By now, most of you faithful readers know that I gravitate toward local and non-chain places for coffee and well, food in general. I’ll make do with Caribou and Starbucks when necessity strikes, but my preferences lie elsewhere.
And I’m so grateful that the Twin Cities abounds with fabulous coffee shops! Since my November coffee shop post, I’ve checked out a few more places round Minneapolis and St Paul. Also since that November post, I found my new favorite coffee shop, which is included in the list below.
Sitting in a coffee shop writing a few weeks ago, I glanced up to see a man lightly brush his companion’s shoulder as they sat side by side on stools facing out the window upon the street. A quick and small gesture. She glanced up, met his eyes, and a smile passed between them. Delighted recognition. Noticing their brief reverie felt like trespassing. And as quickly as the touch came, the moment passed and they went about their respective computer work. Even as they went back to their own tasks, a little thread of contented connection lingered between them. It was a sweet scene to witness — not saccharine nor an obnoxious public display of affection.
J and I took a road trip this past summer: Wilmington, NC to Charlotte, NC to Asheville, NC to Nashville, TN. Yup, that’s right. We went to both Asheville, NC and Nashville, TN. Random trip, but we had loads of fun. If you’re scratching your head about logistics since we live in Minnesota, we flew into Charlotte at the start of the trip, rented a car, and then flew from Nashville back to Minnesota.
One of my favorite parts of traveling is sampling different restaurants and flavors. We have a multi-tiered approach to restaurant hunting: searching online for best places in a city to eat, wandering around neighborhoods and popping in to places that just look fun, and asking locals for recommendations. When it comes to asking locals, that’s usually something J does. I recognize the value; I’m just on the shy side, so that part is a little more awkward and painful for me. As a result, I avoid that one.
Here’s a few of our favorite meals from the first part of the trip. Nashville picks will show up in another post, since we had loads of memorable food moments there — particularly ones where I took pictures.
I like circles. Feeling hemmed in by a sphere of safety. I’m the person who carefully reads rules and directions. In new places, I carefully look for signs and instructions about how that system works. I want to know the expectations, boundaries and guidelines. I’m probably bordering on some kind of dysfunction.
So, why this obsession with rules and safety circles? It’s not because I like order or because I’m inherently rigid or because I love structure. I’m fairly comfortable with a good deal of chaos and disarray. Additionally, I’m suspicious of authority and rules.
Caribous and Starbucks are dandy in their own way, but this girl really digs independent local coffee shops.
I like knowing lots of good spots. Then I have meeting place ideas all over the Twin Cities before defaulting to a Caribou or Starbucks. Ask me to coffee, and I might take you on an adventure.