Thursday, April 28, 2011

Babblin' Crude

Best bus quote of the day, from a guy talking to someone very loudly on his phone about hooking a friend up with a job on an oil rig:

"Well, hopefully he'd be willing to give up the pot. I mean, I like to smoke a little weed, too, but for eighty grand a year with no education and a bad criminal record? That's a blessing. I gotta go. I got anger management today."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Cluck Yeah!

Dining Date:  February 2011, at the Minneapolis location.

On My Plate:  An amazing pulled chicken sandwich that had just a hint of a spicy kick, served with unbelievably good chips. Also split a side of cheesy grits and warm, sweet cornbread. I don't say this very often, but every bite was a delight.

Servers Rate:  Good. It was a Thursday night, but the place was packed, so there was plenty to keep our waiter busy.

Overall Vibe:  Pleasant. It's a cozy fit in the winter, but when the weather warms, the side garage doors of the restaurant open onto a large, festive patio.

Fun Fact:  Brasa was featured on an episode of "Man vs. Food." Also, I understand that the guy who runs it is not only super hot but also has a twin brother.

The Damage:  Minimal, considering how much I enjoyed it. Under $20, including tip.

The Verdict:  A do-not-miss establishment that lives up to the hype. Plus it's mostly organic and local.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Now That's Love

A certain friend of mine tends to have hilarious conversations with her husband about ridiculous hypothetical situations. For example, after making the bed recently, one of them commented that leaving a pillow underneath the covers made it look like someone was still sleeping in it. They then imagined how horrified they would be if someone wasn't just sleeping there, but had actually died. After discussing it further, the scenario eventually evolved into this conversation.

WIFE:  "What would you do if we came home and found a dead hobo in our bed?"
HUSBAND:  [thinks for a minute] "Well, first of all, I'd never let you see it."
WIFE:  "How would keep me out of the bedroom?"
HUSBAND:  "I'd send you to the grocery store. I'd say we needed eggs."
WIFE:  "And what would you do while I was gone?"
HUSBAND:  "I'd call the cops and get everything taken care of. And then when you got back, I'd say, 'Guess what? We're staying at the Hampton Inn tonight!'"

I don't know about you, but I think this one's a keeper.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Not-So-Open Forum

So this post is a tad moot, since I just learned that Forum closed on April 17. It's a shame, really, not only because I had a delightful dinner there with a friend just a few weeks ago, but because it was a great addition to downtown Minneapolis. Anyway, on the off-chance that the closure isn't permanent, here's the review.

Dining Date:  March 2011

On My Plate:  A fantastic beef stroganoff, delectable "ghost cosmo," and chocolate cake. My dining companion had the duck, a citrus salad, a dragonberry mojito (lip-smacking), and a smores dessert.

Servers Rate:  Super friendly. Our waiter was great.

Overall Vibe:  Classy yet comfortable. The art deco design alone is a treat -- it lends a sense of history without being overbearing.

Fun Fact:  There's still a sign in the window reading "Forum: Now Open!" right next to the closure notice. Also, its logo looks a bit like a razor blade.

The Damage:  Will run $30-$40 a person easily. Luckily we had a gift certificate to apply toward our bill.

The Verdict:  Sad that I may not be able to visit again.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

OMG, Where was the Second Needle?!?!

The last sentence is really the kicker.

April 14 (AP) A woman in Pittsburgh who said she'd been stabbed with a knitting needle is in critical condition following emergency surgery. Police spokeswoman Diane Richard says the 27-year-old woman walked into UPMC Presbyterian hospital about 9:35 p.m. Wednesday and told security guards she had been stabbed before she collapsed. Richard says doctors treated the woman for a knitting needle lodged in her abdomen and later found another knitting needle inside her body, though police aren't releasing details about the second needle.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Get Your Gorkha On

In the interest of keeping some spice in my life, in this blog, and (in this case) my diet, a friend and I have decided to set a standing date each month to try a restaurant that neither of us has ever been to. As I start this Twin Cities Eats series, please keep in mind that I'm by no means a foodie. I will have the occasional culinary adventure and will try just about anything once (see: eating sea urchin and manta ray in Japan ... then see: I hate seafood even more now). However, my tastes are pretty simple, and my pocketbook is pretty light. So, while you might not get reviews of the trendiest spots, you might learn a bit about a restaurant where you won't regret spending some of your time and money. First up:

I go by this place every day on my bus. It's just north of downtown Minneapolis on the corner of 1st Avenue and 4th Street, right behind The Bulldog NE. They share their parking lot with two other establishments, but it's free if you can grab a spot!

Dining Date:  April 2011

On My Plate:  The chicken mo:mo appetizers were delicious little potstickers. I could have eaten a dozen of them. My chicken sekuwa entree arrived still smoking in a cast iron skillet. It was flavorful and an ample portion, but not as good as my dining companion's chicken tikka masala, which rocked my world, especially when soaked up with naan.

Servers Rate:  Personable and attentive but laid-back. They almost gave us too much space. However, they were very helpful with the menu for first-timers and johnny-on-the-spot with drink refills.

Overall Vibe:  Quiet and relaxed. This place is all about fresh, organic, locally grown and raised food. They have a ton of vegetarian and vegan options, including several menu items marked as halal.

Fun Fact:  You get to choose the spice level on every dish you order. They even have a "mild plus" option for extra safety. Also, they serve goat and yak. Yak, people.

The Damage:  Less than $20 (before tip). 

The Verdict:  Will definitely be going back, perhaps to try their lunchtime buffet. And maybe some yak.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I Got the DTs in my 2Ts

One of the greatest news stories ever. From April 11th.

(Reuters) On Friday, Taylor Dill-Reese went to an Applebee's in Madison Heights, Michigan, where -- among other things -- she ordered her 15-month-old son Dominick an apple juice. What the little boy apparently got instead was a margarita.

Why doesn't this kind of stuff ever happen to adults? How super duper would it be to say, "I'll have a Coke," and then, when you take your first drink . . . surprise, there's rum in there!

His mom told WDIV-TV that she only realized something was wrong when Dominick "kind of laid his head on the table and dozed off a little bit and woke up and got real happy."

OK, first, the kid drank it without complaint. Which was smart, if you think about it, because it seems like he enjoyed it. I certainly wouldn't grimace at my free rum and Coke, immediately call over a waiter, and demand plain ol' soda.

Second, the kid napped and rallied, which I love. But not as much as this:

The little boy reportedly began hailing strangers, too.

Ah, a lovable, gregarious drunk in diapers. The best kind. Entertaining and no messy cleanup. I can only imagine what the baby-slur translated as:

"Hey! You! . . Yeah, you! Commeer! Yer not gonna believe this. This joooose . . . apple . . . I always get apple, and it tastes like apple, ya know? But this . . . this shit is CRAZY, man! Am I right? Shhhhhhhhhh! What I gotta do to get a refill? Recognize myself in a mirror? Done! That's me, there I am, and I'm lovin' this sippy cup today, man! LOVIN' it!"

The company said it would change the way it serves juice to youngsters to eliminate the chance of any mixups that could result in any more toddlers receiving mixed drinks.

Oh, but then how would we get news bulletins like this in the future? Don't rain on my parade, Applebee's. Keep up the good work.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Grass is Always Greener

This is my 100th post, and yes, it's about weed.

Was reminded of this little chestnut tonight. A friend of mine has a pal in her apartment complex who spends a great deal of time with Mary Jane. Theirs is the kind of relationship most strive for: intense yet non-committal, centered around Doritos and feelin' groovy.

Returning home from work one day, my friend noted a very distinct aroma emanating not from her pal's apartment, but from somewhere down the hall. Knowing that this was information her pal would want, she immediately sent him a text announcing that someone else in the building definitely had weed.

Except, instead of sending the message to her ganja-puffing pal, she accidentally sent the text to another friend whose name was just one letter off. It was a friend from high school whom she hadn't spoken to in months.

The reply?

"SWEET! Get me some!"

Some friends are just keepers.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Small Humiliations: Part XI

The recent onset of "spring" has me thinking about sneezes.

I put "spring" in quotes because, though the hometown baseball season started today and I haven't scraped my windshield in a couple weeks, I remain skeptical. We've been burned by you before, Old Man Winter! You lull us into complacency with the sight of grass and the euphoria of shedding heavy down coats. And in the joyous fog of walking to work in actual shoes ... yes, the very same shoes we'll wear all day long ... we start believing we can do crazy things like plan road trips and park on both sides of the street. We dare to dream!

And if you don't hit us with a final, random, soul-crushing snowfall, and instead retire to what I can only assume would be an icy, icy bed ... well, there's still allergy season.

Which brings me back to the sneezes.

I can think of one truly epic sneeze that still makes me laugh every time I recall it. Naturally, it occurred on the bus and was made even funnier because of that particular locale.

One morning, I felt a tickle begin in my nose. Even though I quickly realized it was probably going to be a full-blown (pun intended) event, I tried my best to stifle it. Because let's be honest, nobody is ever thrilled when someone really honks one on public transportation. You can aim that sneeze into a tissue or into your sleeve, but all anyone is thinking about are those little germy particles floating around in a confined space.

So I pinched my mouth shut and closed my eyes and fought it back. It looked like I was having a mini-seizure, but it worked. Or so I thought. In the brief moment that I relaxed with relief, the sneeze came back. With a vengeance. It now caught me completely off-guard, and I had even less control than usual.

I don't think I can do justice in print to the sound that came out of my mouth, but the closest approximation is probably a very loud, very high-pitched "YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Despite my good intentions, I was now the girl who suffered a mini-seizure and then screamed at my fellow riders for no apparent reason.

The scream even scared me. And then, because I was so embarrassed, I closed my eyes immediately and pretended that nothing had happened. As if the people around me wouldn't notice that I was red in the face and giggling uncontrollably.

So, to sum it up: seizure, frightening verbal outburst in public, laughing to myself while "sleeping." It's a wonder I'm still single.