Revisit: CoV, Wayzata, MN

This upscale, updated American classics restaurant with lakefront views and the food & drink to match is still a hip place to be for brunch on Sunday. A friend an I ate like kings on a recent gorgeous summer Sunday.

Can you ever go wrong with  a caramel roll served with compound strawberry butter?! (The answer is "no")

And what about a smoked chicken omelette with spinach and tomatoes? ("No", again)

And if that wasn't enough, we topped off our visit with a celebrity sighting, no joke...in MN. 

 Guess who.


The Summer Solstice.

Better get out while you can. Unlike winter, lack of sunlight is no excuse. 


Hola Arepa, Minneapolis, MN

It was high-time I visited this food truck-turn-legit restaurant. It's been getting high praise for some time now, tucked in its 35th & Nicollet location. A recent happy hour idea and 90-degree afternoon provided the perfect backdrop for a visit. 

We started with their unique and tasty sangria a or beers, with a small snack they all Cheetos Brittle. The drinks hit the spot and the brittle was interesting. They take some fiery Cheetos and "candy" them as far as I can tell. They're crunchy, sweet and spicy, but I'm not sure I'd order them again. 

We moved on to one of their small plates, a braised beef option, plus the pretty standard chips-guac-queso app. The plantain with braised beef was very good. Looking back, I could have had two of these as a meal. 

After this, we wound up really over-extending our happy hour by having arepas, and in my case, half of a dessert choice. We probably didn't need more food, but I think we got caught up in the food options, and the happy hour drinks had taken hold - Point for Hola Arepa. 

The yuca fries and sauce options are very good. For dessert, we chose the ice cream sandwich with homemade corn cookies (corn meal, Fritos, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and Corn Pops). As you might guess, these are fancy and tasty cookies with vanilla ice cream. This choice was also an over-the-top but delicious way to end the night.  

So, good service, good drinks, and that live up to the billing. They are unique, hearty, and quite good. I would happily go back for more food and some of the drinks I didn't get to sample, like this...


A sure sign of summer...

This harbinger means summer must be here...right?

Cafe Latte, St. Paul, MN

Does this place ever disappoint? It doesn't hurt that the only way it could have this trip was if "salted caramel cheesecake" didn't taste good. But c'mon, who are we trying to kid!?!? Look at this...


Good ole scissor sharpening.

I remember a lot of things about my grandparents and their home, but some of my fondest memories revolve around their basement and, more specifically, my grandfather's work shop. He had all manner of tools, baby food jars filled with screws & nails, and projects in various states of completion.

He had a lot of tools I wasn't really comfortable picking up as a kid, and just knew better than to touch a man's tools as an adult. However, I was able to pick out a few items when he passed away.

One of the items I picked was his shoe shine kit, written about HERE. Another was a wonderful, old-school, wooden toolbox. My final item was a very large pair of scissors. I didn't really have a need for a foot-long pair of scissors (not embellished), but I always liked their impressive size and quality construction. 

(That's a set of kitchen shears next to the behemoths)

I've kept them "on display" in my home since I brought them back. Recently, having used them with only a bit of efficiency, I decided I should get them professionally sharpened. Thanks to Google and the woman that cuts my hair (she uses scissors), I found a really pro-style sharpening store near my home. Hallelujah!

I finally deciphered their funny hours and went to visit. Sure enough, a man much like my grandfather was watching his block through the store front window and greeted me as soon as I entered. 

(Brand appears to be "WISS")

As soon as I handed the scissors to the owner, he said, "Where did you get these?" I told him they were my grandfather's. He then said, "Was he a roofer?" I know gramps did a lot of stuff, but don't recall this profession on his resume. So, I said, "No," but with a look of curiosity on my face. 

He let me know that these huge scissors were something roofers used some time ago to cut shingles and tar paper. Though I never thought of my grandpa as a roofing expert, I told the owner that sure sounded like him. If he had a project that required a special tool or made the project turn out better, he'd go out and buy it. 

The scissors took a couple days to sharpen, but did this place do an amazing job. The slightly rusty patina on the blades and worn-from-use handles were left untouched, but the business sides of the blades look amazing. I think Grandpa would be pleased and proud. 

(That's my forearm, I'm 5'11")


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