Celebrating Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis

Sota Pop Minnesota artists event

The past 10 days leading up to Super Bowl LII have been a celebration of the NFL and state of Minnesota. Since I work downtown in the middle of all the festivities, the excitement has been obvious. While I’m excited to be getting my bus route back, it has been fun seeing the city, region and state showcase the best of Minnesota.

I’ve been lucky enough to take advantage of a lot of the activities downtown leading up to the big game. I want to share some of the highlights and images from the past week.

Leading up, I went to Super Bowl Live and the Super Bowl Experience. Check out some images from the events.

Super Bowl LII ice sculpture

Kitten Bowl 2018 Minneapolis

A Dolphins throwback to my South Florida days for all my favorite Dol-fans.

Ice sculptures on Nicollet Mall during Super Bowl Live.

Kurt Warner’s hand compared to mine. Gotta see the hometown boy.

Did you do Super Bowl related activities? If so, I would love to hear what you thought in the comments or, better yet, if you wrote a post, please link to that!

Review: Reverie Cafe and Bar Breakfast

Reverie Cafe polenta rancheros } Kale and Ale

Polenta rancheros at Reverie Cafe and Bar in Minneapolis

Reverie Cafe and Bar, a casual vegan restaurant in Minneapolis, recently started serving breakfast. As I’ve been meaning to go back since I had a delicious Cuban sandwich for dinner last year, I decided now is the time to return.

Since I knew Aaron and I would be out and about, looking for something to stick with us for a while, I suggested checking out Reverie’s breakfast offerings. We got there about 9:40 on Sunday—perfect timing to grab one of the few off-street spots they have. We beat the rush by about 10 minutes, which means we had a pick of tables and got to the front for food.

I knew I wanted the Benedict, as it looked amazing and because I could never stomach a non-vegan version. It wasn’t meant to be, as they were out of shiitake bacon. I was momentarily disappointed and stumped as to what to order, but the employees assured me everything was good. They pointed me to a section of the menu with more savory dishes. I choose the polenta rancheros and Aaron had the biscuits and gravy.

Reverie Cafe breakfast | Kale and Ale

Polenta rancheros and biscuits and gravy at Reverie Cafe and Bar in Minneapolis

Both were amazing choices, savory depth of flavor. We shared a bit of each and I couldn’t decide which I liked better.  I don’t know what’s in it or how they did it, but the beans in my dish had such a good flavor that I couldn’t exactly place. This was disappointing in the fact that I can’t even try to replicate it at home. The fillings were very large portions; I didn’t finish mine and I was full almost until dinner. I would go back again for either of these or to hopefully get the Benedict in a heartbeat.

Restaurant review: Reverie Cafe + Bar, Minneapolis

Reverie menu | Kale and Ale

Reverie counter and menu

I recently visited Reverie Cafe + Bar in Minneapolis,  a casual all-day café with a coffee shop vibe. It’s an all-vegan establishment except for milk for coffee, and the newest kid on the block for veg food, located at the intersection of Franklin and Nicollet. The cafe opens at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 on weekends, closing when the show that night is over, 1 a.m. at the latest.

While the menu isn’t large, it’s flavorful and touches the basics. The menu evolves, focusing on flavorful and filling soups, salads, sandwiches and appetizers.

Reverie Jackfruit Cubano | Kale and Ale

Reverie Jackfruit Cubano

I was excited to try the jackfruit Cuban, which was very good, but Aaron’s seitan BBQ had a nice zingy kick that made me slightly question my meal choice, but neither would steer you wrong. The fact that the menu is changing and expanding is great, as it’s a reason to go back and try more. And the local beer options are plentiful, so it was great picking new beers to wash down the delicious food.

Fellow blogger and vegan Laura at 1 Girl 2 Cities recently posted a dessert from there that looked a-mazing!

Reverie has #vegan chocolate peanut butter truffles OMG

A post shared by Laura VZ (@1girl2cities) on


If you have been to Reverie, please share your thoughts in the comments. I would love to know what you got and thought. I can’t wait to go back!

Working Little G’s pizza food truck

Enjoying my own creation from Little G's Pizza

Enjoying my own creation from Little G’s Pizza

I had the opportunity to make a pizza of my own at Little G’s Mobile Pizzeria, a wood-fired pizza food truck based in the Twin Cities. Inside the food truck. My own pizza. And it was a great time.

You read that right. Seems pretty random, right? Well, it came about pretty randomly.

A hard cider-loving friend and I went to the cider tap room Sociable Cider Werks. It was hopping, standing-room only (and rightfully so—check it out!). A nice group of two couples invited us to join their large table since we were standing with coats, drinks and purses near them. Minnesota nice, right?! And one of them was related to the person who runs the food truck that was there that day. Yes, Little G himself!

Little G (Johnny Goral) stopped at our table and we chatted with him. I mentioned I would love to peek inside the truck, and he invited me in to make a pizza of my own. What? Yes, that JUST happened! I took him up on that offer, hopped in the truck and went to town. When I saw they have a Reuben-style pizza, I made a vegetarian version. They didn’t have mushrooms that day, so really it was onions, peppers and sauerkraut with 1,000 Island dressing, but it was still good to me (I’m not sure if the rest of the table agreed).

So many toppings Johnny G's KaleAndAle.com

So many toppings

Topping my own pizza Johnny G's KaleAndAle.com

Topping my own pizza

Cooking in the wood-fire oven Johnny G's KaleAndAle.com

Cooking in the wood-fire oven

I got to push my pizza into the wood-fire oven. I’ve never used a wood-fire oven, but I love how quickly it bakes and creates a crunchy yet chewy crust and bubbly cheese top. I pulled the pizza out, let it cool a minute and cut it. The 10-inch masterpiece was mine! And I made it myself.

This pizza is the real deal as far as food truck wood-fired pizza goes. I am a huge fan of this pizza, and not just because I made it myself. Thanks for letting me try my hand at this, Johnny!


KaleAndAle.com moves north

Me on the Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theater overlooking the Stone Arch Bridge and Mississippi River in November 2013.

Me on the Endless Bridge at the Guthrie Theater overlooking the Stone Arch Bridge and Mississippi River in November 2013.

I consider myself a pretty private person. I don’t like being the center of attention, even if something about me is being celebrated. I don’t share a lot for a variety of reasons, often even with those close to me.

I’m not about to go into a big thing here, but the past year has brought many very-high highs and very-low lows and everything in between to my life. My strength has been tested, my life is much different than it was at the beginning of 2013, but I’m trying to be the best me there is given the cards I’m dealt.

After 9.5 years away from the Midwest, a place I’ve always considered my home, I am moving back today. I moved away a year after college, leaving my hometown and moving to Georgia. I only knew one person and had held an entry-level job in my field of journalism for one year. At that time I had a plan of where I would like to be, career-wise by the time I was 30, but beyond that (30 and the career part of my life), I had no plan. The newspaper industry has changed. I’m older than 30. And I’ve lived in South Florida almost longer than I’ve lived anywhere.

So when an opportunity to work for a magazine within driving distance of my hometown, in a city I enjoy visiting and have friends in, became available, I applied. And I got the job. So today, I am starting the drive from Boca Raton, Florida, where it’s about 80 degrees and I held a job that has helped me grow professionally and I have met great people and had wonderful experiences, to Minneapolis, where it’s about zero degrees and I’m entering the world of magazine publishing, where I can drive to see my family and spend holidays with them for the first time in my career.

Whew, for not talking about myself, that was a lot, huh?

How does this affect you, the reader, and my blog? Weeeellll, this kind of explains why I have been quieter on the blog the past half-a-year or so. And due to location the blog will change a little, including (but I’m sure not limited to):

  • Seasons (not just comfortable and hot) will be included in this blog.
  • I plan to get a bike soon, so you can hear about those adventures. I haven’t been on a bike on a regular basis since I was about 15 years old.
  • Produce will definitely change. Goodbye mangoes and avocados from coworkers yards and year-round farmers’ markets. Hello apples and other foods I will be introduced to and getting excited when the growing season starts.
  • Running will include more than just flat land and warm temperatures.
  • I hope to share more of the restaurants, markets and shops I visit and explore in my new city. I have meant to share where I go in South Florida more, but haven’t been good about it. But going forward, the blog will include more of that.

I’m sure there are many things I’m forgetting. I’m sad to leave Florida but happy to be closer to home in a journalism capacity.

If you live in or are visiting the Twin Cities, have something to share as I get adjusted or want to meet up for a drink or at a garden (when it’s nice) or the market, please let me know! And please send good thoughts as I travel from South Florida to the Upper Midwest.