A Brotha (and Sista!) From Anotha Motha

We visited my b.i.l. in Minneapolis this past weekend. I was counting down the days all week long. The day before we left I got some packages in the mail. One expected:

Getting ready for nasty weather.

You know how I feel about winter. Well, maybe you don’t. But you will. I won’t waste time on it now, however.

The other package, a total surprise:

A sweet present surprise from a sweet friend.

Abby is so thoughtful. These were delicious! They’re gone now. I didn’t share. I guess that was not so thoughtful of me.

Since it’s been getting pretty darn cold at night (god help me), we are starting to make some ridiculously spicy food (again, god help me). After collecting approximately 5 recipes for tortilla soup over the course of 2 years, I finally went for it. What the hell took me so long? Instead of chicken, we used swordfish, which actually worked really well. The only problem with this lovely little bowl?

Tortilla soup.

It burned the crap out of my mouth. I guess adding both chipotle chilis in adobo sauce with a whole jalopeno will sometimes do that. By the end of this meal, I think I added close to 1/2 cup of greek yogurt–which incidentally turned the soup a brilliant pink hue–along with 3 glasses of almond milk to calm the fire. My forehead was sweating and my nose running, but I would not let that bowl of soup beat me. I was determined to eat the whole thing. It wasn’t pretty but it was delicious. Next time, for the sake of my mouth, maybe I’ll skip the jalopeno. Maybe.

We’ve also been stoking up the fireplace lately.

Building our first fire of the season.

But I digress. We got up ass-crack early Friday morning and boarded a little commuter plane. An hour later–sort of (there is an hour time change so not really an hour later)–we were in the ‘Sota meeting up with my b.i.l. We hung out and had something to drink while we waited for my s.i.l. and her BF to arrive from Denver. Soon enough we were all there and ready to head over to b.i.l.’s apartment to chill out until lunch time.

We headed out to one of b.i.l.’s faves for lunch: Be ‘Wiched Deli. I can see why he likes this place so much. Lunch was fantastic. I went for the soup:

Tasty cup o' soup: tomato, lentils and kale.

And a sandwich:

My first pink veggie burger: beet and mushroom.

I’ve never had a veggie burger made with beets before but I gotta say, it was very tasty. It won’t be my last beet burger.

With full bellies, we strolled back to pick up our stuff and check in to our hotel. Our next course of action? Figure out where to eat dinner. We had several options but ended up at this place. Solera has a fantastic menu with tapas, charcuterie, cheese and paella. There were six of us so we decided to pair up and order a bunch of tapas. While we were figuring out what to get, we nibbled on some charcuterie, olives and almonds.

Charcuterie plate. My favorite part? The house made pickles. Yum!

N and I ended up ordering 5 dishes.

Beluga lentils, farm poached egg, toasted brioche and truffle:

The egg was over-poached but the truffle-y goodness made up for it.

Grilled cuttlefish, kale, canellini beans, Aleppo pepper:

The cuttlefish could have been more charred.

Pulpo y Papa:

Grilled octopus with potatoes and a citrusy vinaigrette. Fabulous!

Braised beef cheeks, rutabaga puree, greens, pickled mustard seed:

Braised beef cheek with rutabaga puree. Absolutely ridiculous.

Papas crujientes:

Crispy yukon potatoes, mascarpone, greens, fresh lemon. My favorite dish of the night.

There were at least 5 more tapas dishes that sounded fantastic. If you are ever in the area, I’d highly recommend stopping. We lingered over our dinner for several hours and never felt rushed. Finally, on b.i.l.’s recommendations, we headed over to Dakota’s to hear some live music. I sipped on some root beer (because that’s how I roll) while listening to some fantastic music by Betheny and the Bees Knees. I can’t remember her last name but the band was fun and her voice interesting in a good way.

All in all a great visit with tons of walking, eating and talking. Just how I like it! There was another (unpictured) veggie burger (black beans!), some home made tacos (more black beans!) and a trip to a Mediterranean grocery and a Polish sausage place. Oh, and did I mention that b.i.l. is an excellent beer maker? We sampled his stout and this boy is good! I can’t believe he hit a home run on his first batch. Well, given his genes, that’s not entirely true.

We were sad to leave last night but happy to know that we’ll see him and s.i.l. in 2 short months.

What is your favorite city to visit?



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3 responses to “A Brotha (and Sista!) From Anotha Motha

  1. First of all, you’re welcome. No big deal 🙂
    Second, you guys are weather wimps! We haven’t even had a frost yet an you’re already complaining about the cold. Psh.
    Third, I don’t travel other than for work, but I would love to go to Portland or some other city that had a plethora of Farmer’s Markets, yoga, hiking, etc. I guess that could also be LA or somewhere in Michigan, huh? From reading this post though, I think I’m going to have to stow away to your in-laws.

    • Damn straight I’m a weather wimp! Why do you think I lived in L.A. for so long? You would love Minneapolis or Portland. Lots of stuff that you would love to check out. Maybe even Traverse City 🙂

  2. Ooo, I love beet burgers, glad you got to try one! I made a bunch and froze ’em earlier this summer…and finished off the last one a few weeks ago. Sadness. And that shoe traction stuff looks like something I should invest in…

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