Where to Pick Apples, Pluck Pumpkins, and Get Gourds This Fall

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Alma Guzman
Do you like to do it yourself? Here are some of our best you-pick-em destinations.

You have it earmarked on your calendars for before it gets too cold, or too close to Halloween. You've cleared yourself of other on-the-side obligations and decided to make a whole weekend all about fall's splendor. Yes, it's apple and pumpkin picking time, people. And it's so seasonal you can practically smell its cinnamon-spiced lure from downtown Minneapolis. But where to go to get all the produce for your mulled cider, crumbly crisps, and flaky pies? 

We have the lowdown on some of the best sites for DIY apple picking, pumpkin selecting, free hayrides, corn mazes, and llamas you can feed from the palm of your hand.
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Bryant-Lake Bowl's Cheap Date Night Lets You Break Out Your Game Without Going Broke

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Suzy Piper
The Lanes at Bryant-Lake Bowl

We're with Garfield on this one: Mondays. We hate 'em. But some restaurants are trying to change our attitudes about this bummer of a day, so as the moths continue to fly out of our wallets for the second week in a row, we explore what Lake Street has to offer in the inexpensive evening-out genre: Monday's Cheap Date Night at Bryant-Lake Bowl.

Bryant-Lake Bowl is an intriguing little jewel located on Lake Street between Bryant and Aldrich. The lanes were built in the '30s, "so all kinds of weird shit could happen, but you guys are just playing for fun, right?" asked our charismatic server. Right. The dining area is small, a bit cramped, but has a fun retro feel. We squeezed into our seats, wondering whether this meal would be a real turkey, or a gutter ball.

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Cheap Date Night to Try: Broders' Pasta Bar on a Budget

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Suzy Piper
Broder's Pasta Bar

Everybody still broke? Cool. Us too. That's why, for the next several weeks, we'll be seeking out the best inexpensive date nights the city has to offer. We all deserve to be wined and dined every once in a while, and bringing home a greasy bag of Popeye's and Piranha 3D for a special night in is only cute and quirky once. Or twice. Or maybe every Friday. Stop judging us.

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Happy hour at Hola Arepa: Killer food, cheap beer, and a charming patio

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The 8 best and worst places to take your Tinder date in the Twin Cities

Categories: Make it a date
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Dragunsk
Ah, Tinder, the dating app dedicated to judging books by their covers: See a photo of a potential date, then swipe the screen to the left if you aren't interested or swipe to the right if you want to know more. It's the Cupid Shuffle of the next generation (though it often goes to the left, to the left, more than to the right, to the right, am I right?)

Regardless of whether you downloaded the app as a joke or hope to someday find your Tinder knight in H&M armor, you stand a pretty good chance of going on a mobile-initiated date. Are you going out with the selfie queen or the guy insisting the girls in his photos are his "sisters"? No matter your situation, here are eight of the best and worst places to take your Tinderella.

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Best Place for a First Date Minneapolis 2014 - Como Zoo


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10 years of Cosmos at the Graves Hotel: An interview with past and present chefs

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Courtesy Cosmos
Delectable dessert and several other courses at the Cosmos 10th anniversary dinner
Next Thursday, November 14, Cosmos at the Graves 601 will be celebrating its 10th anniversary with a very special celebratory dinner. Four all-star chefs, each of whom has worked at Cosmos and made major contributions to the kitchen there, have been invited back for this dinner where they will create and serve dishes that illustrate the evolution of this important restaurant over the course of a decade.

The Hot Dish got the chance to chat with John Occhiato, the current executive chef at Cosmos who is keeping traditions alive while carving out his own niche, and Seth Bixby Daughtry, the executive chef who helped to open Cosmos back in 2003 and put Minneapolis on the culinary hot list. We asked them all about life in the kitchen, leaving a legacy, and why neither chef considers himself a locavore.

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Yoga and beers at 612 Brew

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RelaxingMusic
Looks like that hand could use a beer.

For those who seek a new, intoxicating environment in which to practice yoga, 612 Brewery is hosting a yoga session and beer sampling on November 9 and November 23. Before the brewery opens to the public, professional yoga instructors will lead a one-hour class in the brewery, among the fermentation tanks. After class, yogis will rise from their mats -- namaste -- and sample four, 7-ounce 612 Brews.

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612 Brew talks taprooms, room for more breweries


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Aster Cafe announces grand re-opening party

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Coming back better than ever
After suffering major damage from a water main break nearly a month ago, Aster Cafe is finally ready to re-open in style.

Though today, October 2, was the original projected date for them to be back in business, the restaurant just announced they will be bumping that date to October 10, when they will host a grand re-opening party.  

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Bike to dinner: St. Paul edition

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Dawn Brodey
The chariot of the dining bicyclist.

Dare we say it -- summer has finally arrived -- and as it does, increased numbers of weather-weary Twin Citians are taking to their bicycles and hitting the town. They pedal the Lakes, the Grand Rounds, the Greenway, or any of the many urban bike lanes. It is for good reason that we are regularly voted among the most bike-friendly cities in the country.

But bike-friendly isn't the only feather in our cap -- we are also regularly voted among the best cities for foodies. So why not combine the two?

A few weeks ago Hot Dish brought you a course for your courses -- a bike-friendly route with recommended stops for appetizers, dinner and dessert. Beginning and ending in Minneapolis, the 10-mile course was a big hit.

Now Hot Dish pedals East and presents a course for your courses in St. Paul. This seven-mile route hits some of Saint Paul's classic locations and new favorites -- and burns a lot of calories along the way.


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Bike to dinner: A course for your courses

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Dawn Brodey
The chariot of the dining bicyclist.

The Twin Cities is regularly voted among the most bike-friendly metro areas in the country. Bicycling.com currently has us in the #1 spot although we regularly swap the prestigious ranking for second place with Portland, Oregon.

Similarly, publications such as Travel and Leisure also have the Twin Cities and Portland sharing top spots for best cities for foodies.

The situation has us asking two big questions: One, how do we get rid of Portland; and two, how do we best pair our Cities' tremendous and unique opportunities to bike and eat out?

Biking to dinner can be a trick. Does the establishment have a bike rack? Will my helmet hair and wrinkled right cuff solicit snubs from the other diners? Do they serve Surly?

Well, Hot Dish cooked up a sample course for your courses: a scenic, bike-friendly, 10-mile loop with recommended stops for beer, apps, dinner, and, since you've earned it, dessert. On your next date night, why not ditch a couple of wheels and take this road less traveled.


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Herkimer's summer sports leagues are back

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Courtesy of the Herkimer
Herkimer's outdoor sports stadium.

For over 13 years, The Herkimer has been serving up more than just beer and food - they have also sponsored a variety of sports leagues from kickball to bean bags.

Caroline O'Halloran, social media and marketing manager for Herkimer, tells us their roster also includes volleyball, softball, hockey, dodge ball, and shuffleboard.

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Herkimer: Best happy hour in town?

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