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I don't know for sure at what point I turned into such a cheapskate, but asking 9.25 for a burger is an outrage. Asking another buck just to add a slice of cheese and a couple strips of bacon to it is only adding insult to injury.

And thirteen bucks for chopped salad. Salad!

I can host a dining experience for four people at Shantytown for what Town Talk would charge for me to eat alone.

I mean, get a couple sides, a couple drinks, a little desert, and you're quickly on the hook for fifty bucks a plate... for burgers, 8-ounce steaks, and cheese sandwiches.

If I'm going to spend that kind of money dining out, it's going to be someplace like the Origami, where the ingredients actually demand those kinds of prices.

And if I want overpriced lamb stew, the best in the universe can be had over at The Local for about the same price.

Sorry, I know you're a big fan of the place, but I've got a mortgage to pay.

I mean, if you've got four people and that kind of money to spend, road-trip up north to The Whistling Bird and enjoy a gourmet Jamacan dinner. Even after gas, you come out ahead.


Call me crazy, but I just love fine dining. Quality of ingredients, where they come from, and creativity in composition are major factors when I go out to eat; the flawless, top notch service at the TTD is just icing on the cake. Speaking of which, try the banana split after dinner, if you have any room.

I've yet to meet one TTD virgin who was also a naysayer that didn't eat their words after eating one of the burgers. (Or salads, even, as the TTD salad is the best I've ever had.)

Don't even get me started on the cocktails.


Listen here, missy. For some of us, the sweat pant (or in my case, the yoga pant) is our closest friend. I'm 5'3", carry an extra let's not say how many pounds, all of which are in my middle. Also... I just don't care. Shopping to me is a chore that needs to be done, along with scrubbing the grout and flushing the radiator, and I'm not going to change clothes to do chores. I'll freely admit, the first thing that went when motherhood came was my vanity. If my clothes are clean, fit properly, and my hair is brushed into some semblance of order, I'm presentable, dammit.


Your comments about Maplewood remind me of the first time I stepped into a WalMart but then I come from a generation where we weren't allowed to shop unless we were all dressed up -- now, I am all for COMFORT WHILE SHOPPING! With so many medical facilities near Maplewood, the person in sweat pants may have just had x-rays, MRI, lab work, etc. and decided to shop hoping no one would notice...except you used the plural, I gotta think it's the yoga pant. Checked out the Whistling Bird link, made me feel all warm on this cold morning (and hungry).


1) In the name of keeping the Town Talkers in my good graces, I won't comment on how good their food is (quite) or whether it's a good value for the money (generally, but not always). What some of the folks here might not want to admit/reveal is that being adorable & flirtatious all the while publicly promoting a restaurant / bar on your blog is probably enough to get a few complimentary drinks & appetizers on occasion...especially when a certain boozehound proprietor has an admitted weakness for that sort of thing (not that there's anything wrong with it, for I'd likely do it too, were I in his place)

2) The Whilstling Bird is absolutely the best restaurant in a 50 mile radius of itself. But if you believe it's worth a road-trip from the Cities, you're an unapologetic Iron Range homer, and need to get out a bit more often.

3) Where's Maplewood?

4) I can't shop in my retro Adidas tracksuit? http://www.floreriaalvear.com.ar/furtango/tracksuits/suit_verde_amarillo1.jpg


1) Yeah, but I didn't meet said proprietor until after I'd been to the TTD a few times.
4) I dunno. I'm gonna have to consult with Sarah Buckley on that one.


They don't call him "El Diablo" for nothing. If MPLS had a Rat Pack, he'd be the Dean Martin...fo shizzle.


Heed my words. I am a GUY, and even I say that unless you're a.) working out or b.) in the middle of a project and grabbing some extra paint and 2x4's at Home Depot, sweat pants are not acceptable public attire. Well maybe at K-Mart.

Although track suits are swank anytime, anywhere. Shopping for an engagement ring? Track suit. Cotillion? Track suit. Funeral? Black track suit.


Agreed! Wearing sweatpants in public is not acceptable...However, as with all rules there are exceptions. 1. You are ill and going to the pharmacy to pick up meds 2. You are working out or at el gimnasio. And in case you were wondering, track suits and velour do not equal sweatpants, they are far superior and therefore more acceptable in public places.

A few questions for you--How was the plasticking party an unsettling weekend event? You are warmer, are you not? More importantly, is plasticking even a word? Perhaps, you should show some photo's of my fine work for your readers to enjoy. I suggest showing the center living room window facing the street. That one was top notch!


Iron Range Homer? Bzzzt. Life-time Twin City dweller. (Notice how I pimped for Origami first.) I just know really good food when I eat it, and the Whistling Bird is more than worth the road-trip.

Or are you saying there's a better place to jerk swordfish down here?


There is a certain irony in turning up your nose at shoppers in sweatpants and (without a missing beat) wondering why more of your fellow yupsters aren't flocking to a proletarian diner dressed up for people who distinguish between sweat pants and track suits.

The trucker caps are back in Maplewood, but you can still make a silk purse from a sow's ear.


J: Unsettling only because I forgot to videotape the event. I'm afraid my photography skills would not be of any help.

I'm still thinking about this track suit issue.

I don't understand why anyone thinks the TTD is low class or anything short of the rave reviews after rave reviews it's gotten from both media and public alike. The only conclusion I can draw is that these folks have either never been to the TTD and are just making assumptions, or just aren't food people and don't care much for dining out.


Dave, I prefer to jerk my own swordifsh, thanks. And I liked the WBird, but unless they're giving away blowjobs and Krugerrands, there's no fucking way I'm driving 400 miles round trip just for dinner...and even then I'd have my doubts.


Heh. Sorry about the typo there. I obviously meant to say "for jerk swordfish" not "to jerk swordfish".

Anyway, there are two kinds of people in the world, those who enjoy the occasional road trip, and those who don't. You're obviously in group 2, and that's fine.

As for TTD, I'm sure the food is quite tasty, but when I look at a menu with prices that compare unfavorably to typical hotel room service, I'm not exactly inspired to rush over there. How good can a five-dollar hot dog really be? It's a hot dog.


Never had it, but I can vouch for all meat-free items. Just don't knock it 'til you try it.


I like to think that I am of the age where I've evolved past worrying about what I look like in public as long as I'm clean, neat and presentable.

On the other hand, perhaps it's the freedom that comes with getting OLD, where you decide that the whole world can pretty much kiss your ass and you'll do whatever the hell you feel like that doesn't harm anyone else.


Actually, I love road tripping...Moab-Arches-Zion-Canyonlands-Grand Canyon & back, now that's a road trip worthy of my time. But driving to Gilbert, MN & back for fresh Lake Superior Line-Caught Swordfish!!! dinner is more of a Road Trip in the Tom Green / Sean William Scott sense (I could fly to Jamaica in the same amount of time) Personally, I love the Town Talk, but my wife doesn't. I think it's more that Aaron scares her than anything to do with value, but she won't admit it.


Now, why in the world would anyone be scared of Aaron? Helpless against his charm, maybe?


You consider flying to Jamaca a viable alternative to driving to Gilbert? Must be nice to be filty stinking rich like that. Why not just have your personal chef make whatever you desire, and save yourself the trouble of taking off from the helicopter pad next to your mansion.


Does it really offend you to see people who aren't perfect looking on the outside? That is sad and really disgusting if you think about it. Just like the President, hide from the real world, the "ghetto" that is just blocks from your very "hip" uptown. Most people are so stressed out and work really hard trying just to make it through life day to day that worrying about some stupid pair of designer whatever or hunting for hipster fashion this or that is the last thing they have time for. Most people have real things they have to do.

We are new to the area and being in our late 20's, with a child, one of us having cancer, it's been a struggle to get out and be social. We wouldn't want to be shunned for wearing sweatpants though so I'll make sure I don't stop by any of the places you mention in your very "cool" blog. Or at least any of the places I read about in this post. I won't be reading any others.


My assistant will be in touch to see if there's an open week that works for you @ the Villa in Negril & we'll fire up the Learjet & pack you off with the chef. Make sure to pack some clean undies.


Maplewood Mall has been ghetto longer than anyone can remember.
Last time I was there (with my Grandma), there was a gentleman wearing Zubaz at the jewlery counter in Macy's. 'Nuff said.

There is a rather nice malaysian restaurant near there, with fabulous curry dishes and lots of vegetarian choices.


Geez, I've driven by that place a hundred times and never thought to stop in. I'll have to give it a try next time I'm over in that area. Singapore Chinese Restaurant.

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