Fargo, Food, North Dakota, Travel

Fargo Food Truck Festival

As I was scrolling away on Facebook one day(which I do way too often to be honest) I came across a food truck festival in the town about an hour south of where I live. Let’s be real this kind of thing doesn’t happen much in North Dakota so I was beyond excited. I mean the entire purpose of a food truck festival is to EAT so win-win for me.


While North Dakota doesn’t offer a large food truck festival there were still a good dozen trucks there to try out. The Texas BBQ truck offered a fun twist on tacos with their Hollywood Street tacos.


Smoked pulled pork with a fresh made mango salsa topped with a cilantro cream sauce. These were amazing! Definitely the best tacos we had between the two trucks with tacos we tried.


The CzechWagon had a huge variety of different options, one of which was deep fried banana foster cheesecake. For those you that don’t know yet, I love cheesecake but am VERY picky about it.


The cheesecake was smooth and creamy and you could definitely taste the caramel but the banana was lost. I’m not sure if they forgot to put a chunk of banana in or there was just supposed to be flavoring but either way it was non existent. However as a caramel cheesecake it was pretty good.


Chef Mobile was another truck we checked out and actually ended up grabbing another item on the way out. The first item we checked out was the Cajun Chicken wrap. This was so full of flavor and the chicken was so moist. Definitely recommend this to anyone checking out the truck!


The last item we brought home with us was the Mad Hatter. This consisted of pulled pork, fried egg, bacon, cheddar cheese, and raspberry BBQ sauce served in a toasted hot dog bun. Holy. Crap. This was phenomenal and I still crave it to this day!

Food truck season and done and over in this area of the country but I am already looking into some Minneapolis, MN area ones to attend in 2018! 🙂


Bemidji, Food, Minnesota, Travel

Bemidji Weekend

Back in August we were finally able to spend a weekend at my parent’s cabin in the Bemidji, MN area. It was the weekended of the Dragon Boat Festival which I have always wanted to check out and I of course found a couple great food places to stop at as well.


We got into town Friday evening and after some time checking out the water with our furbaby Elsa I figured some good Mexican food was definitely in order. We head to this local place called Mi Rancho which was amazing.


I instantly saw on the menu that they had HUGE margaritas so I got a raspberry one bigger than my face, it was amazing.


My husband got his typical order from any Mexican restaurant, some sort of XL beef burrito. He opted to not get it smothered in sauce and cheese due to the fact that he was getting closer to his first physique bodybuilding show. As always he enjoyed it though.


I opted for a Chili Rellenos platter mostly because it came with a tamale. Everything was packed with flavor but damn there was a lot of food on the plate so I ended up taking most of it home.

Saturday morning was finally Dragon Boat Festival time! This is an annual competition held in Bemidji, MN each year. Organizations have teams and they train for this each year. It was beautiful outside so we hung out and watched the festival for a little while.


We then had to check out Raphaels Bakery. I’ve been going to my parent’s cabin in this area for a good 15+ years so I’m not sure how I’ve never been to this place before but it definitely lived up to expectations.


We got there and the place was PACKED. No sitting room left which was fine since we just wanted to get some donuts and leave.


There was a huge selection of donuts, breads, and pastries that they were constantly working to refill. The back part of the building with the kitchen looked just as big as the front so they were busy churning out new stuff all the time.


I had to get a S’mores donut because I love anything s’mores. The donut itself was soft and unlike most that have a graham cracker topping the cracker was actually still crisp. I find most places that do a donut like this end up with soggy graham crackers so it was nice to find one that wasn’t that way!


Finished up the visit with a chubby bunny which consisted of chocolate icing, chocolate chips, and banana pudding in the middle. It was such a delicious combo and the changes in texture between the donut, chips, and pudding was so smooth.


We drove around a little before heading back to the cabin for the rest of the weekend and the food scene has definitely expanded in the area. Stay tuned for more in the Bemidji, MN area!

Food, Grand Forks, North Dakota

Half Brothers Brewing Company

So this last quarter of the year we don’t have much travel as we are saving up for LOTS of travel in 2018 so to keep things rolling I’m mixing in some travel I haven’t blogged about yet with locally owned restaurants from my hometown of Grand Forks, ND.

I had a meeting for the local pageant I run earlier this week and we decided to check out the new brewhouse, Half Brothers Brewing Company. Their menu had something called a Bacon Flight on it so I was obviously intrigued right away.


The place has a really good casual vibe right when you walk in and you can see where they are brewing the beer.


It was pretty busy so we sat near the back where they have a small stage area.


I’m personally not a beer drinker but everyone else I was with said it was great. Apparently the chokecherry beer was the favorite choice amongst the group! The glasses are cute though, which I’m sure was the goal of guys that opened the place haha!


We all seemed to order something a little different which was great to see all the different options on the menu. I obviously took advantage of the Bacon Flight and ordered the Pretzel Bites with beer cheese dip because I figure a brewhouse should always be able to make a decent pub app like this.


The Bacon Flight was good. I mean it’s bacon so what’s not to love. There were supposedly different kinds but they didn’t really have a distinct difference in flavor which was a little disappointing. Also, they serve it chewy, not crispy, which I’m not a fan of but still tried it all so I could savor the bacon goodness. Overall, it was alright, I won’t be ordering it again but it is a great option for all those chewy bacon lovers out there!


The pretzel bites and beer cheese dip were really great. Seriously this is always my test at a brewhouse. If you can’t make a decent beer cheese dip then I assume you have no clue how to cook the rest of the food on your menu. Harsh maybe but this place passed the test with flying colors!


To go “boxes” leave a little room for improvement as you can either get a full pizza box or a thin plastic goodie bag which won’t work for a few of the items on the menu. I will also say they have a $10 order minimum if you want to run your credit card, one of the very few places in town that have that stipulation(any order amount for cash obviously).

Overall I will definitely be back. The menu prices are great and they had some other options I would definitely want to try out!



Food, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Travel

Minneapolis part 4

It’s time for the fourth and final segment from our Minneapolis trip. I guess when you’re there for 10 nights you have a lot of places to talk about although I will warn you there is a duplicate restaurant in this post again but it’s so damn good I couldn’t stop going!

Sober Fish


Sober Fish was this cute little sushi place I happened to find near the gym my husband was going to. The menu looked good so we tried it out. Lots of raw sushi options which isn’t usually our thing but we gave it a try and tried some new things. Definitely good but if you don’t LOVE raw fish this probably isn’t the place you want to go.



This place is in the Mall of America and honestly my favorite place to get my Mexican food fix when I’m in Minneapolis(until I find something more local and authentic). Servings are HUGE and we always have to take things home. We started with the Tostadas Carnitas and let me just say their Carnitas meat the best I’ve ever had! Seriously just melt in your mouth, it’s phenomenal!


I always end up ordering some sort of seafood taco for my entree but seriously look at all this food!! No normal person can eat all of this in one serving. Needless to say I was having midnight leftovers as I did some work on my business in hotel room later! This was the Tacos de Langosta and it was great. The picture doesn’t do it justice as the lighting is dim in there but it’s filled with lobster, bacon, rice, beans, and avocado, YUM!! Seriously so good.

Smack Shack


Yes we went back to Smack Shack. It was so good I thought about it all week and decided on our last night we need to venture back.

You may remember my other post featuring this restaurant I got the lobster roll and that huge carrot cake. I told myself I had to try new things this time so I started with the smaller portion of the Lobster Bisque, holy shit yum!


Just creamy and rich with big chunks of lobster in it. Seriously this place does not skimp on the lobster!


My entree was the lobster mac and cheese which again had huge chunks of lobster in and homemade cheese sauce. Just amazing


We did of course sit on the patio again this year but brought Elsa with this time. Silly pup backed her butt off the patio and stood there half up on the patio half standing on the sidewalk. Can’t bring her anywhere 🙂

Tavern on France

Yes again with Tavern on France but this time for brunch. I apologize in advance for these pics as we sat inside and it is DARK in there and I wasn’t going to be that asshole with the flash on taking pictures.


Right away you get to build your own omelet which in included in the brunch buffet. Check as many things on the paper as you like and they will throw it all in there for you. I did a simple bacon, tomato, and gouda and it was great.


They also bring a plate of fresh made caramel rolls to your table, they honestly could use some more caramel on them but they were still pretty good.

Now to the actual buffet part. The reason I wanted to try this brunch first was because their picture showed bacon and any brunch buffet with bacon can easily win my heart. There was so many options it was almost overwhelming. Pastries, fresh fruit, salad, 2 kinds of eggs, biscuits and gravy, omelet bar, fresh carved ham, bacon, sausage, pasta, and so much more.


I would like to say one of these plate pictures was my husbands but that would be a lie. I had to try everything and I have no self control around unlimited bacon and fresh cut fruit.


Definitely recommend Tavern on France for really any meal but their brunch is to die for!


Food, Minneapolis, Travel

Minneapolis Part 3

I feel like my trips are always planned around the places I want to check out to eat. My husband doesn’t quite understand the foodie life but that’s ok, it means I don’t have to cook all the time and he still gets fed. 🙂

For part 3 of the Minneapolis series we stopped at a local cupcake place called Sweet Retreat Cupcake Boutique. We tried to go here on July 3rd but they were closed so we(I) made it a mission to come back when they were open to check it out.

Why so determined? Well when they have awesome cakes like these in the windows you know you need to try it


Yeah, that’s a 5 tier Harry Potter cake and a 5 tier Beauty and the Beast cake. The lighting was crap but you get the idea of the epic awesome-ness that sits in their shop window.

Inside it was this cute little girly shop that I could imagine having a 6 years olds party.


Seriously so cute.

Their cupcake varieties vary each day so don’t walk in with your heart set on a certain specialty one. You won’t be disappointed in their selection though, lots of delicious cupcakes to drool over! We went right when they opened so they were still getting everything out on display.


I set my heat on a Smores, classic wedding buttercream, and this one with a million sprinkles.


They were fabulous, moist, fluffy, and just melt in your mouth. I highly recommend for anyone in the area to check out. Totally worth your time!


I mean just look at all those sprinkles!!!!

My “Minneapolis Food Tour” found me back at Tavern on France. This is the place from my last post with the pizza but this time I opted for the Build Your Own Salad option. Seriously you just can’t go wrong at this place.

I filled out my card and snapped a pic this time so you could see all the options and what I had specifically chosen.


If I remember correctly the base fee for the salad is somewhere around $12 then add on prices for certain meats. As you can see my salad was fully loaded and packed with different flavor.


This doesn’t do the size justice as this salad was massive and I had to take half of it home to finish later. I do want to add that the cashew chicken salad right on top in the middle was PHENOMENAL! I would order this all on its own next time as the cashew chicken salad on the menu comes in a pineapple boat with tons of fresh fruit. People kept ordering it around us and I wasn’t sure what it was till I had it on my salad.

That’s all for part 3! One more blog on Minneapolis before we move to another area! 🙂


Minneapolis Part 2

This took me so long to get written. I think I just didn’t want to admit that this trip was over so I put it off for awhile.

Monday July 3rd

We were on a mission to check out a local doggie store with fun treats for our furbaby Elsa. Unfortunately the one we went to first was closed for the holiday the next day so we stumbled upon Bentley’s pet store instead. Elsa loved it and the staff was super helpful. We left with way more things than we needed for her. Great prices at the Edina store off France Ave for those in the area. We scored 60% off most of the bones pictured.


One thing I LOVE about Minneapolis is how super dog friendly the town is. Not only are patios dog friendly but most of them even have a stash of dog bowls to fill with water.

After spending too much on our furbaby we decided it was of course time for lunch and checked out this other place close by the pet store called Tavern on France.

Honestly, now one of my favorite restaurants in the area and we will be going there EVERY time we are in Minneapolis.

They had dog bowls for water that they brought you immediately when you sat on the patio.


They have a full menu of great options PLUS multiple Build Your Own check list sheets which let you customize your own pizza, salad, burger, or bloody mary.

During this visit I decided it was time for pizza and oh my was it amazing!


Crisp, thin crust piled high with the topping of my choosing. This particular combo is: garlic aoili, shrimp, feta cheese, tomatoes, spinach, and crumbled bacon.


Tons of left overs and I will add that the crust still maintains its integrity after sitting in the hotel room fridge for awhile!


Dinner involved a visit to the chain restaurant Bubba Gump Shrimp, standard delicious seafood with a great combo special going on for the summer that included tilapia, your choice of shrimp skewer, and a shrimp side.


The night finished off with the best firework show around(yes on July 3rd) done by the Summer Fete festival! Our hotel room actually faced the display so we hung out in the room and watched the display.

July 4th was a blur of relaxation, swimming and napping but we decided to spend the evening at a local drive in. We have a drive in close to town but they always play movies a little on the older side that either are no longer in theaters or are almost out so when we saw the lineup at Vali-Hi Drive in we were surprised!

IMG_2234For only $8.50 each you go to see 3 brand new movies. We read some reviews online before hand so we would be prepared. If you decide to check this place out they only take cash so come with it in your wallet. Also, get there early! Seriously, we were about an hour and a half early before showtime and we were still about the 40th car in line. The line went all the way down the road and people were still coming in when the first movie was starting.


Snack selection was great, again remember they only take cash. Service was great from everyone and I would definitely recommend checking this place out if you are in the area!


More Minneapolis to come!! 🙂


Minneapolis Trip Part 1

The hubby and I are out of town for a god chunk of July, living it up in Minneapolis from June 30-July 10.

We come to Minneapolis a few times a year just to get out of town and explore.

We wanted to focus on trying some new places and doing new things instead of the same old Mall of America and ValleyFair the entire time.

Saturday July 1st

We started the first full day in Minneapolis with a trip to Glam Doll Donuts. We had heard good things and had to check the place out as I love me a good donut!


I ordered a basic raised donut with chocolate glaze and sprinkles, named the Chocolate Starlet, just as you would expect it to taste. Light, fluffy, with the perfect amount of icing.

Tony had one called Night Moves, which was a cake donut with blackberry hennessey icing & blackberry jam. He devoured it so I’m thinking it was good.


As you may know by know I’m a huge lover of bacon so I had to try one of their bacon donuts. I decided to go with the Pinup Girl + Bacon, a bourbon infused apple fritter with caramelized bacon. I really couldn’t believe how bad this donut was. WAY too much bourbon, it was literally all you could taste, no apple fritter flavor popped out, and apparently they don’t understand what “caramelized” bacon means as it was undercooked soggy bacon. Definitely disappointed in this one.


After that we headed to Knapton’s Farms to pick some fresh raspberries. It was a good experience. They had a lot of bushes to pick from and it took us awhile to walk around and fill 2 pints.

We finished off our meals for the day with dinner at the Smack Shack.


This place was featured on the Food Network Diners, Drive Ins, and Dives back when they were just a food truck that was also operating out of 1029 Bar. Needless to say they have come a long way since then with a higher end location in the North Loop area of Minneapolis.

We sat outside on the “patio”. I use air quotes because there is a real patio area and then the small section of tables that is literally in an alley, it was a little weird but there wasn’t too many cars going through there.(P.S. the patio is dog friendly!!)


Tony ordered the Jambalaya and loved it. A generous portion filled with shrimp, sausage, and chicken.


I opted for the Connecticut Style Lobster Roll and it was phenomenal! The bun was over flowing with big, juicy, tender chunks of lobster meat and it was paired with crispy cajun fries.


We were already full but decided to test the dessert menu, when in North Loop right?

So pleasantly surprised with our triple decker carrot cake. Moist cake with a perfectly made cream cheese frosting.


Finally, we went for a family walk with our furbaby at Normandale Lake Park. Beautiful area with nice paths to walk on.


Elsa decided to ruin the moment by burping in my face when we went to take a nice family photo!


Sunday July 2nd

Sunday was unintentionally a short day.


We went to Nightingale for brunch and bottomless mimosas.


Let me say, I have NO control when it comes to bottomless mimosas.

I ordered the french toast with the whipped ricotta(so good) and had way too many mimosas.


I will say, $10 for bottomless mimosas here is such a steal. They are STRONG and delicious so beware to not have too many like I did!


Needless to say, that was the end of the day for me….

More Minneapolis reviews coming soon!



Breakfast Smasher Bowl

Anytime we are going to be heading out of town we try to use up anything in the fridge so nothing goes to waste.

Personally, I love doing this because it forces me to be a little creative with the things we have. However, I’m pretty sure my husband hates it because we have to make everything from scratch and still make sure we don’t have any leftovers before we leave.

Normally I batch cook and we can rotate between leftovers but these days before we head out of town are all about eating it till it’s gone so I don’t make something else until we finish something first.

This morning I was craving a mix up from my normal breakfast routine which has been waffle breakfast sandwiches for awhile.


I happen to always have plenty of breakfast type foods around as it is my favorite meal of the day so it was easy to use some things up for this Breakfast Smasher Bowl.

Breakfast Smasher Bowls:

I literally measured nothing and neither should you 😉


Your base of this bowl is tator tots, cooked and smashed(hint hint that’s where the smasher name comes from)


Next layer should be eggs(gotta get that protein!)


After that, the rest is up to you! I used a baggie of ham I already cut up, some cheese, and some salsa I wanted to get out of the fridge before we went out of town. You could add peppers, onion, bacon(yum), sausage gravy, mushrooms, or literally any other topping you want to this to make it your own.


Serving size wise you can make an individual small batch with a few tots, an egg, and small amount of toppings or just go to town and feed a small army. My bowl ended up being somewhere in between those two!


The possibilities are really endless with this and you could mix it up every time to create new flavors each day!



Veggie Omelette Starter Packs!


I am so awful at eating my veggies.

Like really awful

I just haven’t found a way that I LOVE to have most veggies so I resist eating them

Plus they go bad so fast when you buy fresh that I just end up throwing money away

My husband is the same

So in an effort to increase both our veggie intakes I figured it was time to start small with something easy

Insert veggie omelette starter packs


I like veggies in my omelettes(not as much as I like bacon but still) so I thought this was a great way to give it a try

What you will need:

Veggies of choice(I used red onion, green pepper, tomato, and mushrooms)


Cutting board/mat

Ziplock baggies


Simple and easy to make these, chop everything up, toss it together in a bowl, divide among baggies, and put the baggies in the freezer

Now whenever you want an omelette just take out a baggie.

Heat a little olive oil on your pan, cook the veggies, add the eggs, cook, and eat.


Simple, easy, healthy, and now you’re getting your veggies!


Simple & Easy Pumpkin Muffins


So things have been crazy in our house over the last week.

Our furbaby, Elsa, has been sick. Diarrhea every 2 hours since 5pm on Saturday(overshare sorry!)

Over the weekend we tried to do some home remidies to help her feel better which included rice and pumpkin.


Turns out we only have LARGE 28 oz. cans of pumpkin in the cupboard and needless to say our 25lb dog does not need to consume that much pumpkin

Being someone who doesn’t like things to go to waste I knew I wanted to try to put together a new pumpkin muffin recipe and let me just say it turned out AMAZING! My hubby was even taking 6 to work and coming home with zero left each day!


So here is my simple and easy Pumpkin Muffin Recipe:

  • 1¾ cups flour
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 can (28 oz) pumpkin puree(minus about 1/2 cup)
  • ½ cup vegetable or canola oil
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
 Mix all the ingredients together, fill into a muffin pan, and bake 20-25 minutes at 375 degrees! Mine made about 16 muffins total but it may vary on how much pumpkin you put in!