Eat Breakfast in Minneapolis

It’s a beautiful day in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis morning

My favorite breakfast place in Minneapolis is the Wise Acre Eatery

Wise Acre Eatery

This restaurant’s food comes directly from Tangletown Gardens, a 100+ acre farm right outside of Minneapolis; and even in fall and winter the freshness of their produce is impressive. The restaurant space is cozy with big windows, wooden tables and a glorious outdoor patio for warm weather. However, the best part of my Wise Acre Eatery experience was the CSA hash above, a delectable blend of bright yellow scrambled eggs over seasonal vegetables with whole grain toast. Farm to table is a popular restaurant concept these days and these Wise Acre chefs do it perfectly by serving fresh food prepared with a minimum of fuss. Their flavors really shine as does their restaurant.

A great breakfast option in northeast Minneapolis is the Wilde Roast Cafe

Wild Roast Cafe

Named after Oscar Wilde and with a penchant for peacocks, this little Victorian cafe serves up a mean huevos rancheros with smoked gouda hash browns. Mexican food with an Irish Victorian twist? I’m totally down. I loved the atmosphere at Wilde Roast with the stuffed armchairs and fireplace and their spicy bloody mary was perfection. They’re situated in a little strip called St. Anthony Main with a river walk across the street and the St. Anthony Main Theatre next door; so, have breakfast, catch a flick, take a walk and enjoy this little historic district while you’re in the neighborhood.

On Saturdays from May thru October, check out the Farmer’s Market

Farmer's Market

I’m partial to a saturday morning farmer’s market so I really loved the Mill City Market by the Guthrie Theater downtown. Along with those delicious donuts from Chef Shack, I got some goat cheese and a breakfast burrito, listened to some live music, considered buying a painting from a local artist and watched a cooking demo. That’s not very different from many farmer’s markets around the nation, which is what makes them all so great, but I liked this market particularly for the abundance of seating on the big wide steps by the Guthrie. Sometimes it’s great to just have a seat, eat a burrito and watch the human play unfold around you. And I highly recommend those donuts!

 

A Day in Oklahoma City

Is Oklahoma a Southern state or a Western state? It might take you all day to decide and when you do, let me know. But while you’re thinking about that, how about breakfast at the best restaurant in downtown OKC?

Kitchen 324

That’s green eggs and ham with prosciutto and arugula over an english muffin topped with poached eggs and pesto and it was just the right combination of fresh and salty with no greasiness. The chefs at Kitchen No. 324 make everything from scratch using fresh local produce and as far as I can tell, this is the only farm to table restaurant in downtown OKC. They also have killer pastries, cold pressed juices and great coffee and they’re open for dinner 5 days out of the week. I ate here three different times and everything I had was stellar.

After breakfast, gear yourself up for a sobering experience and visit the Memorial Museum of the OKC bombing in 1995.

OKC Memorial

I know this sounds like a grim adventure, but the museum is a gorgeous memorial space to those who died in the blast and the bravery of all the responders who worked for weeks to uncover bodies and sort out what happened. They deserve to be remembered and it’s heart wrenching to walk through the Gallery of Honor where photos of the people who died are accompanied by little mementos their families created to represent them. I appreciate that the museum designers focused more on the memorial aspect of the museum and less on the whys and wherefores of the bombing since it’s difficult to absorb the senselessness of  this kind of anti-government protest.

Memorial Fence

This bombing helped shape Oklahoma City and anyone who visits here will see the city differently after visiting this memorial. The Memorial museum is open every day and adult tickets are $12.

If you want something less emotionally rigorous, the OKC Museum of Art has an incredible Chilhuly glass exhibit

Chilhuly

They’re also featuring a “Gods and Heroes” exhibit of Renaissance pantings from the Parisian Ecole de Beaux Arts. This museum is open Tues-Sun with a $12 admission fee but it only costs $5 on Thursdays after 5pm.

The Memorial Museum and the Museum of Art can each be seen in an hour and they’re easy walking distance from each other.

After your morning museum, take a walk over to Bricktown, the entertainment district of OKC.

Bricktown OKC

There’s quite a bit to do in this neighborhood including the ballpark where you can watch the RedHawks play and the banjo museum. There’s also a one mile long canal with water taxis and several restaurant options for lunch. I’d recommend Tapwerks with an extravagant beer list including over 200 beers on tap.

Tapwerks

Get a taste of some of Oklahoma’s finest beers in the sampler above (I was partial to the Dead Armadillo) and order a burger made with pure Oklahoma beef. This is a pleasant pub in which to spend an afternoon drinking way too much beer but I’d recommend getting out before that happens and walking down to the Bricktown river landing along the canal where you can see some incredible full sized sculpture commemorating the pioneers crossing the plains.

Bricktown exchange

And catch a river boat up the Oklahoma River.

Riverboat Cruise

This cruise is about 3 hours long in it’s entirety and traverses several miles of the Oklahoma river through a couple of locks where you can watch the mechanisms control the river depth. The boat cabin is air-conditioned and beautifully appointed with little tables and a bar and it’s very soothing just to watch the water drift past. You could take the cruise in a big loop or get off at any of the 4 landings and pick the boat up again on the way back. Each landing costs $6 for adults and $3 for kids.

We stopped at the Exchange landing and went to see Stockyards City, the Western district inside OKC. In nice weather, walk the 2 mile trail along the river from the landing into the city.

Stockyards City

Stockyards City is on the National Register of Historic Places and is the place to buy western wear, saddles, dreamcatchers and turquoise jewelry. It’s also home to the world’s largest cattle market with livestock auctions every Monday and Tuesday morning at 8am. If you want to hang out here and eat dinner, go to Cattleman’s Steakhouse and try a true Oklahoma Steak.

But I’d recommend getting back on the boat and getting off at the Bricktown landing and walking up to Ludivine at Hudson and 7th (or seriously, catch a cab because it’s already been a long day!)

Ludivine menu

It’s a close call as to whether Kitchen 324 or Ludivine is my favorite OKC restaurant. Both are farm to table restaurants that support local farmers and ranchers and serve seasonal food prepared in unpretentious atmospheres.

Ludivine

That’s the roasted striped bass dinner for 2 with seasonal veggies, roasted jalapeños and homemade tortillas.

I think I might come down in favor of Ludivine where the chefs change their menu up daily depending on the market and their bar serves a blue plate special every Monday night for $10 and donates some of the cash to charity. I really enjoyed my meals at this place and I would recommend ordering the bone marrow and then asking the bartender to give you a “bone marrow shot.” Don’t worry about it, just try it! And make sure someone gets video…

If you still feeling like getting out on the town after dinner, go a few streets north to 16th where the Plaza District is revitalizing an old neighborhood.

Plaza District

During the day the vintage stores and one-of-a-kind boutiques in this neighborhood are worth a look and at night Pie Junkie is open until 9pm on Fridays and the recently renovated Lyric Theatre has a year round season including works by new playwrights. If you feel like a nightcap, The Mule is open late and has a great cocktail list.

Fall is the perfect time to visit Oklahoma City. Try some great local food and get a taste of this Southern/Western city!