Tag Archives: MSP airport

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

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Surdyk’s Flights – Getting to the Airport

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We like to get to the airport early. I’m talking, at the very least, two hours before flight time. It’s not just to give us time to go through security. We know there’s plenty of time for that. But we don’t want to feel rushed. When we are going on vacation, we want to start our vacation right away. And for us, it starts at the airport, before we even leave the soil of our resident state.

I know a lot of people don’t like to dine at airports because they think it is too expensive. And it is. But there is something to be said about starting your vacation the minute you get through security. Sure, if I have a morning flight, I generally do eat ahead of time or bring a banana or Fiber One Bar or some nuts of some sort along with me for some a.m. fuel. Then, when I find the nearest coffee shop (be it Starbucks or Caribou Coffee), I get myself a nice, warm and happy medium Americano. {I especially do this if said flight is 7am or earlier!}

However if we are going to have a little lunch or dinner at the MSP airport, I insist that we go here:

Surdyk's Flights (source shopmsp.com)

Surdyk’s Flights (source shopatmsp.com)

Surdyk’s Liquor and Cheese Shop is located in Northeast Minneapolis and has been an institution since 1934. Not too long ago, Surdyk’s put a wine market and bar in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport (Terminal 1, aka the Lindbergh Terminal). Cleverly named Surdyk’s Flights, it’s where I like to get a flight or glass of wine pre-departure… and not to mention, a little bit of grub!

The first time I discovered Surdyk’s Flights, I enjoyed a flight of wines with a salami sandwich. It was simple and delicious. This isn’t a fancy wine bar. There’s just a handful of two-person booths and a side counter that serves as a bar. The food menu is simple: cheeses, meats, antipasti, salads and sandwiches. That’s it. And if you are on the run, you can grab one of their pre-made sandwiches to go. And these aren’t your average airport-to-go sandwiches. These are made with high quality, fresh ingredients. Grab one for your flight and your seatmate will be soooo jealous.

I’ve forced Rob to try Surdyk’s Flights when we travel together. After the first time, I haven’t needed to twist his arm again.

When we flew to Las Vegas this past winter, we sat at the bar for lunch. After perusing the beverage menus, we decided on wine flights. I went with the Tiny Bubbles because bubbly is something that’s not often served by the glass. And getting Rob to share a bottle with me is rare.

Tiny Bubbles

Flight of Tiny Bubbles: Vinho Verde, Prosecco, Moscato d’Asti

Rob went with a flight of reds:

red flight

The Robust Reds: Desert Wind “Ruah”, Klinker Brick Farrah Syrah, Kenwood Jack London Zinfandel

I love the tomatoes behind the glass in that photo! Among that flight of wines, Rob actually ended up finding a new favorite that day…

Klinker Brick

Klinker Brick Farrah Syrah from Lodi, California

If you aren’t in the mood for wine, they do offer beer by the bottle and some fun cocktails…

DRINKS

I like the idea of the MSP Overshot! Remember when that happened? I love that they made a drink named after it.

That day, we ordered a cheese and meat platter:

meat and cheeses

Selection of Three Cheeses & Three Salumi – $16
with olives, cornichon, fruits, nuts and marinated vegetables

It may not look like much, but it was the perfect amount of food for two. Really.

On our next trip to Surdky’s Flights, Rob really wanted to get the wine he adored on the previous visit, since he hadn’t seen it since:

klinker

Here’s the cool thing… Since Surdyk’s Flights is also a wine shop {you’ve already gone through security, so you can purchase wine to take aboard your flight}, when you order a bottle of wine, you pay for the shop price of the bottle – not the double or triple retail price you see at most restaurants! SF-Klinker BrickTherefore, the cost of this bottle was only $17.99! That’s virtually unheard of in a restaurant. However, if you want to order a glass of this wine at Surdyk’s, you’ll pay $11. No kidding.

passport book and cigs. drress

I love that your check comes in a little passport book with some candy cigarettes…

On this occasion, we decided to on just the cheese:

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Selection of Three/Five Cheeses – $12/$16
with quince paste, fruits and nuts

And although they aren’t pictured, I’d highly recommend the sandwiches… especially if you don’t get to the airport early enough to sit down and have a pre-vacay beverage.

I adore Surdyk’s Flights. And there’s got to be a reason why it’s rated one of the best airport wine bars, even though it doesn’t really have a bar feel.

How early do you get to the airport?

Cheers~
Carrie