Guest Post: Low Key Date Night

Hi all. This is Mike, and I am finally writing a guest post for the blog! Needless to say, I have been waiting for this moment for weeks ;). Just a little bit about me first. I am 24 years old (though Jenna would say I sometimes act like I am about 7, I call it being ‘young at heart’), and originally came from the fine town of Bloomington, MN. For out-of-towners, this is where the Mall of America is. As Jenna has mentioned, I play the drums, and have done so for about 15 years. I am just starting up a band now, and we have about 12 songs written. I am pretty excited about it. An equal ‘passion’ of mine has to be basketball. Believe it or not, I am actually 1 of  only 20 or so fans left of our NBA team: the Minnesota Timberwolves aka “The Pride of Minneapolis.” They are going through some tough times, but there is nowhere to go but up:)! I contribute to a local blog on the Wolves and write an article about once or twice a month.

Anyhow, on to what you actually care about. Jenna and I have always been a  fan of Tex Mex restaurants, and to be honest, the options in Minneapolis aren’t the best. Along with a new development in a suburb came a restaurant called Laredo’s, which we have always kept our eye on. I had a chance to eat there for work last week, so I thought, why not make it twice in one week? I knew Jenna would love the place so the reservation was in by Saturday afternoon and we were there by 6:30 CST.

Of course, the obligatory tortilla chips and salsa that always come free in these restaurants:

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Jenna ordered a small pitcher of fresh Sangria with dinner. I went with a ‘Texas sized’ Dos Equis.

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Does anyone find it amusing that despite the free chips and salsa in Tex Mex Mex restaurants, there is often times a ‘Chip and Guac’ or Nacho’ appetizer available for purchase? It makes sense, but it just seems semi-redundant to me in a way. Anyhow, we went with a little something different: “Firecracker Poppers.” Here is the menu’s description, which is no doubt much more well-written then my Sunday A.M. pre-coffee jargon: six wonton wraps stuffed with roasted pineapple, strawberries, green chilies, diced jalapenos & cream cheese served with a sweet thai sauce. Photo:

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I have to say these things were out of this world. We wolfed them down quickly, and they may have been the highlight of dinner.

On to the main course, I went with a ‘Cowboy Stacker’ sandwich, which was a shaved beef brisket with cheese and whiskey barbeque sauce on a hoagie, fries, and a side of jalapeno infused ketchup. It was pretty good.

Jenna went with a veggie burger with a kick. Here is the menu description: veggie burger of black beans, brown rice, bulgar wheat, corn, tomatoes, onion & green chiles, topped with melted pepper jack cheese. Not my cup of tea but I have a feeling Jenna was in heaven:

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We were stuffed, so we took off and went over to Trader Joe’s next door for a few things, including some Pumpkin Butter which on a side note, makes excellent snack with Wheat Thins and cream cheese. Then, as if two grocery stores in one day wasn’t enough, we drove down to Whole Foods so Jenna could find her Peanut Butter and Jelly Larabars. Don’t worry, we only went there because there was a Ben and Jerry’s next door so we could get a quick dessert. I went with Chunky Monkey, and Jenna went with Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, which is a “Sweet Cream Cinnamon Ice Cream with Chunks of Oatmeal Cookies & Fudge.” Jenna put her’s in a bowl later with her trademark dollop of Cool Whip:

We had some options for post dinner activities last night. A few gatherings with friends, and some potential taverns in the area we could go to, but we collectively decided we weren’t in the ‘partying’ mood. So, we decided to stay in, enjoy a Magic Hat #9, and eat our ice cream. Magic Hat #9 is an excellent beer. I would describe it as a lighter pale ale with an apricot flavor. I have ordered in restaurants and have just recently seen it appearing in stores. Highly recommended!

If Jenna hasn’t mentioned it, we have a spiral staircase in the middle of our place which leads up to a big deck of our own on the roof of our building. It was a nice night so we sat up there and had some Magic Hats, enjoyed the outdoors for the night, and took in the view of the Minneapolis skyline! We won’t get to do that for much longer, since winter looms, so we felt it was needed!

My question is this: 1. What is your favorite beer? and/or 2. For those of you in colder climates, What do you do during the winter to keep yourself motivated?

I hope you enjoyed the guest post and I look forward to doing many more. Have a great lazy Sunday and a good week!

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8 responses to “Guest Post: Low Key Date Night

  1. Favorite beer has to be 90 Shilling from O’Dells brewery in Ft. Collins, CO.

    Keeping motivated in the winter: snow golf, skiing, stupid gym and shoveling show….

  2. Such a fun post! My BF and I have season tickets to the T-Wolves, I’m excited for the season to start again soon!!!
    Where is Laredo’s?

  3. First- Laredo’s is a great spot! I know Jenna has roots in TX (I lived in Austin last summer for an internship) and I don’t know if she’d agree with me on this, but there is NO tex-mex like tex-mex from the Lonestar state.
    Second- Wheat things/cream cheese/TJs pumpkin butter, great idea! I’m giong to give that a try. I’ve never heard of the Hat Trick #9, but I’ll have to also give that a try. I love trying new beers.
    Third- My fav. beer? Probably Blue Moon is my favorite, but to support a Midwest brew- I usually order a Linnie’s Sunset Wheat, Honeyweiss or Summer Shandy, instead.

  4. Fun post! I have been to Laredo’s before.. and I gave it a 3/5. I think I’d give pretty much any Tex Mex place a 3 though.. I just feel like I should be eating real mexican food!

    No beer for me, so I will leave question #1 unanswered. Question #2 though I can give some input: I have lived in Minneapolis my whole life (minus one year in Boston) so I’m used to the cold weather deal. I still run outdoors year long, but I take my biking indoors with spinning classes, and of course, I can still swim in the pool. I like having a race in winter (St. Paul Winter Carnival Half!!) to keep things exciting and have something to train for!

  5. I am lovin’ the guest post!! The dinner date sounds awesome, esp the sangria and those incredible wontons full of heaven oh em gee. Pumpkin butter + PBJ larabar shopping, you are a great boyfriend for sure 🙂 Have a wonderful Sunday both of you!

  6. thanks mike for such a great post!!
    looks like you two had a fun night 🙂
    jenna

  7. Great guest post Mike! I also LOVE low key date nights…I think they are actually slightly more fun that “party” nights haha. I bought a peanut butter and jelly larabar at WF’s today to try…I’m very excited for it!
    My favorite beer is actually no longer in production, but it was a Leinenkugel’s Apple Spice beer. It had a nice apple-cinnamoney flavor that was perfect for the fall! I’m super sad that they only had it for 1 season.
    I used to live in Michigan and found it very hard to stay motivated during the winter. I think what kept me going last year was that I had a very expensive gym membership as well as prepaid sessions with a personal trainer. Nothing like a kick in the wallet every month to keep you going to the gym.

  8. Pingback: Morocco for the night :) « CookinFanatic

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