Thursday, December 30, 2010

One Good Bite Deserves Another

By: Jon Sullivan

No  cinicism here. Just classic heat pounding, stomach flipping L.O.V.E.

Minneapolis was recently voted the healthiest city by Forbes.  Frankly, it’s impossible to rejoice in that success without acknowledging all the healthy and more importantly, utterly scrumptious, eateries that the City of the Lakes has to offer.  Next time you are out for a walk in Uptown or on a bike ride down the Greenway stop by one of these body benefiting bistros (and let’s be honest if you get in your car and drive there that’s a-ok too).

French Meadow Bakery & Café was a defender of all things organically grown before it was cool. Their diverse menu and laid back atmosphere make eating right easy. An even bigger claim to fame is that this local spot was the first certified organic bakery in the US. A haven of suitable treats, French Meadow Bakery & Café has an intimidating pedigree, but more importantly it has the chops to back it up. My must eat from their extensive menu is the turkey wild rice soup. Imagine tasting Minnesota. Seriously, that’s what the soup tastes like. You also can’t go wrong with their signature gnocchi, made with butternut squash. It melts in your mouth and you will be shocked to learn it is 100% vegan.

Another must is Spoonriver. A gourmet spin on sustainable dinning, this restaurant is situated in the Mill District. It boasts a bountiful menu that is sure to please everyone and Chef and restaurateur Brenda Langton manages to craft food that is award winning without taking its self too seriously. On your next date night you can eat your fill without fasting first. The Spoon Dips, which feature a white bean-edamame, are out of this world. The roasted free range chicken molé tacos are another absolute must try.

Finally, we must address what I consider to be the holy grail of all meals, brunch. If you want something unique, delicious, and waist line approved then Birchwood Café ought to be on your list. This funky joint offers the whole shabang from the very vegan to sinfully carnivorous. On late Sunday mornings in fall the zucchini & ricotta buckwheat waffle will warm your belly and maybe even your heart. The guilt-free foodie will delight in their house-made granola.
With all of these fun fresh options it is no wonder Minneapolis is a prime example of good health. To stay fit here we lace up our running shoes, dig out our yoga pants, but most all, we eat.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Real Word… This is what I signed up for?

Source:Paper Clips by Petr Kratochvi

Hello all. Miss me? For the two of you who infrequently check this while you are procrastinating at work (my mom and one or two very loyal and very bored friends), I’m back.  In case I didn’t have a beer with you last night and you’re wondering where I’ve been (not that I have any delusions that there are people out there who really care where I went) the answer is: out getting a life. Well, if not a life then at least a career path.   

People have told me you’re supposed to have one of these.  I am still a little suspect.

The verdict thus far: uncertain.
One of my life corner stones, a driving consideration, is the idea that you should live your life by no one’s rules but your own. And here I am living my life like every other entry level employee on the planet. Not that I’m complaining. Consider this more an evaluation that a whine session, a period of self reflection after exactly two days in the great American work force.  Obviously I know everything there is to know about this forty hour a week gig after two days….

I just can’t believe I completed my education, proceeded to get undeniably stressed about how I was going to pay back my student loans and how to answer the question, ‘so what are you doing now?’, and the end result is something called the grid? What’s wrong with this picture?  I’m a young, smart, savvy, kid in America. Aren’t I supposed to be following my bliss? It's news to me that bliss lives is cubical. Maybe it’s hidden a drawer I have yet to discover or something….

So my question for today is: bliss where are you?....

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Email Etiquette

Source: Mother Earth 500 x 465 · 61 
Announcement! Emails are not text messages.

Did I just change your life? No? Good. That should not be an earth shaking announcement for anyone. If you’re a functioning individual in the cyber world you should be well versed in internet manners.

What we really need is the Emily Post of Email etiquette.

So, surprise, surprise, my topic for the rant of the week is the growing inappropriate use of the CC function and all other Email faux pas. Let me break it down, if not with the eloquence of Miss. Post than at least with the bluntness of the twenty-first century.

1) If you’re going to replay to my lengthy and well thought out Email with “Got it. Thanks.” don’t CC everyone. Don’t hit replay all. My inbox doesn’t need it. All the other people who received the original Email don’t need it. No one needs it.

2) Just because you have a smart phone does not mean Emails and text messages are interchangeable. We have these two different mediums because they serve two different functions. Text messages are social, casual, short, and often used to convey a quick idea. Emails are more formal (but please people there is never an excuse for stuffy), a bit longer, and should have some sort of valid point or piece of critical information. The lesson learned here is they should not be treated in the same way. Even if you can access them both quickly on your super cool iphone…

3) Finally, in true Miss. Manners fashion a nugget of wisdom: A tidy inbox makes for a tidy life. Your Email provider has all these nifty functions. Like folders. Embrace them. The cyber gods gave them to us so we could use them, be more organized, and less stressed.

I’m leaving you now with words of someone infinitely wiser then myself- from Emily’s lips to your ear: “Alas! It is true: Be polite to bores and so shall you have bores always round about you.”

Once again the soap box is safely stowed…for awhile anyway. Enjoy the reprieve!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Nectar of the Gods

Source: Stock Photo of Coffee 1024 x 768 
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Very few things in life are perfect. However, there is one glorious exception. Coffee. When something so exquisite comes along we need to take a moment to appreciate its utter splendor.  I would even go so far as to admit that it is perhaps my one true love. Coffee doesn’t break your heart, it doesn’t disagree with you, and it never lies. It is a faithful companion everyday, greeting you each morning with a warm embrace. In fact it is so divine that we never grow tired of each others company and we have been in an exclusively committed relationship for more than a decade.
Let me be clear, I'm talking about coffee. Not snacks in a glass that masquerade as coffee. These culprits are titled with flamboyant and outrageous names such as Triple Caramel Espresso Frappuccinos with Extra Whip Cream, An Additional Extra Hot Triple Shot, and Non-Fat White Chocolate Drizzle. Yes, I'm sure that is delicious, but please don't kid yourself, its not coffee. I fundamentally believe in a more the merrier life philosophy, but in a few select areas I am a purest. Surprise surprise coffee is said area. You all know the adage once you go black you never go back...  So stop being such a wimp- ditch the cream and sugar and revel in coffee’s bitter delights.
Finally, take a little wisdom from someone more caffeinated than yourself and try these java hot spots, Nina’s Cafe, Mapps Coffee & Tea, or Cahoots Coffee Bar!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Cruel to be Kind


Bless her heart, but….
If you ever hear those words out of someone’s mouth- Run! Don’t walk, don’t jog, don’t gallop-hit the concrete like you’re fleeing from prison. Not only are you about to hear a nasty bit of gossip, that you could most likely do without, but it is being severed up to you by the worst kind of gossiper. The kind that thinks she can erase whatever poisonous thing she is about to say by uttering those magic words before she slays someone with her lethal tongue.

You’ll notice I’m always addressing the offending gossiper as a she and that’s because, face it, it's always a woman doing that kind of sly, underhanded, mean-spirited BS. For whatever reason if you come out of the womb with a pair of balls its like you get to live your life with 50% less bullshit. Men either keep it to themselves, say whatever they are thinking to the offender's face, or at the very least are direct about it. Women on the other hand are some of the most conniving backward people I know.  I should know- I am one!

The worst part is I have no beef with gossip. It does, in many ways, make the world go round. Females are often inherently communicative people and talking about your bff’s hideous hair cut only seems natural. What Kills me with a capital K is when people try to mask their repugnant judgey-ness with phrases like the one above. If you’re going to be an ass, be an ass! Own it. We weren’t born yesterday fellow females. Every girl knows every other girl on the planet is prone to gossip. So climb on down from your pedestal and say your mean comment with a little conviction. Have some pride. If you can’t at the very least do that, then zip it. Quit trying to play the angel while you say devilish things. Don your horns and speak your truth or shut up!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Calories... F You!

Source: "Jelly Beans (PD)" 800 x 600 · 101 

I hate them. I hate them I hate them. They have become this silent stealthy enemy that creeps up on you. And what is their preferred method of attack? Deliciousness. I have a philosophy about calories that, I believe the world is ready to embrace. If you think of your body as a machine and food as merely the fuel well, your life must suck. Hard. Hello people! Food is EVERYTHING. 
But here’s the bugger of it, - if you want to live a long life full of scrumptious delights you have to pay attention to those little demons. (The demons being calories of course) Why not spend them wisely? But I say using them wisely doesn’t mean spreading them out appropriately all through the day and living a healthy balanced lifestyle. To hell with that!  I say over the course of a little while, a week/month whatever- save them up. Like pennies in a piggy bank and then go wild! We’re talkin’ totally nutso. Eat everything decadent, rich, and greasy that you can get your grubby little paws on.
Life is too short people-Eat! 
Minnesota is the land of the butter head. Its a place where all food can be put on a stick, and fried fish is practically a national pastime.  We live in the arctic and need a little insulation from the cold. So go forth my fellow hockey fans and bake up a hot dish heavy on the tater tots. 
And as long as we’re on the note of all of absolutely fabulous grub that this fair state has to offer I would like to take a moment to offer another F you to every skinny mini out there. Now I’m not addressing those motivated individuals who have banging bodies through some serious self discipline and a religious work out regime. Hats off to you crazies. However, all those obnoxious nauseating chicks who are a size double zero and the biggest move they make all day is to walk from the couch to the car-F you! I don’t even care if that’s mean. Its how a bunch of us feel.  And if you don’t feel that way? Well, you should. Also, I can’t wait to meet those skinny a-holes when they are forty and have zero metabolism. So little lady who is giving skeletor a run for his money-remember the big  four-oh is coming and so am I. Get ready for some cellulite and a big fat I told you so.

So when your hankering for a slice of heaven try a lil somethin' somethin' from these favorite dessert destinations, The Grand Ole Creamery, A Piece of Cake Bakery, or the tried and true Cafe Latte

Friday, September 10, 2010

Quarter Life Crisis: From One Twenty-Something to Another

Source: "Line Outside Soup Kitchen" 591 x 479 · 114 kB 

We’re screwed. Yep. No false optimism here. But, as messed as the economy is, as lazy as we are, and no matter how deep we sink into the pit of depression we need to face the facts. Bitching and moaning will get us nowhere. So, with the utmost respect for the unemployed, unmotivated, and under enthused twenty-something I say this: shut up! Wait wait wait! Calm down-don’t get your panties in a twist. I am not saying this to be unnecessarily harsh or to mimic the disgust of older generations, but to offer a piece of wisdom that was recently passed on to me (and yes  I am in the sinking boat with you, twenty-something and up a God awful creek without a paddle). Drum roll please. Here it is: There is always room if you’re good.
There is a job out there if you’re the best. If you excel. Now, this is a tall order with a very slim margin of error, I know. So before you scuttle off to eat the entire tub of Ben and Jerry's you’ve been hoarding in your refrigerator for these slap-in-the -face life moments, take a deep breath and think about. Being screwed is perhaps the very best spot to be in. We are at the bottom of the well and have no where to go but up. Instead of hating our peers who have their lives figured out lets revel in our freedom. Cast off the old constraints that once ruled our lives and take the path untraveled. Cheesy? Definitely. Worth it? Possibly. But, consider this: we are living in our parent’s basements, income-less, with student loans breathing down our necks. Anything is better than right now.
So jump. Figure it out and do something. Be what you always wanted to be. And, if/when that blows up in your face you will only be a slightly older twenty something. Normally I have slightly more sarcastic life view, but let’s face the facts, that has gotten me exactly zilch. Zippo. Nada. So we adapt and try something outside of our small comfort zones. Optimism here we come!... at least for a few weeks. So, armed with a sunny disposition of acceptance, it is my personal manifesto to try something new everyday. Yesterday I tried creating a blog. Today I’m going to try a totally delish new restaurant, Uptown’s Cafeteria.  
So fellow f-ups what lesson did we learn today? Try something new on for size, be it an attitude or dining destination, because honestly, what have we got to lose? Oh yeah, and hipsters suck.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hipster or Homeless?

Source: Smoke-N-Cough: May 2008400 x 256 · 17 kB · jpeg

Have you ever met a hipster? My guess is yes, because they are now running rampid in the Twin Cities. When exactly they invaded I can’t be sure, but they are here in droves and from the looks of it going nowhere. We are under siege. Attacked by the highly educated, highly useless hipster.  Our fair cities are undoubtedly Meccas of culture, but why do we feel that the only people out there soaking it up are skinny jean wearing, tight sweater flaunting, chain smoking hipsters? Scratch that- American Spirit chain smoking hipsters. If you’re still not convinced that you’ve stumbled across one, please allow me to elaborate. These individuals might be understandably elusive because often times the line between hipster and homeless is fine.  However, you can spot a hipster a mile off by their elitist attitude toward all things culture, old school kicks, star tattoos, and if they are really committed to their genre, an iconic mustache.

Now a hipster here and there adds a certain flair to any event, but when did they explode into a full fledged micro community?  A community that, as far as I can tell, is confined primarily to Uptown and select parts of Northeast. These cats are so determined to be unique that you can spot them a mile off. They are unique…just like every other hipster. Now don’t get me wrong I have zero problems with their trucker hats and vintage clothing. If it were purely a style statement I’d be on board. What kills me is the ‘tude. Self important with a heavy dose of reverse snobbery and a pinch of know it all finishes it off.  When an attitude is connected to a style which slowly grows into a stereotype- Houston we have a problem!

So this is my call to action. Lets take back the cool scenes the cities has to offer, wear whatever we want, and smoke a whole variety of cigarettes. A bold idea, I know. Why not strive to actually be the individuals we are and not succumb the dingy allure of hipterism (or any other cookie cutter genre for that matter)? After all dress to impress right? The homeless look doesn’t do anyone justice.  Out with the hipster and in with whatever you want, but honestly if I see one more pair of faux Buddy Holly glasses I’m going to scream. Loudly.
Now now, in all fairness the hipster they have commandeered some fantastic spots in our beloved Twin Cities. So I say to you fellow non-hipsters lets take a page for their book (but only just this one page, mind you). Try these gems, The Nomad or The Cedar in Minneapolis.