A Big Brother’s Trip to The Big City
This installment is not only about the food, but also about experiencing things or events around you. Often times we venture to a new town and stick to what we know. We go to the same bar, we see the same people, and we listen to the same bands. Only when we stray from the norm do we get to experience great things.
That much can be said about my brother. He is used to his heavy metal music, the local bars in town, and his favorite mac and cheese dinner. I had finally talked him into coming down to listen to an Irish band that I’ve been following for quite some time, The Langers Ball. They’ve been my gateway to many of the other fabulous local Irish bands in the area, and with the new additions to the band they have become better than ever. For my brother, it was the first time he had ever heard a live Irish band and came away quite impressed. My guess he was going into it thinking it was going to be all bagpipes (one of my favorites) and traditional melodies that could put your average person to sleep. Langers Ball is far from that. Although they do sing many of the traditional songs, they do it with an Irish punk rock flare.

Before the band had taken stage Friday night, we ventured over to the Town Hall Brewery. This place is a beer drinker’s delight. Why you ask? Well, they offer a sampler tray of both seasonal and draft beers. Being able to do a beer tasting any day of the week is pretty awesome.
On top of that, the food’s not bad either. I had a 10oz flat Iron steak, seasoned with Town Hall’s steak seasoning and topped with a red wine mushroom sauce. It was served with carrots and sweet potato fries (I substituted in place of mashed potatoes). The steak was cooked a perfect medium rare and pared nicely with the red wine sauce. The steamed carrots were lightly seasoned with a little garlic salt as well making them even more delicious. Steven had a Greek burger that consisted of a ½ pound grilled burger topped with crumbled Feta cheese and Tzatziki sauce. Being a man of few words, he said it was good but would have liked the bun to be toasted and the meat seasoned more. Being the burger was finished before the beer, I think the burger was the true winner.
That was the extent of our Friday activity and then it was on to Saturday…..

Saturday we went over to IHOP for a quick breakfast because the better joint in town, The Original Pancake House, was full. Plus my brother had never been to an IHOP so I figured I could at least help him cross one item off his bucket list. After breakfast I brought him over to the Mall of America as he had an urge to shop like the city folk. Now the mall does have your favorite types of chain restraints and stores, but one place I did introduce him to was
Paciugo. This place serves up gelato in numerous flavors, and you can have a free sample of anything before you buy!

After we left the mall we met up with my friends for a bite to eat before checking out a MN Swarm game. For that we headed to
The Blue Door Pub. The terrible part of the trip to this place is all of us really weren’t that hungry so we were there more for some beer and appetizers and not the famous “Lucy” burger. I will say this, their hand breaded cheese curds are amazing! I’m not a big cheese curd fan but when made that way I really do enjoy them.

I also ordered pie bites. These made-from-scratch New York Style cheesecake bites are coated with a graham cracker crust, deep fried and topped with powdered sugar! Strawberry and chocolate dipping sauces are served on the side. After eating just one we each needed a nap. They were insanely good. I mean come on, think about it, cheesecake + deep fried = awesomeness. Rest assured I will be back to get my Lucy on!

Finally, we headed over to the Xcel Center for the Minnesota Swarm. The Swarm is Minnesota’s professional lacrosse team. I’ve been fortunate to catch a couple of the games and they are tons of fun. I’ve never experienced lacrosse before, and before this day, neither had my brother. He seemed to enjoy himself as well as the games are action packed, loud, and the announcer keeps it entertaining.
It was a double day night because they also had roller derby after the Swarm left the field. Roller derby is just something I couldn’t get into. To me it was kind of slow and less violent then what I would like it to be. Plus the mascot looked pretty odd as it was a man dressed in pink fur, a tutu, and large ears.
That was pretty much the weekend for my brother and I. I do have to admit it feels pretty good to be the younger brother and yet have the ability to show the older brother a thing or two. I grew up being taught by my older brother (mostly of what not to do) and him always leading the way. Now it seems as if we are living in two different worlds where when he does enter mine, he looks to me to lead the way and provide experiences that are not available up north.


The Langers Ball

Town Hall Brewery

Blue Door Pub

MN Swarm