It's said that it takes 10,000 hours of practice to become an expert in your field. Hudson Optical's staff of professional eye-care specialists graph and bolster their patients' vision health inside a facility that hit its 10,000-hour mark more than 52,000 hours ago. Celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2012, Hudson Optical's trained associates continue to practice their learned craft while bringing in new technologies to ensure patients get optimal care. Doctors David P. Parupsky and Se Cecelia Xiong brandish skills gleaned from conquering their own hour cap to diagnose eye disease, address eyes' refraction needs, and perfect their own language of Morse-code blinks. The practice is located just off I-94, approximately 15 miles East of St. Paul.
Greeting diners with the coziness of a North Woods lodge, Season's Tavern warms bellies with a hearty spread of burgers, steaks, fish, and sandwiches. The rustic eatery showcases fresh Canadian walleye throughout its menu in a variety of preparations. Cooks lightly bread and fry the fish to fill appetizer baskets, blacken fillets to line sandwiches, and fashion walleye into cakes to celebrate sailors' birthdays. Diners can also customize 7-ounce burgers with onion rings, cheese curds, and other toppings, or sample the tavern's monthly specials, such as the Wisconsin beer-cheese burger.
The culinary craftspeople at Dugarel’s Bar and Grill please palates of all persuasions with a mouthwatering menu of flavorful burgers and bar fare and a cornucopian drink list. The Rustler burger excites incisors with a half-pound buttress of ground beef garnished with lettuce and tomato ($7.49), while its rebellious sibling, the Smokehouse burger ($8.99) dons a bacon and barbecue sauce ensemble, and challenges hunger to no-holds-barred games of thumb wrestling. Adobe turkey sandwiches satiate stomachs with grilled turkey, spicy Cajun mayo, pepper jack cheese, and equally peppery relish ($8.49). Gallivanting in a flock of nine ($6.99) or a clique of 18 ($11.49), chicken wings fly through a choice of 10 sauces, from laidback honey garlic to taste-bud-tantalizing inferno, and can be washed down by a selection from the bar’s list of more than 25 frothy brews.
The youngest of nine children, Luna Rossa’s owner and chef, Raffaele Virgillo, grew up at his mother’s side, studying her every move as she cooked in the kitchen of their small cottage in southern Italy. Emigrating to the United States in the 1970s, Virgillo put the culinary skills and magical Italian incantations he learned from his mother to use here in the States. He settled in the Twin Cities, where he cooked his way through four restaurants before opening the original Buona Sera, and eventually, Luna Rossa. There, he works alongside his daughter, Anna, son-in-law, Jesse, and grandson, Vinny, serving a menu of Italian-inspired cuisine within a rustic eatery near Stillwater’s historic limestone caves.
Generally speaking, there's not a bubble to be found in bubble tea. Instead, the "bubbles" that the cold Taiwanese drink takes its name from are chewy tapioca pearls or jellies resting at the bottom of the glass, waiting for a straw to suck them up. The tea is there, however—but it's not alone. Mixed with it is the flavor of mango, matcha, or peppermint. In fact, at Steepery Tea Bar—owned by the same aficionados as the Tea Garden—more than 30 flavors combine with 10 bubble varieties to exercise creative muscles and comfort anyone who's afraid of repeating themselves.
Bubble tea is just one of the drinks at Steepery Tea Bar. And it's not even the only drink that can contain bubbles. Shakes and coolers can also hold the chewy treasures in their depths, as well as the cafe's signature drinks such as the royal tea latte. Of course, being a tea bar, Steepery brews up hot drinks too. More than 50 kinds of green, black, white, and herbal loose-leaf tea—most of which are fair-trade, organic, and inclined to give only positive fortunes to tellers—fill cups and pots.
After modeling their first eatery, ROMA Restaurant, after the Roman Empire, Chef Brent Pilrain and his family opted to try something new, setting their sights on a colonial American theme. So when the family was greeted with the opportunity to open up a new kitchen in Liberty Village, the birth of Patriots Tavern seemed like kismet. Today, Chef Pilrain keeps up the colonial theme in both cuisine and décor, churning out a menu of New England–inspired fare and wood-oven-fired pizzas within a whitewashed mansion. Rich mahogany and stone details create a warm yet spacious interior dabbled with American flags and historical knickknacks, such as lanterns and George Washington’s original set of wooden press-on nails.
In 1962, Lawrence William Yanz opened Hastings Bierstube, where he dished out German delicacies such as bratwursts, Reubens, and 6-ounce sirloin steaks. After his passing in 1983, his sons, Jim and Mike, started two new locations before forming a fourth with a family friend. The sons expanded Hastings Bierstube’s already extensive menu, introducing the Taste of Deutschland sampler platter, which features a selection of wienerschnitzel, sauerbraten, and house-made spaetzle.
Along with slinging authentic cuisine, the owners send lucky diners on vacations to Germany during giveaways, which fall on special occasions such as Oktoberfest and David Hasslehoff’s half birthday. For visitors remaining on American shores, the restaurants host weekly events, including bingo, open mics, karaoke, and live music.