4800 28th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55417
4800 28th Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55417
I am one of those annoying people who take a pint of ice cream and pick out all the chunks of whatever the ice cream has in it. Oreo cookies, peanut butter cups, chocolate chunks, you name it. For those of you like me, Sweet Science's Coffee Toffee ice cream is for you. Now that the Seward Co-op carries Sweet Science Ice Cream, I was able to pick up four pints and bring them to my day job for a Thursday treat/taste test. And although the Toasted Coconut flavor won by a landslide, the second place winner was described as "a toffee bar with a bit of ice cream". The creator of Sweet Science doesn't deprive, that much is certain. You didn't have to pick out the pieces of toffee. Every spoonful had a generous amount. Not like your bargain ice creams where you have a moon-like landscape with quarter-size craters where one is digging for the add-in. Same with the Berry Crumble, the third place winner. But here's how good they all were. My favorite, The Big Easy, came in last. I don't know why. Flavored with coffee and chicory, it's perfect with morning coffee. Mademoiselle Miel recommended the fellow St. Paul girl to me, and these local ladies do not disappoint.
Check out their website for the complete list of vendors.
Sweet Science Ice Cream
Guess what I am doing RIGHT NOW. Give up? Well, aside from the obvious - writing this blog - I am eating chocolate coffee ice cream cake and drinking coffee. I needed a lot of caffeine after my mid-morning nap. I wondered what stay-at-home moms did all day. I kid. Really. Just the second day of spring break the BF and I were having coffee and the kids were eating breakfast and I remarked to BF, "See how nice things would be if I were a stay-at-home mom? Your coffee would be made, I could help you get the little one ready. Dinner on the table when you get home." I couldn't understand why he looked at me like I had two heads until I realized that when you are the stay-at-home mom BOTH KIDS ARE HOME WITH YOU ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. Not like spring break when you only have the older one home with you and you can throw him outside to play. You don't have the world's must exuberant toddler in the world trying to make you do energy-intensive things like taking him to the park for three hours, or constantly trying to keep him from jumping off of the couch for another two because you shuttled him to daycare because you told yourself you were going to clean the basement and paint the living room. If I were a SAM, though, you can bet I'd be in a lot better shape. Trying to keep LO#2 out of the street is a lineman's job. I look just like the entire NFL defensive trying to block during the Super Bowl. (excuse my terminology, football isn't my thing)
So what have I been doing to exhaust myself this carefree week? Yesterday was particularly tough. LO#1 and I had an early morning appointment and then I had my hair done in the 50th and France area. Since it was the warmest day so far this year we walked around the shops looking in all the windows. Of course when you see cakes in windows like the ones above you have to stop in and get their cupcakes. Because when through the windows in the background, you can see the people who make the cakes, and how painstakingly they create such exquisite detail, you have to patronize that establishment. Period. The cupcakes are as good as they look. It's not all presentation. I had the carrot cake cupcake and gave my son a taste to sate his appetite for Easter as I ordered a carrot cake from Turtle Bread Company (I can't wait) for Easter and he loved it. (this is from a kid who only orders vanilla ice cream). It worked.
5013 France Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55410
Can you guess the theme? Patrick's, Bonnie's....I think the day is coming when loads of college students and twenty-somethings indulge in green beer. Do they still dye the Chicago river green? I digress. Fact is, neither Patrick's nor Bonnie's specializes in Irish cuisine. Bonnie's is one of the wonderful hole-in-the-wall breakfast/lunch diner places you go the morning AFTER St. Paddy's day for your greasy food fix. Patrick's, is, in fact, a French cafe and bakery I found by accident. I was looking for a place near work for dinner. Which is not easy when you been to the same places 6,864,250 times. So off I went on Google maps. And their website looks just like my pictures. Wine, fancy looking food and sugar-laden desserts. Naturally my dining companions agreed upon seeing the desserts. Yes, we ordered seven desserts for four people. No, there were no leftovers. I kid. Maybe. One of the plusses of this place I discovered is that "French" didn't translate to
"tiny plates of delicious, spendy food that will have you starving two hours from now". (And trust me, I'm not looking for the super size portions you can get at some restaurants.) I ended up bringing half of my Beef Bourguignon home, but mostly because we had to try EACH one of the desserts.
Patrick's Bakery Café Restaurant
Multiple locations including this one at:
Southdale Square 2928 West 66th Street Edina, MN
Does it count beating the Heavy Table to a review if all I did was buy pastries? I think so. Mon Petit Cheri is a brand new bakery on Franklin Avenue in Seward. I discovered it by accident as I was looking for last minute Valentine's Day treat for the fam. I was going to the Co-op, but the parking lot (too small) was the usual afternoon zoo. So I bypassed it, took a left on 24th, and there is was. Like manna in the desert. Actually they had just closed (they didn't even have the hours sign up yet - they had been open only one or two days) but they were so nice they let me buy cheesecake brownies, seven-layer bars - is that what they are called? The ones with caramel, chocolate, coconut, nuts, you know, the ones with everything in them. And those big cookies you see in my box? Birthday Cake cookies. Doesn't that sound decadent? As dessert should be. I mean, when it comes to dessert, go big or go home, that's my opinion.
Another place I need to go back to for brekkie or lunch. Aaanndd they have my fave Dogwood Coffee. YUM.
Mon Petit Cheri
2401 E Franklin Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55406
I think we have established that I like places that not everybody knows about. If you hadn't gotten that, read the review on Crave. And you know what? I got the perfect idea for next year. I'm going to write the 12 Days of Small Business Christmas. All about places like Just Truffles in Saint Paul. They really just only do truffles, and boy, they do them right. Champagne Truffles, Frangelico Truffles, Hot Chocolate Truffles and the Tenor's Temptation with Malibu Rum and cream of coconut, WHO THINKS THIS UP? Apparently Luciano Pavarotti is a fan.
1363 Grand Avenue, Saint Paul, MN 55105
The lead colored sky of November.
Yum - you know the feeling when your insides are warm on cold day? Yeah, I got that.
Well…it is officially my least favorite time of year. The time when the sun sets before 5pm for the drive home from work. This year, I’ve been trying to find an upside this dark, cold, snowy season.
So far, no luck. I blame the last two winters that lasted until June for giving me an extra-large dose of seasonal affective disorder. This morning it was below freezing and according to our local weather gurus, we can expect only to get worse for the foreseeable future. My gloom was reason enough to check out some of my local bakeries on my way to work for a treat for my co-workers. I had googled a few that had good food porn photography and found the Turtle Bread Company. I had also wanted to pick up some better-than-the-coffee-service-at-work coffee, that is, Dogwood Coffee, which I’m currently obsessed with, but the co-op wasn’t yet open. But the gods of food intervened as I was driving and RIGHT THERE on Lake Street was a Dogwood Coffee bar. Why the sky didn’t open up to a beam of light illuminating the place like in the movies I don’t know. And they have wine! But happy hour isn’t until 2-5 pm. But that just might work out since I told my boss my religion forbids me to go off daylight savings time and I need to leave work at 4 instead of 5. I know, brilliant, right?
So I was able to get the coffee (which entitled me to a free cup of steaming hot coffee) and there it was. The ONE good thing about winter. You can’t enjoy hot coffee in the middle of summer. I had a friend who would drink hot coffee and smoke a cigarette in the hot, humid Minnesota summer. That just doesn’t compute for me. I can barely drink red wine in the summer. It’s just too heavy. I’m weird like that.
So there I am, standing on Lake Street, getting warmed up by the best coffee ever. Epiphany scored.
Off to Turtle Bread Company where I picked up the best chocolate cream pie I’ve ever seen. See?
I’m going back for breakfast. Check out their Facebook page and the picture of the huevos rancheros. If that doesn’t make you want to get up early and head over for weekend breakfast, well I just don’t know about you.
Pick up some chocolate bread to take home. Only I make a better chocolate bread and that is only because it is a super-secret Norwegian recipe that not only I would have to kill you if I told you, but my mother has pretty much warned the same fate for me if I ever give it out.
Turtle Bread Company
3421 W 44th St, Minneapolis, MN 55410
This is the Longfellow location, you can also find them in Linden Hills and on South Chicago.
Dogwood Coffee (and Wine bar)
4021 East Lake St. Minneapolis, MN 55406
Izzy's Ice Cream Shop
2034 Marshall Avenue St Paul MN 55104
Need I say more?
652 Transfer Rd, St Paul, MN 55114
A Minnesota native returns after 13 years away discovering a whole new food landscape.