Falafel Two Ways and PUMPKINS

I’ve tried falafel at two Minneapolis restaurants in the last few weeks.

The first was at the Uptown classic, Falafel King.

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At the corner of Lake and Lyndale, Falafel King is right in the center of Uptown buzz and makes for a convenient lunch/snack/dinner stop.

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It’s a simple restaurant with limited seating and a basic Mediterranean menu: falafel, gyro, chicken, hummus, and tzatziki mixed together in various combinations. I ordered a greek salad with falafel and my friend got the basic falafel sandwich:

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Yum! The falafel was super crispy and flavorful. I liked the salad but would probably go for a wrap next time just to get more tzatziki mixed in.

The second place I ate falafel was Vitali’s Bistro Cafe.

Vitali’s opened fairly recently, and, due to the recent closer of Little Tel Aviv in Calhoun Commons, is now the only kosher restaurant in the Minneapolis area. Fun fact: Little Tel Aviv is being replaced by another Falafel King. whomp whomp

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Vitali’s is in St. Louis Park at the former location of Bean Good Cafe. Service is at a walk up counter, but there is plenty of table space to sit.

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They offer a full espresso menu as well as some baked goods, smoothies, ice cream, and shakes. For food, it’s a broad menu with blintzes, omelets, sandwiches, sushi, salads, soup, and bagels. I got the falafel plate which came with falafel, pita, hummus, tzatziki, and Israeli salad:

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The primary difference between the falafel at Falafel King and Vitali’s is that the former is fried and the latter is baked. The flavor in Vitali’s falafel seemed a little strong in an ‘off’ way (maybe too much cumin?). If I went back, I would order something different from the menu – there were plenty of other items that looked appealing!

Enough about falafel….

Since we are squarely in the fall season now, you may have noticed a sudden spike in the ubiquity of pumpkins. We can eat it, drink it, decorate with it, and – best of all – carve it!

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My pumpkin was a big old thing that we got at Malt Tees, and Noah had a smaller pie pumpkin. We scooped out the insides and set to work on internet-inspired designs.

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The final products came out pretty great if I say so myself.

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In the daylight they are not too scary…

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…but get them in the dark and you’re in for a spook!

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If you haven’t carved a pumpkin yet this season, GET TO IT! 🙂

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MaltTees

A few weeks ago, I posted about my affinity for online deals. This may be becoming more of a problem as my enthusiasm for such deals begins to border on fanatical.

But, I did hear that the people who get the most pleasure out of spending their money are those who spend money on experiences rather than things. According to that logic, my Groupon fanaticism will make me a happier person in the end. Fine by me. 🙂

The latest deal I purchased was for a place in Richfield called MaltTees Mini Golf and Malt Shop. This deal was clearly not to be passed up given that drinking milkshakes and playing mini golf are two of Noah’s and my favorite pastimes. The deal was almost too good to be true! For $20, you get two rounds of mini golf, a surrey rental, $5 credit towards the malt shop, and two pumpkins. Whaaaaaat a deal, right?!

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MaltTees is located within Victory Memorial Park, and we enjoyed a thirty minute bike ride to get there. After arriving, it was straight to the mini golf course:

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Since we were keeping score, things got pretty serious:

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Noah took home the win this time due to some mental lapses on my part….to be avenged another day!

By the end of the round, we were ready for a snack. Due in part, I’m sure, to some not-so-subtle product placement within the course:

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The malt shop offered a basic menu of concessions-style food as well as several malt/shake varieties:

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Although tempted by the pumpkin flavored malt…

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…we settled on oreo and m&m:

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After the shakes, it was on to the pumpkin patch:

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As you can tell from the bouncy houses in the background, we were a bit older than the average consumer of this deal. #kid.at.heart

Although we were entitled to two pumpkins with our deal, we realized that we only had my bike bag to transport things home in, so we were limited to one small-ish pumpkin. We found the best one in the whole patch:

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and then nestled it cutely into the bike bag:

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All in all, this was a great activity and we had a lot of fun. If anything, we would have liked more time to walk around the park, but we had to get home for other things.