Taking in the Twins

Are you looking for a place with a giant spoon balancing a cherry in the center of town, a nearby Spam Museum, and a great saltwater aquarium all in the Midwest?  Look no further than Minneapolis, Minnesota! America’s Twin Cities!

Minneapolis or Minnie as I  heard a few of the locals call it, has always been a layover city for us.  We go there 3-4 times a year, but never GO there.  Thankfully, we put the Twin Cities in the “really” been there column this month.

A few of our impressions:

Offfta-there’s some art for ya.

The Twins have some really great art!  It is all over the town.  We highly recommend a stroll around the Walker Sculpture Garden at the center of town.   At the center of the park is the now famous spoon and cherry.  As we were taking it in, I asked our good friend, a transplant to the Midwest,  so what does this say to you?  Her response:  “It makes me want to go and jump on the end of the spoon and kick that cherry into the sky.” My response, “Interesting.”  The only thing  the modern art statue made me think of was ice cream.  So off we went to get some ice cream.

Izzy’s

As fellow “fighters” know,  1000 fights love gelato and like ice cream.  With that said, we LOVE Izzy’s Ice cream.  Izzy’s is located in a residential area surrounded by tree lined streets and stately homes.  You kinda feel like you are living that 70’s show.    Flavors are very inventive.  Take the Italian Strawberry, they soak the berries in Italian vinegar!  Soooo good.  I went with the Chocolate.  As an added bonus you get a little mini scooper called the Izzy Scoop on top of any flavor.  I mixed my chocolate with a raspberry sorbet.   Oh BABY!  Follow Izzy on Twitter.

The Quang

One of our great friends on Twitter My Battered Suitcase recommended Quang.  First impressions.  The neighborhood is filled with what look like family owned ethnic restaurants. There are Greeks, Dutch, Germans, and Chinese of every sort.  The king of the street is Quang.  A very authentic Vietnamese gastronomic paradise!  Pull open the first set of doors and you enter a room of foodie awards.  Right and left, top to bottom are a collection of accolades from every corner of the food award world.  (This is a good sign.)  Pass through the second sets of doors and we found ourselves the only Caucasians in the place. (Another very good sign.)  Menu is very strong in breath and depth.  The dishes speak for themselves.  They do throw in a couple Pad Thai dishes, but they come with a Viet leaning.  I went with their famous bbq pork. BEST EVER!  Highly recommend the Quang.
Quang on Urbanspoon

A Temple on the Prairie

What would a 1000Fight post be without a tour of a church or cathedral?  The Cathedral of Saint Paul is simply stunning.  Every summer the Parrish holds a rock concert/street party out on the front lawn.  We understand it is a great time!

A description from the church’s website:

“The Basilica of Saint Mary was the first basilica established in the United States of America, honored by Pope Pius XI in 1926.  Recognized as one of the finest examples of Beaux-Arts architecture in the country, the Basilica of Saint Mary was constructed between 1907 and 1915 to the design of celebrated Franco-American architect Emmanuel Louis Masqueray.  It dominates its own city block on Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis.

The building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.  In 1991 the old copper roof was replaced with a newer one to stop the water damage and leaks that were occurring. Restoration work on the exterior and damaged plaster within the church is ongoing.”

The Spam Museum

You know when you get a hankering for spam? You gotta have it!  Ok, we hate spam.  But an interesting side trip from the Twins is the Spam museum in Austin, Minnesota.  Take a spam tour!  Try your hand at canning!  Re-live some Monty Python moments.  Of special interest is the World War II exhibit highlighting the company’s involvement in supporting the troops.

Ok,  we haven’t talked about the Mall of America yet.  We did that on purpose.  Why would you go on holiday and go to the Gap?  If you do decide to go, please take in the new giant sealife aquarium.  It is a sealife park chain..but still worth the visit.

Get two vacations in one by visiting the hidden gems of the Twin Cities!  What are your favorite sites of the cities?  Have you had an Izzy’s ice cream cone?  Were we right?

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