As many of you very-well are aware, I love food. I am a self-proclaimed foodie who enjoys exploring whatever area I am in for the best coffee and food that I can find. I do not get to explore as much as I would like to, unfortunately, because I live in Hibbing
(a town with nothing, and a town by nothing). My most frequent trips are to Duluth and very rarely, The Twin Cities area. Lately I have found myself out and about quite a bit more often than usual, so I figured that I would make a post with some suggestions for you all as I know that many of my followers are always asking me for food suggestions! My latest foodie adventures include coffee and food from both Duluth and the Twin Cities area. I know most of my Hibbing and Duluth readers, specifically, are always asking for suggestions as to which coffee shops and restaurants, in our area, are the best, so I do plan on making a post dedicated to just those subjects alone! However, I have a few new cafes that I have discovered in this area that I need to make my way to and test out before I am able to do that(; For now, please enjoy this post full of all the random cafes and restaurants I have visited lately!
Pictured above on the left is the soy cappuccino that I ordered with my mother, whose latte is on the right, when we were in Duluth about 4 weeks ago! We visited Duluth Coffee Company. This cafe is, by-far, my favorite place for coffee in the entire city of Duluth!
After finishing our coffee we trekked down the street to the Zeitgeist Arts Cafe for lunch. I had never been here before this meal, but I will definitely go back! I ordered the Green Living Bowl. It contained broccoli, bok choy, kale, shallots, toasted sunflower seeds, pickled ginger, and tahini sauce all on brown basmati rice. I added tofu for some protein, which was grilled to perfection. I do not get the chance to order tofu often, because many placed do not offer it, and Zeigiest perfected it. It was a nice, filling meal.
That weekend my father took Lizzy, my niece Katie, my nephew Logan, and I to the Como Zoo down in the cities area. Before getting to see all the animals, we stopped for breakfast at a cute cafe that I found with the help of Yelp. The Birchwood Cafe was in an odd place of the city, positioned in a neighborhood setting, but it was very cute! I ordered this oat-milk latte to begin my morning, and it was amazing! It was also the first time I had ever been to any cafe that offered oat-milk in Minnesota so I was very excited about that!
Naturally, when avocado toast is offered, I accept. Their version was a nicely toasted, thick piece of sourdough topped with avocado, red fresno peppers, lime, fancy salt, and what they referred to as “garden doodads” (which of course I ate). I added a poached egg that came separately, but it was a perfect addition to the grains.
Fast-forward about four hours, after lots of walking and gorgeous views of many extraordinary animals! It is quite amazing to see critters such as giraffes and apes in their natural habitats! They are so intelligent and very cute! Back to the food though…I had, long-time, been following this cafe on Instagram, in hopes that I would get to visit eventually, and finally my wish came true! Cafe Astoria, a newer coffee joint, is known for they 24k gold latte among many other unique menu items. Above on the right was my soy latte, 24k gold version of course, and Katie’s Campfire Latte. It was a mesmerizing sight to watch the barista toast the marshmallow right behind the counter!
After my coffee, I ordered a smoothie bowl for lunch! They have quite a few on their menu, however this is one that is one their ‘secret menu’, which they often talk about on Instagram, so I knew exactly what to order! I enjoyed this strawberry smoothie topped with banana, goji, strawberries, dragonfruit, pipits, and plain greek yogurt! Normally they add granola and sometimes nuts, but due to my tree-nut allergy, it isn’t an option for me. However, the team was more than accommodating with my allergy and prepared this bowl very carefully, and extremely well.
The weekend following our zoo visit came our trip back to the cities to do some school clothes shopping at The Mall of America! My breakfast pick for that morning was the most aesthetically-pleasing restaurant I had ever been to. With self-seating among a large space and many, many tables, all a bit different, some near windows, some outside, some in the middle of the cafe, some in the side-room near the couches and fireplace, it was more like visiting an extremely modern and cute home than a business. The Lynhall had such a diverse menu which caused my indecisive side to set on fire!! Every morning they bake all sorts of fresh treats so I ordered this gorgeous cinnamon roll to start.
Above is table view of my roll, the sea-salt butterscotch date cake that belonged to my mother, and the zucchini-lemon bread with icing on top that was ordered by Liz.
To pair with our baked goods we all ordered coffee. I bet you had no clue that I ordered an oat-milk cappuccino, which was good, however they did not add quite as much foam as you normally receive with cappuccinos (my favorite part).
Our breakfast came shortly after we finished our treats. I ordered The Fresh Tartine, pictured on the right, which was full of heirloom tomatoes, brie cheese fondue, a poached egg, and fine herbs. My mother ordered The Potato Sourdough Tartine, on the left, which was decorated with a soft scrambled egg, wild mushroom conservative, dried olive,argula, and pecorino. I have always found it funny how expensive dished like this can be, because if you really put in into perspective, they are only pieces of toast…However, they were stacked with goods that kept us full for a long day at the mall!
For dinner that night, post dropping after shopping, we all choose to pick our own meals in the food court at the mall. I choose to eat at Freshii where I ordered a bowl that I built on my own. It started with a green base, and then went on to get stuffed with chicken, beets, corn, avocado, lots of black beans, salsa fresca, a lime wedge, and topped with a spicy yogurt dressing. It was a very refreshing way to end that crazy day!
The following Monday my father and I were in Duluth for the afternoon, which called for a stop at Duluth Coffee Company. It was especially exciting because we bond over coffee quite often, and so to get to bring him to my favorite cafe for the first time, it was extremely momentoutous. I ordered my usual: a soy capp. The cafe tends to always have fresh baked goods from The Zenith Bread Project, a local bread/baked goods bakery right in Duluth that sells to the different businesses in the city. That day they were offering these soft pumpkin cookies, which was more like a muffin, with cream cheese frosting…and I am the biggest sucker for pumpkin flavored anything, and I love to support local business, so I couldn’t pass this up. P.S. I am very thankful that I ate the cookie, it was one of the best pumpkin treats I have ever had.
A few days later, that Saturday, Lizzy and I decided to have a fun sister day in Duluth. I let her sleep-in, which can be a dangerous move with my sleepyhead-of-a-sister, but finally cracked and woke her up at 11:30. We got to Panera just in time for lunch before our stomaches became the death of us. During fall, the chain restaurant always offers this Autumn-Squash Soup, and I always order it. This soup has a touch of sweetness, thanks to some honey, but is so savory due to all of the veggies. Topped with pepitas and paired with a salad, it becomes my absolute favorite fall go-to order here. There is something about yummy, warm soup on a cold autumn day that is so tempting.
After quite a bit of walking around Canal Park and making our way down to the Bayfront area to view some hot air balloons, we decided it was time for some coffee. Another Duluth favorite of mine is The Lake Superior Bakehouse. I brought my Bible and Lizzy had homework. With a soy latte in hand, Lizzy with a maple latte, we relaxed a bit and enjoyed each other. (Look at how much foam was on my drink that afternoon! It was pure bliss!)
For dinner, after watching a long but exciting soccer game in Superior, we tried Va Bene Caffe for dinner. It is an Italian Cafe near the Fitzgers building in Duluth that I had never tried, but had on my bucket-list. They gave us some fresh bread when we entered, and it was mouth-watering. The bread, topped with rosemary, came with oil and balsamic and only lasted for as long as we could chew. I then ordered the Nicoise Salad which contained romaine lettuce topped with olives, beets, asparagus, artichokes, potatoes, tomatoes, red onion, hardboiled egg and grilled wild Alaskan salmon served with dijon vinaigrette. It was absolutely amazing. I am so excited to go back and try new dishes!
For dessert, of course, if your at an Italian place, you MUST order gelato. We were both pretty stuffed so we shared an order of the double fudge chocolate cookie. It sounds absolutely overpowering of sweetness, but it was just delightful and a great way to end our night.
The next day I woke up extra early for my next adventure with an amazing friend of mine, Chloe. Both of us being Christians, and loving to attend church on Sundays, decided to go to a service in Duluth that morning and spend the rest of that afternoon in the city. We began our day eating at one of my favorite places in Duluth, At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Cafe. I ordered the Chester Greek Omelette filled with spinach, tomato, feta, garlic, red onion, kalamata olives, roasted red pepper sauce, and mixed greens with toast, fresh fruit, and a side-order of their veggie medley that is my favorite! They have amazing, organic coffee that I took advantage of as well!
After attending the later service at The Vineyard Church, we made our way to Perk Place Coffeehouse that was right down the road. Chloe is as much of a coffee lover as I am, and we both love this cafe and their peanut-butter mocha, so that is what we both ordered that afternoon!
We talked and laughed that day, walking around Canal. We had had such a large breakfast that we were not too hungry for lunch. So for a lighter option we went to The Whole Foods Co-op. There are two locations in Duluth, but I usually go to the Hillside location. That is where we went and I built this salad that was packed with all kinds of fresh veggies! We went home soon after another exciting day of exploration!
My third day in a row in Duluth, my mother and I went to Duluth Coffee Company. She ordered their current, special autumn drink, The Autumn Affogato. According to my mother, it was very unique and very tasty. It is espresso with butternut squash ice cream that gets all dressed up with whipped cream and nutmeg.
And of course, here is my soy latte(:
For dinner we drove to Tavern on the Hill. I ordered this smashed cauliflower as an appetizer, and it was extremely tasty. You would never know that it was a vegetable!
For my main course I decided on The Watermelon Salad. It was stuffed with a house-made, free-range turkey salad that contained fresh red peppers and blueberries. It was a very strange dish, but those are my favorite kind. I definitely would order this again, although it is also something I could easily make at my house too, and most likely will!
My mom ordered their new Butternut Squash Noodle dish that had all kinds of veggies and a Thai Peanut Sauce drizzled on top. I ate her leftovers for lunch the next day and, although it was a bit too spicy for me, I enjoyed all the unique flavor notes.
Just two days ago, my latest adventure, brought me back to Duluth to visit one of my most amazing friends, Eva. We met for breakfast at my other favorite Duluth spots, The Duluth Grill. This place is very similar to Sara’s Table in that they serve local, fresh and organic meals. We were both starving that morning so we both ordered a fresh fruit tray and shared a cinnamon roll that was freshly-baked that morning. For my main dish I got their Besan Chilla “Vegan Omlet”. The omelette is made with a seasoned garbanzo bean mix that stood in for the eggs and was stuffed with pico de gallo, onions, bell peppers, roasted red peppers, scallions, spicy beans, corn, and an accent of nutritional yeast. It was then topped with fresh salsa and avocado. I am not a vegan nor a vegetarian, but I do like to eat in that way when I can as I love to support our environment and the planet in that way! On the side I had the most amazing red flannel hash, their hash brown alternative, containing sweet potato, carrots, onions, peppers, and beets. Neither Eva nor I could finish our breakfasts, but I wish I had had enough room to do so!
For an afternoon snack/lunch type meal, we went to Duluth Coffee Company because we were still full from earlier. I got a cold press, which was the best iced coffee I have ever had, and then Eva and I both got this ice cream. It was from Love Creamery, a local ice-cream maker who handcrafts the sweets right in Duluth. Their ingredients are local and organic. The label read cream, milk, sugar, eggs, salt, and caramel. So simple, so real, yet the best ice-cream I have ever eaten. Ever.
I have developed such an appreciation for good food and coffee after it having become such a scarcity in my life the last few years. Food is such a beautiful part of life. It has such a deep meaning in our society, bringing people together and is such an easy way to bring about happiness. It really saddens me when people treat food as nothing special, like it should not be celebrated. Food is special, and it should be treated that way! Why eat at McDonald’s when you could get a sandwich from a local place with fresh meats, cheeses, veggies, and bread? Or if you need to run into a fast-food place, try choosing one that cares about their meals and the ingredients that they use, such as Panera Bread. I love finding new spots to enjoy meals and coffee. I always like to look for organic and fresh ingredients when I can, and love to support local places as well. If the options aren’t available, then I just do the best that I can. Sometimes that does mean eating at a typical American restaurant, but that is all apart of living a balanced life. You do the best that you can when you can! Striving for balance as a foodie also means ordering what my body is asking for, and occasionally including a treat if I want it or if the setting calls for a treat.
I hope you all enjoyed all the food photos and the latte art I was able to share with you! I definitely plan to do more foodie adventure posts in the future! Until next time my fellow foodies!