Tag Archives: local

Copper Hens and Farmer’s Flavors

I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ll go to a restaurant just for the prospect of dessert, so my attention was peaked when I heard about The Copper Hen CAKERY & Kitchen in Minneapolis. It sounded right up my alley and after seeing the cupcake pictured on their website, I couldn’t get there fast enough.

With the Best-Good Friend at my side, we set out on our cupcake crusade. Okay, I think I was on the cupcake crusade, she was genuinely interested in the “kitchen” part of their menu. Specializing in farm-to-table food, cakes and bread, there was a lot to choose from. So why decide on one thing when you can share a few? We started with the Arugula Salad with House Vinaigrette:

salad
arugula mix, crispy shallots, sheep’s milk ricotta, sherry vinaigrette, hemp seeds (vegetarian)

And then enjoyed the Classic Rustic Pizza:

pizza
fresh tomato sauce, pecorino, house-pulled fresh mozzarella, basil and a splash of olive oil (vegetarian)

But even the best of friends shouldn’t be expected to share a cupcake. She opted for Red Velvet and I tried the Farmer’s Flavor of the Season (Ginger and Rose Water):

cupcakes
To-Dye-For Red Velvet and Farmer’s Flavor of the Season

Tiny Diner, Big Flavor

When I looked at the Tiny Diner menu and saw this, I knew it was the place for me:
rocky

Not only was Rocky on the menu, but their entire concept was right up my alley. The Tiny Diner is working a plot on Minnesota’s first organic farm (Garden Farme) and their very own urban Tiny Diner Farm just a short distance away. In addition to that, they are creating an urban garden in South Minneapolis right next to the restaurant. Not only will they use their crops in the restaurant, but there will be educational programs for the neighborhood. They have crafted a patio roof/solar array, its solar panels flow into gutter that feed into a rain chain, through a creek bed and then waters the vegetable garden. In addition to that, there is a cistern that will capture water from the rooftop, and systems to distribute it through their mini-orchard. To learn more about their plans and partnerships, read about The Tiny Diner and Farm: A Small Place with Big Ideas.

Every month their menu pays tribute to diner towns across the country, this month it was Philadelphia – home to my favorite Underdog, Rocky Balboa. The Husband went with the theme and tried their Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich:

Philly Cheese Steak
The Husband’s Philly Cheesesteak: Shaved steak, red onion, Shisito peppers, Real Wiz

He paired that with a side of onion rings:

Onion Rings
Double-Dipped Onion Rings with BBQ sauce

I’ve been on a quinoa kick again, so I went with the Macro Bowl and I’m glad I did, it was beyond yummy.

Macro Bowl
My Macro Bowl: Seared tofu, quinoa, veggies and seaweed (vegetarian)

We made sure there was room for dessert:

Carrot Cake
Carrot Cake

This restaurant is a new favorite of ours and we’re already talking about going back for breakfast. I hope we do it when the Whoopie Pie is still on the menu.

Just a Taste

Life is about the little things, like enjoying a spontaneous lunch with a girlfriend on a workday. That’s how I ended up at The Buttered Tin in downtown St. Paul.

Located in Lowertown, I was enchanted by the cafe and bakery. My only regret was that I only ate one thing:

roasted beet salad
Roasted Beet Salad Baby Arugula, shallots, basil, orange supremes, avocado, raspberries, feta cheese & toasted almonds with a curry vinaigrette (vegetarian)

It was delicious. I think there will be more spontaneous lunches in my future, hopefully with cupcakes….