So, despite my "Great Nights Out," not every place we go turns out to be absolutely perfect. I mention these two places below exactly because of that — they were perfectly good places, that were enjoyable enough, but did not *quite* live up to my expectations. I would encourage people to go to them (or places like them, places that are ok but could do better) in order to support local businesses and help them grow. I know in both these cases I'll definitely go back.
On Thursday, Patrick and I were invited to a free lunch for the opening of the Twisted Fork, in what had been Green Mill's takeout spot on Grand and Hamline (don't worry, you can still get pizza to go!) Since it was the pre-opening, they were trying a lot of things out, and I give them an "A" for trying. they were really interested in our opinions, and I like the idea of a sustainable, casual dining place in the neighborhood. I think they have a lot of opening day jitters, because they are not quite there yet — the space just a little too loud and brassy, the sandwiches we had good but not incredible, and the prices a little high for an everyday lunch. Still, we'll go back, and I would encourage you to.
It also seems to be the death knoll for Green Mill's onsite brewed beer. Oh well, another Surly please!
This morning, I tempted Beatrix out of the house with a cupcake from Saint Paul Classic Cookie. Once we got there and found parking (no quick spots in front, but meters around the corner), we were sort of disappointed to find a rather slim selection — a few cookies and some muffins, but no cupcakes or anything really exciting. I tried a raspberry muffin (good, but strange that day-old things are full price), while Beatrix eschewed her blueberry muffin in favor of a rather grimy Fisher-Price garage toy (sans cars). Again, an ok experience, but nothing great, and I wanted more from it.
Also no FourSquare check-in, and I was too bust keeping Beatrix from rubbing muffin all over the garage to add it. So if you go, add it so I can check in when I go back.
Still, 68¢ of every dollar stays local when shopping at local businesses (as opposed to 43¢ for local chains, and of course sadly, 0¢ of internet sales). Get out and support a local neighbor today! We're out to buy some lawn items once Beatrix wakes up...