Minneapolis/St. Paul eats: Part 1

It’s been a few weeks since I proclaimed I would post more in 2014, and I feel quite good about the fact that I am disciplined enough to keep my resolution thus far. Then again, so is the chap who said he’d go to the gym five days a week, and now is on his second consecutive day. But baby steps deserve recognition, too, don’t they? By the way, I have been going to the gym regularly, thank you!

With the blistering cold weather, harsh wind and persistent post-Christmas food coma, it’s time I stop exploring my culinary surroundings and start sharing them with you, instead. So here it is, my list of great Twin Cities recommends:

1 – Sonny’s (Crema)

Any Twin Cities foodie has heard of the “Big Three”: Grand Ole Creamery, Izzy’s and Sebastian Joe’s – otherwise known as ice cream haven. But there’s a fourth that is lesser-known, much to the disadvantage of the general Minneapolis public. Sonny’s is made in Crema, a quaint little cafe that will have you convinced you’re in Italy or some other beautifully foreign country the second you step onto their patio. Make no mistake, though – what quaintness Sonny’s atmosphere harbors, it makes up for in flavor. Beware for Crema’s winter hours – they are only open Thursday through Sunday, though Sonny’s can be found at local grocery stores, such as Kowalski’s, at all hours.

2 – Waffle/ice cream combo at Grand Ole Creamery

Still, order a waffle with Cookie Monster ice cream and you’ll feel as grand as the avenue itself. Price-wise, the waffle/ice cream combo is comparable, if not cheaper, than a cone, depending on the number of scoops. Do yourself a favor and stomach splurge, all while saving your wallet.

3 – Verdant Tea

My, oh my, where might you find a better chai? Verdant Tea’s thick and spicy micro-brew is available in both herbal and caffeinated varieties. Coincidently, they also sell Sweet Science ice cream that is to die for…and they have chai flavor. Detect a pattern? Verdant occasionally hosts live music nights, tea events and even ice cream tastings.

4 – Blackbird Café

If you can’t face yourself, stay away from this adorable funhouse of mirrors. Complete with a wall of rustic deer mounts for those craving some taxidermy in their lives and a flashy disco ball, the atmosphere is wonderfully eclectic – as is the menu. Clad with gnocci, beer, chicken-lemongrass pot stickers and meatloaf, it has something for everyone. And the dessert menu isn’t bad, either.

Installment two to come soon. And beware – it includes a hidden bar that is to seek for.

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