Wow, so many things have changed over the last several months: I defended my graduate dissertation, graduate from school and moved to Cleveland for a new job. All of these things kept me busy and made me neglect my blog. But things are finally slowing down, so I'm back!
Today I'll quickly catch you up on some of the most memorable dining experiences I had recently. I'll start with a trip I took last fall to Minneapolis/St. Paul to visit Pumpkin there. It was still the beginning of fall, the leaves on the trees were all shades of yellow and red, the air was crisp, but still warm - PERFECT! Pumpkin had to work during the days when I was there, so I was left to explore on my own. I didn't mind it, though, because I got to rest and do whatever I want. In between going to parks and museums, I grabbed a few meals. I had a lot of fresh local food at a small cafe next to a lake (can't remember its name :( ) and the modern art museum. But the best meal of the trip was at Butcher and the Boar. I don't often eat meat, but when I do it's something special - as at the restaurant of a James Beard Award semifinalist.
Finally, the other place worth mentioning is a local ice cream chain called Sebastian Joe's. I have newfound appreciation for ice cream, especially small family brands that still make the ice cream by hand. They use the best ingredients, and usually have some unique flavors. Sebastian Joe's is one of those places. After a lot of deliberation - and tastings ;) - I got a scoop each of the Pavaroti and Spumoni flavors. I mean, where else have you heard names like these?? The Pavaroti was caramel and banana ice cream with swirled caramel, banana pieces and chocolate chips. The Spumoni is almond, lemon and orange ice cream with dried apricots and almonds. Both types were absolutely delicious. And even though the Spumoni had so many flavors mixed in, they were all balanced for an overall great taste.