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Hon? The Prowler Needs a Jump: 24 Hours in Fargo

23 Mar

If you are from the Upper-Midwest and have traveled anywhere, when asked where you are from you will 9 times out of 10 get a Fargo quote thrown at you in a poorly done Minnesota accent. It’s usually just a YAAAA SUUUURE YOOOOU BEEETCHA, however it will be done (side bar: when I first went to New Zealand my flat mates all watched Fargo before I got there to prepare. Bad Minnesota accents done by 20-somethings with thick New Zealand accents? Now that is something to behold).

Strangely enough, even though I am born and bred Twin Cities, I had never been to Fargo until I started with this job. I had never been to the Dakota’s at all, which is kind of strange. I know a lot of folks from Fargo, but had never had reason to go there. Well, now I go there at least twice a year, so I am making up for lost time.

Now one of the cool things about going to Fargo is that I do have some great people up there: yay for tour guides! This round was even more so, as my previous boss, Steph, who is from Fargo was also going to be in town. It was her mission to show me that Fargo (in her words) “isn’t super lame”.

I was to meet up with my girl Wendi at about 6, she is a new mom so she was more like 6:30. No matter, I can always belly up to the bar and get myself a cocktail. She suggested we try a new place: Wurst Bier Hall. I am all up for new: so I got there and ordered a drink. WELL: tried. Sadly, just beer at this joint (guess I should have guessed with the name). I am so not a beer drinker, but I am up for new stuff so I perused the extensive beer menu. If I am going to have a beer, it’s gonna generally be a dark one. There were a multitude of choices, I went with the Minnesota brewer Brau Brothers Moo Joos. It’s a creamy Oatmeal/Milk stout. It was lovely: I could only have the one for sure, though. Beer is just so heavy to me! Give me whiskey or give me death! (okay not really, but you know, for drama sake.)

                                         

Wendi arrived and we grabbed a table. The menu at Wurst Bier Hall is full of local and Midwestern made sausages, some burgers and German specialities for entrees. Wendi had heard that the house made pretzels were delicious: so we started there. We each ordered a sausage as well: I went Chicago made Polish with kraut and she went with a locally made Philly cheesesteak sausage. We also each got a side of Spaetzle Mac and Cheese, cuz  SPAETZLE MAC AND CHEESE. The pretzels indeed were great, warm and fresh with a side of cheesy dipping sauce. I am never mad at that. The sausages were also good: but MAN. They are served in giant French roll, like half a baguette. That is a lot of bread for a smaller sausage. I would say if I were gonna do that again, I would go no bread. The Mac was good: but I am pretty convinced it was made with Velveeta. I am a good Midwestern girl, so Velveeta Mac and Cheese has a very big soft spot in my heart, but at a restaurant? Not so much.

                               

In summation: If you are a beer drinker, this is your place. Large beer selection, good bar food and a pretty fun atmosphere.

But don’t think the night ends here! No, dear reader, off to the next place we go.

I have always been told about a couple of things in Fargo. One is the Aquarium, where the rock shows happen. The other is the Hodo. The Hotel Donaldson, or the Hodo, has been around since 1894, and has gone through many lives. Fancy, flop house, now artist designed, The Hodo is a staple in Fargo downtown. Wendi and I met Steph and her brother Derek there for a few cocktails in their bar/restaurant. They are know for their martini’s and craft cocktails, which was an extensive list. I was feeling like my usual (Jameson, Soda Water, Lime: incase anyone wants to buy me a drink), but Wendi had a Caramel Apple-tini and Steph went with a Bazilikom: a cocktail of Prairie cucumber vodka, fresh lemon juice, simple syrup and basil. This is something I for sure would get in the summer: I love a cucumber vodka when it is hot! So refreshing and lovely. We had a couple of cocktails here and talked in depth about 90’s bands (we are all excited about Babes in Toyland playing again!!). There was one more place we had to hit, and I was also getting a little hungry again so the next joint was perfect.

                                       

In Summation: The Hodo is awesome. I look forward to getting back there in the summer to hit the rooftop bar.

Across the street from the Hodo is a place called Vinyl Taco. Now, Derek told us that when it first opened it had a Now Playing and Coming up shelf so you could always know what the next record they were going to spin was. They have abandoned this a bit, they are still playing records but it’s more like classic rock greatest hits records. Kind of a bummer, but away we went.

                                                  

They have an extensive menu of tacos and other Mexican/American fare, and a huge cocktail list. I love love love it when a place has moonshine. I know, it sounds crazy, but I became enamored with it when I was in New Orleans 6 years ago (hint: a huge amount of New Orleans post to come: I will be there in a couple of weeks!) and so when I see it on a menu I am apt to get it. Here was no exception. I got the peaches & cream cocktail: made with Ol’ Smokey Peach Moonshine, simple syrup, vanilla and cinnamon. YUM. APPROVED.

                                                               

We all got some foods: I got the chicken chicharrones, the pork belly taco and the chicken tinga taco. All delicious, the chicharrones were my fave of the three. Salty and crispy with a couple of dipping sauces, a lovely “I am drinking” snack. The pork belly was a little tough and strangely smokey, but good. The chicken had some good heat to it, even by Midwestern standards.

                                   

In summation: a really cool joint! I feel like it should be open at bar close though, it is the perfect going home from the bar food.

You Eat Breakfast Yet, Margie? 

I had to work the next morning with Wendi, and I don’t like to go to a store empty handed. What better after a night of drinking then donuts? Nothing I say! I had noticed a place when we were out the night before that looked cute, so I decided to hit it in the AM to bring the gang some treats.

And I am so glad I did! Sandy’s Donuts  in downtown Fargo is just adorable. They have tons of wacky flavors, but I went with the standards. A good soy vanilla latte as well (a must have for me, as we know). I forgot to bring my phone in for photos (I know, total blogger fail) but the box is pretty cute too!

                                                                

In summation: YES AND YES.

PHEW! That was a long one! This week: back to Milwaukee and Madison. I have a sausage party date, let’s see how that goes…

OH! I also decided to tell y’all what I am listening to in the car when I am on the road. I have discovered that I don’t do music well on long drives by myself: I need someone to talk at me. So: here is what I listened to on this trip:

Denzel Washington is the Greatest Actor of All Time Period podcast

Doug Loves Movies Podcast

The Smartest Man in the World podcast

Never Not Funny podcast

 

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