26. Minneapolis, Minnesota

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Back in May, I mentioned that I was about to go to the Twin cities to eat the world. Remarkably, I did manage to fit some other stuff in on top of that agenda–and even more remarkably, some of it was food.

I spent much of the weekend at Art-A-Whirl, an open studio tour in Northeast Minneapolis that I don’t even really know how to describe. According to its website, it’s the largest tour of its kind in the country, which I have no problem believing. It’s HUGE. There are buildings on buildings all over the neighborhood with floors and floors of artists displaying their work, and in some places it’s so packed that it’s hard to get through the hallways and stairwells. But despite the crowds, it’s definitely worth checking out, even if you’re not in the market to by anything (I didn’t; a personal feat). The range of artistry is pretty incredible and there’s all sorts of other entertainment happening in Northeast, too.

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Spark Letterpress

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Along the way, I wound up at Indeed Brewing, where I tried an amazing lavender/date/honey ale called LSD. It’s apparently only on draft in May, which means you should probably go for Art-a-Whirl and kill two birds with one stone.

I also had time to cross a few Minneapolis standbys off my list that have been there for awhile. One was the Guthrie Theater, which I visited not for a performance but to check out the theater itself. While the Guthrie offers architecture tours of the building, I opted instead to do a self-guided walk through that took me up to the Endless Bridge and the Dowling Studio Lobby; they offered blue and yellow-hued views of some of the city’s greatest landmarks.

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Endless Bridge
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The Stone Arch Bridge
The Stone Arch Bridge again, but reflected, blue and obstructed by me
View from the Dowling Studio Lobby

See that “Gold Medal Flour” sign? That’s right next to the Mill City Museum, which details Minneapolis’ flour-making past. I hit that one up after the Guthrie; I opted out of whatever historical elevator-tour-thing they tried to sell me on in case it was too interactive, but I did rather enjoy the history video in the theater downstairs. Also, the ruins:


Anther of these standbys was Surly Brewing Company–one of two breweries, along with Summit, that come to mind when I think of Minnesota beer. The beer hall was nice and spacious, and the food was good, too, although the vegetarian food situation didn’t blow me away. Most importantly, though, the beer was excellent; the Pentagram and Cacao Bender were my favorites.

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The Minneapolis Institute of Art was the final bona-fide tourist attraction I got to for the weekend, and it was a great one. The collection exceeded my expectations, but the building itself was just as pretty as the art.

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Oh, and about the food. I mostly did proceed as planned in the May post, but only one restaurant was really worth raving about (aside from my longtime love, 112 Eatery). That was The Copper Hen. No words for how good it was…and I loved the decor just as much.

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