after basketball – litOriginally published by DK on December 1, 2018 at 1:38 pm
A little tardy on the latest update, but all is well. I survived a four hour therapy appointment and apparently did well enough that my speech therapist thinks I don’t need to continue with that track any longer. I had my long-awaited appointment with the ophthalmologist and received a pair of “magic glasses” that have greatly reduced the need for future eye patch use. They have optical film from 3M (see above) that utilizes prism technology to correct my double vision. My left eye is slightly crossed, but this stuff really helps correct that (and it’s so nice to have both eyes open all the time). The extra good news is that there is nothing wrong with either eye – the double vision is caused by the nerves that control the muscles that direct each eye and the doctor is optimistic that this will eventually correct itself. I will also be starting therapy next week to work specifically on eye exercises to help this process along.
In other HCMC appointment news, I met with an awesome neurologist who showed me the “before” and “after” CT scans of my brain from the day of the incident and from when they discharged me from the ICU. It was really cool technology and the way she explained it made it crystal clear how serious the situation was on October 8th (and how much improvement there was after three weeks). Have I mentioned how big a fan I am of the staff at HCMC? I’ll return there again on Friday for another CT scan that will hopefully continue the trend. That will also be Colleen’s last full day with me, as she returns to work on Monday. After that, my next big appointment will be on December 4th, when I meet with the lead neurosurgeon to discuss continued recovery plans and possibly a return to work date.
We saw both Charlie Parr and Hippo Campus at the Palace Theater with no issues from the lights or sound levels (the infamous Palace talkers are another story). On the advice of my friend TG, I picked up a pair of Vibes earplugs, which seemed to work well at the Hippo Campus show (and dampened the discussions of the people sitting near me). Saw one Wild win (Ottawa) and one Wild loss (Arizona) at the X with my uncle, also with no sensory overload issues. Stopped by the stadium for the start of the very loud Packers game, but found it totally manageable. Left that game before halftime to beat the train rush, but had a great time seeing people and delivering thank you cards.
With the Thanksgiving holiday, it was a busy week for seeing family and friends. Had lunch one day with a friend at Dark Horse and went over to the Inver Grove Heights AMC to see Ralph Breaks the Internet (which we both liked). We took my mother-in-law out on Thanksgiving Day for lunch at the original Buca di Beppo in St. Paul, then had a more traditional dinner at my aunt and uncle’s house in the Mac-Groveland area.
This will be my last “weekly update.” Truly thankful for you all – thanks for reading!
The park is all dressed up for DecemberOriginally published by DK on November 26, 2018 at 2:44 pm
I really don’t know how to describe it. It was like the turkeys mounted a counter-attack. It was almost as if they were…organized!Originally published by DK on November 23, 2018 at 7:05 pm
Secure building = I get all the candyOriginally published by DK on October 31, 2018 at 8:01 pm
I’ve seen the Exorcist about a hundred and sixty-seven times, AND IT KEEPS GETTING FUNNIER EVERY SINGLE TIME I SEE IT…Originally published by DK on October 31, 2018 at 4:39 pm
We won’t have any kids, but so happy to be hereOriginally published by DK on October 30, 2018 at 11:41 am
Welcome to October 2018Originally published by DK on October 2, 2018 at 10:04 am
Quick, fun trip to Vermilion to celebrate Mr. Schuster’s 50thOriginally published by DK on September 24, 2018 at 11:44 am
Can’t find it on Google: totallyadult No. 10, the album network, December 5, 1995Originally published by DK on August 12, 2018 at 10:44 pm
My favorite thing about the FourthOriginally published by DK on July 4, 2018 at 10:54 am
One more until the big one…Originally published by DK on June 23, 2018 at 3:36 pm
Wish I could be in Grand Marais with you todayOriginally published by DK on June 17, 2018 at 10:47 am
Best accountant everOriginally published by DK on June 5, 2018 at 10:47 am
Hope Santa made it to the U on timeOriginally published by DK on May 13, 2018 at 9:24 pm
Happy birthday, SK ❤️??Originally published by DK on February 17, 2018 at 5:22 pm
The Lowertown Speakeasy was a hitOriginally published by DK on January 20, 2018 at 8:58 pm
The perfect touchOriginally published by DK on January 14, 2018 at 12:08 am
It’s technically birthday week, so she gets presentsOriginally published by DK on January 11, 2018 at 6:04 pm
What’s that new thing you got over there at food and drug?Originally published by DK on December 24, 2017 at 10:12 pm
Thanks, ADMIN, this year is particularly hard
Coming to mailboxes everywhereOriginally published by DK on December 11, 2017 at 11:44 pm
I even helped on these (a tiny bit)Originally published by DK on December 10, 2017 at 11:38 pm
Twelve footer for our 13-foot loftOriginally published by DK on December 10, 2017 at 10:49 pm
Or something like thatOriginally published by DK on December 3, 2017 at 11:08 pm
Tree lighting (and fireworks), Union DepotOriginally published by DK on December 1, 2017 at 9:40 pm
Back where it startedOriginally published by DK on November 22, 2017 at 3:39 pm
Cold, but prettyOriginally published by DK on November 20, 2017 at 10:33 pm
Explorin’Originally published by DK on November 20, 2017 at 12:56 pm
Birthday lunch for the old lady @ Pyscho Suzi’sOriginally published by DK on June 23, 2017 at 1:32 pm
Luckiest Dad everOriginally published by DK on June 19, 2017 at 12:14 pm
Tried the Maplewood editionOriginally published by DK on May 14, 2017 at 12:37 pm
Easter @ Mystic LakeOriginally published by DK on April 16, 2017 at 3:27 pm
Easter with the in-lawsOriginally published by DK on April 16, 2017 at 1:05 pm
The sisters headed to a sleepoverOriginally published by DK on April 10, 2017 at 9:41 pm
Last December was our 25th wedding anniversary. We hadn’t taken a real vacation since 2013, but thanks to the little windfall from Mystic Lake, that was going to change. We reviewed a lot of options from the bucket list, but weather and my work schedule limited our real choices. We could squeeze five days in between Monster Jam and the Vikings and wanted to go somewhere new (even though Florida, SoCal and Vegas were all very tempting). And the winner was…Victoria, British Columbia.
It actually was part of my bucket list (#32 – Watch the lights turn on over Victoria Harbour) and the average temps for that region in December are usually moderated by the Pacific. Unfortunately, as one local informed us, this was the first snow Victoria had seen in 20 years. It was very weird seeing green bowling lawns, flowering plants, outdoor running fountains…and small piles of snow. It stayed in the 30s (F) the whole time we were there, with a fair amount of wind to make it seem even colder. We packed appropriately, though, so it wasn’t nearly as bad as Vienna during Christmas market season.
We flew Sun Country into Seattle and rented from National’s Emerald Aisle (love both of those companies and had great experiences again this trip). TripAdvisor had great things to say about Abigail’s Hotel in Victoria (including most romantic hotel and #1 hotel in Victoria), so I booked four nights there. It was amazing – daily breakfast cooked to order, beautiful rooms and lobby, friendly staff and a central location that was an easy walk to the harbour area. They even upgraded us to a nicer room for our anniversary at no charge and left us a personalized card and gift upon arrival.
Before we got to Canada, we made a quick stop in downtown Seattle. Colleen had never been there before, while I used to go all the time when I had servers at the former Digital Forest (RIP). Pike Place Market was great, but really cold. We visited the original Starbucks and I had Beecher’s mac and cheese for the first time. After some very fresh fish and chips from Jack’s Fish Spot, we headed north on I-5 to the border. The Canadian customs agent literally asked us just two questions: 1) purpose of the trip and 2) do you have any weapons? He told us to have a great anniversary and sent us on our way.
Canada kicks ass.
We had a fairly strict schedule to follow, as we were booked on the last ferry to Swartz Bay. The entire experience on BC Ferries was super cool and we got to ride the Spirit of British Columbia going over and the Spirit of Vancouver Island coming back. They were almost identical, holding a maximum of 410 cars and 34 semis. The trip over in the dark was not nearly as scenic as the morning return on Friday (which was beautiful). A bit expensive overall, but I’m still glad we did that instead of flying straight to YYJ. It was also cool to have one of the very few cars on Vancouver Island to have foreign license plates (seriously, that was weird how almost *everyone* had BC plates in that town).
On Tuesday, we started the day by walking to the harbour area and visiting the wonderful Royal BC Museum. This place was one of the better museums we’ve seen, with a wide variety of well-done natural and human history exhibits (including some amazing First Nation artifacts) and a high-quality gift shop. We walked around the inner harbour area, checking out the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia and the Fairmont Empress Victoria. The Fairmont has had quite the history and one of the guides at the BC Museum had told us not to miss the pictures in the basement (which was a very good tip).
For lunch, we walked over to Victoria’s very little Chinatown on Fisgard Street and ate at Shanghai City. After that, we walked back to the hotel to get the car for a little excursion along the southern coast, which included a stop at the University of Victoria bookstore to pick up some things for MK (whose middle name is Victoria). We finished up the day with a minor league hockey game at the Save On Foods Memorial Centre, where we watched the Victoria Royals beat the Portland Winterhawks 5-1. It was super fun entertainment, with on-the-glass front row tickets all of $25 each. For all the money we saved on tickets, I ended up leaving with a new Royals jersey too.
Our actual anniversary on the fourteenth started with a driving trip along the west coast of the island. The same guide at the BC Museum told us to drive through Sooke to Port Renfrew, then turn east and go through the mountains to Lake Cowichan before returning south to Victoria. We stopped at French Beach Provincial Park, which was (of course) cold, but a beautiful mix of ferns, large trees and rocky seashore. It felt a lot like the North Shore of Lake Superior, but with salt water (and the possibility of seeing whales, which we unfortunately did not experience). The farther out we got, the more remote it seemed, but the Port Renfrew Pub in Snuggery Cove was an oasis. Great food, friendly service and some seriously frozen ferns.
The road from Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan was challenging, but nothing like the shitshow that Siri and Apple Maps pulled on me when we returned to Victoria. We had anniversary dinner reservations for The Dining Room at Butchart Gardens and we were running late. I asked Siri for the fastest route and the directions given were practically suicidal – single lane (but bidirectional traffic), switchbacks with huge vertical, ice covered surfaces, blind intersections and poor lighting all contributed to something that should have never been advised by any sane person. We eventually arrived safely in one piece, but it was stressful and basically ruined the rest of the evening.
The restaurant was nice and the gardens were decorated in Christmas lights and animated figures representing the twelve days of Christmas. They had an indoor carousel that we rode and the snow interacted with the lights in a very pretty way (even though it was bitterly cold out). We took the “normal” way back to Victoria from Butchart and were very happy to get back to the room.
On our last full day in Victoria, we started off with a visit to the Mayfair Shopping Center before looking for a fish and chip restaurant we wanted to try (Red Fish – Blue Fish, which turned out was closed for the season). Our backup was the Irish Times Pub, which was wonderful. We stopped back at the local Roots store for more goalie socks, then waited by the harbour for the lights to turn on (bucket list – check). Dinner that night was at the highly rated Pizzeria Prima Strada on Cook Street, which was good (but still no match for Punch in Minnesota, in our opinion).
Friday was a planes, trains and automobiles kind of day (with ferries instead of trains), with a very early start to catch the first ferry out of Swartz Bay. As I mentioned earlier, seeing the other smaller islands on the way back to Tsawwassen was incredibly cool. The waves were much larger that day, but the huge ferry just plowed right through them, causing surprisingly large plumes of water to deflect backwards.
We passed through U.S. Customs after about five questions and had time to stop at Tulalip Resort Casino before heading to Sea-Tac. Tulalip was a huge diappointment – it’s a beautiful property, but their gaming floor was terrible (limited game selection, with the same games over and over). The airport, however, was great – the new Sub-Pop store was a wonderful addition to my usual stop at Ivar’s for fish and chips.
Fun trip to a beautiful city, with currently favorable exchange rates…
It’s a very purple birthday for kid oneOriginally published by DK on February 17, 2017 at 12:14 pm
Beautiful room, great service from Camille and a top notch steak, side and dessertOriginally published by DK on January 25, 2017 at 7:36 pm
Thank you, Mr. Skoglund – made my dayOriginally published by DK on January 18, 2017 at 3:11 pm
They say it’s your birthday. It’s my birthday too, yeah…Originally published by DK on January 12, 2017 at 11:17 am
Extra special present on a special birthdayOriginally published by DK on January 12, 2017 at 9:05 am
Thanks, CedarvaleOriginally published by DK on January 8, 2017 at 2:54 pm
Last Christmas in Eagan?Originally published by DK on December 25, 2016 at 3:25 pm
Bowling Lady and Towel WomanOriginally published by DK on December 24, 2016 at 9:56 pm