Craft Breweries, Football, and some Guess Who

A couple of weekends ago, some besties from Milwaukee (aka cousins/collegefriends/soulfriends and their adorable snuggling pup) came to visit.  You know. I love having people visit. I look forward to weekend visits with happy butterflies.  So does Huckleberry. He barely slept a wink on Thursday night.

It gets us out and about, away from the humdrum of daily life.  I’ve found we are more apt to explore this beautiful area and all it has to offer if we have someone here to show it to.

So, upon their arrival, we ate at the Nook.  Highly recommended by Guy Fieri, St. Paulians since forever, and now all four of us. We ate next to the bowling alley (yes, the bowling alley). Summit on tap and some juicy nookie burgers (stuffed with cheese and topped with caramelized onions) were the order of the day. There was an hour wait when we arrived, but they got us to our table in half that time! Great company, excellent food – they got our weekend off to the best start!

IMG_2266

IMG_2278

Literally the hottest wings I've ever eaten. Correction: wing. I stopped after one so that I wouldn't have second degree burns on my lips. Please serve these with ice cream, Nook friends.

Literally the hottest wings I’ve ever eaten. Correction: wing. I stopped after one so that I wouldn’t have second degree burns on my lips. Please serve these with ice cream, Nook friends.

IMG_2286

What else is there?

What else is there?

Cousins. Love.

Cousins. Love.

IMG_2288

Our view throughout dinner.

Our view throughout dinner.

On Saturday morning, we watched my cousin’s peewee football team take the city championship. SO EXCITING! They got medals and lifetime bragging rights and we got a chance to sit in the stands of Midway Stadium, home of the St. Paul Saints before the stadium is no longer used – they’re moving downtown!

IMG_2296

Rooting from the stands! Go Red!

Rooting from the stands! Go Red!

Cutest cheerleader ever.

Cutest cheerleader ever.

Surrounding their championship plaque!

Surrounding their championship plaque!

This stadium is old-fashioned and has a small-town feel. I hope we can see a Saints game before they move to the new stadium!

This stadium is old-fashioned and has a charming Baseball-is-America’s-sport small-town feel. I hope we can see a Saints game before they move to the new stadium!

We headed to Northeast Minneapolis next, and grabbed a bite at Spyhouse Coffee before dropping in at 612 Brew, the first of our brewery visits.

Spyhouse. Knock if you want killer lattes and hearty sandwiches.

Spyhouse. Knock if you want killer lattes and hearty sandwiches.

Ham and Brie!

Ham and Brie!

We loved the tasting room as they had old Trivial Pursuit cards in the middle of the tables {which happened to be constructed from repurposed bowling alleys, in all that’s coolness}. The ladies shared a flight of their craftiest craft brews. We were all rocking On Wisconsin red, which helped the Badgers win, by the way.  We discussed notes of mint, agave and coffee {though Joe actually does home-brew, and knows his stuff – the rest of us were just hypothesizing} and declared our favorites from the flight.

IMG_2345

IMG_2321 IMG_2330

In Pursuit of 1970s Trivia.

In Pursuit of 1970s Trivia.

IMG_2337

IMG_2329

Slainte! Prost!

Slainte! Prost!

A little ways up the road in Northeast, we found Dangerous Man Brewing Co.  Both of the guys were on board when they discovered the logo was a man with a beard. Also, they encourage bringing in your own food, since they don’t serve any.  Lots of cute local restaurants – I highly recommend Maeve’s Cafe!

IMG_2348

IMG_2350

IMG_2366

Back to the brews. This was my favorite of the breweries we visited since it was sunny and decorated in a hip, exposed bricky way, with driftwooden accents.  There is a mural of a bearded musky fish.  I mean, what’s not to love? The stools were high school chemistry lab-ish.  The pumpkin ale that I had was DELISH – a little sweet and just spicy enough to keep me pumping my autumn fist in a “yeah buddy!” Bring on the flannel.

Sunshine and Flannel.

Sunshine and Flannel.

Pumpkin Ale.

Pumpkin Ale.

Reading up on crafty craft brewing.

Reading up on crafty craft brewing.

More sunshine.

More sunshine.

A cozy stout.

A cozy stout.

IMG_2413

Also! They have a cupboard FULL of old school games. We spent about a half hour losing to our friends in round after round of Guess Who. Then, we made a comeback when the McCanns used strategy beyond belief in a rousing, ship-sinking game of Battleship.  Scores even, we headed home for an afternoon nap and some cheese and crackers. Because, as our guests are also Wisconsinites, they understand and appreciate cheese’s importance to a balanced diet.

Guess who won. Yes, these two scholars. Must be their intense gaming skill, as seen here.

Guess who won. Yes, these two scholars. Must be their intense gaming skill, as seen here.

IMG_2386

Winning!

Winning!

Thank you, DM!

Thank you, DM! Also, look at that bright cerulean sky. I love autumn days when colors pop like this.

The girls went shopping for a bit {danger, we hit up Madewell!!} and the guys rested up before taking the pups {YES!} to Flat Earth Brewing Co., right here in our West Seventh neighborhood. The dogs weren’t allowed on the tour, but they were totally the stars of the tasting room!  We joined them {and some other family who met us there later} for a sip of an autumnal ale.  Flat Earth is heading to a much bigger facility next year {the old Hamm’s brewery} and we’ll be sure to visit them again when they’re all set up.

We really did all of these things in one day. Energy flows out of me when loved ones are near. There’s more. Isn’t there always? The writer’s dilemma. I’ll try to be brief.

We got all gussied up and headed to Chino Latino in Uptown for the dinner to end all dinners. There was my kind of dance music playing when we walked in – read: latin/salsa/eclectic. There are guests who had ordered whole roasted pigs!  The entire bar area glowed red-orange.

I don’t even remember  most of what we ate. I know there was some banana boat chicken, some queso that blew my mind {chorizo added}, and bacon wrapped pork tenderloin served on a sword. Schwingg! {that is the sound of my fancy sword emerging from mmy fancy scabbard, in case you were wondering.} Then, for dessert we had some seriously amazing tres leche cake and fried ice cream, both with toasted coconut infused somehow, and the latter capped off with a sparkler.  Most importantly to me, my heart was happy throughout dinner since the company was especially superb. This place has a big city vibe, with glitter and spicy foods. My kind of evening.

IMG_2394

Banana boat chicken with a creamy, sweet, curryish sauce.

Banana boat chicken with a creamy, sweet, curryish sauce.

Stuffed to the gills, yet I made room for this dandy in my extra dessert compartment.

Stuffed to the gills, yet I made room for this dandy in my extra dessert compartment.

Sparklers!

Sparklers!

More family outside of C.L., with sparkles behind us, naturally!

More family outside of C.L., with sparkles behind us, naturally!

IMG_2407

Saying goodbye is so hard to do. But  Sunday morning pancakes from {Love and Cupcakes} made it a little easier.

Until next time, friends! xo

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Craft Breweries, Football, and some Guess Who

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s