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Friday, May 20, 2016

Malls, Baseball, and Waterfalls: Minneapolis, Minnesota - Part 1

Behind us is all the fun, food, and beer we had in Milwaukee. The wonderful Ambassador Hotel and the delicious pannenkoeken that we had for dinner last night at Benelux.  Ahead of us lies the drive.

We’re on a wide open interstate in Dairy country. As we make our way out of Milwaukee, it’s nothing but rolling green hills, an occasional rain shower, and lots of cows.  This will be an all day drive so we settle in for the long haul.

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A few hours out, we hit the biggest vacation destination in these parts, Wisconsin Dells.

I had tried to see if any of their waterparks had any sort of wheelchair access before we went but no luck…not even a pool lift into a lazy river.

It’s touristy…very touristy…as in wall-to-wall tourist traps and curio shops. Even in my wildest dreams I didn’t imagine it would be that bad. For us, it’s just a snack stop along the way where we can get a quick bite to eat, gas up the car, and go to the bathroom.

Just before the border with Minnesota on the St. Croix River, I make one more bathroom stop at a restaurant that also gave out samples of some truly delicious local cheese. Since you needed to be a customer to use the facilities, I got a couple of hunks of cheese and some full-strength, old fashioned milk…the kind that comes in the glass jar and has a thick plug of cream on the top. Those will come in handy later for snacks to go with the summer sausages we picked up at Usingers back in Milwaukee.

A few minutes later, we’re crossing the Mississippi River and easily find our hotel, the Residence Inn at the Depot, in downtown Minneapolis.

Upon checking in, my wife notices a little sign on the counter…like the kind they use to announce conferences and such…except this one says “Welcome Darryl M…The Residence Inn Depot’s Guest of the Day.”

Kind of cool…the manager tells me they pick a guest at random each day for the honor.  I get a little swag bag with a bottle of water and a couple of granola bars.

After unpacking, we have one more trip to make today.

Tim said one thing that we absolutely had to do while here was try a Jucy Lucy.  He saw it once on the Travel Channel and had been dying to have one.

We drive to a neighborhood in the southeast part of the city…one that seems to have seen better days…and find the last place to park at Matt’s Bar.

It’s a dark, narrow, divey place on 35th Street and we squeeze into one of the nominally wheelchair accessible tables. Just in time too…a few minutes later, the place is full with about 20 people waiting to get in.

We all order the specialty…the Jucy Lucy…along with some Grain Belt beers. The Jucy Lucy (yes, that’s the way they spell it) is just a cheeseburger but instead of a slice on top of the meat, the cheese is stuffed into the inside of the patty so when you bite it, hot, melted cheese oozes out.

Here at Matt’s, the cook works in a microscopic kitchen at the end of the bar, churning out dozens of them on a flat top about four feet wide.  The meat is cooked with diced onions and served basically with the burger, onions, and a bun.  It’s up to you to add condiments from there.

We dig in and, yes, they are delicious.  A perfect little welcome meal for a friendly dive here in Minneapolis.

We feel honored…

More to come, stay tuned as we dig deeper into Minnesota’s big city. Will we have fun? You betcha!


Copyright 2012 – Darryl Musick
All Rights Reserved
Photos by Letty Musick
Copyright 2012 – Letty Musick
All Rights Reserved

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