Friday, January 25, 2013

Hello, Twin Cities!

Last weekend Brad and I took an adventure to Minneapolis/St. Paul for a few days. The truth is that we love the Twin Cities - even when the temperatures drop to single digits. This time we didn't have any concrete plans, so I went through the Design Sponge City Guide to find restaurants and shopping spots to try.  If you're heading on a trip and looking for things to explore, I really would recommend checking to see if they have a guide. They're incredibly detailed and, at least for me, the selections so far have been spot on. I was terrible about taking pictures, mostly because it's hard for me to be that person in the restaurant taking pictures of my food (I love looking at blogs where people do this, but I feel weird). I'll share a few of our favorite places with links in case you're heading that direction in the near future.

First stop: ART SUPPLIES! When we head out of town I like to find the local art supply store to check out their different wares. Wet Paint in St. Paul is really nice. They carry a lot of unique items and have very friendly staff. I walked away with a big box of wooden panels (yay!), new watercolor paper, and a few other things to experiment with. 

Since Brad's a home brewer, we did a lot of beer tasting over our three days. First stop was a tour at Summit, which was interesting, if a little long. I like learning about the history of different places and these guys have a rich one. The tap room is huge, so it would be perfect for a big group. The beers were also quite nice. Ha. My favorite was surprisingly their pilsener, but Brad really enjoyed the Saga.

We also went to Pour Decisions, which just opened its tap room. It feels sort of strange because it's off in an industrial area, but the bar was good and these were the best beers I tasted all weekend. Their Patersbier was my favorite by far. They also have a cool mural by this artist. He does really stunning fish related paintings and has a series of brewery murals going.
We followed that up with a trip to Indeed Brewery, where they clearly knew how to win me over: a huge wooden bar, lots of booths, a gourmet pizza truck parked outside, and a vintage shuffleboard table. So great. Highly recommend this spot. It's also in a neat old brick building with an art gallery in the hall. See? They know how to do it.

We went to these two restaurants for late dinners, which were both delicious:
The Happy Gnome

Muddy Waters

The Happy Gnome was my favorite because even though it was filled to the brim with people, the table was fairly quiet and our service was excellent. Muddy Waters was good too, but also packed, and I am blessed with a chipmunk-voice that just disappears with sound like that. I think if we went back, I'd be inclined to try that one earlier in the day for lunch or for coffee, since they have a really cool cafe counter.

For shopping, we made a grand trip to Ikea, where we acquired bedroom dressers, which have been LONG awaited to say the least. Our clothes have seriously spent over a year in neat stacks on the floor because our old dresser won't fit up the staircase. Ikea dressers, however, come in narrow boxes with upwards of 8,000 separate parts. Assembly is always a favorite event around here...*cough*. In the end, they look nice. And hold clothes. Yess.
(Sorry about the bad lighting. The squirrel print is by Matty Cipov).

As always with Ikea, we walked away with a smattering of other things: new cutting boards, picture frames, plant holders, lingonberry jam, my favorite antlered pasta noodles, etc. etc. These canisters were one of those things. I don't know what I'm going to do with them yet, but I couldn't resist the prints.

I found Finnstyle on DS and I will have to go back when we have more time. We caught them right before close, but it took mere minutes for me to be completely starstruck by all of the beautiful things. I love Marimekko designs, so I quickly scooped up these tea towels and this little dish. I also picked up a few Christmas ornaments that I'll show you later. Maybe someday I'll visit to buy a big piece of fabric and have something marvelous made out of it. For now, I will stalk their website and admire things.

So, in the end, our weekend spent eating, drinking, and shopping in Scandinavian themed stores was a success. What's not to love?

P.S. Although I appear to have acquired more belongings, I am still not a hoarder, as mentioned in the previous post (see that empty carpet up by the dresser??). Everything in its place. :-)


Sweet Posy Dreams said...

We also love the Twin Cities. Their sculpture garden is wonderful and the international market. Brr, not sure I'd want to go in January though.

Looks like you got some nice things -- all useful! -- and had a good time. What could be better?

Mo said...

I've never been to Minnesota before, but I will put those breweries on my list for when I do go! Whenever I go anywhere, I try to hit up a brewery. If you are ever in Houston, go visit Saint Arnold Brewery - it was the best afternoon ever.

FinnStyle said...

Thanks for stopping in! We hope you're back again soon.