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  • Post #121 - October 22nd, 2012, 4:54 pm
    Post #121 - October 22nd, 2012, 4:54 pm Post #121 - October 22nd, 2012, 4:54 pm
    We spent a couple nights out and about in the Twin Cities during a recent trip that eventually took us up to Bayfield. Instead of doing the drive straight thru we decided to spend a couple nights in Hudson, WI before making the final push north. Hudson is about a 15 minute drive from the TC's so we spent most of the morning and afternoon hours doing fun outdoor activities around there followed by food and drink in Minneapolis/St. Paul to round out the night. First things first I wanted some walleye while we were there.

    Tavern on Grand in St. Paul

    I did some searching for the best preps of walleye around and was surprised to find alot of mentions of there not being many. Lots of people said you have to go further north to find the good stuff. However many mentions were also made for Tavern on Grand in St. Paul as being the real deal. Not only did they slang the official state fish but also the un-offical state dish. So of course I had to start with an order of "tator tot hot dish"

    Tot's topped w/ ground beef & vegetables simmered in their homemade mushroom soup

    I had randomly read about this dish just a day or two before we went when I saw someone tweet something about it. So I was ready to give it a go when we got there. It's classic Midwest casserole comfort food and about what you'd expect as far as flavors go. I'll make this one winter day when I'm not feeling like doing much. Walleye comes in fingers, cakes, baskets and sandwiches which you can get lightly fried or blackened. My sandwich sure did itch my fix. The only thing that was better was my gf's who had her's with bacon.

    Fried Walleye Sandwich

    Next stop was totally off the radar and only happened because I needed to grab gas before heading back to Hudson. As we made our way thru the "rough" parts of St. Paul I pulled in for gas at a very "happening" gas station and spied this place below across the street.

    Somewhere in St. Paul

    Now when I say "rough" parts of St. Paul I do so in jest. I wouldn't be afraid around there but it's always good to be aware. Well anyway me being the Coney Shop freak that I am I just had to go in and try one. After all these are said to be "The Best f^cking Coney Island in Town" so who I am to say no? I gotta try so I can know.

    a peak inside

    This was unlike most every other old school Coney shop that's still around. It tripled as a liquor store and Bar and instead of old men in their 80's wearing the same pants they bought in the 50's reading that days paper this place had some drunk regulars ranging from their 20's to 30's. The vibe inside as the stickers in the picture tell was Tea Party like. But they slang one of the better Coney dogs I've tried. The dog comes on a wonderful toasted bun similar to s lobster roll and the sauce had a real nice spike kick to it. I ordered another after the first and to fit in I drank Grain Belt while I ate.

    Coney Dog from Gopher Bar & Liquors

    On the second night I had planned to try a popular Cantonese Chinese place where they have walleye mixed into some of their house recipes but they were closed early due to some electric problems. So we stopped in at Mickey's Diner Car (Since 1939) which is always open instead. I had a very respectable diner style cheeseburger to end my night.

    Where Gordon Bombay once ate...

    Day two there was some rain in the afternoon so we went into Minneapolis a little bit early and I took a route in that also brought us past Maverick's Real Roast Beef so that I could stop in and grab a sandwich to hold me over. I liked what I got which was a roast beef with a side of aus jus. They let you top your sandwich at the condiment bar and I added some onions, pepper rings, bbq sauce and horseradish too.

    Image Image
    Maverick's Real Roast Beef in the suburb of Roseville

    Dinner that evening was at Bar La Grassa which she chose over the Bachelor Farmer. I was happy to go either or since I heard mostly good things about each. This is the first of the James Beard Foundation's "best chef in midwest" winner Isaac Becker's two places with an Italian focus.

    Bar La Grassa in Minneapolis

    I read some not so great things from a trustworthy poster about his other place and BLG seemed to fit what we were looking for better anyway so we chose it over 112 Eatery and that won out over the BF. I liked what we got. A simple but well executed charred red onion with goat cheese bruschetta was great as were each of the fresh made pasta dishes we tried. I was happy with the service and pricing at Bar La Grassa and would most likely go back the next time I was there but not before I try the Bachelor Farmer first.

    Gnocchi with Cauliflower and Orange

    Spaghetti Carbonara

    Located right behind the popular restaurant (BF) serving dishes honoring Minnesota’s Nordic heritage is Marvel Bar. It's a popular cocktail spot owned by the son of the MN governor (who's a friend of a friend). We all met up and had a great night with some well executed drinks. I wasn't buying their signature drink the "Olivetto" at first glance but it was really good as were others I tried. I look forward to a trip back next summer. The state fair (2nd largest in the country) was going on but we just didn't have room for it. I'd like to go experience that and some of the international flavors to be found next time around. I like visiting the Twin Cities, as long it's from April thru October. Too damn cold otherwise.

    Image Image
    Marvel Bar located behind the Bachelor Farmer

    Tavern on Grand
    656 Grand Avenue
    Saint Paul, MN 55105
    (651) 228-9030

    Gopher Bar
    241 7th Street East
    Saint Paul, MN 55101
    (651) 291-9638

    Mickey's Diner
    36 West 7th Street
    Saint Paul, MN 55102
    (651) 222-5633

    Maverick's Real Roast Beef
    1746 Lexington Avenue North
    Roseville, MN 55113
    (651) 488-1788

    Bar La Grassa
    800 North Washington Avenue
    Minneapolis, MN 55401
    (612) 333-3837

    Marvel Bar
    50 2nd Avenue North
    Minneapolis, MN 55401
    (612) 206-3929
  • Post #122 - December 3rd, 2012, 2:47 pm
    Post #122 - December 3rd, 2012, 2:47 pm Post #122 - December 3rd, 2012, 2:47 pm
    Hitting the twin cities this weekend for da bears, if you only had 2 days in Minneapolis, what are the must eats? Bonus points if they are close to downtown Minneapolis, i.e. walkable/bussable
  • Post #123 - December 3rd, 2012, 3:39 pm
    Post #123 - December 3rd, 2012, 3:39 pm Post #123 - December 3rd, 2012, 3:39 pm
    From my recent visit over Thanksgiving: - great coffee
    All accessible by foot or public transit.
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #124 - December 3rd, 2012, 4:57 pm
    Post #124 - December 3rd, 2012, 4:57 pm Post #124 - December 3rd, 2012, 4:57 pm
    I haven't been but my good friends who live there go regularly: Masu Sushi and Robata --just written up in the 20 best sushi spots in the US in Travel & Leisure ( along with a few other places that I have been to and love (Macku here in Chicago, Ran in Sausalito, O Ya in Boston, etc.).
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #125 - December 4th, 2012, 9:16 am
    Post #125 - December 4th, 2012, 9:16 am Post #125 - December 4th, 2012, 9:16 am
    We were in Minneapolis over the summer and had a great meal at Spoonriver, by the Guthrie Theater. Brunch on Sunday was at Hell's Kitchen. Reservations recommended at both.

    750 S 2nd Street
    Minneapolis, MN 55401

    Hell's Kitchen
    80 S 9th Street
    Minneapolis, MN 55402
  • Post #126 - December 4th, 2012, 10:54 am
    Post #126 - December 4th, 2012, 10:54 am Post #126 - December 4th, 2012, 10:54 am
    Thanks all, these sound great. Unfortunately I won't have time for them all, but I'll snap some pix and report on anything transcendently amazing. Bears
  • Post #127 - December 6th, 2012, 10:32 pm
    Post #127 - December 6th, 2012, 10:32 pm Post #127 - December 6th, 2012, 10:32 pm
    Any suggestions for a Dec. 24 dinner in Minneapois? With a couple of small children.
  • Post #128 - December 7th, 2012, 2:35 pm
    Post #128 - December 7th, 2012, 2:35 pm Post #128 - December 7th, 2012, 2:35 pm
    I really enjoyed a meal over Thanksgiving at Hazel's Northeast, which has a Depot Diner menu and vibe - comfort with professional execution and sourcing. I understand it gets busy, and since it is mostly booths, I'm not sure how comfortable it would be for a larger family (though kids should love the food). Carolina pulled pork, beet salad, and brownie with salted ice cream hit the spot.

    Hazel's Northeast
    2859 Johnson St NE
    Minneapolis, MN 55418

    Glad to see Masu getting some attention here and in national press. The pachinko parlor design of the place is precious, and the dishes are artfully presented, with a few knockouts. Several items (soba) play it a bit safe, but the kushiyaki are bold and excellent.

    Hell's Kitchen can come off as fairly commercial, but that's actually a pretty great place to take families / kids and has long hours. Don't miss the peanut butter, Ralph Manheim-inspired art, and the sausage bread.
  • Post #129 - December 13th, 2012, 1:03 pm
    Post #129 - December 13th, 2012, 1:03 pm Post #129 - December 13th, 2012, 1:03 pm
    Alright, so I went to Minneapolis this weekend. I don't think I'll be back.

    First of all, there was the weather. It was really cold and I was prepared for this, I have been to Montreal in November, I knew what I was in for. But the epic mishandling of the snowfall, was pretty disappointing. I was expecting that a major metropolis in frequently snowed upon territory would be able to handle 5 inches of snowfall appropriately. Instead the streets were all effed, public transit (what little there is already) severely unreliable, and cabs few and far between. This severely limited my exploring to either downtown by the hotel, or making sure that wherever I was going to go, I could visit several places within walking distance.

    We stayed at the W, so i pretty much was contained to the area around there. I went to Gluek's on Saturday night, and I think that was probably the highlight of the trip. The food was delicious (fried walleye sammich + communal german mac and cheese), our waitress was really nice and helpful, and they had coffee bender for me to drink, a win here. Everywhere else we went was a bar, and they were generally nothing special. I did like that I could drink surly everywhere, but I could have also done that in my hotel room.

    The next day we went to watch the bears lose, afterwards we decided to head to Matt's bar, where everyone told us to go for juicy lucy's. So we went there, and I ate a juicy lucy, and it was good. Then I ate another one, also good. So here's the thing about the juicy lucy, it's good. However, for all the hype everyone was giving me, it wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. It's nowhere near as amazing an invention as other midwest culinary specialties like say, deep dish pizza, a chicago style dog, or frozen custard. I think I'd rather even have deep fried cheese curds. Afterwards we went to Chatterbox which was a tavern I had heard about on here, which was a fun time, but afterwards there was really nothing else to do in that area. I thought I'd avoid another 30$ cab ride and try the much more reasonable 1.75 bus ride. Well, the bus was almost 30 minutes late thanks to Minneapolis not using salt or plowing the streets, I don't think I am being too harsh a critic since the local standing next to us for 20 minutes was also pissed. Anyways, once we got back to the hotel it seemed our choices were once again limited to sports bar or other sports bar.

    Well, maybe I am being a jerk, it's certainly happened before, but I didn't really enjoy my stay. Last time I was in MN it was summertime and I was in St Paul, and I felt like that was much more enjoyable, so maybe it's an avoid during wintertimes thing. Oh yeah, Bears are the worst.
  • Post #130 - December 13th, 2012, 4:20 pm
    Post #130 - December 13th, 2012, 4:20 pm Post #130 - December 13th, 2012, 4:20 pm
    Suiname wrote:Alright, so I went to Minneapolis this weekend. I don't think I'll be back.

    You post made me chuckle a bit. The first time I visited Mpls, I told my soon to be wife that I never needed to go back. Now, here I am living here.

    I'll admit, you visited during a horrible weather weekend. It's pretty rare that things get shut down like that. For the record, we got about 13" of snow between Sat and all day Sunday. I also went to that embarrassing Bears game and shelled out pretty good cash for some pretty good seats only to watch that garbage. The streets were in terrible condition as was the public transportation and I ended up driving downtown from SW Mpls, instead of taking the bus.

    Anyway - on to the food. I guess you were pretty limited with location and such but IF you decide to ever come back, let's say for a Twins game or another Bears game, here are a couple of ideas if you're staying downtown. I'm really sorry I didn't check this before you came but I had a friend drive up from Chicago (also for the Bears game) with a delivery of Half Acre and Three Floyds so I was a bit distracted.

    - Brunch - everyone loves Hell's Kitchen but I don't like it as much. It seems commercial / tacky but the food is pretty good. I just don't like sitting there. I would head to Ike's. They have a decent brunch, make a decent bloody mary and have a decent burger. It seems a little expensive to me but if you're there for brunch, they bring out a complimentary sticky bun the size of a dinner plate to share. That's not a bad way to start the mid morning.
    - Bars: I don't mind both the Local and Brits. The Local is a large cavernous "Irish" bar. It gets crowded but sometimes that's what you want when you're visiting a city. Brit's is an "English" bar with decent ales on tap and lawn bowling on the roof in the summer.
    - The Butcher and Boar. The food is okay and a bit gimmicky. They tout it as a sausage / whiskey / beer restaurant / bar but the times I've been there, I thought the food missed a little. The whiskey and beer lists are good though and the outside patio is really nice if the weather is nice (not past weekend though).
    - Fulton Tap Room - this is a local craft beer here and they have a small tap room. Last Saturday, they released their Russian Imperial Stout and it was quite tasty. Very laid back and most days/nights have a food truck out front. It's also a block away from Target Field and opens two hours before the games start. The Light Rail ends there as well.
    -112 Eatery / Bar LaGrassa - A little upscale and typically not where you would head for a "guy's night out," that is, unless you wanted a decent meal. Both are good to very good.
    - Bachelor Farmer - Another nice restaurant but with a very good cocktail bar in the basement - Marvel Bar.
    - Zen Box Izakaya - a really laid back Japanese Bar / Restaurant with Hitachino on tap. This is a good place to grab some decent beer and food before heading out. Small plates, so you can order a lot of different things. Good service and rarely need a reservation but easy to get online.

    From downtown, if you wanted to hit an "area" that had a couple of bars/restaurants, I would try one of these:

    Nordeast - right across the river and past the "Grain Belt" sign. You could hit Nye's Polonaise for a retro supper club / piano player on one side and a polka band at the adjoining bar. The Bulldog has a couple of locations and the best is probably in this area as well. Decent Euro beer selections and good burgers. There's another bar across the street, Whitey's that's just okay. From there, you could venture deeper into that neighborhood and hit some "local" bars. It's an eastern European neighborhood and has bars in residential areas. Reminds me a bit of Ukrainian Village but not as dense. Indeed Brewing has a tap room here. Jax Cafe is a throwback steak house with its own trout stream and you can net your dinner on the patio. Psycho Suzi's is over here and has a nice view of the river, tiki drinks and crappy pizza (locals like it though). Club 331 is a decent local as well, next to Northeast Social and close to Anchor Fish and Chips.

    Lake / Lyndale / Uptown - This area is just SW of downtown and more like a $15 cab ride. I think of it like the Lincoln Park of Mpls. On Hennepin, you'll get the really cheesy bars but over on Lyndale, there's another Bulldog location, Muddy Waters (great beer list and decent food), Moto-I (Japanese theme with rooftop bar), Bryant Lake Bowl (bowling alley / bar / food), Heidi's (upscale restaurant), and a cheap VFW.

    7 corners / Washington / University area - Town Hall Brewery has great craft beer and decent food. Across the street is Republic, another place with great beer. You can venture further down the street and walk to a number of food / drink spots.

    It's not all bad here. I will say though that the tempo of Chicago is much faster and things are more laid back here. If you're on 45 rpm, you may want to flip the switch to 33 1/3 rpm. If you ever head back, PM me a week or two ahead and hopefully I'll see it time and give you more ideas.
    "It's not that I'm on commission, it's just I've sifted through a lot of stuff and it's not worth filling up on the bland when the extraordinary is within equidistant tasting distance." - David Lebovitz
  • Post #131 - August 28th, 2013, 11:41 am
    Post #131 - August 28th, 2013, 11:41 am Post #131 - August 28th, 2013, 11:41 am
    A recent trip to Minneapolis to see the Twins/Sox had us hitting a couple new places. Breakfast on Saturday was at Basil's Restaurant in the Marquette Hotel. Basil's is known for it's connection to the Mary Tyler Moore show. We had a table (not the MTM table) on the balcony overlooking the IDS Crystal Court. I had the Artisan Omelet (smoked turkey, portobello mushrooms, roasted red pepper, avocado, chevre cheese.) It was a good-sized omelet. Nothing was particularly memorable about this meal. Service was good once they remembered we were out there. The staff was setting up a room for a luncheon and forgot they had seated us. They brought us a bakery basket (croissant, danishes, muffins, jam) on the house to make up for the misstep.

    Pre-game festivities were held at the Alley. Noteworthy only because I enjoyed the walleye sandwich, which was panko-breaded and served on ciabatta with a chipotle mayo. The preparation made the fish nice and crispy, which elevated the sandwich. I would have liked a better fish to breading ratio though. At Target Field, I had a Kramarczuk polish sausage, which was good but not transcendent. I felt it could have gone a little longer on the grill.

    We returned to Hell's Kitchen on Sunday morning. Our group has enjoyed going there and they can handle a larger group (9 for us) well. This year, we tried the sausage bread. It was odd -- we were expecting something more hearty. This was a thin cut bread with sweet and savory thing going on that didn't work for our taste buds. For the entree, I had the walleye hash, which apparently has returned to the menu. The menu description: Tender, slightly crispy walleye topped with a sublime sauce made of wild morel and forest mushrooms. Includes a side of sourdough or multi-grain toast. This was excellent. Someone had recommend we try Keys at the Foshay for breakfast...maybe next year.

    We broke off from our group and hit the outdoor sculpture garden at the Walker Art Center. Although we didn't play, the artist-designed mini-golf course designed as part of the 25th anniversary of the sculpture garden looked really cool. We headed to Uptown for lunch. Our host had selected Chino Latino, but sadly, they were closed for lunch. We ended up at Stella's Fish Cafe & Prestige Oyster Bar. Our server, Melissa, was great fun. Chef's choice oysters were small, but fresh. Edamame tossed in a spicy Schechuan sauce were addictive. Nothing stood out from our entrees -- I had the tuna melt that missed the mark. My margarita was good though.

    Basil's Restaurant
    7th Street & Marquette Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55402

    The Alley Sports Tavern
    100 N 6th Street
    Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Hell's Kitchen
    80 S 9th St
    Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402
    (612) 332-4700

    Stella's Fish Cafe & Prestige Oyster Bar
    1400 W Lake St
    Minneapolis, MN 55408
    (612) 824-8862

    Walker on the Green mini-golf (through September 2013)
    1750 Hennepin Ave,
    Minneapolis, MN 55403 ... -mini-golf
  • Post #132 - July 5th, 2014, 8:54 pm
    Post #132 - July 5th, 2014, 8:54 pm Post #132 - July 5th, 2014, 8:54 pm
    MSPD wrote: 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

    I highly recommend a stop at Sea Salt Eatery if you are near the airport or the Mall of America and not sure where to go for a meal. It's in a great spot right alongside Minnehaha Falls, which are roaring as of late (at least in terms of urban waterfalls) due to heavy rains.
    As nice as the scenery is, the food is not to be taken lightly. My family had soft-shell crab that was not at all greasy and had great flavor. Crab cakes were well above average: while there was no lump meat, the amount of crab far outweighed the amount of filler. Shrimp satay was grilled in the shell and cooked perfectly. Corn on the cob was given a nice elote-type treatment.
    20-minute wait for lunch was well worth it. Some interesting beer options and friendly service.
    Edit: open April through October
  • Post #133 - May 19th, 2015, 3:15 pm
    Post #133 - May 19th, 2015, 3:15 pm Post #133 - May 19th, 2015, 3:15 pm
    A few topics—Scandinavian, Hmong, roast beef, burgers of beef and of camel—from a too-short overnight visit to the Twin Cities last August...

    Lunch at Fika, the cafe in the American Swedish Institute's new building, was a highlight. Here, the rooftop goat gazes out across the courtyard toward ASI's Turnblad Mansion. What is it about Swedes and goats on rooftops, and more importantly is ASI on shaky legal ground with theirs?


    Fika occupies a nice open space with a view similar to the goat's (except from the ground floor).



    Purists might be troubled by the overabundance of certain sandwiches but when they're so delicious I find it hard to complain too much. If the stellar whole grain bread is any indication, the rest of their baked goods are worth exploring.

    Country sausage, poached egg, pickled cabbage, mustard, pine

    Pickled herring, new potatoes, bacon, dill, soft-boiled egg, fennel emulsion, pea shoots

    Gravlax, horseradish-leek panna cotta, dill, lemon, mustard, vinegar kettle chips

    Soup and housemade sodas were first rate as well.

    Looking for a quick breakfast, we stumbled on Finnish Bistro. Other than the fact it was anything but quick, it turned out to be an excellent choice.





    Minneapolis takes its cured fish very seriously, though I guess that shouldn't come as any surprise. The herring at Finnish Bistro was the third best of the three I sampled during my visit, but it was still better than most I've had (as an aside, Ingebretsen's has the best pickled herring I've ever eaten). It would take a long time before I would tire of breakfasts like this. By the way, the little bowl holds a side order of spicy reindeer sausage (not exactly an inspired pairing with pickled herring).

    A Hmong meal of larb (bile on the side) and sausage at Destiny 2 was freshly prepared and considerably better than most similar Hmong meals.



    I posted a bit more about Destiny 2 in the Hmong in St Paul thread.

    I'd wanted to visit Maverick's Roast Beef for some years and finally got my chance.






    It's a good, honest sandwich (though the squishy roll didn't add a lot).

    In previous visits I had Ju(i)cy Lucys at Matt's (whose old-fashioned bar burger is my clear favorite), Nook and Blue Door (both have their charms). Finally I had a chance to check 5·8 Club off my list. The place looks cool from the outside.



    As with Matt's, 5·8 Club makes claims to be the cheese-filled burger's birthplace. Whether that's true or not I repeatedly got the impression they're simply going through the paces, milking their fame for everything it's worth. It took a very distant last place of the well-known JLs I've sampled. I'd recommend 5·8 Club only if curiosity gets the better of you, not because the burger or atmosphere make it worth visiting. I was surprised how much I disliked the place.

    Camel is easy to find in the Twin Cities. The many Somali markets like Dur Dur (1552 E Lake, Mpls) usually have it ("...Chicken, Beef, Camel, Fish...") . . .


    . . . as do the multi-ethnic Hmong stores like Sun (554 University W, St Paul).


    Finding dromedary on restaurant menus isn't as easy but it's far from impossible. Safari, inside Midtown Global Market, is known for their camelburger (as well as Camel on a Stick, the State Fair fave).



    No mistaking this for a cowburger. It has a firm chewy texture and a certain gaminess. The grilled pineapple in mustard sauce (something I wasn't optimistic about) worked surprisingly well. The burger's main problem is overall dryness, alleviated somewhat by the nondescript cheese melted on top. But c'mon guys, you're in the Twin Cities, why not put the cheese inside your camelburger where it would help even more?

    at American Swedish Institute
    2600 Park Ave S
    Minneapolis MN

    Finnish Bistro
    2264 Como Av
    St Paul MN

    Destiny Cafe 2
    1151 Clarence St #101
    Saint Paul MN

    1746 Lexington Av N
    Roseville MN

    5·8 Club
    800 Cedar Av S
    Minneapolis MN

    Safari Express
    in Midtown Global Market
    920 E Lake St # 134
    Minneapolis MN
  • Post #134 - May 19th, 2015, 8:55 pm
    Post #134 - May 19th, 2015, 8:55 pm Post #134 - May 19th, 2015, 8:55 pm
    Great report, Peter; my summer time up there is rapidly approaching, and Fika is calling.

    The Finnish Bistro is a stone's throw from the in-laws. They make a good Greek salad and Bloody Mary, and killer almond bars, and truly prodigious omelets. I've found the Nordic fare to be the weak (or at least inconsistent) link, although I adore their pulla, the mildly sweet pastry bread with cardamom and kosher salt and almonds which is otherwise hard to find. They make it into an unusual French toast, but I like it dry (and it gets dry fast) with coffee, or briefly microwaved with some butter or sour cream. A block away is the delightful Colossal Cafe, with its brie pancakes and sandwiches with house pickles and chutneys on homemade bread (

    Blue Door has the edge over time for me among Jucys, but I prefer regular burgers in the Cities. There, my faves are the recently-"saved" Band Box diner, newcomer George and the Dragon, and Dusty's, for the burger (not the Dago. Wait a minute. Have we not talked about Dagos on LTH, or am I just not finding the thread?)
  • Post #135 - May 19th, 2015, 10:53 pm
    Post #135 - May 19th, 2015, 10:53 pm Post #135 - May 19th, 2015, 10:53 pm
    Santander wrote:Great report, Peter; my summer time up there is rapidly approaching, and Fika is calling.

    The Finnish Bistro is a stone's throw from the in-laws. They make a good Greek salad and Bloody Mary, and killer almond bars, and truly prodigious omelets. I've found the Nordic fare to be the weak (or at least inconsistent) link, although I adore their pulla, the mildly sweet pastry bread with cardamom and kosher salt and almonds which is otherwise hard to find. They make it into an unusual French toast, but I like it dry (and it gets dry fast) with coffee, or briefly microwaved with some butter or sour cream.

    I hope you enjoy Fika as much as I did. I thought about ordering the pulla French toast at Finnish Bistro but wasn't really in the mood. Fika has pulla, made in the spiral bun format, and I suspect they're good. All Fika's baked goods looked good.

    Santander wrote:Blue Door has the edge over time for me among Jucys, but I prefer regular burgers in the Cities.

    Yeah, I think I'm pretty much done with the JL. I don't particularly care for big globs of molten cheese in my burgers. Looking forward to trying some of the more normal burgers you mention.

    Santander wrote:...and Dusty's, for the burger (not the Dago. Wait a minute. Have we not talked about Dagos on LTH, or am I just not finding the thread?)

    I actually filed a brief report on Dusty's and their signature sandwich, but didn't mention it by name so a search would be fruitless. I liked Dusty's.
  • Post #136 - May 20th, 2015, 12:36 pm
    Post #136 - May 20th, 2015, 12:36 pm Post #136 - May 20th, 2015, 12:36 pm
    I really enjoyed Red Cow in MSP. The North Loop location had nice, cozy, lively vibe and really great service. Cocktails are unique and delicious, I had the Mos-Cow Mule, which was gingery, a bit spicy but smooth. We shared the pretzel with the beer cheese dipping sauce and it was soft, chewy and gone very quickly. I absolutely loved my Tuna Burger and am still dreaming about. Perfectly cooked rare tuna, a bit spicy in a light bun. The side salad was one of the best I had also. My friends raved about the sweet potato fries and turkey burger. Love this place and will definitely be back.
  • Post #137 - May 22nd, 2015, 10:19 am
    Post #137 - May 22nd, 2015, 10:19 am Post #137 - May 22nd, 2015, 10:19 am
    Glad to see the Mpls thread get a bump up. As with most cities, the food options are constantly changing, especially with the urban growth Mpls is going through right now (North Loop / Warehouse district especially).

    A newer restaurant definitely worth checking out is Spoon and Stable. If you know you'll be here, give them a call because reservations are hard to come by and phone is always the best option. This restaurant is headed by Gavin Kaysen, who grew up in Bloomington, Minnesota and went to NYC, winning a James Beard Award (Daniel Boulud) and being named a Food & Wine Best New Chef. The restaurant is nice and airy. Good bar area, solid drinks, and a great seasonal menu.

    Per my old thread above, I'd say that there are some updates to that info. Butcher and Boar has turned into a favorite. Not so much for a sit down dinner but rather to go to their beer garden and enjoy a nice selection of beers and bourbons. They also have a small outside menu with some solid sausages.

    If you're here and want to check out the beer scene, well, that's another thread. There's probably been 10-15 new breweries / taprooms opened in the past 4 years, with Surly's destination brewery leading the way. Also, the green line is up and running and will get you from Target Field in Mpls to downtown St. Paul, pretty nicely.

    A decent website to check out that is unabashedly in love with the Twin Cities' food scene is

    Spoon and Stable
    211 1st St N, Minneapolis, MN 55401
    (612) 224-9850

    Surly Brewing
    520 Malcolm Ave SE
    Minneapolis, MN, 55414
    (763) 999-4040
  • Post #138 - July 2nd, 2015, 4:03 pm
    Post #138 - July 2nd, 2015, 4:03 pm Post #138 - July 2nd, 2015, 4:03 pm
    First visit, so we mostly stuck to the well-traveled places.

    Bar La Grassa and Bachelor Farmer have already been discussed ad nauseam, so I'll just add that both were very impressive and leave it at that.

    Pizzeria Lola has also been mentioned positively and I agree: Neapolitan but with a chewier crust, excellent ingredients (including Korean flavors), and warm service. Thumbs up.

    Both of the Rene G-approved Finish Bistro and Fika were outstanding. Fika was the only place we visited twice, it was that good.

    Ingebretsen's has an excellent deli -- the potato sausage and liver pate were both top notch. So was the herring -- the regular was very, very good and the one with sour cream and dill was transcendent.

    We also ate a lot of Hmong food. By which I mean we ate Hmong food twice and every portion seems designed to feed three people. The Brobdingnagian portions are a bit off-putting, to be honest, when you don't have access to refrigeration and realize you're going to have to throw out a ton of food. The food itself was tasty, though.

    Speaking of outrageous portions, Isles Bun & Coffee makes delicious cinnamon rolls as big as the head of an average pre-schooler. I don't know why they're so huge, but they make for a nice treat for two reasonably hungry adults.

    We also enjoyed Sebastian Joe's ice cream. Lots of creative flavors -- some are better than others, but there are many to choose from and you can sample before deciding.

    Spyhouse Coffee serves serious coffee and tea and the cafes are actually open late (till 11), unlike most here. The one on Broadway is especially nice.

    The Midtown Global Market seems worth exploring, with some places that look promising and some not. We tried several items at the Swedish Cafe Finspang; they ranged from so-so (lingonberry bar) to very good (strawberry cake). Pretty good open-faced sandwiches, too. And everything from Salty Tart Bakery was excellent.

    Isles Bun & Coffee
    28th & Hennepin
    Minneapolis, MN

    Sebastian Joe’s
    1007 W Franklin Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55405

    945 Broadway St NE
    Minneapolis, MN 55413
  • Post #139 - July 2nd, 2015, 10:15 pm
    Post #139 - July 2nd, 2015, 10:15 pm Post #139 - July 2nd, 2015, 10:15 pm
    Great report, c. Love that Finnish Bistro is getting some attention.

    Regular (L) and cinnamon (R) pulla at Finnish Bistro, 6/25/15.
  • Post #140 - June 14th, 2016, 9:33 am
    Post #140 - June 14th, 2016, 9:33 am Post #140 - June 14th, 2016, 9:33 am
    I hadn't been to the Twin Cities since my last post up above from back in 2012. So when my fiancee told me she wanted to drive there to check out wedding dresses I obliged. To me a six hour drive is nothing and I'd heard nothing but good things about the food scene since my last visit so I was down to spend a weekend eating and drinking. Luckily for us the weather had just started warming up so it was in the low 50's which is basically sandal weather for the people in these parts. I have no interest in visiting during the winter. But when it's warm, or not freezing, Minneapolis is very nice.


    First stop I found thru this thread so thanks to those that posted the positive info. I love this trend of hip and happening restaurants opening up inside of museums and cultural centers. Located inside the American Swedish Institute, FIKA is a Swedish focused cafe putting out great plates of food as well as house infused Aquavit.

    ImageBrussels Sprouts - I prefer my sprouts crisp and these were roasted until soft but still good with a creamy sauce and the chopped nuts did add little crunch.

    ImagePotato Dumplings were as soft as can be without totally falling apart and that was impressive. The combination of slivered apples and roasted peanuts is usually something I find at Thai spots but as this dish showed it works great in all forms of food.

    ImageSmørbrød of Seared Salmon over Rye was fantastic even though I'm not a big cooked salmon fan. The Dijon Mustard sauce really made the salmon shine in my mind.

    ImageBachelor Farmer Cafe

    I didn't get a chance to try the Bachelor Farmer on this trip but I did shoot over to their new cafe showcasing coffee and all sorts of baked goods with a Nordic influence. Not a coffee drinker, nor a big sweets in the morning guy. That said they also have a Smørbrød (open faced sandwich) section and the smoked salmon with pickled veggies, dill and mustard was calling my name. I love the combo of smoked salmon and dill. This was good enough to get another but alas there's always another spot coming so I held off until then.

    ImageScandanavian Style Open Faced Sandwich

    When it comes to regional eats Minneapolis has some interesting options. Aside from all the Scandinavian spots there's also quite a few Somali spots. This would be due to Minnesota having the most Somalian refugees of any US state. I read somewhere that 1/3 of U.S born Somalis live in Minnesota so that would make sense.

    ImageAfro Deli & Catering

    This place too is part of a cultural/developmental center designed to help the well being of newly arrived refugees. The Somali restaurateur and the center split the profits so you're helping a good cause when you eat here. Two good things come of one as the food is well made. There was a steady mix of college kids and local Somali people and never were they not taking orders. I got an excellent steak sandwich made with thin/tender beef spiced up with African seasoning and topped with lettuce, tomato, onion, and Swiss. The soft but stable focaccia was perfect for this Somali-American sandwich. A Samosa was also enjoyed.

    ImageSomali Steak Sandwich and a Samosa

    Strip Mall dining time. I took an early morning ride to the suburb of Burnsville to get my day started with a Somali style breakfast.

    ImageTawakal Restaurant

    Early Sunday morning so a few locals and their young sons were in there watching some soccer. I decided to go with the beef suqaar which is a popular breakfast made with cubes of meat mixed with potato and other veggies. It comes served with injera which is a flat pancake you use to scoop up the meat and eat. Tender well spiced beef and veggies with a nice tangy sauce served on the side was a great way to start my day.

    ImageBeef Suqaar with Injera

    Continuing on with the International regional eats offerings I was surprised to find a handful of Tibetan and or Nepali restaurants and as regular readers know I love me some momo. So I had myself a little momo-off. Aside from Jackson Heights in Queens I'm not sure there's anywhere in the States with a higher concentration of momo dumpling options. There's actually a Nepalese tea and dumpling spot coming to Chicago in Logan Square and the family behind it owns a joint in Minneapolis but I didn't make it to that spot. I did get to three others though.

    ImageGorkha Palace

    I had wanted to eat an entire meal at this place featuring Nepali, Tibetan, and Indian food made with local ingredients but it wouldn't happen. I can only go so far when it's basically just me so I stuck with a half order of momo made with local bison meat. This was probably my favorite of the trio I tried as the meat itself was very clean tasting. I've ate my fair share of Nepalese Dumplings and a common characteristic new to me at all these spots was big chunks of green onion as opposed to finely diced-in with the meat which is what I prefer. Nonetheless I love the combination of the fresh herbs and spices used including cilantro, coriander, and Turmeric. The commonly served on the side dipping sauce is usually a mild tomato and cilantro blend as was the case here.

    ImageBison Momo

    Moving onto the next spot I just so happened to be driving by and it was on my hit list so I stopped in for an order of momo to go.

    ImageHimalayan Restaurant

    This place just smelled great with all the whiffs coming from the kitchen and what not. Again another spot I would've liked to further explore but a half order of lamb momo was all I was good for. Another nice example, though I'll always prefer beef over lamb when it comes to these dumplings. Like the first stop the insides of these had nice sized chunks of green onion to go alongside the meat. The tomato-cilantro sauce really is the perfect compliment to an order of momo.

    ImageLamb Momo

    Last dumpling stop up was a place that was open late and doubles as a bar so that made it within reach. When I stopped in there were quite a few drinkers on what was a pretty mild weathered Saturday night.

    ImageTibet Kitchen

    Even though these ones here were made with beef they were my least liked of the three. The wrapper itself was too rubbery while the beef was just a ball that often fell out after first bite. I wasn't asked about any preferred style of sauce but ended up with a damn spicy dip that pretty much took over the flavor profile when used.

    ImageBeef Momo

    Then there's the American style regional eats. Can't do a trip to the Twin Cities and not stop for a Jucy Lucy. Since I had never been to Matt's now was my time.

    ImageMatt's Bar & Grill

    I've had a Lucy at The Nook over in St. Paul years ago but never one from Matt's (Since 1954) which many say is the original. Many also say it's the best and there's been good word spoken here about it so I wanted to make sure I got in. Good thing I had a couple days because on Saturday when I stopped by sometime mid-afternoon the place had a line to the point where there were a few people waiting outside. Popular spot so plan accordingly. I got there around 11:30a on Sunday and scored a seat at the bar.

    ImageThe Grill at the end of the bar

    Wisconsin tavern setup with the grill being in visible sight at the bar but there's too much traffic to make the bartender the grillmaster so each job is held down by a separate individual. I watched as the grill guy removed and then reloaded the grill with as many burgers as he could with each passing round. He was a natural. After a few rounds my wave came up and I had plenty of time to get a pic as you'll burn the shit out of your mouth if you don't wait for the cheese inside to cool down. The Jucy Lucy seems like such a simple burger, and it pretty much is, yet none of the imitators come close to the total package as those I've tried in the Twin Cities. Which is weird because you'd think it'd be pretty easy. Great bar burger. And I think that's what makes it what it is, the grill. Make sure to go grilled with the onions, I don't think it'd be the same without 'em.

    ImageJucy Lucy

    The Twin Cities also has a little bit of a roast beef sandwich culture and when out in da burbs I spied a place specializing in it.

    ImagePenn Lake Roast Beef

    Turns out the owner from here used to work at another local spot called Wally's which was closed so I was never able to try it and see how they compare to both here and also Maverick's which I stopped into last trip upthread. Special deal on the day I was in so I got two for $5. Considering the price this was a pretty good sandwich. Real, red at that, roast beef sliced to order and served on a lightly toasted burger bun with bbq and horseradish sauce on the side. I can get down with that.

    ImageRoast Beef Sandwich

    I like the old school roast beef spots but if you want one of the best roast beef sandwiches I've ever had then head to this new school butcher.

    ImageClancey's Meat & Fish

    Clancey's is pretty much like all the other new-school butchers and I mean that in a positive way. They got everything from custom cuts to cups of duck fat and all the other good stuff. I was hoping to find some walleye to throw in the cooler and take home but none this trip in. They also make sandwiches with house roasted meats and the roast beef gets lots of love online. I'm clapping with the rest of the applause as this was a dandy. Thinly shaved rare roast beef dressed to my liking in a fantastic locally baked bread roll. Deli sandwiches from your local butcher don't get much better.

    ImageRoast Beef Sandwich

    MSP also has a good pasta culture going on and Italian is heavily enjoyed by both of us. So we went around and checked some spots out though in hindsight I wish we returned to that which we knew because I didn't think either was on the same level as Bar La Grassa.

    Imageie Italian Eatery

    Stopped in here upon arriving in town on Friday night. It was packed and they pack them in so there were tables and chairs everywhere. In some cases good (near the open air kitchen) and in other cases not so much (near the bathroom). We were squeezed in at a small table amongst the bar area, the size of the table made it somewhat hard to eat. Food was ok. Like I said it just didn't wow like Bar La Grassa did on a past trip.

    ImagePan Fried Artichoke Ravioli - Housemade Ravioli with artichoke, ricotta, lemon, white truffle oil

    ImageMushroom Cappelletti with Crème Fraîche, whiskey barrel-aged shoyu, roasted mushrooms, thyme

    ImageBucatini with Housemade Fennel Sausage, Smoked Paprika, White Wine, Pecorino

    ImageScena Tavern

    Popular spot for food and booze here and it was Happy Hour so we were there. Drinks were good as was an order of bucatini that we ate up off the Happy Hour menu.

    ImageBucatini with 'nduja, egg yolk, garlic, herb, breadcrumbs

    We also stopped for Happy Hour at a locally liked taco and margarita spot as I always try and doc a taco stop or two on each trip away.

    ImageSonora Grill

    The menu features a bunch of options but I could only muster up the appetite for one and settled on the hot shrimp tempura and made sure to ask for housemade flour as opposed to the standard store bought corn tortilla. Not sure why they even bother with the corn when taking the time to make flour in house. This was a massive taco and couldn't be ate as was which was fine since I just nibbled on a few pieces of the fried shrimp until it could all be folded over and ate like a taco. It was enjoyed but the margarita was not.

    ImageHot Shrimp Tempura Taco

    I had Spoon & Stable as an option for cocktails and then when we saw they do a Saturday night taco special after 10pm we decided to head over.

    ImageSpoon & Stable

    Really nice place and thus very popular. We were lucky to snag some seats at the bar around 9:45p but the place quickly filled to the point where it was at capacity. Even with the crazy crowds the bartenders were on point with the drinks. All four scored A's on my report card. though I dont recollect exactly what each one was. The Saturday night taco special changes weekly and this week it was a mix of Midwest and Mexican. Modern Chef flavors on homemade tortillas are what these were and they were delicious.

    ImageDuck Carnitas Tacos with red mole, ramp salsa & fried cheese curds

    Last stop up was on the way out in St. Paul. Lots of good words out there spoken on Saint Dinette the Upscale style diner ala Au Cheval here in Chicago.

    ImageSaint Dinette

    Luckily for us there were no crazy lines or anything, plenty of people dining in but still room at a few tables and the bar where we took ourselves a seat. I ate a Jucy Lucy earlier in the day and just didn't have it in me to try their lauded double cheeseburger which looked absolutely delicious. If I hadn't had an upcoming six hour ride home I would've dove in without hesitation. So we split a few things that sounded good to her, all of it good to us. The made in-house bologna sandwich was super sandwich material while the crispy smelts were terrific and the fresh crinkle cut fries pretty much a Superdawg replica. A place I'll probably make it back to, hopefully with enough eating power to get both the burger and that bologna. See ya next time.

    ImageFresh Crinkle Cut Fries

    ImageFried Smelt with Remoulade

    ImageHouse Bologna Sandwich with a Fried Egg added on

    2600 Park Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55407
    (612) 871-4907

    Bachelor Farmer Cafe
    200 N First St
    Minneapolis, MN 55401
    (612) 206-3923

    Afro Deli & Catering
    1931 S 5th St
    Minneapolis, MN 55454
    (612) 871-5555

    Tawakal Restaurant
    12609 Nicollet Ave
    Burnsville, MN 55337
    (952) 500-8954

    Gorkha Palace
    23 4th St NE
    Minneapolis, MN 55414
    (612) 886-3451

    Himalayan Restaurant
    2910 E Lake St
    Minneapolis, MN 55406
    (612) 332-0880

    Tibet Kitchen
    1833 Nicollet Ave S
    Minneapolis, MN 55403
    (612) 872-8663

    Matt's Bar & Grill
    3500 Cedar Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55407
    (612) 722-7072

    Penn Lake Roast Beef
    8911 Penn Ave S
    Bloomington, MN 55431
    (952) 681-7430

    Clancey's Meat & Fish
    4307 S Upton Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55410
    (612) 926-0222

    ie Italian Eatery
    4724 Cedar Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55407
    (612) 223-8504

    Scena Tavern
    2943 Girard Ave S
    Minneapolis, MN 55408
    (612) 200-8641

    Sonora Grill
    3300 E Lake St
    Minneapolis, MN 55406
    (612) 722-2500

    Spoon & Stable
    211 N 1st St
    Minneapolis, MN 55401
    (612) 224-9850

    Saint Dinette
    261 East 5th Street
    St Paul, MN 55101
    (651) 800-1415
  • Post #141 - August 3rd, 2016, 11:48 am
    Post #141 - August 3rd, 2016, 11:48 am Post #141 - August 3rd, 2016, 11:48 am
    A visit last weekend to Minneapolis resulted in a return to Spoonriver and Hell's Kitchen for brunch on Saturday and Sunday respectively. Still good stuff at both places. Enjoyed walking through the Mill City Farmers Market located next to Spoonriver and the Guthrie Theatre.

    Friends moved to the Twin Cities recently so we met up with them at Psycho Suzi's Motor Lodge. Their patio is a great place to spend a couple of hours. The drinks were good, at least what I had or tasted. I'm not a huge fan of sweet drinks so was apprehensive of what their tiki drinks would be like. I had the Miserable Bastard, which was strong but balanced.
    Miserable Bastard: Booted out of the Molokai Academy of Psychology, Suzi never forgot the lesson she learned... misery wants a drink. A wallop of dark Jamaican rum, fresh lime, falernum, and paradise bitters. Depression management. Circa 1966.
    Mr. X had a One Eyed Willy to start, which is described:
    This salty dog is a dangerous and deadly potion. Dark Jamaican rum, house-made falernum, orange, pineapple, fresh lime, and 151 rum. Circa 1962.

    Food at Psycho Suzi's seemed to be set up to go with drinking and a lot of it as the two appetizers we tried tended towards the salty side. We started with fried cheese curds. We also had fried asparagus spears which are beer battered and served with a "rock sauce", a mildly spicy sauce (mayo? cheese? not sure). We also shared a pizza -- the Surly Sausage & Triple Mushroom: Surly Furious sausage, garlic confit, foraged mushrooms with house tomato sauce. This was a good pizza but would have been better with slightly less cheese. I'd go back.

    Dinner for me was an excellent Kramarczuk brat at the Twins/Sox game. We were tempted by the Chicken Tikka and Aloo Gobi near section 120, but baseball, beer and sausages are my preference. We loved that the vendor gave us samples of both dishes. Same with the beers we ended up buying. Not familiar with the Lift Bridge Farm Girl Saison or the Hop Dish IPA? No problem, have a taste. Minnesota nice indeed!

    Psycho Suzi's Motor Lodge
    1900 Marshall St. Northeast
    Minneapolis, MN 55418
  • Post #142 - October 25th, 2016, 12:38 pm
    Post #142 - October 25th, 2016, 12:38 pm Post #142 - October 25th, 2016, 12:38 pm
    Cabbagehead and I visited dear friends who have moved to St. Paul this past weekend. We ate a lot of their excellent cooking but tried a few places out in the Twin Cities.

    Cecil's Deli in St. Paul, founded 1949, scratches the Jewish deli itch for sure in its atmosphere, clientele, and menu. We didn't try the soup, always vital at such a place, but with that caveat, I can recommend Cecil's. I'd say that their chopped liver, cole slaw, and caraway rye were first-rate. My corned beef was just okay, although the pastrami was a good deal better. Good pickles. They bake their own bread and make their own soup. Meats seemed to be from Vienna plus a kosher supplier. Fish was virtually non-existent except for lox and some herring, which we didn't try.

    Our big night out was to try the tasting menu at Piccolo in Minneapolis, a small place, not too fancy, in what seemed to be a largely residential neighborhood. We were quite impressed with our meal. We tried just about everything on the menu, and the dishes ranged from very good to outstanding. Presentations were beautiful, and the pacing just right. Top of the list of dishes for me was the Rabbit liver terrine with onion, burgundy truffle, and honey, a gorgeous, smooth slice of heaven. Other winners were the Guinea hen with salsify, apple puree, and sunflower seeds, and the Clam escabeche with chorizo, seaweed, and pickled vegetables. Slightly less successful was the Corvina with morcilla puree, smoked cipollini onion, and crispy kale; the morcilla was a bit overpowering for the fish, perfectly cooked as it was. I ordered the Sunchoke panna cotta with malt and honeycrisp apples on the waiter's recommendation and against my inclination, and I should have gone with my intuition. For me, the sunchoke taste didn't work as a dessert.

    The meal was a bargain by Chicago standards--$59 for five courses. Unfortunately, it seemed to be necessary for the waiter to explain to us that these were very small portions but that there were five of them. A quick check of the usual online suspects' comments pages suggests that the restaurant has learned by hard experience that this introduction to a tasting menu is necessary. The restaurant offered a wine pairing that we passed on in favor of some Italian red wine (sorry, I think it was a nebbiolo) by the bottle. All in all, it was a very, very nice meal, and I would go again if I had the opportunity.

    Cecil's Deli
    651 S. Cleveland Ave.
    St. Paul, MN 55116

    Piccolo Restaurant
    4300 Bryant Ave.
    Minneapolis, MN 55409
  • Post #143 - September 13th, 2017, 9:36 pm
    Post #143 - September 13th, 2017, 9:36 pm Post #143 - September 13th, 2017, 9:36 pm
    Had to dig a bit to find this.

    Had an amazing weekend doing just about everything (state fair, Target field, biking, bars, food, theme parks).

    If I have more time I'll post a thorough report but some highlights:

    Can Can Wonderland - Artist created mini golf inside an old canning factory. Fun food (dogs, pizza) even more fun boozy slushies and shakes! Had a heavenly boozy dreamsicle shake with real vanilla ice cream and shaved orange. My friend had a unique sriracha/citrus boozy slushie and loved it.

    Red Cow - They have 3+ locations now and it's a burger bar that isn't overhyped. Start with fresh curds + tripple berry sauce and get a burger. Whaddya want? Local grass fed? Bison? 21 dry aged blend?
    Get the double barrel - 21 day dry aged blend with white cheddar, griddled onions...gah so good. Fries are fresh cut, too.

    Brunch on the water? Cafe Aster. They've got live jazz all day on Sunday. Server was beyond knowledgeable about all things Minneapolis. The quiche of the day and heirloom margharita pizza were awesome.

    Beer and arcades? Updown. Crush some fools at Mario Kart on the giant screen in front of the whole bar.

    Want a dive bar that smells like puke but in a good way? CC's in uptown.

    We did RedCow to CCs to karaoke at the VFW to Updown which are all walkable in Uptown.

    Edit- super frustrating this site doesn't allow me to upload pictures from my phone and asks for "files".
  • Post #144 - January 15th, 2018, 9:16 pm
    Post #144 - January 15th, 2018, 9:16 pm Post #144 - January 15th, 2018, 9:16 pm
    Another big bump for Red Cow. In an attempt to try a different burger, I convinced my friend to split burgers with me.

    Returning champ: Double barrel.
    Two thinly smashed patties, white american, grilled onion & special sauce.
    Newcomer: Grass Fed Blues burger.
    local grass fed beef, Wisconsin blue cheese & apricot-rosemary black pepper jam.

    I was nervous to go for the blues burger because although I like blue cheese and the jam idea, I didn't want the flavor of the beef to be hidden. Red Cow delivered the idea perfectly-the blue cheese slab made itself known, but never overpowered. The jam was a pleasant compliment and didn't throw off the salty sweet combo.

    Another new menu item tried, the onion rings. Big slices in a hearty batter served with delicious bbq sauce. They were up there with the best as well.

    Flying through MSP? Red Cow has an airport location.

    Weather isn't an excuse! Get out to Minneapolis for great food and beer. Roundtrips from Chicago are as cheap as they get.
  • Post #145 - August 7th, 2018, 8:13 pm
    Post #145 - August 7th, 2018, 8:13 pm Post #145 - August 7th, 2018, 8:13 pm
    Just returned from a quick work trip to Minneapolis. A slightly disappointing dinner at Smack Shack. They have a nice outdoor dining patio, but although my Connecticut-style lobster roll had nice big chunks of lobster, the lobster flavor was really faint . . . as if the lobster had been rinsed before serving.

    For breakfast, a fantastic everything bagel with jalapeno cream cheese at Rise Bagel Co. This is better than any bagel available in the Chicago city limits these days.

    And perhaps the most surprising, freshly fried, crisp, delicious falafel from Holy Land at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport with fresh pita. This might have been the best bite of airport food I've ever had in the US. My work colleague said the shawarma was a little on the dry side though.
  • Post #146 - August 8th, 2018, 11:23 am
    Post #146 - August 8th, 2018, 11:23 am Post #146 - August 8th, 2018, 11:23 am
    I grew up in Minneapolis and can attest that when they are on, Holy Land is very good. The expanding size of their operation seems to have skewed their average for me over the years but given the option I'd pick anything from Holy Land over other local/ish options represented at the airport or other food court.

    As a contribution to the MSP thread I want to encourage anybody to try Harry Singh's on Nicollet Ave. The state fair booth was mentioned prior in this thread and I won't expand on that but the actual storefront in South Minneapolis is the first restaurant I fell in love with. I went back this summer for the first time in years and it was as good as ever. Don't expect quick or flawless service (usually its a one man show between front and back of house) but do expect a wonderful and singular place. The food is hot- if you don't like heat/spice there's not a lot for you there. Jerk Chicken or Curry Goat Roti are very good places to start. The Carribean Fried rice is awesome too but I rarely ever pass up the jerk or curry rotis.

    Definitely order a side of red beans. Its more of a red bean soup. It's not particularly high heat but the flavor is extremely dense and will do nothing to offset the heat of anything else on your table. It is, for lack of a better phrase, a very fun bowl of beans.

    Harry's proprietary hot sauce is also something very special. Buy some to go if you dig it. The place is one of a kind and has been around in different storefronts around south Minneapolis since the 70's. I can't say if this is good representation of broader Caribbean cooking but for a very long time it was the only game in town. For my money its one of the best representations of a vanishing breed of genuinely interesting small businesses in the Twin Cities.

    I like to waddle down the block to the Black Forest for a (few) German draft(s) afterwards. That place deserves its own treatise on how and how not to enjoy but all I'll say for now is sit at the bar and don't just stare at your phone.

    Harry Singh's
    2653 Nicollet Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55408
  • Post #147 - May 28th, 2019, 7:44 am
    Post #147 - May 28th, 2019, 7:44 am Post #147 - May 28th, 2019, 7:44 am
    (message deleted, moved to end of thread to bypass "broken picture" discussion)
    Last edited by JoelF on May 29th, 2019, 7:41 am, edited 2 times in total.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #148 - May 28th, 2019, 10:17 am
    Post #148 - May 28th, 2019, 10:17 am Post #148 - May 28th, 2019, 10:17 am
    Joel, I can't see any of your recent photos. You might want to double check that as all the other ones from people like DaBeef are fine.
  • Post #149 - May 28th, 2019, 10:32 am
    Post #149 - May 28th, 2019, 10:32 am Post #149 - May 28th, 2019, 10:32 am
    I can see Joel's pictures, just as another data point.
  • Post #150 - May 28th, 2019, 11:32 am
    Post #150 - May 28th, 2019, 11:32 am Post #150 - May 28th, 2019, 11:32 am
    Ram4 wrote:Joel, I can't see any of your recent photos. You might want to double check that as all the other ones from people like DaBeef are fine.

    Me neither. Generally speaking, if the image files do not end with the .jpg extension, they won't be visible here.

    Same planet, different world