My parents, who live in North Carolina, came to visit me this weekend. We went to the Bachelor Farmer for dinner the first night they were here. After eating a delicious meal (order the char, seriously, it’s amazing—light and summery), my mother asked my father if he’d like the chicken bone from her chicken (to gnaw on?), handed it to him, dropped it right into her water glass, and laughed her face off. She fished it out but when the water-filler-upper came by and asked if she wanted more, we all suppressed giggles and my dad said, “Her water glass had an accident. A chicken bone jumped off the plate and landed in it.” We went down to Marvel Bar after dinner and my parents turned down drinks only to help me with my Oliveto—probably my favorite drink on the menu despite my distaste for gin.
My dad went to the men’s room and returned to show us two pictures exclaiming, “Urinal splash guards! In all my 65 years I have never seen this!” He continued with a series of photographs of Minneapolis bathrooms during the rest of the visit. (Above: Haute Dish.) The excitement over urinals with splash-protection continued into the next day when we stopped at Pottery Barn (for five minutes, because at some point Pottery Barn got super ugly). He decided to open a store called “Potty Barn” to sell urinal splash guards. I think it’s good to have a post-retirement plan, in case my mom can ever convince him to retire.
We woke up the following morning hungry and ready to try the brunch at Haute Dish. I asked the chef for his top three recommendations, because everything looked fabulous. We ordered chicken and waffles, ropa vieja, and a Rueben benedict. The pork sticky bun arrived at our table via the lovely @SaucyBurts herself (she also works brunch at Hautedish) as an amuse-bouche and was porky, maple syrupy, and super tasty. While eating the chicken and waffles my mother declared the chef a genius. We discussed the food of the Twin Cities, my parents tried to come up with a foodie-centric business plan for me, and then we struggled to find a better word for “foodie.” (If you have one, tell me!)
Stuffed to the brim, we set out for some shopping and it continued well into the next day. Since my parents have to travel two hours for an IKEA when they’re home, they are always game to go there and “test out some chairs.” We didn’t even sit in any chairs, but I bought my dad the (stuffed) mice he wanted and we made it out of IKEA safely before my soul was sucked out, which is what IKEA does to me (as my parents know well by now). We resisted the dollar hot dogs and made it home to grill on the patio.
My dog Ninja went missing while we were grilling but I discovered her location: nose-deep in a plate of raw turkey burgers. My dad mushed them back into shape and grilled them, but Ninja clearly now has a taste for raw flesh. Grilling peaches, my parents discovered that peaches in Minnesota are nothing compared to the South Carolina peach. However, they are quite fond of a visit to Sebastian Joe’s. We walked over (my mother and @mplsbrian competing with their swaggers) and tasted something like four flavors each before all settling on something involving chocolate. When @loganogden offered to stay outside with Ninja, because he lacks a sweet tooth, Ma declared it a serious character flaw. He got back at me later by making fun of my 1994 “vintage” Tweety Bird glass.
The last day of their visit, I put my parents to work helping me build my latest IKEA purchase and arranging the new couches (only a lucky few will be invited to the couchwarming party—we’re talking white leather here, and I don’t want anyone to pee on them). We went to lunch at W.A. Frost (my first time!) where a bee (or wasp, whatever, I don’t differentiate) climbed into all of our beverages before taking a swim in a little pot of salad dressing that came with my dad’s burger. Dad spent the next ten minutes holding the bee, feeding him water, talking to him, and rubbing him with a napkin trying to wash his back legs which had gotten sticky from his stint in the dressing. Apparently our bee-cleaning was nothing compared to the baby squirrels that were crawling up people’s legs recently at W.A. Frost. So if you like good food and/or are an animal-lover, be sure to eat there.
By the time I dropped them off at the airport, Ma and Dad were considering spending part of the year living in Minnesota. They love the Twin Cities, but my mother hates the cold even more than I do (right, how is that possible?). I’d love to have them here so I can share even more of what I love about these cities and to spend more time amusing my friends on Titter (@kaaphi says he watches my feed more closely when my parents are visiting). I dropped them off and drove to work teary-eyed, but I’ll have more adventures with Mom and Dad in two months while we’re on safari in Kenya, trying not to scare the zebras with our brightly colored shirts.