The Great American Road Adventure: Minnesota

We drove up to Minnesota through Iowa, stopping to visit the world’s largest gnome in Ames (a sight we noted that many elderly road travelers were also interested in). We then continued to Minnesota, and arrived there around 6pm the same day. We checked into The Marquette hotel and dropped our things off, before heading out to dinner at The Bulldog North East.

Minneapolis was a world away from Kansas City, where we had been just that morning, and it felt like we had finally left the backwoods and returned to urban civilization. The drive from Kansas was one of the longest of the trip, and Michael was understandably tired that night.

The world’s largest gnome

A certain hobby of mine is to look up regional food specialties for places I visit. A regional specialty of Minnesota that I’d been looking forward to eating for some days before, is known as tater tot hot dish. A rich and heavy dish intended to keep you warm during the cold Minnesota winters, the traditional form of tater tot hot dish is comprised of ground beef, covered with tater tots, and set with cream of mushroom soup.

The Bulldog North East served a dressed up version of the dish, with braised beef brisket, brussels sprouts, mushroom bechamel sauce, and truffle infused tater tots. It was one of the more decadent meals of the trip.

Minnesota specialty: Tater tot hot dish

After dinner, Michael and I went to a bar called Pat’s Tap, still within the city, but in a neighborhood with a more suburban feel. We met my friend Lindsay there, who lived nearby. She happily gave us some more food recommendations, and we called it a night after one round of drinks.

The next morning, Michael and I had breakfast at Hell’s Kitchen in central Minneapolis, just a couple of blocks from our hotel.


Toasted sausage bread


Mahnomin wild rice porridge


We had a heavy and delicious meal here, before walking around the city.

Downtown Minneapolis


In short, Minneapolis was an interesting city with great food, and livability potential that we regrettably didn’t get to see a lot of. Pressed for time, we left after breakfast the morning after we’d arrived, and drove on to Madison, Wisconsin.

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