Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Mickey's Diner

Mickey's Diner is a gem nestled in the shadows of towering downtown office buildings in St. Paul, Minnesota.
The diner was manufactured in New Jersey and made its way via rail to St. Paul where it has been in operation since the late 1930s.
Mickey's was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.
I had to stop in, knowing it was so close to my destination.
Despite having a light breakfast at 7:30 a.m., I figured I could squeeze in an early lunch. I set out on foot, and arrived around 10 a.m.
I pulled open the original art deco styled door and stepped inside. I took my place at one of the dozen or so counter stools, facing a small glass tower of single serving desserts.
The diner retains its original character and charm, with stainless steel and decorative mahogany trim throughout.
I took note of the signs lining the wall near the ceiling which stated Mickey's is open 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
I was promptly greeted by the server who offered me a menu and some coffee. Since I'd already had a couple of stout cups, I went with some iced tea.
Perusing the menu, it didn't take me long to decide I would go for the Classic.
The staff of Mickey's seemed to enjoy their work and were friendly and cheerful, often singing along with the oldies music. Waiting for my food, I felt right at home.
My meal arrived around 10:15 and consisted of a cheeseburger on a sesame seed bun accompanied by three generous slices of dill pickles, a gut busting serving of thick shreds of hash browns good, greasy and browned to perfection and a cup of Mulligan stew. Everything was great. I finished almost all of the hearty stew, all of the burger and about half of the potatoes.
My waitress offered me some more tea when I got low, but I had plenty.
Sadly, I soon had to be on my way, so I went to the register to pay my bill. Mickey's does not accept checks, and you can't put your tip on a credit card.
Starting down the sidewalk, I passed a gent who had been sitting next to me and had stepped outside for a smoke. He bid me a nice day and I was on my way.
As I walked back to my destination, I reflected on the fact that the Minnesotans I encountered on my trip were very nice. I hadn't heard the term Minnesota nice until I was in the thick of it, and I certainly found it to be true on this visit.

Mickey's Diner
36 7th St. W
St. Paul, MN 55102

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Walking through downtown St. Paul, MN via the skyway during a chilly, overcast day, I popped out onto the street to see what I could see.
Spotting a bright, interesting vintage-looking awning, I noticed the Candyland name splashed across the front. Once I saw the Famous Since 1932 sign, I knew I needed to check the place out.
Originally known as Flavocorn, Candyland is filled with glass cases displaying a great selection of old fashioned candies, and the air is perfumed with the aroma of caramel and other sweet treats.
I made off with a bag of caramel covered marshmallows, of which I've sampled one so far. The combination of the salty caramel coating the sweet, soft marshmallow is a wonderful combination.
I also bought a bag of their Chicago mix; popcorn mixed with Cheddar and caramel popcorn, which I plan to save for a little bit later. If I can hold out.

435 Wabasha St. N
St. Paul, MN 55102

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Die Cast Auto Sales

Last Sunday afternoon found us on the way to Springfield, Illinois for some dinner.
Along the way we stopped off in Williamsville along Route 66 to see if the antiques store was open, since we had a bit of time to kill.
We found that the antique shop had just closed, so we took a jaunt through town and came across the Die Cast Auto Sales building.
Once a gas station on Route 66 in the 1930s, the building is now an interesting collection of Route 66 and Coca-Cola memorabilia and, of course, die cast car models.

Die Cast Auto Sales
117 N. Elm Street
Williamsville, IL 62693