I don’t know about everyone, but I cannot believe how FAST October flew by! Here in Minnesota, it did not feel like Fall for most of the month. I think there was about a week where it felt like a true Minnesota fall (my favorite time of year) and then quickly turned to winter. I have already broken out the winter jacket a few times now. Back to October… I was able to get out and try a few things!
I went to an apple orchard! According to my mother, I have gone to an apple orchard before but I have no memory of it so to me it didn’t happen. When my roommate and I decided to go to an apple orchard we started searching for the right place. I found that there were quite a few in the area and all differed in some ways. Some apple orchards had apples and pumpkins, some cost money to get into while others were free, I even found one place that was dog friendly! We ended up going with Pine Tree Apple Orchard in White Bear Lake. We went on October 15th and it was the perfect fall weather day!
I really liked this apple orchard! The street leading up to the orchard was beautiful! the colors of the leaves on the trees made it feel so majestic. They were very organized with parking right when you came in and it was filled with people but never felt packed. It was a group of 6 of us who ended up going and I think I spent about 4 hours there. I was sad to see that we could not pick our own apples, I was looking forward to that! But we were able to walk through the apple orchard and it was beautiful. They also had a corn maze which you had to pay like $3 to go through but it was a free apple orchard and it was for a good cause. Funny thing was there was a road that went through the maze and we could have EASILY went into the maze for free that way, a fact that some of the guys kept bringing up ha. There was a pumpkin patch here but I thought the prices for the pumpkins were a little high – one guy in the group paid like $15 for his pumpkin there (I got a pumpkin from Trader Joe’s for under $5!). I really liked the shop which we visited at the end! There were a lot different apple items to purchase. I opted for the apple and cinnamon coffee cake type of loaf. I was sad that I wasn’t able to get an apple donut because I heard they are great, but the line was just too long that day. Something to look forward to next time!
New Restaurant in Duluth
I got to go back to my college town (Duluth, MN) in October for homecoming weekend! It was so fun and filled with so many memories seeing friends I have not seen in years! While there I was able to meetup for lunch with my FAVORITE professor, Mitzi (or ditsy Mitzi as I called her). She recommended we go to a restaurant called JJ Astor. This restaurant is located on the top (16th) floor of the Radisson hotel in downtown Duluth. Duluth is a beautiful city and so to be on the top floor of a high rise you are already prepared for great views. But what puts this restaurant above some others? IT SPINS! Yup, you read that right! The restaurant is in a circle and slowly rotates while you’re seated so you get a 360 degree view of the city!
I never went to JJ Astor’s while in school because I had the assumption that it was this SUPER fancy and expensive restaurant, which it wasn’t. I mean I wouldn’t wear sweatpants there so its semi casual/formal and reasonably priced. My meal was only $14 dollars and was delicious! I choose to try the stuffed meatloaf which was a combination of beef and pork, stuffed with prosciutto, spinach, and carrots then topped with gravy and came with a side of fries. I would highly recommend the meal as well as the restaurant because the food was delicious and the views were to die for.
New Restaurant in Minneapolis
On Sundays I go to church in downtown Minneapolis. One Sunday, my friend and I decided we were going to get brunch after and just catch up. We didn’t want to have to pay for parking twice so we opted to find a place in the area that was walking distance from church. I found online that The Nicollet Diner was about a 5 minute walk away so we decided to go there. This place is exactly what I picture when I hear diner as it had the 1950s vibe to it. We arrived shortly before 11AM on a Sunday. It was busy but not packed.
I ordered the Breakfast burrito because the description I found online of it sounded amazing (I didn’t realize the menu at the diner differed a little). My friend ordered a waffle and a side of fries. It took over an HOUR to get our food! I was so confused on the delay and to top it off our waitress barely checked on us or told us the status of our order in that time. I was getting HANGRY as I hadn’t eaten yet for the day and it was now past noon. When the food came, I was 100% disappointed with my burrito. It just did not look appealing. The description (online) said it came with guacamole, sour cream AND hash browns inside. Well, there were ZERO hash browns in it or on my plate at all. The guacamole and sour cream were in containers on the side accompanied with salsa. For some people that might be okay but how am I supposed to evenly get all of these sauces in my burrito now that its built. The taste wasn’t great and it wasn’t that big of a portion either. I had ordered my burrito without onions but guess what it came with?! ONIONS…. I ate it only because I didn’t want to wait another hour for a new disappointing burrito.
I was left still hungry after I finished my breakfast. Thankfully my friend shared her fries with me as they were a big order. The fries were good. I saw burgers and sandwiches go by that also looked really appealing. What turned things around a little was the hostess/busboy. He came over with waters several times while we were there, and actually talked to me at the end asking about my meal and my experience. He apologized for the onion mess up and that we weren’t told what the wait looked like – I guess they normally tell you that so you’re not stuck there forever if you don’t want to wait an hour for food. Because of this guy, whose name I didn’t get, I will go back another time after church if friends want to but I will be prepared and be sure to order something with fries!