Mara Restaurant and Bar | Minneapolis, MN

Mara Mediterranean Restaurant Minneapolis
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Chef Gavin Kaysen is a personal hero of husband’s so ever since Mara Restaurant and Bar opened he’s been talking about going. However, because of all the things we had to do for our wedding in October it unfortunately kept getting pushed to the backburner so when I decided to plan a special experience for him over the holidays, reservations at Mara were the obvious choice. He was thrilled and his excitement didn’t even damper when the day of the reservations came and Minnesota was in the middle of a blizzard warning that he had to drive through haha.

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Hazelwood Food and Drink | Woodbury, MN

Hazelwood Food and Drink Woodbury Hipster Hack
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Ever since realizing a new restaurant was coming to the vacant space over by Woodbury Lakes I’ve been eagerly awaiting it’s opening. Hazelwood Food & Drink couldn’t be more different than the previous venue, which is a great thing. They completely revamped the interior and while it is a little more upscale in pricing for Woodbury the quality definitely makes it worth it.

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Union Hmong Kitchen | Minneapolis, MN

Union Hmong Kitchen Minneapolis
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This isn’t my first time at Graze in the North Loop, but this was the first time I went with a mission in mind. The mission – try Union Hmong Kitchen.

I really wanted to get to their stand during the Minnesota State Fair, but the line was WRAPPING around the corner so I made a promise to myself then that I’d get there this year – and I did!

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Seattle Trip 2022 | Seattle, WA

Seattle Space Needle
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We just got married at the end of October and while we aren’t planning to take our proper honeymoon until the Spring, we did want to take a trip to take advantage of the time off from work and also have a moment to celebrate together before going back to everyday life.

When picking a destination I knew it needed to be quick to get to, somewhere there was a lot to do in a small area to maximize our 2-3 days, and lastly, I preferably wanted it to be somewhere neither of us had been before so we could experience it together. Seattle checked all of the boxes.

We lucked out that we visited in the off season, because all the big attractions had zero wait time and we did get a discounted rate on our hotel (it was about $130 a night vs the $300 it goes for during spring/summer), but if you’re looking for tricks on how to save money on a trip to Seattle you’re in the wrong place haha. We definitely treated this as a splurge trip and didn’t limit ourselves to budget friendly options, BUT I can promise that 99% of the places we visited we would definitely go to again if we did it all over.

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La Maria Taqueria | Lakeland, MN

Carnitas Quesadilla Lakeland
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My husband’s family lives in Lakeland so we’re down there quite a lot, but for some reason there is such a high turnover of restaurants in that area. La Maria Taqueria is a new restaurant in Lakeland, Minnesota that opened earlier this year. They actually have had a long standing food truck in Lake Elmo which is raved about so that made it even more exciting!

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LoLo American Kitchen and Craft Bar | Stillwater, MN

Bacon Wrapped Hot Dog Lolo Kitchen Stillwater
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I went to post a photo of our most recent visit to LoLo American Kitchen and Craft Bar in Stillwater, Minnesota and realized, that although they are probably my most recommended spot, I’ve never written a Hipster Hack about them which felt very wrong, so here we are with a recap of some of our favorite dishes!

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Devil’s Advocate | Stillwater, MN

Steak Frites Devil's Advocate Stillwater Minnesota
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After months of driving past it and saying “oh shit, we keep forgetting about that place,” we finally made it to Devil’s Advocate in Stillwater for a very quick dinner before my nephew’s soccer game.

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