On Quality and Quantity

I haven’t posted in here in a while. I know. Especially because, once again, I committed to posting twice a week. I was doing well, too.

But then … I started having trouble coming up with things to write. I haven’t been able to create as much (yet) this month due to other factors, so I couldn’t blog about that. Sure, we did date night (Rodizio, as we do) on Valentine’s Day, but we’ve been quite a few times so what could I really write on that? Or what could I write that would be better content?

We went to the Colorado Home and Garden Show (free thanks to our Botanic Gardens membership!) and I took some photos ideally for a post … but I really didn’t have much to say. Yay, we saw landscaping and a whole bunch of random companies (including one that might help us grade the garage, so that was helpful)? I could have written on that, but it would have been a stupid post.

I’ve read some novellas – guilty pleasure over here is “Pride and Prejudice” fanfiction (no shame), so I’ve bought some and read them, but they’re basically fun crack and I’m not sure what I’d write on them. Maybe I will when I have a few to review.

Therefore, I’ve decided that instead of forcing posts, I’ll write when I have something to say. I think I would prefer quality over quantity, and I know that when I travel, I inevitably end up with multiple posts from each trip and at the end of March I’ll have my quarterly style post and I will have things to say. I’m hoping to still stick with at least once a week, but maybe not. So, I’m hoping to churn out a bit more quality as opposed to a lot of quantity. Thanks for bearing with me!

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On the Elm

Every February comes a wonderful little sporting holiday for Boston-area college hockey fans – the Beanpot. On the first two Mondays in February, four schools (Boston University, Boston College, Harvard University, Northeastern University) play each other at the Garden for a literal silver beanpot trophy and bragging rights around the city*. Having gone to one of the schools, I like to try to watch the games.

Living in Denver and not having NESN on my TV package can make it a bit tricky. The alumni association has organized watch parties in the past, but hasn’t for the past few years. The last one they organized, however, was at The Elm.

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Menu.

The Elm, on East Colfax, is a Boston bar and a really fun little joint. Since we’re always there on Mondays, B usually partakes in their burger deal which is a $7 burger and fries/side.

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I’ve stolen bites. It really is a pretty tasty burger.

Yesterday, I actually decided to try their clam chowder.

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They call it a traditional New England clam chowder. It’s … okay. It’s so hard to find good chowder not on the coasts of this country. Brandon thought the base was a little too thin and I found it a bit too peppery for my tastes.

What I usually get, though, is their lobster roll (because of course).

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They diced the celery a little finer on my second go around this February which made it a lot better, but this is definitely one of the better lobster rolls around. Chock full of large pieces of lobster on the proper bun (which, as I’ve said before, makes SUCH a difference), I would definitely recommend it.

Our friend Jeremy joined us and got the fried clams both nights. I didn’t snag a picture, but he says they’re as good as any he had when living back East (I tried them; they were good, but I have no reference point). We got chatting with the Elm’s general manager after the game and she said to try their roast beef sandwich, as it’s apparently really close to Massachusetts legend Kelly’s Roast Beef, which I’ve never been able to try.

If you’re a Boston ex-pat (ex-Pat? Ha …) living in Denver or just love a good lobster roll, check out the Elm.

*The women’s team of each school also participates in a women’s Beanpot, typically held on the first two Tuesdays of February, with the exception being this year due to Valentine’s Day.

Dining in Grand Forks

Thursday, February 2:

We rolled into Grand Forks fairly late after driving up from the Twin Cities, so he took me to one of his favorite pizza places, SlapShot.

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We grabbed our food to go and headed back to the hotel.

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We got a plain cheese pizza (easier to tell if it’s plain). Definitely not as good as say, T. Anthony’s, but it was also a different type of pizza. Still pretty tasty, and they got points for using the plastic pizza table.

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We also got some sides. I’m a sucker for a good fried mushroom (theirs weren’t bad) and Brandon got the wings (good flavor; too spicy for me as per usual).

Friday, February 3:

We had general breakfast at the hotel (wee, free!), but then went to grab coffee at Tim Horton’s, because Canadian coffee is awesome.

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Their iced coffee was actually way too strong for me and didn’t have enough ice for me (I’m weird – love a lot of ice and a lot of cream). The chocolate-frosted doughnut though? On point, with some of the most amazing chocolate frosting ever on a doughnut.

Lunch was at Grand Forks institution, the Red Pepper.

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Brandon had their famous grinder (which I’ve tried, but just don’t like).

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Me? I went ahead and got one (okay, two) of their tostadas, but without the hot sauce.

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Dinner before the game was at The Blue Moose, in East Grand Forks (so the Minnesota side of things).

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B had raved about their Spinach Dip, but it looked way too spicy for me, so unfortunately, we didn’t get it. Instead, we got the following:

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Part of their seasonal menu, these are the Pub Cheese Snacks – “Four cheeses mixed with herbs, green onions, and sour cream. Quick fried and served with marinara.” We got ranch as well. They … were okay. Almost like a hybrid cheese stick/egg roll. Definitely original.

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Brandon had the Honey Clucker – “A succulent chicken breast topped with bacon, melted American & Swiss cheeses, finished with our own honey mustard sauce.” It was okay. I’ve had better versions of this same sandwich.

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Me? If I can get fish sandwich (my name for walleye sandwiches), I will order a fish sandwich. Similar philosophy with me and lobster rolls, really. Anyway, their Walleye Sandwich – “Beer battered walleye fillet served with a slice of lemon and tartar sauce. We catch ’em, you eat ’em!” The tartar sauce had a dill in it … which if you know me, you know I’m not the biggest fan of dill. The walleye also looked overcooked (even if it actually wasn’t), which wasn’t appealing to the eyes. It tasted fine, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite fish sandwich I’ve ever had.

Later that evening at the UND game, we split a coffee and some doughnuts from the Tim Horton’s stand.

Saturday, February 4:

Breakfast was basically the exact same as Friday – hotel and then off to Tim Horton’s. This time, though, we skipped the regular doughnuts in favor of Timbits.

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Mmm, Timbits. Cinnamon sugar were definitely my favorite.

No pictures of lunch (too hungry to not just dig in), but it was at Green Mill. Which isn’t local to the Forks, but it is to the area. Brandon loves Green Mill but rarely gets a chance to go there, so that was lunch. We each had a salad and then devoured a pizza. It was awesome.

Our late lunch meant we just snacked at the Ralph, so “dinner” was popcorn and then Little Caesar’s Crazy Bread. Mmm, Crazy Bread.

Grand Forks 2017

If you’re familiar with the blog, you probably know that I went to school in Boston. You might not know that the husband went to school up in Grand Forks, N.D. I’ve been up there once – back in 2011 for a night, and that night wasn’t even planned – but it was a tiny little trip.

B has wanted me to see a game up at his school pretty much since we’ve been together, so we finally committed to it. And, because we’re ridiculous, of course we went in the middle of winter. Duh.

Anyway, flights in and out of GFK were terrible and they weren’t much better going through Fargo, so we decided to just go to MSP and rent a car.

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Sunset in Northern Minnesota.

We rolled into the Forks around 8pm and too late to do B’s original dinner plan, so we just grabbed a pizza and had a hotel picnic, because that’s sometimes what love and marriage is.

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(Clearly we also got in too late for me to even think about blogging here.)

Most of Friday morning was spent at the gym. After lunch, we headed over to the UND bookstore and to check out the Ralph Englestad Arena while it was still quiet (so well before game time).

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Ivan the UND fan outside the arena.

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B inside.

Later that night, I got to go to my first UND game IN North Dakota. The Ralph – palace on the prairie – is definitely amazing. Marble, leather … you can see why Fighting Sioux Hawks fans get spoiled. It’s nicer than some NHL arenas.

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I will say I was a bit disappointed with the fans; I know how loud UND fans can be. This weekend though? Fail. My team’s fans are so much better (and B agrees with me on this). It also didn’t help that the team played like poo and (rightfully) lost to St. Cloud State.

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Still happy to be back in the Forks.

Saturday was a cold, snowy, gloomy day (more typical!). We went to the gym in the morning (I’m in the middle of a swim streak), grabbed a snack, and then B took me on a running tour of his campus. I only had my phone so I really didn’t get too many pictures. After we finished the run, I got to see a bit of the aviation buildings he spent a lot of his time in and probably my favorite part of campus.

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As B calls them, “gerbil tubes.” Since North Dakota gets ass ridiculously cold, they have tubes and tunnels connecting good chunks of campus.

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Nelson in front of his favorite Grand Forks restaurant, the Red Pepper.

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Ivan at the game.

Quick trip, not a lot done (gym, hockey, the mall for the walk down memory lane), but it was wonderful to get to experience Grand Forks the way my husband did back in his college days.

I’ll go into more detail on what we ate on Thursday!