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winodj

Minneapolis Restaurants: Reviews & Recommendations

277 posts in this topic

I'm a frequent visitor to the Twin Cities (for work). I've had very good luck eating out in both Minneapolis and StPaul. I agree that the really great stuff is located in the neighborhoods rather than downtown. I prefer that, actually.

In September, while in Minnesota for an extended trip, I managed to eat at True Thai three times after convincing an associate that Sawatdee just isn't very good. The spring rolls were near perfect and all of the entres were very good.

If you all are itching to get out and explore on a weeknight and are open for company, shoot me a message. Oddball dives through upscale all work for me.

Stephen


Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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Hello!

I live in Minneapolis. We do not get out to eat that often, so I do not have a variety of opinions regarding the restaurant scene.

I enjoy shopping at Lunds, but our budget directs us more often to Rainbow :-)

I have just spent a few minutes in the Farmer's Market in Downtown buying some tomatoes and peppers. I believe that if you stick with locally grown products (there are several stands today selling avocados!), the selection is winding down at this time of the year.

Although I am not totally qualify to write reviews, maybe we should try to make an effort to write a little more about our restaurants in our future visits.

Alex

(edit for grammar and to add that I am not an axe murderer)


Edited by AlexP (log)

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Although what you have read in this particular thread is largely related to restaurants, most of the things I've posted (on various forums) have had a lot more to do with cooking, ingredients, questions. We have three kids, and since I left paid employment for the greener pastures of home, we don't restaurant that often, either.

And, Bruce's foodblog indicates that he does a pretty good job of dining in!

Glad to have you here, Alex! I've been jealous of that fun-loving Chicago group that gets together with great frequency, and am happy to have another Minnesotan join us! I go state-wide with this comment since the great and wonderful "smoky" Klink has relocated to Duluth, which really isn't that far.

I think it's time we tried for a gathering!


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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If you all are itching to get out and explore on a weeknight and are open for company, shoot me a message.  Oddball dives through upscale all work for me.

We eat out all the time, when we're in town.

Let me know the next time you are.

Bruce

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Although I am not totally qualify to write reviews, maybe we should try to make an effort to write a little more about our restaurants in our future visits.

Welcome.

Yes, please write up your restaurant experiences.

And we'll be the judge of your axe murderer status, thank you very much.

Bruce

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I think it's time we tried for a gathering!

Give me a week or so. October is completely filled, and I'm working on what free time I have in November.

But I agree with you.

Bruce

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Just a question for Bruce: How is Surdyk's cheese shop these days? My great friend Sally used to manage it and left last year to start up her own wholesale cheese import business. I haven't been in for some time. I miss being able to call her up and say "what's special?" And in a few days I'd have a lovely package at my door. I'd also stop in when she wasn't busy and she'd stuff me full of cheese. Yummy. I am also friends with Barb, the COO of the evil D'Amico empire. LOL It's great fun to dine out with these two.

I'm also with you on Kramerczechs (sp). LOL We usually stop by and get some meats to eat at the hotel. :raz: Another stop we make is usually (dare I say it) White Castle on Univ. and then to Como to picnic. We don't have sliders here in ND..and for some odd reason, I crave them. After I've eaten a few I'm so turned off. Shamed probably.

The Thai situation used to be so bleak. I'm going to have to try true thai. Sawatai is just horrible. We usually keep going on to Chicago if we want Thai. :laugh:


After taking a mouthful of boiling hot coffee, what ever you do next is wrong.

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I'm not from the cities (go Twins! teach that rat bastard of a commisioner a lesson), but I occasionally drop on down. I was just at Surdyk's and walked through their cheese shop. I really wasn't impressed, they had a somewhat decent selection of cheeses but usually only for outrageous prices. However, this is the only cheese shop I've been to in Minnesota since I've moved here from Seattle. So I guess it's unfair to compare Surdyk's to my Seattle cheese shops. Also unfair was the fact that it was jam-packed on a Saturday afternoon and I'm notorious for getting cranky when I'm shopping and there's no room to walk around.

At least the wine section made it a worthwhile trip. I was able to find a couple of Cote du Rhone's that I liked in Seattle. Now it's time to find a nice small shop that really knows their stuff (of course, like I had in Seattle).

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Surdyk's cheese shop is okay. It's not Artesinal in New York, but it's what we have.

I did pretty well cheese shopping for my party. They didn't have everything I wanted, but I did pretty well.

Bruce

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Surdyk's cheese shop is okay.  It's not Artesinal in New York, but it's what we have.

I did pretty well cheese shopping for my party.  They didn't have everything I wanted, but I did pretty well.

Bruce

My standard for a cheese shop is the Cheese Board in Berkeley, CA. Nothing in the twin cities can hold a candle to this one. We do Surdyk's because they have a huge selection.

For local "artisnal," the St. Paul Farmer's Market is pretty good.

For supermarkets, I have just about as good luck at Kowalski's as anywhere. I'm happier with Kowalski's than Lund's or Byerly's. Wedge isn't bad, either.

I've also discovered that if I shop fairly wisely, I can do just about as well (price wise) at Kowalski's as Cub or Rainbow, and the difference is service is worth anything more I pay.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Two Kowalski's recently showed up close to our home, so we do most of our shopping there now.

Bruce

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Well, I lived two blocks from Lunds for 5 years, so I am an avid fan. I could not shop anywhere else for a while. Now, Rainbow takes most of our trips with Lunds a second for products that I cannot find anywhere else. I have being in Kowalski's just a couple times. Coastal Seafoods, is the fish market of choice. Lunds cheese section satisfies most of my needs, I am not familiar with Surdyk's

For people familiar with Lunds and Kowalski's... How do they compare to other high end grocery stores in the rest of the US?

Alex

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Nope.


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

blog

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Hello all! I'm from the Twin Cities. Well actually I'm attending grad school in Mankato right now, but am in the cities once or twice a week. I used to work full time at Cafe Latte as a bread baker, but now that I'm in school, I just fill in now and then. I just got back from a great trip to New York where I visited Amma, Suvir Saran's new Indian restaurant. He used to moderate the Indian cuisine thread here. It was amazing. Does anyone have a favorite Indian restaurant in the Twin Cities? I really enjoyed Natraj in Uptown as well as the New Delhi Bar and Restaurant. I'd love to hear from other Minnesotans on this line.

Matthew

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Welcome, Matthew!

I usually hit Udapi when I get a hankering for Indian food -- I like the food and they fairly close to where I live.

Any other favorite Twin Cities haunts?


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I pop in from time to time and I live in Wayzata and own a small personal chef/ catering firm. I knew Snowangel lived hear but am happy to hear there are a few others. I adore Vincent, do not miss Aquavit, like Levain (owner and I have know each other for years since our kids were friends in kindergarten) and spend way too many mealtimes at the Crossroads Deli in MTKA. We should definitely chat more.

Beth

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I've heard Udapi is good. I'll have to give it a try next time I'm up from Mankato. As far as St. Paul restaurants go (St. Paul is my old stomping ground), I like going to 128 Cafe on Cleveland and Zander on Selby. Has anyone tried either of these?

Matthew

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As far as St. Paul restaurants go (St. Paul is my old stomping ground), I like going to 128 Cafe on Cleveland and Zander on Selby.  Has anyone tried either of these?

I know them both.

Bruce

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I've heard Udapi is good.  I'll have to give it a try next time I'm up from Mankato.  As far as St. Paul restaurants go (St. Paul is my old stomping ground), I like going to 128 Cafe on Cleveland and Zander on Selby.  Has anyone tried either of these?

Matthew

If you're up here and interested in Udapi for lunch, let me know -- I'm home weekdays. It's on Central Avenue (in the 50's), and Central Ave (closer to Lowry) has had a mini-resurgence. Patel, the Indian grocery, has moved across the street and is greatly expanded. Holy Lane absorbed the space next door and so now the restaurant/deli is much larger and the grocery section is absolutely wonderful. There's also a decent Mexican hole in the wall in that area.

Yes, 128 Cafe. It's been a while since we've been, but have never been disappointed. The new kid in that area is Heartland, and we had a great dinner there this summer. Owner is former chef at W. A. Frost. Another little gem in that area is Trotters.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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I pop in from time to time and I live in Wayzata and own a small personal chef/ catering firm.  I knew Snowangel lived hear but am happy to hear there are a few others.  I adore Vincent, do not miss Aquavit, like Levain (owner and I have know each other for years since our kids were friends in kindergarten) and spend way too many mealtimes at the Crossroads Deli in MTKA.  We should definitely chat more.

Beth

Welcome.

After my last visit there, I've pretty much given up on Levain. The food was fine, but not worth the price...and it was much too noisy.

Seems like there's quite a good Minneapolis contingent. We should definitely plan something.

Bruce

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Seems like there's quite a good Minneapolis contingent.  We should definitely plan something.

Bruce

So, let's get planning. Restaurant? Korean? Vietnamese? Big E's? Weekday evening? Weekend? I'm open to almost anything.


Susan Fahning aka "snowangel"

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Lifelong St. Paulite checking in.

There are a few excellent St. Paul restaurants that haven't been mentioned yet. Luci (and Luci Ancora) in Highland are, to me at least, mindbogglingly good. I don't think I've ever had anything there that wasn't spot on. The second one is Chet's Taverna on Raymond off of University. Cozy, excellent food. Highly seasonal, local, organic where possible; it's almost like a smaller, less polished, original version of Heartland.


...

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Oddly, with all the time I have spent in the Twin Cities and I have never been to Chet's Taverna. Thanks for mentioning it so I can bubble it up near the top of the list.

Ristorante Luci is very good. I like it better than Luci Ancora. I know it is the same family that runs both, so I'm not sure if Ristorante Luci's kitchen is actually better or if it is simply that I prefer the atmosphere better and it affects my judgement.

Speaking of St Paul restaurants, has anyone been to Barbary Fig recently? I had a good meal there several years ago but haven't been since.


Stephen Bunge

St Paul, MN

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When Luci Ancora first opened up they were going to do a Northern Italy/Southern Italy thing with the two resturants, so they had very different menus, and in many people's opinion very different quality (OK, not very different, but different enough and Luci was better) About a year or so ago, they supposedly retooled Luci Ancora and brought it up to Luci's standard. The menus are still different, but they are more interchangable - an item on Ancora's menu could show up on Luci's menu the next night and vice versa.

That said, I haven't been to Ancora since the change, so I don't know if it's true.


...

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I've always enjoyed our meals at Zander's on Selby in St. Paul, and 128 Cafe as well.

What do people think of Goodfellow's in Minneapolis? We were there a couple of weeks ago, and some of the dishes we had were pretty good, but then some of them just knocked our socks off! We went for the wine tasting they have on the first Friday of the month that same night. I was wondering what other people's experiences were.

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