The Rochester Report

EAT

Here’s Why Kutzky Market is the Jam.

KUTZKY MARKET ROCHESTER

You don’t exactly have to twist my arm to grab a cup of coffee. Adding a girl boss date with my one and only favorite photographer slash human, (the lovely Kimberly Halverson of studio kh) doesn’t hurt either. But here’s why Rochester’s newest brew hub is also THEE place to get to for coffee, snacks, and getting sh*t done like very girl boss needs to.

So you walk in and see white subway tile, mismatched furniture, and vintage tea cups hanging from the ceiling. No, you’re not dreaming. This place exists. And conveniently so, right in the middle of Rochester. Can we just talk about the parking for a minute. Free parking. Steps from the actual cup of coffee you’re craving. Ok, back to the tea cups. They’re hanging from the god damned ceiling. What kind of witchcraft is this?

It’ll be hard for you to decipher who works there, who lives there, and who’s visiting for the first time because everyone feels at home and no one wants to leave.

More on Kutzky Market here.

Five West Debuts Their Pork Belly Omelette

FIVE WEST

I just devoured a pork belly omelette at Five West and I need a minute.  Ok so I had a mimosa, an omelette, hash browns, toast, and coffee.  Zero Regrets.  Have you guys checked out Five West yet?  This place is more than I expected.  I want to live here.  No but really, we were googling where to buy the china while waiting for our food.

These are the same guys who brought us The Loop so I shouldn’t be surprised.  But honestly… a pork. belly. omelette.  I mean… just stop what you’re doing.  And go there now.

Where to Find Fried Alligator Bites & a Flight of Gumbo in Rochester

THE LOST CAJUN

Those are real things.  And they’re here in Rochester.  You just have to look for them.  My high school BF and college roomie was in town from Grad School and we were feeling adventurous.  The Lost Cajun seemed like a legit challenge for these basic midwestern chicks.  We had a plan going in but all was lost when she muttered, Gumbo flight.  Um yes.  We’ll take that.

What followed was two bowls of hot, spicy, flavorful jambalaya; not your grandma’s tater tot hot dish.  Let’s just say that.  Alligator bites (yeah), and obviously beignets happened.  I’d post a lovely photo of them but we scarfed them immediately.  Without shame.  Because that’s what this place is.  A no frills place to hang out and enjoy good food.

Rochester Downtown Farmer’s Market Finds

ROCHESTER DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET FINDS

There’s just something about waking up early just to sip coffee in the sunshine and shop for flowers by the bunch that takes me away from the entire week I just had.  I literally go to another place when I get to the Farmers Market.

Maybe it’s the buckets of fresh flowers at every corner.  Maybe it’s the faces on the husband and wife that dedicate their life’s work to providing healthy food for the community in a humane way.

Whatever it is… it never gets old.  You will find families that have your favorites and come back to them each week.  But I encourage you to make an effort to try something new each time you go to a Farmers Market.

This week I went back to the Hart Family Farms tent to grab one of our favorites, (their snack sticks).  They were out.  But it forced me to try something new.  Like a package of their apple cinnamon brats.  I’d love to share a cute little photo of them for you but they’ve vanished. 😉 This flavor would be fantastic for breakfast as well.

Speaking of breakfast… I turned the corner to find these warm & sugary gems at the Northwoods Orchard tent.  They had four flavors yesterday, (Cherry, Vanilla, Blueberry, and Apple Cinnamon).  You obviously don’t just buy one of these so I made my selections and with half a cup of coffee in my belly they were gone before my first meeting.  Other finds this week included a roast from Mr. Don Buck in Zumbrota, MN that will be in the crock pot later today.

 

Rochester’s Tonic Juice Bar

TONIC JUICE BAR

You know when you go to grab a bite somewhere and you stay hours longer than you intended?  Like 3 hours longer?  This is that place.

This was my first time stopping by Tonic but I’m already making plans to go back.  The decor and overall vibe is so, so perfect.  Plus, where else can you get a Banana Latte?!

You can catch sun from any seat.  And you can people watch FOREVER.  Besides that…. the menu is on another level.  No one is doing what Tonic is doing.

Go and try something you never thought you’d try.  I know you won’t be disappointed. Case in point… Kale Lemonade.  Sounds scary.  Tastes ridiculous!  They always have lemonade but the flavor is seasonal.  That’s how you roll when you have local, organic ingredients.  Your menu changes with the seasons.
This gorgeous & sunny nook of a juice bar & kitchen is located at

1217 2nd Street SW
Rochester, MN 55902

 

Rochester Downtown Farmer’s Market Finds

ROCHESTER DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET FINDS

So the Farmers Market happened  yesterday.  My Mom and I both had the day off and we seized the opportunity to go hunting for the prettiest peonies.  Even though it was POURING we vowed to come back every Saturday.  And here’s why…

It didn’t take our internal pink powers to sniff out buckets of peonies.  These were SIX dollars people.  The only reason I didn’t buy all the peonies I could fit in the car was because it was pouring and I was juggling all my finds, the umbrella, and my iPhone.  At one point, “these peonies are so heavy” came out of my mouth and at that point I realized I was in heaven.

Until I actually came across heaven in the form of a mountain of cinnamon rolls.  I don’t think I need to convince anyone here that Omar’s Kitchen has their sh*t together but if you weren’t aware, here’s your first lesson.  Get to the Farmer’s market EARLY next weekend before all this frosted, caramelized, heaven disappears.

My other Farmers Market finds included:  Pork Chops from Hart Family Farms, Fresh Mint for mojitos later this week, and Paw & Nose Butter from Maren over at Waggy Butt Dog Treats.

The Rochester Downtown Farmers Market is nothing short of impressive.  Veggies, free range & organic meats, FLOWERS, plants, baked goods, homemade products, and local art are literally the tip of the ice berg.  I can’t wait to go back.

 

 

Rochester’s Best Chocolate

rochester's best chocolate

Two of my favorite things… chocolate and coffee.  For me, either one is consumed on a daily basis regardless of what time of day it is.  I can’t even remember the last time I went without either.

So if you’re like me, these daily necessities need to be changed up a bit to avoid fatigue.  Going straight for quality is a good start but Stam & Steam is one combo that hits the mark for quality ingredients & quality hangoutability, (I realize that’s not a word).  It is now.  See what good coffee can do? 😉

I started my day at the Food Co-op to pick up some tea and grass fed butter for literally an eighth of the price I found it on Amazon for.  Like, what!?  Shop your local food co-op people.

A work date with the loveliest of friends, StudioKH was the draw today.  Usually parking downtown is something I like to avoid but Stam & Steam are both worth the hassle, especially when combined.

I recommend the Forest Berry (Dark) bonbon & Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake from Stam.  Which is upstairs in the Shops at University Square.  You can’t really go wrong at Stam and the only complaint I have is that I can’t try them all in one sitting.

Cafe Steam is by far my favorite coffee shop in Rochester.  New management has done wonders.  You can find local pastries, healthy snacks, and a really impressive latte menu there.  But most of all I love the people, (who work there and hang there).  And they have punch cards!

Rochester’s Revamped Coffee Shop: Cafe Steam

rochesters revamped coffee shop

For someone who loves/depends on coffee and spends a lot of time writing and working on a laptop, Cafe Steam is the perfect destination.  It’s a wonderful, sun-lit space to enjoy a cup of whatever suits your fancy while catching up with a friend or working remotely for an afternoon.

Speaking of fancy, their menu is fantastic.  I already have a huge list of lattes to try.  They are conveniently located on Broadway within a few blocks from Mayo so you can expect to see some travelers fueling up before their flight.

Next time you want to mix up your coffee game, take a walk down historic 3rd street, hang a right and enjoy a cup at a locally owned cafe.

Address: 315 South Broadway, Rochester, MN 55904
  • Mon-Thu: 7:00 am – 10:00 pm
  • Fri: 7:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • Sat: 8:00 am – 11:00 pm
  • Sun: 9:00 am – 10:00 pm

Where to Get a Great Salad in Rochester

ROCHESTER CITY MARKET CAFE

After having a disappointing last salad of 2014 I decided to go for an old favorite for my inaugural 2015 salad.  Said salad is the House Salad at City Market / City Cafe.

This salad is many things.  But mostly, it’s:

  • Consistent
  • Huge
  • Less than $6
  • and delicious.

Get on over to City Cafe on the corner of 2nd street and 14th Ave SW or City Market at 212 1st Ave SW in downtown Rochester, Minnesota.

My favorites are the House Salad and Tomato Basil Soup.

Here’s My Beef With The Gingerbread House Bakery

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It’s one of the oldest bakeries in Rochester. Four generations of deliciousness to be exact.

The Gingerbread House Bakery has a wide variety of homemade pastries, breads, and desserts.  While you attempt to narrow your selection to just one sweet treat, you can enjoy the collection of relics they have decorated the shop with.  But one thing you cannot get at The Gingerbread House Bakery… A seat.

The size of the shop makes it nearly impossible to seat anyone but I think I’d take a stool or wooden crate just to enjoy a sugary confection and cup of caffeine in that quaint little spot.  Either way you slice it, it’s one bakery stop you must make. You’ll only be sorry you can’t stay longer.

Find them at: 1104 N Broadway Rochester, MN 55901 | 507-288-2621

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