Saturdays at our house usually mean cleaning up, grocery shopping (Costco, Rainbow) and much to and fro between choir practice, play rehearsals and play dates for our girls. Since this is an ideal Saturday, chores are out the door.
8 a.m.: My daughters and I often make dumplings on Saturday mornings, but we’ll keep our hands out of the dough today. Instead, we’re having chocolate chip pancakes and omelets (spinach and mushroom) at the Good Day Café (5410 Wayzata Blvd., Golden Valley). They also have good service and an airy atmosphere.
10:30 a.m.: I have played racquetball at the downtown YMCA (30 S. 9th St., Mpls.) for the past 15 years with a stable, witty group of men (and the occasional woman). The Y has a good mix of members and a friendly staff.
1 p.m.: Lunch at Brasa Rotisserie (600 E Hennepin Av., Mpls.). I go for the comforting food at this garage-cum-restaurant: collard greens seasoned with turkey, pulled chicken, black beans and yellow rice and fried ripe plantains. The warm ambience is enhanced by a welcoming lunchtime staff that includes Kris Kelly, Foxy Gilley and Kim Kelly.
3:30 p.m.: To work off our lunch, my family and I flip a coin between ambling the blooms at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (3675 Arboretum Dr., Chanhassen), where I take copious pictures, or going biking and paddle-boating at French Regional Park (12605 Rockford Road, Plymouth).
5:30 p.m.: On the way back from the park, we might swing by Bachman’s (10050 6th Av. N., Plymouth) and Costco (5801 W 16th St., St. Louis Park) for flowers. We appreciate the fact that the University of Minnesota has hybridized hardy hibiscuses.
6:30 p.m.: Dinner at Fuji Ya (600 W. Lake St., Mpls.) with my favorite sushi chef, Jiro Takahashi. He is not the title subject in David Gelb’s 2011 documentary, “Jiro Dreams of Sushi,” but he deserves his own big-screen feature. I might order an unagi (eel) roll with avocado instead of the usual cucumber but usually I sit at Takahashi’s sushi bar and let him delight me with one of his delectable creations.
8 p.m. To feed my soul, I take in a show, reading or concert at an intimate venue where the impact of movement, music and emotions can be maximized. That likely means something at either Pillsbury House Theatre (3501 Chicago Av. S., Mpls.), Penumbra Theatre (270 N. Kent St., St. Paul) or the Dowling Studio (818 S 2nd. St., Mpls.). When I’m not at the theater, I’m taking in readings at the Playwrights’ Center (2301 E. Franklin Av., Mpls.) or the Loft Literary Center (1011 Washington Av. S., Mpls.)
Before children, we were late-night kind of people, but the only nightcap I’m having is the imaginary one I sleep with. I’ve got to get up for Sunday school at Fellowship Missionary Baptist (3355 N. 4th St., Mpls.).