Coconut cake/Courtesy of Delicata
The snow is crushing our Minnesotan will to be optimistic. My elevator conversations have remained unchanged since sometime in December, and the amount of stretched-out, pilled, and fuzzy clothes I’m stuck wearing have become a kind of goth uniform that could legitimately use some safety pins.
We, the collective state of Minnesota, demand some spring. I know those up in Duluth are kind of used to summer just slipping in behind the last ice thaw out on the lake, sometime in June, but dangit! I moved south for some sun. My mistake, of course, was moving not that far south. There is sun, but it’s blinding me off ultra-white snowbanks.
Here is your best defense against the dark arts—I mean, dark days. Or at least the dark attitudes of the cold and downtrodden.
Delicata’s Coconut Cake: This pretty little pizzeria is marvelously close to the Marjorie McNealy Conservatory. Revel in the verdant humidity and then head over for a little taste of the tropics by way of their wonderfully moist coconut cake.
Sacred Blossom Farm Tea: I just discovered there is a farm in Wisconsin growing tea, and the result is revolutionary. Tea snobs and coffee drinkers alike will delight in the heavenly aromas of these leaves, herbs, and delicate dried flowers. It’s just delightfully restorative, and easily ordered through the farm’s website.
Union Kitchen Pop-Up: I have a friend who is Hmong, and she can eat, like, a bushel of Thai chilies in one sitting. It’s remarkable. Hmong cuisine is filled with bright flavors, gorgeously layered levels of spice, and warm hospitality, all of which chef Yia Vang presents beautifully. If you haven’t heard about what he’s been doing, you will soon. Every Thursday evening in April, he’s serving dinner at a revolving pop-up inside Cook St. Paul. Go taste what he’s making. It’s soul-nourishing.