(photo credits: Lisa K.)
We had the day to ourselves, so we decided to go exploring in an area of Saint Paul that I haven’t spent a ton of time in since I was a child, West 7th. I know there’s been a lot of new things popping up around there, and so we decided to go check them out.
We parked our car down by the river near the Science Museum and took a lovely stroll through Irving Park. Irving Park is a VERY old neighborhood in Saint Paul, filled with homes from the late 1800s and early 1900s. These are the classic victorian homes that equate more with Summit Ave, but here they are in a little enclave between a busy street and a bluff overlooking the Mississippi.
We arrived at our first stop, Waldmann’s, right around 11am when they opened. This is a small brewery and wursthouse that is built in the oldest surviving commercial building in the Twin Cities. Built in 1857 as a saloon, it’s now been converted into a lovely little restaurant with amazing German food, and good beer. Much of the structure has been restored to it’s original feel, and it was a real treat to experience it.
From there, we walked about 50 feet to Bad Weather Brewing, a long time favorite of ours, for another quick drink. We ended up getting lucky, as they usually aren’t open before noon on Sunday, but they had a special party going on in their party room, so they were able to open their doors to the general public. I had their new lemon beer, which although it was good, it could have used more lemon aroma. Brewers need to remember that we taste with our noses as much as our tongues.
We wanted a bit of dessert so on the way back to the car we hit the brand new Truck Park, near Excel Energy Center. This is a fun hangout spot with different places to buy food, giving it the experience of a food truck park. The vendors are all a part of the same company, but the open feel, and different counters to order from, gives it a “State Fair” type of feel. There’s even a bar on the outside of the building that you can sit at, right along West 7th.
While there we tried this amazing ice cream sandwich made with a T-Rex Cookie S’More’s cookie and Oreo ice cream. it was decadent and huge. The cookies from T-Rex are usually about the size of your face. Needless to say, this filled us up the rest of the way for our meals for the day. Plus, the environment was fun and vibrant, giving a very different feel to this area of town.
We hung out down by the river for a bit, and then headed back home, and to real life, with house projects and cleaning. This was a great way to spend a morning, and I’d highly recommend checking out West 7th, the next time you’re in downtown Saint Paul.