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On a cold day: tips from a Minnesotan

For a kid from Medina, Minnesota, California sure has its perks. First and foremost is this thing you call 'winter'. Walking down Castro Street, enjoying the mid 50 degree weather and watching the leaves fall off the trees would be considered late August, maybe September by most of the country. Every time I post a picture of December here I get a bevy of angry remarks from home. Hi Mom, by the way. 

But for the Californians it appears that the ground should be covered with newly fallen snow. Peacoats, scarves, boots and jackets up and down the street, gloves and wool socks in the storefronts. Being a denizen of the deep winter let me show you what I believe to be the best places for when you are freezing your tushie off, even if I'm wearing a teeshirt and shorts.

Red Rock Cafe
First let us start high with the Red Rock Cafe. Unless you need to grab some fast coffee and can't make it up the street from Starbucks, you must stop in here. I've been looking for a good Chai Tea Latte and the Red Rock provides a deliciously spiced concoction. I'd recommend it breve style with a creamier milk base to keep you warm through the coming months. Pair this with a generous slice of their blueberry crumb cake, walk up to the second floor and dreamily gaze upon people scurrying below.

Books Inc. / Bookbuyers
I list the two for those looking for new and old books. For me, walking through a bookstore on a cold day is a delight, trying to find some new fiction or old tome to cuddle up by the fireplace with a cup of hot cocoa. Looking for something new or something that someone has recommended to you, try Books Inc.. They are a local chain that specializes in tailoring their selection to the masses and have a welcoming staff. An added perk is not having to go home to start reading as they have a nice little cafe upstairs. 

Bookbuyers is the used book store of choice. A generous selection of both old books and movies paired with that smell of decomposing paper provides at least an hour of generous browsing. Because they feature only used books, don't expect to find exactly what you are looking for, instead pick something out that you haven't heard anything about. Worst case scenario you have a good book to give away at the end of the month! I've found some rarities in the stacks myself including some early fiction by one of my favorites, Terry Pratchett, so I invite you to search.

Tied House Brewery
If this were summer I would recommend a trip to the newly opened Steins Beer Garden just down the street. Sadly all of their decorational fireplaces and such appear merely decorational. For a warm place with a pretty darn good plate of nachos go to Tied House. Their selection of beers will be getting better as the season goes on as I prefer their darker and heavier stouts and porters over their lighter summer offering. 

Maru Ichi
I previously reviewed Shabuway and while it is a delicious establishment, the broth is not for drinking. Believe me, it is a bad decision to try it. Because of that I recommend a place farther down the street. Maru Ichi is one of the older Ramen joints in the South Bay and is considered by many to be the best. While known for their Kuro ramen laced with squid ink, I prefer their Tonkatsu for the season. The broth is meaty without being thick and the slices of pork melt in your mouth with juicy delight. It is cash only, so stop by an ATM before you go, but this is a must.

Happy holidays and best of luck staying out of this thing you call 'winter'. I'll be that weird guy sitting out on the patio with some of frozen yogurt or gelato people watching. Come say hi.


This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Brian Ness December 04, 2013 at 04:07 AM
Ha! Love it! As a fellow Minnesotan transplant living in MV, I find all this tell of "winter" and "cold" quite amusing as well. Thanks for the tips.
Lynn Marinaro December 04, 2013 at 11:52 AM
Ola Sonny Boy! Love the article. Can't wait to try some of these "cold weather" choices when I am out again. By the way it is 28 degrees and snowing out here in Minnesota…….wearing my Uggs and drinking jo by the fire!

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