Category Archives: Minnesota

Picture of the Day: Hermann the German

Hermann the German
In 9 A.D. Publius Quinctilius Varus lost three Roman legions and his own life in the Teutoburg Forest in Germany to the Germanic leader Arminius. He is memorialized in New Ulm, Minnesota (a big center of German culture in Minnesota) in this monument to “Hermann the German”. It sits on a hill that overlooks the town. I visited there in 2009. Not the greatest of days to take a picture, and probably could take the picture better, today. But here it is.
“Varus, Give me back my legions!”

Picture of the day: Capitol and Cathedral

Minnesota State Capitol and St Paul's Cathedral
In my travels on the Labor Day Weekend, I discovered a little park behind the Minnesota State Capitol named for, appropriately enough, Capitol architect Cass Gilbert. The vantage point from that park, as you can see below, allowed for an interesting alignment of the State Capitol and the St Paul Cathedral.
I’m thinking this is a place I need to visit at other times of the day, especially sunrise, sunset and at night to see how other pictures might turn out…

Sen Yai Sen Lek

Sen Yai Sen Lek
2422 Central Avenue
Minneapolis Minnesota
Thai Food
The Good: The dish I had was tasty. Thai Iced Tea went down well to cut down the aftereffects of the spice
The bad: Server messed up my order, bringing me Pad Kee Mao (Stir fry wide rice noodles with garlic, Thai chilies, Thai basil,
tomato and onion) when I had asked for Pad Gratiem Prik Thai (Garlic and black pepper stir fry with
cilantro and bell peppers. Served with steamed jasmine rice.). Rather easy to see the difference…
I wound up eating the Pad Kee Mao anyway, because it was one of the dishes I had been thinking about.
Also bad: The server brought me the wrong bill when it came time to pay.
Overall, food good, service less than stellar. I will return, but I won’t “hurry back” if you know what I mean.

My first foray into Kurdish Cuisine

After I went to the Science Museum on Saturday (as part of a work sponsored event), I then decided to branch out yet again, cuisine wise.
This time I went to a small family restaurant in St. Paul called Babani’s.
The cuisine they serve…Kurdish.
Babani’s claims to be the first Kurdish restaurant in the United States. I don’t know the truth of that claim, but it was certainly the first time I’d ever heard of a restaurant specializing in Kurdish cuisine. Turkish, Iranian, Syrian, and even Iraqi, yes. Kurdish, no.
What I had, for my first foray was, as described in the menu:
“2- Kubey Sawar – Crushed wheat made into a dough and
filled with lean ground beef, spices, and onion then
sauteed in olive oil. This dish was first made famous
in Nineveh – Modern day Mosul, Iraq.
I had a choice of soup or salad. I chose soup:
Dowjic – Chicken, yogurt, rice basil and lemon juice. This
soup’s tangy bite has traditionally kept many a Kurdish
traveler from wondering too far from home.
The food wasn’t extraordinary, and not too different than other middle eastern cuisine I’ve had, although I admit the soup was a tangy, sour surprise. I wanted more of that when I was done! The Kubey Sawar’s weren’t spectacular, but they were certainly tasty enough.
Its not in a location that encourages me to visit often, but anyone who is already in downtown St. Paul might want to try it in order to get a taste of a cuisine not really well known on these shores.