Mini Trip to The Mini Apple

This past weekend the boyfriend and I went to Minneapolis for one of his friend’s wedding celebration. Though they got married one month ago in an intimate ceremony for family and close friends, they hosted a weekend celebration for friends and family that are mostly from out of town. The plan for the weekend was a dinner on Friday night, Twins baseball game on Saturday night, and brunch on Sunday. I thought this was a neat idea since I’m not too crazy about attending weddings, unless the food is ah-mazing. We arrived Friday afternoon and met up with them at a downtown restaurant called Butcher and The Boar. In typical foodie fashion, I had already looked up local restaurants to try before arriving at the Twin Cities and Butcher and The Boar had really good reviews, so I was happy about that. What I was not too happy about is that my boyfriend assured me that it was just going to be a few people casually meeting at a restaurant. Upon arrival, of course, the “casual bar shindig” turned out to be a dinner reception for 100 people and, I, was wearing jeans. You could tell I was on the groom’s side of the invite because all his guests where casually dressed compared to the rest of the party. Mmm hmm.

Butcher and The Boar

This was the pre-fixe menu accompanied by a tasty Old Fashioned.

The groom tells us this restaurant is one of his favorites in the city. Their specialty drink is the “Old Fashioned” made with bourbon whiskey exclusively distilled by Knob Creek for this restaurant. Apparently, Butcher and The Boar buys the most Knob Creek Bourbon out of any other restaurant in the country. Tasting the house specialty drinks is one of my favorite things to do when trying out a new restaurant and the Old Fashioned drink didn’t disappoint. The dinner reception was held in the Garden area, a cozy, gardeny terrace with a colorful flower set up. The food was phenomenal and the presentation was great. The buffalo brussel sprouts were out of this world. It was definitely meat heavy and our table was served more meat than side dishes. I didn’t take any pictures other than the one below which was at the start of the night. By the time the food was served, I was too tipsy to think of pictures. That and the fact that I didn’t want to be the weird girl taking pictures of food, at a table full of strangers that I had to interact with.

If you love a meal well made, prepared from scratch and with attention to detail, give them a try. Find them at:

Butcher and The Boar
1121 Hennepin Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55403
(612) 238-8888

Ecopolitan

Saturday, we had most of the day to venture out into downtown. I noticed the downtown area and nearby neighborhoods are easily accessible by foot. There are a few grocery stores within walking distance as well as several places to grab a bite. It took us about 20 minutes to walk from downtown to another neighborhood near Lowry Hill East where there is an organic, raw, and vegan restaurant called Ecopolitan. I really wanted to eat there, because the menu looked so good and fresh but, unfortunately, we weren’t in the mood to eat raw for breakfast. We ordered fresh made juices. They serve the juices in mason jars and ask you to leave a $1 deposit to be refunded when you return the jars back to them or you can bring your own containers. I thought that was pretty awesome and green.

Carrot Juices made to order.

Please support local, organic and vegan. Find them here.

Ecopolitan
2409 Lyndale Ave S
Minneapolis, MN 55405
(612) 874-7336

French Meadow Bakery & Cafe

After finishing our juices we walked over to French Meadow Bakery & Café for brunch. They are an organic and sustainable restaurant that offers many vegan options and have been around for a long time serving the health minded or people with specific dietary needs.  We had a feast for around $35! The prices around here were so much more affordable than the prices for organic food in Miami. All the dishes came at the same time. Awesome. I love picking from different dishes. Here is what we ate:

First dish were the cajun vegan hash browns with veggie sausage and veggies. This dish was my favorite. The hash browns and cut up sausage  were perfectly crispy on the outside. Also, it had big pieces of sauteed garlic cloves that were so yummy. What is not to love about this comfort food dish made vegan!

This is the vegetable chili served over organic brown rice. A simple and hearty meal loaded with fiber and protein. It was not my favorite dish. I thought the tomato sauce tasted a bit like canned tomato sauce which totally affects the flavor of the rest of the dish. Though, for the price at under 10 bucks, you can’t go wrong with this complete meal.

I loved the salad greens on this dish. I don’t know what dressing they used but it was perfectly tangy with a hint of sweet. Like a very delicate vinaigrette. The crab cakes were tasty but I thought they had more black beans than I would have liked, and, they overpowered the delicate flavor of the crab meat.

These cornmeal waffles were delicious, vegan and GMO free! When trying to eat mostly vegan foods, finding decent dishes at breakfast or brunch time can be tough. It seems most vegetarian options are either fruit or some sort of cereal or dehydrated “french toast” that taste nothing like french toast. Though I would have preferred the waffles to be a little more thick to balance the crispy edges, they were so yum. The toffee syrup was excellent and not too sweet. It complemented (and not overpowered) the other ingredients very well.

Go visit them!

French Meadow Bakery & Cafe
2610 Lyndale Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55408
(612) 870-7855

The Wedge

On our way back, we stopped at an interesting looking grocery store, The Wedge. It’s a natural foods co-op committed to providing its customers with high quality foods coming from local farms that practice sustainable agriculture whenever possible. All their produce has the farm of origin posted on the stands. How great is that? Knowing your food’s origin.  I was there on a mission – to find a tasty chocolate treat. Mission accomplished at the bakery goods counter. Only a few things top finding a vegan slice of chocolate cake made with organic and non- GMO ingredients. It was truly delicious – I’m still craving the rich cinnamon and chocolate cake consistency mixed with chocolate frosting. Mmmm.

Delicious vegan Mexican chocolate cake.


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