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Minneapolis, Bryant Lake Bowl, Legos and Haute Dish

On a whim I flew to Minneapolis, Minnesota with my friend Tyler. He needed a Minnesota homeland vacation and asked for my company on the Minneapolis leg of his trip to ensure that he had the appropriate amount of fun. I am pretty sure this was accomplished as here he is after night one.

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What better place to brunch and wipe off a whiskey hangover than the Bryant Lake Bowl.

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A favorite haunt of my 8 year Minneapolis residency - it features an organic menu, full bar, bowling alley and a theater.

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This fine Saturday morning with the fall sunlight pouring in the windows off Lake Street I went with the special - a lobster and truffle oil scramble with a side of gluten-free toast and a mimosa to perk me up for post-brunch lets go act like tourists fun.

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After brunch it was time for a little geeking out and childish pursuits for the hell of it. First it was a trip to Uncle Hugo's Science Fiction bookstore.

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 In the confines of Uncle Hugo's one is met with a horder's palace of books from floor to ceiling.

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In my first review of the situation (after photographing the angry unicorn out front) I thought only that this place appeared dreadfully behind on shelving -  but upon closer examination it became obvious there were just too many books to have all of them on shelves so they were methodically filed in different stacked boxes on the floor.

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Here I am with the angry unicorn.  After selecting a collection of Norse myths I didn't know I needed before this store it was time to go to Legoland at the Mall of America to do some drooling over Star Wars toys that are just beyond an impulse purchase price range - $136 for a Millineum Falcon set? No - but Luke's sand speeder will do just the trick along with a set of figurines including Boba Fett for someone special.

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When I was a teenager the Mall of America was new, shiny and opened with the novel indoor theme park Camp Snoopy - featuring one really lame roller coaster and a flume ride with Babe the Blue Ox.  Today the Nickelodean Universe has changed all that - adding two additional roller coasters and other tools of nauseation and adrenalin that had the children around us bouncing off of railings.  As good inner-child seeking adults we took a ride on the Sponge Bob Square Pants roller coaster of crazy - and left a little more wobbly than we started.

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After a fine day of play it was time for some serious food - I was ready to do what I came Minneapolis to do (other than visit friends and family) and that was to eat good food.  I selected Haute Dish as a place of gastronomic exploration as to see what happens when you take mid-western fair and make it "cuisine." 

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You get this.  Above is the fanciest plated iceburg lettuce salad probably known to man.

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Here is good ole Mac & Cheese - or is it? 

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and drum roll....Tator Tot Hot Dish.  Luckily one of us was smart enough to order the HD classic to see the full schtick in effect with their signature dishes. I on the other hand ordered the duck.  It was not as thematic - but it was photogenic and tasty.

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To bring a Saturday in Minneapolis to a good and complete close my brother and other good friends new and old met us after dinner in the back patio of the Butcher and the Boar to enjoy a large bourban and beer menu in the presence of good company. 

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It was a good day.

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