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Friday, September 21, 2007

Pacific Cafe - San Francisco, CA

I have NOTHING but good things to say about The Pacific Cafe! Let's start at the beginning- You walk in and find this place jam packed full of people; that can never be a bad thing! After you put your name on the list you will be greeted with a free (bottomless) glass of house white wine; need I go on? Once you finally get a table, which could be quite a wait - so plan accordingly, you will find yourself in a cute cozy comfortable environment. The space is small and as full as it can be with tables. An absolute gem of a dining experience! On to the food: if you are lucky enough to find the Parmesan Crusted Halibut on the list of specials, GET IT! The fish is prepared so beautifully that it absolutely melted in my mouth with such a flavorful blast in my mouth- I have never found a bite of food to make me happier... until the next time I was in town and had it again- same great meal! The prices are reasonable and the food is beyond what you pay for it. The service has been wonderful every time I have been there- I even called once back in Minnesota because my date and I had left our Pacific Cafe postcard sitting on the table and wanted to have something to remember the trip by- they were most helpful and sent out a new postcard to me right away! If you're in from out of town- find this place; if you are a local and never been- find this place!
Pros: free wine while you wait, excellent seafood, great atmosphere

Broders Southside Pasta Bar - Edina, MN

I love any place that I can go in, sit at a bar, and watch my food being prepared not too far away! If you are lucky enough to actually get a seat in this place, request a seat at the bar, unless you have a large party. Broders is a wonderful place to sit and have a romantic dinner. The gentlemen behind the bar was very helpful in suggesting things to order and also offered great conversation when we were looking for it. I would highly recommend ordering the roasted garlic, as it was the best prepared garlic I have ever had! If you do have to wait for a table, grab a glass of wine and sit outside and enjoy the beautiful patio they have set up! Overall - you will walk into this place finding every seat in the place full, every item on the menu making your mouth water, and a very helpful staff.
Pros: great food, ambience, patio to enjoy while you wait
Cons: don't take reservations and usually a long wait for a table

The Capital Grille - Minnespolis, MN

I will be honest in my review- the night I am reviewing was in December 2006. I do realize that things can change in such a long period of time- so please remember that while reading. We went to The Capital Grille for my birthday celebration last year; we walked in the door to a very warm wonderful greeting by the staff. Once we arrived at our table there was a card sitting there with my name on it- it was a very short and simple "Happy Birthday" signed by the staff working that night. What a great first impression of this place! We were treated with the utmost respect and had wonderful service throughout our entire visit. Our food was cooked to perfection and full of flavor! At a place the this you can't expect to leave without paying top prices; the food is more than worth it! I highly recommend The Capital Grille to anyone who is looking for a nice dinner in a fun city. It was a full house, which is always a good thing! The atmosphere was not too loud and not too quite- perfect for a nice meal with some people that I love with all my heart!
Pros: Vallet parking, great service, wonderful food
Cons: none

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

MN Vikings vs. Chicago Bears (@Chicago)

I'm gonna make this short and sweet... pretty much just rubbing it in.
On Saturday, October 13th I will wake up- drive to the city, do a short walk for Breast Cancer (here is the link if you want to donate to my cause:  Once I finish my walk I will have to find something to do with myself for the next few hours before I board a plane to Chicago, IL.  I have tickets in transit via USPS for The Vikings @ The Bears game on Sunday, October 14th!  I have flights booked ($98 R/T!!), and a hotel is in the working....
Just wanted to rub it in... It's gonna be pretty dope- I've never been to Soldier Field!  Imagine the pictures I should have... if I'm sober enough to take them.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Hitchin' A Ride

Generally I start my blogs by having some idea of what I'm going to say- today is different.
I have something that I am finally remembering to blog about- and now I'm glad I waited, because this story has evolved in the past week.

As some of you know, I work in Princeton, MN- for those that don't know.. it's pretty far out from any bit of reality. I live in Andover, which is about 20-25 minutes from Minneapolis, and Princeton is another 45 minutes North of my house! Like I said, it's far.
Now most people drive on freeways/highways- it's the end of the day and really you just want to get home. What's the fastest way home? The road with the fastest speed limit, right?! I used to leave work and jump on 169 South and follow that to Highway 10 East, then take my exit and make my way home.

Here is the beginning of my reasoning behind this blog: It started one hot summer day (lol, great way to start a sentence) I was turning the corner to get onto 169 and there was this man hitchhiking at the bottom of the on-ramp! He was not a well dressed man- very 'construction worker' style, but way too 'something' to be a construction worker. He was very tan, had a smoke in his hand and looked to be well into his 50's. I didn't really think much of it, cause it happens. I go on with my life.
The very next day I am driving home from work and I am much further along in my drive (Elk River, for those who know the path) and I see this same man hitchin' again! What a strange coincidence, I thought. I figured he must have made his way to Elk River the day before, found somewhere to sleep for the night and continued on the next afternoon- but what do I know; I'm merely a bystander in this situation.
A few days go by and I am leaving work, turning my corner to jump on 169 again- guess who is at the bottom of the on-ramp?!?!? You guessed it; it's my friend the hitchhiker! Now I'm to the point where it's weirding me out! I continue on and forget all about him, again. Another day or two later... same guy, new place- this time he is in between Princeton and Elk River, a little town called Zimmerman, hitchin'.
I am guessing this story will lose readers if I continue to go day by day of seeing this guy- so I will move on to the most current of this story.

I have since decided to find a new way home, not because of the mystery hitcher, but because both of those roads are "highways" which means they have lights and intersections- I was sick of going 65 in one spot then having to slow down to 55 and stop for a bunch of lights though it all, so I decided to take it upon myself to change that. I still have to get on 169, but I get off and take the back roads before I get to Elk River. I would still see the hitcher in Princeton and Zimmerman, but nothing beyond that any longer.

One day I had to meet my dad after work to pick up Vikings tickets to the home opener- he works in Big Lake, so Elk River is the perfect meeting spot for us. This means I had to take the 'old' way home... 169 to Hwy 10. As I take the cloverleaf exit onto Hwy 10 and merge in with all the other cars there is a stop light ahead- I have to stop; dammit. I bet you'll never guess who is hitchin' at that light...
Now it had been a good week and a half since I'd seen the guy and this was the farthest down I had seen him yet... so it was pretty shocking to me. Once I met up with my dad and told him about how much I see this guy he busted out with "maybe he's your guardian angel". Something I didn't think was true until Monday of this week. After meeting with my dad I get back in my car and continue my drive down Hwy 10 towards Anoka- Anoka is also one of those small towns with stop lights. Mind you, this is the same day- I seen the hitcher right before I met with my dad (which took about 15-20 minutes of my time), and now I am driving through Anoka- only to SEE HIM AGAIN! This is now the closest to my house he has been... that I know of!

Back to taking the 'new' way home... back roads!

I mentioned above that I didn't believe what my dad said until Monday of this week... would you like to hear what happened Monday of this week? I'll assume you do and go on: my back roads drive involves a few stop signs and lots of twisty roads- it's fun... makes me want a race car! On Monday, I am approaching one of the few stop signs and I see a person standing on the side of the road... need I say more? Yep- it was him again... on my back roads adventure!!!
Here is where I go nuts: What are the chances of him being on the back roads, the very same back roads that I take? Is he really my guardian angel? Does this guy have a house? if so... where does he live and where the hell is he always trying to go? Who keeps giving him rides? I never realized people still picked up hitchers!
If I won the lottery- I'd buy him a car for sure!

I wish I had a picture of this guy... it's always so hard to grab my phone and get the camera active by the time I realize he is there...

So now I pass this blog on to the readers, as I like to keep you all involved. As you have probably noticed I keep calling him "hitcher"- I think this man, my Guardian Angel, needs a name! My first thought was "Bob", but I work with a Bob and there is another very special stranger in my life named Bob (RIP, I think), so I don't think Bob is very fitting. I'd like to hear your thoughts... what should I name my Guardian Angel?


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