Tag Archives: breakfast

Townline – Green Bay

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Although we had a Green Bay address growing up, we lived on the outskirts, near the villages of Howard and Suamico. There wasn’t much nearby. We couldn’t even get pizza delivered. But the area has grown and expanded, so there’s now even a gas station less than four miles from my parents’ home.

You’ll also find a little pub and grill nearby called Townline. It was erected not long after I moved to Minnesota. What’s fun is that while the building is new, the tavern isn’t. You can read about the history here.

Because it’s so close, it’s a place we can easily get some grub and a pint when we are in town. I wasn’t intending to ever talk about it on the blog. But why not talk about an old (or newish, depending on how you look it) standby?

Our experience on our trip over the holidays was actually what prompted me to write this one…

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What completely surprised us is that Townline is open 7am until midnight every day. {But somehow I think that just means food. My guess is that they stay open until the usual 2am bar time for drinks.} And they have free Wi-Fi. The Monday morning before Christmas Eve was the perfect time for Rob to log in to work and put in a few hours. And we could order some breakfast! That’s something we hadn’t done at Townline yet. Mostly, because we had no idea that they served it!

Since I wasn’t the one working, I ordered a Bloody Mary. I was asked if I wanted the Breakfast Mary. Can you believe I ordered it after I was told it was made with bacon-infused vodka?

Breakfast Mary with bacon-infused vodka, cheese, beef stick, pickle, two slices of bacon, hard boiled egg and a beer chaser

Breakfast Mary with bacon-infused vodka, cheese, beef stick, pickle, two slices of bacon, hard boiled egg and a beer chaser

I usually don’t like bacon in things. I only like it by itself because in dishes and on foods, I feel it tends to overpower the other flavors. But this bacon flavor was subtle and well-balanced in the Mary! I would highly recommend it. Rob took my brother there the next morning and JR said it was the best Bloody Mary he’s ever had. I loved that a hard-boiled was part of the garnish. However, they must be either pickled or preserved somehow, because the egg had a strong vinegar flavor. Not my style.

I love eggs and omelets, so I couldn’t go wrong with my breakfast:

Omelet with sausage, onion, mushroom, tomato and cheddar served with hashbrowns and wheat toast

Omelet with sausage, onion, mushroom, tomato and cheddar served with hash browns and wheat toast

Rob went out on a limb and tried something he’d never had before – a Monte Cristo:

Breakfast Monte Cristo made with sausage and served with strawberry sauce

Breakfast Monte Cristo made with sausage and served with strawberry sauce

It was rich and so much food that he only ate about a quarter of it!

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But enough about breakfast. There are over 50 beers on tap here; but we don’t get too excited about that anymore. There’s rarely something new and interesting to us. That sounds completely snobby, but we’ve just had most of the selections available and know our tastes. But hey, we come from an up-and-coming craft brew mecca. And we understand that Townline needs to offer what suits their clientele. But, if there’s a local brew that is new to us that we can’t find in MN, we give it a try.

The menu at Townline is huge, but I’ve learned what I like to make a quick decision.

My two favorite things to order are:

~ Cajun Chicken Salad with Cajun Ranch Dressing

~ Friday Fish Fry {if we are in town on a Friday!}

Rob’s favorites are:

~ Lonely Guy Burger – fried onions, pepperjack cheese and enough garlic to clear the room on marble rye
*They also make a Lonely Guy Pizza and a Lonely Guy Omelet for breakfast!

~ Howard-Pulaski Burger – burger topped with a slice of kielbasa!
*Rob is saddened that they no longer have this burger. He thinks because kielbasa is no longer on their menu. He may just have to try the Howard-Suamico next time which is made with a brat patty!

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If you are in town for a Packer game, the Townline is a bit out of the way. I’d hop over to Kroll’s for burgers and fried-anything for a side. It’s across the street from Lambeau and you can’t miss it. It’s kind of an institution that you just shouldn’t miss!

Northeastern Wisconsin

I thought I’d take this opportunity to talk a little about the culture that is Northeastern Wisconsin, while I’m at it. It’s funny that it took me moving out of the area to realize that these things were uniquely part of the culture there. To me, while living there, it was just normal!

~GO PACK GO! Nearly everyone supports the Packers. On game day, everyone breaks out their Packer gear. Solidarity. No matter if we are sucking or not. Whether there’s a home or away game, the mall will be dead. Many streets will be, too. While there are some diehard Viking fans in Minnesota that I highly respect, most are fair weather fans, if at all!

~German and Polish influence – That’s why you see us on TV cooking up brats and kielbasa while tailgating at Packer games! Don’t forget the sauerkraut.

~Friday Fish Fry – You’ll find this at nearly every restaurant that isn’t a chain – every Friday. Not just during Lent. And it’s almost always is perch. I’ve never seen a fish fry made with perch in Minnesota. {Though I’ve had some of the better fish and chips in Minnesota than I’ve had elsewhere!}

~Chili with noodles – Really, it wasn’t until college that I realized chili was ever made without noodles. My mom always made it with spaghetti, right in the pot! I see that Townline offers it on their menu with or without.

~Double Bubble – This is the term for Happy Hour. It technically means that you can buy two-for-one cocktails, but is often used synonymously with Happy Hour now.

~The Old Fashioned – My mom has ordered Whiskey Old Fashioned Sours for as long as I can remember. It’s only been recently that she’d be able to order one in the Twin Cities and get someone who can make one that she deems worthy!

~Bubbler and Tyme Machine = Water Fountain & ATM. I once asked for a Tyme Machine at a movie theater in MN. (Before you could use a credit card to buy a movie ticket!) Yes, they looked at me like I was crazy. Especially because I kept saying it louder because I thought they couldn’t hear me behind the glass… I’m more careful about that one now. 😉

What are some parts of your local culture that you didn’t realize until you traveled or moved elsewhere?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Make Ahead Egg Bakes to Feed a Crowd

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Has it really been a whole week since my last post?

That’s probably the longest I’ve gone without blogging since I’ve started this blog.

Well another Christmas has come and gone.

xmas tree 2013

Now it’s time to wrap up 2013 and celebrate the New Year. I’ve got some ideas on how I want to review this past year, but that’ll be for an upcoming post. For now, let’s talk about how to feed a crowd for breakfast or brunch any time of year!

Y’all, I’m talking about Egg Bakes or Egg Casseroles.

Over the Christmas holiday, my mom was going in to work at 1 am and working ten to twelve hour shifts. She had little time to sleep on such a schedule.

And knowing full-well that she’d have to feed six adults, one teenage girl and three growing boys on Christmas morning, she was thinking ahead. She wrote down the recipes for two egg bakes – one savory and one sweet – for me to assemble on Christmas Eve and pop into the fridge while she was at work pounding out last-minute dinner rolls, Christmas cookies and croissants for all of the last-minute shoppers.

On Christmas morning, she slid them in the oven…

and they turned out beautifully.

Unfortunately, I can’t give credit to the origins of these recipes because my mom copied them down by hand.

Sausage And Egg Casserole Recipe

Serves 8 to 10

Ingredients:

  • 6 slices bread, cubed {I only had a French Loaf, so I used 12 slices of that.}
  • 1 lb sausage, browned, drained
  • 1.5 cups shredded Cheddar cheese {or more!}
  • 8 eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste

Method:

  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish. {I used butter.}
  • Cube bread and place evenly in greased 9×13 pan or baking dish.
  • Sprinkle evenly with browned, drained and cooled sausage and then the cheese.
  • Mix eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
  • Pour mixture over ingredients already in pan.
  • Cover and chill overnight.
  • Remove from refrigerator 15 minutes before baking.
  • Bake 45 minutes at 325 degrees or until set.
  • Cut into squares to serve.

*NOTE: I thought that the dish didn’t look saturated enough with the egg mixture and that the dish would come out dry, but this was not the case. So fear not!

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Baked French Toast Casserole with Praline Topping

Casserole Ingredients:

  • 1 loaf French bread {The one my mom left for me was gigantic!}
  • 8 large eggs
  • 2 cups half and half {Tip: 1 pint = 2 cups}
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of salt

Praline Topping Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb butter, melted {Tip: 1/2 lb = 2 sticks}
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp light corn syrup
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Method:

  • Slice French bread into approximately 20 slices.
  • Grease a 9×13 baking dish. {I used butter.}
  • Transfer slices to the dish, arranging in two rows, overlapping the slices. {I got creative here because my baking dish was a little bigger and I wanted to fill up some holes. It worked just fine.}
  • In a large bowl, combine eggs, half and half, milk, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
  • Beat with a hand mixer or by hand until combined, but not bubbly.
  • Pour mixture over the bread slices, making sure to cover evenly to saturate all of the bread pieces.
  • Spoon some of the mixture between slices, if needed.
  • Cover with foil and refrigerate overnight.
  • In a medium bowl, combine all praline topping ingredients and mix well.
  • Cover praline topping mixture and refrigerate over night.
  • When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Spread praline topping over the bread.
  • Bake 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden brown.
  • Serve with maple syrup, if desired. {We didn’t think this was necessary. It was sweet enough!}

*NOTES: While the Sausage Egg Bake seemed like it wasn’t saturated enough with egg mixture when assembled, the French Toast one seemed overly saturated and runny after I put it together. However, they both turned out wonderfully.

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My mom put both of the Bakes in the oven at the same time and just adjusted for time and temperature. When combined with bagels and mom’s family-adored cheesy potatoes, this was more than enough food for ten people. It was a Carb Overload! But Oh. So. Good.

My friend Sally recommended this Eggs Benedict Casserole recipe when my in-laws were in town earlier this year. It was hit! My husband, who often shies away from anything with the word “casserole” in it, even loved it. He couldn’t stop telling me how good it was for an egg bake and how surprised he was. Sally’s tip for this recipe: “I use a little more Canadian bacon. I use two packages of the sliced Canadian bacon you buy in the store. One layer on the very bottom of the pan and another layer on top.”

When you are feeding a crowd, egg bakes and casseroles are perfect any time of year!

What is your favorite Egg Bake or Breakfast Casserole recipe?

Cheers~
Carrie

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins {Recipes}

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A while back, this recipe for Banana Chocolate Chips Oatmeal Cups arrived in my inbox. I had all of the ingredients on hand {which include ripe bananas, almond milk, eggs, baking powder, oats, vanilla and chocolate chips}; so I made them.

And fell in love.

Although I don’t normally bake, I’ve made them several times since. I’ve found that I can’t have baked goods in my house, because I have trouble with eating them in moderation. When I make these, I eat one warm, let the rest cool and then put them in a Ziplock bag to freeze. This works well because:

  1. They are out of sight and out of mind.
  2. When I want one, I have to take it out of the freezer and nuke it for minute.

I guess I could be putting them in the microwave one after the other; but for some reason, I don’t!

They aren’t as sweet as many muffins, so you can always add some sweetener, like a Tbsp of honey or something to make them sweeter. But I kind of like them like they are. Except, I just *might* add a little bit more chocolate chips to the mix! 😉

However, the last time I made them was after a night of very little sleep. I forgot the chocolate chips! DOH! No worries. I figured it out only about a minute after I put them in the oven. So I pulled them out and just topped the mixture with said chips. It worked okay. I definitely prefer the chips distributed throughout; but that’s okay!
055I like these so much and found them so easy that when a Foodie Penpal of mine said that she loved banana bread, I sent her some of the ingredients and the recipe to make them. Her only complaint? Now she needed to make them AGAIN! 😉

The last time I made these muffins, I had some extra overripe bananas and decided to give these Chewy Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies a try, too. They didn’t turn out as nice, but they tasted just fine. And pretty easy for only three ingredients {ripe bananas, oats, chocolate chips}!

054Looking for some other versions of Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins? There are so many variations! Here are some links for you:

Do you have a favorite Banana Chocolate Chip Bread or Muffin Recipe?

If so, please share!

Cheers~
Carrie

R.I.P. Goodies, Hello Love with Food

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Subscription Box Saturday: Food Box Edition

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I was sad to receive this email this past month:

028They don’t explain exactly why they are discontinuing the subscription box service, but at the $7 price-point (including shipping), I still question if subscription boxes can thrive. Although if anyone could swing it, you’d think Wal-Mart could. The email has me curious what is in store next that they cannot share.

Here was the contents of my final Goodies box:

051Of course, all things chocolate are long-gone. Everything in the box had a thin dust of what seemed like flour over it. Then I realized that it was coming from the foccacia mix. I still want to make it, but I wonder if it’ll turn out because I’m not sure how much of the mix was lost! I have not tried the other goodies, but they all are things that would be perfect on-the-go.

Love with Food

For those of you who subscribed to Goodies, I think you will be happy if you take the $5 off offer and come over to Love with Food.

Why? The subscription is more – $10 + $2 shipping. But for each box that ships out, a meal is donated to a hungry child. You can certainly feel good about that! I also feel like that the products in the LWF box are usually more new-to-me and a bit healthier and/or less processed. They do have fun themes, too.

October’s theme?

Scary Delicious!

It was quite appropriate for Halloween. Here are the scary contents:

chocolate Pizzelle Crisps from Silk City Snacks

Chocolate Pizzelle Crisps

Verdict? Meh. I’d rather have one piece of Dove Dark Chocolate (35 calories) than this 100-calorie bag.

Triple Berry Glee Gum

Triple Berry Glee Gum

I love that Glee Gum uses brown rice and cane sugar. It’s kind of a novelty, but I’m still not lovin’ this gum.

Caveman Cookies

Caveman Cookies

Dark photo – sorry. But I loved these! They are made with a mixture of pumpkin seeds and maple syrup. Festive and yummy!

Torie and Howard Organic Hard Candies

(not pictured)

I didn’t notice that they were even in the box until later. My favorite flavor of the bunch was the d’anjou pear and cinnamon!

Vinaigerie Gingras Pixo Pearls

Vinaigerie Gingras Pixo Pearls

What? These are apple cider vinegar pearls. Not exactly sure what to do with them yet. Need to go to The Google.

Happy Squeeze Fruit and Veggie Twist

Happy Squeeze Fruit and Veggie Twist

I brought this on our road trip back to Green Bay one weekend. Not bad with both the fruit and the veggies. {I’ve had the applesauce and other fruit squeeze pouches before.} I shared it with the pooches, because Sophie couldn’t get enough out of that pouch! She loved it! I may have to mash up some blueberries, apple and carrots for her dinner some time. That pouch is only 60 calories.

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips

These are appropriately named because DANG! are they good! What’s interesting is that I first tasted these when the arrived in my very first Goodies Box. I guess some things come full circle. I’ve even sent these to a couple of Foodie Penpals. This will make anyone who loves coconut (and maybe even those who don’t!) very, very snackfully happy!

Kind Bar

Kind Bar

I love Kind Bars and want to try all the flavors. So I’m quite happy any time one ends up in any of my subscription boxes!

BONUS COUPON!

BONUS COUPON!

Love with Food doesn’t often put these kinds of coupons in their boxes, but you can’t exactly ship this item. So it’s a great idea! I’m looking forward to picking up a Lean Cuisine “Honestly” Good Entree to find out what they are all about.

I have a few new boxes in the works because I found some great trial coupon codes! You’ll learn about them in the next month or two. If you have any questions about any of them, let me know because they make the perfect gift!

If someone were to sign you up for a subscription box as a gift, which one or which type would you like it to be?

Cheers~
Carrie

Before Taking Flight…

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I like Ike’s.

You may be surprised that I’m stating this, given that I’ve expressed my undying love to Surdyk’s Flights pre-vacay. Yes, SF still remains my favorite place to dine/sip wine before departing the MSP airport. However, our flight to LAX departed at 11:30am last Friday morning. At 10am, I wasn’t really fine the wine vibe. In addition, we’d be wine tasting half of the vacation.

I thought we’d grab something quickly at home and just pick up a good cup of Caribou Coffee before boarding.

Then I had an idea. I began to ask The Google what the best bloody mary was at the MSP airport. The Google couldn’t differentiate MSP with Mpls, so I got a list for the entire city instead. However, in that Top 10 was a downtown Minneapolis restaurant that has been around for years, one to which we’d never been. Not too long ago, they opened up a location in the airport.

DONE!

We settled up to the bar at about 10am and I ordered The Weekender.

Look at all of the garnishes!

Look at all of the garnishes!

Then we checked out the breakfast menu. Ike’s has a breakfast burger! {Surprisingly, Rob didn’t order it.}

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I went with the Key Wester.

006Normally, I prefer omelets with all kinds of veggies – spinach, tomatoes and fresh mushrooms being some of my favorites. But the Key Wester just spoke to me that day.

Rob tried Bill’s Corned Beef Hash.

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Then my Weekender Bloody Mary arrived:

The Weekender

The Weekender

Yes, that’s a lot of garnishes! Garnishing is an art form when it comes to the presentation of a Bloody Mary. However, I am firm believe that doesn’t make one. Bloodies need to stand on their own! I’ve had plenty of bloodies that tasted like tomato juice melted down with ice.

This was not one of them!

It had a wonderful spice {not too hot} that made me crave a beer chaser. Since I was not offered one, I requested one. The bartender had no trouble retrieving one for me and even asked me what my choice was. Surly Furious was on tap. YES PLEASE! And she didn’t charge me for it. {Sometimes the chaser is included, but they add a surcharge more for a higher end beer.}

Yes, I was happy. Yes, I was pleased. What a way to start a vacation!

My breakfast was delicious, too:

The Keywester

The Key Wester

The hashbrowns were nice and crispy. Since there were two “pieces”, I slid one over to Rob’s plate. The toast was above average and the omelet nice and creamy, well, with that cream cheese in it and all.

Unfortunately, Rob was not that thrilled with his:

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It was good enough for him to finish it, but he said it could have come out of a can. He’d order something else next time.

Our bill was a little high, but it is an airport after all:

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But with my Bloody Mary, Rob’s two drinks and a breakfast for each of us, it was worth it. Maybe I’d order just a regular bloody mary {not The Weekender with all of the garnishes} next time.

Even better, our nearly four-hour flight would put us in LAX after lunchtime. We were full enough that we could just skip lunch and enjoy dinner when we met up with our friends.

Another great start to a vacation!

What are your favorite Bloody Mary garnishes?

What are your favorite omelet fillings?

Cheers,
Carrie

Uses for Jams, Jellies & Preserves…

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I need some ideas. Over the past few months, I’ve collected these…

Assortment of Jams, Jellies & Preserves

Assortment of Jams, Jellies & Preserves

Three of them came from generous Foodie Penpals (and I love them all!) One was a gift from Rob’s mom. The final two we just purchased on vacation. To be honest, I rarely eat jams, jellies or preserves; but I do love them and don’t want these to go to waste. I’m looking for some ideas on how to use them other than just on toast.

Here are a few of my ideas:

  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich {duh!}
  • Stir into Greek Yogurt
  • Stir into/ Use as a Topping for Oatmeal

I need more creative ideas! I know I could make a bunch of desserts; but I don’t bake, if only because I have trouble eating baked goods in moderation. Sweets aren’t generally kept in my house for that reason. So I’d love some breakfast, lunch and dinner suggestions for using jams, jellies and preserves.

Here are the flavors I’ve stocked:

  • Sarabeth’s Peach Apricot (New York, NY)
  • Tupelo Honey Cafe Black Raspberry (Asheville, NC)
  • Homemade Peach (Palisade, CO)
  • Wild Pumpkin Blueberry Lime (Beaverton, MI)
  • Wild Pumpkin Orange Marmalade (Beaverton, MI)
  • Wild Pumpkin Strawberry (Beavertown, MI)

How do you use Jams, Jellies & Preserves?

Suggestions & Recipes Encouraged

Cheers~
Carrie

Pastries, Gangsters & Steel Toes

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Have you been to Cossetta’s lately?

For those of you not from the Twin Cities Metro area, let’s just say that this place is sort of an institution in St. Paul. Cossetta’s is an Italian Pizzeria & Market where food is served cafeteria-style and has been in business for decades. However, the place was recently closed for some time for a multimillion dollar renovation and expansion. I really didn’t have any expectations on how it would be changed, but the new space is incredible!

The reason we went?

My parents were in town. My mom hadn’t visited in at least three years and we never got to take her to Pardon My French to indulge in pastries. I went in search of a new place and one that work in conjunction with our plans for the weekend. Part of Cossetta’s renovation-expansion included the addition of Louis Ristorante & Bar {now on my must try list of restaurants!} and a Pasticceria. And let me tell you, this place is absolutely gorgeous. Not only did I blow my parents away with how big and grand this entire place was, but I was blown away myself.

The pastry case feels like it is a mile long!

The pastry case feels like it is a mile long!

Luckily, when we arrived, there were no other patrons {although that quickly changed}, so we were able to walk the length of the case and check out everything before making our selections. The plan was to settle in to have pastries and coffees before our Gangster Tour of St. Paul. {Highly recommended!} We may have gone a little overboard…

The ladies chose…

These two pastries are sort of Italian cousins. The one of the left is a Sfogliatelle which is a flaky pastry filled with a sweet ricotta filling. The one on the right is a Lobster Tail. The filling is more similar to that of French cream or custard.

The guys selected…

chocolate covered cannoli

Chocolate-Covered Cannoli

Run, don’t walk to get one of these right now! I didn’t know that cannoli could taste this good! {Then you will need to run back to burn the thing off. It’s huge!}

Then we had to get a couple of other items just to try:

PB & J & Nutella stuffed cream puff

Nutella Stuffed Cream Puff and PB & J Tarte {not sure if those are the official names, but just go with it}

I would say that they enjoyed it…

I Woudl say they enjoyed it.

Also in the display case were other Italian favorites, such as Biscotti & Gelato:

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When every last crumb was eaten and our coffees were empty, we had some extra time. So we spent it wandering around the new market. This place is huge! There is such incredible selection – much, much more than before. The first thing we caught a whiff of was the freshly baked bread. But the cases of meats, cheeses, olives and rows and rows of Italian products would keep any foodie occupied and happy.

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I promised my mom that we’d go back after the Gangster Tour to pick up some of the fresh foccacia that we didn’t think would keep well in the car. But after this fun and incredible historical tour…

Did you know that the Volstead Act (Prohibition) was signed in St. Paul, MN?

…We completely forgot all about going back to the Italian Market. Instead, we made a trek all the way across the cities to try some special samples of Steel Toe Brewery‘s Scotch and Barrel Aged sudsy beverages. On tap were the Wee Heavy Scotch Ale, the Lunker Barleywine, the Steel Toe Size 11 DIPA and the Dissent Imperial Stout. Steel Toe Brewery became one of our favorites in the Twin Cities after we were introduced to them on a Beer Trolley Tour. We wanted to make sure my dad had a chance to try their brews, too.

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As usual, the beer tasted, oh, so good! But because these particular batches were just limited editions, we couldn’t get a growler to go. Some people ask why you’d visit a brewery if you can get the beer on tap around town. This is exactly why – for the specialty stuff! {I may have won out on a Steel Toe sweatshirt, too, from Rob for carting everyone around town.} While we were there, there was some sort of Amazing (Bike) Race going on because serious bikers were stopping by, running in, getting a slip of paper signed and scurrying back out. They didn’t even stop for a beer! So sad.

While, I probably normally wouldn’t do all of these things in one day, we managed to fit it all in and take my parents out to dinner to Sul Lago. Everything just seemed to fall into place. And I think Cossetta’s Pasticceria just might become our new PMF.

What activities do you plan for out-of-town guests?

Let me know what’s fun in your neighborhood!

Cheers~
Carrie