Tag Archives: Nordeast

The Bulldog Northeast

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Who knew that I could get the best burger, the best cupcakes and an excellent tap beer selection all under one roof?

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As many times as we’d been to Northeast Minneapolis with Groupons to Butcher Block, a couple trips to Nye’s Polonaise Room, a pint or two of cider at Keegan’s and even a food tour of the area, we never stopped to check out the Bulldog NE.

I did step inside the joint once, just to get some change for the parking meter out front. I remember it being very busy and thought of it as nothing more than a college sports bar, despite the fact that I don’t even think there is a college in walking distance of the place.

Then a friend recommended it. We were surprised. Rumor had it that the tap selection was good if we liked beer. And guess what? We do. So we decided to check it out.

Now it’s one of our favorite places to go in the Twin Cities.

While this is the Bulldog in Northeast Minneapolis, a mural of Amsterdam {where the original is located} is proudly displayed. It’s large enough that, if I zoomed in, it could have appeared that this person was sitting right inside the window of a café on the streets of Amsterdam along a canal.

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There are a few “Bulldog” restaurants throughout the Twin Cities; however, my understanding is that they are no longer owned by the same entities and thus are not affiliated at all. Tap selection styles and menus are different. {Although, I will say that I had some satisfying food at the St. Paul location. But that’s for another post.}

I find the menu here at the Bulldog NE to be, well, gourmet. Well, maybe pub food, even sports-bar food gone gourmet. The burger here makes Rob’s Top 10 Burgers in the Twin Cities list. The burger apparently made the City Pages‘ Top 10 Burgers list as well.

NE5Nearly every time we’ve ordered a burger here, the lighting has been too dimly lit to do it justice. But when we finally captured the shot, it still doesn’t scream how nearly perfect this burger is. Top it off with some truffle tots on the side and you’ve got yourself a gourmet meal in a basket:

Truffle Burger - topped with brie and truffle oil on an English muffin with Parmesan truffle tater tots

Truffle Burger – topped with brie and truffle oil on an English muffin with Parmesan Truffle Tater Tots

Of course, as suggested by our friend, the tap selection is fantastic, focusing on Belgians. You can read all about them in their menu book.

Still, there’s a lot of variety, including local brews, with several taps with rotating offerings to change it up for you.

And even though Rob’s least favorite style of beer is probably Belgian, he has found one he adores!

(For the record, I love it, too!)

Kasteel Rouge

Kasteel Rouge

They also offer firkins, which are often limited release, specialty beers. We almost always try the firkin, even if it sounds strange. We’ve found that it’s usually the strange ones we love {Green Tea!} more than the ones we think we’ll love {pomegranate ale}.

And who doesn’t love a patio that allows dogs?

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Your pooch will get a water bowl and some treats to snack on while you linger…

Not only have we been to the Bulldog NE for dinner, but we’ve also shown up during brunch and lunch on the weekend.

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This basic Bloody Mary was okay, but it was nice to have a decent beer chaser!

I found the Chicken and Waffles to be too rich for my blood on one occasion, but I had a fantastic breakfast sandwich and salad after our LOST Station 4 – Flame 16k virtual race.

 Ham and Egg Sandwich Alemar's Camembert style cheese, Canadian bacon, Egg and Gruyére mornay on croissant bun. $12.00

Ham and Egg Sandwich – Alemar’s Camembert style cheese, Canadian bacon, egg and Gruyére mornay on a croissant bun

It was completely satisfying, but not as wonderful and perfect as the breakfast sandwich at The Happy Gnome. But you can’t beat the beer selection there either.

But lastly, would you expect the best cupcakes to be served at a place that serves beer and killer burgers? Not me. On a whim, on one visit, I inquired what the Cupcake of the Day was. It was called the Elvis – something with chocolate and bananas.

It was one of the best cupcakes I could ever remember.

I’ve since tried several unique flavors. I mean the Lemon Lavender Blueberry Cupcake? Come On! Crazy good. The cupcakes are almost always filled. And the frosting is perfect – never overly sweet and gritty, but more creamy and luscious.

I would say that they have the best cupcakes in all of the Twin Cities, but it wouldn’t be fair because I haven’t been to any cupcake shops nor have I ordered them at any bakeries in the area. I don’t care, though. I rarely eat cupcakes and if I’m going to have one, I want to have one I know I’ll love. So it’ll be at the Bulldog NE.

Tell me about the best Beer, Burger or Cupcake you’ve ever had…

Cheers~
Carrie

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Getting LOST in Nordeast Minneapolis

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Sunday was my attempt to complete Station #4 in the Get LOST in Running Virtual Race Series, something I’ve taken up to keep my walking program going until I can start running again. It’s been fun because it has made my husband and I find trails and routes in Minneapolis which we may never had otherwise!

Station 1 – Hydra 4k – This station started it all and got me moving from short walks around the block to following an actual walking schedule.

Station 2 – Arrow 8k – My husband and I made our way to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes on a beautiful Sunday. We completed a walk around Lake Calhoun (5k) and then got LOST trying to add part of Lake of the Isles in the mix!

Station 3 – Swan 15k – We went back to the lakes and made our way around both Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake (which has since became our favorite), finding paths and trails in the wilderness that we never knew existed in Minneapolis proper. It was absolutely beautiful.

When I inquired what area we should cover for Station 4, my husband wondered why we weren’t just doing the lakes again since we liked them so much. I wanted to do something different. This race series has really pushed us to get, explore and be adventurous  rather than just sitting at home or hanging out in the ‘burbs. Besides, most of the lakes in the Chain are about two to three miles around. So they’ll be perfect when I get back to the Couch to 5k again anyway.

Station 4 – Flame 16k

This time, I chose a walk along the Mississippi River. I tried to map out a route beforehand, but my distance calculations weren’t really working out because I didn’t know how the trails curved around. And I wasn’t sure which bridges I would want to cross with my fear of heights. Instead, I drove us to the St. Anthony Main area of Minneapolis, parked and decided we would just walk wherever we wanted along the water, crossing bridges where it felt right. I wanted to enjoy every moment. I mean, just a month ago it was still snowing in Minnesota!

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Stone Arch Bridge – Minneapolis

Parking near St. Anthony Main on Father’s Day read “Event Parking – $10.” We had no idea what event was going on. I thought it might be the Mill City Farmers’ Market. I had been there twice before and knew that Food Trucks parked out there. I thought that it might be a welcome stop since we failed to eat breakfast before our trek. {Whoops!} As we made our way to the Stone Arch Bridge {pedestrian only} to cross the river, we saw a bunch of vendors in white tents setting up everywhere along Main Street. We had no idea why, but later learned…

I was wrong about the Mill City Farmers’ Market. When we discovered that area vacant, I remembered that I had gone there last when a friend was in town, which meant that it was a Saturday morning because she would have left on Sunday. Whoops. #EpicFoodSearchFail

But we found the trails again along the Mississippi, where I feverishly began taking photos of a few Minneapolis Landmarks.

35W Bridge Memorial

35W Bridge Memorial – You can read more about it here.

Guthrie Theater

Guthrie Theater

Hennepin Ave Bridge with Grain Belt Beer Sign

Hennepin Ave Bridge – Notice the Grain Belt Beer sign?

Nicollet Island Bridge

Nicollet Island Bridge

I guess I handled walking across more bridges that I had expected. Once we crossed the Nicollet Island Bridge back to St. Anthony Main, more vendors had set up… And the street was lined with mint condition classic cars! Unbeknownst to us, it was the Stone Arch Bridge Art Festival.

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We admired the art and vehicles while snaking our way through the crowds.

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We had no specific plans or routes in mind. We came across this Segway Tour.

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It is then that our walk became even more enjoyable. I found this narrow path through the trees leading closer to the water. We started down some steps and before I knew it, I realized that they were quite high and steep. But I kept going! Many who know me will be surprised that I made it down these…

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It was there where I had the opportunity for a great shot of the Stone Arch Bridge.

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And although it was a beautiful day, we suddenly had these beautiful, rugged paths all to ourselves! It was hard to believe that we were so close to a grand festival taking place not far above us!

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We traversed cute bridges, watched geese, and enjoyed the nature.

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I photographed some historic buildings above us.

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As it grew hotter, we started to feel like we were getting bit by bugs. We made our way back up some more Carrie-friendly stairs further down the river and in no time, were back up amidst the festival where now hundreds of people now gatherered!

At this point, we began to get hungry and decided we’d check out the menus of all of the restaurants along Main to see which one spoke to us. {By doing this, we would also rack up some more distance because we weren’t quite done, yet!} We were getting close to 15k when I told Rob to walk past the edge of the festival down to the end of the block. Then we could turn around and walk back to make it to 16k on the way back.

At the end of the block Rob looked right and his eyes lit up. Why? He saw Nye’s Polanaise Room!

Call us silly or oblivious, but we had no idea St. Anthony Main was this close to all of our favorite restaurants in Nordeast Minneapolis! It was at that moment, it was decided. We didn’t care what we looked like or that we should probably change first, we were going to end our trek at the Bulldog NE {post to come!} with brunch and brews. And after passing the establishment and going around the block, that’s when we hit 16k.

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We celebrated with a lot of water, a little beer and filled our bellies with a more than enjoyable lunch. It was perfect. And while on that secluded trail near the river, Rob had picked up a coin. After further research, we discovered that it is a 1905 Liberty Nickel! We wonder how long it had been there…

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This walk seemed easier than the 15k the previous weekend. And my RunKeeper shows that we shaved off a whole half hour. I don’t think the GPS was quite accurate this time. Looking back at our splits, about 9km seemed realistic. And by adding up the rest of the time, we probably got 3 or 4 more additional kilometers in there. So chances are that we probably didn’t complete a full 16k that day. 😦

But you know what? I’m counting it! Here’s why:

  • We would have never done this if it weren’t for the Get LOST in Running race series.
  • The intent was there. If my GPS had told me to go further, we would have.
  • Between the other four 30-minute walks I did during the week, I’m sure I covered more than enough kilometers to complete the entire 16k.

Station 4 – Flame 16k?

DONE.

Next up – Stations 5 & 6 a 23k and 42k respectively. “As the distances get bigger, they can be split in any way you would like and then combined.”

I already have a plan to complete them. I have a busy next couple of weeks coming up, so I’m planning to combine walks to make sure I keep moving and so that I don’t use being busy as an excuse not to do so! Normally, I’d try to get some workouts in, but would probably skip it most of the time and then hold off until returning from vacation.

So, I’m splitting each station up over a course of 10 days so that I can make sure to fit it in between company visiting and travel. I have a plan and I think it’ll work. And after I complete the series, it’ll be time to slowly get back into running again – with the Couch to 5k program. Thanks again, Joe, for the inspiration!

My GPS running apps have been inconsistent. I’ve tried both MapMyRun and RunKeeper.

Do you use a GPS-style app on your phone for your workouts?

If so, what do you use?

What do you find to be most accurate?

Cheers~
Carrie