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Category Archives: Dining Out

Good evening!

I know it’s a little late, but I don’t want to wait much longer to share some highlights from my trip to Chicago this past weekend. So let’s dive right in!

Day 1:

Mike and I took off from Minneapolis early Friday morning. I was fired up!

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After we landed we spent a good amount of time just wandering around, taking in one of our favorite cities. The rest of the day was filled with delicious food, drinks, and quality time with very good friends!

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Ditka’s Pot Roast Nachos

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Former roommate Gabby

 

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Dance Team Pals

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It was a great first day in the city and probably the most fun day of the entire trip. We got to see so many people and visited several of our favorite restaurants, including a hot dog stand near the DePaul campus at 3:00 in the morning. Yikes!

Day 2

Our second day was a little more low key. Mike went off and did his thing with some friends while my former roommate, Gabby and I hung out.

We started our day off with some good brunch at Yolk, and finished it out with a sushi dinner at Seadog Sushi Bar. Oh yeah, and another late night hot dog.

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Day 3

By our final day in Chicago, Mike and I were pooped. The weather was pretty gloomy which was perfect for a lazy day. I’d say the highlight of the day was our dinner at one of my all-time favorite restaurants, Athenian Room. Mike and I have been going to Athenian Room for a few years and always order the same things; kalamata chicken for Mike and a gyro salad for me!

 

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It was the best and only vacation I’ve had in quite some time. I’m so happy I got to see some of my favorite people in the world, and I can’t wait to go back again. Now it’s time to attempt to eat as healthy as possible after a long weekend of greasy food. Totally worth it!


Guess what! I had a normal person weekend this week! Yup, just plain old saturday and sunday.

I asked for this weekend off months ago so I could visit one of my favorite places in the world: Lake Vermilion!

Lake Vermilion

Lake Vermilion

On Friday night I headed to Minneapolis before Mike and I took off up north Saturday morning. We were only up there for about 36 hours, so it was a pretty jam-packed trip. Here are a just a few highlights in chronological order:

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New favorite road trip snack.

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Boat rides!

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Man is water skiing a good workout. My back and forearms are so sore today in a good way. I wish I could do that more often!

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And Mike tried water skiing for the first time! Woohoo!

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Visiting Gordy’s Hi-Hat in Cloquet on our way back. Just good old fashioned food.

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Gordy’s has been a northern Minnesota staple since the 1960s. I think one of the most interesting things about the restaurant is it’s only open during the summer months. That probably explains why it’s always so packed in there!

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As a kid I always ordered a cheeseburger and fries at Gordy’s. I decided it’s time to branch out so I went with a spicy chicken burger instead. Not bad! You can tell it’s not just a typical frozen chicken patty. Mike went with the roast beef sandwich and a vanilla shake. We decided to split the ‘small’ fry that wasn’t so small after all.

What a weekend! I woke up at 4:00 this morning to drive back to Sioux Falls and make it to work on time. As you can imagine I’m exhausted, but the trip was definitely worth it.

Oh, and remember how Mike and I were supposed to be ‘good’ for the next three weeks before Chicago? Well, that got thrown out the window at Gordy’s. We’re bad influences on each other!


We may be entering the middle of the week, but I’m still dwelling on last weekend! Particularly the food.

Mike was visiting this past weekend. That always means we pack in lots of delicious food, especially treats! Before Mike even arrived in Sioux Falls Friday night we already had our dinner planned.

Friday dinner:

PIZZA!

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Not just any pizza; Jack’s frozen pizza. We’re big fans of Jack’s supreme. It’s one of the cheapest frozen pizzas, but one of the best tasting in my opinion. I’m a big fan of super thin crispy crust, and Jack’s has got it!

Saturday lunch:

We enjoyed some yummy turkey wraps with a side of baked ruffles for lunch.

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Flatout wraps rule.

Saturday snack:

Oh yeah, and we got these Oreos later.

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I’ve been eyeing the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup Oreos since they first started popping up in grocery stores. I asked Mike to go get a treat at Target while I was at work, and this is what he came back with. Good call. Here’s the verdict: I thought they were great but Mike seemed underwhelmed. I promise if you like peanut butter and chocolate, you’ll like these Oreos.

Even though Mike said he wasn’t into the Reese’s Oreos, he did take them home with him on Sunday. I have a feeling they were polished off pretty quick.

Sunday brunch:

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On Sunday we went out to brunch. Mike is not as big of a fan of brunch as I am, but I managed to talk him into it this weekend. I’ve been to the Granite City brunch buffet once before and remembered it being fairly inexpensive. Well, I was bummed when we got our check and realized the the price was $3.00 more per person than I was expecting! Not sure if they bumped it up, or if my memory is fading.

The funniest part of brunch was the fact that we were the only people sitting out on the patio. It was in the upper 60s, which I guess is chilly for a July morning, but this is South Dakota. Come on people.

I did my best to stick with fruit, eggs, meat and veggies. As you can see a waffle somehow made it onto my plate as well.

It was a wonderful weekend full of great food. But, now it’s time to crack down. Mike and I are heading to Chicago in three weeks and I know we’ll be eating all kinds of unhealthy things once we get in vacation mode. From now until we touch down in Chicago we are being ‘good’. For me, that means no cookies, cakes, candy, pastries etc. So far, so good! Even though it’s been a total of two days.


It feels like Fall outside! A ‘cold’ snap is taking over the midwest right now. We’re sitting in the mid 60s which is my kind of temperature. Pretty sure I’m the only person loving the fall-like weather. What makes it even better is I’m home in Minneapolis today, and autumn weather in Minneapolis is just my perfect kind of atmosphere.

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If only there were some orange and red leaves on those trees. Just a couple more months!

This weekend has gone by way too fast, like every weekend that I’m home. It may be cooler today, but yesterday was a perfect July day, so Mike and I took advantage of the weather and went stand-up paddle boarding on Lake Calhoun. I left my phone in the car in fear of falling off my board and losing my phone forever, so I sadly do not have any pictures from our adventure yesterday.

Half way through our outing the wind started to pick up. It was almost impossible to paddle against the wind and I got a little nervous we were going to be stranded in the middle of the lake.

Eventually we made it back to the shore, and celebrated with some froyo!

froyo

froyo

For flavors, I combined vanilla, pear, and a bit of salted caramel. I topped my froyo with mangoes, raspberries, brownie bites, almonds, and a couple sprinkles because I’m five.

Less than six hours later, it was time for froyo round two. Embarrassing.

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Sorry for the blurriness. After dinner at Mike’s family’s house, everyone was in the mood for a frozen yogurt dessert. We couldn’t say ‘no’ to a second helping. I mixed things up with this one and went with vanilla, forrest berry (intriguing?), and dark chocolate. I topped it all with strawberries, black berries, oreo pieces, and those little jelly balls that seem to be all the rage. Let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of frozen yogurt for a while. Not a bad thing.

I have a bad habit of over indulging every time I’m home. It’s like trips home have started feeling like vacations, and I can just let it all hang loose.  It’s time to get serious and start cutting out some of the junk as I’m starting my half marathon training tomorrow!

I used this lazy morning to put my training schedule together. My work schedule is changing and my days off will now be Wednesdays and Thursdays. I’m going to use Thursday as my long-run day. Kind of weird, since my half marathon is still on  Sunday. I only have 8 weeks to train, which will be the shortest training period I’ve ever had for a race this size. Yikes!

Time to go play with the puppies in the backyard for a bit!


Good morning!

I’m slowly recovering from the disappointment of yesterday’s half marathon cancellation. Still pretty upset, though. As you can probably guess from the title of this post, it really felt like my dreams of half marathon victory were crushed. At least I get to hang out with this giant pup today:

King Alfie

King Alfie

This is my last day home in Minneapolis before I have to head back to good old Sioux Falls tomorrow morning. Despite the race debacle it’s been a great long weekend and I wish I could stay forever!

Part of the reason it’s been a great weekend is because I got to celebrate Mike’s 24th birthday with him all day on Saturday. He’s officially in his mid-twenties. Crazy! To celebrate, I took him out to lunch at Rooster’s BBQ; a little place in St. Paul he told me about a few weeks ago. We’re both big fans of bbq, and Rooster’s did not diappoint.

Ready for ribs!

Ready for ribs!

Birthday ribs

Birthday ribs

Mike ordered the ribs while I went for a slightly healthier (kind of) option with the bbq chicken.

BBQ Chicken

BBQ Chicken

All the meals come with a side of fries, a dinner roll, and coleslaw. The fries were seasoned really well and I had to work very hard not to overdo it on them.

Friiiies

Friiiies

Here’s the review: Mike’s ribs were insanely tender. Even more tender than I was expecting for a BBQ place that had great reviews. My chicken was also super moist and juicy. I’d like to try out some of their pulled pork sandwiches next time I’m in town. We saw a couple people ordering them while we were there and they looked amazing!

After lunch, we headed to the bowling alley with Mike’s family. After a couple games, one in which I beat Mike for the first time ever, we headed back to his parents’ house for a birthday dinner of hotdogs, burgers, watermelon and salad.

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Yes, I put chips on my hotdog. If you live in an area where there are 7-Elevens, you need to check out hotdog chips.

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They sound gross but taste delicious. Mike picked some up while he was in Chicago last weekend since we don’t have 7-Eleven in Minnesota. They were equally as good on an actual hotdog. Who would have known!

And of course, dinner was followed by the famous Oreo cake.

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Lots of carbs for the race that never happened! Overall, it was a great birthday celebration and I’m so glad I got to be there for it!

 

 


Since I moved to Sioux Falls, all my visitors have consisted of family members and Mike. This weekend one of my best friends from high school tagged along with Mike for a wild weekend in Sioux Falls!

It wasn’t really too wild, but it was a blast. Friday night we just stayed in and relaxed since I had to work the next morning. On Saturday they got to follow me around on the job and see just how glamorous TV life really is. HA!

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For lunch, my friend Carly said she was feelin tacos. I remembered recently hearing about a new more authentic Mexican food restaurant in Sioux Falls, so we checked it out. Let’s just say this will not be my last trip to El Jalapeno.

chicken, chorizo, and pork tacos

chicken, chorizo, and pork tacos

I loved that they had so many different types of meat options. The chorizo was my favorite and the chicken was a close second.

After working through the rest of the work day, I headed back to my apartment to get ready for a night on the town!

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We headed to Crawford’s, a pretty swanky little spot in downtown Sioux Falls. The wait to be seated was 45 minutes, so we chose to sit at the bar where we could still enjoy the full menu. The three of us decided to split three appetizers: chicken florentine flatbread, walleye fingers, and spinach & artichoke dip.

The spread

The spread

walleye fingers

walleye fingers

spinach & artichoke dip

spinach & artichoke dip

chicken florentine flatbread

chicken florentine flatbread

All the apps were on point, but I’d have to say the spinach and artichoke dip was my favorite. I also liked that it was served with cauliflower for dipping, not just pita bread.

The night continued at a bar just next to my apartment building with a few co-workers. For some strange reason I had my heart set on walking to a a nearby gas station for snacks at 2:00 a.m.? Bad idea.

After I whipped up some bomb sweet potato hash this morning (forgot to snap a pic), we headed out to see the sights.

Falls Park

Falls Park

somehow this is the only photo of Mike and I all weekend

somehow this is the only photo of Mike and I all weekend

It was a chilly day in the Sioux Empire, but a good one. I was very sad to see Mike and Carly leave this evening, but am glad I’m heading home to Minneapolis next weekend already and will see them soon!


When it comes to sweets, there are a few things I cannot turn down: oatmeal raisin cookies, dark chocolate, and banana flavored candy. I love ice cream, but I can usually control myself around it.

Well, this weekend was full of ice cream treats and I’m very happy I didn’t turn them down.

Weekend Recap:

Mike was here this weekend and finally there was nice weather in Sioux Falls. But first, the ice cream.

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Chocolate frozen custard topped with reeses at Culvers

Cherry Berry frozen yogurt

Cherry Berry frozen yogurt

The frozen yogurt came after our dinner Saturday night. I chose rice krispie flavor, vanilla, and candy bar topped with brownie chunks, fruit, and a random frog that Mike threw on top of mine. Thanks.

Dinner at Grille 26:

I didn’t make it home from work until around 7:00 Saturday night, so I quickly changed and got ready to head out for a late-ish dinner at Grille 26 in Sioux Falls. I’ve been wanting to try the restaurant ever since I moved here in August and am very happy I finally did.

Grille 26 is my kind of place; not too fancy, but very nice atmosphere, food and service. They had a really good cocktail menu, so we started out with a couple drinks. I went with a “rosemary cooler” with lemonade, cucumber, fresh rosemary, and Smirnoff. It was nice and refreshing. Mike went with the “northern lights” cocktail with Yukon Jack Jacapple, cranberry and lime. Also very good!

Drinky Poos

Drinky Poos

Next we placed an order for the spinach and artichoke dip to start.

G26 Spinach & Artichoke Dip

G26 Spinach & Artichoke Dip

They could have just served the bread and I would have been happy. That stuff was so dang good. The drinks and appetizers were great, but my entree was the real winner. I went with a brick oven salmon on top of two mushroom risotto cakes with roasted mushrooms and spinach.

Brick Oven Salmon

Brick Oven Salmon

With the risotto cakes out

With the risotto cakes out

I’m all about textures, and the crispy crust on those risotto cakes was perfect. As soon as I saw meatloaf on the menu I knew Mike was sold.

The Loaf

The Loaf

His was also great. I’m usually more of a ketchup person when it comes to meatloaf, but the gravy actually went well with it.

We both cleaned our plates as usual, and headed out for froyo! We had plans to spend the rest of the night out on the town, but as soon as the sugar from the frozen yogurt got to us we were done, and passed out on my couch before 11:00. Real party animals. Mike left yesterday, so today is my day to get all the things done for the week. That includes a 7 mile run today. I’ll be heading out shortly and am excited to share how it went later today!

 



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