This was my breakfast on my last day in Minneapolis: Minnesota Eggs Benedict, Hashbrowns, Bacon, and Fruit. I thought they were just going to give me a cup of fruit on the side. Instead I got this amazing fruit plate. The fruits were delicious!
The Minnesota Eggs Benedict is an eggs benedict with walleye cakes. Walleye cakes are like crab cakes, except instead of crab meat they use walleye. Apparently walleyes are abundant in Minnesota because they serve it everywhere. Some sort of walleye dish will be listed on the menu no matter where you go. At least that was my experience. I think the only place I didn’t see it was at the sushi place.
With the exception of the mixup with breakfast delivery my breakfast was fantastic. The Depot did a wonderful job. I just wish it didn’t cost so much. If room service wasn’t so expensive, I probably would have had breakfast delivered to my room every morning. LOL.
Nami Sushi is a sushi joint that is conveniently located near our hotel so we ended up having dinner there on Thursday night. The decor is modern and the atmosphere is subdued.
Then again, we were there on a week night and we just missed happy hour. I’m sure the place is more crowded and lively on the weekends.
The sushi at Nami is pretty good, though not as good as my favorite sushi place here in Wichita. The restaurant itself is fancier, though. But everything is fancier in Minneapolis it seems. I’d probably bring Brian here if we ever find ourselves in the hip Warehouse District area.
Minneapolis definitely has the friendliest and most photogenic squirrels. They’re not afraid of people at all. These guys pretty much walked up to us and posed for photos.
This one is a little creepy. I’d never seen an albino squirrel before. This guy is my first.
I wish it wasn’t so rainy while I was in Minneapolis. I would have had a lot more fun walking through the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It was fun anyway but there were a few things that we couldn’t get to…
Here’s a picture of the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry sculpture. The tent kind of ruins my shot but there was no way around it. They were preparing for the big Walker Art Center fundraising event on Saturday night. Maybe I can get a better shot next visit.
Walking around the sculpture garden with Emmie reminded me of the time when Brian and I went on a sculpture scavenger hunt on the Wichita State University campus. It was super fun.
Emmie doesn’t like having her photo taken but I stole this shot of her anyway.
I wish Brian could have gone on the trip with me. Everything is so much more fun when we do it together. Hopefully, we will get to visit Minneapolis next summer for his birthday. In the meantime, here’s a video for you to watch so you can learn more about this highly popular Minneapolis attraction.
Shelita, Emmie, and I worked up an appetite walking around Mall of America so, rather than going somewhere else for dinner, we decided to try one of the restaurants inside the mall. We picked Cadillac Ranch because it seemed to have the best variety.
We got there during their Rock & Roll Happy Hour so we took advantage of the opportunity to try a couple of appetizers. I picked the spinach and artichoke dip.
Shelita got the chili nachos. We thought the chili was on the burnt side. Other than that it wasn’t too spicy.
Cadillac Ranch offers several different types of burgers. This is one of them.
I felt like having seafood so I ordered the crab-crusted tilapia. It was good but nowhere near as good as the pork chops that Shelita ordered.
Emmie and I got a bite of the pork chops and both agreed that we should have ordered it too. LOL. I think that was the best thing we had out of everything that we tried at dinner.
There are several restaurant options inside Mall of America. We just happened to try this one. It wasn’t as bad as all the negative reviews I read online as we were already sitting there waiting for our starters. LOL. The service was decent and the food wasn’t bad. Other than the burnt chili, everything else was prepared well. The potato thing that they serve as a side dish (Shelita and I both got a bowl of it with our meals) had good flavor.
Although, I’d probably try a different restaurant if I ever find my way back to MOA I really can’t complain. No offense to Cadillac Ranch but there are just way too many other restaurants to choose from.
My first Mall of America experience was quite overwhelming. I went with a couple of ladies from the MEA conference. We took the light rail from the Government Plaza train stop. It’s about a 30 minute train ride to the mall because MOA is the final stop and there are several stops in between.
I have a funny story about the light rail. I was surprised that you didn’t have anywhere to stick your ticket in after purchasing it. In Boston you need your ticket to get through the gates. There are no gates to the rail in Minneapolis. It’s just wide open. There’s not anyone on the train that asks for your ticket either. I guess they rely on the honor system. However, the cops get on periodically and do random checks.
One of the ladies I was with works for Ameren Missouri but lives in Illinois. She say that where she’s from there are actually rail employees in the rail cars who check for tickets. In Minneapolis the cops do the checking instead of civilians.
I actually got to experience this first hand on our way back to the hotel. These three cops got on the train at one of the stops. One of them asked me for my ticket. Of course, I wasn’t expecting this because no one checked on our way to the mall. I had dropped my ticket in my purse because I figured that there was no reason for me to keep holding it in my hand if no one was going to check anyway. Murphy’s Law prevailed and it took me forever to dig the ticket out of my purse. I found the one that I had purchased a few hours earlier first and I was really worried that I had lost the correct one. I was relieved when I finally found it because I felt sure that they were going to kick me off the train. Not while it’s moving but at our next stop. Either way I was appalled at the thought.
After the cop moved on to the other passengers I asked my new friend, “So what happens if you don’t have a ticket?”
“They give you one,” she says.
“Then why did we have to buy tickets if they’d give them to us anyway?” LMAO. I know it’s not that kind of ticket but I couldn’t help myself. We both laughed.
She added that she thought that you get more than just a ticket and that they’d probably take you to jail. I told her that my husband probably wouldn’t like that too much. I wouldn’t like that too much either. Going to jail over a $2 rail ticket is ridiculous and totally not worth it.
But I digress… The Mall of America is really cool but way too big. We hadn’t even gone through a quarter of one level and I was already pooped. The place is so huge that their Macy’s takes up what seemed like three or four floors. And, sometimes they had two of the same stores. It would take several days to see everything.
Now that I know how easy and convenient their rail system is (it’s so simple, nowhere near as confusing as the one Boston where they have multiple rail lines intersecting each other) and that there are direct flights to and from ICT and MSP, I wouldn’t mind going back. I’d take Brian with me and show him around. I know for a fact that he would love the massive Lego store. It’s the biggest one I’d ever seen.
I may just take him to Minneapolis for his 40th birthday next year. We’ll see.
I had to go to Chicago for some SAP Training, it ended up being a hectic weekend leading up to this. Ching came back from Minnesota on Friday afternoon, and we got to spend all day Saturday together before I had to leave Sunday Morning.
I got to set all of my travel, hotel and transportation up this time. I looked for Supper Shuttle planning on getting the group ride since the company was paying. To my surprise, they only offered an Execucar meet-and-greet.
In Chicago though, the guy that meets you is not the guy that drives you.
Here is my greeter.
He was a nice kid but no where near as good as the driver we had in Florida.
On my first day in Chicago I asked the front desk clerk about the restaurants here. He advised me of the ones he liked and didn’t. I asked him about Uncle Julio’s across the street and he said it was just OK.
This morning I decided to get a second opinion and I asked the Shuttle Driver. She raved about it all the way to my training class. So I decided to check it out for dinner tonight.
I should have listened to the clerk from the first day. I was not impressed with their food. I got a two enchilada dish that came with rice and beans. The beans were super spicy, the rice was very dry and the salsa that was supposed to go with the chips kept its form after I took the lid off, I actually touched it to see if it was frozen and it wasn’t, nor did it move.
The enchilada was very tough and tasted like it had been microwaved too long.
I can definitely say I will not be trying this place again before I leave.
Since I was in Chicago I figured I needed to try out an Italian place. There just so happened to be one right down the street from the Hotel. I walked in and was greeted by a wall of pastries.
I turned the corner and was greeted by breads that smelled delicious.
As well as ice creams and everything else you could imagine.
I decided that i wanted to try one of their Brick Oven pizzas, I could smell them cooking and they looked delicious.
The pizza was actually really good. I am not used to the ultra thin style pizza but it had really good flavor.
I just wish they wouldn’t have taken a slice before they gave it to me, just kidding.
I think I may try them again before I leave also. While I was there I watched what was coming out of the kitchen and it looked like their sandwiches were a hit. I think i will pick one of those up next time.
So I had to make a trip to Chicago for some training for work. I did a little research and found that there were a lot of restaurants within walking distance.
One was a little joint called DMK Burger Bar. This is actually a really cool place. You get a selection of Burgers with different preselected flavors and then you can add-on other things like my favorite, a fried egg. Also, the truffle fries were really good, they had a lot of flavor.
Their gimmick is that they only server craft beers; no domestic or imported beers are offered. I had one that was supposed to mimic a German Lager, full bodied and flavorful. The beer was actually the best part.
All in all, I will definitely go back before I leave.