This year I headed out into the largest open artists studio celebration in the country, Art-a-Whirl, on my own. However, it quickly turned into a food orientated trip with art.
I headed to the famous Northrup-King Building, which when you combine all the floors is on par with the Mall of America in square footage (no wonder my feet hurt at the end of the day). The refreshing water and snacks in various artists' studios were welcomed. However, it all looked the same. I saw a few new artists, but overall it was the same as last year. I did stop in a few favorites to see their new pieces, and grabbed a print for the MLA Conference silent auction.
On my way via trolley to the Grain Belt Studios to see the performance artists, I stopped by Anchor Fish & Chips. Clearly one of the hot stops that day. Being solo waiting 40 minutes for the fish and chips was a bit lonely at times, but I was grateful for the live music and fellow foodie company. Oh boy was it worth it! I have tried to visit their restaurant before, but gave up with the long lines. Not today. It was by far the best fish and chips ever! The fish has the perfect ratio of a crunchy crust to a flaky interior. The fish is perfectly salted and so fresh, I would have thought I was on a cod boat in the Atlantic. I have dreamt about this place ever since, and can't wait to go back. Their fries are delicious as well, but let's face it- the fish is the star.
Next on the list was visiting the wonderful Chowgirls Catering space and viewing some excellent bike posters. I missed the bike party the previous night (note to self to go next year). In their space they had 10,000 Licks Popsicles for sale. I am loving the food trends these days. All my childhood favorites are coming into vogue: cupcakes, popsicles, homemade ice cream, soda fountains, etc. I don't remember how hot it was that day, but it was warm, and since most studios are not air conditioned a popsicle was a welcomed treat. I can only imagine how many more they would sell if they were outside of the larger artist studios. The Strawberry Lemongrass popsicle was sweet and refreshing. Perfectly frozen to not have large ice crystals, which is a fail point of many others. I am so glad 10,000 Licks was successful through Kickstart, and can't wait to see them at the farmers markets this summer.