Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Restaurant Review Grand Marais Edition: The Rustic Inn

Vacation Swag
This is the last of our Grand Marais posts, which doesn't even seem fitting because this place is neither in Grand Marais nor did we even eat there. But it was a pit stop on our way home so we'll count it.

One of the last items on our mental "bucket list" for our mini vaca was to get some pie. We initially had two places on our radar: Betty's Pies (supposedly the best) and The Rustic Inn. But after talking with our waitress at the Cascade Restaurant & Pub there was no question, The Rustic Inn was where we would be going for pie.

"Enchilada" Pasta

Mmmmm cheesy, meaty, pasta-y goodness
Most nights when I ask Mark what he thinks of the dinner I made he says "it's good, I like it". To me that is a success, especially because most of our dinners are really healthy and full of vegetables (which Mark isn't the most fond of). But every once in awhile my question is met with an enthusiastic "this is delicious, what's in it!", such is the case with this recipe for "enchilada" pasta as Mark lovingly named it.

It's the perfect dish for us because it combines meat, pasta, veggies, and cheese while staying relatively healthy until we decide to eat all 4 servings in one sitting.... It was an accident, I promise. But I don't even feel the need to justify, sometimes you just need a big bowl of pasta, sauce, and cheese.

No need to feel ashamed.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Recap

Friday Evening (7.27.12): Didn't do much, the story of the weekend. Made some dinner, went to Menard's for nails, and got some ice cream.
Friday night dinner: salmon, oven roasted corn,
honey & soy sauce veggie stir fry
Saturday (7.28.12): Got up and went for a run (kicked both of our butts), went to the farmer's market, headed over to Spyhouse Coffee so Mark could study, finished Firefly and went to bed.
Making some breakfast after our run
Turkey & veggie omelet with toast
and a side of broccoli
Car we saw on the way to the farmer's market
Front of the car

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Grilled Chicken with Tomato, Corn, and Barley Salad

Something happened the other day. I was browsing my favorite food blogs when I happened upon Iowa Girl Eats recipe for grilled chicken with barley corn salad. The second I saw the picture of the final product I knew I had to make it, which is exactly what I did tonight (with some minor changes).

Since I still had some leftover salsa I used it to marinade the chicken in a ziplock bag for a couple hours. I also used medium sized beefsteak tomatoes as that is what I had on hand and omitted both the bacon & avocado because I didn't have either (that needs to change soon). To make up for not having bacon I added some chicken broth to the barley. And lastly, I kept the barley salad warm.

I don't know how all my substitutions affected the flavor the dish was suppose to produce, but I do know that both Mark and I thought it was pretty tasty! Mark even dug in with no complains after learning that the tomatoes and corn were raw (so proud)! I will take it as a sign that he would't mind if I made it again ;).

The recipe does take a little prep work, but keeps you busy enough that you don't really notice.

Restaurant Review Grand Marais Edition: Cascade Restaurant & Pub (Breakfast Experience)

Before we departed Grand Marais and headed into what would becoming a hell of a trip home, we had one more meal to eat: breakfast at the Cascade Restaurant & Pub. If you recall from our second "restaurants of Grand Marais" review, we had quite the pleasant experience on our trip there for dinner (just look at Mark's face in the pictures). Needless to say, we were very much looking forward to having breakfast there. We knew that we would be having breakfast there sometime on our trip because the LivingSocial deal we purchased included a free breakfast at the lodge restaurant.

So after we were informed of the severity of the storm we went to the restaurant to eat and come up with our game plan. After we were seated we started to examine the menu. I was still feeling the effects of all the deep-fried, indulging food from the day before (funny how your body will tell you when its had enough, huh?) so I stuck to a simple breakfast of two scrambled eggs, hash browns, ham, and marble rye toast.
My "lighter" breakfast
I was iffy about ordering scrambled eggs at a restaurant, usually I just don't like them but I needed something that would be light on my tummy. So imagine my excitement when I took a bite and actually liked them. I wasn't appalled by their appearance and didn't gag when I put them in my mouth. That, my friends, earns the Cascade Restaurant & Pub kudos in my book. The marble rye toast was very tasty, as expected. Not much to say about it except I guess Grand Marais knows their way around a loaf of marble rye. The hash browns were crispy on top, but soft underneath, just the way I think hash browns should be. Of course, after eating the hash browns at The Oceanaire I had to see if they passed the Tabasco test. They did. I can't speak on the piece of ham as I gave it to Mark, but he seemed to enjoy it.

As for Mark, he continued his tradition (it can be a tradition after one visit, right?) of ordering the delicious, indulgent cafe style food by asking for the biscuits & gravy with scrambled eggs. His eyes lit up when the set his plate in front of him filled with biscuits soaked in gravy, scrambled eggs nestled against the gravy, and an orange slice on the side. Once again he cleared his plate and licked it clean and noted that it was "quality cafe fare". I sampled a few (or more) bites and was particularly fond of the peppered sausage gravy. I just think its the perfect breakfast gravy, especially for dipping eggs in.
Mark's breakfast
We have nothing but good memories of both the Cascade Lodge and the restaurant. It was a pleasant experience and everyone was extremely kind. We would definitely recommend both places to anyone who wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Other Grand Marais Posts:


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Restaurant Review Grand Marais Edition: My Sister's Place

Now our review of this place might be a bit unfair and I probably should just skip it. Not because we had an unpleasant experience or anything, but because we were both still full from our lunch so we split a sandwich. And I am not sure we gave it a chance to blow us away, we ate because we thought we should. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, here is our short review of My Sister's Place.

Since the storm was starting we ordered to go. While we were waiting for our food we sat at the bar where we noticed that they used mason jars to serve drinks. Mark got quite a kick out of that. We also learned that the bar didn't have a full liquor license so they provided mixers and allowed patrons to bring their own alcohol. 

We were sad that we couldn't stay and have a couple drinks, but the storm was getting worse by the minute. So we were happy when our order was ready, and drove quickly back to the lodge. It was raining pretty hard when we go back so we decided to eat our food in the car and wait for the rain to die down a little.

Although the menu was extensive, we settled on a grilled ham and cheese on marble rye bread with a side of cajun fries. What we both remember about this meal is that the bread was delicious and Mark thought the fries were too spicy. Like I said, this review should have just been skipped. But even if the food wasn't very memorable (our fault), it's still a memory of Grand Marais we don't want to forgot.

Other Grand Marais Posts:


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Restaurant Review Grand Marais Edition: Hughie's Tacos

Hanging on the wall at our booth
After our hike up Lookout Mountain and a quick nap our stomachs told us that we had burned off all the energy that our breakfast of donuts had supplied. This made us extremely happy, as we were anxious to try another restaurant on our pre-made list. While driving into town, we settled on Hughie's Tacos for our lunch.

Upon entering Hughie's you walk through the roomy seating area and around their mini gift shop to a small counter to place your order. The order counter kind of reminded us of the one at Jose's Burritos back in Morris.

One of the things I really like about places like Jose's and Hughie's is that the menu isn't long. You have a choice of tacos, burritos, or, salads of which the only difference is the type of meat. It makes my indecisiveness settle down.

Given I hadn't had a taco salad in quite awhile, I went with that. It was a gigantic deep fried tortilla shell filled with lettuce, tomato, refried beans, and cheese with sour cream and salsa on the side. Since I ordered it vegetarian it came with extra beans and corn. It was absolutely delicious, but WAY too big. Even after our run and hike I needed Mark's help to finish it. And it kept me full for the rest of the day. Next time I will probably go the taco route.
My taco salad.... Like I said, huge
Mark ordered the special, which was fish tacos with rice and beans. He was excited to see the taco wrapped in a chalupa-like shell, as the chalupa is what he loves at Taco Bell. His taco came filled with fish, lettuce, cheese, and chipotle sour cream. He thought it was very scrumptous. I did as well, and was a little jealous that I hadn't ordered the same thing.
Tacos aren't very photogenic
Even though we were beyond full, we made the bold move of ordering dessert (hey, we were on vacation). We went with the fried cinnamon tortilla topped with warm cinnamon apples. The tortilla was just like the shell Mark's taco came on and was nice and crisp, but airy. And while it was good, we probably could have skipped it after having the skizzle a few hours prior.
Cinnamon apple tortilla
All-in-all we thought that Hughie's Tacos were good, but nothing spectacular. It fulfilled our craving for "mexican" food, so we left happy campers.

Other Grand Marais Posts:

Grand Marais Part 1

Grand Marais Part 2

Grand Marais Part 3

Dockside Fish Market Review

Cascade Restaurant & Pub Review

World's Best Donuts Review


Monday, July 23, 2012

Easy Individual Vegetable Frittatas (a.k.a. Mega Frittata Muffins)

On the weekends we try to come up with something besides cold cuts and salads for lunch because as much as we love sandwiches and salads, having a couple days break is nice. We like to try and use the same basic ingredients (usually the leftover meat and veggies from the week), just in more creative ways. This past Sunday I was in a pinch for time and was going to resort to sandwiches but was cravings eggs so I threw together individual vegetable frittatas using frozen veggies (to save time). Both Mark and I liked them well enough so here is my very basic recipe for the dish that Mark named "mega frittata muffins". I can't wait to play around with it! I will be posting updates and variations as I try these with different meats, vegetables, cheeses, and spices.

Easy Individual Vegetable Frittatas

Serves 2


2 eggs

4 egg whites

1/4 small onion, chopped

1/2 cup frozen chopped broccoli

1/2 cup frozen peas, carrots, lima beans mix

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cumin

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt & pepper


Place two 1 cup ramekins in a larger baking dish and set in oven. Turn oven on to 450 degrees.

In a small skillet heat oil over medium heat, add onion, and cook until translucent; set aside.

In a bowl whisk together eggs, egg whites, milk, garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt & pepper.

In a separate bowl place frozen veggies and microwave until thawed, then add to egg mix.

Once onions cool, add them to egg mix.

After the oven has preheated, remove ramekins  and spray with cooking spray.

Carefully pour 1/2 mixture into each ramekin and place back in oven.

Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until pouffy, golden brown, and knife comes out clean.

Serve with buttered toast and enjoy :)

Weekend Recap

Friday (7.20.12): Mark worked from home. After he was done working we went to the mall so he could study and I could shop. We ended our mall excursion by eavesdropping on interviews being conducted inside the Barnes & Noble during the job fair. That was fun. Then we went home, ate some dinner, and watched some Netflix.
Mark started watching Firefly for the first time last week

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Restaurant Review Grand Marais Edition: World's Best Donuts

I just want to say that I don't think we had a bad meal during our time in Grand Marais. We did our research before we went and it definitely paid off. That being said, there has only been one food item I have craved ever since we got home... Like seriously jonesing for. That food item would be the donuts from World's Best Donuts. I'm not sure if its just that I NEVER eat donuts (usually don't like them) or if they really are the world's best, but whatever it is I want them on a daily basis.

The day we arrived we had walked past World's Best Donuts where Mark spotted a cutout stand in of a viking look-alike with the word "Skizzle" across his chest. He declared right then, in spite of not knowing what it was, that he was getting one.

We planned on a trip to World's Best Donuts for the morning after we arrived. Being the spaz that I am, I wanted to get there as soon as they opened shop to gobble up the freshest donuts. That meant waking up at 6 am to do a 40 minute run and then driving into town. Either Mark was just as excited as I was for donuts or he loves me THAT much, because he was up and at 'em.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Restaurant Review Grand Marais Edition: Cascade Restaurant & Pub (Dinner Experience)

After our day of touristy joy we headed back to the lodge to unpack and relax. Lunch must have filled us up quite a bit because before we knew it, the clock informed us it was 8 pm and we still hadn't had any dinner. Knowing that you should never skip a meal and that we had a big hike planned for the next day we headed over to the lodge restaurant.

The setup is like a typical restaurant/pub except with more emphasis on the restaurant, as the bar had maybe 5 stools. There were stuffed animals (not teddy bears, see above) attached to the walls and awesome chandeliers made out of wagon wheels with lamps as lights hanging from the ceiling. It made Mark and I feel like we were in Dark Shadows again hanging out at the Blue Whale.
Loved the chandeliers

Black Bean and Vegetable Tex-Mex Filling

Us at the Twins game. Final score 19-7... Yeah it was that kind of game.
Over the weekend I cooked up some black beans to use for Monday's dinner. When Monday morning rolled around I was craving some Mexican inspired dish. Finally deciding on black bean tostadas, I went out for my run. It was during my run that I realized that Mark has taco salad for lunch every Tuesday so he probably wouldn't want tostadas the night before. As crushed as I was, I settled on black bean sloppy joes made with salsa.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Restaurant Review Grand Marais Edition: Dockside Fish Market

Looking tired and waiting for our food at Dockside Fish Market

One of the many reasons Mark and I were excited to be going to Grand Marais was for some fish. We figured that since the town was on the shore they had to have some good fish and TripAdvisor confirmed our hunch with some pleasant reviews about a couple restaurants. Since we were only going to be in Grand Marais a few days we knew we wouldn't be able to try all the seafood restaurants, so we narrowed it down to two and make sure to try at least one.

As soon as we arrived at the lodge I was feigning for some fish so we checked in, threw our bags into the room, and headed into town for some grub. We quickly located all of the restaurants we planned to try, but I was still in the mood for fish. So we headed over to Dockside Fish Market to get me my fix.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Restaurant Review: Benihana (Golden Valley Location)

Us celebrating Daren's 25 birthday at Benihana
I don't know this for sure but I have a hunch that when you reach the age of 25 you start to feel really old. Something about realizing you are out on your own, paying your own bills, and 5 years from 30... Woah, I'm breaking a sweat over here just thinking about it. Luckily I still have about a year and a half to prepare myself. And thankfully when Daren turned 25 in June he set an excellent example for how to take it by eating good food (make mental note of this).

One of the places we accompanied Daren to for a birthday celebration is Benihana. I love Benihana and all the restaurants out there like it. It's always a good time watching the chefs prepare your meal right in front of you.
Chef Aaron pouring the yum yum sauce
Making a heart out of the chicken fried rice
Cooking the entrees
If you weren't aware, Benihana has this program called the Chef's Table; it's basically them sending you a monthly "here are our specials" email. But the real reason you should subscribe to this is for the $30 voucher they send out at the beginning of your birthday month. It's good Monday-Thursday anytime during the month of your birthday. Quite the sweet deal as it practically pays for your entire meal (excluding tax and alcohol purchases). So it goes without saying that when mine, Mark's, or Daren's birthday month rolls around we take full advantage of this offer.

Homemade Salsa (Using Canned Tomatoes)

Running out of salsa is never a good thing in my opinion. I never know when I will be craving some for my eggs, or deciding I want tacos for dinner. So what is a girl to do if she is in a pinch and needs salsa NOW? Remember that she has a can of whole tomatoes and an awesome food processor and get to work.

This salsa was literally made in 3 minutes time. It's going to take longer to type this recipe then to actually make it. Yeah, that quick. And it tastes pretty darn good, if I do say so myself.

Homemade Salsa (Using Canned Tomatoes)

Makes about 2 cups


1 14 oz can of whole, no salt added tomatoes

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, chopped

Handful of cilantro, chopped

Salt & pepper to taste


In the bowl of a food processor layer tomatoes (with juices), onion, garlic, cilantro, salt & pepper, in that order.

Pulse to desired consistency.

Dip in tortilla chips to "taste test".

Store rest in refrigerator in an air tight container.


*Add 1/2 chopped jalapeno pepper to add some spice

*Dried cilantro works just fine

Monday, July 16, 2012

Weekend Recap

Friday Evening (7.13.12): Got some running around out of the way and made some much needed purchases
Mark's new tea pot, $10 at Macy's!
Mark's new work pants, $30 at Macy's!
Can't wait! And of course we are going with Daren and Jeff.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Restaurant Review: Punch Pizza (Wayzata Location)

Recognize this picture? It's the blog background!
Like I previously explained, we are on the search for some awesome metro pizza. Anyone you ask says that Punch Pizza is the place to go in Minneapolis. And despite living here for almost two years, Mark and I had yet to try it. That all changed one evening in May after a day of hanging out with Daren and Jeff.

The restaurant we originally wanted to go to was closed for some reason so we settled on Punch because we had never been and Daren hadn't been in a long time. We drove the long 7 minutes back to Daren's hometown of Wayzata and pulled into the Punch lot.

As we were walking in we noticed a huge pile of wood by the door and when we entered the restaurant it all made sense. In the back of the counter area stood a huge wood fired oven heated to 700 degrees. Right then and there we knew this would be an intriguing pizza eating experience.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Restaurant Review: Buca di Beppo (Maple Grove Location

Most of us at Buca fro Daren's 25th birthday
Back in June our good friend Daren turned the ripe age of 52... I mean 25. It was a big one because he is the first of my friends to do so. If you couldn't already tell, we are pretty tight with Daren and his family. We try to get together once a week, and you will often find us over at his house where Mark will be playing MLB The Show with Daren's little brother Jeff. So when his birthday rolled around he and his family kindly invited us along for a birthday dinner at Buca. If you recall, Mark and I had recently tried Buca for the first time and were anxious to try it again.

We went with Daren, Jeff, their parents (Daryl & Sue), their aunt (Cheryl), and her roommate (Patty). Once we were seated the complimentary bread basket was delivered. Forgetting our previous experience, we made the mistake of eating some. It was a regrettable decision; sorry Buca two strikes and you are out with the bread basket.

Next we started looking at the menu, which turned into Mark and I getting schooled on the way Buca works. As it turns out each entree serves at least two people and there is still a good chance you will have leftovers. So Mark and I sat back and let Daren and his family take care of the ordering because we were rather lost.

Homemade Almond Butter (Or Any Nut Butter)

My gorgeous food processor churning out almond butter
Every night for a bedtime snack Mark and I have an apple with some peanut or almond butter. As you can imagine we are consistently running out of apples... AND nut butters. I get kind of excited when the jar of almond butter gets to that freakishly low point because it means I get to break out my badass Cuisinart 12 cup food processor and grind some more.

I used to make both peanut butter and almond butter myself, but the cheapest price I can find for raw peanuts is $5 a pound. What a gyp when a jar of scrumptious Trader Joe's Valencia Peanut Butter with Flaxseed costs only $2.99! Almond butter however is a different story. I can get a pound of raw almonds from Trader Joe's for about the same price or cheaper than a jar. It takes barely any hands on work, and allows time for you to get your hair done, laundry done, or errands run while waiting for the nuts to cool.

 Another positive: no oil or added sugars!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Restaurant Review: Cocoa & Fig

Updated 8.19.12:
Just tried a banana nut cupcake, s'mores cupcake, and an almond caramel cake pop. The banana nut cupcake tasted like banana bread and had a delicious cream cheese frosting; the s'mores cupcake had a homemade graham cracker base with a chocolate chunk filled chocolate cupcake and a homemade torched marshmallow on top. As for the cake pop, it was a gooey caramel almond cake dipped in milk chocolate. Each of them were impressive delicious treats. Seriously give this place a try sometime.

I am obsessed with cupcakes. I love everything about them. The process, the possibilities, the liners,  and of course eating them. I just think they are perfectly packaged desserts or snacks. Sometimes I even make us head over to Byerly's so I can get a cupcake from their bakery.

Mark fully supports this addiction and will happily get me my fix. And sometimes (usually when I've had a bad day) he comes home with sweet treats from my favorite boutique bake shop Cocoa & Fig. Its a small retail store (part of a catering company) nestled between Neiman Marcus & Saks 5th Ave in Gaviidae Commons.

Not only do they have beautiful cupcakes on display, but they also have flourless cakes, cake pops,  sandwich cookies, and french macarons.
This delightful little buggers were nonexistent
in our lives before Cocoa & Fig. We are forever
in their debt.
Their cake pops and oatmeal peanut butter
sandwich cookie

Restaurant Review: California Pizza Kitchen (Maple Grove Location)

Lunch date at California Pizza Kitchen
Every Sunday we take Chloe to the dog park because it's our day off from running and she deserves to be able to sprint at her speed every once in awhile. We usually take her to the Fish Lake dog park over by where we go grocery shopping. It’s a nice fenced in area within a big park, but sometimes we like to spoil her and make the drive over to the massive Elm Creek dog park.

The Elm Creek dog park is 30 acres of fully fenced dog paradise. It also has a swimming pond for the dogs to cool off in so yes, this is quite the treat for Chloe.

One Sunday at the beginning of June (6.3.12) I needed to go to Victoria’s Secret to look for a strapless bra and there just so happened to be one located relatively close to the Elm Creek park meaning on this day Chloe would be a lucky dog.
Getting ready to run into the pond
Cooling off at Elm Creek dog park
Fast-forward past wet, smelly dog and success at Victoria’s Secret and it was lunch time. We usually try to plan when we eat out as it keeps us conscious of the fact that we are doing it. Something that has helped our overall physical and financial health, but when hunger calls we listen.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Restaurant Review: Vincent A Restaurant

Vincent Burger
Back during the winter session of Restaurant Week in Minneapolis Mark and I picked out a French place on Nicollet Mall called Vincent A Restaurant. I have always been drawn to all things French because I took four years of French in high school, and we liked that it was close enough to Mark's building that the walk over wouldn't be too bad. Long story short, we loved it and vowed to be back. We stayed true to that vow and on a gorgeous day in May (5.15.12) we had a lunch date. Luckily we had a seasonally warm winter here and by May the patio was open and we were able to eat outside.

Once we were seated our waiter came over and gave us a basket with a loaf of bread. Unlike the bread at Buca, the bread here is delicious, and we instantly scarfed it down. We also recognized that this was the same waiter we had on our first visit. We were thrilled about this because he was part of the reason we enjoyed our last trip so much.

Trip to Grand Marais (part 3)

A new "river" formed from the flash flood aftermath of the storm
We woke up the next morning around 7:30 and went into Grand Marais one last time to run out to the lighthouse. As we were driving into town we noticed the ponds of water that had formed from the storm on the side of the road, but we were somehow still oblivious to the day we were about to have.

We parked in the pharmacy lot, located on a slight uphill and got out to start our run. Just as we started Mark slipped on the curb and fell onto the street twisting his ankle. He stumbled to his feet and said "I'm done" and that was that. We got back into the car and drove over to the gas station in hopes of finding an ace bandage to wrap his ankle in for the long car ride home. Unfortunately we struck out and since it was before 8 am none of the stores were open.
Mark's swollen ankle

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Microwavable Carob Mug Cake

Carob mug cake with "white" mug cake

Back in my post about Chloe's 3rd birthday I wrote about her carob mug cake we made for her birthday dessert. Here is the recipe:

Microwavable Carob Mug Cake
Adapted slightly from here

Serves 1


3 tablespoons of flour

2 tablespoons carob powder

1 teaspoon sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1 tablespoon applesauce

3 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract


In a mug stir together all dry ingredients really well.

Add liquid ingredients and mix well again.

Microwave on high for 45-60 seconds.


* Can be made vegan by using non dairy milk

Weekend Recap

Friday (7.6.12):

There are no pictures for our Friday night. I was feeling a little under the weather so we stayed in and lounged. We did watched Breakfast at Tiffany's for the first time and were pleasantly surprised that we thoroughly enjoyed it. I think we were expecting a semi chick flick/romance, but appreciated how different the movie was as opposed to if it were made today.

Saturday (7.7.12):


Farmer's Market Swag:
-Bok Choy
   -Swiss Chard
Turkey Momos with Tomato Chutney
Us enjoying our momos from the farmers market

Restaurant Review: IKEA Cafeteria

For my sister's birthday, we got her an IKEA gift card. We were looking for an excuse to see each other one day (5.5.12), and decided to meet at IKEA for breakfast and to do some shopping.

As it turns out, everybody was running late that day, so our breakfast date was postponed and turned into a lunch date. Since we are huge fans of IKEA breakfast and had talked it up to Tara, who had never had it we were a little bit disappointed. But hunger has no emotion so by the time we arrived we were ready to eat!

Tara ordered a buffalo chicken wrap with a cup of three-bean chili. We both agreed that the buffalo wrap was good, and the chili was delicious. The two worked really well together too, as we found that the wrap dipped in Chili was AWESOME.

I wasn't feeling particularly adventurous, so I ordered the chicken tenders and fries with a side of ranch. It had been a while since I had a meal like this, and I was happy that I ordered it. Both the chicken and fries were surprisingly good for cafeteria food, and they put me in a good mood for some furniture window shopping.

On top of the food, we shared some of the IKEA coffee that we got for free since we are IKEA family members. We agree that this is a pretty sweet perk, even if the coffee isn't anything spectacular. But the best perk of signing up for the IKEA family program is the free froyo cone coupon; its the best food item at IKEA in my opinion. My niece also got free food since we were there on the weekend of their grand reopening. How could we be unhappy with all of that free swag?

All in all, we were happy with our food and had a fun experience seeing my sister and her family at IKEA. The highlight of the trip was walking over to the Mall of America and watching my brother in law, Jake, get a straight razor shave. He hadn't been clean shaven in years and it was the first time any of us at seen someone get a straight razor shave. It was like a scene straight out of Sweeney Todd!
Getting foamed up