Picks and Pans – In and Around Minneapolis, MN

My dad grew up in Minnesota, and so a lot of his childhood stories involve tunneling through snow to make epic forts, skating up a river with the roving horde of neighborhood kids and generally making mischief in a land of snow and ice. I had never had the pleasure of being in Minnesota during the winter; in fact, most of my Minnesota experience has been limited to the grounds of the Minneapolis/St. Paul airport, so I was excited to see if the place lived up to my childhood imagination of it. And although there was no fort building, snow shoeing, snowball fights or ice skating involved, Sean and I had a great time exploring Minneapolis with my Uncle Frank and Aunt Kathy.

Crossroads Deli in Hopkins, MN

Crossroads Deli turns out to have been aptly named with respect to my personal history. It’s a Minnesotan deli that serves up a mean western New York classic, the beef on ‘weck. It was a deliciously unexpected intersection of my dad’s and mom’s respective roots.
Sean says: I’d never had a beef on ‘weck, but I’ll be darned if that ain’t one good sandwish!

Walker Art Museum

When lumber baron T.B. Walker opened an art gallery in downtown Minneapolis in 1879, it was the first public art venue west of the Mississippi, and ever since that time the Walker has lived up to its cutting edge reputation by bringing innovative modern and contemporary art to Minneapolis. The museum has an impressive collection, but manages not to be too overwhelming thanks to the intelligent layout of the galleries. We spent the better part of an afternoon there and were able to see the entire museum, including the exhibition of Dan Graham’s perception bending work, which made the museum space feel more like a playground than a gallery.

Lord Fletcher’s Old Lake Lodge in Spring Park, MN

I can think of no better place to sample the wild game meats of Minnesota than Lord Fletcher’s. From our table by the window, we could look out across one of Minnesota’s thousands of lakes while we savored our dinners of pan-fried walleye and smoked wild pheasant stew. Thanks to Uncle Frank and Aunt Kathy, our dinner was also complemented by stimulating conversation.

Mill City Museum

The Mill City Museum is located in the renovated ruins of one of the many flour mills that used to line the Mississippi as it winds through downtown Minneapolis and it offers an interactive and fascinating look at the history of flour milling and how it affected the people and economy of Minneapolis.

Walker Sculpture Garden

If you can only hit one spot in Minneapolis, the Walker Sculpture Garden should be it. The garden is a huge park littered with sculptures by some of the world’s foremost sculptors. Even the snow and cold didn’t keep us from spending a couple of hours wandering around the grounds. Plus, it’s free!

Holidazzle Parade

Although the name evokes images of pre-teen girls in overly Bedazzler-ed Christmas garb dancing to disco holiday tunes, the Holidazzle parade is actually a spectacular parade in which a number of childhood tales (from The Princess and the Pea to Wizard of Oz) are embodied by delightfully light-covered floats. It gave a few Burning Man art cars a run for their money (and that’s saying something).

Brit’s Pub and Eating Establishment

Since my Uncle Frank and Aunt Kathy are seasoned Minnesotans and wise in the ways of warming up, they took us directly to a fireside table at Brit’s after the parade. We engaged in the traditional pub activities of beer drinking, food eating and shooting the breeze. It was warm, it was cozy and it was great fun.

2 comments to Picks and Pans – In and Around Minneapolis, MN

  • Abigail St. Lawrence

    I am so glad that you’ve finally got up new posts!! And next time we’re in the Twin Cities, I think we’ll definitely have to hit Lord Fletcher’s. It sounds like an idea Sten could have come up with.

    • And don’t miss the beef on weck at Crossroads Deli! If you go for lunch there’s a guy carving it up in the middle of the dining room. Hmmm, beef on weck goodness…

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