The Flanagan Memo - Re: Thoughts about driving and a bite of tacos.
After a summer of good driving around, I have some questions.
First, why don't Minnesota drivers use their turn signals? Yes, some do, but too many do not. Why?
And many of us are a bit slow to turn on our automobile lights in rain, fog or at dusk. Again, why?
And that brings me to the pedestrian. I am one and so are you. The thing that is not easy to understand is why so many of us walk on the "Don't Walk" sign. The idea is to give drivers the chance to turn the corner without hitting pedestrians.
Perhaps it would be possible to put the "Don't Walk" sign on before the "Walk" sign and let the cars turn first. Yes, it would be costly to change the semaphores, but it is a thought.
Finally, drivers on cellphones remain a pain. Ah, well!
When visitors come from such glamour towns as Aspen, Colo., San Francisco and occasionally Boston, we eat out.
That happened fairly often this past summer and, usually, we enjoyed.
The best restaurant for food, service and a great atmosphere is Heidi's on S. Lyndale just north of W. Lake Street.
This is the new location, which opened after the original was burned down. It is much more elegant and Chef Stewart Woodman seems to excel at everything. You'll see him as you go in the front door, standing in the kitchen, watching everything, but taking time to wave at friends.
For the record, my foie gras, a duck pate, was totally divine.
The Bachelor Farmer is a splendid restaurant and usually packed to the doorsills. The fact that it is owned by the two sons of Gov. Mark Dayton may help, but the food also is a major lure.
Often they have superb Swedish meatballs on the menu. Yum!
However, the Bachelor is the noisiest restaurant in town. When you sit at a table -- four or six of you, for example -- you cannot hear someone speaking from across the table. Please don't suggest that I test my hearing. I did and it is perfect. Lower the volume, please.
Finally, have dessert at Lucia's, W. 31st Street and Hennepin Avenue, anytime. Its raspberry tart with the buttery crust was a delight. And, incidentally, so was the soup, a cozy lentil and vegetable that was nifty. (Ditto Zumbro at 43rd Street and Upton Avenue S., for the same excellent soup, and fruit crisps to die for.)
By the way, how about a star on the Hennepin Avenue sidewalk for the late, very great Lili St. Cyr? Originally, she lived in north Minneapolis.
Yes, she was a stripper, the best after Gypsy Rose Lee. During Lili's reign she wowed the crowds in some of the best places and inspired many performers who came after, including Marilyn Monroe and Madonna.
Tacos -- my favorite are the traditional with spicy beef -- are in a new book by Jeffrey Pilcher, University of Minnesota professor of Mexican history. The book's title is "Planet Taco: A Global History of Mexican Food." And yes, there are all kinds of taco flavors around the world, including a baked bean version in Britain.
Poll: If the state's $1.9B surplus were "fun money," how would you spend it?