Eat Pray Love Journey – Day 8 – Saint Paul, Minnesota
I skipped breakfast and decided to go on a morning walk before meeting up with Mark. I said bye to my host family and went off into the neighborhood for a walk. Once again, I saw more quaint little homes that I adored.
There were train tracks in the middle of the neighborhood which I thought was odd. The tracks looked so old that I wasn’t sure if they were in use anymore.
After walking around several blocks, I noticed from my peripheral vision that a car was following me. I avoided eye contact with the car and tried to play it cool. They were driving so slowly next to me that I had to look up out of curiosity. It ended up being my host family in the car. Ha! I didn’t realize that I was walking back towards their house. The lady asked if I needed a ride or if I was lost. I told her, “Oh no! I’m exercising!” I didn’t know how else to explain exercising to her so I just moved my arms back and forth. She laughed and then drove off. Language barrier, I love it! That was somewhat sarcasm but not. It’s kind of fun trying to figure out how to communicate effectively when there’s no common language.
When Mark picked me up, we were off to Saint Paul! Whee! We grabbed lunch at a popular dive bar called The Nook.
Yelp gives them 4.5 stars with more than 450 reviews. This little place gets packed pretty quickly because of how good the food is and the service too! It’s such a popular place that even Guy Fieri from Food Network has made a visit here!
The Nook is known for their Homemade Wisconsin Cheese Curds for $7.95 that is always at the State Fair. What State Fair? Apparently, people in Minnesota will take time off from work and take their whole family to the State Fair! It’s a big deal there! Here in Southern California, we have county fairs. We don’t necessarily plan to go until the week before or maybe even until the day of!
So we started off with these finger food, deep fried cheese curds that were awesome! There was a crispy texture on the outside like onion rings or tater tots.
Then the inside was all cheesy like a mozzarella stick.
These little poppers can be addicting and fill you up easily so make sure to share!
For the real meal deal, I ordered their one of a kind Juicy Nookie Burger that is a stuffed cheeseburger served only as medium for $9.25.
The best part about this cheeseburger was this:
Dun, dun, dun! The patty was stuffed with cheese that was oozing out of it! The waiter told me that I had to wait for the burger cool down or else I would burn myself! Even after I waited for a few minutes, it was still pretty hot but it was darn good!
With the cheese curd and this burger, it’s really best to eat them when they’re fresh. Once it’s cold, it’s just not the same. Eating these two can be pretty heavy and savory, so make sure to treat yourself to some salad or some sweets to balance things out.
So we did just that! We got some sweets from Cossetta. I got myself a mini peanut butter chocolate brownie cake and a mini chocolate covered cheesecake. They were both pretty rich and sweet but it evened out our tastebuds from lunch. The bakery is a little pricey but the presentation and quality makes it worth the purchase.
Check out Cossetta if you want to make a one stop Italian shop. For example, they have a bakery, market, casual dining and a fancy restaurant all in one building! They have 4 out of 5 stars with more than 300 reviews on Yelp.
Ok, enough about food for now. We went to Cathedral of Saint Paul where it brought back memories of when I went to Europe.
It was peaceful to just sit there in the empty cathedral and be in awe of this building. We sat there and listened to the organist practice playing and then walked around the cathedral.
I think no matter how many cathedrals I’ve been to, I’ll always be amazed of its intricate artwork displayed in the stained glass windows or the sculptures of Jesus on the cross.
We went to Minnehaha Park for a mini walk. Minne what? Minnie-ha-ha. Yup, that’s the name of the park. I know, I was confused too. This isn’t your everyday park with a playground. It has the Minnehaha Fall that is a 53 foot waterfall. This Minnehaha Park is on Minnehaha Creek that connects to the Mississippi River.
We hiked until we saw the end of the Minnehaha Creek.
In the picture below, the left side is where the Mississippi River merges with the Minnehaha Creek from the right side.
I was definitely so much closer to the Mississippi River once I got here! On our way back, I saw these naked trees! They looked so eerie since they had no leaves!
By the time we got back to our car, the temperature had dropped down pretty drastically. I saw a group of kids running in shorts around this park! I have no idea how they were running in that kind of attire in 30 degrees weather! Minnesotans are so strong!
After the park, we had some time to kill before dinner so we went back to Minneapolis to check out a museum called Walker Art Center. Thanks to Target admission was free! This art gallery has 4 stars with 129 reviews on Yelp.
There were some artworks that may have seem a little too explicit where viewers’ discretion may be advised, but overall, the museum had some eccentric artwork that I myself would have never imagined could be created.
Afterwards we went to Fulton Brewery that has 4 stars with 69 reviews on Yelp. This brewery is in a warehouse where it has a pretty young and hip vibe to it. It’s a great place to hang out with friends after work to relax and have some beer. You can play a bunch of card games or board games with your friends which is just what Mark and I did. We played a few games of Scrabble. I don’t know any places that lets you play some classic board games while you drink beer in this kind of environment. Fulton Brewery actually reminded me of the American version of boba shops. People go to boba shops to drink milk tea and play board games! Well, at least in SoCal. Anyways, sorry I somewhat got sidetracked.
Outside of Fulton Brewery there was Hibachi Daruma, a Japanese teppanyaki food truck. Teppanyaki basically means using iron griddle to cook food. Because we didn’t want to drive elsewhere for food, we decided to get some food truck food. So I just got myself a simple beef teriyaki with rice and veggies for $9. There was a sweet and juicy flavor from the teriyaki sauce and the beef was perfectly cooked. It did the job of filling me up and keeping me warm!
One last thing we did after dinner was to drop off my post cards! We had the hardest time finding a mailbox throughout the day for some odd reason but thank you Cub Foods for having a mailbox in front of your market!
Thank you so much Mark for showing me around in Saint Paul and Minneapolis! I didn’t know Minnesota had so much beauty and soul to it! I’m going to miss the cold weather, the food, and the people!