If you enjoy local history, culinary adventures, fun walks and meeting new people, we’ve got a great afternoon plan for you. We discovered this one when it showed up on “Crowd Cut,” an online service that offers deals around town. This deal provided 50% off “Twin Cities Food Tours.” One of the great things about these online services is that they’ve given us a way to try new things around town without spending a lot of money. We didn’t know anything about the tours, but figured that at 1/2 off, we’d give it a shot and we weren’t disappointed.
Laurie Rupe started Twin Cities Tours just over a year ago, but it was this spring that it really took off. She explained to us that she’s actually an engineer who works for a well-know local corporation, but her love for food and the Twin Cities set her off on this side business. While she gives a lot of credit to a class she completed in Chicago, Laurie is a smart young woman who has clearly put her good business intuition and creativity into this new venture.
We started off at “Local D’Lish” in the North Loop neighborhood on the edge of downtown Minneapolis. This establishment provides fresh, locally produced products and classes to inspire meals that use them. They served us fruits and veggies, urging us to recognize the difference between fresh product and the mass produced variety. We have also picked up a Crowd Cut D’Lish offer, so we’ll let you know about the class we end up taking.
We moved on to “Punch Pizza,” which is a personal favorite, making it a familiar but welcome stop. We enjoy the Northeast neighborhood of this particular location and toss around the idea of moving there one day. While eating at Punch this weekend, we joked that if we ever moved there, we imagined it would become our new Friday night pizza spot.
Next was a quick stop for Laurie to share some local history outside of the Art Godfrey house. One of our favorite parts of the tour experience was hearing the insights Laurie shared about each of the establishments. She gave a brief background on how the businesses started, something about the owners and one or two funny or interesting stories.
We crossed the street to “Kramarczuk’s Deli“ and restaurant. Established in 1954, this family-run business offers delicious meat and Eastern European delicacies and we got to enjoy a few of them.
Completely new to us was Gorkha Palace, a Napali, Indian, Tibetan restaurant on 4th Street. We especially enjoyed the Vegetable Samosas, crispy patties stuffed with potatoes and peas seasoned with mild spices and served with mint/tamarind chutneys.
Our final stop and course featured dessert at the Gardens of Salonica. We agreed on this being a favorite on the tour. How can you miss with three samples of Baklavas? And it was clear that Anna (the owner) knows what she’s doing. She even does a little blog segment on her website, sharing recipes and interesting tidbits on the food and restaurant.
We had a great three hours tasting wonderful food, learning about new restaurants and some local history and stories. And because this was a walking tour, we didn’t feel too guilty indulging a bit. Always glad to support local businesses we enjoy, we highly recommend Twin Cities Food Tours. However, unless you’re fortunate enough to get a spot on a tour by the end of October, you may have to look forward to taking in the fun next spring when Laurie starts up the new season. Enjoy!
Twin Cities Food Tours
When: Saturdays, March 30-October 31
Time: 11a.m. & 3p.m.
How Long: 3 hours
How Much: $42