A weekend in Minneapolis

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2012/09/21 14:32:21 (permalink)

A weekend in Minneapolis

Back in April I bought tickets to the September 15 White Sox-Twins game at Target Field in Minneapolis so last Friday we departed for the Twin Cities.
Friday, September 14
The first leg of our trip was I-90 to La Crosse.  There's a rest area between Bangor and Sparta and I thought this historical marker would be a good introduction, and it actually wound up establishing a theme for the weekend.

When we reached La Crosse we turned north on Wisconsin state highway 35, which is part of the Great River Road.  At just over 412 miles it's the longest highway in the state and as it also passes through some very historical territory there are quite a few markers along the way.  Impress your friends with knowledge of the Beef Slough War!


After passing through Pepin we reached our first destination: Stockholm.  I guess when you only have 66 people you don't really need a post office.

Of course, that wasn't where we were going.

The Stockholm Pie Company wasn't all that busy, but it was also only 11:15 or so.  Here's owner/baker Janet chatting with a couple who were apparently on a trip of their own.

The nice thing about the SPC is that they have other items besides pie, and that includes a lunch menu as well.  We decided to each get a chicken pot pie.

Whoa...I doubt Banquet or Swanson has ever served up anything like this and the best way I can describe it is to call it "chicken stew in a pie crust", as it was full of meat, peas, carrots, and lima beans.  No celery...hooray!!

We could've easily just split a single pie and been perfectly content, but after finishing mine I soldiered on and finished most of what Mrs. SC couldn't finish as well.  The filling was good and hearty and as you might expect the crust was superb.

From Stockholm we continued northward along Lake Pepin toward Maiden Rock.

Eventually we reached Minneapolis and our downtown hotel, just 3 blocks from Target Field.  Our initial plan was to see the game Saturday but since it was early in the afternoon we worked our way to the ballpark and decided to buy tickets for that night's game as well, which meant we'd need a light pregame meal.  The Radisson Plaza's restaurant is FireLake and we decided to hit the bar for some half-price happy hour walleye cakes and beer-battered rock shrimp, and both were quite delicious.  The cakes (lemon tarragon remoulade) had a good amount of fish and were firm without being hard or dry, and the shrimp (sherry scallion sauce) were sweet and flavorful.

Saturday, September 15
Food words only today, no images.  We started the day with breakfast at FireLake and it would be the last meal we ate here, but that was because we had other plans and not due to any kind of disappointment.  The eggs were fresh with nice bright yolks, the back bacon had a good salty porkiness, and the potatoes had a good mix of creamy, lightly-cooked bits and darker, crunchier pieces without any greasiness.
After breakfast we took the short Skyway walk over to Target Field.  This is its 3rd season and it's a very nice ballpark, and we were blessed with some excellent weather to make the experience even better.  We were even rewarded with a White Sox victory, although things got a little hairy in the bottom of the 9th!

The Twins have apparently taken a cue from the Milwaukee Brewers and midway through the game a race is run by Minnesota-themed mascots.  Unfortunately I couldn't get any closer but hopefully you can make out Babe the ox, Bullseye the dog, Louie the loon, Skeeta the mosquito, and Wanda the fish.  Frankly, Wanda could use a little plastic surgery to better resemble a walleye.

There are scads of restaurants in downtown Minneapolis and we decided to visit Gluek's for an early dinner.  It wasn't too crowded and our waitress (who bore a resemblance to a young Mariska Hargitay) suggested we start with walleye fingers and pretzel breadsticks before ordering any entrees, which turned out to be a wise move as the servings were larger than we expected.  We liked both appetizers very much and the dill-caper tartar sauce had a great flavor, but the beer cheese soup that came with the breadsticks was just a little too thick and dip-like for me.  By the time we were about halfway through we decided that the proper course of action would be to split a Berliner open face sandwich.  I don't think either of us had ever tasted anything like it before and we both enjoyed its unique flavor, which really benefits from the sour cream.
After dinner we headed back to the hotel and took it easy for the rest of the evening, as we were hoping to get an early start the next day.
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2012/09/21 14:52:56

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