Minneapolis Farmer’s Market

This weekend was SO beautiful. Sunday was pretty much the perfect day – a slight breeze but sunny temperatures in the 60s….perfect bliss. To take advantage of the weather, I rode my bike to do all of my errands:

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Due to the gorgeous weather, this weekend was also the season opener for the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market. Minneapolis’ farmer’s market is located on the north end of Lyndale past downtown, and it’s been at that location since 1937! According to their signage, it is the largest open air market in the upper midwest.

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I would believe it! Even though it wasn’t too packed with vendors today (presumably since it was the opening weekend), I visited the farmer’s market several times last summer and fall, and it is quite an operation. You can enjoy a bounty of farmer’s market staples…

like flowers:

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and fruits and vegetables:

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In addition, there’s a separate area with crafts, soaps, jewelry, clothes, prepared food and sauces, and meats:

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Stands that caught my eye on this visit included homemade pasta (in flavors like basil, italian herb, and spinach!):

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and homemade soaps:

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The roasted sweetcorn also seemed to be a hit judging from the number of people who were eating it:

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I give the Minneapolis Farmer’s Market an A+++. There’s a lot of variety, fresh and delicious produce, and great people watching. Plus it is incredibly affordable. The produce usually goes 2 or 3 bins for $5. To give you an idea, a bin would usually include 5-6 onions, peppers, or pieces of fruit – at the least. There’s also a ton of variety. On this visit I saw: onions of all types, cabbage, yellow squash, oranges, grapes, plantains, tomatoes, sweet peppers, potatoes, green beans, hot peppers, mango, ginger, and strawberries…to name a few.

I bought green beans, cabbage, and onions. Check back soon for my recipes on how I used them!

Wise Acre Eatery

When I first moved to Minneapolis a couple years ago, Wise Acre Eatery was one of the first restaurants recommended to me. It feel off my radar pretty quick though in the excitement of all the other restaurants I could try, and I only remembered about it when I saw it voted as the best farm-t0-table restaurant in Minneapolis-St Paul Magazine reader’s poll. I took my parents to try it last night (or – if we’re being specific – really they took me). The outside was pretty impressive at night with their sign shining in bright lights:

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The inside was decorated with various plants and vines springing from the walls and ceiling:

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Along with some inspiring signs and positive messages:

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As soon as we were seated, a small dish of popcorn was brought to the table.

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The menu was pretty impressive, although not the greatest for picky eaters. I decided to get an appetizer for my main meal. I got beet hummus served with vegetables and homemade potato chips. The hummus was incredible! Sweet and delicious – I could have just eaten it by the spoonful. The chips were pretty neat too: potatoes sliced the long way that were crunchy on the outside but still soft on the inside. Wise Acre is a CSA supported restaurant, so the vegetables tasted really fresh and were wonderful raw.

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My mom ordered a dish called Leeks and Lillies:

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It was a leek and lemon thyme tart with mushrooms, goat cheese, cucumbers, apples, and a citrus wild rice salad.

My dad ordered Spring Borscht:

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The Borscht came with braised beef, beets, fingerling potatoes, dill weed, and spring veggies. On the menu it also came with sour cream, but my dad asked for them to leave it off.

For dessert, I had a hot chocolate and my parents ordered an espresso with vanilla custard (unpictured):

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The hot chocolate was really yummy! Must have been due to their locally sourced milk:

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Wise Acre Eatery was definitely a winner – really quality food all around. The menu is not too extensive though, so if you’re a picky eater or want some basic options, this might not be the right spot for you. I would go back but probably only for a fancier occasion since it’s fairly upscale. If you live in the area and haven’t gone, it’s definitely worth your time to stop by soon!