Whirlwind Weekend in Minneapolis.
Somehow we’re already over a week into August? My only explanation for how it happened is that I have been traveling non-stop for what seems like the entirety of the Summer. A couple weeks ago Andrew and I flew to Minneapolis out of Charlotte for a quick weekend visit with my father-in-law. We were only in town for about 48 hours so barely put a dent in all the fun things there are to do, and barely skimmed the surface of good eats, but here’s a recap of our whirlwind weekend.
Our weekend started with an early dinner on Friday at Young Joni; a pizza restaurant in the Arts District ran by James Beard Award winning Chef, Ann Kim. I say early dinner, as we could only get a 4:30p reservation during our visit even booking a couple weeks in advance. If you’re trying to pop-in on the fly though, they do have a community table in the center of the restaurant that you could probably squeeze into on a week day.
Our meal started with a whole, charred fish, brought to the table and deboned in front of us, along with some pork belly lettuce wraps and some of the most delicious cauliflower I’ve ever tasted. With pizza being the main attraction we tried, an oil based loaded mushroom pizza and a more classic red sauce with sausage and pepperoni. (My least favorite part about traveling is the fact that I never find time to eat the leftovers as we’re always trying somewhere new for the next meal, because I’m still thinking about one more bite of that pie.) As if the food wasn’t good enough already, the dessert brought tears to my eyes. As a table we shared the house made soft serve caramel ice cream, a rhubarb pie and the church basement cookie plate that came complete with a glass of milk. You may think, cookies, how could they be so special? Just trust me, every bite was exceptional.
The Twin Cities are home to a lot of new, local breweries - which of course being from Asheville is right up our alley. On Friday we stopped at both Indeed Brewing Company and Bauhaus Brew Labs both in the Arts District nearby to Young Joni. Both have great outdoor spaces so if it hadn’t been 95 degrees on Friday we could’ve sat outside at either all day. Bauhaus’ decor was lots of fun and the brewery had great energy, but I enjoyed the extensive beer menu at Indeed a little better - giving everyone in our party lots of options for finding beers we all liked.
On Saturday we visited another very small microbrew, Bang Brewing - a sustainably focused brewery that does everything organically. Their taproom is a small silo surrounded by a garden of picnic tables where you can relax in the shade amongst the wild flowers. Can you say idyllic?! And on the weekends you can find Northern Fires pizza there serving up from their mobile pizza oven, which if we weren’t pizza-ed out already would have been a real treat!
The first half of Saturday was quite stormy, starting with major thunderstorms then continuing with heavy rain through the early afternoon, so we figured it would be a great time to visit some museums. First up was architectural phenomenon, Weisman Art Museum located on the University of Minnesota campus. Designed by renowned architect Frank O. Gehry the sculptural steel building was my favorite part of the visit - the modern art collection was nicely curated and even though it was a quick visit the museum is free to the public so we still enjoyed our time there.
Next on the list was one of my must see’s, the Walker Art Center. A contemporary art museum located back on the other side of the river near Lowry Hill. We spent a couple good hours exploring the expansive exhibits, home to quite a few Andy Warhol pieces. We had a lot of fun in their temporary exhibit, Allora & Calzadilla: Chalk, a chalkboard walled gallery filled with human size pieces of chalk left for visitors to leave their mark. I was very pleased that by the time we made our way through all of the galleries the rain had stopped and we were able to walk across the street to visit the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It gave Andrew and I flashbacks to our visit to Storm King Art Center last year, and my father-in-law really enjoyed seeing the large scale pieces so close.
Since it was warming up it seemed like the perfect time to sit and relax and have a cold beer, so we popped across the street from the Sculpture Garden into one more brewery, Sisyphus Brewing.
Naturally after all the museum bouncing it was time to hit a stop on the World Wide Weiner Tour which led us to, The Bulldog in Lowertown. And face first into a Downtown Mac & Cheese Dog, and a scrumptious Danger Dog; a bacon wrapped dog deep fried and covered with sriracha mayo and sauteed onions. Literally what my dreams are made of.
Saturday night ended with a late night meal at St. Genevieve - an intimate French bistro near the Tangletown neighborhood. Beginning at 9pm they do a late night happy hour every night of the week, and we indulged in all sorts of French bites accompanied by some natural wine from the tap and topped off with a decadent chocolate tart. It was a big night for Andrew as he tried both escargot and caviar for the first time!
Other stops on our food tour included Rise Bagel Co. for a bagel sandwich and coffee, and a seafood brunch at Smack Shack complete with lobster rolls and lobster guacamole. There’s only so much food you can eat in two days so I’ll be eager to put together a fresh list of restaurants for the next time we visit.
Our visit was quick and there is still so much to see, so I’m definitely looking forward to visiting again. Minneapolis is a really fun city with lots to do from Minnehaha Falls to all the museums, and lots of great shops and restaurants. There are so many little pockets of the city to explore that you could stay busy for quite some time trying to see it all - I’m sure we will! Have you visited Minneapolis? Would love to hear your favorite spots in the comments below!