Traipsing About Town: Where to go, what to eat, & why it's worth it to burst the Mac bubble

By Taylor Uggla

Pad Thai. Coffee News. The river. The Tap. Do any of these names ring a bell? If you’ve been here longer than a week they should-these are some of Macalester’s favorite hot spots. Students go there to eat, drink and be merry, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Who doesn’t love a good bonfire or moderately-priced pint? However, some things shouldn’t be repeated too often, and whether you’re a first-year looking to burst the bubble or an older student looking to explore a bit more, I hope you will join me each week as I throw on my walking shoes and explore our fair city.Of course, it just so happens that I was born in Minneapolis, so at times I might introduce you to some of my hometown favorites. Ever heard of The 50s Grill? If your mouth begins to water at the mere mention of malts, you might want to check out this retro find-not only will you have 24 flavors to choose from, but you can sit back and enjoy the vintage furnishings while you wait for your order. Just make sure to avoid the early bird special-some people really do eat dinner at four o’clock, and with all of the penny-pinching elderly couples, you might find yourself at a loss for a seat.

Perhaps blue hair and poodle skirts don’t thrill you. Never fear-as much as I love a good blast to the past, I’ll be sharing much more with you than checkered tile and comfort food. There are plenty of places for good eats in this metro; after all, what else is there to do during the long, frigid winter?

Throw on your boots and make your way over to the Black Forest Inn-located in the heart of Eat Street, there’s no better place to get authentic German food. In the summer you can even enjoy the fountain-filled biergarten. Don’t want to wait that long to creatively drink your beer? Then check out Gasthofz in northeast Minneapolis, where you can drink your brew out of a boot served by women in lederhosen. It’s certainly an alternative to the standard mug, and regardless of your musical tastes, you can’t help but enjoy the weekend polka.

You see? So many excellent activities are waiting for you-all it takes is a little effort, and I’m here to give you the info. Want a new place to go for that much-needed sweater? Get out of that awful Mall of America habit and check out the hundreds of other stores that exist-I know of several lovely alternates that don’t involve crowds of screaming babies and slow-walking sixteen year olds.

I’m open to suggestions, and what’s more, I’m hoping to find a few new places that even I don’t know about. So let’s take a break from the cream cheese puffs and garlic fries, and burst into the Twin Cities scene with a new zest. Check back next week for the first full review.