Shop n' Nosh

I am WAY behind on shopping. I know I’ve been writing out gift guides for y’all, but that doesn’t mean that I’m surrounded with foodies in my real life. I have to buy Bionicles and Restoration Hardware tchotchkes like the rest of you.

But I generally hate shopping. The only way I can suffer the hours of bumping into other people, sweating into my winter coat as I stand in line, and the dearth of endless can-I-help-yous from holiday retail associates is to know that in the end I’ll be fed.

I’m the most focused when I shop alone, and find dining alone most rewarding. Sitting at the bar of a restaurant, you’re generally not bugged by other people, your bartender is always right in front of you, and it can be a beautiful, solitary moment when it’s just you and your food. The right places will read your mood and engage or retreat as dictated.

This is my potential week:

If I have to go to Southdale, and fight the good fight of the mall crowds, I’m planning on ending up at Via. I might have to fight for a space at the bar, but the tomato arugula salad and prosciutto flat bread are worth it.

My Uptown trip will include Paper Source and the Shoe Zoo, which means I’ll be very close to Lucia’s. The lack of a real bar might force this into a mid-day lunch trip which means snacking on crepes at a little table in the corner of Lucia’s Take-Home. BONUS: I can buy a giant loaf of artisan bread and bring it home for dinner, double Santa!

Nordeast means Surdyk’s, Bibelot, Pacifier, and Let’s Cook. A big trip like that may deserve a treat at The Red Stag, though I haven’t tried them out yet. A safer bet, depending on my mood, would be a juicy burger at The Bulldog.

Downtown, post-Macy’s, post-parade, post-Juut treatment (a girl’s gotta treat herself sometimes), I’d head to Bank. Quiet and majestic, their service is spot-on.

Grand Ave has more than enough shopping to make me dizzy, but Golden Fig will be my main stop. If I stop at Penzey’s as well, I’ll be called into Tavern on Grand by a cold beer and a basket of fried walleye. I am powerless in this instance.

I refuse to go to Hugedale.

I do have one shopping date scheduled with a BFF for last minute digging on Christmas Eve. We’re planning to head to 50th/France sometime in the morning and just see how it all plays out. I’m pretty sure there will be a glass of wine at Beaujo’s and potentially another at Salut a few hours later.

At that point, the tree should be stocked and my gullet properly tuned to appreciate the next week’s home-cooking-athon.






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