The culinary team at Common Roots Cafe believes that the best way to create a welcoming restaurant is to fully embrace local flavor in every sense of the word. Even the interior speaks to this mission—reclaimed barn wood makes up the dining room's floorboards and tabletops, the counter is composed of recycled cardboard, and the air is one-hundred percent Minnesotan. The overall effect is one of casual warmth, an atmosphere that makes the cafe an ideal spot for guests to chew on eclectic, yet accessible, cuisine and relax with a choice of 10 local craft beers.
The menu itself also bursts with hometown pride, highlighting local organic and sustainable ingredients. As much as half of the restaurant's food comes from farms located within 250 miles of Minneapolis, while some produce is picked right outside the door at the cafe's urban garden. And since the selection of ingredients alters with the seasons, the chefs adapt their dishes each month to showcase their fresh flavors. Previous offerings have included redfish tacos with jicama slaw, mac 'n' cheese with local cheddar, and house-made tagliatelle pasta topped with a hearty bison bolognese sauce. Bites are complemented with sips from a drink list featuring wines—many made from organic grapes—and local beers. And, in the unlikely event that diners leave any food on their plates, the scraps are carefully composted to continue the cafe's green production cycle.
Most students in introductory stained-glass-making classes are in search of a new hobby or a fun few hours, but not Connie Beckers. In 1995, she took such a course and soon built a career around the art of stained glass and kiln-working. Now, through The Goddess of Glass, she teaches others her craft during classes that cover the creation of jewelry, coasters, plates, and transparent overalls. She’s also been known to flex her instructional muscle as a guest artist on the DIY Network show Cramped Quarters, where she taught the show’s host and contractor how to make stained-glass tiles for a kitchen in the middle of remodeling.
The Goddess of Glass also sells artwork and gifts out of a separate retail shop. Patrons can commission a custom piece, such as a stained-glass window, or peruse a collection of pieces by more than 80 local artisans. The shop’s staff can also advise clients who need custom framing, helping them to pick the proper matting and frame so that their Richard Nixon rookie cards really pop.
For nearly a century, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has provided medical care for children along with clinical and surgical services. With 380 staffed beds at two campuses, the hospitals care for more than 125,700 kids each year. Their pediatric services subscribe to the most current research models and employ innovative practices to maximize the quality of care it provides.
Children’s cultivates a positive and welcoming environment for patients by providing kid-friendly diversions as well as resources for their families. Kids can take part in programming from Star Studio, the in-hospital TV channel, and parents can turn to interpreter services or parenting professionals for assistance.
Children’s will soon complete state-of-the-art renovations on both campuses, which will include private patient rooms, expanded surgery and triage centers, and an internal Ronald McDonald House. The additions will foster an open and airy atmosphere that provides comfort for patients, with designs that integrate science, art, and nature.
The textile-pampering experts of Mulberrys Garment Care tend to dingy clothes with toxin-free cleaning methods and a commitment to quality that earned the shop a nod as Top Eco-Friendly Dry Cleaner by Minnesota Monthly in 2011. Offering 24-hour drop-offs or pickup and delivery service, the Mulberrys crew dry-cleans garments with pressurized CO2 and no heat, keeping clothes from returning with a chemical smell, faded colors, or an unhealthy sauna addiction. Laundry services suds up duds with purified water and environmentally friendly detergents before pressers hand-finish each garment and tailors scour seams for missing or cracked buttons. Tailoring and alteration operations let Mulberrys' skilled needle wielders exercise their 30 years of experience to fit clients with customized duds, and an online account system gives patrons instant access to billing, order status, and their pants' favorite music playlists.
Michael Weber and Nick Adams aim their lenses at everything from beaming couples to photogenic plates of pasta. The two harness more than 25 years of combined experience as they craft images—not the kind that sit sedately in frames, but rather the kind that leap out, grab your face, and launch into stories about dimpled babies, flying mortarboards, and couples vowing to stay together in sickness and in health. Their artistic, modern style yields images perfect for family albums but also polished enough for model portfolios. They share the techniques behind that deft approach during introductory and advanced photography classes, passing down their exuberance for the art form whose development spared museum-goers from more dreary years of staring at da Vinci’s finger paintings.
As the state's flagship news organization, the Star Tribune's steadfast coverage of local, national, and worldwide events predates the city’s fire department. Tracing its lineage all the way back to 1867, the newspaper easily displaced its contemporary competitors, signal fires and news-bearing sparrow hawks, establishing a tradition of trusted reporting. The newspaper enhances its regular chronicles of Twin Cities news with sections focused on specific geographic regions and suburbs while dutifully drawing national and global politics into perspective. Thoughtful editorials challenge inquiring minds or put news into context, and extensive lifestyle, entertainment, and sports sections keep readers abreast of the latest developments in leisure.