Yesterday I did a silly thing. I thought, "since babysitting yesterday was so easy, I'll go shopping today!" Bad idea. I attempted to run to the grocery store a mile away for dipes between feedings, but ended up getting home late. I had to practically run home before the kids had a fit, and it was up hill the whole way. So that combined with trying to tote around a baby that's twice the size that I'm used to has me completely worn out today. Not to mention that it's hotter than sin in Alexandria today. I'm going to start a rule that I don't leave the house if it's hotter than 85 degrees out. I need something to rebel against anyway.
Now, for day two in the best of the Top Ten series. Today's is a mix of Minnesotan and Virginian, since we haven't been out much lately.
Top Ten Restaurants
< 1 > Luna Rossa Trattoria, Stillwater MN: I may be a little biased, since I worked there for three years, but seriously, I've never had better Italian food in my life. I had some variation of the Penne Villagio almost every day that I worked there. I just could not get enough of that goat cheese! Plus I must have had and entire loaf of homemade bread a day, besides the stuff I brought home with me. I dearly miss all the fresh Italian cooking and the oodles of gelato samples I had when I ran the Espresso Bar. Those are sweet memories indeed.
< 2 > Kopplin's Coffee, St Paul, MN Okay, so it's not technically a restaurant but the coffee is seriously the stuff of daydreams. Mr. Kopplin roasts his beans on site, has won roasting and barista competitions, and has a beautiful list of single origin coffees and espressos that look like a tablet written from God himself. All sac-religiousness aside, if you drink coffee, you really need to stop here. You will believe you'd died and gone to heaven.
< 3 > The Tea House, St Paul, MN I was born a picky eater and have been trying to coax myself out of it for years. I swore I hated Chinese food for a long time, and I think this place truly converted me. The meals are served family style, so even though the food's not cheap, You can split the bill with as many people as you decide to invite. I love their beef broccoli stir-fry. yummmmm
< 4 > The King Street Cafe, Alexandria, VA There are a lot of expensive places here, but none seem to be worth the hype in my experience. This place is probably the cheapest place in town, and it has amazing wrap sandwiches. I've had their California Wrap, cool and refreshing and just a little spicy. Their smoothies are good too, but pretty over-priced.
< 5 > Random Irish bar on King St, Alexandria, VA I know, I should know the name but I don't. They have a cheap Sunday Champagne Brunch for $9 that comes with a lot of food and a glass of champagne. I got french toast that was probably the best I've had, and I'm picky about french toast. Not so wild about the potatoes I got though.
< 6 > Perkins Restaurant, Old Hudson Road, St Paul, MN Delightfully bad service, open at all hours, conveniently located. David and I usually split the Fantastic 12.
< 7 > Al's Breakfast, Dinkytown, Minneapolis, MN It's only open for breakfast, and it's not for the claustrophobic. It's built into an alley-way and you have to stand against the wall to wait for a seat at the bar. The servers are full of BS (that's short for banana splits, Mom) but the food is great. Great no-frills diner with horrible coffee.
< 8 > Denny's Restaurant, Hudson, WI I used to go here with my friend Anna during my rebellious days. (I mean DAYS, literally.) They were open 24 hours for the drunk kids and they had a smoking section for My chain-smoking friends. I, of course, was the mature, sober person.
< 9 > The Nova, Hudson, WI This is a fairly recent addition to Cassanova's Liquor store. They have good appetizers and a huge wine selection. It's also the classiest place in Hudson (by default, of course; there's not much competition in that category.)
< 10 > Selma's Ice Cream, Afton, MN (RIP) After a long day at the beach, I always stopped by here for my Zanzibar ice cream. I even convinced some of my crazy friends to bike there from Hudson with me. I will miss you dearly, Selma's.