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Food Lifestyle Travel

What (and where!) to Eat in Minneapolis, MN

August 3, 2017
What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis

Hello all! If you didn’t notice, I was away last week in Minneapolis, MN seeing sights and participating in the best wedding ever attended. Seriously, these people know how to get married!

Since we were already going to Minneapolis for a wedding, The Hubs and I decided to make a whole trip out of it. Minneapolis wasn’t on either of our short lists for cities to visit, but now that I’ve been there, I’d totally go back! We had so much fun checking out the beautiful landscape, the Mall of America, and stuffing our faces. They have some good food up there in Minneapolis! If you find yourself in the areas, here is my food guide:

The Ju(i)cy Lucy Debate

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Matt's

Californians have tacos, Texans have BBQ, and up in Minnesota they have the Jucy Lucy! While it goes by different names at just about every restaurant, the main concept is the same. It’s a hamburger patty stuffed with melted cheese. The most common cheese is american, but some restaurants allow customization like pepper jack and bleu cheese.

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - 5-8 Club

 

 

There is some debate about the origin of the Jucy Lucy, which two different bars claiming to have invented it. Matt’s Bar calls it the Jucy Lucy, while the 5-8 Club claims the Juicy Lucy. Because I love you, we tried both.

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Matt's

 

Matt’s Bar is about as dive bar as they come(in a good way). Their simple menu consists of the Jucy Lucy, fries and beer. (Okay, you can get a regular burger too, but why would you??) You seat yourself (if there’s not a line) and you pay with cash (they have an ATM in the bar). Personally, I preferred the Jucy Lucy at Matt’s Bar. It had a great flavor that was just a liiittle more nuanced than 5-8 Club. That being said, I also spilled molten cheese on my thumb and that was not fun. Definitely let this burger sit for a minute before you eat.

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - 5-8 Club

Where the 5-8 club stands out is with it’s options. You can customize your Lucy with different cheese and fixings. It’s still a bar, but has a little bit more of restaurant feel to it. My favorite part of the meal at The 5-8 Club was the sweet potato fries. Not only were they a lovely combo of crispy and soft, but they came with this amazing marshmallow bleu cheese dipping sauce. Amazing! Go just for the fries! Honestly, just go to both Matt’s and 5-8 Club. They’re both excellent greasy bar food.

If you’re not looking for American gastropub food, don’t worry! I have a slew of other suggestions.

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Holy Land 1

Holy Land

Holy Land is both a restaurant and a small ethnic grocery. (Side note: The grocery is a great Whole 30 option for meats!) They’ve been featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives, which is how we heard about them. They’re a Middle Eastern deli with a huge array of options. I got the gyro, and a side of hummus and pita, and The Hubs got a chicken and lamb gyro meat combo platter.

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Holy Land

First of all, let me say that the portion sizes are HUGE. Like massive. I felt bad because we didn’t even make a dent in our meals. I made 2 gyros out of the one they brought me and still had a ton  of meat left! Second, I will say that everything was delicious. Their gyro meat was already delicious, and the added cucumber sauce knocked it out of the park! The hummus was great and their desserts opened up a whole new realm of food options. The Hubs is obsessed with honey cakes now!

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Holy Land

If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend Holy Land. Bring a friend and an extra stomach!

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Kramarczuks

 

Kramarczuk’s Deli

Kramarczuk’s came highly recommended by some of The Hub’s coworkers who used to live in the area. They touted it as having the best sauerkraut anywhere. Now, I don’t really eat sauerkraut much(ever), but I have to agree. Kramarczuk’s knows what they’re doing! We got bratwurst, pastrami, perogis and of course, lots of sauerkraut. It’s also a deli, so you go down the line cafeteria style with a tray and find your own seating. We went for lunch and it wasn’t terribly crowded. You will probably have to pay to park near Kramarczuk’s, since it’s semi-downtown. We parked in a nearby underground lot and I think we paid about $3. It’s well worth the experience. 

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Kramarczuks

Everything was delicious. Then there was dessert. Their cannoli was excellent, and we got a cream puff for the road, which was still delicious after riding around in the car for an hour or two! I may have a soft spot for cream puffs though…

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Kramarczuks

We didn’t realized it before we went, but Kramarczuk’s has also been in Diners, Drive-ins and Dives! It’s good to know that we have good taste. I’d love to go back and try one of their GIANT meatballs or cabbage rolls, and of course, more of their desserts…

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Victor's 1959

Victor’s 1959 Cafe

Victor’s 1959 is a is a Cuban cafe with some serious brunch vibes. The Hubs is half Cuban, so we couldn’t turn down a chance to try this quirky Cuban cafe. People have signed and left notes on just about every square inch of Victor’s 1959 Cafe, which makes for some interesting reading material. And it’s good to have reading material because you’re going to be waiting for a while! We got there for lunch and the place was packed! 

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Victor's 1959

I ordered the ranchero cubano, which was a breakfast dish with eggs and black beans (delicious!) and The Hubs went straight for the Cuban sandwich. This is usually his litmus test for how accurate the Cuban food of a given restaurant is. Everything came out fresh and hot, but again, it took…a while. Still, the sandwich was authentic and I’d wait as long as it take to get my man some Cuban food if he wants it! 

What and Where to Eat in Minneapolis - Victor's 1959

If you’re like The Hubs and you need some Cuban fare in your life, Victor’s 1959 is a fun place to go. Bring a few friends and get ready to settle in, and look forward to that food! It’s going to be great!

I have to stop talking about food now, because I am getting hungry. Any favorite in the Minneapolis area that I missed? I’d love to hear about them, or listen if you want to weigh in on the ju(i)cy lucy debate!

Food Lifestyle Travel

One Day in Denton, TX

July 6, 2017
One Day in Denton

The past weekend, The Hubs and I traveled up to Winstar Casino in Oklahoma to see Vince Gill. We spent the night in Gainesville, TX and on the way back we stopped to hang out in Denton. Home of both the University of North Texas (where I almost went to school) and Texas Women’s University, Denton has that cool college town feel, while being totally approachable for a quick day trip. Thinking about driving up for a day yourself? Here’s what you shouldn’t miss:

One Day in Denton

Recycled Books

If you love Half Price Books, you’ll love Recycled Books. Residing in the old Opera House in Denton, It’s a used book store with a seventies vibe and serious amount of stock. It’s winding and maze like and boasts several levels. It also has a pretty sizable record section as well. The Hubs and I had fun poking around the children’s book section with my mom. Their prices are pretty darn reasonable, and their stock has a good mix of both current and classic books. They also have a super cool section up at the front that features local authors! Perfect for any traveler trying to get the feel of the place!

One Day in Denton

Mad World Records

I’ll admit, the only reason I can remember the name of Denton’s Mad World Records is because I sing the song to myself to remember. When we went to see Sierra Hull she did a great cover of “Mad World” using a Fender “Mandocaster” that sounded seriously cool! Mad World Records is seriously cool as well. They have a good mix of contemporary and older vinyl and their layout is nice and open. It’s easy to sort through records and never feels overwhelming. Some record stores get too tiring to look through, but Mad World Records doesn’t make me feel this way at all. They also sell little band pins, if you’re into that kind of thing.

One Day in Denton

Atomic Candy

Colorful and quirky, Atomic Candy is the type of store that your inner child will love. It’s a good, old fashioned candy store stocked with everything from gummy colas to jelly beans to salt water taffy. The also have a nice selection of obscure sodas. My dad, who is a huge root beer connoisseur, had a whole case to poke around in and was able to find some new brands he’d never seen before. It’s a seriously tempting store, so watch out! I had to pace myself because the Hubs and I had out hearts set on…

One Day in Denton

Hypnotic Donuts

Now, we have a Hypnotic Donuts in Dallas too, but it seems to attract a much larger crowd than the one in Denton. That means that the things we always want to try are sold out by the time we get there (The Hubs is not an early riser on days off.). The Hypnotic Donuts in Denton is tucked a little bit further back on the square and seems a little quieter, but specializes in the same quirky donuts. The best part? They had blueberry fritters in stock! We’ve been trying to get a blueberry fritter for The Hubs since we heard that Hypnotic made them and we finally got to try it! (Spoiler alert: It was delicious.) If you’re in the area and have a hankering for some donuts, get yourself to Hypnotic Donuts!

One Day in Denton - LSA Burger

LSA Burger Co.

LSA Burger Co. was a total instagram find, but also came highly recommended by some friend of ours. It’s right on the square in Denton and has a cool upstairs patio where you can see the sights. I mostly wanted to go because of their mini margaritas. They come with “loaders” so you can add flavors and since they’re mini, you can try a few different flavors without getting totally sauced. They even sell margarita flights with all 6 flavors! We tried the pomegranate, strawberry, white peach and prickly pear flavors and they were all delicious. The Hubs and split the Ready Freddie burger, which comes with BBQ sauce, grilled onions, bacon, cheese and pickles. I mention that we split because we also got sides of their delicious garlic herb fries and (cue the angels singing) macaroni and cheese! It was good mac too…mmm, I want to go back and eat more. The fries come in small and large sizes and the portion is generous. We easily split the large fries between 4 people. I’ve got to stop typing because I’m making myself hungry, but you’ve definitely got to stop by LSA Burger Co. if you’re in town!

Did I miss any of your favorite? Any place I need to go back and try? Let me know in the comments!
One Day in Denton

Food Lifestyle Mini Monday Whole 30

5 Things Saving My Whole 30 Right Now

May 9, 2017
5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

All right! Week 1 of Whole30 Round 2 is in the bag! I’m feeling pretty good. Still hungry all the time, but sleeping like a rock. I had my first super realistic food dream (Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups…), and we’ve handled our first party of Whole 30 Round 2. Let’s just say, I’ve never seen The Hubs feed red velvet cake to a toddler so intently. He was living vicariously.

Even though I’m feeling good about Whole 30 Round 2, The Hubs and I are having one of those phases where there is not enough time in the world. It’s moving too fast. Somebody slow the clock down, please. We’re feeling a little rushed. Since I’ve been scrambling to get it together, here is a list of 5 things saving my Whole 30 right now:

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Snap Kitchen

Snap Kitchen saved my life on Day 1 of Whole 30 Round 2, when I realized that I did not plan an appropriate lunch. Luckily Snap Kitchen has a whole set of Whole 30 options to chose from. Imagine, Whole 30 compliant food that I didn’t have to cook! There are Snap Kitchen locations near both my office and my apartment. Score! It’s great to know that I can grab a quick, compliant lunch there. I can’t wait to try more of their options. Also, Their cauliflower is amazing!

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Canned Olives

Ya’ll know that a major Whole 30 struggle for me is that I am always. hungry. Like, all the time. One of the suggestions of the Whole 30 Forums for the constant hunger was to incorporate more fat into your meals. Nut butters work well for me, but another suggestion was olives. Olives can be tough because of some of the additive that they use. Using the handy dandy Whole 30 Additives Cheat Sheet, I was able to determine that Trader Joe’s canned black olives were Whole 30 compliant. So I bought a ton. They make my life so much easier.

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Kalua Pig

Okay. You have to try this slow cooker recipe. It’s so simple. The end result is both amazing and versatile. The recipe is by Nom Nom Paleo, and she has not steered me wrong during this Whole 30. We bought the pork shoulder on Friday night (we used 2 lbs instead of 5) and cooked it in the crock pot overnight. It called for Hawaiian red salt, but we just used Himalayan pink salt instead. It was in about 11 hours (the 5 lb one in the recipe cooks for 16 hours.). The next morning I shredded it and we’ve been using it all weekend. On potatoes. With tostones. In this delicious breakfast concoction. It’s a Whole 30 lifesaver recipe for sure!

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Topo Chico / Kombucha

I’ve decided to delve into the realm of Kombucha on Whole 30 Round 2. Kombucha is tricky in that it can have sugar in it, but it is usually added as part of the fermentation process and is not present in the finished drink. As long as no sugar is added after the fermentation, Kombucha is fair game for Whole 30. The first time on Whole 30 I was afraid to try Kombucha because I was afraid of picking the wrong brand that might have added sugar. Since it’s my second time on Whole 30, I’m more willing to experiment. After perusing the Whole 30 forums online, I decided to start with GT’s Trilogy Kombucha. I’ve been mixing it with Topo Chico (mineral water) because I’ve heard that it can have an, umm, moving effect if you drink too much. It’s my little special treat drink and yes, I drink it out of a wine glass. Don’t judge.

5 Things Saving my Whole 30 Right Now

Sweet Potato Hash

For breakfast. At HG Supply Co. Under bison burgers. With chorizo.  I am living for sweet potato hash. Whether it’s cubed, shredded or in hash browns, it’s the perfect vessel for just about anything I want to eat. Especially fried eggs. Mostly fried eggs… Last night, The Hubs and I experimented and came up with a recipe served on sweet potato hash that was seriously good. Like, it might need it’s own blog post. Because I love sweet potato hash.

Are you like The Hubs and I in feeling like life is moving way too fast? What do you do to slow things down? Is there anything saving your life right now? I’d love to hear about it!