A Day in the Twin Cities

When Oprah asked Prince why he chose to keep his home in Minneapolis, he said that is was so cold it kept all the bad people out. I think he might’ve been on to something because our time here was nothing short of perfect. I can’t say I was really expecting much from Minneapolis, just looking for a spot to take a quick camping break. Now, this is one place I wish we had more time to explore! I would love to go back and spend a week here. There was so much to do and so many diner breakfasts to eat!

I have to credit most of our awesome time to our Airbnb. The location in the up and coming Northeast Arts District set us up for the best time. When we arrived after camping at Copper Falls, the top priorities were tacos and a car wash. I’m happy to let you know both were successful and extremely satisfying (I could easily live off tacos and spicy salsa). We walked around the neighborhood later and found a couple breweries and Psycho Suzi’s, the local tiki bar!

We pretty much had one fun day and one day to get boring adult stuff done like laundry, and groceries, and car maintenance – so I’ll just tell you about the fun day. We slept in (indoors!) and went to Al’s Breakfast in Dinkytown. I’ve read so much about this famous place tucked in an alleyway and it lived up to the expectation! When we got there we couldn’t even get in because of the line, but less than 20 minutes later we were rewarded with 2 of the 14 stools. Once you get in the actual restaurant there’s so much to look at over the narrow counter that you almost forget you’re waiting. After the best bacon and cheesy hashbrowns ever, we set out about our day.

The only thing we’d had on our must-do in Minneapolis list was to have dinner at Grand Cafe. Just a short drive from the restaurant I found a restored 1950s theater, with just one screen and popcorn with actual butter. The lobby is completely decorated with mid-century modern pieces and showcases photos of the theater from the late 50s. They do a fun summer series showing old movies and we were lucky enough to be there for Yellow Submarine! We sang away the Blue Meanies with the crowd as we passed through the Sea of Time.

But back to the main event – Grand Cafe. After the French spot was named Food & Wine’s Restaurant of the Year a few months ago, I knew it needed to be included in this trip. Max loves French food, and honestly I just wanted to go to see the decor, but it turned out to be so delicious! We started with the pork pâtè en croûte, chickpea panisse (i could have ordered 6 more of these in a heartbeat), and sweet corn madeleines. For dinner, my roast chicken was perfect, but Max’s dish, the arctic char amandine, stole the show. Weeks later, we are still talking about how good the food, service, and the experience as a whole was. I linked their website because I didn’t get many good pictures, but they have created such a fun atmosphere! If the winter didn’t exist, I would want to move here immediately – but unless I can hibernate, the chill will definitely keep me and the other bad people out.

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