To think that wagon trains used to take months to get to the west, and sometimes there were…um…adventures (see: Donner Party). Nowadays, of course, one can drive half way across the country in a few days. And if flying, as Souzz did, you can get to the northern plains in two hours and watch a bad Adam Sandler movie all at the same time. Is this a great country, or what?
After meeting up in Minneapolis Saturday, Souzz and I enjoyed a fun visit with great friends Michele and Kyal. Michele is the person that introduced me to Souzz, so I guess you could say I owe Michele for this blog…among other things. And Michele and Kyal are foodies, so they tried to cram in as many regional foods as possible during our visit (well, not literally, as we didn’t want a foie gras situation).
We started with lunch at Axel’s Tavern in Loretto, just outside of the city, where Juicy Lucies and Walleye sandwiches were de reguer. While a Juicy Lucy is unique because of the cheese in the center of the burger, the notable thing about my dish was more that the ground beef lived up to its juicy name. And the walleye was mild and flavorful, sort of like a more buttery version of arctic grayling.
After lunch we spent some time boating on the lake behind Michele and Kyal’s house before we headed dinner at one of Minneapolis’s hottest restaurants, The Butcher and the Boar–a trendy place right downtown that is a frequent James Beard nominee. It’s especially known for its sausage, fresh and local and packed with unique combinations of spices and flavors. Needless to say, we outperformed ourselves at dinner, and my corduroys were actually just slacks by the end of the evening (ok, I don’t actually own corduroys).