Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Minnesota Food Fun - Part 3

Just before the downpour - a rare food-free moment
After the goodness of Guinness pit stop, we drove down University Blvd to explore the University of Minnesota. This picture was taken moments before the sky tore open and dumped buckets of rain on us for about twenty minutes. The moody weather rapidly changed to desert dry, and it was time to eat again. 

Punch Pizza, with authentic Napoli style wood burning oven, Vesuvio tomatoes, and buffalo mozzarella, waited for us back on Hennepin Boulevard. Slight detours and Alex’s GPS lady finally put us back on track, and ninety seconds after ordering, our pizzas were delivered, slightly charred, from the 800 degree wood oven. Heaven on earth, especially for  Alex, who longs for Italian pizza like home, and carb-free diet Al, who couldn’t help but cheat. 

The best pizza in America that I have tasted. Felt like I was eating pizza from Italy. 
We couldn't believe that such authentic Neapolitan pizza could be found in Minneapolis of all places, but we were sure happy to eat plenty of it. We ate at Punch Pizza twice, and attempted a third time, but they were closed. Please DON'T miss this place if you ever find yourself in Minneapolis, there are seven restaurants in this little local chain around the city. 

Checking out the killer wood burning oven - that dome shaped steel gray mass on the far right. It was covered in mosaic. 
Belly’s full again, we walked up Hennepin to check out the ‘Best Bar in America,’ according to Esquire Magazine: Nye’s Polonaise Piano Bar. Opening the door, a whiff of 1964 hit our noses. At just past 6 pm, the ancient hostess with busy beehive hair and a belt tucked just beneath her breasts, kindly told us the music started at 8:30. The place, nearly deserted, dark, with authentic 1960’s decor, seemed like a hole rather than the ‘Best Bar in America’.  
This is the place?

These three had their doubts...but I dragged them in anyway. Guess I have seen too many episodes of Mad Men - the whole authentic 60's thing sounded great...on paper. 

Tempting as it was, we couldn’t wait for the music at Nyes, they had bigger plans for the evening, a concert at the Dakota Jazz Club, Dr. John and the Lower 9-11. 

Really? This is the BEST bar in America? 
Let's come back tomorrow night and find our for ourselves!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Minnesota Food Fun - Part 2

Life is just a spoon with a cherry...or something like that. 

Back to Minnesota and the fun food adventures of Alex, Lindsay, Ann and Al in August of 2010!

After we stuffed ourselves cinnamon-roll silly, we headed north on Hennepin Boulevard and found ourselves at the Walker Art Center and outdoor sculpture garden. I have included the iconic spoon and cherry sculpture and the Frank Gehry glass fish for their food relevancy ;).

Shoulda seen the one that got away!

Further on down Hennepin, we found this place:

Still don't know how to pronounce the name of this place

It takes too much effort to figure out how to say the name of the place, but it had been there over sixty years. If you have heard of Guy Fieri and the Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives show on Food Network, then it will mean something to note that this Kramarczukusuak place was featured on an episode August 30th of this year. We didn't buy anything since we were still full from Isle of Bun fun, but when we walked by we saw a man tackling a six to eight inch tall pastrami on rye. They also had way too many sausages. 

Sausages? Yes. Lots of them. Man in red shirt seriously considering his options. 

The next thing that happened was pure genius. Al found us a perfectly poured Guinness on tap at Keegan's Irish Pub. 

I think it is time for a little nutrition break

Sorry, but if you are not a Guinness fan, you should be. The spectrum of brown, from deep dark to light cocoa cream, should be enough to win Guinness a beer beauty pageant, but the taste (so un-beer like) reminds me of chocolate malt. If you have a chance to get a real Guinness you will understand the whole "My Goodness, My Guinness," thing. 

Beer does not normally include little Irish dudes coming out the top of the foam.

Requisit Guinness mustache