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    Post #1 - August 4th, 2006, 11:43 am
    Post #1 - August 4th, 2006, 11:43 am Post #1 - August 4th, 2006, 11:43 am
    Hi all,

    I'm trying to help a friend of mine out who will be visiting Minneapolis for work (downtown, generally) and I'm of little help. He's looking for some gems for dinner that are quaint, unpretentious -- e.g., I recommended Avec to him in Chicago and he loved it (who wouldn't!). He's not generally picky when it comes to food and will eat any type of ethnic cuisine, but unfortunately detests foams, powders and the like. I would appreciate any recommendations that come to mind. Thanks,

    Brad
  • Post #2 - August 4th, 2006, 1:00 pm
    Post #2 - August 4th, 2006, 1:00 pm Post #2 - August 4th, 2006, 1:00 pm
    Everything you need to know can be found on the websites. All very convenient to downtown, though some are a bit beyond walking distance.

    112 Eatery
    www.112eatery.com

    Restaurant Alma
    www.restaurantalma.com

    Levain
    www.restaurantlevain.com

    La Belle Vie is MSP's finest restaurant, but the main dining room doesn't fit your request. They do, however, have a bar/lounge where you can order any of the a la carte items. Quiet, relaxed lounge.

    www.labellevie.us

    Five Restaurant & Street Lounge (bar, bistro and prix fixe sections...I'm recommending for the bistro)
    www.fiverestaurant.com

    The above are more-or-less unpretentious although I'm not sure they qualify as "quaint". They are comfortable, unstuffy, and you'd be fine as a solo business traveler at any. All are a bit towards the higher end price-wise for this town, though we're a good city for specials and less expensive tastings etc. in the bar section of most finer restaurants.

    Other options, some a little farther from downtown:

    www.cornertablerestaurant.com
    www.lucias.com

    The new Guthrie Theater complex just opened on the northeast side of downtown (in walking distance). There are a couple of notable new restaurants in or by there run by very credible local chefs. Spoon River (Brenda Langton) and Cue (Lenny Russo) are getting positive talk but have only been open for a matter of weeks. I haven't been to either but it's worth asking around/further research. The chefs' other places (Cafe Brenda and Heartland) have long been popular, very good MSP fixtures. Again, maybe not quaint being at a theater but...

    www.cueatguthrie.com
    (sorry, that's all I've got)
  • Post #3 - August 4th, 2006, 7:30 pm
    Post #3 - August 4th, 2006, 7:30 pm Post #3 - August 4th, 2006, 7:30 pm
    MSPD wrote:(sorry, that's all I've got)

    No apologies called for -- that's quite the list. I appreciate all of the help. Thanks much!
  • Post #4 - August 4th, 2006, 11:25 pm
    Post #4 - August 4th, 2006, 11:25 pm Post #4 - August 4th, 2006, 11:25 pm
    I was in Minneapolis last winter. My knowledge of the city is not exactly deep, but I do know that my wife and I very much enjoyed Hell's Kitchen. It's downtown and features local products. The downside, it's only open for breakfast and lunch.
  • Post #5 - August 7th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Post #5 - August 7th, 2006, 8:59 am Post #5 - August 7th, 2006, 8:59 am
    Vital Information wrote:I was in Minneapolis last winter. My knowledge of the city is not exactly deep, but I do know that my wife and I very much enjoyed Hell's Kitchen. It's downtown and features local products. The downside, it's only open for breakfast and lunch.

    I remember seeing your previous post on this place and it seemed right up his alley, if even for lunch/breakfast, so thanks for reminding me to pass this along.
  • Post #6 - August 7th, 2006, 9:28 am
    Post #6 - August 7th, 2006, 9:28 am Post #6 - August 7th, 2006, 9:28 am
    Minneapolis has THE most (authentic?) French baguette bakers in the midwest:

    New French Bakery
    http://www.newfrenchbakery.com/about_us/index.cfm

    Turtle Bread:
    http://www.turtlebread.com/

    Woullet Bakery
    http://www.wuollet.com/

    112 uses New French BAkery and it is just pretty darned good. However, when i went back a few months later to do the NFB / Turtle / Woullet comparison, Turtle Bread tasted better even after being frozen.

    i just found out my other fave, Bakery on Grand has closed :( :( :(
  • Post #7 - August 22nd, 2006, 10:26 pm
    Post #7 - August 22nd, 2006, 10:26 pm Post #7 - August 22nd, 2006, 10:26 pm
    Just returned from a weekend in my native Minneapolis.
    Dinner at the Sample Room was a bit of a disappointment. The menu features many items I would consider Fall comfort foods (meatloaf, turkey and gravy, etc.) that are just baffling this time of year. To their credit, the service couldn't have been better.
    The newly re-opened Town Talk Diner, along with the previously mentioned Hell's Kitchen and 112 Eatery were the hilights of the trip.
  • Post #8 - August 23rd, 2006, 11:04 pm
    Post #8 - August 23rd, 2006, 11:04 pm Post #8 - August 23rd, 2006, 11:04 pm
    Minneapolis-St. Paul (and surrounding areas) are fun cities to visit. Surely the good eating helps.

    I just love the decor at Ikes, get drinks there as soon as possible and also enjoyed their breakfast.

    Hell's Kitchen did not falter, and it was nice to have a decent cup of coffee after two days in Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa.

    Of the new places at the snazzy new Guthrie, we tried Spoonriver. I'd return more for the organic farmer's market Saturday's in this same riverfront area, but Spoonriver was good too for vegetable-centric meals.

    The other big restaurant at the Guthrie is Cue (you can read good stories of Cue and Spoonriver here). Cue's father is Lenny Russo, and we visited his first child, Heartland in St. Paul one night. Hearland has a menu much like my beloved Vie. I have to say, however, that I was not fully blown away by Heartland. Some of the dishes, like a smoked baby chicken, really were delicious, others were not. I wonder if Papa needs to visit home some.

    The most interesting time, the best of Minneapolis, the thing that pisses me off because I cannot imagine something this cool emerging in Chicago under King Daley is the New Mid-City Global Market (go to this Google page for background). It's a scruffy, not really clean public market a few blocks past the edge of Minneapolis's Uptown neighborhood--the location keeping things real if you know what I mean. No Phil Stefani, no Potbelly, no corporate nothing, just a bunch of interesting and, surely for Minneapolis, authentic stands: al pastor off a spit; Middle Eastern; West Indian, more Mexican, a stand specializing in farmer's goods, etc. Do visit if in Minneapolis for sure.

    Ice cream's good there whether Sebastian Joe's, Caruso's or Izzy's (in St. Paul).

    We could not find a Vietanamese place opened at 9 AM. Don't they know pho's for breakfast?
  • Post #9 - August 24th, 2006, 7:26 am
    Post #9 - August 24th, 2006, 7:26 am Post #9 - August 24th, 2006, 7:26 am
    I should add, although non-food related, that if anyone will be in Minneapolis up to 9/10/06, they should, fer sure, visit the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Walker. See here: http://calendar.walkerart.org/canopy.wac?id=2683

    This is show is the largest exhibit of her work, and as a guide noted, there is a luxury of space a viewer gets in Minneapolis that one did not get when the show was in NYC. I'm not sure if the show is coming to Chicago.
  • Post #10 - August 24th, 2006, 6:29 pm
    Post #10 - August 24th, 2006, 6:29 pm Post #10 - August 24th, 2006, 6:29 pm
    Just wanted to say thank you to all for the helpful suggestions. I, and more importantly my friend visiting Minneapolis, greatly appreciate the help.

    Brad
  • Post #11 - August 25th, 2006, 6:13 pm
    Post #11 - August 25th, 2006, 6:13 pm Post #11 - August 25th, 2006, 6:13 pm
    Vital Information wrote:I should add, although non-food related, that if anyone will be in Minneapolis up to 9/10/06, they should, fer sure, visit the Diane Arbus exhibit at the Walker. See here: http://calendar.walkerart.org/canopy.wac?id=2683

    This is show is the largest exhibit of her work, and as a guide noted, there is a luxury of space a viewer gets in Minneapolis that one did not get when the show was in NYC. I'm not sure if the show is coming to Chicago.


    Agreed. I was able to catch this during our visit. Incredible!
  • Post #12 - May 2nd, 2007, 11:25 am
    Post #12 - May 2nd, 2007, 11:25 am Post #12 - May 2nd, 2007, 11:25 am
    Along the lines of the OP - where would you stay in the Twin Cities if walking, eating and generally enjoying the city were important? I'd like to drive as little as possible, but will have a car. Downtown St. Paul? Downtown Minne? University of Min? (I have zero knowledge of the city going in... just curious).

    Planning to take a little trip up there this summer.
  • Post #13 - May 2nd, 2007, 11:40 am
    Post #13 - May 2nd, 2007, 11:40 am Post #13 - May 2nd, 2007, 11:40 am
    I spent a very long summer studying Dutch at "the U." If you don't have a car, I wouldn't recommend staying by the university. The Twin Cities are very bike friendly but not very pedestrian friendly, if you're, say, trying to get from the U to Uptown.

    Downtown Minneapolis is more lively than downtown St. Paul.
  • Post #14 - May 2nd, 2007, 2:48 pm
    Post #14 - May 2nd, 2007, 2:48 pm Post #14 - May 2nd, 2007, 2:48 pm
    There's a travel article in the NY Times about the food scene in the twin cities. They mention 20.21, a Wolfgang Puck venture, and Chambers Kitchen (John-Georges Vongerichten), both Asian-inspired restaurants. Also, Cue, which serves Midwest-inspired fare, 112 Eatery (owner says they're trying to catch up to the coasts and Chicago), and Spoonriver, whose owner also started an organic market.

    Here's the link, but it won't live forever. http://travel.nytimes.com/2007/04/29/tr ... acing.html
  • Post #15 - May 2nd, 2007, 3:26 pm
    Post #15 - May 2nd, 2007, 3:26 pm Post #15 - May 2nd, 2007, 3:26 pm
    ab, is money an object?

    If not, check out the Chambers Hotel ( www.chambersminneapolis.com ), the Graves 601 ( www.graves601hotel.com ) or the Nicollet Island Inn ( www.nicolletislandinn.com ).

    In downtown St. Paul, the St. Paul Hotel is a classic. ( www.saintpaulhotel.com ).

    For "walking, eating and generally enjoying the city" I recommend staying in downtown Minneapolis and working from there. Do NOT stay near the airport, Mall of America or along the I-494 strip in Bloomington/Edina unless you want to begin every excursion with a 15-30 minute drive and/or light rail train ride.

    From downtown, you'll have easy access to the Mississippi River Parkway (for your walking...take it to Minnehaha Park and have a snack/meal at Sea Salt Eatery www.seasalteatery.com or find the Birchwood Cafe, Riverview Wine Bar or Longfellow Grill roughly along the way); NE Minneapolis (cross the river north on Hennepin and you'll see Nye's, Kramarczuk's and several good restaurants and shops); Uptown and the chain of lakes (start from Uptown, walk around Lake Calhoun, Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet, etc.) and the rest of MSP. If biking is your thing, you can rent bikes from Calhoun Rental and spin around the lakes.

    www.birchwoodcafe.com
    www.longfellowgrill.com
    www.theriverview.net

    Also, since my original post to this thread Levain and Five have closed. 112 Eatery is still getting raves and Town Talk Diner is another fun place.

    www.112eatery.com
    www.towntalkdiner.com
  • Post #16 - May 2nd, 2007, 4:04 pm
    Post #16 - May 2nd, 2007, 4:04 pm Post #16 - May 2nd, 2007, 4:04 pm
    Me, I'd say that Minneapolis (and I guess St. Paul) are a bit like Chicago in the sense that there are pedestrian friendly areas, but to really take in the city, you need a car. A lot of the things one would want to do are spread out; I mean even from Nicollet to the Guthrie/Mill City Museum/Farmer's Market can be a bit of a hike. Uptown, Dinkytown, the new public market, the Walker are all a ways from downtown Minneapolis. I've had such great luck with Priceline for rental cars, I really would not go without a car.

    I would very heavily recommend Cue btw.
  • Post #17 - May 3rd, 2007, 10:48 am
    Post #17 - May 3rd, 2007, 10:48 am Post #17 - May 3rd, 2007, 10:48 am
    Agreed VI.
  • Post #18 - May 3rd, 2007, 3:51 pm
    Post #18 - May 3rd, 2007, 3:51 pm Post #18 - May 3rd, 2007, 3:51 pm
    Thanks for the tips folks. I'll probably be traveling with a very young son, so I may spend more on a nice hotel and less on upscale food. Hit more of the laid-back joints.

    What about beer? Any brewpubs I could get a few nice local pints?

    TIA

    -AB

    (I'll likely drive up, so I'll have a car, I'd just like to have plenty to do within walking distance as well, definitely want to check out uptown and st. paul if I stay in Downtown Minneapolis, so I will do some driving)

    Just noticed Town Talk has 40oz of Mickey's on the beverage menu - that's awesome. I'm going.
  • Post #19 - May 4th, 2007, 11:12 am
    Post #19 - May 4th, 2007, 11:12 am Post #19 - May 4th, 2007, 11:12 am
    ab -- that's great...enjoy the trip.

    I've brought my kids (I have three of them...5 y.o., 3 1/2 y.o. and 7 months) to most of the places I mentioned in my post (Sea Salt, Longfellow, the Birchwood, Town Talk Diner, Kramarczuk's...which is a cafeteria line eastern European place).

    I'm not a beer drinker, so can't help you much there. But periodically, they do brew pub threads on CH. Here's one from not to long ago:

    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/327606?query=brew%20pub
  • Post #20 - June 15th, 2007, 12:15 am
    Post #20 - June 15th, 2007, 12:15 am Post #20 - June 15th, 2007, 12:15 am
    The Twin Cities impress me every time I visit. This trip, we hit:

    http://www.millcitycafe.com/, which has most of the Surly beers on tap, a great open-air deck under a shady pergola, and remarkable food. Mill City offered us a remarkable cheese plate under $8, and three fantastic entrees for $11-15 each. Mine was a gigantic hunk of smoked pork shoulder in a roasted pepper and drippings sauce, paired with polenta, shaved jalapeno, cilantro, and a dollop of goat cheese. Great service. Details on the Surly brewery here: http://www.surlybrewing.com/index.php.

    http://www.cafebrenda.com/ - a polished vegetarian restaurant (with one Tall Grass Beef special) in an awesome room with floor to ceiling windows onto the urban street and great air conditioning on a 90 degree day. The mushroom-pistachio pate (first thing on the menu) is not to be missed. Like many places in the Cities, Cafe Brenda offers some off-the-beaten path beverages - I had a very complex ginger beer with honey.

    http://www.dockcafe.com/ - The Dock has one of the nicest river views in the State, taking in the Saint Croix right at the main lift bridge of Stillwater, southeast of the Cities. A sprawling riverside patio offers prime tables. While they get points for an excellently stocked bar (including Absolut Peppar), I found the food pedestrian and poorly prepared - wilted pre-made salad plates, terrible Bloody Mary, fishy salmon, industrial-grade frozen seasoned fries, stale focaccia. Linger for the view, appetizers (they had a good calamari, at least), and desserts, skip salads and entrees.

    http://shuangchengrestaurant.com/ - the closest thing to Lao Sze Chuan up there. Ignore the regular menu and go for the regional specials - beef with ginger, black beans, and asparagus; crispy fried green beans; soft shelled crab; plum duck. Sesame beef and Mu Shu pork were a notch above your average takeout place. Inexpensive, busy, cute but forgetful service, smells great, needs some Tony Hu to get to the next level. I have no idea why Shuang Cheng's website features an Italian guy holding a plate of meatballs or pictures of food from other restaurants.
  • Post #21 - June 15th, 2007, 10:52 am
    Post #21 - June 15th, 2007, 10:52 am Post #21 - June 15th, 2007, 10:52 am
    So I haven't been to St. Paul/Minneapolis in a while - but the stand-out restaurant for me while I was there was Babani's.

    This is a Kurdish restaurant in St. Pauls. Food so good that I've been searching for another Kurdish restaurant every since (to no avail).

    Not expensive - but simply good food.

    Babani's
    544 St Peter St
    St Paul, MN
    55102-1009
    Phone: (651) 602-9964
  • Post #22 - June 19th, 2007, 12:50 am
    Post #22 - June 19th, 2007, 12:50 am Post #22 - June 19th, 2007, 12:50 am
    Vincent in downtown MSP is very fine French/new American food.
    Not pretentious at all or overly edgy. Nice creative dishes that are also filling. Great service as well.

    www.vincentrestaurant.com

    Also, no Minneapolis thread would be complete without a mention of Punch Neapolitan Pizza. Better than Pizza DOC here in Chicago. The pizza has just a bit more crispness and char to the crust. And they make them quickly for you. It's the only place we make sure to go to on our visits back to MSP.

    www.punchpizza.com
  • Post #23 - June 20th, 2007, 1:57 pm
    Post #23 - June 20th, 2007, 1:57 pm Post #23 - June 20th, 2007, 1:57 pm
    Ah Minneapolis. One of my favorite places.

    Everyone's posts hit nearly everything I'd recommend, so I'll second the suggestions for Punch Pizza, 112 Eatery, Alma, Spoonriver and Cafe Brenda (same chef/owner, Brenda Langton), Cue and Heartland Restaurant (also same chef, Lenny Russo. Heartland is in St Paul), La Belle Vie....

    The Modern Cafe is also a great restaurant, located in an old diner. The food is hearty, straightforward and crowd-pleasing: Minnesota Berkshire pork shank with crimson lentil dal, perserved tomato chutney and spicy date molasses, potato gnocchi with beef cheek ragu, and the one dish that never goes off the menu, good ol' pot roast with garlic mashed potatoes and horseradish sauce. The only downside is sometimes the service can be a little frigid. Here's a good little story on it:

    http://citypages.com/databank/28/1363/article15064.asp

    Also, get a kick out of the restaurant's website:

    moderncafeminneapolis.com

    Downtown St. Paul, sadly, is pretty quiet after dark. If you want to see some hustle and bustle, I'd recommend staying in downtown Minneapolis.

    I often use City Page's annual Best Of List to get a good feel of what's going on in the Cities when I'm heading up there. Check out this year's winners:

    http://bestof.citypages.com/
  • Post #24 - July 12th, 2007, 9:07 pm
    Post #24 - July 12th, 2007, 9:07 pm Post #24 - July 12th, 2007, 9:07 pm
    Vital Information wrote:Hell's Kitchen did not falter, and it was nice to have a decent cup of coffee after two days in Western Illinois and Eastern Iowa.


    Had some great breakfasts @ Hell’s Kitchen http://www.hellskitcheninc.com/HellsKitchenWelcome.html

    Punch Neapolitan Pizza - VERY enjoyable Neapolitan pizza and VERY easy to get to via public transportation from downtown or airport (MSP).
    704 Cleveland Ave S
    St Paul, MN
    55116
    651.696.1066
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #25 - September 3rd, 2007, 10:02 am
    Post #25 - September 3rd, 2007, 10:02 am Post #25 - September 3rd, 2007, 10:02 am
    Well, apropos of nothing, I got to neither a Somali nor a southeastern Asian restaurant during my 36 hours in MSP. Skipped the bathrooms at the airport, too. (VI, The name of the Somali place is "Safari", though I think you went to "Safari Express.")

    I did, however, get to two oft-mentioned restaurants: 112 Eatery and Hell's Kitchen. Some thoughts:

    112 played the paradox of being the premier New American restaurant in town and being the restaurant that completely ignores seasonality. You know how there's always that restaurant (Resto in NYC, Bluebird here) that, no matter the time of year, puts some "porkiness" in everything? That's 112. It's 85 degrees in MSP and there's pancetta littered on top of my hearts of palm.

    Still, I ventured headlong into the porcine abyss, casting myself into the expanding meatball universe with the restaurant's entirely unironic, nearly faithful take on swedish meatballs, with nary a quotation mark to be found. I must say, however, that the dish grew on me, the meatballs being admittedly spectacular: like precious gobs of the silkiest, creamiest matzo balls you'll ever taste. Seriously.

    I also tried the lamb scottaditto, one of Food & Wine's Best Dishes of 2006. In a year of Kumi's tagilatelle w/guanciale, Schwa's quail egg ravioli, Kahn's chicken boti, and tac quick's crispy en choy, it is far too generous to consider this two-note punch--fat + basil--a transcendent dish; it would be better suited for more like "good-to-great, depending on the context" list. Yes, it's very lamby; yes, it's tangy from the gloppy dressing that rather unattractively congeals at the bottom of the pan; yes, it's primal and a little fun to tear it at the small chops with your hands--but it's just another dish that leans on animal fat to overcome it's lack of complexity. It's drunk people's food, the buffalo wing of the yuppie.

    The 112 folk are earnest and rather generous: in addition to bread, there were amuse nibbles of olives soaked in anise-flavored olive oil and candied almonds dusted with cayenne; the restaurant also brought out some housemade crunch n' munch with the check, their variation seasoned with clove and cardamom--all cute, but the flavor pairings with rather cloying.

    I got to Hell's Kitchen the following morning...and proceeded to wait for a good hour. I stuck it out and was rewarded with a fantastic breakfast: an Indian porridge combining wild rice, cream, fruit, and nuts for a veritable riot of texture rivaling TAC's fish maw salad. I can't remember the last time I was in agreement with the Sterns, but here i concur: HK serves the best peanut butter I've ever tasted.

    Cool city. In ten years time, it's really going to be a great place.
  • Post #26 - November 24th, 2007, 1:43 am
    Post #26 - November 24th, 2007, 1:43 am Post #26 - November 24th, 2007, 1:43 am
    Another good one in the Twins:

    http://www.meritage-stpaul.com/

    Just as Chicago loses its Meritage, St. Paul gains one (unrelated), right across from the Landmark Center downtown, two blocks from the Ordway. An interesting French-Jewish menu (matzo prominently featured everywhere from a soup to an entree to a nutella-smeared dessert, squash kreplach, etc.), not shying away from the pork preparations and traditional steak frites. I had:

    - a bloody mary oyster shot, very spicy, delicious
    - a braised leek salad with intense Roquefort, crumbled egg, "mimosa" vinaigrette
    - pork three ways, with an excellent tenderloin, sublime pork cheek, and tasty but slightly overcooked rib (spare, not short), with roasted apples

    Elsewhere at the table, pumpkin pancakes with seasonal vegetables, steak, scallops, and greens were enjoyed. Molten chocolate-hazelnut cake with salty caramel ice cream (I've had a near-identical dish at Hot Chocolate) and apple creme brulee capped a very nice meal. The owner, chef, and wait staff payed frequent visits and the pre-concert crowd was reserved but smiling.
  • Post #27 - April 24th, 2008, 1:59 pm
    Post #27 - April 24th, 2008, 1:59 pm Post #27 - April 24th, 2008, 1:59 pm
    I figured I should just add to this post instead of starting another one.

    Mellonhubby and I were in Minneapolis over the weekend. Checked out some of the local food.

    Tried to get brunch at Hell's Kitchen Saturday morning but they were on a wait about 80 minutes long...We took a walk through Loring Park for brunch at Nick & Eddie. We started with some of the almond brioche - it was fabulous: sweet, but not too much so, soft and fluffy, with a hint of luscious almond. Things were looking good. We then had eggs Benedict (in honor of the Papal visit...). Things were looking not so good - the eggs were too poached (soft boiled yolks in the middle) and the hollandaise was just "meh"...

    Anyway...we had dinner Saturday evening at Fugaise. We started off with a salad of beats, greens and horseradish chevre. It was good - but the horseradish overwhelmed the goat cheese a bit. We also had the foie gras (we were eating it like it was - well...illegal) - it was a nice preparation with apricots and raisins. Organ meats never tasted so good! I had the Veal Cheeks with polenta and mushrooms - tender and perfectly seasoned. The wild mushrooms added a nice smokiness to the dish. Mellonhubby had the Halibut with leaks and "crispy" prosciutto - mmmmm...pig. The fish was pan roasted and had a nice sauce (a reduction of sorts) with it. All in all, a nice meal at a place I had been wondering about for a while.

    We also had a rather chaotic family brunch at the Sofitel in Bloomington. It was a nice buffet (good "distracter" items like salad, cheese, lox, and various other cold items) with some interesting entrees like paella, eggs Benedict (with runny yolks!) and interesting fish preparations (halibut with cilantro sauce, salmon with basil.)

    Nick and Eddie
    1612 Harmon Place (Loring Park)
    Minneapolis 55403
    612-486-5800

    Fugaise
    308 E. Hennepin Ave (at University Ave.)
    Minneapolis 55414
    312-436-0777

    La Fougasse - Hotel Sofitel (yes - it has a nearly identical name to the place we had dinner the night before...)
    5601 West 78th Street
    Bloomington 55439
    952-835-1900
  • Post #28 - November 18th, 2008, 1:12 pm
    Post #28 - November 18th, 2008, 1:12 pm Post #28 - November 18th, 2008, 1:12 pm
    I hope that someone out there can help me. I am working in suburban Minneapolis in a town called Maple Grove and from driving around it appears to be a suburban culinary, chain restaraunt hell. As a qualifier, I am working nights the rest of the week so I won't be eating dinner. If any one has any lunch/late night or all night recs that don't take me too far away it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
  • Post #29 - November 18th, 2008, 3:39 pm
    Post #29 - November 18th, 2008, 3:39 pm Post #29 - November 18th, 2008, 3:39 pm
    I think your best bet in Maple Grove will be to check out the selection in what passes for downtown Maple Grove. On Main Street, I believe between the 7500 and 8000 blocks, there are some decent options. You'll find some non-chains. There's a bistro/wine bar and an Irish pub and maybe some others. Good luck!
  • Post #30 - November 18th, 2008, 5:09 pm
    Post #30 - November 18th, 2008, 5:09 pm Post #30 - November 18th, 2008, 5:09 pm
    Not too far from Maple Grove you'll find the suburb of Plymouth and a very good Szechuan restaurant; The Tea House. We were introduced to the place about three years ago on one of our many business trips up to the Twin Cities. According to the person who recommended ot to us, their shtick was that they had a "secret" Szechuan menu that you had to ask for. Otherwise, you got a fairly standard Cantonese menu from which to order. The Cantonese selections are well prepared, but nothing special compared to the Szechuan offerings.

    Anyway, by the time we finally made the pilgrimage, the "secret" was out, and you no longer had to ask for the special menu; it was automatically handed to you along with the Cantonese listings when you were seated. You can read my reviews of Tea House on these pages at Roadfood.com:

    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.as ... EA%20HOUSE

    http://www.roadfood.com/Forums/topic.as ... HOUSE,2008

    As far as hours are concerned, I know they're open until at least 10:pm and I'm pretty sure they're open for lunch as well.

    I'll go through my records and check for other northwest suburban Mpls/StP options for you.

    Buddy

    The Tea House
    88 Nathan Lane (I love that street name!)
    Plymouth, Minnesota
    (763) 544-3422

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