If you are a car lover like myself, I have something you should definitely add to your #mnbucketlist. The MN C&C (ahem, cars and coffee) is a monthly gathering of automotive enthusiasts for ooo-ing and ahh-ing. It’s hosted at the Auto MotorPlex in Chanhassen off Audubon, the first Saturday of the month from April through October. It’s kitty-corner from Paisley Park and usually a zoo. You can expect to see 500+ cars in almost every make and model. It’s a place for all motor sport aficionados, whatever their passion may be. Whether luxury, comfort, sport or brand – you’ll see it all. Each of the MotorPlex Condos are built to fit the personality and preference of the owners, and they really go all out [think ‘Mancave’]. My favorite is the 50’s, comic fuel station garage complete with a bat mobile, the green hornet and life size statues of #Batman and Superman. I was also really excited to see that my favorite car (Elon Musk’s Tesla) has an amasser there. But it’s more than a showcase, people from all over the state bring their cars, trucks, motorbikes, motorcycles and more to parade off the strip, giving the passerby and onlookers a front row seat.

ChuckWagon Charlie’s Smokehouse and Saloon

More often than not, when I go in search of food, I look for comfort and generous portions. Well, Chuckwagon Charlie’s  fits the bill on both accounts. While they are really known for their meats, fish and seafood (they even have BBQ and Pig Roast available for catering), I actually went for the corn on the cob and the mac and cheese, both of which were totally amazing. It’s a bar, so you get a heavy beer selection but you also get really great homey food, too. Win-win. It’s an easy place to just grab a seat and stay for a game or even a beer flight, if you’re in the mood. Oh yeah! see those little ninjas? They are their mascots. I even got to play with them, so be jealous.

Chanhassen Cinema Prince Mural

Interrupting my summer road trip to bring you the most incredible mural of Prince that just popped up! Still being painted by the unquestionably talented Australian artist, Graham Hoete, it started this past Saturday and will conclude with a dedication ceremony held this Wednesday at 7pm. Everyone is invited. It is located on the south side of the Chanhassen Cinema building. And yes, I’m coming into town to be there. ‪#‎purplerain‬


Davannis MNBucketlist

I love pizza so much that I drag (usually willingly) my closest friends and even my Mom, pictured above, to any place that gives me my fix. I can’t help it, I have a thing for a good Italian food. So when I found out that it was Davanni’s 40th anniversary this month, I was pretty excited. I mean, to be honest, I didn’t know it had been around that long and also I didn’t know that it started in Minnesota. And I really ought to know these things! Anyway, did you know that they were actually the first to offer hot hoagies in the Twin Cities? Originally called Pontillo’s Pizzeria, Davanni’s first location, off Cleveland and Grand in St. Paul opened October 1st, 1975, they later changed names in 1983. I decided to check out the newly remodeled Edina location, which will be having a Grand Re-Opening / 20th Anniversary celebration on this Saturday. If you want to go, you can meet the owners, get special deals, play trivia, lots of samples AND Indeed Brewing will be tapping a special cask ale from 5-8pm.

I went early so I could see their new bar (lots of craft beer and wine), the new renovations and the overall revitalization of their brand. Let me jump ahead, I was really impressed! It’s definitely not the dark walls, dim lighting and cramped quarters that I often encounter with restaurants that have been around forever (40 is forever for me). The design is bright, modern, and incredibly inviting. The staff was what really made the atmosphere for me, though. Attentive, friendly, great with suggestions and they actually like their jobs, which isn’t always the case in the industry. I’m going to attribute that to being a privately held company and constantly trying new ideas, from nutriment to innovation.

Now let me get into the food.

Davannis MNBucketlist

We devoured all different kinds of salads, sandwiches, beer and dessert. Hey! We are eaters, and also sharers, so we had to have a little of everything! And the pizza? Deep dish, flat bread, thin crust, white sauce, red sauce, you name it – we tried it. The crowd favorite was the Southwestern Chicken Salad, the Turkey Bacon Chipotle Hoagie and the Artichoke Chicken Pesto Flatbread (see, they are trying new things!). I was partial to the Veggie Hoagie and Garlic Cheese Bread. Needless to say, their Chanhassen location (their 22nd store) will get a little too much of my attention in the future. With the Twin Cities bursting with really great pizzerias, the new changes from layout to menu, to keeping the forever favorites like the New York style pizza and pasta and using their own bakery for bread and desserts, I know that Davannis will have a home here for at least another 40 years.

WANT A GREAT DEAL: When you order online, you can get a 10% discount when you use the code “ANNIVERSARY” at checkout through Saturday, October 31. Otherwise in-shop through the end of the month, a regular pop (it’s Minnesota, we say Pop) is only $1.

 A few recent articles: Star Tribune + Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal + KARE11