The aroma of fresh spices hits you as you walk in the door, and it's fantastic. They have an incredible variety of herbs and spices, and have informative little plaques for all of their inventory. You can get the spices in plastic bags or in glass bottles. They also have gift selections that contain a number of their products. If you're looking for an herb or spice that the grocery store doesn't have, you'll find it here. And everything you get here will taste better than what you can get at the grocery store anyway!
I am an ice cream freak, and this place is great! The ice cream is homemade daily, and comes in unique flavors. I know I'm not the only one that feels this way--seating is hard to find on a nice summer evening! Parking can sometimes be difficult, but the ice cream is definitely worth it.
This gallery/shop focusses on local and regional artists. The shop is connected to a glassblower's studio and a clay studio so you can watch the artists working while you are there. The collection is fairly ecletic, and there are items in a wide variety of price ranges. If you want to have a good time, be sure to visit the First Friday events where refreshments are served, and artists are there to talk about their work. See www.seasonsonstcroix.com.
I went to this Barnes and Noble looking for a specific title that was out of stock. The salesperson told me they were expecting a shipment in the next couple days, and had me fill out a form to have them contact me when the shipment arrived. They did not call, and when I called them about it, they had no record of my form. I should have just ordered it online.
I used to live in St. Cloud where the Coborn's chain originated and is based. I am a fan of Coborn's because they are local, and also because they have a substantial natural and organic food section. Their organic produce is high quality. And when you buy groceries there you get discount couplns for gas. Their gas prices are generally the lowest in Albertville anyway, so this is a good deal.
I continue to go to Mr. Movies because it is convenient and you do not have to carry a membership card with you. Their selection is pretty good--I have never seen them out of a particular title (I tend to get new releases). Generally there are very few other customers so there is usually no line, and the rental process is very fast. (I've waited in incredibly slow lines at Blockbuster before, so this is a major plus for me!)
I found a water main leak in my home at 4:30 on a Friday afternoon. B&D had someone there within 10 minutes of me calling. The man who did the work was courteous (even though the woman on the phone told me he was already on his way home when I called!) and got the job done quickly. The charges were about what I expected--not a bargain, but not out of line either.
If you are going to the Albertville Outlets, you should have lunch or dinner at Hong Thai. It's just south of 94 on the same road as the outlet mall. Their food is very flavorful and they definitely do add heat to the dishes indicated by chili peppers in the menu. Service is fast for both dining in and take out (15 minutes). I was a little hesitant to try a Thai restaurant in a strip mall in exurban MN, but I keep going back--it's great food!
In my opinion, Origami is the best sushi restaurant in the Twin Cities. I lived on the west coast for several years, and was a little wary of trying sushi in MN, but Origami blew away my expectations. Definitely try their martinis--my favorite is the Origami. The atmosphere is very modern and hip. Also, free parking across the street--can't beat that.
Watch your wallet when you enter this store--they have all kinds of great gear for triathletes! The staff is helpful. If you want to spend a lot of time with a staff member (like for a bike fitting), I would recommend going on a weekday if possible. On summer weekends most of the staff are out running races. If you spend over a certain amount in a given year (I think it's $1200), you will get an invite to a special sale in the spring where everything in the store is discounted.