Helpful ReplyHot!The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report

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abe_froeman
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2019/05/02 15:31:32 (permalink)

The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report

Here are my photos of the trip!
post edited by abe_froeman - 2019/05/14 12:57:17
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/05/02 16:14:16 (permalink)
Great pictures! thanks for posting them. It looks like you all did well both in food and weather.
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/05/02 17:20:26 (permalink)
abe_froeman- wonderful pictures!
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/05/02 18:03:41 (permalink)
abe_froeman
Here are my photos of the trip!

Nice work!  Lots of tasty-looking food items (the Wally's roast beef got my attention) and I love the oven repurposed as a Little Free Library!
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/05/02 18:37:34 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2019/05/03 07:42:27
Beautiful pics abe_froeman!  That roast beef sandwich looks fantastic! I don't remember a roast beef stop?  Did I miss something?
 
And thank you for not photographing the camel burger........
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/05/02 18:43:13 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2019/05/02 18:43:52
joerogo
Beautiful pics abe_froeman!  That roast beef sandwich looks fantastic! I don't remember a roast beef stop?  Did I miss something?
 
And thank you for not photographing the camel burger........


I'm sure you had some lovely falafel at the other Wally's, Joe!


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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/05/02 21:27:07 (permalink)
Your pictures are great!!!
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Re: 2019 Crawl Location Discussion Thread 2019/05/03 13:35:49 (permalink)
abe_froeman Great photography! Thanks.
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The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 20:24:49 (permalink)
The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Roadfood Crawl in in the books, so now it’s time to share thoughts and pictures with the rest of the internet.  Personally, I took dozens of photos; not a single one involving food, so there.  What I can’t share in images, I’ll do my best to put into words, and limit those to the least possible (Hah!).
 
As the organizer of this outing, my totally biased opinion says the weekend was generally a success with a few disappointments.  We had a pretty good turnout with 21 people at our high point.  Not too shabby considering this was our furthest outlying trip to date.  It was especially nice to meet and spend time with Paul Smith (Sundancer7), and wife Roz.  Our first chance to chat was dominated by Paul’s brother Phil, who lives in the Twin Cities.  It was a thoroughly enjoyable conversation, and I wouldn’t mind breaking bread with him another time, but it was Paul I was there to see, and Phil is just one of those guys who grabs the room’s attention and won’t let go.  Nothing I can relate to really.
 
Eventually, Paul and I had a proper visit at Wally’s Roast Beef.  I’m glad we had the opportunity, and hope he and Roz will join us at future events.
 
Beyond that it was mostly the usual crowd.  Sadly, we were missing the Canadian components (nagle & Wawa Mama) of our group.  This led to a distinct lack of late night, extracurricular activities.  It’s hard to misbehave when the Bad Boy & Girl-in-Chief are not there to encourage us.  Hoping they’ll make up for lost opportunities when they visit Chicago and Milwaukee later this May.
 
I won’t bore you with individual detailed reviews of every place we went.  The folks with the food porn (which is what you’re here to see, don’t lie) can give you a better blow by blow diary of the weekend.  I’ll just try to give a broad overview, broken down into categories.
 
Breakfast
I "only" experienced four breakfast spots on this trip.  We hit the full spectrum, from lowly diner to high end, nationally renowned restaurants.  There were no clunkers, as far as I was concerned, but some were definitely better than others.  Hell's Kitchen, which I'm guessing most of our group ranked at the top of the heap, actually came in second for me.  They serve excellent food and offer outstanding service in a beautiful atmosphere, but my favorite was Key’s Café, specifically their original location in St. Paul.
 
It is a classic Diner in every sense, cut from the same cloth as Pamela’s in Pittsburgh and Jerry’s Café in Kansas City.  Hefty portions of delicious comfort food are served by career waitresses who know every regular customer by name, and welcome newbies like us with great warmth.
 
A lot of different dishes were passed around.  I was lucky enough to dig into a short stack of Pancakes and a side of the Roast Beef Hash.  The Pancakes were the best I had on the trip; fluffy, crisp, and so flavorful, even fake maple syrup couldn’t spoil them.  The hash was savory, rich, and meaty with no trace of greasiness.
 
But the find of the morning was the Caramel Roll, ordered on a whim by Ralph Melton.  The gigantic pastry was drowned in a ridiculously generous portion of house made caramel sauce, accompanied by a large dollop of room temperature butter.  It was so sinfully good, my arteries were lining up like Aztec virgins, ready to sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
 
None of this should take away from any of the other Breakfast stops.  Hell’s Kitchen was excellent, but they were supposed to be, or else there would have been trouble.  Al’s Dinkytown Diner served a quality product, and we had a great private party there, but without the joint’s long history, the building’s physical "charms", and the sass from the staff, it might have been a more ordinary experience.
 
ChiTownDiner perfectly summed up the vibe at French Meadow, so I’ll leave it to him to express that.  I thought their Corn Pancakes were okay, but had a weird texture, like there was some kind of mashed root vegetable mixed into the batter.  OTOH, I was blown away by their Quiche, declaring it the best I’ve ever tasted.  It was at least 50% deeper than any standard quiche, resulting in a creamier, richer tart.  Some in the group theorized they must be using a spring-form pan to achieve the depth, which was confirmed when we returned Sunday for a second helping, and chatted with the owner.  Also, according to her, a little extra cream doesn’t hurt.
 
 
Surprise Hits and Unfortunate Misses
Hit: Mill Ruins Park
Originally, I put this place on the list just as a calorie burner with some decent scenery.  As it turned out, some folks said they could've spent another two hours wandering the grounds of this exploded grain mill, preserved as a monument to the city’s industrial foundations.  Lots of interesting photo ops for anyone who likes rusted, twisted metal sprouting up out of the wild flowers and other local flora.  It really was fascinating.
 
Walking along the upper level, on the Stone Arch Bridge, provided a spectacular view of the power of the Mississippi River as it cascaded over St. Anthony Falls, creating clouds of mist you could feel and smell hundreds of yards away.
 
Miss: Karmel Square Mall
I swear I did my research on this place, and never once noticed they open at 1pm.  So, when we showed up at 11am and found only one food stall operating and a lot of closed security gates and empty hallways, I knew I’d goofed.  OTOH, even if they were open, the building is fairly run down and even seedier than the level I’m known to appreciate (the BuddyRoadhouse motto: The deliciousness of the food is directly related to the potential danger faced in procuring it; knowing it might be your last meal on Earth).  On the plus side, most of the group got sidetracked and missed this dubious experience, so no harm, no foul.
 
Miss: Midtown Global Market
Once again, internet research and Tourism Board recommendations are sometimes not enough to tell you the true nature of a place.  All the early information indicated this was our kind of place, promising a wide variety of international street food bites served in a cool urban space.  What we got was more Epcot imitation than authentic.  Kind of a "jack of all trades; master of none" operation.  If any of these stall businesses prepared food any better, they’d have their own brick and mortar stores instead of trying to survive in this overrated mall.
 
I had some excellent pear and lemon Italian Ices, but that was the high point of this touristy spot.
 
You'll likely be hearing a lot of jokes about Camel Burgers as this thread develops.  Yes, we’re talking real camel, not some euphemism, or reference to a method of preparation that approximates the flavor or appearance of camel meat.  One of the stalls, featuring African cuisine, offers a burger made from actual humpbacked, shaggy maned, big-footed dromedary, imported from a farm in Australia.  Having already consumed my share of venison and elk burgers in life, I thought camel was going to be one of the highlights of the trip for me.
 
Not everything works out as we would like.
 
The Beefcake1 Crew arrived a few minutes before us, so ChiBears15 took the Camel Burger initiative and ordered one for the team.  What I tasted was a slightly gamy meat, comparable to goat, with some exotic seasoning.  A couple of others in the group turned green.  Now, I’m not going to tell these poor lads their nausea was imaginary, but I do know, based on personal experience in a high school chemistry class experiment, we are all genetically predisposed to tasting (smelling, seeing, etc.) things differently.  So, my happy experience could have very well been thoroughly disgusting to them.  I promise not to poke fun at their camel intolerance if they swear not to start calling me Hump Boy, or some other inappropriate camel related nickname.
 
Hit: Carol’s Restaurant
I admit I was reluctant to drive more than 20 miles for a Meatloaf Sandwich, or anything else at this lunch spot for middle aged ladies.  But wanderingjew insisted, and I got tired of fighting, so I put them on the schedule.
 
I’m glad I did.
 
Turns out, the food was pretty damn good.  We were especially taken with the pre-meal bread basket featuring, what they called Nova Scotia Rolls.  These were brown bread type rolls, slightly sweet, very dense, and damn tasty with a shmear of butter.  We asked one of the servers why they were called Nova Scotia Rolls, and she said, "I’m not sure.  I guess the recipe came from this foreign country, Nova Scotia, or something…"
 
So there ya go America, keep de-funding the public-school system.  Before you know it, all the good jobs will be taken by kids immigrating from far flung foreign lands like Nova Scotia, and Montana.
 
Miss: Matt’s Bar
Surprise!  You can’t cook a Jucy Lucy medium-rare if you want the cheese inside to melt properly.  A table full of well-done Burgers left us all disappointed.
 
Thanks to an independent side trip by the Bonks, some of us got to try a much better version they picked up from The Nook.  Even after traveling a half hour, then waiting around in the parking lot at Lion’s Tap while others arrived, The Nook’s cold carry-out version was still better than Matt’s.  If they weren’t such a small operation, they would have beaten out Matt’s for a spot on the itinerary.
 
Hit: Wally’s Roast Beef
I had no doubt Wally’s would serve up a good Roast Beef Sandwich, I just had no idea how good it would be.  But they delivered, without a doubt.  Their beautiful rare beef, incredibly tender, is served on a slightly sweet bun.  I wish I’d tried the tangy horseradish sauce before diving into the excellent house made au jus, but still found it all delicious.  Give it up Arby’s, you’ll never achieve the magnificence of this sandwich.
 
Hit: Hmongtown Marketplace
After all the whining and gnashing of teeth over my plan to take the 2019 Crawl in a slightly ethnic direction (2 stops out of 22, and, as noted above, one of them didn’t work out), it turns out Roadfooders LOVE Hmong cuisine!  Who knew?  I did.
 
Hmong Sausage, Stuffed Chicken Wings, and giant Smoked Beef Ribs (Thanks to the Bonks for making an impulse buy on that item) were just part of the spread that was eagerly sampled by our group.  Also, thanks to ChiBears15 for doing a little advance research to figure out what we’d encounter and how to order.  Great job Danny!
 
Hit: Mac’s Fish & Chips
I was pretty certain Mac’s would be a crowd pleaser, I just had no idea how truly outstanding it would be.  Their deep-fried Walleye may have been the best version on the entire Crawl.  The perfectly crunchy exterior gave way to steaming hot, moist and flaky flesh with great flavor.  And the crowd went wild!
 
Fries are fresh, hand cut; and they also make a damn fine Salt Water Taffy, sold by the pound.
 
 
Things That Worked Out About as Well as I Expected
I had full confidence in all of the planned Ice Cream stops (thanks for your help, ChiTownDiner and bufettbuster), although I disagree with CTD over which one was best.  IIRC, he’s a fan of Pumphouse Creamery, while I favored Milkjam Creamery.  I thought the flavors at Milkjam were more intense.  My Thai Tea flavored Ice Cream was rich, creamy, and recreated the flavors of the drink perfectly, even down to the smoky quality and slight bitterness of the tea.
 
While the scoop of Pear Ginger Sorbet I had at Pumphouse was excellent, the actual Ice Cream flavors I tried were a bit too subtle for my tastes, bordering on bland.  I don’t necessarily blame the ice cream makers for this.  There was a recent article explaining that premium ice creams containing high quantities of butter fat may actually dampen the flavors.  The butter fat coats the taste buds, making it harder to fully appreciate the flavor of the ice cream.  It becomes a trade off between richness and intensity of taste.  Personally, I’ll give up some creaminess for more flavor.
 
Like the Ice Cream category, I left the final Pastry/Bakery choices up to CTD and buffetbuster to decide, and there were no clunkers.  In fact, the few items I picked up at Bread & Chocolate were outstanding, even eaten the next morning in our hotel room.
 
I was hoping for unanimous raves at Restaurant Baku, but it didn’t quite work out that way.  I think everyone found something to enjoy, even though there were some quibbles with some individual dishes.  The appetizers were roundly praised, especially the Eggplant Ratatouille and Pell Meni Dumplings.  Weak points among the entrees, IMO, were the Chicken Tabak (pressed Cornish hen), while others objected to the substitution of French Fries for noodles in the Beef Stroganoff.  Still, I will recommend Baku to anyone visiting the Twin Cities, looking for a unique dining experience.
 
Kramarczuk’s was a big hit with everyone who tried it.  Unfortunately, some of our members got sidetracked and never made it over.  The generous portions of excellent Polish food provided the perfect kickoff for the folks who went to the Twins game afterward, and also the group who played a round of mini-golf at Can-Can Wonderland.
 
Some of you may remember I had strong reservations about going to Tavern on Grand.  Past experiences there have provided some well-prepared Walleye, but the rest of the menu left me disappointed.  I guess I’m in the minority.  The rest of the group loved ToG, but I’m sticking to my guns. 
 
Ralph Melton and I split an order of Walleye Bites and a cup of Chicken Wild Rice Soup.  The soup was fine, but not the best version I had on the trip.  The Walleye was dry and slightly overdone.  I think this was mainly due to the fact that the fish was cut up into smaller pieces, causing it to lose more moisture than if it had been cooked as a whole filet, then cut up before serving.
 
No matter.  The goal was to make 20 other people happy, not just me.  If that was accomplished, then I’m satisfied, even if the rest of you are horribly, horribly wrong.
 
My other concern was Kaffe Stuga.  Not so much for the food, but the distance we needed to travel to get there.  It was a hundred-mile round trip for a plateful of Minnesota Heritage foods.  As it turns out, the food was okay, plus Ralph Melton handled the driving, so I got a nap on the way up.  Once again, more than half the group was happy with the meal, so I guess, mission accomplished.  The minority of us thought the Swedish Sampler Platter was okay, but not very exciting.  Even the Hot Dish Advocate-in-Chief admitted Kaffe Stuga’s version was not up to snuff.
 
OTOH, I really enjoyed the Raspberry Pie.  My one quibble with raspberries in general is the seeds.  Somehow, the Kaffe Stuga folks managed to de-seed fresh raspberries, making for a delightful flavor and texture experience.
 
Missed opportunities
My biggest frustration and regret are how few people showed up for the visit to Magnolias in St. Paul.  Admittedly, it was stuffed into an already jam-packed day, following heavy duty stops at Hell’s Kitchen and Al’s Diner, and leading up to a serious Polish chow-down at Kramarczuk’s.  Nonetheless, this may have been one of the best stops on the Crawl, and only six of us had the opportunity to enjoy it.  The Roadhouse Clan, joined by the Bonk household, started with a cup of outstanding Chicken Wild Rice Soup.  It was thicker than pudding and chock full of wild rice, bits of carrot, and of course, plenty of chicken.  Excellent flavor, great texture; the best version we had on the entire trip.
 
We were getting too full to attack one of Magnolias highly regarded Fried Chicken Dinners, so we passed around a plate of their equally renowned Chicken Wings.  The gigantic wings are served whole, beautifully fried to perfect crispness, yet still moist and tender.
 
But for me, the star of the meal, and reason for our visit, was the Walleye Dinner.  The Bonks arrived early and did an admirable job of ordering while we were stuck in a horrible traffic jam.  They chose the Pan-Fried version (Deep Fried also available), and it was brilliant.  It was an unbelievably moist and flaky piece of fish, full of the sweet flavor Walleye is known for.  Bonk thought it was a little fishy tasting, but I found it quite acceptable and possibly the second-best version on the Crawl, outdone only by Mac’s Fish & Chips.  The fish was accompanied by a large serving of Hash Browns; exceedingly crisp on the outside, moist and creamy inside.  Any Wisconsin Supper Club would’ve been proud to serve these.
 
The real tragedy here is that Magnolias might have been one of the most memorable stops on the Crawl.  It is a small, unassuming neighborhood restaurant, with friendly waitresses serving great food to its local devotees.  Practically the definition of Roadfood.  I wish more people had the chance to enjoy it.  I highly, highly, highly recommend a visit for anyone traveling in the future to the Twin Cities.
 
Saying Goodbye
On the one hand, I felt like I’d missed the boat, choosing Lion’s Tap as our final official meal.  On past Crawls we’ve tried to do something special for a farewell meal.  Josza’s Corner in Pittsburgh, Burt’s Place in Chicago, and Stroud’s in Kansas City were all a big success.  Occasionally there’s a flop, like Coco’s Italian Market in Nashville.
 
On the other hand, the Burgers at Lion’s Tap have been a declared winner by myself, buffetbuster, and MSP resident and longtime Roadfooder, Davydd.  I’m not sure if everyone really thought the Burgers were that great, or if they were just happy because we could finally get them cooked to medium rare.  So what if Burgers aren’t as unique as home cooked Hungarian food or great Pan Pizza, both cooked by masters in their field, or even legendary Fried Chicken.  As joerogo and I agreed, it’s still better to say goodbye over a simple but well-prepared Burger as opposed to lousy Italian.
 
Thanks to all who participated in this year’s Twin Cities Crawl. I hope it was as enjoyable for you as it was nerve-wracking for me.  See you all somewhere in 2020!
 
Buddy
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ChiBears15
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 21:25:49 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2019/05/04 05:38:10
#SayNoToClevelandFor2020
 
Right Joe? 
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 21:57:12 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby JRPfeff 2019/05/03 22:02:44
Tuesday April 23, 2019
 
Hello Roadfooders,
As most of you already know, Gregg (chitowndiner) and myself (ChiBears15) usually head to the crawl destination a few days early.  This year was no different as we departed Westmont on 4/23 under the cover of darkness.  Our first breakfast stop was an old school diner in Madison, WI popular among the University of Wisconsin college students.
 
Mickies Dairy Bar - Madison, WI




This place is located directly across the street from Camp Randall Stadium the home of Badgers football, so you can imagine how crazy busy they get on game days during college football season.  
  
I decided to go simple and small for my breakfast choice.  I've learned over the past 5 years of traveling with Gregg (and his spreadsheet) that appetite preservation is key to enjoying these trips.  You just can't over eat at any one place because you won't enjoy the next stops.  My breakfast sandwich served on an English muffin was outstanding.  Egg was perfectly fried and the bacon was crispy the way I like it.
 

Gregg ordered a sausage omelet with a side of breakfast potatoes (called Yanks at Mickies).  I didn't think anything on his plate was above average.  Nothing wrong with it.  Just not a plate I would order if I came back here.  The star of the show however was an additional item that Gregg ordered for us to go along with our coffees: the apple cinnamon coffee cake. 

Excellent in every way.  I know that Gregg took a cool pic of the coffee cake right out of the oven still steaming after being cut.  Hopefully he will post it.  The two of us were lucky enough to get the first piece.  I would come back here just for this.  Overall, Mickies Dairy Bar was a worthwhile stop in Madison. The chitowndiner's amazing ability to sniff out the best sweet treat at a restaurant was on full display here.
 
Much more to come...
 
Danny
 
   
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 22:02:56 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby nagle 2019/05/04 08:27:33
Jeff, nice summary of our trip.  BIG THANKS for putting it together.  Dinner on me soon.
 
Danny
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 22:04:06 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiBears15 2019/05/03 22:05:36
Thanks Danny. We can always count on you to post great photos.
 
jrp
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 22:08:58 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2019/05/04 05:39:40
JRPfeff
Thanks Danny. We can always count on you to post great photos.
 
jrp


Haha without David Sanders on this trip, this may have been the first crawl without a trip report.  Jeff somehow didn't take any food pics on a food trip, Dale retired from trip reports, and Gregg is enjoying his retirement.
 
My back is going to hurt after this because I will be carrying the entire team (like Lebron James)...
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 22:12:22 (permalink)
Nice summary Jeff, it's almost like being there.
 
So the long sought theme for the crawl turned out to be Walleye instead of Juicy Lucy's. Bobbi would have loved it.
 
Jim
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 22:31:06 (permalink)
Tuesday April 23, 2019 Continued
Our next stop was right down the street from our breakfast stop.  I had read good things about this bakery online and had asked Gregg to include it on our itinerary.
 
Greenbush Bakery - Madison, WI



Walking in, Gregg was planning on ordering the giant apple fritter which is what Greenbush Bakery is known for.  However, the woman working there told us that you can only get their giant apple fritters on weekends or by special order.  Damn!  The apple fritters looked delicious online.

We "settled on" a pair of old fashioned donuts.  One blueberry and one cranberry.  Haha I say settled because these were delicious!  Quite the consolation prize for us.  This bakery definitely deserves a return visit.  I have a feeling most (if not all) of their items are above average.
 
Danny
 
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 23:30:07 (permalink)
ChiBears15
JRPfeff
Thanks Danny. We can always count on you to post great photos.
 
jrp


Haha without David Sanders on this trip, this may have been the first crawl without a trip report.  Jeff somehow didn't take any food pics on a food trip, Dale retired from trip reports, and Gregg is enjoying his retirement.
 
My back is going to hurt after this because I will be carrying the entire team (like Lebron James)...


Danny, I think he's being sarcastic.  Not sure what you're seeing, but not a single photo is showing up on my screen. All your text is there, but no pix.  Definitely appreciate the effort though.  Maybe look for a solution...
 
Buddy
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/03 23:39:10 (permalink)
Buddy,
 
Surprisingly, I was being serious. I did see Danny's photos the first time around, but they are gone now.
 
Jim
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/04 00:06:02 (permalink)
Sorry about that.  Not sure what is happening.  I see all of my photos.
 
I will check for a solution tomorrow.
 
Danny
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/04 01:07:57 (permalink)
JRPfeff
Nice summary Jeff, it's almost like being there.
 
So the long sought theme for the crawl turned out to be Walleye instead of Juicy Lucy's. Bobbi would have loved it.
 
Jim


I guess three Walleye stops (although one of the three is recognized more for their Fried Chicken) out of 22 qualifies as a theme.  Of course, by that standard, we could declare it an Ice Cream/Pastry themed Crawl (5 stops).  Like I said from the start, my goal was a solid mix, with no one food item or genre dominating.  I think/hope that was accomplished.  Really sorry you and Bobbi weren't there to share it.
 
Buddy
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/04 08:28:29 (permalink)
ChiBears15
Jeff, nice summary of our trip.  BIG THANKS for putting it together.  Dinner on me soon.
 
Danny


Jeff, make that dinner the weekend of May 25 and Danny can buy Jen and I dinner also.
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/05 04:29:34 (permalink)
For consistency's sake, I'll post my photos here, too.
 
Danny, I don't see your photos, either. :(

I thought all the breakfast stops were great- some had local charm (Al's and Keys), some had over-the-top ambience (Hells Kitchen), but they all had good food.  
 
Magnolias and Mac's were definitely the standouts for walleye.  I agree with Buddy's assessment of Kaffe Stuga...if you were driving around that area, it would be a cute place with decent food to stop.  No one is going to make a transcendent hot dish, and even a good one isn't worth 50 miles each way (other than some nice downtime in the car for those of us who weren't driving).  Hot dish is best enjoyed at home or a church dinner, made by your grandma.  The raspberry pie was good, though, and I'm not even a huge raspberry fan.   

Wally's Roast Beef would definitely make it onto my list for another trip, especially now that I know there's horseradish sauce that I could have had.  Even with just the au jus, it was really great.

Bread & Chocolate was too packed when we got there (and we were too stuffed an uninterested in eating to take up space there), so we went across the street to their sister cafe, Cafe Latte.  Even though I thought I was too full, I managed to have a few bites of one of the best chocolate cakes I've ever had.  
 
The pork and beef at Hmongtown Marketplace were excellent.  Could have knocked off Kaffe Stuga for more time there.  
#22
joerogo
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/05 08:54:39 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2019/05/13 15:18:57
Day - 1
 
It's official.....I have still never seen a ChiBears15 photo!  
 
I just plucked down $80 for 2 years of photobucket, hope it works!
 
Since the RF Crawl waits for no man, I headed to Matt's as soon as I landed.  I started out with a Fine glass of designer beer.

 
I think Sundancer described the Jucy Lucy best, "it's two burgers with cheese in the middle".  I guess I was just expecting more, Matt's didn't deliver.  I make "stuffed burgers" at home and have to problem getting the cheese to melt with a medium burger.  Sorry Matt's, too dry. 

 
I know the pic is a little blurry, but I can guarantee this is not a pastrami sandwich!
 
My first walleye ever was at Tavern on the Grand.  And grand it was!  I'll pass on the Cherokee Harvested Wild Rice.

 
Then....Danny and I came up with the bright idea of trying a camel burger.  The burger itself wasn't bad as far as taste, it was the spices that got me.  I think they were frankincense and myrrh. 



 
Immediately after consuming a quarter of this double hump burger, I had a caravan meandering through my intestinal tract.  Oh was I sorry.........I called it a day and ran for my pepcid!
post edited by joerogo - 2019/05/05 13:33:37
#23
ScreamingChicken
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/05 09:41:26 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby nagle 2019/05/05 19:51:07
joerogo
It's official.....I have still never seen a ChiBears15 photo!  
 
Before I bust him too much, let me see if I can make it work(difficult since I refused the photobucket shakedown)

Sorry, Joe, your photos except for the last one aren't showing up either.
 
I think Photobucket may have softened their stance and made allowances for people who post to non-commercial sites.  My images still work here and I haven't gotten dinged for $400.
 
nagle
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Jeff, nice summary of our trip.  BIG THANKS for putting it together.  Dinner on me soon.

Jeff, make that dinner the weekend of May 25 and Danny can buy Jen and I dinner also.

He should also buy dinner for anyone he dissed on the trip; for example, by stopping somewhere for breakfast in a state capital and not extending an invitation to any local RFers.  Especially if one of those locals specifically suggested said breakfast stop.
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JRPfeff
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/05 09:47:54 (permalink)
Rogo,

A nice plate of hotdish would soothe the camel induced distress. Just ask the Colonel.

jrp
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Davidsanders
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/05 10:25:41 (permalink)
I'm not seeing any photos at this point from anyone. 
And, yes, Photobucket completely walked back their ludicrous price changes and now they're completely reasonable (I think). Their "beginner" package, which includes 25GB of storage, is about $54 a year. The intermediate, 250GB, is about $75 a year.
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buffetbuster
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/05 11:32:31 (permalink)
Speaking for my wife and Cousin Johnny, we had a tremendous time in Minneapolis/St.Paul.  Quite possibly the most fun we have had on one of these Crawls.  Why exactly that was, I'm not 100% sure, but it is obvious the  incredible amount of research done by organizers really did pay off.  
 
We arrived late Thursday night, so we were already several days behind the diehards.  And we got overly tired and full on Friday, which meant we missed several of the food highlights of the day, which was disappointing.  We honestly enjoyed every place we visited in one way or the other.
 
A big thanks to ChiTownDiner for renting a vehicle

roughly the size of a city block to carry seven of us.  One of the craziest things I have ever seen in my life happened before we even made it out of the parking lot of the hotel on our first day.  CTD tried pulling the SUV out but there was another car driving through.  CTD instantly hit the brakes, put his hands up in apologetic manner and then gave the other driver a thumbs up.  Still, the maniac flew open his car door, raced over to CTD's side and started yelling at him. Again, there were seven of us in the car.  The fact that we were all laughing at him probably didn't help his mood.  Me yelling, "You're pretty tough for someone wearing a pink shirt" probably didn't help either.  Whatever happened to Minnesota nice? 
 
Back to the food...
 
My favorite stop was Cafe Latte, where we enjoyed a perfect combination of spreads (Sonoma basil, tuna salad and chicken spinach), soups (curried sweet potato, creamy smoked gouda and parmesan chicken stew) and dessert (salted caramel tres leche cake).
 
The unexpected gem was Mac's Fish & Chips, which will definitely be part of my rotation every time we revisit MSP.
 
Some photos....
 
Stockholm Pie Company

 
Rise Bagel Company

 
Hell's Kitchen





 
Angel Food Bakery

This doughnut is called the dough-napart!
 
Rose Street Patisserie




 
Annie's Parlour

 
Al's Breakfast








 
Tavern on Grand

 
Keys Cafe


 
Bread & Chocolate




 
Cafe Latte




 
Cathedral of St. Paul


 
Hmong Marketplace






 
Lindstrom Bakery





 
Kaffe Stuga



 
Lunds & Byerly's

 
Mac's Fish & Chips





 
Lion's Tap




 
It was wonderful seeing everyone and we are already looking forward to next year.
post edited by buffetbuster - 2019/05/05 11:45:44
#27
JRPfeff
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/05 11:49:24 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby joerogo 2019/05/05 12:50:16
Well done Joe & Danny. Your ruse to get buffetbuster to post his photos was successful.
 
buffetbuster - Was the angry driver in the pink shirt named Joe Rogo?
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/05 12:56:22 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby nagle 2019/05/05 20:04:40
JRPfeff
Well done Joe & Danny. Your ruse to get buffetbuster to post his photos was successful.
 
buffetbuster - Was the angry driver in the pink shirt named Joe Rogo?


I happen to be wearing pink gingham!  A very soothing pattern......
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Re: The 2019 Minneapolis/St. Paul Crawl Trip Report 2019/05/05 13:50:48 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby ChiTownDiner 2019/05/13 15:25:29
ScreamingChicken
 
Sorry, Joe, your photos except for the last one aren't showing up either.
 



Weird.  I'm seeing all the pix from Rogo, but Danny's are still a no go.  See what I did there?
 
Buddy
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