Yappy Hour

Our first week in Boston, Noah and I learned about an amazing event called Yappy Hour. During the summer months, Yappy Hour takes place each Wednesday evening at The Liberty Hotel in Boston proper. The building that holds the hotel was a prison until the 1990’s. Now, as a hotel, it maintains some stylistic influences from its prison days. Such as these barred windows:

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The hotel also has several restaurants, bars, and lounges with such inspired names as Alibi, The Clink, and The Yard. 

Back to Yappy Hour…

Yappy Hour is like Happy Hour. Except better because it’s with dogs! From 5:30-8:30pm on Wednesday evenings, people combine their love of dogs with that daily desire to get happy through reduced-price appetizers and booze, head to The Liberty’s outdoor patio called The Yard, and enjoy the wonder that is Yappy Hour.

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Noah and I don’t have a dog, but clearly this is an event that would be well suited for spectators.

After waiting in a long line to get drinks (which also involved being slobbered on by a huge St. Bernard), we found a table and did some doggie-watching.

There were cuties:

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Dogs who were sleepy:

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Dogs who wanted to hide by their humans:

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Dogs getting rowdy:

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And dogs doing what dogs do best:

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I also saw a beautiful Great Dane derivative (Great Dane and Dalmatian mix, maybe?):

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Bottom line: Yappy Hour was super fun(ny). I would definitely recommend to all dog lovers – whether or not they have a furry friend to bring.

Soak up the sun

Minneapolis has had a gorgeous summer. There were a few sweltering days in July, but overall the weather has been extremely pleasant – warm enough to enjoy being outside, but not so warm to get that sticky feeling. Given the sunshine, enjoying outdoor activities has been a major highlight of the summer. A few events of note…

the Ordway’s summer dance series

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The Ordway Theater in St. Paul offers free music and dancing on Thursday nights during the summer at Rice Park (right in downtown St Paul). Different weeks have different themes: salsa, polka, swing, etc. We went on swing night. I should take some dance lessons to learn how I’m actually supposed to move my feet, but with a wine+music combination, I think I did alright. 🙂

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the patio at Vincent A Restaurant

Like 112, Vincent A was also listed in the recent edition of Mpls St Paul Magazine as having one of the best burgers in town.

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Vincent A is right in the heart of downtown at 11th and Nicollet, and it has great happy hour timing: 4:30-6pm and again from 8:30-9:30pm. A lot of late happy hours don’t even start until 9:30 at most of the places in Uptown. The 8:30 start time was perfect for a late dinner featuring….

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and since it was happy hour after all…

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These burgers were no doubt delicious, but I’m still more partial to 112.

Obviously.

Uptown Eats

I tried a couple restaurants around Uptown that have been on my ‘to-try’ list for quite some time.

The first: Fuji Ya

Fuji Ya is a sushi restaurant on Lake Street between Lyndale and Garfield. I’ve seen it recognized as a top notch sushi joint on several occasions, so I decided to give it a try.

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Their happy hour deals from 5-7pm are awesome, so I went with a couple friends during that time frame. I ordered the yakitorii (chicken skewers) and futo maki specialty roll (egg, tofu, squash, spinach, cucumber, and japanese pickles).

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Everything was good, but I always seem to have the same feeling after eating sushi: I’m not full. I feel like I would need to eat several rolls to really feel full after a sushi dinner. Still, I thought it was good and would certainly go back here. I think I still prefer Wakame in Calhoun Commons though.

The second place I tried was Caffrey’s Deli.

Caffrey’s is a sandwich shop on Lyndale between Lake and 31st.

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Caffrey’s is another place that had been highly recommended both by people I know and various Twin Cities food reviews (VitaMN just listed it as the #2 sandwich shop in the Twin Cities). That said, I was pretty excited to see what all of the fuss was about.

Caffrey’s has a pretty small interior, and you order at a walk up counter (they also deliver).

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Besides the main event of sandwiches, there was a case with some nice looking desserts, and they also appeared to sell Sebastian Joe’s ice cream.

Their menu is pretty basic – sandwiches and soups. The specifics, however, are not basic. Rather than offering one or two soups, there are 8 to choose from. The sandwiches come on white or wheat, and they have the standards along with philly-style sandwiches and a make-your-own option.

I opted for the loaded chicken philly on wheat (loaded means it comes with peppers, onions, and mushrooms) and a side of cole slaw.

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The sandwich was good, but I wouldn’t write home about it. I think all the hype got me thinking that I would take one bite and be thrown into an ecstatic frenzy yelling, “this is the greatest sandwich ever!” Needless to say, that did not happen. The sandwich was fine. I enjoyed my meal. But I don’t plan on running back to get another one any time soon. Disclaimer for all you Caffrey’s die-hards: I will admit I am not a big sandwich person to begin with. I much prefer other lunch time meals, so feel free to consider that fact when judging this post. 🙂

Wilde Roast Cafe

HOLD THE PHONE! There is a new restaurant to add to my ring of favorites in Minneapolis. Yessss, Wilde Roast Cafe made the cut.

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Previously located in Northeast, Wilde Roast now has primetime location on the riverfront right next to St. Anthony Main Theatre. This place has been on my (long) list of restaurants-to-try for ages, and now that I’ve been, I’m bummed that I never went there before now. The food was delicious. Selecting what to order was a challenge since I wanted approximately everything.

We finally settled on the Night Out Appetizer:

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This was honeyed goat cheese with roasted garlic, mixed olives, candied nuts, and toasted baguette. Delicious! For our entrees, I ordered a steak salad and Noah had filet mignon.

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The mignon came with mashed potatoes, gravy, and sauteed vegetables. We also had a side of tater tots:

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Everything was fabulous, and definitely want to come here again! They have happy hour during the week from 4-6 with half priced appetizers. A few appetizers shared between a couple people would certainly be enough for a meal, and I’m hoping to go back in the next couple weeks to do just that.

Summer Smiles

The summer is barely underway, but I’m fortunate to be off to a great start. Some highlights include…

finding robin’s eggs outside my office:

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a spring roll party with friends (take two, see take one here):

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an impromtu photo shoot:

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plenty of my favorite foods. in this case, falafel:

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and happy hour around Uptown:

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What are the best things from your summer so far?