I'm from the Twin Cities but I have not been in town all that much visiting restaurants. I'm on the road more.9,000 miles in back road driving so far this year. So ask me about the Old Bisbee Brewery
, the brew pub is the Town Hall Brewery
on Washington Ave S. The Nook
burned down and was rebuilt and is open again. I haven't been to the re-opening but I understand it has lost its "Nookness" of old sports memorabilia dating back to the 40s. I probably won't go again until my former next door neighbor, Cretin HS alumnus (across the street from the Nook) visits again from New Zealand. Of Matt's, 5-8 Club and Nook I thought the Nook had the best Juicy Lucy but my favorite is a lamb burger stuffed with goat cheese from McGarry's Irish Pub
in Maple Plain (on the way to Fargo, BTW). Dare to be different. More upscale and gourmet? Vincent
, a French Restaurant on Nicollet Mall serves an excellent one at the bar.
Keep in mind all walleye is imported Canadian walleye and is ubiquitous in most Minnesota restaurants. Tavern on Grand is no better than many of the others. I know I have had better. Having remodeled, Tavern on Grand has lost its "place". I think I would take my chances and find a walleye in lake country like Alexandria, MN if I wanted to try one. Nye's Polonaise Room
is a Minneapolis institution. I've been going there off and on for over 40 years. It's a curiosity and fun place. You don't go there for the food. What was great was the kitschy sing along the World's Most Dangerous Polka Band. I haven't been back since longtime entertainer, Ruth Adams
died. You may have missed out on a era.
Other bars? Rumaki's
suggestion of Brits
is a good one especially on a hot day when you can go up to the rooftop lawn bowling yard. When I worked downtown The Local
was up a block from Brits and catty corner from my office. That's the best place in town to quaff a Guinness and they claim to sell more Jameson than any place in the United States.
Breakfast? Hell's Kitchen
is good as is Keys
. They both have better breakfasts than Al's Breakfast
but can't match the atmosphere and uniqueness. Hell's Kitchen lost its mojo for me when it moved from its original site. You can't go wrong with any of them. If you like eggs Benedict, the Good Day Cafe
in Golden Valley has the most extensive selection. I usually go to Maggie's
in Wayzata for a glutoness filling breakfast. Breakfast on the freeway? Pull off on any small town. We stopped at Charlie's Cafe
in Freeport, MN last February on the way to Fargo. That's what I do - breakfast roulette in small towns. Rarely do I get a clunker (for breakfast).
You can find cutting edge cuisine outside of New York and here in the hinterlands. If you do want to eat exquisitely at least once substitute that Tavern on Grand dinner for Restaurant Alma
operated by a James Beard winning chef making hand crafted dinners with fresh, seasonal, organic and local ingredients with a definite Minnesota regional flavor. That's my favorite upscale place. If your partner doesn't eat mammal then Spoonriver
might be another option only I haven't been there yet.
Ice Cream? Google Sebastian Joe's
. There are several sources and that one usually gets the nod in Minneapolis. If you want Midwest different then try a frozen custard. I would recommend Adele's Frozen Custard
in Excelsior. Excelsior, BTW, is my stomping grounds. A great little town 18 miles west of downtown Minneapolis on Lake Minnetonka.
<message edited by Davydd on Fri, 06/10/11 10:51 AM>