Monday, December 17, 2012

50th and France, Edina

Walking around 50th and France, a popular neighborhood in Edina, Minn., just south of Minneapolis, is a bit like looking back to what many neighborhoods may have looked like in Minneapolis years ago.

There’s the corner drug store (Walgreen’s) just off the corner, a grocery store a couple blocks down the street, a post office nearby, coffee shops, restaurants, boutiques and more. Quaint neighborhoods surround the area.

The Edina Cinema, which draws passersby in by the enticing smell of the popcorn outside, shows independent films.

                                                                    Edina Cinema

Just past the corner of 50th Street and France Ave. sits the 50th Street Cafe. 50th Street Cafe offers a wide selection of breakfast and lunch entrees, including pancakes, waffles, sandwiches, salads, soups and more.

50th Street Cafe

The restaurant previously located in this building, Pearson’s Edina Restaurant, had a long history of offering dining to locals and visitors. 

Phil Pearson, a manager at 50th Street Cafe, has grown up in the restaurant business. His family owned Pearson's Edina Restaurant, until it closed in 2011. Pearson's was well known for its Scandinavian home cooking. People made a point to come for Swedish meatballs or even lutefisk! 

At the 50th Street Cafe, Phil has carried on some of Pearson’s Restaurant’s popular items, including the Pearson’s Big Burger and the original pancakes. His three-year-old daughter calls the restaurant “Daddy’s Pancakes.”

And the pancakes are excellent! I had apple streusel pancakes, although the pineapple upside-down pancakes looked quite tempting too!

                                          Apple streusel pancakes, 50th Street Cafe

After filling up on pancakes, my friend Melissa and I set off to explore the neighborhood. It was a great day to walk around the area; it was an unusually warm, sunny day in November.

We popped in several shops. One store, Gather, had many Christmas items and other gift items to choose from. And they even had cookies and apple cider for guests who stopped in the store!

                                   Cookies and cider at Gather, Edina, Minnesota

We took a peek in the Edina Creamery, known for its variety of ice cream.

                                                                     Edina Creamery

But, we couldn’t resist going into the Sweet Retreat Cupcake Boutique and trying a cupcake. I had a mocha cupcake with coffee, and Melissa tried a red velvet cupcake. The variety of cupcakes and cake balls made it difficult to choose a cupcake.

Red velvet cupcake and mocha cupcake, Sweet Retreat Cupcake Boutique, Edina, Minnesota (above)

We stopped in a small flower store, Garden Gate Flowers, admiring the colorful flowers available.

Flowers at Garden Gate Flowers, Edina, Minnesota

Later we explored cooking shops in the area, Sur la Table and Cooks of Crocus Hill. Cooks of Crocus Hill offers wine tastings and cooking classes on a regular basis. I would have loved to buy the vintage-looking red espresso machine at Cooks of Crocus Hill. But for now, that will stay on my wish list.

Our sense of smell was awakened as we arrived at Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics, a bath and body shop offering bath balls, shampoo bars, a variety of soaps, face masks, lotions and more.

Soaps at Lush in Edina, Minnesota photo

At Athleta, we admired the mix of athletic gear, pretty athletic tops, comfortable yoga pants, fashionable hoodies and sweaters, and more. The staff was very helpful about sizing and color options as I decided on a purchase.

On our way back, we stopped at the Pig and Fiddle, a pub in the back half of the building previously part of Pearson’s restaurant. The dark woodwork in the walls and ceiling remain, with a large stone fireplace along one wall, and creative paintings on the walls.

By now, the sun had set and our day at 50th and France drew to a close. Until next time, 50th and France.

Events at 50th and France Throughout the Year
June- Edina Art Fair, an annual art fair featuring more than 300 local and national artists, food, music and more, May 31-June 2, 2013
July- 4th of July parade, July 4, 2013
October- Pumpkin Festival, including trick or treating, face painting and more
November- Tree Lighting Ceremony, with a visit from Santa, music and more, November, 2013

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